My kids have always been fond of a sleepover – and hotels – so combining these two concepts seems like a great idea to spend more quality time with them as they hurtle towards adulthood with alarming speed.
It’s not as easy as it sounds to organize one-on-one time with teenagers, as they’re too busy trying to find out how they fit in with the world outside their family and would rather spend time with their friends. Or a book. Or a computer game.
Anyway, the Four Seasons has recently introduced a fantastic family deal – a night in one of their junior suites and a family pass to two of Sydney’s best family attractions.
You can choose from Sydney Tower Eye, Sealife Sydney Aquarium, Madame Tussauds or Sydney Wildlife World.
So that’s how I came to stay overnight at the Four Seasons Sydney with my 13-year old daughter.
We decide on Sydney Tower Eye and Madame Tussauds and head into town bright and early to take full advantage of our sleepover in the city.
Our room overlooks both the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House – possibly the most coveted view in Sydney – so we settle in, stake claims for our chosen beds.
We decide to dine in and peruse the in-room menu. The kids room service menu is one of the best I’ve ever seen. A wide range to kid-friendly options, and not a chicken nugget in sight.
The rest of the evening is spent watching episodes of Teen Wolf before sinking into our beds for the night.
The next day starts with a breakfast buffet fit for a king downstairs at The Woods restaurant – Eggs Benedict for me, pancakes for Mary.
There’s possibly nothing my kids love more than a buffet, so we have a rule – no waste. They can visit the buffet as many times as they like, but each time they have to put a small portion on their plate and not leave anything behind.
There is a tendency for people to go mad at a buffet and pile as much as they can on their plate – drives me insane and it’s not something I want the kids to think is acceptable. Dining out is about quality – not quantity.
After breakfast we head off to Sydney Tower, where we’re met by two other members of our blended clan (it’s still school holidays).
I didn’t actually think this would be scary (it’s billed as a “non-adrenaline” activity) but as soon I got out onto that metal grid, the only thing between me and the ground about 300m below, I started to question the safety of the glass panels beneath my feet that would apparently withstand the weight of two elephants.
The kids however are not concerned about this. So little concerned are they that they lean over the balustrade at every opportunity and jump high into the air when our tour guide asks us to test the strength of the platform we’re standing on. (Shudder.)
Anyway… on with the show as we head next for Madame Tussauds. This was a surprise hit for me – I thought the kids would find it rather boring, but it’s designed in such an interactive way that the kids just love it.
There are dress ups, games and photo opportunities at every turn, including a portrait with the Royal Family, a scene with Obama at his desk, an interview with Oprah and even a scene on Abbey Road with the Beatles.
All in all, a pretty fun-filled couple of days in the city.
For information on Four Seasons Sydney Family packages, visit their website.