Soo. We were looking for somewhere baby and/or toddler friendly to stay near Horsham, Haywards Heath, that kind of area. Apparently searching the words 'baby friendly' and 'hotel' doesn't bring up many results. For some reason it seems though people with toddlers don't use hotels much?! I can't think why. Perhaps the whole lack-of-sleeping (through the night. Or in general) puts parents off. But we were brave. Or foolish maybe. But it was our wedding anniversary so we thought we'd give it a go.
We found Felbridge Hotel & Spa by a search result for a ' family break'. A good start we thought. But typing the word baby, or family room into their website didn't yield any great results. Even in room type it doesn't mention a family or triple room. But don't be put off, we called and found out their Suite room is effectively a triple, with a pull out single bed. For £139 inc breakfast and use of spa facilities it wasn't too bad. I say this lightly as hubby forked out for this one. Something to do with a cricket match en route…
Anyway the hotel was easy to find, with lots of parking, even if we had to move our car to make way for a bouncy castle upon arrival... The staff were polite, and waved hello to the toddler, which together with the presence of some fish in a tank in the lounge area made him as pleased as punch. The room was easily big enough for 3, and allowed us room to pop the bed mattress on the floor for bubba.
|Fish. Always a winner.|
Unfortunately due to poor planning on my part we hadn't booked a table at the restaurant, which is pretty family friendly with dinner starting at 6. The bar, whilst a little bit of an unusual toddler teatime setting did bar food and sandwiches early enough for us and staff weren't fussed by the toddler's insatiable appetite for ice cubes. No children's menu was offered but luckily bubba was happy enough to share daddy's duck wrap.
|An atmospheric setting for sandwiches|
Bedtime was always going to be more tricky given we were all sleeping in one room. After a bath and a feed bubba nodded off in his bed (we took his toddler duvet and pillow as weren't sure the adult version would be OK). Here's the best bit though - I was able to sneak off for a quick swim, sauna then a hot choc and the paper in the bar! Hubby volunteered to stay with bubba, reading by the light of the bathroom! An early night, but possibly not quite what it should mean on one's wedding anniversary!!
|Rearranging furniture... toddler style|
Whilst bubba was keen to let daddy know a double room would've sufficed by sleeping mostly in our bed, we definitely got our money's worth at breakfast. The food was fantastic, exceptional amount of choice both cooked and continental. We all stuffed ourselves, starving after a 5am wake up call. No one wants to pretend to be a plane that early in the morning.
|Creating a toddler haven in the bedroom|
So feeling rather full, we pottered around the pretty courtyard garden (after we'd looked at the fish for the 15th time). With a generous 11am check out we were able to spend an hour and a half in the pool and spa. Though a little chilly for bubba he especially enjoyed the steps into the pool, and watching the bubbles in the Jacuzzi. Its rare (although I've only been to one other!) to find a spa happy to accept babies, toddlers and children in both morning and afternoon (11-4 is adults only). Whilst somewhere to change bubba might've been a help, others were happy to use the loungers in the spa, and no one batted an eyelid.
The real testament to its success was that bubba, well-fed and well-exercised, fell soundly asleep as soon as we turned out of the car park. And thankfully, we were too early to stop at another cricket match on the way home!