Six weeks after the birth, it had been a newborn haze at home and I was desperate for a change of scenery.
We found a good deal online, and had heard lots of positive reviews and recommendations about the Watergate Bay Hotel. When one of my NCT friends mentioned she had been for a weekend with both her dog and baby it was all the convincing I needed.
We booked the deal, bundled everyone into the car, and after an overnight stay with family in Dorset (to break up the drive), we finally pulled up outside the Watergate Bay Hotel.
It sat above the bay (the clue is in the name), with views out to sea and steps down to the beach below. Inside, there was a large living area with a wraparound patio, both full of sink-into loungers positioned to make the most of the view. It was still pretty wintery so most people sat inside, boots still sandy from beach walks, warming up with hot chocolates and grub.
We went straight to our dog-friendly room to drop off our stuff (everything but the kitchen sink), which was in a separate cottage but linked up via a corridor to the main hotel. Then we braved the wind for a beach walk – a 30 second walk from our room!
The beach was full of dogs running and children jumping in puddles or looking for shells, despite it being early March.
After a few weeks of struggling to compete with a newborn baby, Flora was in heaven.
We discovered a cave too!
Meanwhile the little one just slept and slept, snug as a bug in the sling.
Noses and ears pink from the bracing sea breeze, we warmed up inside in their dog-friendly restaurant.
There’s a pool too, and children and babies are welcome at certain times (if not most of the day!), so we took him in for his first dip.
My boyfriend then took the baby away for a nap while I enjoyed my first work-out in months!
In the evenings you have the choice of either bringing the baby with you to the restaurant (in the hope that they might sleep through it in their bassinet), or asking the hotel for an in-room babysitter to watch the little one while you dine in peace, or everything on the menu is available on the room service menu too!
To keep it simple, we spent our first evening watching a movie in bed, with a bottle of wine and gourmet meal brought up to the room for us. Not too shabby!
It was a particularly cold and blustery day, so after our walk we made the most of the hotel’s pool and spa. The deal we found online included a massage each so we took it in turns to watch the baby.
On our second night we took the baby with us into the restaurant and miraculously all the background noise soothed him and he slept the entire time. But even if he hadn’t, I don’t think it would have mattered as there were plenty of other parents and little ones around.
Definitely a hotel to visit with the whole family!