My top tips for sneaking in the best mini holiday after a hard day at work.
I took a cheeky long weekend to the other side of Sydney not expecting much. I mean what’s a holiday if you don’t get out of the city? Surely, it’s not that relaxing or that different… right?
Boy was I wrong! Here are five things you can do to have the best staycation and feel like you’ve just come back from Fiji next Monday morning.
#1 Location, location, location
The single most important choice: where?
Look, I grew up on the northern beaches in Sydney. I get it, Manly’s pretty good. But wow, I’ve never woken up to a view like this before, let alone in the middle of winter. If the Crowne Plaza were any closer to Coogee Beach, you’d be walking into the reception off a boat. I’m not joking, if you put it into Google Maps on your phone, it looks like the place is underwater.
Twenty minutes from the CBD, it’s probably closer to your work than your own home is. When you’re planning a staycation over the weekend, every minute matters. My girlfriend was able to get a couple hours off on Friday arvo and went in a little late on Monday. Two days turn into four real quick when you can spend more time having a shower than commuting.
#2 Food is the key to happiness
“A local favourite for a quick drink, laid-back dinner or lively celebration, Estate is the perfect spot to gather with friends, whether you’re primed for a big night out or you’re fresh off the beach.”
Pleasure is defined by two things: not working and eating. You can’t call your staycation enjoyable unless you find a good eat.
Some people can cook, only some of those people do it well but everyone loves to eat, and everyone should do it well on holiday. There’s nothing worse than going on a trip just to have something you could have made yourself. That goes for all the kitchen whizzes out there, not just the cooking impaired like me.
Crowne Plaza Coogee’s restaurant and bar, Estate, offers simple yet incredibly tasty dishes I promise you couldn’t replicate. Reflecting its beautiful beachy location, the seafood is fresh and well balanced with other more indulgent options like the bourbon aged striploin. The Hiramasa Kingfish crudo is a must try; the dill pickle and coconut dressing perfectly complemented the fish. In a relaxed contemporary space with some killer cocktails, it was a great place to unwind.
#3 Explore your own city
As you leave your humble abode, suitcase packed, think about your staycation as a real holiday not a good weekend. We don’t go abroad just to relax, although that is an essential element. We travel to see the beauty of the world, to see a bit of paradise. Sometimes we forget paradise is closer to home than we think.
Sydney is an international tourist hotspot for a reason. Splayed across the rocky beachline of the east coast, it has the most sublime natural scenery. No matter how many times I do the Coogee to Bondi walk, I can’t help feeling grateful for living in such a picturesque city.
#4 Treat yourself
“LivedIn Coogee was born out of a love of interiors and lifestyle products, pieces that tell a story and not found in the everyday experience.”
For the best staycaction, treat yourself now and later.
You’d be surprised how little you know your own city if you put in the effort to explore. Coogee sprawls with artisanal bakeries and rustic cafes that would leave the most diehard indie Melburnian wanting more. Don’t forget to buy yourself a present to open after your trip finishes. With trendy local boutiques for homewares, Coogee’s got you covered!
#5 Always, always opt for the hotel breakfast
“Shutters: A space that allows guests an escape into the vast, bright blue sea and spindly tree-lined shores of Coogee Beach whilst dining on local, modern fare that takes inspiration from the Mediterranean.”
This is especially true when your “hotel breakfast” turns out to be an incredible fine dining restaurant with an ocean view. Shutters Restaurant is stunning. Think gorgeous Hamptons style design perfectly paired with comfy seating overlooking Coogee beach.
This is your holiday. It is not your responsibility to bring cereal for the morning and it’s an unforgivable sin to skip it altogether. Don’t skimp out when you book, organising breakfast is the last thing on anyone’s mind on holiday!