Family trip and toddler friendly Wellness weekend in Germany <3

It’s a perfect moment for a short break. Although our holiday is planned for the end of September, a relaxed getaway was definitely a priority. I was just in need of a spa and a big massage! Looking so last minute, it was a challenge finding a free spot anywhere. Luckily, from a Luxembourgish point of view, we are situated in the heart of Europe and I found a wellness center only one hour away in Germany.

Check-in & pool area
Last Saturday, early afternoon, we arrived at Weiskirchen Parkhotel. A four-star hotel somewhere in the Saarland.  We booked a junior suite which is fantastic with kids, because of it has two rooms. That means we could actually sleep separate from our kids and only had to open a door to get to them again.littlelux lion toddlertravel

After the check-in we had a little drink at the bar, while our 20-month-year old toddler was playing with duplo. The best part about the hotel for kids is the pool area. With two big toddler pools and a huge bubble bath/pool, you can easily float hours away.littlelux lion toddlertravel

We also booked directly a (free of charge) late check-out at 3 pm on Sunday. This way we could easily enjoy our time and spend a little extra wellness time during their afternoon nap. Just one at the time we visited as we couldn’t leave our kids of course going to a spa together. A babysit service would be an asset to this hotel that is so well prepared for kids ;-).

The food
Because of our last minute booking, the restaurant was fully booked unfortunately. However, we could sit down at the Brasserie for some simple food and they offer a nice kids menu. It is a spot for a quick dinner or lunch which could be just all you need with small kids. Next time I would definitely go for the restaurant as the menu and the atmosphere looked tempting. Maybe our next visit I would wait until the kids are asleep (and use a baby monitor) so you can really enjoy a romantic getaway. Instead, I took my moment and immediately went to the wellness center after diner as they both slept quickly. Also not too bad…..

The following morning we enjoyed the restaurant for breakfast. The breakfast is great! The Germans always seem to be quite good at it… The service, the staff and the wide choice of fresh food provide an excellent start of the morning.

Playtime!
Besides the duplo corner and the pool area, they also provide a playground for kids. With a sunny day ahead, our little lion went outside for some playtime in the adjacent garden that has a large and great equiped playground. For kids that are a little bit older, we saw a midget golf club across the street.

The spa/wellness
The main reason we went was because of the wellness center. I was surprised, because it littlelux lion toddlertravelwas a lot bigger and better organised than I expected it to be. With different sauna’s inside and outside and a large garden area, it was actually big enough to call it a true wellness center, not too crowded (even on a Saturday) and wide enough to have sufficient relaxing corners. We both booked massages at the sauna area and were happy about it. The massage is only 22 euro per half hour and was actually quite good. So I came back the next day for an extra hour, to really lose up!

The end/our reflection
We were really happy about the hotel, because:

  • It’s only one hour drive from Luxembourg
  • A good combination of a kids friendly hotel and true wellness center
  • The staff was extremely friendly and helpful

What did we miss?

  • I would like a babysit service, so you can add some romantic quality time together (for example during their nap time).littlelux lion toddlertravel

Holiday: toddler travel Autoroute du soleil to the Provence/Côte d’Azur, France

Our first family trip. What kind of traveling would be nice with a toddler and a baby? Our very first holiday, with one baby, was with an airplane and we enjoyed it very much. This time, having two kids, we are eager to discover how a trip to the south of France would be. On our way to the Provence/Côte d’Azur, we found some nice spots. In this blog I will highlight our favourites on the way!

Aire de Lloraine Sandacourt (100km from Nancy to Dijon)

This restaurant we mainly like because it has everything for a stop to eat and change a toddler/baby. It has a small playground inside and a spacious changing room for toddlers, including a toddler toilet.

Littleluxlion.wordpress.comMoreover the restaurant is very clean which I find the most important. For meal orders they have a promo for kids €4,90 including water, dessert and a surprise. Besides that; make sure you order seperately with your partner, as the
ticket had a discount for the next visit of €3,-. You can use it directly on the order of your partner

littleluxlion.wordpress.comAire de Repos de Jugy, A6 to the South, between Chalon en Macon

This is the parking-lot for children! Up to the age of 12, they can enjoy themselves in a mushroom themed area. There is a large playground full of mushrooms and slides for children to climb on and play. Side note: It can get quite busy here and there is no restaurant.

Auberge de Moulin for tasty meals between Lyon & Valence

We got of the highway to find a place for a good French lunch. By chance we found  Auberge du Moulin in St Sorlin en Valloire. It’s just a small detour and worth it. Very tasty meals, excellent service, a high chair and some green gras to run around for our toddler.

Chambre d’hôtes close to Valence

We spent our first night in a chambre d’hôtes on a farm in the Ardèche, close to Valence. We are immediately overwhelmed by the fantastic view and the relaxing spirit. The kids and you will have an amazing time with the animals. And you will love the hosts and their delicious homemade and regional dishes.

This is truly where holiday begins. The table d’hôte is definitely a recommendation. Costs only € 20,-.

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How we enjoyed our holiday in the Provence/Côte d’Azur, will be blogged soon!

Holiday favourites: 5 must-have baby items

In one week we are driving to France and having our first family holiday with two kids.  We don’t have a huge car and even if we had, I like to be flexible, pragmatic and travel light.

I noticed when I was pregnant I was overwhelmed by all the ‘baby lists’ and recommendations. I didn’t have a clue where to start, what to prioritise and where to store all these items.

Luckily I already had some friends with babies that warned me not to buy too much of everything, because in the end you surely don’t need all. How thankful I am for that!

As a mother of two under two, I noticed that some items are very helpful. I want to share my favourites with you and am very curious about your opinion. Which item are  you definitely taking with you?

1. Cozy Baby nest
In the Netherlands these items are trending since last year. I totally understand why! When born, Chloé was very little and found it hard to sleep in her cradle. That’s why we bought the cozy nest.

It is safe, very light and easy to carry. This helps you out while travelling. No campingbed needed. For my trips abroad I always bring this one with me. 

Also I find it very helpful at home. During the night I carry Chloé out of the cradle in her nest and breastfeed her in bed while she is in the nest. This way we can continue to sleep safe together in bed.

2. Stokke Newborn
I remember doubting a while before buying this. The Stokke chair is fabulous anyway. It is well prized, as you can have it up to 6/7 years for your child.

With Jules running around I didn’t dare to put Chloé on a bouncer on the floor. So after one month we decided to buy it and I like it very much.

In a jiffy you take the newborn on and off the Stokke chair. So if guests arrive with kids, we’ll get it off and have an extra chair. Chloé can always sit on any surface with the newborn, like a dining chair of on the table. To France we are planning to bring it with us, instead of a bouncer. Perfect solution and still traveling light.


3. Hydrophilic diaper Done by deer
Hydrophillic diapers are indispensable for me. I use them for a lot of things during the day. Not only when we’re out, to lie on when I change diapers, but also for protection from the sun when she is in the stroller/carrier, delicate breastfeeding and for cleaning when Chloé is nauseous.

Why these hydrophilic are my favourites? They are fashionable. I love these diapers. They come in two sizes, different colours and have a loop on it, which is uncommon. This way you can hang them anywhere and eventually I’ll keep them as towels for the kitchen.


4. Snooze carrier
Finding the best carrier was not easy. I have bought, borrowed and tried several ones. Recently I  found the one that is the most convenient for me. I really would advise to borrow different carriers from friends before buying one. However, if you can’t wait, I am pleased to have the snooze carrier. It has a warm inside cover for cold days and is pleasant for the warm days when you remove it. Also it is very easy to carry, putting your baby in and out and is very light as it has no metals or big locks like a lot of carriers.

5. Puckababy four seasons
Not the cheapest sleeping bag, but definitely the best for me! The four seasons Puckababy will save you lots of money. You can adjust the size as well as the thickness, creating a sleeping bag for multiple ages as well as different seasons. It’s about 100 euro and helps you out from a 6 months old baby until approximately 2 years. I use it daily and am very pleased with the sustainable material after all these washes.

 

 

 
Looking forward to holidays! Will update in France about our tour.

Familytrip Rotterdam. Must-do visit!

Want to plan a visit with kids and looking for a new destination? Born and raised in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, I can highly recommend this upcoming city. After a visit last week, I really need to inform you about my love for this city. You think it’s only fun for a romantic weekend or a getaway with friends? No way! Rotterdam has a lot of options if you want to have a short family trip. Here are some ideas that will get you mostly on and off the beaten track:

Day 1: Iconic eye catchers of Rotterdam

Start the day with the fantastic Hotel New York (HNY) for breakfast or brunch. This used to be the former office building of the Holland America Lines and has been national heritage site since 2000. Here you already have a beautiful view of the Erasmus bridge, locally know as ‘the Swan’, and the skyline of Rotterdam.

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Skyline of Rotterdam (story continues)

To experience the largest port of Europe, hop on the watertaxi from HNY to the Oude Haven. At your arrival you can see where the first high-rise building of Europe was built in 1898. From there take a five minute walk to see a unique peace of architect at the ‘Cube houses‘ and visit Rotterdams’ newest tourist and local highlight; the Markthal.

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Markthal

On the second part of the day hop op the watertaxi again to the Euromast. Here you’ll get a great look of Rotterdam from above. From there, walk to the nice citypark and get a tea/coffee at the kids-friendly Parqiet .

Ready for dinner? A few minutes away you will find the departure point for a pancake cruise. This will show you the grand tour along the skyline and port of Rotterdam with a kids friendly meal.

DAY 2: Relax and Enjoy!

After all the sightseeing of the first day, you’re probably planning a more relaxed day. Let me take you to my home neighbourhood, ‘ Kralingen’, it is absolutely my favourite.

Juffrouw van Zanten

Start with some breakfast at the coolest high quality kids cafe you have ever seen. Since February 2017 ‘Juffrouw van Zanten’  is the new hot spot which combines kids friendliness with a delicious menu for everyone. These places are very rare, I promiss you. Another option is the cafe ‘ Thuisch’ in Kralingen. Also a very nice cafe with a massive playroom inside and outside playground.

After that take a look at a kids store Dattie & Die, and move on to relax at the ‘Kralingse bos’. You will enter a huge recreational park, where you can easily spend a whole day. Take some picnic gear with you or have a lunch or coffee at one of the cafe’s. Cafe ‘de Tuin’ has an outside playground. If you want to do something with the kids besides walking along the lake, don’t miss out on the other fun things to do. Here are some options:

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Kralingse bos
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Kids farm

DAY 3: Can’t choose. Both are great!

Want to spend your final day at one place? Here are two options that are equally worth a visit.

PLASWIJCKPARC
Visit the recreational park of Plaswijck on a good or a bad weather day. The park currently consists of Speelwijck (play area), Dierenwijck (animal area) and Wandelwijck (walking area). In the event of bad weather, enjoy the House on the Hill, a giant playhouse where kids can jump on a trampoline beds in the bedroom, squirt bubble bath in the bathroom and crawl and climb through the secret tunnels and passageways. Animals from around the globe live in Dierenwijck, including monkeys, owls, lynxes and goats. Wandelwijck offers various places to relax, including the English Garden and the Picnic Meadow. Plaswijck Park also has a restaurant with a terrace where drinks and (healthy) snacks are served.

ROTTERDAM ZOO
This is by far one of Europe’s most beautiful zoos. While wandering through different parts of the world, you will discover and encounter the most amazing and countless animals. Take a look at the amazon where crocodiles swim, see the elephants and visit the one cave where you can see polar bears. Furthermore there is a gorilla island and savanna. But one of the most iconic features of the parc is ‘Oceanium’. You will meet many marine and coastal animals as sharks, turtles and king penguins in a 22 meters long tunnel.

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Blijdorp, Rotterdam Zoo

Still not convinced or some time left? In the near area of Rotterdam there are also places worth a visit. The beach is just 20-30 minutes away by car or train and ‘Kinderdijk‘ is world famous for its windmills.

Can’t wait to see your feedback about this and above all, enjoy!! ❤