Staycations are special. You’re on holiday but you don’t have to travel far, pack much, or worry about all the usual business that comes with long-distance travel. If you live in Sydney, a beach staycation is a great way to spend more time on the sand and get that holiday feel without spending hours in the car.
Coogee in the eastern suburbs is our pick of city beach destinations for a family-friendly staycation in Sydney, largely because the Coogee Crown Plaza is such a great hotel for kids.
I have always loved the Coogee vibe, but having only spent a few hours here at any one time, I was keen to get to know the seaside Sydney suburb a little better – with the family tailing along. So we packed our bags for the night and checked in to the Coogee Crown Plaza.
Why Coogee is great for families
Coogee is popular with families for many reasons – Coogee Beach is a great place for summer swims, relaxing on the beach never gets old, there are two baths (Wylie’s Baths and McIver’s Ladies Baths) with calm swimming conditions for little ones.
A stroll along the coastal track is a lovely way to while away an afternoon, and there are also loads of lush green parks nearby – perfect for kids to run amok in. During school holidays, there’s also plenty of stuff always on, with Crowne Plaza Coogee Beach leading the way with their fun family-friendly events.
The Crown Plaza Coogee Beach, a family-friendly hotel
Crowne Plaza Coogee Beach has 209 rooms right across the road from Coogee Beach. For families who are after proximity to the ocean, this is the place to stay. We luck out on our visit and score an ocean-view room. Waking up to the sun rising over the waves is such a lovely way to start the day.
The Crowne Plaza also has pool-view rooms, village-view rooms and two lavish suites that come with ocean panoramas … next time.
What to do in Coogee with kids
I can’t sit still for too long, so we start with the Coogee to Bondi Coastal Walk. We don’t quite make it the whole way, but that’s only because we keep stopping to take photos and soak up the views. The coastline is so dramatic and beautiful and it’s only now – while on holidays in my home city – I’m really taking the time to enjoy it.
I’ve done the walk before, but when you don’t have to go home and take care of that growing pile of dirty laundry, it’s a different kind of enjoyment. My husband is a lot more relaxed too, taking pics left, right and centre; and my daughter hangs out in a baby sling with her aunt.
It’s a bit chilly to take a dip in Wylie’s Baths – which was part of the initial plan – but it’s nice to just walk and talk and take in all the views. Some mornings tai chi, yoga and pilates classes are held overlooking Wylie’s Baths and I store this as another activity for our next mini getaway.
Next, we head to check out Giant Reserve Playground. Our daughter is still a tad too young to enjoy the facilities, but this playground is worth checking out. It’s as impressive as I’ve been told, fit out with a diverse range of play equipment, plenty of tree shade and views out over Coogee Beach.
Hubby and I were thinking of fitting in a tennis game on the hotel’s tennis court, but after exploring we nick back to our room for a quick cuppa before heading out for a drink. Yep, we’re parents and we drink tea.
Restaurants at the Coogee Crown Plaza
Oceans Dining & Drinks is an ambient seaside space perfect for drinks and nibbles enjoying the sea view and sea breeze. We arrive at 6pm (prime family dining time) and the venue is already buzzing – there are groups of friends and few young families enjoying wood-fired pizzas and share plates.
It’s nice to find a venue with good views, tunes and atmosphere… and the cocktails are amazing! We hang out until the bub calls it a night, because kids rule the schedule.
My daughter is up early the next morning so we enjoy an amazing sunrise in bed before heading down to Bluesalt restaurant for our breakfast buffet. With everything from fresh fruit to eggs cooked to order on the menu, it’s the perfect end to our Coogee weekend.
For more information visit the Crown Plaza Coogee website
Want to know what else you can do on a staycation in Sydney?
When you travel every day is different! You get to experience different cultures, meet new people, get lost, find cool laneway bars, try weird and delicious foods, snorkel with sea lions, fly over mountains carpeted in grass, laze about in hammocks immersed in Windex-blue water, horse ride alongside gauchos, call sleeper trains, igloos and yurts home for a night, cycle past giraffes, dance with Masai warriors, play with local school children.