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With everything that is going on just now, it almost goes without saying that holidays abroad are very much out of the question. As a consequence, more people are starting to look closer to home for a break and are discovering all the good stuff on their doorsteps that they’d never have considered before. This is the year of the staycation: finding holiday opportunities in your local area rather than gallivanting off abroad or down south.
Me and Andrew ended up on our staycation here in Dundee quite by mistake. There aren’t too many reasons to book a hotel in the same town you live in, but our boiler breaking down on the morning of my birthday felt like a good one. Fresh out of shielding, we hadn’t planned on doing anything quite so indoors for a long time, but the events leading up to my birthday found us booking into a local hotel which happened to be the Dundee Malmaison, and it was one of the best things that has happened to me in this dumpster fire of a year.
The room we booked into was nowhere near their fanciest option but when we opened the door on it it was huge! There was a giant bed, a super chic and comfortable Eames-style chair and the pièce de résistance: a roll top bath next to a huge window overlooking the V&A and the Firth. This was in addition to a very clean shower with a huge shower head and most importantly… hot running water!
The hotel itself was quiet, we felt very safe with the measures they had put in place for sanitisation and social distancing. The rooms on either side of us were empty, there were markings everywhere telling you where to walk, stand, and queue. At every entrance, exit and by the lifts they had hand sanitiser stations and for our own peace of mind we wore masks to interact with people. The staff were absolute angels, they allowed us to check in slightly early so I could have a warm shower there instead of a cold one at home. They also gave us some vouchers for a glass of prosecco each after our air conditioning needed resetting, which was above and beyond.
I still got dressed up and we took a couple of snaps on the beautiful grand main staircase, I had this lovely pink dress from Monki [affiliate link] all lined up ready to go and I was going to wear it whatever happened! This also happened to be the first time I’d attempted to do my hair myself after having it cut so short the day before to get rid of the last of my black hair dye from the ends. Hair and makeup away from home can go horribly wrong, but I found it relatively easy in our room as there was a huge floor to ceiling mirror, plus a slightly smaller one that mercifully had a plug next to it.
I can’t believe just how much I needed to be somewhere that wasn’t the same old four walls I’ve been staring at since March. I knew I was struggling with shielding and lockdown, but this brought how just how much. When I’d settled into the room, had a shower and sat for a moment in a comfortable chair and looked around I realised that it felt like a weight had been lifted – even if only temporarily. Both of us felt revitalised and it was an absolute godsend. You know me, I love to find the positive needle in a negative haystack these days.
We returned home the next day refreshed and chilled with a working boiler and a little more resilience in the face of more months in the flat. So remember, check out what is happening on your own doorstep and where you can go in your local area before automatically thinking that you have to travel the breadth of the country for a staycation. You’ll be putting money into your local economy, keeping businesses in your hometown going, and as long as your are sensible and safe it can do wonders for your mental health. Our staycation happened out of necessity, but if we aren’t placed back in shielding this winter we’d definitely consider staying overnight somewhere again for a night in a couple of months time.