By Oh Baby! Magazine Editor Sandy Pedrogao
After you have a couple of kids (which I do) your life changes drastically. Everything, well almost everything, you do is for them. I can only speak for myself as a working mom and I can breakdown my life for you in this basic pie chart: You see that little piece of pie between “me” & “kids”? That’s the amount of time I have for my husband & our relationship. Don’t be fooled by my slice, it’s made up of my cycle fit and gravity classes at the YMCA and maybe the odd shower that I get to take by myself.
Nick and I decided that we needed to get away from the babies and work, so on a great recommendation we decided to try out a boutique style hotel & spa right in Niagara Falls, Ontario called Sterling Inn & Spa (www.sterlingniagara.com). The key to a ‘quicky’ (pun intended) romantic getaway: stay close to home. Don’t go too far from home for two reasons: 1) peace of mind in case you need to go back home for a sick baby and 2) you can have a nice drive alone without kids (aka: foreplay). For us, Niagara Falls is the perfect getaway, because it is about an hour and a half drive from home. We’ve been to Niagara Falls a million times (slight exaggeration) and never heard of this place so we thought we’d give it a try.
We had a couple’s massage booked for us, and because we were running late (surprise!) we didn’t have a chance to go into our room when we arrived. The great staff at the front desk quickly took our bags and led us down into the spa. The Spa at the Sterling Inn & Spa is a fantastically serene spa with only one goal in mind – complete and utter relaxation! The mood in there was so calming and the second we went into our treatment room we both looked at each other and let out a big sigh. This was exactly what we needed. They brought us a cranberry spritzer, and as our massage began our worries immediately melted away. I couldn’t have asked for a better experience.
OMG. Can I just say that I’ve never been to a hotel with such beautiful suites. This was hands-down the swankiest room I’ve ever been in. I don’t know if it was the sheer joy of not having my kids there with me, or the fact that I just had a spectacularly relaxing massage. As soon as we got to our room all I could say was, “Oh My God”. This suite was fabulous. It was a large, two-room suite, with wooden floors and exposed ceiling beams. The first room was very spacious with a lot of floor space, a flat screen TV, a full-length mirror, and a couch. The bedroom had a huge Jacuzzi tub, a flat screen TV, a king size bed, a gorgeous bathroom (with no rubber duckies, bath crayons, or toothbrushes that sing or light up). It also had a shower built for 2 – or 6! With a rain shower head and body jets. Can I just say – YES! It was perfect. We never wanted to leave. They even had Bath & Body Works products in the bathroom! YES! This place was built for me. I do have to say that at one point or two, I did imagine my kiddies in this fantastic suite, it was big enough for all of us. But I quickly pushed those thoughts to the bowels of my mind and told myself that this is one night without babies, so enjoy yourself, let loose and relax.
This hotel, located right near Clifton Hill, is less than a five minute walk from Niagara’s touristy attractions, and The Falls are just a 10-15 minute walk away. You would never guess that a wonderful boutique hotel would be among all of this.
Dining at AG, the hotel’s fine dining restaurant, was the cherry on top of my hotel-room-cake. Chef Cory Linkson only uses fresh and local ingredients. Nick ordered the Chef’s Tasting Menu – which didn’t disappoint – and each time they brought him his next dish all he kept saying was, “That was very tantalizing for my taste buds”. The food critic in him was flourishing. From the ‘Amuse Bouche’ to the seared scallops to the rich lemon dessert, each dish was better than the last. Our server was so sincere, welcoming and knowledgeable. She told us exactly what we were eating with such flair and she recommended the best wine. This was truly a wonderful dining experience. We topped this amazing meal off with a cappuccino, and a lovely leisurely walk to the falls and the casino.
We didn’t win big at the casino. But we did win big at having a great evening together, a night of uninterrupted sleep in breathtaking surroundings, complimentary breakfast in bed, drinks by the fireplace and time to reconnect as a couple. We talked, we laughed, we held hands – with each other as opposed to a sticky toddler or preschooler – and we had a wonderful night to remember. This is a place that I will recommend to anyone looking for a quiet minibreak, great food, and extremely accommodating and sincere staff. I will return. I’m just counting down the days. It gets my two thumbs up, and if I had to rate it out of 10 – I’d go so far as to give it an 11. Everything was perfect, and my relationship couldn’t have asked for anything else.
It was only one night but on our drive home I was so relaxed after such a lovely stay that it felt like I had been gone for a week. That feeling lasted about 10 minutes after I walked in the door and my youngest – my Velcro Child – attached herself to me and my eldest wouldn’t let go of my leg. I enjoyed that for the first two minutes, the remaining 30 were plagued by my longing to return to the Sterling Inn & Spa. What are you waiting for? Book your minibreak. Your kids and your relationship will thank you!
To read the article in full, please visit: www.ohbabymagazine.com/oh-mommy/a-romantic-getaway/