“Because there is nothing more beautiful than the way the ocean refuses to stop kissing the shorline, no matter how many times it’s sent away” ~ Red Love

To Mammy, I have been a little bit of a bull lately. As a surprise for your 30th, we have booked a family weekend away in a 5* location. Get us packed up quick Mammy. Love, Your Littleloves xxx

This letter was handed to me by the littlest littlelove on friday morning after church. I really should have guessed something was up. When I put littlelove Cadhla-Rose to bed the night before, she said to me; “Mammy can i put on my clothes for tomorrow- now? That way when I wake up in the morning, all you have to do is my hair!” To be honest I thought she was just eager to go to church as we had missed it the week before. I should also point out at this stage that my 30th birthday is not for another 6months! I think it gets harder every year for Lukey. Being a super organised Mammy it is almost impossible to surprise me on queue! As you can all imagine, the letter meant the world to me- I am sure it would mean the world to any Mammy. Let’s face it, when you get to leave the house without children for a cup of tea with a friend- that feels like a party. Going away for the weekend… Jackpot!! We set off for our ‘Staycation’ which was only a 12minute drive from our home in Dubai (Thanks Hubby) – he knows i hate being a passenger. We arrived at the Rixos on the Palm at 13:00. The normal check in time is 15:00 but the hotel was very accomodating. On arrival, friendly valet staff greeted us. They efficiently transported all of our suitcases (yes there was more than one). Fair play to any family that can travel light- we find it impossible. Check-in was quick and the lovely lady who checked us in upgraded us to a premium room, so as you can imagine- we where pretty excited. We were escorted up to our beautiful room with panoramic views of the sea. One side was the Atlantis and on the other side we could see the Burj Alarab in all of it’s glory- Wow!! We started to unpack and get ready to go exploring and there was a knock at the door. In came a bottle of champagne and a big chocolate cake, which read ‘Happy Birthday’- what a lovely touch from the hotel. After we demolished the goodies we went down to the reception to register Cadhla-Rose into the ‘Rixy Club’. We were extremely impressed with the legnthly form, with all the usual questions plus a few extras to see your childs, likes and dislikes. Cadhla-Rose was given a security pass to wear around her neck with her photo and all the valid information. She was also given a ‘Rixy Passport’ which I am sure an airport would have accepted it was so impressive. We walked down to the ‘Rixy Club’ to check it out. They accept children from the age of four and there are activities on the hour every hour. Children under 4 are more than welcome to come in and make use of the club and activities as long as they have a parent/guardian with them. That evening before dinner we headed to our private beach as the Aussie in me was drawn to it. I was really impressed with the amount of lifeguards on duty. The beach was clean with beautiful warm clear water. The beach had bean bags, sun loungers, double beds and pirate beds that were made from half a boat (shaded over) and loads of cushions. We grabbed a pirate ship as our littlelove Aoibhie hates the feel of sand. We all went into the water- which was beautiful and calm. Cadhla-Rose and myself rented a paddleboard for 80dhs for the hour and we all enjoyed watching the sun go down on what had been a beautiful day. We went to ‘A La Turka’ for our dinner, which had a buffet of authentic Turkish specialities, Italian cuisine and Seafood dishes. There was a ‘Rixy Menu’ for the children which had all the usual kids meals plus a few healthy options. Cadhla-Rose enjoyed the Italian section where she created her on pasta and watched it being cooked. There was a large selection of desserts- obviously a huge hit with our littleloves. We went back to our room to get the littleloves into their pj’s and ready for bed. Once they were settled we were able to sit on the balcony over looking the ocean and enjoy a nice glass of red and a game of scrabble (when did we get this old)? At midnight fireworks went off (they must have known it was my 30th) we enjoyed that before calling it a night! Day 2 and check out day- thankfully Lukey worked his magic and we didn’t have to leave until 16:00. We went down to the buffet breakfast room, which was full of choices. Traditional local breakfast, pasteries, breads, cakes, fruit, yogurts, cereal, granola, fish, chees, cold cuts, waffles, pancakes, eggs a million different ways, french toast and a whole wall dedicated to anyone that was looking for gluten, wheat free or soy options. Once we had eaten our weight in breakfast we headed back to the room to gather our things for a pool day. We went to the children’s pool, which was shallow enough for Aoibhie (23months) to paddle and walk around in and for Cadhla-Rose (aged 5) to swim. The kids pool was located across from the ‘Rixy Club’ and what I loved was that they had a box full of toys for the pool for the children to borrow. There were also floating devices incase you forgot to pack safety items. There was a toilet next to the pool for kids, which is always needed and a playground for after swimming. I felt it was set up so well, even to the point that the pool was covered over and that if your children required sunscreen/hats or glasses they were there to borrow. We were able to order lunch at the side of the pool and just enjoy the whole day without having to think for ourselves- which is ‘Parent Heaven’! At 15:00 I escaped from ‘Parent Heaven’ into ‘Mammy Heaven’. I was whisked away to the ‘Rixos Royal Spa’ which was just incredible. I had a manicure, pedicure and a back, neck and shoulder massage. I definitley fell asleep during this I was so relaxed. I don’t think you realise how much you need something like that until you go and get it! The staff were lovely, quiet with plenty of smiles and the room smelt like roses. What more could you want for a peaceful afternoon in a day spa. Before setting off for the journey home, mylittleloves enjoyed a manicure and pedicure courtesy of Mammy, whilst Mammy and Daddy enjoyed a glass of champagne to top off what had been an incredible weekend. I would highly recommend ‘Rixos on the Palm’ as it exceeded all of our expectations. Extremely family friendly, every staff member we met made us feel welcome and everyone was super friendly to our littleloves.

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