Anyone who has young children knows that going on holidays with them is far from relaxing. Just like at home, they are still the boss and you end up trapped in your hotel room during naptime, wading in the kiddy pool, and going to bed every night at 7pm. It makes anything except for theme parks seem like a waste of time. That’s how I always felt until my recent trip to the Jean-Michel Cousteau resort in Fiji.
After my stay at JMC, I know what Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt feel like. No wonder they travel with all eight kids in tow, it’s so easy with one nanny per child!
As soon as our bus pulled up at JMC, the door flew open and our children, Lachlan (age 2) and Noah (6 months), were whisked away by two smiling Fijian nannies, Lynda and Kessaia. Simon and I hadn’t even stepped foot into the resort yet and our kids were gone.
This might sound like too much, but we soon realised that it made them feel instantly comfortable; like they were visiting family members.
The best thing about JMC is that you can spend as much or as little time with your children that you’d like. The Bula Club (Kids’ Club) is set up with endless activities for all ages including three pools, tennis courts, board games, baby toys, and a sand pit.
One of our favorite activities was the hermit crab race, which raises money for the local community. Lachlan found his competitor on the beach in the morning and we were all thrilled to watch him crawl past the finish line in first place. (winning mum and dad a bottle of wine!)
Although we had a few days where we went on long snorkel trips without the boys, on most days we spent the majority of time together as a family.
We always ate breakfast together and spent at least a few hours bombing down the massive waterslide in the kids’ pool every single day.
But the best part was that while the boys were asleep during the day or at night, Simon and I enjoyed several hours of peace sharing romantic meals alone or cocktails by the pool.
I even had a few spa treatments without feeling the usual guilt that all mums place on themselves for taking some ‘me’ time.
Besides the incredible childcare, JMC is well known for having one of the top restaurants in Fiji. The menu is creative and resourceful and certainly doesn’t feel like an average resort meal. Even the breakfast buffet is a step above the usual hotel offerings; the made-to-order purees for the baby impressed me the most.
While JMC is one of the more expensive resorts in Fiji, I think it is worth every penny. Having visited more than 52 countries, I’m usually the kind of person who doesn’t like to go anywhere twice. So, you can imagine my husband’s surprise when I suggested we make annual pilgrimages to JMC. Now that is a sign of a good vacation.
Guest blogger, Jennie Sager, has visited more than 52 countries. She was accompanied on her recent visit to Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort, Fiji, by her husband and two young boys, Lachlan, aged 2, and Noah, 6 months.