Embarking on a staycation is ideal for celebrating any milestone while navigating around budgets, schedules, and global pandemics. My husband and I had romanticized the idea of celebrating our ten-year anniversary in a dreamy tropical destination; however, 2020 had other plans. So, by embracing being a tourist in our own city, we created a memorable, relaxing, and magical anniversary staycation.
Placing our daydream getaway on the back burner allowed me to recognize that there is something extraordinary about being able to drive only a few minutes from home for a leisurely retreat. To celebrate, we chose a charming, local boutique hotel: The Best Western Premier Mariemont Inn. Renowned for its quality and warm hospitality, this historic hotel offers luxury accommodations, an award-winning restaurant, along with a cozy lobby. Within walking distance, you will find great local restaurants, a movie theater, parks, and our personal Cincinnati favorite: Graeter’s Ice Cream.
The Best Western Premier Mariemont Inn; Photo courtesy of Stephanie Taleghan
Our experience was nothing short of exceptional. The hotel maintained high safety and cleanliness standards thanks to Best Western’s “We Care Clean” program, making guests feel comfortable without taking away from the experience. To add to the special occasion, we upgraded to a suite — something we rarely do. But, it was exactly what we needed as we emerged from the pandemic.
Indulging in upscale dining is always a great way to commemorate a milestone. Our splurge was on a local favorite, Emery, which is known for excellent seafood options. Gourmet food is not a staple on our home menu, and enjoying a beautifully prepared meal, without even the worry of dishes is a welcomed treat. Even if upscale dining isn’t in the budget, make meals memorable by finding an excellent local eatery or take carry-out to a nearby park.
Another key component to any proper adult staycation is a fabulous brunch. Not attending to a child first thing in the morning allowed me to rest, enjoy a hot cup of coffee, and then, beautiful brunch at the National Exemplar. It was glorious.
Our adult staycation was the perfect escape, surpassing our expectations on every level. Exploring unique places in our hometown was an exceptional experience that gave us the opportunity to celebrate our anniversary in style. It was the slice of normal that we so desperately craved after enduring the trials of the previous year. We can’t wait to start planning our next staycation to see what other hidden gems we can find.
TIPS ON PLANNING THE PERFECT ADULT STAYCATION
Staycations allow couples, friends, and more to escape without the hassles of planes, road trips, and even crowds. It’s the ideal way to slowly step back into the world of travel and test the waters.
Here are a few tips to start planning your next staycation:
A delicious brunch at the National Exemplar. Photo courtesy of Stephanie Taleghani
DETERMINE A BUDGET
Before booking a hotel room or dinner reservation, take into consideration your budget. Then, once a final number is determined, make sure you stick to it while planning out the fun details of your staycation itinerary.
FIND THE IDEAL STAYCATION HOTEL
Each couple has a bucket list of amenities they are looking for in their ideal staycation hotel. Whether it is a relaxing whirlpool tub, room service options, or on-site spa, there are various local or boutique hotels to consider. Of course, a big perk when picking a hotel is its proximity to restaurants, entertainment, and parks. Another thing to take into consideration is the availability of taxis or ride-sharing services in the area so you can enjoy everything safely.
Stephanie and her husband enjoyed a meal at a Mariemont staple, The Emery. Photo courtesy of Stephanie Taleghani
DO A LITTLE RESEARCH
Research the safety guidelines and protocols to ensure that you feel comfortable with the standards in place for areas you plan to visit. These standards can vary depending on the state, city, or business.
Best Western rooms were spotless thanks to their "We Care Clean" program. Photo courtesy of Stephanie Taleghani
PLAN A LITTLE SURPRISE
Whether it is secretly upgrading your room, having flowers delivered, or arriving with a cold bottle of champagne, adding an element of surprise is sure to make your stay memorable.
Many travelers are starting to embrace easing travel restrictions by resuming everyday activities such as dining out, visiting museums, and indoor attractions. However, many places are still limiting capacity — reservations may be required or highly recommended at attractions, hotels, restaurants, and more.
Unforgettable moments are a part of every adventure, even if that adventure happens to be in your own backyard. So enjoy getting to know your own city while spending quality time with the one you love. You just may end up finding a new favorite go-to spot.