A Weekend Getaway in the New Covid World

A Weekend Getaway in the New Covid World

My husband and I decided to get away for the weekend.  As much as I love my home I needed a change of scenery, so we headed off to Geelong.  I’m guessing many people can relate to the feeling of needing to get out of the house at the moment!  It was the first time we have been able to venture somewhere since lockdown, so I was curious about what the new normal looks like with all the new Covid-19 measures in place.

Here’s what we found:



We stayed at the Novotel, which is in a great location right on the Geelong Waterfront.  The first thing we were greeted with was hand sanitizer in the hotel lobby.  No surprises there!  It’s funny how using it whenever we enter a building, shop or restaurant is now second-nature.  The other thing we are all getting used to is talking to staff behind perspex screens.  While I completely understand the need for them, I must admit I don’t like them.  (Is it ok to admit that?)  It’s hard to hear what people are saying, and I feel like I am in a high security area, but that’s just life now.

Novotel Room

At first glance the room was exactly as you would expect it, but delve a little deeper and there were a few things missing as a precaution.  For instance, there was no mini-bar and no hotel information folder.

I found myself realising how reliant we truly are on hotel cleaning protocols.  That has always been true, and I admit to having something of a cleanliness paranoia in public spaces, but now it is even more so.

By the way, check out the sunrise view!

Facilities such as the pool and fitness centre are currently closed due to Covid-19.  All part of the new normal we find ourselves in unfortunately.

Access to the lifts is limited to just your own party due to physical distancing requirements.  I can’t say I am too upset about that…I am not really a fan of crowded lifts.  Fortunately they were not in high demand, so it wasn’t a hassle.

Gone is the buffet breakfast.  In its place is a la carte dining, which sounds so much fancier.  The only problem was the seating restrictions in the hotel restaurant meant it was already booked out.  We were able to have room service for no extra charge, which was great.  Breakfast in bed instead!

Hotel checkout was, in a word, “contactless”.  Just drop off your room key and go.



Meals need to be planned ahead!  Once again, due to seating restrictions, cafes and restaurants book out very quickly.  We were unable to get a booking at the local restaurants for dinner but were able to get some delicious take-away.  As it was a freezing night, we ended up having a picnic in our room.  We just had to ask the hotel for cutlery, which they happily provided.

The Waterfront is a lovely area of Geelong, and plenty of people were making the most of the beautiful weather.  Like most places, most people are very careful to keep their distance and others…hmm.

While ‘rona definitely made its presence felt, it was still great to get away.  We are just going to have to adapt to the new way of life, but can still enjoy ourselves – safely of course.  While we cannot travel too far at the moment, there is still plenty to see in Victoria.  We can get out of the house and have a great break and at the same time support our local tourism industry, which is good for everyone.


My biggest tip when travelling at the moment is to plan ahead (especially if you have your heart set on dining at a particular restaurant), pack an extra measure of patience and enjoy yourself.

Sarah Knoll
Based in Mount Evelyn, VIC

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