For the third time I have spent with my whole Dutch family Chistmast the Holiday Inn Leiden. My in-laws and my husband claim "it is good for the kids" and who am I to say the opposite ? The kids call it "The Christmas hotel", btw...
There is a pond located in the Garden restaurant area with some tropical plants and golden fish. Indeed, kids loooove it !Shrek's soup and two meat balls.
What's that ? An elephant ?
I didn't feel like taking pics of the buffet or the dishes. Come on, a girl has to eat too - and talk and dance and have some fun !
Proost ! Tin-tin !
And then after the warm buffet and before the desserts, there was Santa Claus with some firework, smoke and loud music. I suspect it was a woman, just like two years ago. And this time his aparition was quicker and much less spectacular than the other years. The Dutch do not care much about Santa Claus, they call it by the neutral name "De Kerst Man" (The Christmas Man) and the Santa Claus itself doesn't know exactly what to do or say or where to lok at. The Dutch are just mad about their Sinterklaas and the Black Peters helpers. Period.
Each kid had a voucher that could be exchanged by a little present.
Soon after the dessert my little girl wanted to go to bed and demanded that I should be next to her "the whole time, up to the following morning, mommy !" - which of course I did. The rooms are a real sauna, I woke up twice feeling like a dried plum and missing some oxygen. My in-laws complained too. It has been always like that during our stays at this hotel, thus I think the ventilation is poor and the rooms warming is really an issue.
Anyway, I had a great time there, cause the kids can enjoy freedom (there is the kids club and another salon with big and small toys kids up to 12 years old) and the buffets are excellent. But I do not like queueuing for food and I prefer to select my own background music. The Dutch like to have wild meats for a Christmas dinner (rendeer, rabbit, lamb...) and I miss a roast (turkey or pork) - Brazilian style. I also miss cod dishes and Brazilian desserts such as pineapples and passion-fruit mousse. And old-fashioned punch ! I firmly believe "Christmas at home is good for kids too" and want to inaugurate a new tradition with my family. We are moving to a bigger house next year, one with a chimney, a really big oven and space enough for the whole extended cloggie family.