Preparing for the birth of a child is one of the most exciting things that can happen to a couple. Even if it’s just testing paint swatches in the nursery, lots of time and energy is spent getting everything ready for the big day. And while the preparations themselves may seem hectic, they pale in comparison to the duties that come along with caring for a newborn infant.
This is why the trend of “babymooning” began to catch on in the mid-2000s. A quick, romantic trip is a great way for couples spend an intimate weekend together before the arrival of their child. Mothers and fathers-to-be treat themselves to pampering spa treatments, cozy rooms, and relaxation in a last hurrah before parenthood begins. Being the hotel experts, we rounded up some of our favorite hotels for the perfect babymoons. Because take it from us when we say that happy, relaxed parents make the entire process easier.
Heading to a small B&B is a win/win for expectant couples: the vibe is more relaxed, the atmosphere more romantic and the service personalized. The Mount View Hotel & Spa takes it a step further with the "Oh Baby!" welcome package: for $270, each parent is treated to a 50 minute massage (including a pre-natal option), a box of chocolate truffles, sparkling cider, two souvenir champagne flutes and a special shirt that helps expectant mothers massage their baby. Need more? The package also includes a $10 "craving card," where hotel staff will fetch mothers-to-be anything from olives to Oreos from local stores. While we can't suggest that couples partake in the wine tasting tours that dominate the area, we're fairly confident that you'll appreciate the calm surroundings of northern Napa Valley.
The New Yorker's unofficial ethos is "do it right or don't bother at all," which covers everything from jaywalking to Japanese food. It should come as no surprise, then, that hotels such as Mandarin Oriental, New York have gone to great lengths to provide expectant mothers with the care and service they need. The on-site spa (arguably one of the best in the city) caters to pregnant guests with a specialized 80-minute maternity massage. Therapists meet with clients beforehand to tailor the massage to their needs. The procedure itself makes use of specialized pillows and lotions with the ultimate goal of helping the mother-to-be feel comfortable again. Once done with their treatments, couples can take advantage of Columbus Circle: they're just steps away from some of the most celebrated dining in New York at Per Se and Masa, as well as some serious high-end shopping.
When it comes down to it, Palm Springs is one of those destinations that seems like it was designed with expectant mothers in mind. Sure, it's in the middle of the desert, but it's only a short drive away from L.A. (or a short flight from major cities on the West Coast). The town's wellness vibe perfectly suits babymooning couples looking for more poolside relaxation that sightseeing or activity. The Parker Palm Springs may be one of the best options in the area: guests can purchase a $200 spa package to be used towards a pre-natal message for mom as well as a massage for the dad-to-be. You can spend the rest of your weekend sipping free lemonade in a poolside cabana, swinging in your patio hammock or warming up by a fire pit. And with Jessica Simpson recently babymooning at the property, you never know who you'll end up stretching next to in yoga class.
Before you get up in arms with this suggestion, remember that not all trips to Sin City have to be like The Hangover. Vegas is only a five-hour drive or quick flight from L.A. and can provide the much-needed change of scenery expectant couples crave. We recommend THEHotel at Mandalay Bay: it provides easy access to all that Vegas has to offer -- you know, the killer dining, endless shopping and outrageous spas -- all tucked quietly steps off of the crazy bustle of the Strip. If the massive suites and pool area aren't enough, the phenomenal on-site Bathhouse Spa should be reason enough for babymooning couples to book here. And of course, we won't tell if dad sneaks off for some quick blackjack while mom-to-be is taking a nap.
Just because you're on the East Coast doesn't mean you can't have an island babymoon. Consider Bermuda: Flight times are short (just two hours from New York or 90 minutes from Washington, D.C.), making it ideal for expectant mothers who are craving a secluded beach but can't stand the idea of a long-haul flight. Tucked away from Bermuda's busiest attractions, the Rosewood Tucker's Point is ideal for couples looking to steep themselves in luxury. It has an expansive private beach, three luxurious pools and a 12,000-square foot spa that offers a Mother-to-Be Massage (amongst myriad other indulgent treatments). Not only are rooms spacious with million-dollar views, but the bathrooms are very expectant-mother-friendly with walk-in showers and large soaking tubs. Babymooners can also take advantage of the 24-hour concierge, Sterling service, and the four on-site restaurants.
SoCal residents are used to taking advantage of the consistently gorgeous weather and nature that's right in their backyards. Babymooners looking for a "staycation" style getaway from the bustle of L.A. can head to Orange County for a few nights in the St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort. While the name is a little misleading (the beach is actually a mile and a half away), the hotel can provide expectant couples with an insanely relaxing pool area and an atmosphere that's in tune with surrounding nature. The hotel no longer offers specific babymoon packages, but a $400 package for the award-winning Spa Gaucin can get both mothers and fathers-to-be a massage and other treatments (prenatal massages are offered, naturally). Throw in a few nights in a posh Ocean View Room to sit in the large soaking tubs, relax and gaze out over the ocean while sipping sparkling cider on your balcony. Not a bad way to spend some time before the baby arrives!