You’re pregnant…congratulations! In the months and weeks leading up to baby’s arrival, there are lots of obvious to-dos on your list—enlist an OB, get the nursery ready, find a pediatrician. But amidst all of this chaos, another box parents-to-be are starting to check off has arisen…the babymoon! While the jury is out on whether this “to do” is actually a must—some still consider it excessive or overindulgent—I’m firmly in the camp that a babymoon is one of the best things you can do for yourself and your partner pre-bambino.
Here’s why: Sh*t’s going to get REAL when that baby arrives. Yes, you’re going to be so in love with him or her, but you’re also going to be overwhelmed, exhausted, hormonal and second-guessing your every move. And all of this combined puts a strain on even the strongest of relationships. Which is why getting away on a pre-baby vacation where the goal is to relax and reconnect is just what every OB should be ordering their patients to do.
And unlike honeymoons, the babymoon should be about as low key as you can get. You want to find a one-stop-shop destination where all of your dining, spa and scenic needs are at your fingertips—because when your back is aching and your feet are swollen, you’ll be hard-pressed to find the fun in a horseback ride to a hidden waterfall. My husband and I honeymooned in Chile and Argentina and our itinerary consisted of hiking mountains, vineyard hopping and glacier trekking. We also babymooned not once, not twice, but three times and our itinerary on those trips mainly consisted of lounging, reading, eating and catching up with each other—which was just fine by both of us!
Below we’ve found five properties that are ideal for your babymoon, places that will pamper you and your bump endlessly amidst gorgeous backdrops (in Zika-free locales, obvi). Whether this is your first or fourth baby, I promise this is the best decision you’ll make your entire pregnancy.
THE PROPERTY: Cliff House
WHY IT’S WORTH THE VISIT: If you’ve never been to Maine, go go go! Offering rugged coastlines, gorgeous ocean views and the best lobstah you’ve ever tasted, it’s a destination you’ll never regret visiting. But here’s the thing about Maine: It’s a typically-casual state that is comprised mainly of quaint B&Bs. That is, until Cliff House re-opened following a massive renovation last year. Perched atop rocky bluffs in Cape Neddick, the luxurious property’s stunning ocean views can be seen from nearly every vantage point—guest rooms, the in-house Tiller restaurant, and the glorious spa sanctuary room, where guests can lounge and read pre- and post-treatment. The rooms themselves are quintessential maritime, with fluffy beds, beautiful bathrooms and private terraces, while the hotel’s common spaces are places you’d actually want to hang out, featuring huge fireplaces, floor-to-ceiling bookshelves and—again—three stories of windows overlooking the Atlantic.
THE PERKS: If you go during warm-weather season, the infinity pool and huge outdoor hot tub are the property’s main attraction, accompanied by a daily live musician, lawn games and waitress service (because cocktails for your husband or partner are a must, of course). Chillier temps will keep you inside—which is a great place to be, especially when you’re bundled in one of the hotel’s fleece-lined bathrobes. Book a couples’ massage in the spa, grab a lobster roll and play foosball at hotel’s Nubb’s Lobster Shack, and cap your day by roasting marshmallows alongside the huge outdoor fire pit.
THE ONLY THING YOU SHOULD LEAVE THE PROPERTY FOR: Dinner at Earth at Hidden Pond. One of those “bucket-list” type of restaurants, Earth is an off-the-beaten-path gem in Kennebunkport that is part-romance and part-over-the-top farm-to-fork menu. Anchored by a huge fireplace, the restaurant is chock full of candlelight and features a preserved apple tree hanging overhead, ensuring the meal feels both mystical and romantic all at once.
NEW YORK CITY
THE PROPERTY: Gansevoort Park Avenue Hotel
WHY IT’S WORTH THE VISIT: The city that never sleeps may seem like an odd choice when rest and relaxation is number one on your list, but let’s not discount the many perks New York City offers soon-to-be parents looking to laze the weekend away—long brunches, endless shopping and cultural offerings everywhere your eyes land. Super accessible to those in neighboring states who are looking to skip a flight, the Gansevoort Park Avenue Hotel is your best bet because it’s got what most NYC hotels don’t have—a pool! And not just any pool, the intimate rooftop sundeck feels like a hidden secret in the concrete jungle, with its double-wide chaises, cabanas, fluffy sofas and soft music pulsating daily.
THE PERKS: Beyond the pool there’s also the hotel’s Exhale day spa, where both couples and prenatal massages are on offer, and the hotel’s in-house restaurant Asellina is an excellent choice for dinner or brunch—you won't regret ordering one of the Morning Pizzas and people-watching at the restaurant's sidewalk tables!
THE PROPERTY: Chatham Bars Inn Resort and Spa
WHY IT’S WORTH THE VISIT: Heading to the Cape is never a bad idea, whether you’re hitting the destination up during the high summertime season or walking the beaches wearing a maternity sweater in the fall or spring. While most visiting Massachusetts’ premiere beach region rent cottages or stay in B&Bs, the best babymoon option is the luxurious Chatham Bars Inn. Nestled alongside a quarter-mile of private beach in Chatham harbor, the seaside resort is comprised of a main inn and cottages, all featuring gorgeously-appointed guest rooms, many with balconies, fireplaces, double steam showers, whirlpool tubs and even in-room saunas.
THE PERKS: For one: The beach. It’s quiet, you can reserve private cabanas and there is food and beverage service daily—meaning your partner will never have to wait long for a brewski. The adults-only swimming pool in the spa (also with waitress service) will have you both ooh-ing and ahh-ing your afternoon away, and we recommend cocktails (or mocktails) on the front lawn Adirondack chairs before dining at the hotel’s Beach House restaurant, which overlooks the ocean and is about as romantic as romantic gets at sunset.
THE PROPERTY: The Loren at Pink Beach
WHY IT’S WORTH THE VISIT: Because…Bermuda! One of the few islands in the Caribbean not to be affected by Zika, Bermuda is a quick flight from the East Coast (only 90 minutes from Manhattan!) and the ultimate relaxation destination, complete with Instagram-approved pink sand beaches and incredible snorkeling. And when it’s a babymoon you’re embarking on, our favorite hotel is hands-down The Loren. The first new-build property on the island in 45 years (yes, you read that right), the Loren opened earlier this year and is a luxury boutique hotel comprised of only 45 villas and suites, all of which are elegant and modern and feature ocean views, balconies, marble bathrooms, freestanding tubs and a super chic, clean aesthetic. (Read: You’re not going to find palm tree-print wallpaper here, folks.)
THE PERKS: For one, the ultra-contemporary setting is so stunning—complete with floor-to-ceiling windows in the communal spaces offering panoramic views of the Atlantic, and two infinity pools overlooking the hotel’s private pink-sand beach—that you’ll feel no need to venture off-property. Secondly, the on-site Maree restaurant is churning out some of the best meals on the island, thanks to Great Performances chef Tim King insistence of sourcing fresh, local ingredients daily. Third, the full-service spa has a relaxation room (with more of those aforementioned ocean views) that you’ll never want to leave—except, of course, to embark upon the two-hour “Romantic Bliss” massage and pedicure session for couples.
THE PROPERTY: The Palazzo
WHY IT’S WORTH THE VISIT: While disease-carrying mosquitos love tropical climates, the desert is no place for them. Hit Las Vegas for an easy-to-access domestic babymoon with every luxury you could crave located under the same totally temperature-controlled roof. And nowhere in the world but Vegas can you find the most over-the-top lodging at fairly down-to-earth prices, especially if you book during slower periods or mid-week. We love the connected Venetian and Palazzo casino-resorts, which are both all-suite properties—but considering that the suites at the spectacular Palazzo begin around twice the size of the average room on the strip, they are just right for your growing belly. Here, you can get comfy in your huge pillow-top king bed, soak in your oversized tub surrounded by marble, and eat room service to your heart’s content in your sunken living room.
THE PERKS: This property has a million perks within its walls, but our four “musts” are… The Pool: Let buoyancy set your aching bones free as you luxuriate in one of multiple pools around property, from more grown-up to family friendly. The Spa: And go for a prenatal massage and specially formulated pregnancy facial in the sprawling Canyon Ranch Spa Club. The Entertainment: Celebrate your love with your honey — before baby makes three (or more)—with a night out at the show Baz, love stories imagined by Baz Luhrmann. The Food: Eat at Chica restaurant, from chef Lorena Garcia — a fellow mama, and the first Latina celeb chef on the strip.
THE ONLY THING YOU SHOULD LEAVE THE PROPERTY FOR: Dinner at Joel Robuchon at the MGM Grand. Let a taxi whisk you off to that glowing green bastion down the strip for one of the most spectacular meals you’ll have in your whole life. Eating at one among an extremely elite group of three-Michelin-star restaurants around the country, you’ll sink into purple velvet seating for an unforgettable multi-course meal, including bread and dessert carts that will electrify your carb- and sweets-craving body. You’ll drop some major cash on this romantic dining blowout—but it may be the last time for a while you can justify spending this kind of dough…and certainly the last time you’ll be able to linger for three hours over a very sophisticated meal, with nary a crayon on the table.
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