The Babymoon Boom

 

Caneel Bay, St. John, U.S.V.I.
Serene beachfront room at Caneel Bay, St. John, U.S.V.I., which offers a “Babymoon Bliss” package.

 

If your clients were happy with the destination wedding and honeymoon you booked for them, chances are they’ll be back to plan their babymoon. A babymoon, a trip taken by expectant couples, is an important celebration because it may be the last full-blown vacation they will have until their soon-to-arrive child is old enough for the kids club at their favorite resort. 

Babymoons, at least as known by that term, have been around for several years, but have gained in popularity recently in good measure by the high-profile travels of celebrity couples such as Kim and Kanye, and Prince William and Kate Middleton. That’s one of the conclusions gleaned from the findings of the latest American Express Spending & Saving Tracker

Also according to the survey, expecting parents in 2013 plan to enjoy each other’s company before the baby enters the mix, with 37 percent of consumers with children aged 12 and under considering (or have already taken) a babymoon. Babymoons have become popular especially among affluent travelers, with 53 percent of these consumers with kids under age 12 investing in a pre-baby or post-baby getaway. A survey conducted by Liberty Travel and BabyCenter.com puts that figure slightly higher, indicating that six out of 10 parents-to-be plan to take such a trip.

 

Duplex suite at Cotton House
Duplex suite at Cotton House on Mustique, isle of choice for the recent royal babymoon.

 

The Caribbean is a logical choice for a babymooning couple who may not want to stray too far from home under the circumstances, although the second trimester is generally recommended as the best time for pregnant women to fly. Be sure to ask if they prefer an adults-only environment that’s more like a second honeymoon or a family-friendly resort to get them acclimated to what lies ahead: vacationing with the kids. Here is a sampling of some island resorts that have programs and amenities with babymooners in mind.

Parrot Cay in Turks and Caicos, for one, provides complimentary prenatal yoga classes and a spa menu with pregnancy-specific treatments, as well as two gourmet restaurants. Babymooners can also enjoy a gourmet lunch from inside a tiki hut on the beach, a private boat charter or a snorkeling trip to explore the nearby reefs. 

In the British Virgin Island, the all-inclusive Peter Island Resort & Spa has a babymoon package that includes five nights in either a beachfront junior suite or ocean room, two spa treatments for the mom-to-be and an anti-stress massage for her partner and a beachside picnic lunch complete with non-alcoholic sparkling cider. 

On Antigua, in-room pregnancy massages are among the highlights at Rosewood Resorts’  Jumby Bay, where the private island setting is conducive to a quiet, intimate getaway.

 

Relaxing Massage Therapy
Relaxing massage therapy at Jumby Bay, Antigua

 

Another Rosewood hotel, Caneel Bay on St. John, U.S.V.I., offers a “Babymoon Bliss” package that includes a baby gift, a welcome platter of tropical fruits, trip for two on the resort’s Sunset Cocktail Cruise (Thursday or Sunday), and a special Caneel Bay Memory Box, designed to hold all of the keepsakes gathered during their stay to remind the parents-to-be of this special occasion. 

If your couples have their hearts set on staying where the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge spent their babymoon, they may not have to pay a princely sum, but it won’t be so cheap either. Nightly rates at the 17-unit Cotton House on Mustique, an exclusive private island in the heart of the Grenadines, range from $550 to $1,500 per room in low (summer) season. (Presumably, they wouldn’t be interested in the much higher-priced two-bedroom residence.) Still, that’s less than the nearly $30,000 a week the royals’ private villa would cost them, and your clients can also rest assured that should the unforeseen happen, the extra-person rate doesn’t kick in until that person turns 18.

Likewise fans of Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan-Tatum may need a generous budget to stay at Hotel Guanahani & Spa in St. Barts, where the couples spent their babymoon this past December, or at St. Lucia’s Jade Mountain, resort of choice for Nick and Vanessa Lachey.

For expectant couples who prefer the all-inclusive lifestyle of such popular resort brands as Sandals, Beaches, SuperClubs, Couples, Occidental and Iberostar, you will most likely find anniversary and honeymoon packages that are perfectly suitable or easily adaptable as a babymoon getaway. (Tip: If a package features a welcome basket with champagne or wine, ask if they could substitute sparkling cider or fruit juice instead.)

Domestic Bliss

Closer to home, for those who may prefer to stay in the U.S. and even perhaps drive to their babymoon destination, the choices are no less diverse.

The “Babymoon Package” at The Claremont Hotel Club & Spa, in the hills of Berkeley, CA, a half hour’s drive from San Francisco, includes PURE allergy-friendly lodging, two pampering treatments at the spa, breakfast and dinner for two at the Meritage restaurant, and a blue fleece lap blanket with The Claremont logo embroidered on it.

Farther south along the California coast, “And Baby Makes Three” at The Cliffs Resort in Pismo Beach is a package that includes a tote bag with baby blanket, sparkling cider, Muffin Goddess’ Baby Cakes, two 50-minute massage treatments, a $50 dinner voucher, movie and breakfast for two.

If your clients prefer an intimate bed-and-breakfast ambience, The Lavender Inn in Ojai, CA, may be their cup of tea. Just 30 miles from Santa Barbara, The Lavender Inn has an onsite day spa and a variety of amenities for expectant parents, including a prenatal massage for moms-to-be and an anti-stress massage for their partners, a private class with a certified lactation counselor or doula on topics from birth planning and breastfeeding to newborn care, and a 10 percent discount at the Inn’s clothing store for children, Cowboy Babies.

Heading east you’ll find a number of Las Vegas hotels that court baymooners. The Signature at MGM Grand, for one, touts its non-smoking, non-gaming environment, while pointing out that it’s just a short, enclosed walkway away from the amenities at the MGM Grand, including the grand pool complex and the MGM spa, where mom-to-be can enjoy a relaxing prenatal massage. 

Likewise the Four Seasons Las Vegas is a non-gaming sanctuary that is convenient to the full amenities of Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. Their babymoon package includes a maternity massage while partners can de-stress with a soothing Swedish or deep tissue massage. 

On the East Coast, Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach in Florida offers one 50-minute Prenatal massage or a $150 flexible spa credit, plus prenatal pillow in guest room for use during the couple’s stay, chef’s amenity delivered to their room each day, $100 dinner credit to be used in any of the resort’s restaurants or for in-room dining, and one complimentary in-room movie.

Among the babymoon perks at The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island, FL, are a pillow selection to help soothe aching backs and other body ills brought on by expectant motherhood and a special Pregnancy Craving Menu. The spa has teamed up with prenatal product line Mama Mio to offer six prenatal specialty services, featuring products rich in Omega 3, 6 and 9, shea butter, and more. For $225, “The Smoothie” is a 90-minute treatment featuring an exfoliation, followed by prenatal massage. For $165, the 60-minute “Mellow Mama” provides a complete body massage using specific prenatal techniques to increase circulation, alleviate tired muscles and reduce water retention.

Paying homage to England’s newest prince is the two-night “Royal Heir Babymoon Package” at Trump International Hotel & Tower New York. In addition to two-nights in a City View Suite or Park View Suite, the package includes two 60-minute massages—including a prenatal treatment for the mom-to-be, one breakfast either in-room or at Nougatine by Jean-Georges, plus the twice-daily treat of a special tea, mocktail (sans alcohol) or smoothie. And while the prenatal pillows placed in the room are an excellent nicety, the price tag may be a bit steep at $6,000 for City View Suite or $6,500 for Park View Suite—but it does include a trio of $1,000 gift cards: one each for Neiman Marcus, Ivanka Trump Fine Jewelry and, especially for the little one on his or her way, FAO Schwarz.

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