Babymoons are more popular than ever, with expectant mothers and their partners whisking themselves away on luxury resort mini-breaks to revive and relax before the big day. Many couples look at a babymoon as the last chance to be truly alone together for a long time. Though there's so much to look forward to with a new baby, the quiet time alone with a significant other is going to be much harder to come by after the birth.
There is a whole world of luxury resorts around the globe that now caters specifically to the pregnant mother-to-be, offering prenatal massages, long bath soaks, and craving-satisfying treats like chocolate covered strawberries. We’ll take a look here at some of the ultimate getaways that will leave soon-to-be parents sun-soaked, fed, and rejuvenated for their new lives.
For all the fantastic options out there, however, there are more that should probably be avoided. Whether it’s because of distance or activity level, there are some trips that just don’t make sense during a pregnancy. While waiting on a new baby it’s best to take the opportunity to relax before all the really hard work starts. Here are the 10 best and 10 worst ideas for babymoons for anyone just starting to think about taking a relaxing little trip.
20 L'Auberge de Sedona, Arizona
Located in Arizona’s Red Rock country, L’Auberge de Sedona (translating to the Sedona Inn in French) is a 4-star hotel with some spectacular views. You can choose between luxury cottages that are either surrounded by trees next to a creek or overlooking the iconic red rocks, both offering a place to step back from technology and the modern world and into nature. The spa offers unheard of experiences like “forest bathing” in the creek, where they recommend you keep an eco-journal to track your experiences reconvening with nature. Their award-winning restaurants have creative menus that draw on the flora and fauna of the surrounding area, promoting local eating. It is a true wellness resort committed to rejuvenating the body and soul and reconnecting its guests with nature.
On top of these features, the spa boasts a babymoon package that specifically caters to soon-to-be mothers. The package includes a weekend stay with credit towards the spa and restaurants, as well as a journal to complete as a gift for the coming baby. The Tripadvisor reviews for the hotel as a babymoon are very positive, with couples and single women indulging in being pampered and massaged, taking a break before their babies are born and they lose that time to themselves for a while.
19 The Scarlet Hotel, Cornwall, United Kingdom
If you’re craving international travel but still want the comfort of speaking in English, the Scarlet Hotel on the cliffy north coast of Cornwall is an idyllic choice. Cornwall is a Celtic region of England located in the absolute southwest of the country and known for its beaches and sun (comparatively, it is England after all). It’s a bit hard to get to, but the remoteness is worth it for the quiet stretches of perfect sand and rolling hills.
The Scarlet Hotel is adults-only -- might as well enjoy that while you can -- and specializes in spa treatments and yoga. Called an “eco-hotel” because of its commitment to existing within the natural ecosystem without harming it. It offers some stunning views over rocky cliffs and miles of soft white sand. The rooms and features of the hotel aim to make the most of nature as well. There’s a natural reed-filtered pool that makes you feel like you’re swimming in a pond (without the creeping critters), a cliff-top hot tub, and numerous gardens to stroll through with a book. Indoors, there’s tented treatment rooms, a deep relaxation room where you can hang in a cocoon swaddled in blankets, and an indoor pool with floor-to-ceiling windows that looks like a gorgeous greenhouse. The spa has a specific package for pregnant mothers that focuses on prenatal yoga and relaxing your whole body. When you’re done with the yoga, spa, fitness classes, and soaking in the pools, you can enjoy locally-sourced meals at the restaurant where there’s always healthy meal options as well as more indulgent favorites like burgers and fish and chips. And don’t forget the afternoon tea!
18 The Cabo Surf Hotel and Spa, Mexico
Whether you’re hoping to catch some waves or not (might be a bit ambitious while pregnant), the Cabo Surf Hotel & Spa in Mexico is a breath of fresh sea air. Every room offers ocean views, the most expensive ones being the closest, right up next to the beach. The range of rooms is large and can cater to many budgets without feeling like you’re losing out. Every room has some fun draw, whether it’s a wet-bar and jacuzzi right there in the room or a hammock out on your balcony for taking in those stellar views. The sizes of rooms also vary from just fitting a queen bed to a full kitchenette, so there’s truly an option for everyone.
The real winner of the Cabo Surf Hotel is the spa. Cosmopolitan UK called their 4-layer facial “the best facial of the century.” The names of the packages and treatments alone are enough to get you dreaming of palm trees and coconuts: tres leches, beachcomber, coconut dream, and mermaid magic body glow, to name a few. The grille offers what it calls a fusion of Mexican Mediterranean and Asian with a focus on seafood -- all while seated under a thatched roof and overlooking the phenomenal waves.
17 Planter's Inn, Charleston, South Carolina
If you’re feeling a little too energetic for a weekend at the spa, the historic Planter’s Inn in the center of Charleston is for you. The Planter’s Inn is a Georgian building faithfully restored in 1989 to its current state of elegant luxury. The building used to be an emporium in Charleston’s bustling market area, but now houses 64 rooms furnished entirely with pieces from Baker’s Historic Charleston collection of antique reproductions. This hotel is perfect for a getaway that blends food, shopping, culture, and history, all with an old world air that will leave you feeling like a lady from times gone by. As one Travel & Leisure reviewer wrote, staying here is “akin to an overnight with well-to-do friends in their old Charleston mansion.”
If the four-poster beds and world-famous Peninsula Grill meals that are standard for every guest aren’t enough, you can elect for the babymoon package. You’ll be treated to a gift of pickles and chocolate-covered strawberries on arrival (what a combo, every weird craving will be satisfied), a bathing basket of goodies for your luxury bath, a nighttime slice of coconut cake from the Peninsula Grill (their most famous item, it’s probably the most decadent slice of cake you’ll ever have), and much more. The Planter’s Inn will cater to your every craving in one of the most beautiful cities in the United States.
16 Wickaninnish Inn, Tofino, Canada
Looking for some bracing air and sublime views? The Wickaninnish Inn on Vancouver Island in British Columbia offers a unique experience within the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. The Reserve, created in 1971, boasts fantastic beaches, magnificent cedar trees, and is a haven of outdoor activity, from water sports to hikes to yoga. Every one of the Wickaninnish Inn’s 75 rooms overlooks the beach or the ocean and the hotel gives direct access to local Chesterman Beach. The inn is decorated in a modern style that seems perfectly at harmony with the nature around it. Many of the furnishings and decor are made by local artisans, including the cedar carved entranceways and doors, and the huge driftwood bar that gives the Driftwood Cafe its name. At the Cafe you can enjoy first-class shared plates or an afternoon cafe, plus there’s the Pointe Restaurant for a more formal experience. Both restaurants serve locally-sourced organic food from Vancouver Island, ensuring you are connected to the land around you.
The spa includes cleansing ceremonies adapted from First Nations rituals, as well as keeps an eye to different cultural practices from around the world. There are several yoga classes to keep you feeling nimble as well.
Though they don’t have a specific babymoon package, the Wickaninnish does have a variety of romantic packages to get you to spend some quality time with your significant other before you add a new member to your family. One includes a bed turndown with white orchids and homemade truffles, allowing you to luxuriate and relax.
15 St. Francis Inn, St. Augustine, Florida
For a cozy getaway with a more homey feel, try the St. Francis Inn in St. Augustine, a coastal city in northern Florida known for its beaches and gorgeous Spanish Colonial architecture. The St. Francis Inn is the oldest still running hotel in the city, dating from 1791, and has a number of rooms with an antique feel that will have you nestled out of the modern world into an earlier time. Enter through a wrought iron archway from the brick-paved street to sit in a courtyard surrounded by banana trees and gorgeous tropical flowers. In winter, take advantage of the outdoor fire pit where roasting s'mores is encouraged, and light the fireplace that features in many of the rooms. Some of the more luxurious rooms have their own private whirlpools, balconies, and gorgeous floor-to-ceiling windows. Guests also get beach access with any towels and chairs they’ll need.
The St. Francis Inn babymoon package includes dealcoholized sparkling wine (surely you’ve been missing having a glass of bubbly now and then), keepsake champagne flutes, chocolate covered strawberries, breakfast in your room, and dinner at the nearby award-winning restaurant Collage.
And, just to throw it out there, they also have a Paranormal Paranoia package to educate you about all the ghosts hanging out in your rooms and take you on city ghost tours. If that’s more your thing.
14 The Four Seasons, Hualalai, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
Ultimate luxury in the ultimate paradise. The Four Seasons in Hualalai has long been thought of as one of the best hotels in all of Hawaii, and it’s not hard to see why. It’s like a hotel on steroids, boasting seven pools not including the separate adults-only Couple’s Nests area in the Adult Sanctuary. The biggest pool is King’s Pond, a 1.8 million gallon saltwater pool carved out of natural lava rock that’s home to over 4,000 fish of 98 species from the surrounding Hawaiian water. Swim amongst this amazing wildlife within the comfort of the hotel.
The fitness options include a golf course, training for running and cycling, and not to mention the world of watersports available at your doorstep, from snorkeling to boating to outrigger canoeing. The spa menu is too big to go into depth, but it takes cues from Hawaiian plant life and culture, including an Aloe wrap for those who’ve overindulged in the sun and a Hau'oli wawae treatment for face, scalp, and neck that’s particularly recommended for expectant mothers. If you’re looking for somewhere to be completely pampered from head to toe while enjoying the tropical sunshine, the Hawaii Four Seasons is it.
13 Stein Eriksen Lodge, Park City, Utah
In winter it’s a hugely popular ski lodge, but year-round it does so much more. The Stein Eriksen Lodge in Deer Valley is a rustic five-star hotel (is that an oxymoron?) that caters to all needs. It houses the Forbes 4-star Glitretind Restaurant with stunning views over the Deer Valley and cutting edge cuisine, as well as a 5-star spa with an endless menu of options. One spa package gives you two 50-minute treatments a day as well as unlimited access to the spa, fitness facilities and wellness classes, plus breakfast to get you through all that pampering.
When you get the itch to go outside, stroll down the historic main street of Park City where you can shop in boutiques and art galleries or take in the amazing surrounding nature. On top of the more extreme sports that you might want to avoid while pregnant, there are sleigh rides (in winter), boating, chairlift rides, fly fishing, hiking, horseback riding through forest trails, hot air balloons, paddle boarding, and so much more. The hotel itself also has its own movie theater with regular showtimes. They’ll even deliver you groceries or send you out with a gourmet picnic basket for a day in the mountains.
12 Estancia Hotel & Spa, La Jolla, California
The Estancia Hotel & Spa outside of San Diego is a 10-acre hacienda-style hotel offering the perfect place to soak in some California sun by the pool. The rooms range in size and price but some include private balconies overlooking the surrounding nature and extra large bathtubs. Reserve a cabana or daybed by the saltwater pool and whirlpool surrounded by lush gardens, complete with mini fridge, fresh fruit, chilled towels, and poolside service. Then take a walk along to the nearby beaches, the closest of which is Black’s Beach, the only clothing-optional beach in San Diego. It attracts a lot of surfers for its waves.
Return to the hotel for a trip to the spa, where you can try the Earl Grey Prenatal Massage that targets areas of stress and tension for expectant mothers. The spa has a number of soaking and steaming options to relax in, as well as a large number of treatments to keep your body satisfied inside and out. The restaurant, Mustangs and Burros, features California-Baja cuisine such as ceviche, fish tacos, steak, and corn muffins. There’s also the Adobe El Restaurante in the central Garden Courtyard where you can eat a breakfast of huevos rancheros and/or stuffed brioche french toast. You have to eat for two, after all!
11 Maison D'Memoire Bed & Breakfast Cottages, Rayne, Louisiana
The stunning cottages around the lake at Maison D'Memoire near Lafayette, Louisiana, are all about the pleasures of country living -- particularly the food. They offer cottage rentals that are truly homes away from home, that is if your home looks like a set piece from a movie about a quaint farmhouse in the south. Situated in the heart of Cajun country, this B & B makes use of all the surrounding land and culture it has to offer for an experience that feeds the heart as much as it does the stomach.
The cottages have full kitchens, living rooms, queen beds, jacuzzis, and large tubs, so no feeling cramped in a small hotel room here. Breakfast is delivered every morning to your door, and this is no mere continental fair, but hearty comfort foods like biscuits, muffins, cornbreads, quiches, fruit, tomatoes, and freshly made lemonade (in a jar, of course). You can sit on your porch and look out over the lake or even indulge your inner child and swing over it. Nearby swamp and airboat tours can introduce you to the surrounding landscape.
Go full-on foodie and try an Agricultural Adventure to learn about where rice and crawfish come from and how they're prepared in the heart of Louisiana, which includes a meal for you and your partner as well as keepsake mugs. You can also have delivered to you chocolate covered strawberries, fruit and cheese baskets, and cupcakes. Might as well enjoy the extra calories while you can.
A weekend away in the big city might be a tempting choice as a last hurrah before your outings become a lot more limited -- going to nice restaurants and art galleries with an infant is not an easy task. However, crowded cities like Manhattan have led to some of the worst babymoon experiences reported online. Most of the sob stories, like one reported on thebump.com’s forum where a pregnant woman was kept up all night by nearby partiers, involve problems with the fact that the people around you are there for a totally different purpose than your own. While it might be hard to find a destination where everyone is babymooning together (though such retreats do exist), going to a spa surrounded by nature or a beach resort at least ensures that everyone else is there to have a calm and restorative time.
If you’re thinking you don’t want to have a calm and restorative time but to make the most of your last opportunity to stay up all night and have fun, more props to you, but do keep in mind some of the other problems women have faced with this kind of trip. If you go too early on in your pregnancy, you could be too plagued by morning sickness to keep to a busy schedule. If you go to late, you’ll likely find getting jostled by the crowd and being on your feet all day too much to handle.
What could be more romantic than a retreat to the city of love with your significant other? You might imagine yourself strolling hand in hand down the Champs-Élysées, eating pretty pink macarons in a hotel room overlooking a pretty cobblestone street, and strolling around the Rodin museum in the warm sunshine. It’s a tempting picture of sophistication that would make the most of your last few months to exist in a world that’s entirely adult, plus it’s much easier to keep quiet and avoid the crowds than in Manhattan.
Alas, most experienced mothers-to-be recommend skipping the Parisian weekend. Most people go expecting to eat their weekend away but are disappointed when they realize they don’t have a stomach for mussels or pain au chocolat -- not to mention the fact that they won’t be sipping wine in dimly lit cafés. Plus, city destinations like Paris can be made or ruined by the weather. One writer from Vogue remembers a disappointing babymoon in Paris where it was gray and cold the whole week she and her husband were there. That may be fine if you’re bundled up in a warm cabin in the woods, but if you’ve planned a week of sightseeing it can only be a letdown. You can’t go wrong with a resort break where at least if the weather is bad there’s plenty of luxuriating to do indoors.
Tours of Tuscany or similar countryside regions might at first sight seem like the ideal babymoon. You can drive (or get driven) around rolling hills, leaving the comfort of your car to visit restaurants and historical sites and sleep in quaint little hotels. The region is actually becoming incredibly popular for all its babymoon package offerings, with all the spa, food, and fitness amenities offered by the hotels listed above in this list with the added bonus of stunning Italian vistas and authentic Italian food. These packages have a lot going for them and if you do hole away in a small corner of the Italian countryside for a few days, you’ll likely have a beautiful, restorative experience.
However, most advise steering away from any packages that promise to do more than that. During your pregnancy is not the time to take in all the sites and culture of a historical region. Keeping to a schedule and forcing yourself through the motions of going on history tours and trying new things will feel more draining than anything else during your pregnancy. The best advice veteran babymooners give is to not give yourself an agenda. It might be tempting to plan an exciting cultural excursion like you might be used to, but this is not the time for learning. Allow yourself to relax a little and keep the planning to a minimum.
7 South America, Central America, The Caribbean, Central Africa, India, Vietnam, Indonesia, And Papua New Guinea
What does this seemingly random group of regions and countries have in common? The risk of Zika infection. These are the areas that the CDC still recommends should be off-limits to expectant mothers. If you need a refresher, recent outbreaks of the Zika virus, transmitted mostly by mosquito bites, have caused huge numbers of Zika fever cases, which is often mild and gotten over in a short time. However, this otherwise mostly innocuous disease is extremely harmful when transmitted to pregnant women, as they can pass it onto their babies and cause extreme birth defects, particularly ones related to the brain like microcephaly. Microcephaly is a birth defect where the head of the baby is much smaller than normal because of impeded brain growth.
Sadly, it’s probably best to cancel any dreamy vacations you were planning to Costa Rica, Brazil, the British Virgin Islands, or Bali. While this might feel like Zika is closing off a huge part of the world to you, keep in mind that it is only for your pregnancy, and after a while traveling to these regions will be as harmless to you as it is to anyone else. It’s always better to stay on the safe side when your baby’s health is at risk.
Another choice that seems to combine all the luxuries of staying at a resort with exciting European travel is jetting off to a Greek island. A trip to Santorini can feel like taking a step back in time, and it’s easy to feel like the stresses of your modern life don’t exist when looking out over that incredible sunset from the top of the hill. Santorini is a fairly popular babymoon retreat because of its luxury hotels with incredible views of the Mediterranean, but on the whole, there are too many risks to make this trip worth it.
For one thing, if you’re traveling from the United States, the 9+ hour trip to Greece (and it’s more on the way back when you’re going against the wind) is hefty, and while you might plan your babymoon early enough for flight restrictions to not come into effect, you might not want to spend that much time away from the possibility of medical assistance. Then there’s the fact that the Greek islands are pretty remote. In Athens, you’d have all the hospitals and medical care of a modern city, but even with the tourism boom that has taken over the Greek islands, getting immediate medical care is not a guarantee there. Why not stay closer to home in a more accessible location until all the trials of your pregnancy are over.
Speaking of travel restrictions for pregnant women, you might have heard the recent press about the family that were escorted by security off of a major cruise ship because the mother was pregnant. To be fair to the cruise line, the family had violated their policy by buying tickets for when the mother was past their limit at which they let pregnant women on board. However, even if you’ve technically made the cutoff, cruise liners can make the decision not to let you on if they’re worried about the health of the baby and if you’re near the week limit, which for many of the companies is about 25 weeks. 25 weeks is still fairly early into your pregnancy and you might still be getting over the last of your morning sickness if boarding a ship before that cutoff.
One blogger, on her website Football Food and Motherhood, recounts a painful experience babymooning on a cruise to Mexico and Belize where she found out that the cutoff imposed is not just for safety reasons, but because it can be genuinely difficult to enjoy a cruise while pregnant. The excursions on land can be too difficult to undertake, assuming the management let you undertake them in the first place. There’s a bit too many unknowns aboard a cruise ship where you don’t know what you’ll feel able to do and what the cruise will let you do, so it’s best to stick to land until after the birth.
4 Road Trips
Your added weight and possibly swollen limbs might have you feeling like what you need is to see the world with the added luxury of a comfy seat. In a car, you can go almost anywhere, whether it’s a coast-to-coast tour of the United States or a relaxing drive along the Danube in Austria. You could even have your significant other drive most of the way, leaving you to relax to some music and great views.
Alas, doctors suggest that sitting down all day is one of the worse things you can do during your pregnancy. Any swollen limbs will only swell more if you don’t keep the blood flowing constantly to keep your circulation good. And stuck in one position for too long with a bit of added weight can leave your back aching for a massage. Plus, the constant stimulation of changing scenes can be exhausting and take a lot out of you. They might seem like a low-effort and relaxing option but road trips can be surprisingly grueling to the mind and body, particularly when pregnant. It’s best to limit yourself a bit and stick to one locale rather than trying to see it all at once.
3 The Scottish Highlands
Maybe you’re a fan of the Starz hit show Outlander and want to trace the history of the Jacobites around Scotland. Or, maybe, you’ve just been left stunned by friends’ photos of lush green hills over sparkling white lakes in this verdant northern country. You can take a cabin near Loch Lomond and go on walks and little hikes every day through the crisp air. Either way, the Scottish highlands seem to avoid most of the babymoon issues we’ve come across so far. The U.K. is not too far from the U.S. (at least to the east and midwest), there are plenty of hospitals and world class health care around, and there’s definitely no Zika in this northern climate.
However, some issues that might at first not come to mind are the added work of cold exposed climates and the relative remoteness of some parts of Scotland. You might be trying to escape a hot summer that’s got you sweating during your pregnancy, but a cold clime like Scotland (which isn’t arctic, but can get some pretty chilling northern winds) might be a step too far and take some of the comfort out of what should be a relaxing babymoon. Also, the beauty of the Scottish highlands are experienced when hiking up the numerous hills and mountains. While more ambitious pregnant women might find this no obstacle at all, others might be disappointed at not being able to achieve their usual athletic standards that the landscape requires.
If you’re on the west coast of the U.S. or Canada, Japan is not an unreasonable distance for a babymoon in a foreign culture that would be fascinating and unique. As with Scotland, you can be ensured first-rate hospitals and care to suit your every need. Plus, the layout of the country is not dissimilar to that of the U.S., with major cities surrounded by large suburbs where it’s easy to find every amenity you could need. Plus, there’s the onsens that let you soak in natural hot springs in traditional Japanese style. Japan seems like a low-stress option for a babymooner who’s looking to still experience a different culture rather than holing away in a resort.
This could be a good option assuming you know what you’re getting into, but the population density of Japan is considerably higher than that of the United States, and many tourists find it to be a bit of a shock at first to encounter so many more people around them. This is obviously worse in the cities than anywhere else and you can avoid them, but it’s important to recognize before your trip whether you’ll be comfortable in big crowds or if it will cause some undue anxiety for you and your coming baby.
1 Multiple Flights Away
We’ve touched on this a little so far, but the last thing you want to be doing when pregnant is spending an uncomfortable amount of time in transit. Anywhere that requires more than one flight to get to (or maybe two short ones), or a flight and a long drive or boat trip (i.e. Santorini again) is likely going to cause you more stress and discomfort than anything else.
Take into consideration how far you really want to be traveling when you have the added stress of a changing body and second person to consider. Plus, when traveling, particularly on planes, you tend to exist in a sort of no man’s land between countries where you can’t be guaranteed appropriate medical help should you need it. More likely than not, though, you’ll just find yourself cranky on arrival and not ready to soak in all the relaxation you had planned for yourself.
Most doctors recommend staying within your country for the majority of your pregnancy, but if you’ve really got the itch to go abroad, try to keep it to a flight under six hours to make sure you’re making the most of the time you’ve set aside to relax.