Strengthen your bond (and take a well-deserved break!) before Baby arrives at one of these dreamy babymoon vacation spots for every type of traveler and budget.
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Recharge and Reconnect Before Baby
Before you know it, a vacation will involve an army's worth of planning and packing. But in your second trimester, when morning sickness is usually over and your bump isn't all that big, you can still throw a swimsuit in a bag and take a dreamy getaway. Stoking the flames of your love with a relaxing babymoon has real long-term relationship benefits, says Sabitha Pillai-Friedman, Ph.D., a couple's therapist and assistant professor of human sexuality at Widener University in Chester, Penn. "Transitioning to parenthood can be stressful, but dedicating a vacation to reconnecting can help you be playful with each other again," she says. Before you book, check with your doctor: the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists discourages air travel after 36 weeks and some docs may ground you earlier. And make a pledge with your partner to try to avoid argument triggers like money or family issues until you're back home, Pillai-Friedman says. Read on for destinations that will have you scrolling through the Kayak app, pronto.
Rancho Valencia—Rancho Santa Fe, CA
If run-of-the-mill accommodations often leave you feeling more blah than va-vavoom, you'll find it easy to ramp up the romance at Rancho Valencia, where each "room" is a Mediterranean-style casita, surrounded by 45 acres of olive groves. You two may be loath to leave your suite, with its soaking tub and private patio, but if you do venture out, sign up for a mommy-to-be massage or a soak in the Watsu pool at the newly renovated spa, or take one of the on-site Porsches for a complimentary spin. If you're feeling that second-tri energy boost and are confident in your hand-eye coordination skills, play a tennis match, then end your perfect day with a hot air balloon ride at sunset. Sigh. (From $552 per night, ranchovalencia.com)
L'Auberge Sedona—Sedona, AZ
Should D-day stress have you in need of a mental reset, head to the desert. This oasis is encircled by Sedona's dramatic red rock formations, which give a mystical cast to your stay. And no need to cringe at the notion of a molting-hot vacay—the resort sits alongside Oak Creek, where the air is cooler than out on the sand. Set the stage for a boots-knocking by availing yourselves of your room's private fireplace and outdoor cedar shower, or cash in on the four-course creekside dinner included in your babymoon package. When that's done, feel your most relaxed in years by signing up for meditation and chakra-healing sessions, prenatal spa treatments and astronomy tours. (From $395 per night, lauberge.com)
Topnotch Resort—Stowe, VT
Your first glimpse of this sprawling resort, perched in the hills above a picturesque New England town, will send you beelining fireside, where you can get cozy with your partner and gaze at the snow-topped peaks. Wander through Stowe's quaint craft shops, then hit the factory tour at Ben & Jerry's (everyone gets a free sample, but shamelessly play the preg card and you just may get more). Back at the resort, your Bump on Board package includes a maternity massage, unlimited fitness classes (think: gentle yoga), a body pillow, midnight snack and gift card for the local jewelry store (did someone say push present?). (From $235 per night, topnotchresort.com)
The Inn at Palmetto Bluff—Bluffton, SC
Deep in the heart of the Lowcountry, this inn is actually a collection of colonial-style cottages and suites set on 20,000 acres of preserved wilderness. The weeping willow trees, slow-moving May River and expansive porches will make you feel like you just walked onto the set of a Nicholas Sparks movie. Grab your partner and explore the trails on beach bikes, or take a tour through the surrounding forest, where you can spot wild boar, deer and armadillos. At night, after you've had your fill of good old Southern food (shrimp and grits, anyone?), you can take part in the nightly s'mores-roasting ritual while you cuddle up and stargaze. (From $400 per night, montagehotels.com/palmettobluff)
Breezes Bahamas—Nassau, Bahamas
The chilly winter you left behind will feel very far away amidst this all-inclusive resort's powdery white sand beaches and aquamarine ocean. Revel in a taste of summer by taking a dip in one of the property's three pools while you flaunt your bump in a bikini, or just nestle into one of the waterside hammocks. And if the midday Caribbean sun gets a bit too hot—or you want a spot where you two can whisper sweet nothings in private—hide out in the cabana (with waiter service) included in your babymoon package. And best of all, at these prices you can keep stashing cash for the new nursery as you nod yes to (included!) facials, kayaking and room upgrades. (From $200 per person per night, breezes.com)
Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort—Savannah, GA
Located just south of Savannah, Georgia, Amelia Island is full of sweet southern charm. If you want a relaxing and fun-filled babymoon, this is the spot for you. Take a tennis lesson at the Cliff Drysdale Tennis program, try your hand at golfing or spend the day at the spa. Dine at the Verandah Seafood Restaurant and enjoy fresh caught fish of the day and finish off with a decadent slice of pecan pie. Then finish off your night with s'mores on the beach before turning in to your oceanside room while the sound of the surf lulls you to sleep. (From $239 per night, omnihotels.com)
Post Ranch Inn—Big Sur, Calif.
This to-die-for gem lies 1200 soaring feet above the Pacific (it's literally built into the picturesque cliffs of Big Sur). If you want to go all-out on your babymoon, this is the spot. Your room will have a wood-burning fireplace (perfect for setting the stage for romance), huge soaking tub and a complimentary mini-bar so you'll never have to go hungry. Settle in for the resort's spa treatments, nature hikes, morning yoga classes and late-night stargazing sessions, all with the ocean as your backdrop. Trust us, you won't want to go home. (From $675, postranchinn.com)
The Fairmont Hamilton Princess—Bermuda
When you think of the Caribbean, you may picture beach festivities and jammin' late-night parties—but that's not Bermuda. If you want that white-sand, teal-ocean vibe mixed with a preppy English flavor (think: Have your husband bring a jacket for dinner), this is the place. Stroll through the picturesque historic town of Hamilton—the colorful houses will have you dreaming up nursery paint-color schemes—hit the links for a golf game a deux, then beat the heat by ducking back into the resort for high tea and savor your chance to load up on scones. (From $529, fairmont.com/hamilton-bermuda)
Trump International Golf Links and Hotel Doonbeg—Doonbeg, Ireland
For bold babymooners who don't mind crossing an ocean in search of their romantic spot, head for the verdant hills of Ireland. Located on the coast of County Clare, this hotel has majestic views of the Atlantic along with the green Irish landscape. When you're not out for a walk through the countryside or perfecting your golf game, relax at the property's White Horses Spa, which offers several different treatments targeted at moms-to-be, from massages to tummy treatments to body scrubs. (From $271, trumpgolfscotland.com)
Le Guanahani—St. Barth's
Get a taste of the jet-set life by heading to this tiny island nation. Upon your arrival at Le Guanahani, a personal concierge will take care of everything, even leaving little babymoon goodies for you in your room. You get to customize your entire stay, whether you want to spend it lolling on the beach, holed up in the Clarins spa or checking out the town. (From $594, leguanahani.com)
Mayflower Grace—Washington, CT
Live out your historic mansion fantasies at this elegant 30-room hotel. This country house-style inn is located in a picturesque Connecticut town that dates to the 1700's. When you're not busying yourself with the extensive Mommyhood Menu of treatments at the spa (the wealth of options, organized by trimester, include acupuncture, reflexology, prenatal pilates classes, shiatsu, a bump photo shoot and more), you can explore the nearby nature preserves, a prime site for bald eagle-spotting, or check out the antique shops for the perfect addition to Baby's nursery. (From $250, gracehotels.com/mayflower)
The Carlyle Hotel—New York City
If the vacay of your dreams unfolds in a bustling metropolis, book a trip to this classic hotel in New York's posh Upper East Side neighborhood. You'll stay a block away from Museum Mile—great if you want Baby to experience a little culture in utero—and when your feet inevitably tire, you're perfectly situated to head back to your room for a catnap. Plus, you can pop into the local children's clothing shops while staying away from the tourist hustle bustle of Midtown. At night, make a date at the famous jazz club on the hotel's first floor. Perfect. (From $495, rosewoodhotels.com/en/the-carlyle-new-york)
Arizona Biltmore—Scottsdale, Ariz.
This luxe desert retreat, with its stylish, Frank Lloyd Wright-influenced architecture is a desert oasis. Hit the driving range surrounded by mountains, make a pit-stop at the spa, which offers only natural products, or just swim your way through your stay at one of the resort's eight pools (our favorite is the beautifully tiled Catalina pool—notoriously a favorite hangout for Marilyn Monroe). (From $329, arizonabiltmore.com)
Canoe Bay—Chetek, Wis.
Outdoorsy moms-to-be will feel at home at this Midwestern retreat. Set amid 300 acres of Wisconsin's wooded forest and three spring-fed glacially-carved lakes, you'll stay in a cabin with a private sauna. The property is adults-only, so you can soak up your last bit of baby-free peace and quiet, and spend your days walking on the trails or canoeing on the lakes. And mealtime is something to look forward to: Breakfast is delivered to your room each morning, and dinner is a three-course tasting menu of locally sourced food. (From $250 per night, canoebay.com)
Half Moon—Montego Bay, Jamaica
It's true: The Kennedys famously vacationed at this 400-acre luxury resort. Follow in their footsteps by meandering the two-mile-long white-sand beach, splashing in your own private pool and luxuriating in the fact that your overwater bungalow comes with a personal staff (read: butler, cook, housekeeper). You'll appreciate being waited on now more than ever, and can continue the trend with the resort's motherhood massage, which uses special pillows to maximize your comfort. (From $289, halfmoon.rockresorts.com)
Gurney's Montauk Resort and Seawater Spa—Montauk, N.Y.
If your perfect beach is more sweaters and bonfires and less palm trees and teeny bikinis, venture out to the Hamptons for your babymoon, a chic escape that's a three-hour drive from New York City. Gurney's is one of the few year-round resorts in this beach town, which alternates from being a summertime fashionable hotspot to a still, quiet winter retreat depending on the season (so book accordingly!). Take a dip in the U.S.' only indoor ocean-water pool, then opt for a mommy-to-be massage and mani-pedi at the elegant beachside spa. When you're done relaxing, scoot over to the designer stores in nearby East Hampton—maternity shopping spree, anyone? (From $220, gurneysmontauk.com)
The Lavender Inn & Spa—Ojai, CA
A Bed & Breakfast just 30 miles from Santa Barbara, the Lavender Inn has an on-site 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. (From $135, Lavenderinn.com)
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Parrot Cay—Turks and Caicos
Enjoy some quality alone time on white sand beaches at Parrot Cay's private island resort. With complimentary prenatal yoga classes, a spa menu with pregnancy-specific treatments, and two gourmet restaurants, the resort also offers a variety of excursions. 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 off the island.
The Cliffs Resort—Pismo Beach, CA
Located in central California, the hotel's "And Baby Makes Three" package has nearly everything an exhausted expectant mother could want, from overnight accommodations, a welcome basket with diapers and a onesie for baby, a $50 voucher for dinner at the Sea Cliffs Restaurant, an in-room movie with ice cream delivery, breakfast in bed, two massages and a bottle of wine to commemorate your last weekend as a pair once you're able to drink again. If you're looking to take a walk between relaxing at the spa and dinner with your partner, there's a variety of antique and outlet shopping nearby. (Cliffsresort.com)
The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa—Scottsdale, AZ
In partnership with The SpOILed Mama skincare line and Scottsdale's nearby shopping district, Kierland Commons, the resort's "Bundle of Joy" package is designed exclusively for pampering moms-to-be. The package includes SpOILed Mamma gift care sets for mom and dad, a Kierland Commons gift certificate, an in-room movie complete with ice cream sundae, sparkling cider and chocolate covered strawberries, a couples' massage and breakfast in bed. The resort also has a 24-hour "Cravings Chef" service that allows you to customize the room service menu to match your cravings at an additional cost. (Kierlandresort.com)
Kiawah Island Gold and Spa Resort—Kiawah Island, SC
Enjoy a weekend off the coast of South Carolina with a two-night babymoon package at the seaside Sanctuary Hotel. The package includes a garden view room with a king-sized bed, breakfast daily, a prenatal massage for mom and a custom or sports massage for dad, dinner for two in the Jasmine Porch restaurant and a rose petal turndown for when it's time to catch up on some sleep. Looking to hit the links for some low-impact activity? Set a tee time for one of five championship courses, including the host of the 2012 PGA Championship. (Kiawahresort.com)