As a mother and founder of a luxury travel company, Julia Carter knows all the best babymoon destinations and experiences.
Welcoming a baby into the world is one of life’s great miracles, and the months leading up to the delivery are often spent preparing for the arrival. During this process, parents-to-be can experience a range of emotions, nerves and anticipation. However, preparing your home and life for a new addition requires research, planning, shopping and other preparations – all of which can be exhausting. A babymoon is a fantastic way for parents to take a little time out for themselves, to rest and re-energise before their bundle of joy is earthside.
Craft Travel is a fully female and mother-run luxury travel company in which every member has taken a babymoon or two in their time. To help expecting parents find the perfect pre-delivery adventure, founder Julia Carter and her team have shared their top five babymoon destinations for 2023, all of which have safety and healthcare as top priorities.
What is a babymoon?
A babymoon is a celebratory vacation taken by parents prior to the birth of their child that allows them to spend time together, relax and re-energise before welcoming a baby.
When is the best time to go on a babymoon?
The best time to embark upon a babymoon is during the second trimester of pregnancy, between 14 and 28 weeks, pending approval from a qualified medical professional.
Spot the big five at a safari lodge in South Africa
Mateya Safari Lodge is one of the few malaria-free (and therefore, pregnancy-friendly) lodges in South Africa. The ultra-luxe thatched property offers complete privacy, intimacy and sophistication, with just five sprawling suites perched atop a rocky outcrop overlooking the Madikwe Game Reserve. The wild landscape includes vast plains of open woodlands and grasslands, overlooked by the majestic slopes of the Dwarsberg Mountains. It’s home to 66 large mammal species, including the Big Five: lions, leopards, rhinos, buffaloes and elephants. When it comes to logistics, guests will be provided with a dedicated health therapist and, at the wellness centre, aches and pains can be ironed out through prenatal massages.
“Wildlife adventure trips become almost impossible for at least eight months once the little one is born. So, this is the perfect time to set off on your dream safari adventure,” says Julia. “While South African safaris are often ruled out as an impossibility for expecting mothers due to malaria risks, Madikwe Game Reserve is a fantastic pregnancy-safe haven. Dining at Mateya Safari Lodge can be completely tailored to your tastes and preferences. This can prove incredibly helpful when it comes to satisfying pregnancy cravings. Plus, this allows you to enjoy romantic, personalised meals in the moonlight on the decking of your private suite.”
Explore the Cloud Forests of Costa Rica
Andrea Galvez, director of Craft Travel, recommends El Silencio Lodge & Spa in Costa Rica as one of the top babymoon destinations. The chic accommodation lies nestled within a private reserve in the cloud forest, a world away from the chaos of everyday life and instead offering utmost tranquillity for expectant parents to relax and connect with nature. The lodge boasts spacious rooms, plush bedding and private hot tubs by the flowing river.
There are also lots of low-impact, pregnancy-safe activities on offer including hikes through the waterfalls of the cloud forest, cooking classes, tree planting sessions and oxcart painting classes. What’s more, this peaceful paradise lies just an hour away from the international airport. Andrea recommends combining your visit to El Silencio Lodge & Spa with a stay at Origins Luxur Lodge by Mantis, an exclusive eco-lodge hidden away in the rainforest, when booking babymoon destinations.
“Low risk of infectious disease and close proximity to a top quality medical facility and airport are my top requirements for babymoon destinations, but this doesn’t mean you have to go somewhere ‘boring’. El Silencio Lodge & Spa in Costa Rica ticks all of these boxes and offers an incredible adventure for expecting parents,” says Andrea. “You will also not want to miss out on the opportunity to visit the beautiful on-site spa which offers prenatal massages, relaxation areas, yoga sessions and meditation spaces to promote overall well-being.”
Escape to a five-star chalet with a wellness package in the French Alps
Autumn Fields, travel designer at Craft Travel, recommends La Sivoliere in Courchevel as one of the most luxurious babymoon destinations, promising a lavish babymoon like no other. The five-star French chalet retreat offers the ultimate final indulgence for parents-to-be, with seven-night specially designed prenatal stays offered at its 35 alpine rooms, which overlook the famous Savoie Valley.
The prenatal package is led by a certified hypnobirthing practitioner and centres on releasing stress and anxiety, pampering the body and mind and enhancing the health of your expected baby, integrating your partner in the process every step of the way. The experience includes daily private prenatal consultations, massages and hypnobirthing couples sessions. The lodge’s on-site spa is complete with a swimming pool, hammam, jacuzzi and massage room. The very location of La Sivoliere lends itself to parents-to-be. The low level of pollution and harmful agents, and the medium altitude of the mountains, are known to detoxify the body, reduce stress levels and boost vitamin D production.
“Along with being one of the world’s most sought-after ski resorts, this accommodation is perfect for expecting mothers and their partners as it has launched a brand-new babymoon program. I would have LOVED to have done this if I were to do it all over again,” says Autumn. “You also need not worry about the chalet’s rural location. Doctors and nurses lie within easy reach, just a short 15 minutes away by helicopter at the medical centre in Courchevel 1850.”
Go off the grid with a Canadian Island holiday
Clayoquot Sound is a network of wild offshore islands located on the west coast of Vancouver Island, Canada, and Elissa Reisman, travel designer at Craft Travel, recommends this as one of the top babymoon destinations. Parents-to-be will relish the joy of going ‘off-grid’ and immersing themselves in remote, untamed natural scenery, all the while enjoying the comfort of remaining comfortably close to North American healthcare.
At Clayoquot Wilderness Lodge You’ll find a plethora of soft, pregnancy-friendly adventures during your stay, including gentle walks through the rainforest, fishing and wildlife spotting with sea lions, otters and black bears all in the surrounding area. Mothers-to-be can retreat to the accommodation’s Healing Grounds Spa for physical and spiritual restorative prenatal treatments and yoga sessions.
“Clayoquot Sound is perfect for active couples as it is home to miles upon miles of alpine valleys and fern gardens, pristine lakes and lush forests. Couples can completely disconnect from everyday life and focus on each other, far removed from the usual distractions and surrounded by stunning natural scenery,” says Elissa. “Opt for Clayoquot Wilderness during your stay. The plush eco-lodge lies hidden amongst the glorious conifer forest on the banks of Clayoquot.”
Escape to Harbour Island in the Bahamas
One of the more unexpected babymoon destinations is Harbour Island in the Bahamas, recommended by travel designer Claire Baxter. Lying a short one-hour and 15-minute direct flight from Miami, and an easy 10-minute car and boat ride, the tiny landmass of Harbour Island offers the perfect happy medium. At only 5.6km long, the entire island can easily be explored by golf cart, offering an ideal, non-strenuous mode of transport for expecting mothers.
Plus, there are few coastlines quite as romantic as Harbour Island’s baby-pink shores. When it comes to places to stay, The Dunmore promises a peaceful, serene retreat. Its boutique cottages serve up quirky coastal glamour just footsteps away from the island’s pink coastline and have private beach access, fluffy bathrobes and plush bedding and furnishings. The resort’s restaurant caters wonderfully to mothers-to-be, with healthy, vitamin-rich dining at the forefront of the menu. Harbour Island also lies within easy reach from the US, with direct flights available from Miami.
“The island has a wonderful balance of history, remoteness, nature and luxury, and transports you to a peaceful oasis right from the moment you arrive. We spent most of our days on the rosy sand with plenty of quiet spots for private experiences,” says Claire. “With great shopping opportunities, amazing restaurants and easy access to nearby islands, Harbour Island was the most amazing babymoon spot.”
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