My brother-in-law and his wife are expecting their first child at the end of May. It’s the first grandchild on both sides, so the whole family is pretty “over the moon” about it.
The happy couple have been talking about a different kind of moon — a babymoon, which is an often romantic trip that expectant parents take near the due date (although not too near!) You could call it a last hurrah before the baby arrives and distracts them from everything else, including each other, for the next 18 years.
Of course they asked me for hotel recommendations, and of course I had some! Here are my top 5 ideas for a fabulous Northern California (no flying so close to the due date) pre-baby weekend getaway, moving from South to North:
Ritz Carlton Half Moon Bay
Half Moon Bay, California
Less than an hour’s drive from San Francisco, this gorgeous property has amazing The Best Service, a breath-taking view, and nightly bag pipes & cocoa ritual at sunset. From the moment you drive up to this resort, which is dramatically perched on a cliff overlooking the Pacific, you feel like you’re a million miles away from every care, worry and concern.
Combine a club-level stay with mom-centric pampering like the Mellow Mama massage, which uses “specific pre-natal techniques to increase circulation, alleviate tired muscles and reduce water retention” and you have a perfectly indulgent getaway!
Ventana Inn & Spa Resort
Big Sur, California
For peaceful, contemplative walks in the woods, followed by a relaxing massage, the Ventana Inn & Spa Big Sur Central Coast Resort is a natural choice.
The Ventana Inn & Spa is set on 243 acres on the Big Sur coast, the perfect mixture of modern amenities (flat screen tvs) and nature, with guided hiking tours and miles of trails. It’s one of the Joie de Vivre properties, so you know it’s a green property. Plus the boutique chain is noted for its support of local communities, so you can indulge yourself social-guilt-free.
They offer a massage for expecting moms, using blended oils and prenatal pillows, and “specialized massage techniques to relieve and release muscle tension, fatigue and stress.”
Monterey Bay Inn
Cannery Row, Monterey, California
For a waterfront experience with a little more variety of activities away from your room and the property, the newly remodeled Monterey Bay Inn is great option located at the entrance to Cannery Row. It’s close enough to walk to the incredible Monterey Bay Aquarium, but so on top of the nightlife that it will keep you awake.
If you’re in the mood for just relaxing, the ocean-side location means your view is the Monterey Bay Marine Sanctuary. Put that together with feather beds, 310 thread-count Pima cotton linens, and (one of my favorite amenities ever, I think all five of the Inns at Monterey do this) fresh baked cookies — plus complimentary breakfast served in your room — means it’s delightful to lounge in your room.
And yes, they also offer a pre-natal massage!
Orchard Garden Hotel
Downtown San Francisco
I love this hotel (although I’ve never actually stayed a night, just toured it and been to events there!) and recommend it all the time to visitors. The central location means you’re steps away from all the fun of downtown SF. It’s also a gorgeous, floor to ceiling eco-friendly and organic property. The San Francisco Relaxing Getaway Special is the perfect weekend package for any couple, whether you’re expecting or not, that includes:
- Luxurious ‘Green’ Room
- Demi Bottle of French Champagne (come on, a few sips will be good for the baby!)
- Chocolate Truffles
- 20% Savings on Dinner at Roots Restaurant — delicious, cozy, organic!
Carneros Inn Resort
Napa Valley, California
Heading north from San Francisco, you can reach wine country in an hour — less if you have a lead foot and good luck getting past those eagle-eyed Marin County-based CHP units.
My friend Sharon highly recommends the Carneros Inn in Napa for a romantic wine country get away, and I’m glad to share the advice. It sounds like a dreamy getaway, even if you’re not doing a lot of wine tasting.
Rustic features like a shower that opens up to a secluded patio mixed with luxurious touches, like a heated bathroom floor, are the perfect mix for a couples-centric weekend — it was even named one of the top 25 most romantic getaways in the world by Travel + Leisure!