Humorously defined by some as ‘the equivalent of the honeymoon before wedded reality kicks in’, the babymoon is a fairly new, but very welcome, addition to dictionaries.
This is a time for future parents to relax and stock up lots of energy for the sleepless nights and nappy changing days ahead. ‘Transitioning to parenthood can be stressful, but dedicating a vacation to reconnecting can help you be playful with each other again,’ Sabitha Pillai-Friedman, PhD, couple’s therapist and assistant professor of human sexuality at Widener University in Chester, Pennsylvania, is quoted as saying on specialist website Fitpregnancy.com.
With more and more resorts offering special packages for mums- and dads-to-be, there’s never been a better time to celebrate pre-parenthood. Whether you want to join childbirth classes, buy baby outfits or spend time bonding, follow us on a top 10 tour of the globe’s best destinations for babymooners.
Baby love in the Bahamas
Why go? A tropical paradise within easy reach of most major airports, the Bahamas is ideal for future parents seeking some TLC.
Stay where? A luxurious hideaway overlooking Cable beach’s soft silk sands, Breezes’ (www.breezes.com/babymoon) Babymoon packages include room upgrades, beachfront cabana reservation and his and hers facials.
What’s in it for pre-mums? Unwinding by the pool, lounging in a beachfront cabana with personalised waiter service, or napping in a sea-view hammock enjoying a few relaxing rays.
Anything for almost-dads? Easing pre-birth tension with workouts at the fitness centre, or playing tennis with professional instruction included at no additional charge.
The low-down: Return flights from Dubai to the Bahamas via New York cost about Dh7,215 with Emirates. Rates start at Dh654 per person per night (three-night minimum stay).
Kick back in Bodrum
Why go? Stunning scenery, crystal-clear waters and delish Turkish food are just some of the reasons.
Stay where? Set in vast grounds overlooking the glittering waters of Barbaros Bay, the luxurious Kempinski Hotel (www.kempinski.com/en/bodrum) has its own private beach and a range of prenatal treatments.
What’s in it for pre-mums? Apart from lazing by the infinity pool or private beach, enjoy a range of prenatal massages and classes, including pregnancy yoga sessions.
Anything for almost-dads? Holistic massages and a last chance to indulge in Bond-style activities ranging from jet-skiing to sailing before the nappies pile up.
The low-down: Return flights from Abu Dhabi to Bodrum via Istanbul cost about Dh6,785 with Etihad Airways. Suites from Dh1,412 per night, with breakfast.
Why go? If you’re screaming for a bit of prenatal peace and quiet with your partner, there are few places quite as romantic and remote as the Azores.
Stay where? Sunvil Discovery (www.sunvil.co.uk/discovery/the-azores) offers a package where you can relax at a charming hotel on the main island São Miguel then chill out on one of the lush, peaceful islands like São Jorge.
What’s in it for pre-mums? When tired of relaxing on the balcony or enjoying healthy local food, like Cozido, a nourishing stew cooked in volcanic cauldrons at Terra Nostra Garden, enjoy shopping on São Miguel or invigorating walks on São Jorge.
Anything for almost-dads? Apart from long hikes, head for the whaling museum to see how these remote islands survived for centuries, then enjoy a whaling cruise.
The low-down: Azores specialist Sunvil Discovery offers a two-centre holiday from Dh5,052 (two sharing) with breakfast, at the Hotel Talisman on São Miguel (two nights), Casa do Antonio on São Jorge (three nights).
Return flights from Dubai to Lisbon cost about Dh5,335 with Qatar Airways. From Lisbon SATA International flies to Santa Maria Airport for a return price of about Dh2,877.
Posh treats in Paris
Why go? Active parents-to-be who want to combine a dash of romance with a bushel load of great shopping and gourmet treats can’t do better than Paris.
Stay where? With days of pampering nearly over, check into The Mandarin Oriental (www.mandarinoriental.com/paris), a sumptuous hotel just minutes from the city’s best shops and restaurants, where you can indulge in a fabulous range of spa treatments.
What’s in it for pre-mums? Pre-mums seeking baby gear or maternity wear should pick the hotel’s J’aime la Mode (I love fashion) package for perks including a VIP Welcome at Le Printemps Department Store and the assistance of a multilingual personal shopper.
Anything for almost-dads? If anxious dad has his own ‘baby bump’, he can take advantage of the Mandarin’s personal training sessions with renowned trainer Nicolas Véret.
The low-down: Return flights from Dubai to Paris via London cost about Dh2,030 with British Airways. Deluxe suites at Mandarin Oriental from Dh9,403.
Why go? One of the most beautiful chains of islands in the Indian Ocean, the Maldives is ideal for unwinding in a magical setting.
Stay where? An idyllic collection of private villas grouped around a turquoise lagoon, Coco Bodu Hithi (www.cocoboduhithi.com) is a stunning tropical hideaway.
What’s in it for pre-mums? Each villa has its own pool and private deck, with huge beds for that extra bump. There’s a private butler to cater to all those little extra cravings.
Anything for almost-dads? Join a diving trip to discover the region’s legendary exotic sea life or take a boat trip to explore some of the neighbouring deserted islands.
The low-down: Return flights from Abu Dhabi to Malé cost about Dh3,565 with Etihad Airways. Private villa at Coco Bodu Hithi from Dh2,086 for two per night.
Jamming in Jamaica
Why go? One of the most chilled islands on the planet, Jamaica’s laid-back cafés, long sandy beaches, great food and fabulous reggae music are guaranteed to put a smile on the faces of stressed-out future parents.
Stay where? With its own private beach, the gorgeous Oasis at Sunset (www.sunsetresortsjamaica.com/oasis-montego-bay) is a worry-free, all-inclusive resort with superb facilities including five pools and a spa.
What’s in it for pre-mums? Both partners will love the couples’ massage in the spa, and moonlight dining in a gourmet restaurant.
Anything for almost-dads? There are dozens of watersports from jet-skiing to paragliding.
The low-down: Double room with sea view from Dh2,554 per night. Return flights from Dubai to Montego Bay via New York and Orlando cost about Dh6,775 with Emirates.
Beautiful British West Indies
Why go? One of the most unspoiled atolls in the Caribbean, Anguilla in BWI is an ideal place to unwind before baby arrives.
Stay where? Arawak Beach Inn Anguilla (www.arawakbeach.com), a gloriously isolated getaway overlooking crystal-clear waters and soft sand beaches.
What’s in it for pre-mums? Besides stunning infinity pools, one of the mum-to-be perks at this lovely property are the craving-friendly unlimited ice cream and pickles on offer.
Anything for almost-dads? Both babymooners will love Arawak Beach Inn’s couple package, where they pack you off with a picnic lunch to spend half a day relaxing on a beautiful deserted island.
The low-down: All-inclusive packages for couples from Dh2,521 a night. Return flights from Dubai to San Juan, Puerto Rico costs about Dh6,325 with Emirates. From San Juan Liat Airlines flies to Anguilla for a return price of about Dh1,744.
Health tonic in Vermont
Why go? With plenty of fresh healthy air and refreshing treks, Vermont is ideal for babymooners who want to be active.
Stay where? The Topnotch Resort and Spa in Stowe (www.topnotchresort.com) is a relaxing sanctuary with spacious, comfortable rooms and a wide range of facilities, including indoor hot tubs, solariums and a vast spa with private treatment rooms.
What’s in it for pre-mums? Healthy treks tailored for pregnant mums followed by a range of prenatal massages and plenty of carefully prepared food.
Anything for almost-dads? Beside couple’s massages, the future father will enjoy playing on the resort’s world-class golf courses.
The low-down: Deluxe double rooms from Dh828 per night. Return flights from Dubai to Vermont via Amsterdam and Detroit cost about Dh4,155 with KLM.
Balmy in Bali
Why go? Ubud in southern Bali is a cultural haven where the child in the womb will be exposed to art, music and dance, as well as a whole range of alternative healing therapies.
Stay where? Elite Havens (www.elitehavens.com/destinations/the-bukit/) has a range of fully serviced, deluxe villas on Bukit, an exclusive peninsula near Ubud.
What’s in it for pre-mums? These glamorous villas with huge beds and butler service are totally relaxing, but pregnant women on a shopping spree will also love all the stores selling woodcarvings, silver goods and other handcrafted items in Ubud, close by.
Anything for almost-dads? With one of Asia’s top-five golf courses and a string of water sports on offer, they won’t get bored.
The low-down: Elite Havens has villas from Dh1,030 per night. Return flights from Dubai are about Dh2,575 with Qatar Airways.
Total romance in Venice
Why go? Whether they want to shop for exclusive baby goods, glide in a gondola or relax in a luxurious hotel, Venice is the ultimate romantic destination for babymooners.
Stay where? Chic, comfortable and just a stone’s throw from the city’s famous piazza San Marco, The Luna Hotel Baglioni (www.baglionihotels.com/category/luna-hotel-baglioni-venice/) has two-night babymoon packages that include a range of treats.
What’s in it for pre-mums? Apart from a one-hour prenatal massage and a special gift, there is a chef tutorial to learn child-friendly recipes.
Anything for almost-dads? Dads can learn to steer a gondola.
The low-down: Babymoon packages for two from Dh3,673 a night. Return flights from Dubai to Venice via Paris cost about Dh2,696 with Air France.