Considering my husband and I first chased each other on the snow-covered steeps of Utah and grew starry-eyed over tequila chasers at the local dive bar, we were never the right customers for typical romance packages. In 2004, we spent our honeymoon climbing volcanoes, riding horses and rafting rivers in Chile instead of holding hands on a beach or getting all googly-eyed at a B&B.
So two years ago, when I was pregnant with my daughter, Dillon, we laughed out loud on hearing about the new trend of “babymoons.” Packaged for expecting couples, these mini-vacations send the mom- and dad-to-be to romantic resorts where they can enjoy a final frilly fling involving four-poster beds, massages and candlelight before a wailing baby arrives. Please, I thought. Gag me with a Gerber spoon.
But now that I’m knocked up with No. 2, times — and my attitude — have changed. Chasing around a toddler has tempered my adrenaline addiction and left me appreciating the finer side of adult amour. Right now, a weekend with more pampering than Pampers would send me over the moon. I still have six months to go, so maybe I’ll get lucky with one of these Green Mountain getaways geared toward those great with child. No. 1? She’ll get a babysitter.
Promising Turn-On: Despite Mount Snow’s hard-partying reputation, its surroundings have a softer side, as they’re super-saturated with quaint inns. The Four Seasons is no exception, thanks to 13 rooms dolled up with lace, fireplaces, French armoires and sleigh beds. There’s a British chef who whips up a full English breakfast, as well as an afternoon tea of finger sandwiches and clotted cream. Parents-to-be will need to do a little advance preparation, since the Four Seasons creates individualized babymoon packages including anything from music, massages and movies to gift baskets and flowers. Owners Ann and Barry Poulter also toss in a bottle of cider and a surprise gift for the expectant mother.
Potential Turn-Off: For moms-to-be who’ve given up skiing, the temptations of Mount Snow are in full view.
Price of Passion: Rooms from $140 per night.
Promising Turn-On: For nesting needs, Manchester’s outlet stores draw couples from all over New England. At Ormsby Hill, they can decompress from all the shopping with sparkling cider, Lake Champlain chocolates and a one-hour maternity massage. Mamas and papas also get a rubber ducky, and they can choose between a Danforth Pewter baby spoon and a tooth-fairy box. Room choices include the “Library,” which has a Jacuzzi and shower for two, and the “Frances,” which offers separate bathrooms. All are stocked with Aveda bath products.
Potential Turn-Off: The Carter’s coupon that comes with the package could entice you into more shopping.
Price of Passion: Rooms from $240 per night; babymoon package for an additional $170.
Promising Turn-On: Few places in Vermont reek of romance as much as the Woodstock area. The 1902-built Juniper Hill Inn now offers customized babymoon packages, including four-course dinners, massages and cooked-to-order breakfasts. While Room 20 is the most sumptuous, with a private staircase and balcony and views of the surrounding woods, most of the 16 rooms have fireplaces, and all are stocked with flowers, decanters of sherry and chocolates. Unless you count the one you’re carrying, there are no kids under 12.
Potential Turn-Off: The smell of sherry to a pregnant woman’s hyperactive senses.
Price of Passion: Rooms from $135.
Promising Turn-On: A jar of pickles, ice cream vouchers for Stowe’s Depot Street Malt Shop, and Lake Champlain Chocolate bars are some of the craving cures Stone Hill offers parents-to-be. For its babymoon package, the 10-year-old B&B also throws in an hour-long maternity massage, a bottle of cider, a coupon for Yellow Turtle kids’ store in Stowe, What to Expect the First Year, and a rubber ducky (for the baby). But going back to the food: Every evening, innkeeper Hap Jordan creates such hors d’oeuvres as artichoke cheesecake and bruschetta with smoked mozzarella. He and Amy Jordan serve breakfasts of pancakes, bacon, fruit and freshly baked goodies by candlelight.
Potential Turn-Off: Reading page 560 of What to Expect the First Year: “Most women find the postpartum period (and sometimes a several-month stretch following it) a sexual wasteland.”
Price of Passion: Rooms from $295 per night; babymoon package for an additional $185.
Promising Turn-On: The Mother-to-Be package includes a 50-minute maternity massage (with a “prenatal support system” to allow you to lie face up or face down during the treatment) and an aromatherapy manicure and pedicure. It’s followed by a healthy spa lunch in the Poolside Café, featuring such items as vegetable soup, steamed salmon and poached pears.
Potential Turn-Off: Um, no husband. Still, I’d go home glowing.
Price of Passion: $230.
Promising Turn-On: Topnotch is known for its tennis, but now it really focuses on a love-love score. On www.babymoonfinder.com, the resort explains that it created its “One Last Fling” package “to remind you that you are man and woman.” To that end, you get breakfast in bed each morning, one 50-minute treatment per day in the 35,000-square-foot spa, and dinner for two at Norma’s each night. (The menu includes such sexy dishes as smoked salmon chartreuse and seared sea scallops.) Man and woman also get all-day access to the fitness center and solarium and, on arrival, are invited to choose between Champagne and sparkling cider; chocolate-covered strawberries and truffles. Stay two nights, and you receive a special “romance amenity” of massage oils and candles.
Potential Turn-Off: The new Teen Center at Topnotch — a scary glimpse of what’s in store?
Price of Passion: From $658.75 per night.
Promising Turn-On: Once again, Woodstock fires up its frisky side at the nine-room Village Inn, a B&B filled with an equal mix of antiques and eclectic art. The “Babymoon Over Vermont” special invites couples to celebrate their last quiet moments with a stay in one of the inn’s most opulent rooms, massages for both parents, a $100 gift certificate to Simon Pearce, and a “Bear Foot & Pregnant” Vermont Teddy Bear. Innkeepers David and Evelyn Brey also serve such breakfast items as Mimosas and homemade granola.
Potential Turn-Off: The free wireless Internet service that could tempt you to let reality intrude.
Price of Passion: Rooms from $230 per night; Babymoon Over Vermont special for an additional $370.