Will the stork be knocking at your door? Perhaps you and your mate are considering a Babymoon, that last romantic getaway expectant parents take before the life-altering event. Sure, you can still travel once you have a baby, but the diapers, wipes, stuffed animals, portable crib and assorted gear will make even the simplest trip seem like a Herculean feat. You deserve some relaxation and uninterrupted time together before you-know-who will be getting your undivided attention for the next 18 years. Here are eight car-free babymoon packages near NYC that will surround you with the ultimate in pre-natal tranquility.
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Vanderbilt Grace | 41 Mary St., Newport Rhode Island | www.vanderbiltgrace.com
Why: Newport is a car-free travelers dream of a town. You can walk everywhere, and whether you want to hit the Gilded-Age mansions, listen to live music at one of the festivals, experience the breathtaking views of the Cliff Walk, sail or shop, this historic city by the sea has it all. A dynamic culinary scene is also at play, so your baby on-board appetite will be useful. Vanderbilt Grace is in the middle of all of Newport's happenings, but you will be so indulged by the staff it may be hard to leave the exquisite premises.
The Package: The Mommy-to-be getaway includes two nights deluxe accommodation in one of the hotel's 33 suites, daily breakfast for two, in-room amenities such as herbal teas, fresh fruit, eye pillow, samples of APIVITA natural beauty products, pre-natal yoga in the morning followed by a mommy-to-be massage. By request, the butler will draw your bath on the evening of your arrival. You'll go home with a soft white blanket and a cuddly, plush toy for baby. All of this elegance starts at $800 for the two-night package. This package is available to oM readers, so tell them we sent you. Book a romantic fireside table for dinner at the hotel restaurant, Muse by Jonathan Cartwright. It is a culinary find that is making waves on the New England dining scene. The hotel is pet-friendly, so you can bring your four-legged baby with you.
How to get there: Bonanza or Megabus bus to Providence from Port Authority or Amtrak from Penn Station. Once in Providence, you can hop bus number 60 run by RIPTA from Kennedy Plaza towards Newport. Get off at the last stop, Newport Gateway Center at 23 America's Cup Avenue, a 1 hour and 10 minute ride from Providence. The hotel is walking distance to all attractions.
Oheka Castle | 135 West Gate Drive, Huntington, N.Y. | www.oheka.com
Why: This exquisitely preserved estate recalls a bygone golden age and it won't come as a surprise that it's listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Movie buffs, take note, Oheka Castle served as the opening scene of Citizen Kane in 1941 and has continued to captivate audiences ever since, appearing in many major motion pictures. It's a popular spot for weddings, but the spacious grounds provide lots of opportunities for privacy. If you are seeking the chance to romp in the manner of F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, you have met your match.
The Package: You deserve the utmost in luxury before Junior's arrival. The Last Night of Sleep package includes overnight accommodation in a deluxe room, three-course dinner for two, strawberries dipped in Belgium chocolate, in-room side by side massages (a maternity massage for mom to be and a Swedish massage for the significant other), a gift blanket, plus a guided property tour. The package costs $1,120.
How to get there: All this grandeur is located only 32 miles from midtown. From Penn Station, take the LIRR Huntington Line to Cold Spring Harbor Station. Call Dobro Express at 631-624-3727 for a station pick-up.
The Lafayette Inn | 525 West Monroe St., Easton, PA | lafayetteinn.com
Why: This 18-room inn is situated in a leafy neighborhood near Lafayette College. The wrap-around porch is a lovely place to relax and enjoy some peace while you still can. When you feel like a bit of excitement, the collegiate crowd, restaurants and shops are all nearby. The owners give just the right amount of personal attention, while respecting couple's privacy. The full American breakfast is a treat, and there are yummy snacks available 24/7, in case you have an odd-hour craving.
The Package: The Babymoon Package costs $499 and includes a night in a suite with fireplace and whirlpool tub, a one-hour prenatal massage for the mom-to-be and a Swedish massage for the non-pregnant partner, a gift basket loaded with spa goodies, home-made cookies and non-alcoholic beverage in-room, a gift for baby, and a $50 credit for dinner at Megs and Mads restaurant, located a block away.
How to get there: Trans-Bridge lines from Port Authority to Easton in one hour and forty minutes. It is a 15-minute uphill walk, or catch a waiting taxi for around $6.
Medbery Inn & Day Spa | 48 Front St., Ballston Spa, N.Y. | www.medberyinnandspa.com
Why: Saratoga Springs is a de rigueur destination on the spa lover's map. Tiny Ballston Spa is only a few miles from Saratoga, and offers more than its fair share of dining, strolling, shopping and spa opportunities. The Medbery Inn features amenities such as candlelight in-room, whirlpool soaking tubs and plush robes. A healthy breakfast buffet is included, just what a Mom-to-be needs to start the day off right. The on-site Spa offers healing relaxation and an array of treatments.
The Package: The Couples Retreat package includes two- nights accommodation, healthy morning breakfast, a double Sans Souci mineral bath treatment, a tandem couples massage (pre-natal massage for the expectant mommy), chocolate truffles and drinks in-room, for $550 per couple for the two-night package, $50 more for a suite. The price is higher during racing season, which is late July until Labor Day.
How to get there: Amtrak from Penn Station to Saratoga Springs takes just over 3 hours. Catch a waiting taxi and you will be at the Medbery Inn in about 5 minutes.
Topnotch Resort and Spa | 4000 Mountain Road, Stowe, Vermont | www.topnotchresort.com
Why: Nestled in the Green Mountains, Stowe is a perfect car-free panacea to relieve pre-baby jitters. Exploring this resort town is easy and eco-friendly, thanks to a free trolley that makes its way around town every twenty minutes. The Topnotch Resort's Spa is the place to nurture yourself before the big event. It offers 120 treatments in 35,000 square feet of space.
The Package: The Spring Spa on Us deal includes overnight accommodation for two, as well as two spa treatments of your choice, per night. Mom-to-be should be in a blissful state after the maternity massage, and the non-pregnant partner will get a boost from the Custom Energy Healing Treatment. The package starts at $389 per couple per night, and includes gratuities. This package is available until May 24, but check the resort's website for future deals.
How to get there: The Amtrak Vermonter to Waterbury takes 8 hours, followed by a 10-minute taxi ride to Stowe. Two reliable local taxis are Jessica's Vital Transit (802- 279-8251) and Stowe Taxi (802- 253-9490). You will need to call ahead to have a taxi meet your train.
Cape Codder Resort & Spa | Hyannis, MA | www.capecodderresort.com
Why: The sound of the surf is naturally soothing, just what the doctor ordered prior to the chaos that is soon to come. This family-owned, oceanfront resort is kid-friendly, so you can watch more seasoned parents and hopefully learn a few tricks of the trade. They know how to have fun here, with an indoor wave pool and a year-round heated outdoor pool. The Beach Plum Spa offers an extensive menu of treatments and uses all natural and/or certified organic body products.
The Package: The Countdown to Baby package is a two-night holiday that includes goodies such as a couples massage, facials, a pedicure, chocolates in-room, sparkling non-alcoholic wine, a $60 meal credit good at the resort's restaurants, a gift for baby and more. The price varies according to season, but you can experience a bargain priced Babymoon here in colder months, when the two-night package rates start at approximately $860 for the two of you.
How to get there: Peter Pan bus from Port Authority to Hyannis, usually with a connection in Providence, takes 6 hours. Taxis wait at the Hyannis Bus Station, and will have you at the hotel in under five minutes.
Main Street Manor B&B | 194 Main St., Flemington, NJ | mainstreetmanor.com
Why: Perhaps your own parents are far away and there is no one to spoil the two of you? Donna and Ken Arold, the owners of this four-room B & B, will be delighted to pamper you. This haven is located in the center of cute Flemington. The Inn offers periodic eco-minded events, such as spring and summer hands-on gardening workshops on topics like biodynamic and container gardening. For the ultimate stress-buster, sit on the veranda in a comfy rocker while you munch on healthy house-made snacks and hang with Quincy, the Inn's adorable yellow Lab.
The Package: The Seren-i-tea is Brewing package is popular with soon-to-be-parents. It includes a night in the cozy Labrador Violet room, a candlelight breakfast made with farm-fresh ingredients, a $20 gift certificate for tea or lunch at Teaberry's Tea Room, coffee, tea and home-made snacks 24/7, evening cordials (non-alcoholic beverage choices too) plus a goodie bag full of tea-related items to take home, so you can savor a quiet cup while baby is napping. The cost is $175 mid-week, $235 weekends. Donna will happily arrange for add-ons like in-room massage, or chocolate-dipped strawberries.
How to get there: Trans-Bridge bus gets you from Port Authority to Flemington in 90 minutes. From the Liberty Village stop, the walk to the Inn is under 5 minutes.
Inn in Westport | 1234 Stevenson Road, Westport, NY | www.innwestport.com
Why: Not every expectant parent's idea of relaxing leans towards spa treatments. Communing with Mother Nature is a great way to prepare for the unexpected road ahead. Local resident Elizabeth Lee is a naturalist and outdoor guide with a vast knowledge of the Adirondack Mountains. She will customize hikes according to season, fitness level and personal interests. Walking is safe for even very pregnant women to engage in, plus Elizabeth is a trained midwife and is happy to share her many birthing stories. The flora and fauna in these parts are glorious in all seasons, and Lee will organize snowshoe treks in winter. To book a nature adventure with Lee call (518) 962-4756.
The Package: Westport is a tiny town on the shores of Lake Champlain, with an Amtrak station and its very own Depot Theatre, a respected venue with high-quality productions running June-September. The Inn in Westport enjoys a prime position in the center of town, with twelve quaint rooms, plus its own bookstore, café, ice cream and coffee shop. The Inn has its own pillow closet with dozens of varieties of pillows to assure a good nights sleep, even when your belly is oh-so big. There is a nice collection of DVD's in the extensive movie library when you want some indoor quiet time after being in the great outdoors. Rooms start at $71 per night October-May, and start at $99 for summer weekend nights.
How to get there: Amtrak from Penn Station to Westport in 5 hours.
-- Allison Tibaldi, @gourmetrav
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