by Alina Sandor
Suddenly it's cool to travel with baby, and now it is practical, too. Hotels across North America are recognizing babies and babies-on-board as valuable clients with new, deluxe accommodations.
The Iroquois hotels (www.slh.com), for example, treats their "future business travelers" to amenities such as pint sized bathrobes, a trio of rubber duckies, gentle body wash, lotion, and a designer crib complete with a set of designer Frette sheets. There are many other offerings, though, that a family should consider when choosing a hotel for baby.
There has been no better time to be a traveling mommy-to-be. Expectant parents are being encouraged to feel pampered with new hotel packages that cater to their needs.
"Babymoon vacations are one of the hottest travel trends," says representatives of the Grand Lido Braco Resort & Spa in Jamaica.
Hotels like Conrad Indianapolis (www.conradindianapolis.com) are taking notice of this trend. Conrad is introducing its Indulging Mothers-to-Be package that includes a prenatal listening system to monitor the baby's heartbeat, kicks, and hiccups, extra pillows for elevating legs and releasing pressure from the lower back, unlimited bottled water to keep the body hydrated, and a sixty minute prenatal massage at the hotel's Spa Chakra. According to the hotel, the massage "helps alleviate tension from the lower back, feet and ankles. These treatments also help reduce stretch marks, increase circulation and stabilize hormonal activity."
Other hotels, like the Grand Lido Braco Resort & Spa in Jamaica (www.grandlido.com) offer packages that cater to a mother's cravings, both food and beauty wise, while giving Dad the boost he needs as well.
The Grand Lido Braco Resort's Babymoon Package gives dads-to-be a break on the cravings food runs by providing hungry mommies with in-room fridges stocked daily with a jar of pickles, a chocolate bar, Ginger Ale and bottled water. It also supplies a 24-hour in-room menu with pregnancy pleasing desserts, such as banana splits, brownie a la mode, and hot fudge sundaes. Moms can also enjoy a ventilated, specialized in-room manicure and pedicure.
Dads are encouraged have a relaxed time, too. They can hit the gym for a 30-minute personal training session to develop and strengthen their upper body, enjoy a couple's foot massage, have candlelight dinner with his lady at the hotel's restaurant, and reserve a hammock on the beach for cuddling time.
Once the baby is born, the deluxe travel accommodations don't end there. Many hotels, in all price ranges, are becoming baby-friendly to allow families to travel with ease.
What defines a baby-friendly hotel? Here are some things to look for:
Discovery at Marigot Bay (www.slh.com/discovery) in St. Lucia goes one step further in their offerings with the Nanny on Demand service. "For families that do not wish to travel with their own nanny," the hotel states to new visitors, "they can request a nanny prior to arrival that will be dedicated to them for the duration of their stay." Discovery says that the nanny will perform duties the family needs, including preparing meals for the baby in the suite kitchen, daily supervision, evening babysitting, and more.