Around the world, there’s a boom in babymoons. But what happens after the baby’s born?
As Tex Perkins once sang, “The honeymoon is over, baby. It’s never going to be that way again”.
Instead of cocktails by the bar, it’s mushy food by the jar. Screams of ecstasy are replaced by shrieks of colic.
“Travelling with a baby can be hard work,” says Kristen McKenzie, Global PR and content manager for HotelsCombined, in the understatement of the year. “Thankfully, new parents need no longer resort to bland, traditional family-friendly hotels.”
Nowadays, they’re offering more than just a crappy cot in the corner.
The new five star Koh-I Nor, in Val Thorens in the French Alps, has 14 family suites kitted out with Baby Bjorns, prams with mittens attached, bottle warmers, baby baths, and age-appropriate toys. Simply fill out a form listing your child’s likes, dislikes, allergies and intolerances, to order fresh pureed baby food through room service.
But wait, there’s more!
HotelsCombined has released a list of the world’s funkiest baby-friendly hotels.
At the top is the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort Spa in California, with its Babies Travel Lite program.
Before you go, order everything you need online – from formula to nappies or a stroller – and it will be waiting in your room.
No. 2 is a little closer to home: the QT Sydney’s Baby Q package, which is also offered at QT properties on the Gold Coast, in Port Douglas and Falls Creek.
How’s this for decadent? While you’re sipping on your complimentary champagne, bubs is enjoying their self-heating iiamo Go Baby bottle. Cheers!
Next on the list is the Martinhal Beach Resort and Hotel in Portugal, where staff at the day spa teach baby massage.
The Oriental Residence Bangkok greets new mothers with a gift basket full of baby shampoo, soaps, soft towels, a muslin cloth and teddy bear. And there’s a 24/7 babysitting service.
In Italy, it’s all about the food.
At Chia Laguna Resort, each restaurant has a baby corner with sterilising equipment, a milk heater, and blender, where parents (or, hopefully, staff) can prepare meals.
It’s enough to make me want to scream, “Why wasn’t this around when I had babies?!”. Perhaps I could try again. (“Darling. You’re 46. Time to give it up,” hubby says).
Of course, none of this comes cheap.
And, sometimes, the simple things in life are the best. I have fond memories of breastfeeding a nudie baby on the beach, mushing up banana and avocado for dinner, then snuggling up in a tent at night to keep warm.
When you’re gazing up at billions of stars, instead of five, you rely on fellow travellers rather than paid help.
It is the quality of your companions who determine the happiness of your holiday.
A tickle under the chin here (for the baby, not me); a kind word there (about anything, really): a little bit of compassion goes a long way.
Because travelling with a baby isn’t easy. As one friend says, “It’s like transplanting all of your stresses to an exotic location; sure, the view’s better, but the problems stay the same”.
Bravo to the hotels chains that are finally recognising this.