5 Unique Babymoon Packages Fit For Royalty

From the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to celebrity couples like Kanye West and Kim Kardashian, it looks like the baby bump is a major trend for 2013. But how will these couples celebrate their bun in the oven? In style, of course. Hotels are going all-out to capture the “babymoon” trend, a pre-baby escape known for letting the couple bond before the birth of a first (or second, or third) child. Usually full of spa treatments and booze-free treats, these indulgent escapes are fit for royalty, Hollywood celebs, or just the jetsetter in us all. We’ve rounded up a few of our favorites below.

Phulay Bay, A Ritz-Carlton Reserve
This ultra-luxe Thai property offers a “Royal Babymoon” package with daily signature ESPA treatments, boat rides along the Andaman Sea, daily meditation, private yoga, 24/7 butler service and many more amenities. Guests stay at The Royal Andaman Sea Villa, one of the resort’s most luxurious, which features a decadent oversized bed (two double California King mattresses sewn together!), as well as an outdoor terrace with veranda.

Capella Pedregal
This ultraluxury resort in Cabo San Lucas is already a celebrity favorite, but they’ve kicked it up a notch with their array of prenatal offerings. In addition to the standard prenatal massage, the resort offers creative pregnancy-approved menus that feature organic, naturally grown and hormone-free dishes – as well as a “cravings” section with dishes like a Nutella Panini with Prosciutto and Mozzarella Cheese; Vanilla Ice Cream with Homemade B&B Pickles; Shortrib Pizza with Onion Jam; Mango and Chile Popsicles and more. If guests would rather practice their cooking skills, they can try their hand at a baby-friendly cooking class that teaches them how to make organic baby food at home or to prepare complete meals using only one pot, perfect for new moms and dads on the go.

Trump International Hotel & Tower New York
Would you expect anything less from the hotel that hosted a royal wedding breakfast? Enjoy a two-night stay, a 60-minute massage (prenatal for mom and a classic massage for your partner), daily in-room breakfast or breakfast at Nougatine by Jean-Georges, a twice-daily selection of special teas, smoothies and mocktails, prenatal pillows form the Trump Pillow Menu placed in-room prior to arrival, a $1,000 gift card to Neiman Marcus, also usable at Bergdorf Goodman, a $1,000 gift card to FAO Schwarz for baby goodies, and a $1,000 gift card to Ivanka Trump Fine Jewelry, usable online and at the SoHo boutique – perhaps for a push present? Rates start at $6,000.Royal Palms Resort & Spa
Relax and refresh with this rather affordable escape bearing a “royal” name. Their Babymoon Bliss “Mini” Package. Enjoy overnight accommodations, in-room dining, a cigar and Congac for the dad-to-be, a prenatal massage for mom and a therapeutic massage for dad. Rates start at $521.

The Waldorf Astoria, New York
In keeping with the “royal” tradition, the hotel is offering a special luxe package in addition to their standard babymoon offerings (which start at just under $1,000 for a one-night stay). This package includes accommodations in the historic and opulent Royal Suite (the former residence of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor) and a day of customized pampering at hotel’s Guerlain Spa. Guests enjoy an overnight in the two-bedroom Royal Suite, a couple’s spa service with mocktails and milkshakes, a duet personal training session with a private Pilates instructor and breakfast in bed for $10,800.

[Photo courtesy Ritz-Carlton Reserve]

Win a legendary golf outing from Hilton HHonors

Are you a golf fan looking for an epic escape with your buddies this year? Than you’ll definitely want to enter the Legendary Golf Getaway contest from Hilton HHonors, which could send you and seven of your closest friends, on a once in a lifetime golf outing.

The contest, which launched last week, will award one lucky winner a fantastic prize that will take them, along with their guests, to one of three Waldorf Astoria Resorts for four days of fantastic golf. The grand prize includes airfare for eight, lodging at the resort, complimentary tee times for three rounds of golf, and a clinic with the local pro. They’re even throwing in a $5000 Hilton Worldwide gift card and 100,000 Hilton HHonors points for the winner and 50,000 points for each of the guests.

The three resort options that are available to the winner include The La Quinta Resort & Club located in California, The Boulders, A Waldorf Astoria Resort in Arizona, or the Waldorf Astoria Orlando in Florida. Each of these locations offers a world class golf course to challenge players and plenty of fantastic fun while away from the course as well.

The contest runs through September 5th with a grand prize winner being selected a few weeks later. Six first prizes will also be awarded as well, with those prizes consisting of a TaylorMade R11 Driver and 50,000 Hilton HHonors bonus points.

To enter the contest click here, and then start pairing down your guest list to the lucky seven you’ll take along on this legendary golf outing.

[Photo courtesy Fevi Yu via WikiMedia]

President in the presidential suite – at the Waldorf Astoria

Where’s the president? The presidential suite. At the Waldorf-Astoria.

Every president since Herbert Hoover (who lived in a Tower suite for 30 years) has stayed in the presidential suite at New York’s Waldorf Astoria, and this week, Obama added his name to the legacy, along with two-dozen other heads of state for the 64th United Nations General Assembly. Insider and former executive chef John Doherty dishes about the commander-in-chief’s visit to ABC News here.

According to USA Today, George W Bush “was fitted by Italian clothier Brioni for the suits worn at the debates with Sen. John Kerry” in the very same suite — and it also happens to contain one of JFK’s rocking chairs and General Douglas MacArthur’s writing desk.

The suite includes four bedrooms, and the hotel hand-monograms towels for the first lady and president (whomever they may be at the time) when they visit.

For $7,000 per night, you too can sleep where Obama, Nikita Khrushchev and General Charles de Gaulle, and all your favorite presidents slept. No word on whether “Obama was here” is inscribed in the bedpost. I’m guessing no. Click here to book.

[via abcnews]

The Waldorf-Astoria kindly requests that you dress up for a trip to their Starbucks

The Waldorf-Astoria may be one of the few remaining hotels with a bit of class. Even a stroll through their lobby requires guests to leave the tank top, faded jeans, cut-offs and casual hats at home. This is after all the hotel where the rich, famous and royal often spend their time in New York.

But what about popping downstairs for a tall caramel latte at Starbucks? Forget it – even patrons of Starbucks need to show some class. Coffee at the Waldorf-Astoria requires you to adhere to a “smart casual” dress code.

Oyster hotel reviews points out
that the dress code for Starbucks is stricter than the award winning Oscar’s Brasserie, where you can dine on Eggs Benedict and a Waldorf Salad (both invented at the Waldorf-Astoria).

Thankfully, the staff at the Starbucks were never briefed on the dress code they are expected to enforce, so until they get that memo, feel free to pop in for your caffeine fix wearing your slippers and tacky t-shirt.


Business travelers lead the downward spiral

Thank the recession. In particular, thank the business travelers. These guys are the backbone of the travel industry, racking up thousands of dollars in expenses a week, filling planes and paying full price because they don’t have a choice. I spent five years gripped by that lifestyle, and I don’t miss it. But, I did learn who keeps the travel market afloat, and it’s not you (and it’s not me anymore). Since these guys aren’t spending as much money as they did a year or two ago, everyone is suffering.

And, you could benefit from all this.

Hotels and airlines are offering fantastic deals right now in large part because the business travelers aren’t checking in the way they used to. An AP reporter, for example, nabbed a room at the Waldorf Astoria in Palm Springs, CA for $130 a night (including taxes). Oh, and it was the “Spa Villa.”

So, how bad is it? Smith Travel research pegs occupancy at North American hotels at 52.3 percent, down 10.3 percent from a year ago. Hotels’ average daily rates were down 3.3 percent on average, to $101.84. Hotels are half full (or, half empty?), and rooms aren’t fetching as much.

If you think it could be worse, it is. The real number that hotels watch is REVPAR – revenue per available room. Basically, take all the money a hotel pulls in for a day and divide it by the total number of rooms in the hotel (not just the rooms that are occupied). After all, every room – occupied or not – represents a chance for the hotel to make money. So, the true test of its performance is how well a property is doing relative to its entire inventory. This is the number by which hotels live and die.

It’s down 13.3 percent to $53.28.

So, if you expect Monty Hall to be at the front desk, you won’t be disappointed. They need to make a deal, and you stand to win big. As always, there is a catch. You may have to pay for your room before your trip and submit to draconian cancellation terms. If you can’t stomach such words as “non-refundable,” this market is made for you.