A Wellness-Inspired Babymoon

Babymoon: a search of this term will turn up images of bikini-clad bellies lounging on tropical beaches. And while I'm always in favor of a beach day, I never imagined myself babymooning with a mocktail in hand. In fact, I never imagined myself babymooning at all.

But with a 2-month countdown to my due date and the busy holiday season filling our calendar, my husband and I decided that, yes, we really did want to escape for a few quiet days together pre-baby. It could be our last chance for a long time! We wanted a getaway that wasn't as elaborate as an island vacation, and not quite as simple as an overnight stay in a bed and breakfast;  a spot where we could feel relaxed, pampered and a bit off the grid. The Lodge at Woodloch was the perfect choice for a 2-night 'Babymoon Escape' stay. Woodloch is a destination spa in a quiet wooded area in Northeast Pennsylvania, about 2 hours from New York City, and 3 hours from Philadelphia.


Every window at Woodloch has a wooded view.

If staying at a spa sounds a bit too fancy for your tastes, let me explain further. Woodloch has the feel of a grownups-only wilderness lodge, where relaxation and wellness is the top priority. It's actually very chill and unpretentious (feel free to enter the dining room in your spa robe if you like!).

While the cost is considerable, a stay at Woodloch includes a ton of extras- from classes to spa amenities to 3 meals a day (and the food is fantastic). Woodloch's dining room has beautiful forest and lake views, and you choose each meal from a menu brimming with fresh, healthily prepared dishes including plenty of vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options. It was such a treat to have delicious, healthy meals prepared for us— the way we'd eat at home, with zero effort! A surprising favorite was tofu glazed with maple syrup, served over a sweet quinoa, edamame, cranberry and squash dish (pictured below). I looked forward to the fresh juices served with breakfast, and the daily lunch buffet of soup and a variety of salads.

Lunch at Woodloch.

Treating ourselves to decaf lattes and ample time to read the New York Times cover to cover!

If there's one reason you'll love Woodloch, it's the spa facilities— private showers, lounge areas, and pools with scenic views. During pregnancy, I couldn't take advantage of the heated amenities like the amazing steam room, sauna and multiple hot tubs, but the warm indoor pool provided a great spot for me to swim, relax my muscles and feel pleasantly weightless for awhile. My husband, however, tried out all of the amenities, including a beautiful outdoor hot tub that overlooks the wintry Pennsylvania woods.


The warm indoor pool at Woodloch— perfect for moms-to-be. (photo via The Lodge at Woodloch)

Our babymoon package included enough spa credit for us both to get a massage, another highlight. My masseuse, Felicia, didn't hold back on the pressure and was able to relieve some of the back tension that had been building as my belly grew. I only wished she spent the entire 50-minute pre-natal massage working on my back instead of moving on to the rest of my body. After our treatments, the Relaxation Room was quiet and meditative, and we sat as long as we could, sipping tea and letting the peaceful feeling wash over us. During our stay we also enjoyed the diverse offering of classes, (we even tried cooking and painting!), though most of the fitness classes weren't really my speed so far along in my pregnancy. The temps were well below freezing, so we stayed nestled inside, but there were plenty of outdoor trails and activities for the adventurous.

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Plenty of warm nooks to curl up in at Woodloch— we couldn't have been happier about the coziness.

One thing that seemed out of place to me during our stay: the 'Babymoon Escape' package included a 'Cravings Basket' for late night snacking. A fantastic idea, since pregnancy can hit you with intense hunger pangs at odd hours. But the Cravings Basket in our room was actually just a bag of junk food— fun size candy bars, potato chips, lollipops, processed cheese-and-cracker sandwiches and packaged cookies. These aren't snacks I would choose to eat on an average day, least of all when I'm trying to feed my body and developing baby with nutrient-dense meals. I would have been thrilled with a fresh smoothie, a few pieces of fruit, trail mix (even dark chocolate!), but the Cravings Basket was an unusual misstep for Woodloch. I hope that for future moms-to-be, the staff of the Lodge will consider offering healthier snacks (like something off one of their fabulous menus), that  match the lifestyle of wellness that they encourage.

For this little getaway, the woods definitely beat the beach. Rest, relaxation and wellness are my recommendation for any parents-to-be!