When Kate Middleton and Prince William announced their engagement, the world rejoiced. In America and elsewhere, people wore their best dresses and hats and watched the ceremony live on TV. So when Kate announced her pregnancy, the world celebrated once again. Businesses throughout the UK also joined the festivities, with many luxury hotels riding the tide with pregnancy treatments, babymoon getaways and, for those with children, regal family packages. If you’re considering a babymoon or a family break in London — or in the British countryside, the lanes of Florence, Italy or the greens of County Clare in Ireland — and think an expectant mom or one already hard at work deserves the royal treatment, read on.
Dukes St. James London
Dukes, St. James London
SW1A 1NY United Kingdom
+44 (0)207 491 4840
Dukes is located in the center of the city so it’s not that far from Buckingham Palace where you can see the Changing of Guard Ceremony, Hamleys world famous toy store, take a ride on the London eye, or watch show at West End. And to make it even more kid-friendly, this hotel is offering a Mini Dukes and Duchesses Package. Parents can book any room or suite (penthouse excluded) and get a second children’s room free. (The child had to be 16 or younger.) With the Dukes and Duchesses offer, kids under 6 will receive a “cuddly” DUKES dog toy while older kids receive a story book on their pillows for bedtime. Kids will be invited to a special Mini Afternoon Tea where kids 8 and younger can dress up like a Duke or Duchess. In addition, there is a 24-hour kids’ concierge, and child-size slippers and Playstation games in each room. And in honor of Prince George, Dukes is offering a special drink served at Dukes bar: HRH Baby Cocktail. Rates start from £468 or $700 for a family of four.
Park Lane, Mayfair, London
+44 20 7629 8888
If you have more than one child in tow, book the Family Time deal which will give you two rooms for the price of one when you stay any time from Friday to Monday nights. You will enjoy a bottle of champagne upon arrival, special children’s amenities, and English breakfast for the entire family. Among the many unique activities that can be arranged by the staff, the kids’ beds can be made up with custom-made tents and they can be guided to Dorchester’s Back of the House, including the kitchens, and meet the chef. After the tour, families can enjoy time at Hyde Park where they can ride horses or feed ducks. For older kids, the hotel is within easy access to London’s most exclusive shopping streets such as New Bond street, Old Bond Street and Knightsbridge. For a new mom treat, the Dorchester Spa is offering the Pregnancy Massage and Nurturing Cocoon treatments for expectant mothers, after the 12th week, and for nursing moms. The massages are very different from one another — the pregnancy massage relieves any stress and strains, while the nurturing cocoon mostly focuses on skin rejuvenation and exfoliating — both are year round offerings at this well known spa. The Family Time deal rates start at £486 and £3,198 for a suite.
Coworth Park, Blacknest Rd.
Ascot, Berkshire SL5 7SE
+44 1344 876 600
Coworth Park is a five-star hotel located in Berkshire parkland in Ascot which is ideal for families who want to stay active indoors and out during their vacation. It may not be horse racing season, but Ascot appeals year round because of Windsor Great Park, the river Thames, and the golf courses nearby. Coworth offers spa treatments for mothers before and after pregnancy that aim to make moms feel relaxed and rejuvenated; each one lasts 65 minutes and costs £95. Another option is Spa Day for Mother which includes a back and foot massage, plus a Hot to Trot Pedicure. Families staying for two nights can get an exclusive look and first-hand experience of royal life when they book the Royal Package. Receive English breakfast and afternoon tea and be transported to and from Windsor, feed the Queen’s Swans, and get a riding or Polo lesson. Their midweek Family Time package, more modestly priced, includes two hotel rooms and breakfast, from £594.
Vicolo dell’Oro, 6r
50123 Florence – Italy
+39 055 27262
Located in Florence, this luxury hotel welcomes parents-to-be and offers them a chance to relax before the big day. Baby Moon gives moms-to-be Sublime Feet, a relaxing foot massage and pedicure, while dads get “Classic Body” massage. Daily buffet is included with late or early check-in and check out and VIP treatment upon arrival. The hotel is just steps from the Ponte Vecchio and the Arno River. Guests can spend the afternoons taking in the sites from riding the antique carousel in Piazza della Repubblica to taking a guided tour of the Ponte Vecchio to hear about its rich history with the Medici family. Here are some of FTF’s suggestions for other family attractions in Florence.
The Lodge at Doonbeg
011 353 65 90 55600
The Lodge at Dooenberg
Doonbeg, County Clare, Ireland
This five-star luxury resort on the coast of County Clare, Ireland will have moms-to-be relaxed and feeling rejuvenated. The spa offers four different treatments that aim to soothe sore feet, increase skin elasticity, and prevent stretch marks. For bigger families, the Lodge at Doonbeg has many packages that can range from family horse-back riding to surf lessons to playing golf. Two night rates including breakfast and activities such a fishing or horseback riding, or even cooking classes, begin at US$340. FTF also has suggestions on what to do in County Clare and a fun video in Spanish.
Forunately for families, many of these packages will be maintained at offered at school breaks or other holiday periods, so check the websites mentioned.
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