Holidays are never going to be the same again!
The end of the first trimester generally signals the end of nausea-infused mornings and you can start enjoying your pregnancy. This is the best time to travel before motherhood starts. For first-time parents, your babymoon is even more special, knowing holidays are never going to be the same again. Take this time to relax and spend some quality time with your partner.
It should go without saying, but be sure to check in with your doctor or healthcare provider before making your travel plans. While we haven’t heard a lot about Zika in the past few years, the World Health Organisation still has advisory warnings for many countries in South East Asia and you should also be aware of other mosquito-borne diseases (like dengue and malaria).
Here’s our roundup of some of the best babymoon destinations in the region and our pick of a few interesting resorts.
Let your babymoon be your excuse to get packing for the islands of Thailand. Known for its warmth and hospitality, you can never go wrong with Thailand as your holiday destination.
Islands and Beaches
After an easy direct flight from Hong Kong you will be sipping mocktails overlooking the Andaman Sea. For the best weather, head to the west coast (Phuket, Krabi, Khao Lak and Koh Phi Phi) from December to May, or to Koh Samui anytime between December and August.
If you want to enjoy your babymoon with style and wellness, look no further than an island escape at Four Seasons Resort Koh Samui’s Private Retreats. These luxurious 2 to 4 bedroom villas offer panoramic ocean views from the private infinity pool, al fresco dining pavilions and a live-in butler to take care of all your needs. The resort has also set aside a special dining experience – Once in a Blue Moon – where you will enjoy an unforgettable night of oceanside romance with your partner.
We all know about the food cravings of pregnant mamas and Four Seasons is taking care of that by promising you a private chef! This phase of your life is all about being healthy, and you will get the chance to enjoy the ancient Thai wellness traditions (with healing native herbs and spices) at the Secret Garden Spa. You also get a credit of THB 2,000 daily towards resort food and beverage charges or treatments in the spa. It’s a great time to be pregnant as the Private Retreats packages are currently on offer at the Four Seasons Koh Samui till December 2020!
With just 12 exclusive pool villas, nestled around a private lagoon, and a stone’s throw from Bangtao Beach, Banyan Tree Spa Sanctuary is the perfect babymoon escape. Take advantage of over 50 wellness activities to truly rejuvenate before baby arrives.
One of Phuket’s most renowned and exclusive resorts, Trisara has access to a pristine private beach on the Andaman Sea, that’s if you can tear yourself away from your luxury pool villa! Villas occupy prime position on the lush, terraced hillsides with views to the western horizon, perfect for soaking up the sunset over the Andaman Sea. Foodies should be sure to book a table at the hotel’s restaurant PRU, the only Michelin-starred restaurant in Phuket.
For barefoot luxury look no further than Zeavola on Koh Phi Phi. This eco-resort is for those looking to unplug and reconnect. What better way to do that than on a tropical island? Choose to stay in a garden suite nestled amongst the rainforest, or in one of the beachfront or pool villa suites for stunning views.
Indulge with a stay at the intimate villas of Six Senses Samui. Panoramic infinity pools overlook the Gulf of Thailand when you want to relax at the resort, or when you want to explore a bit further afield you can choose from island hopping, snorkelling or Thai cooking classes. The ultimate way to unwind!
Tucked into the rice terraces, a stay at the Four Seasons Chiang Mai offers relaxation for those who prefer the cooler, rolling, green hills to the sand. At the restaurants, you can dine on meals whipped up with produce from the organic garden (or take a cooking class to learn from the experts). Take some time out for yourself with the yoga and pilates classes on offer or simply relax with your loved ones.
Four Seasons Resort, 502 Moo 1, Mae Rim-Samoeng Old Road, Chiang Mai, Thailand, +66 53 298 181, www.fourseasons.com/chiangmai
When you want to have a relaxing resort (by the river no less), but also quick access to get out and explore, the Anantara can’t be beaten. The luxury resort sits on the riverfront in Chiang Mai, in an exclusive neighbourhood near the famous Night Bazaar. Explore by day and retreat to your little oasis at night. The best of both worlds!
Read more: How To Have A Fuss-Free Holiday In Koh Samui
Located between Hanoi in the North and Ho Chi Minh City in the South, Da Nang is the third-largest city in Vietnam and popular not only for its shopping and historical landmarks but also for its proximity to the China Beach, Lang Co Beach, Hoi An and My Son. The best time to visit Danang is between May and October so if you are lucky to be able to travel around this time, these resorts are wonderful options.
This 5-star resort is Asia’s first all-inclusive spa hotel. This means that all spa treatments are included in the room rate. Breakfast can be served any time and place, so your day literally starts when you want it to. If you are looking for an exclusive spa vacation, Fusion Maia resort is just right. Incidentally, it’s the only resort in the area that offers private pool villas. The resort is ideally located 15 minutes from the airport and only 10 minutes from Da Nang city centre.
From the moment you arrive at this award-winning resort, you’ll be treated like royalty. Prepare for some serious pampering, personalised service and luxurious amenities at your fingertips. Take your pick from classic rooms, to pool villas and suites, all with stunning ocean views.
Phu Quoc Island
If your second trimester falls from November to March and you still want a Vietnamese beach break then look at Phu Quoc Island for your tropical getaway. Just a short flight from Saigon (or try the new direct flights from HK on Vietjet) and you’ll be revelling in this island paradise.
Enjoy lazy days by the pool, snorkel straight from the beach or take one of the glass-bottomed kayaks out on the calm turquoise waters. This resort blends seamlessly with the natural landscapes and the sunsets are not to be missed. For prime sunset viewing head out to the Rock Bar in the late afternoon for a mocktail and relaxed vibes.
Part of the boutique M Gallery collection by Sofitel, expect beautiful colonial architecture that will remind you of an old mansion by the French seaside. With immaculate tropical gardens, a stunning stretch of sand and a pool overlooking the ocean, you won’t want to leave!
Choose from a range of rooms and suites, all complete with canopied four-poster beds for mosquito safety, or for the ultimate indulgence (it is your babymoon after all!), upgrade to an Ocean View Villa.
The Maldives is a popular Honeymoon destination so why not make it your babymoon destination? It enjoys tropical weather conditions and any time of the year is a good time to visit this little piece of heaven on earth. Plus, once you have kids, those overwater bungalows present a bit of a safety hazard, so best to go ahead and indulge now!
The Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, Maldives, is an exclusive, romantic island surrounded by the clear blue waters of one of the largest lagoons of the Maldives. This award-winning resort reflects the island’s pristine natural beauty, with the special Jiva Grande Spa offering authentic Indian spa treatments and a range of wellness experiences designed to nourish your body. The resort is only a 15-minute ride away from Malé International Airport.
Taj Exotica Resort and Spa,
The island resort of Anantara Veli is yet another magical property in the Maldives where you can actually stay in an overwater bungalow and marvel at the sea life swimming below you. The Anantara Garden Spa is famous for its range of soothing treatments for the body and mind. The resort is 35-minutes from Malé International Airport.
Read more: Top Five Maldives Local Islands For Families
Bali is a favourite for many Hong Kongers. With an easy direct flight and countless accommodation options, Bali can make for a great babymoon destination. Here are some hotels and resorts with different things to offer, depending on what you are looking for.
Perched atop the cliffs of stunning Uluwatu, The Clubhouse at Ulu offers just seven exclusive suites named and styled for the famous surf breaks around the area (even if hitting the surf isn’t quite what you’ll be getting up to while pregnant!). Take advantage of having direct access to Bali’s coolest beach club, Cliffhouse, home to Cliff Restaurant, Cliff Bar and the ocean Deck.
Ubud is Bali’s art and cultural hub and lies amidst lush green paddy fields with a laid back and warm vibe. The Samara is cut off from the rest of Ubud. From the resort, you can visit the Seniwati Gallery of Art by Women, Ubud Monkey Forest, the Ubud Royal Palace and Puri Lukisan Museum.
At the resort, you can lounge around in the comfort of your room or take the hotel shuttle to the nearest beach. The Samara has only six rooms and has a very private feel. Children under the age of 12 are not allowed so you can get some peace and quiet before your life becomes about nappies and romper suits.
Canggu is a favourite location for those going to Bali to escape the crowds and soak up the laid back cafe scene and beachside vibes. COMO Uma Canggu is the perfect place to base yourself in the area with stylish accommodation and access to one of Bali’s best beaches. Choose to spend your days at the buzzing beach club, or nurture your wellbeing at the COMO Shambhala Retreat.
For those who are craving a beach escape, but don’t want to travel anywhere with the slightest hint of Zika, there are still tropical options reasonably close to Hong Kong.
With short direct flights (to Naha or Ishigaki), incredible safety and friendly locals, Okinawa ticks all the boxes for a babymoon. Billed as the “Hawaii of Japan” you’ll feel a world away from Hong Kong. Instead, find yourself snorkelling in crystal clear waters with tropical fish, sea turtles and graceful manta rays.
It would be rude not to mention that the people in Okinawa are amongst those with the longest life expectancies in the world. There must be something in the water – or the food! Try out local delicacies like rafute (Okinawan pork belly), local soba noodles, fresh seafood and umibudo (sea grapes, a type of local seaweed).
The Whitsundays Islands, Australia
Qualia is located on the northern tip of Hamilton Island, surrounded by the stunning Great Barrier Reef. Facilities include spa treatments, world-class dining, boating, snorkelling and golf. Not to mention, the glorious white sand, warm sun and blue skies that seem to go on forever and are perfect for romantic walks at sunset while it’s still just the two of you.
To get to Hayman Island Resort you’ll need to take a ferry (or helicopter or seaplane). Once you arrive you’ll be treated to a stay at one of Australia’s most iconic island resorts. Spend your days relaxing poolside, or head out on a sailing adventure to glorious Whitehaven Beach.
To get to the Whitsundays you’ll need to fly first to Sydney or Brisbane and then connect to Hamilton Island or Proserpine Airports.
Seoul, South Korea
Seoul is a great city break; you’ve got bright neon lights and a bustling atmosphere, but it is also incredibly safe, clean and well-organised.
Eat your way around the city and indulge in some classic Korean food while you are there. Try out Korean barbecue and fried chicken along with tasty noodle and rice dishes too. Koreans also love a theme and you’ll find everything from cat cafes to coffee shops with sheep roaming the patio (yep, you read that correctly)! There’s something to please everyone.
Accommodation options are endless in the big city but aim to base yourself in the city centre around Jongno, Myeongdong or Chungmunro for easy access to all attractions.
Walking down the immaculately clean sidewalks of Tokyo can be a welcome relief after dodging Hong Kong’s many carts and air-con drips. You’ll want to take advantage by strolling through Cat Street, where you can find some cool shops and little places to eat (gyoza, anyone?). Whether you want to have idyllic walks through the Imperial Palace gardens followed by a massage or a shop ’til you drop experience (check out Ginza and Shinjuku) followed by karaoke, you will find something suited to your tastes. And as far as food goes, skipping sushi won’t be a hardship – there are so many other delicious options (ramen, yakitori, tempura, soba… the list is long!). We suggest you rely on your hotel’s concierge to point you in the right direction for where to eat and have them write out addresses in Japanese so you can use a taxi without language issues.
Active future parents looking for an adventurous babymoon to remember should book their flights to Bhutan. Journey to Paro for scenic vistas over the Himalayas and hike to Tiger’s Nest Monastery. This sacred Buddhist site sits perched amongst the lofty cliffs and the only way in is to hike (be sure to take your time, Mama-to-be). You’ll be rewarded with breath-taking views and an insight into this unique mountain kingdom’s culture.
The only way to visit Bhutan is on an organised tour but note that the country limits the number of tourists at any one time. This is actually a great thing as it means the industry is highly regulated by the Tourism Council to focus on “High Value, Low Impact.” Be sure to check its website for up-to-date lists of licensed tour operators.
There are all levels of accommodation in Bhutan, from basic budget guesthouses to luxury properties. If you have the means, plan for a night or two at the COMO Uma Paro for wellness and relaxation, or the Taj Tashi in Thimpu for its luxurious rooms and sweeping mountain views.
We love Sri Lanka for so many reasons, including the fantastic food, amazing scenery and friendly locals. There is an incredible amount to do in the country, but luckily lots of the main attractions are not too far away from each other. You can be hiking through tea country in the morning, getting up close and personal with elephants in the afternoon and sipping drinks by the beach after dinner. On a Sri Lankan babymoon you can have it all – adventure, activities AND a romantic beach break.
As much as we all like to travel, sometimes it just isn’t possible to get away. Whether you’ve left it too late in your pregnancy to fly or are just looking for a few days to relax closer to home, there are some great options right here in Hong Kong and Macau.
You’ll be hard-pressed to leave the grand views over Kowloon Peak or Victoria Harbour enjoyed from your spacious room at the Rosewood in Tsim Sha Tsui. If you can tear yourself away, it would only be to enjoy the luxurious Asaya spa or for a dip in the 25-metre outdoor pool (also with panoramic harbour views). Of course, you’ll need to eat, so the Butterfly Room is an excellent option for afternoon tea while the hotel’s other restaurants are also sure to impress.
Looking for luxury without leaving Hong Kong Island? The St. Regis opened its doors on the waterfront in Wan Chai in April 2019 and is certainly making an impression. The 27-storey tower is home to 129 guest rooms (all with a personal butler), along with gourmet Chinese and French restaurants headed by Michelin-starred chefs. To take advantage of the full foodie scene, start your stay with an indulgent afternoon tea in The Drawing Room and follow it up with a carefully crafted mocktail in The St. Regis Bar while relaxing with some live jazz. You’ll love the opulent grandeur that greets you as you enter the hotel, but also appreciate the nods to iconic Hong Kong heritage – the gas street lamps from Duddell Street and the colonial columns from the old Wan Chai police station both make an appearance.
Grand Coloane Resort
For a beach escape without the flight look no further than the Grand Coloane Resort. Macau’s only beachfront resort is just 10 minutes away from the action on the Cotai Strip. Escape the hustle and bustle of Hong Kong, relax on the beach or by the pool and then stroll down to grab an authentic Portuguese meal at family favourite Fernandos.
Read more: Hong Kong Staycations: Easy Summer Getaways
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on 17, August 2017 and updated on 13, September 2019 by Jess Mizzi.
Featured image courtesy of Getty, image 1 courtesy of Four Seasons Koh Samui, image 2 courtesy of Intercontinental Danang, image 3 courtesy of Maldives Surf Photographer – Hupa Ibrahim via Indulge Maldives, image 4 courtesy of The Clubhouse at ulu, image 5 courtesy of Horst Müller via Pixabay, image 6 courtesy of Brady Bellini on Unsplash, image 7 courtesy of Adli Wahid on Unsplash, image 8 courtesy of Florian Wehde via Unsplash.