Story by Sandra Williams-Hervé
TORONTO, ONTARIO — Parked in front of a women’s change-room locker, I gleefully don a white terrycloth robe in anticipation of a well-deserved massage. I turn my body slightly, which is all it takes to catch the eye of a ginger-haired spa patron. At 30 weeks there’s no way of hiding this ever-growing baby bump of mine.
“Honey, know this, expect your life to be turned upside down — but also expect to feel the greatest love of all,” she says sweetly while draping her body with a robe.
Wisdom can be thrust upon us at the most unexpected times and places.
The words I received underscored why it’s important for expectant parents to connect with one another and to pamper themselves before their new pint-sized boss arrives. How do you accomplish this feat? Go on a babymoon, the catchy term given to that getaway you take before the addition to your household arrives.
Fortunately, more and more hotels, including Toronto’s Ritz-Carlton, offer luxurious packages to meet the needs of couples who are knocking on parenthood’s door.
From the moment I enter the modern high-rise splendour in Toronto’s Financial District, I’m ushered to an oasis of unadulterated relaxation.
Before my husband, Sébastien, and I partake in our treatments, we need to see our accommodations. The Ritz-Carlton Toronto does not disappoint. Not only is our room immaculate, it is complete with a built-in television screen in the bathroom (perfect for those who don’t want to miss a thing) and features a breathtaking view of the CN Tower.
A white and gold bag is strategically placed on our desk, inviting me to inspect what’s inside. Jackpot! Hotel swag. Turns out each babymoon package at the Ritz includes a gift for parents-to-be. While I love the Clarins Stretch Mark Control and the journal for our baby’s first year, it’s the navy blue Ritz-Carlton onesie that just melts my heart.
Babymoon Treats from the Ritz-Carlton Toronto
Moments later Sébastien and I make our way to Spa My Blend by Clarins on the hotel’s fifth floor to have our respective treatments. I opt for a 60-minute prenatal massage. Given that this is my first — but certainly not my last — prenatal massage I am unsure of what to expect. My masseuse reassures that I am in for a soothing experience. Once inside the treatment room I’m invited to try a pregnancy pillow, which would allow me to lie on my stomach. My eyes light up at the possibility. It seems like it’s been a century since I last laid prone. Unfortunately, I pillow is not as comfortable as I hoped. Instead, I lay on my side and at a 90-degree angle for my treatment.
Mamas, if you’re uncomfortable — don’t be afraid to speak up. It’s the only way to guarantee you will reap the benefits of a full-body massage. To enhance my experience I upgrade my treatment with an intoxicating hazelnut-based, citrus amara leaf oil that helps to combat water retention.
Meanwhile, Sébastien is enjoying a 30-minute sports manicure, which is part of the Blokes and Beer package. This men’s therapy treatment is definitely worth the splurge. The $340 treatment includes a facial, sports manicure and a post-treatment bottle of Mill Street Organic lager while chillin’ out in the Gentlemen’s Lounge.
Getting rubbed and preened can certainly work up an appetite so we make our way to the Ritz-Carlton Club Level for a complimentary culinary snack, which is available throughout the day. When 5 pm rolls by darkness fills in the Toronto skyline. For some it would be easy to fret about the winding down of a glorious day, but not us. We’re basking in the glow of our special time together, awaiting what we know will be a brighter tomorrow.
More About the Ritz-Carlton’s Babymoon Package in Toronto
Location: 181 Wellington Street West, Toronto, ON (see map below)
Babymoon Price: Starting at $630, this getaway package includes a deluxe room for one night, breakfast for two at TOCA, $300 daily spa credit, and is valid until August 2013.