I distinctly remember when I was pregnant with my first son, and the detailed thought that went into planning my babymoon. I was so tired. I was so sore. I was so ready for a break! The babymoon had to be perfect!
Now that my third is due to make his arrival any time soon, I look back at the me of six years ago and laugh (read: cry) at her naivety. I thought that was tired?
As we all know, true exhaustion belongs to the mothers of babies, the parents of toddlers, the mums of school children who manage to be inflicted with every cold/sore leg/thirst/pain in the tummy when the sun goes down. Those doing it all while also enduring the challenges of pregnancy? They are the women who deserve a true babymoon. In other words? Me.
Which is why I couldn’t pack my bags fast enough to head to the beautiful Bells at Killcare for their two-night babymoon experience.
Located just 90 minutes outside of Sydney, nestled within the spectacular Bouddi Peninsula, driving into Bells is akin to being welcomed to a world of relaxation. The elegant Hamptons design, acreage of manicured grounds and just-slow-enough pace has a way of inducing all of the feel-good hormones.
The accommodation at Bells is made up of luxury suites and cottages, and upon arrival in our garden villa, I informed my husband that I would not be leaving. The lush king bed, oversized bathroom (complete with gold bath tub) and roaring fireplace made for a compelling case to stay put. Topped off by the array of current magazines, Indigenous Australian bath products and hand-delivered charcuterie board, if it weren’t for my imminent spa treatment, I would have stayed horizontal for the entirety of my stay.
Speaking of spa, this is not one to be missed. Drawing on the surrounds of the Bouddi National Park, the Bells Day Spa has been created to provide complete mind, body and spirit relaxation, using Australian products that are focused on holistic care for both beauty and overall wellness.
My husband and I were both treated to a Kodo massage, which is rhythmic body massage inspired by traditional Australian Aboriginal techniques that work to bring the body back into balance. Complete with an Aboriginal smoking ceremony, it was the ultimate way to kick off the weekend, as we floated out feeling simultaneously relaxed and rejuvenated.
While finding “things to do” is not on the top of the priority list on a babymoon, Bells provides an array of appropriate activities for expecting mothers. Whether it’s lying by the pool with a book (which we did, regularly), taking time out in their luscious lounge rooms, or exploring the local area with truly breathtaking coastal walks, Bells manages to strike a perfect balance between keeping busy in the most restorative, relaxing of ways. A particular highlight of our stay was a morning coastal walk, where we were blown away by uninterrupted views of the ocean, completely secluded beaches and an abundance of wildflowers and wildlife. With the option to have a gourmet picnic hamper packed by the Bells kitchen team, and to be personally chauffeured back to the hotel after arriving on Killcare Beach, this was the type of bushwalking I could get used to.
It would seem an injustice to name a highlight at Bells, but if forced, I would have to say it’s the food.
World-renowned for their authentic Italian cuisine, Executive Chef Dean Jones hails from London’s River Café, and the pride and passion in every ingredient is completely evident from the breakfasts through to the degustation dinners. While seated in the Manor House’s alfresco balcony, we overlooked the immaculate gardens as we enjoyed some of the most delectable meals that showcased produce from the property’s vegetable garden, as well many local producers, suppliers and growers. My husband was in heaven with wagyu rump from the north-east of Victoria (and is still talking about the accompanying cured tomato), while I delighted in homemade rigatoni with cuttlefish, nduja and pangrattato. The Bells babymoon package includes a three-course meal at the restaurant, and so of course, any and all pregnancy cravings can be satisfied by their equally delicious dessert menu, featuring the likes of a baked chocolate tart with passionfruit sorbetti and mango.
Waddling the short distance back to our villa after our meals at Bells, we could retreat to our bed where not only were there no little heads vying for space on our pillows, but a selection of thousands of movies to watch from bed. For a pregnant woman, this must be the definition of bliss.
Heading back home after our stay at Bells was bittersweet – with a deep aching to see my two little boys again, combined with a longing to stay in the resort forever.
I left feeling completely calm, centred and ready for the adventure ahead. And while I don’t think I could manage another pregnancy to warrant a trip back to Bells, I’m ready to begin campaigning for a new-mother’s-getaway to restore the batteries again. Who is keen to join me?