Jennifer and Craig Ruckert, a very attractive 30 something couple were sitting in front of a terrific fire, enjoying some great cheeses and local wines, a regular pre-dinner ritual at the Tidewater Inn, in the laid back, classy Connecticut shore town of Madison.
Except Jennifer wasn’t drinking wine. She was nursing a sparkling-something drink because she’s pregnant with the couple’s first child.
“This is a special weekend for us,” she said. “This is the weekend we pick a name for our baby, and probably the last time Craig and I will have alone together for a long time. Just the two of us, no stress and no intrusions.”
The special weekend, called a Babymoon is the brainchild of innkeeper and Tidewater owner, Victoria Kolyvas. ” Look,” she said, stoking the fire in the comfortable common room, ” pregnancy can be very stressful! The questions from friends and family, the exams, the preparation. I just wanted to do something special for expecting parents.”
And she did.
Her Babymoon package offers two or more nights at the inn, complimentary non-alcoholic bubbly, hand-crafted chocolates, a gift certificate for dinner and special gifts for the mother-to-be.
In Jennifer’s case, the special gift was a pair of hand-crocheted baby booties which Victoria made ( while having her car serviced), and Jennifer loved.
This Babymoon package also came with a maternity gown with lip gloss, mirror….”It was wonderful,” Jennifer said, “It made me feel so special.”
Kolyvas is known in inn keeping circles for her low-key but imaginative approach to the business of satisfying and surprising guests.
On Christmas morning, guests find stockings filled with fun things outside their rooms, and a breakfast festooned in red and green foods, like a cranberry coffee cake and a red pudding flecked with green parsley.
For Craig Ruckert, Kolyvas’ efforts to set up a couple’s massage at one of the holistic spas was just great. ” We haven’t had a couple’s massage,” he laughed, “since we were married. It meant so much to us.”
Jennifer first read about Babymoons in the newspaper and searched the Internet until she found the package at Tidewater. The phone chat with Kolyvas clinched the deal. “She was so understanding, so sweet….”
The trends to unique, specialized packages is the lifeblood of small inns and B and B’s. They’re flexible enough to tack with the times and address travelers’ needs, says Marti Mayne, marketing professional for the industry.
“More and more people are seeking that last escape before the baby comes. Innkeepers have put their creativity to work offering Babymoons filled with opportunities for R&R and amenities for parents to be. This is just the kind of niche packaging that sets innkeepers apart from hotel and motel owners, offering an opportunity for travelers to discover B&Bs are the better way to stay.”
For the couple, the best thing about the Babymoon seems to be the uninterrupted time together. “So many good things will come from this weekend,” they said. ” It’s helping us prepare for parenthood.”