For those looking to make one last grownup-only escape, Southern California’s Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa offers plenty of creature comforts and considerations for mothers-to-be. Located 90 miles south of Los Angeles, in the perfectly manicured hamlet of Rancho Santa Fe, the property has 45 acres of well-groomed olive groves, trails and gardens. Beyond the serene setting and privacy (there are just 49 guest casitas on-property, all are suites), here are eight of the top reasons Rancho Valencia makes the perfect wellness-themed babymoon:
1. You don’t have to leave the resort
To really get into the headspace of relaxation and take a break from the outside world, everything onsite is walkable. The only time someone might even think of their car is requesting that valet charge it before check-out on one of the property’s Tesla charging stations. Otherwise the active-but-pregnancy-safe outdoor activities include pickleball, hiking, croquet and bocce. For those allowed by their OB to play tennis, Rancho Valencia has regularly been named the top tennis resort in the US and has 14 courts, including two red clay courts.
2. Top-notch Mommy-to-Be massage
The spa suites themselves might have the same effect on blood pressure as a 30-minute meditation. All are spacious, and the two couples’ spa suites have fireplaces, outdoor showers and soaking tubs and generously sized patios with a seating area. The soothing and restorative prenatal massage itself uses rose quartz stones, prenatal body oil designed to meet the extra skin care needs during pregnancy and contains cocoa butter, rosehip oil, raspberry leaf, lavender and green mandarin oils to calm and uplift. A pregnancy-specific pillow is used so that expecting mothers can safely lay on their stomach for a decadent and therapeutic treatment.
3. Zero-proof beverages at dinner
While the expertly developed wine and spirits list at the Pony Room restaurant may be tempting (they have 100 tequilas alone), a generous selection of zero-proof beer ensures there is no missing out at meals. Non-alcoholic beers include a selection of Athletic Brewing ales, including their Run Wild IPA on draft. Zero-proof mocktails listed on the menu include an herb-spiced, honey-ginger lemonade called the Bee Gee and a Watermelon Fizz with watermelon, lemonade and soda. If something else is desired, the bar team is happy to customize to guest preference and stocks non-alcoholic spirits including Seedlip.
4. Reformer Pilates is included in the room rate
There are multiple reformer Pilates classes offered each day at the fitness center, with only five reformers in the Pilates room for smaller class sizes than most studios offer. Classes range from beginner to advanced, and most instructors can modify for different stages of pregnancy. Guests may want to call in advance to learn which instructors are teaching during their visit dates and booking into classes taught by those with prenatal specialty training.
5. Adults-only pool
Located adjacent to the spa for optimal pre or post-massage lounging, the adults-only pool is a haven of quiet to enjoy what will likely be the last couples-only pool visit for some time. Servers offer poolside lunch and beverages, for those whose partners are imbibing. The area is surrounded by trees and feels like a true escape.
6. Beautiful walk around the property
In between breakfast and Pilates or for an easy stroll before dinner, Rancho Valencia has a trail that winds around the property, past a waterfall and a culinary garden. It’s the perfect low-impact, not-too-far walk to soak in a little nature and movement without necessarily needing to lace up hiking boots. The culinary garden provides seasonal produce for the Pony Room, in a collaboration between Master Gardener Casey Woodall and Executive Chef Alex Bloom.
7. Pregnancy-safe beauty brands at the salon
Southern California makeup brand Lawless is a cult clean-beauty favorite, developed by local San Diego mom Annie Lawless. Much of the line was developed while Annie was pregnant or breastfeeding her daughter, and Rancho Valencia’s spa, including the salon space, underwent a renovation in 2021, and now offers a blowdry bar, manicure and pedicure services as well as makeup application using exclusively Lawless products.
8. You will likely not be the most pregnant woman there
Whether at the pool, at the Pony Room, or walking the trail, pregnant women are all around at Rancho Valencia. Plenty of mothers-to-be will likely be sipping mocktails in the adults-only pool, or practicing early-morning yoga. For those who might be predisposed to feeling even the tiniest bit of self-consciousness at bearing a bump in a bikini or navigating zero-proof beverages at dinner, fear not. The Rancho Valencia babymoon-friendliness is not a secret.