By Bekkah Wright
“Take a babymoon” – this is the directive that should top every “To Do” when prepping for baby’s arrival. Just what is a babymoon? Time for relishing coupledom, reconnecting and, of course, romance. As for amour, we recommend Morocco by way of Palm Springs, California. The destination – Korakia Pensione (www.korakia.com; 1.760.864.6411).
Tucked away in downtown Palm Springs on Patencio Road, Korakia is a veritable oasis blending Moroccan and Mediterranean architectural styles set off by pops of fuchsia-colored bougainvillea. Serving as a backdrop – the San Jacinto Mountains.
As for Korakia’s history, that comes with romance, too. The Moroccan Villa was built in 1924 by Scottish painter Gordon Coutts. Homesick for the years he spent in Tangiers and inspiration he found there, Coutts replicated his experience in Palm Springs. Just across the street is the Mediterranean Villa, with buildings like the Orchard House that date back to 1918.
Between the two properties, there are 28 rooms/suites. Each has its own distinctive style and romantic touches aplenty ranging from deep-soaking bathtubs to four-poster beds. And for convenience, rooms come complete with mini-refrigerators, hotplates, microwaves, dishes and silverware. As for reconnecting, that’s ensured with a decided lack of televisions, radios and other electronic devices. Instead, guests are bestowed with the gift of solitude.
Weekend mornings start with a complimentary yoga workout. Private yoga (including pre-natal yoga) and meditation sessions can also scheduled other days of the week. The perfect follow-up can be had in the main courtyard, where a hot breakfast is served on rustic wooden tables bedecked by checkered tablecloths. Fresh orange juice and coffee join dishes like Huevos Rancheros or pancakes topped with bananas. When lunchtime rolls around, paninis, hummus plates and fresh salads are served up.
Afterwards, downtown Palm Springs can be explored either on foot or via bicycles provided by Korakia. Beyond perusing Palm Springs’ shops and restaurants, allot time to take in the exhibits at the nearby Palm Springs Art Museum.
Requiring a car are treks to Sunnylands, Indian Canyons for a hike, a high-flying ride on Palm Springs Aerial Tramway to the top of Chino Canyon. Another option – wiling way the hours back at Korakia, lounging beside one of the saltwater pools with a vintage book from the library, playing bocce ball or cuddling up for a garden nap on a Moroccan daybed.
Another way to unwind is with a spa treatment. An indoor/outdoor spa lodge is available for this purpose, or treatments can be done en suite. Just right for expectant mothers is the 50- or 80-minute Pregnancy Massage that uses pre-natal techniques to reduce water retention, increase circulation and unwind tight muscles.
Still seeking to get in touch with forthcoming body and life changes? Korakia often host seminars just right for parents-to-be including Soul Arts and Vibrational Child. Oasis for the Soul spiritual retreats are the brainchild of Ronda LaRue, MS. During a three-day workshop, participants set intentions and work towards their goals through elements of meditation, self-reflection, dance, music, dream therapy, art and inner healing. Nancy Bevers’ Vibrational Child seminar tackles issues such as prepping for a pleasurable birth, energy techniques for relating to baby, communication about upcoming changes both with partner and baby’s siblings and how to manage life once baby has arrived.
As if it weren’t romantic enough already, the pensione takes on a different life at dusk. Candles and firepits add a glow to the desert oasis. Moroccan tea and ginger cookies set the mood for desert nights. And, after the sun goes down, a special nightly ritual takes place – a classic film screening under the stars just right for snuggling on cushions or, of course, choosing to share kisses rather than follow the movie’s storyline.
Back in the room, a bit of magic has occurred. Strewn across pillows are bougainvillea petals along with chunks of chocolate and a wish to set couples off to slumber – Sweet Dreams. Indeed.
Ready to head to Korakia? When making babymoon reservations, make sure and book the pensione’s special “Under the Desert Babymoon” package ($250 in addition to lodging) that includes a special welcome basket assembled with cravings in mind, breakfast in bed each morning, an hour-long pre-natal massage, special turndown service and a parting gift.