Read our writer's views on this property below
In Broome, Fleur Bainger experiences the 'last hurrah' holiday known as the babymoon.
It's not often that a giant hole in a table is something to rejoice over. But when the woman eyeballing it is 34 weeks pregnant and a massage therapist is hovering nearby, it becomes a thing of beauty. I know, because I am that woman.
Dear, darling Broome, I've twisted my workaholic husband's arm and manhandled him on to a plane headed in your direction. The purpose? Our babymoon, something the blank faced baby boomers we meet around the pool have never heard of, much less been on. For the uninitiated, it's a "last hurrah" holiday loved-up couples take before their world is rocked by the arrival of a new, rather vocal member to their party of two. It's the time they take to enjoy each other before sleep loss takes over, before bets are placed over which nappy brand absorbs best, and before intimacy becomes a distant memory.
Like most first-time parents, my love and I are keen to do everything by the book. That means a jaunt to Bali is out - the spectre of food poisoning looms too large; Lombok isn't really developed enough; New Zealand doesn't fit our tropical laze-fest ideal and Fiji is a tad too far. So we've picked you, Broome.
Lovely Broome, with your endless white sands stretching nearly as wide as Cable Beach is long, your vision-stretching views of the motionless Indian Ocean, your swaying palm trees and extremely laid-back vibe.
No doubt cluing in to the trend, Cable Beach Club Resort and Spa - the town's only resort fronting the famous beach - launched its first tailored babymoon package in April. Along with promises of easy access to its adults-only pool, sunset mocktails in its open-air bar, optional crack-of-dawn yoga and multi-course dinners in its candlelit restaurant, the clincher for me is the hour-long pregnancy massage performed in its Chahoya Spa by L'Occitane - the first and so far only Australian pamper-haven to partner with the luxe French brand.
Which brings me back to that table, the hole, and my bulbous silhouette.
I've had a few rubdowns during my pregnancy, and trust me, being kneaded while lying on my side with a curvy pillow wedged beneath my bump does not a transcendent massage make. After at least five months of not being able to lie flat, the simple act of lowering my belly through the table is almost luxury enough. But there's more. After a foot bath ritual, my masseuse Anna does a short meditation reminding me that everything clouding my mind - the all-important pram purchase, the birthing playlist I haven't made, and the need to stock up on cotton balls - will still be there for me to deal with later, so I might as well let it go for now. It's fantastic advice, which I silently repeat whenever my baby-brain hampered thoughts stray. Soon, pure shea butter is being rubbed into my hands and feet, delivering a skin drink to my puffy extremities that ache from fluid retention.
The load-bearing muscles beneath my shoulder blades are rendered tension free and, after a none-too-graceful about-turn, I flop down on my back for a dreamy head and neck massage, blessedly devoid of hair-pulling. There's even a short tummy swirl - pre-discussed so I'm comfortable with it - that purportedly increases blood flow to the area while strengthening the connection between mother and child. Poppycock or not, it's surprisingly pleasant and I'm left wondering what Anna's day rate is (and whether I could afford it). I could happily bunker down here until my due date rolls around. The only thing they've forgotten is a ceiling chain and handle to help me heft my baby bulk off the table.
In a happy haze, I return to my rustic, dark wood studio room and open the doors onto a private deck that meets a manicured grass carpet. The cleverly created adults-only pool, where mobile phones are also banned, stretches out before me, only a few waddled steps away. My husband is in a similarly blissed-out state on his banana lounge. It's the first time since conception that I can remember him kicking back. We're an achievement-oriented couple, but somehow, simply being positioned poolside permits us to do absolutely nothing without feeling the least bit guilty.
Gliding into the pool, we throw up baby names as we tread water. Being weightless in water really is as good as they say it is: for once I can move gracefully. I rinse off beneath a festooned frangipani tree, its perfume stinging the air as the outdoor shower teems down, then doze off under a wide, white umbrella, enjoying my first daytime snooze in months.
When the WA sun's glare finally softens and light shifts from piercing to peachy, we amble past boab trees and pandanus palms to the resort's Sunset Bar and Grill, where the signposted dress code is "Kimberley casual". In typical, unpretentious Broome style, my husband's beer is delivered already in a stubbie holder, with no offer of a glass. My mango and grenadine mocktail soon matches the sky's saturated hues as sun goes down. Daisy chains of camels lope past, duties complete for another day.
A romantic dinner in the resort's decidedly more glam Club restaurant sees me savour pearl meat mixed with prawn, encased in a tortellini envelope. The local delicacy is still a rarity on menus, its rich meat difficult to source outside of the region's pearling season. After two courses, I make a cheeky request to get dessert-to-go, and to my surprise, the uniformed waitstaff accommodate.
We decadently watch TV in bed - something strictly against the rules at home - and gobble the raspberry licked ganache sprinkled with honeycomb crumbs.
Broome, you delivered - and thankfully, well before I have to.
The writer was a guest of Cable Beach Club Resort and Spa and Tourism WA.
1 Cable Beach Road, Broome, (08) 9192 0400, cablebeachclub.com.
Cable Beach Club Resort and Spa's five-night babymoon costs $2799 a couple (high-season rate, valid to October 12, 2014). It includes accommodation in a pool terrace studio with direct access to the adults-only pool, a daily buffet breakfast, one-hour L'Occitane pregnancy massage for the mother-to-be, sunset mocktails and dinner for two in the Club restaurant.
5 MORE AUSSIE BABYMOONS
Expect lashings of relaxation and pampering with this babymoon package on the Great Barrier Reef. It wraps in mocktails and chocolate dipped strawberries on arrival, a one-hour spa treatment for the mum-to-be, a sunset cruise with wine (for him), soft drink (for her) and pregnancy-friendly cheeses, and all meals. Trips between December and May will coincide with turtle hatching season, and with it plenty of new baby love. Minimum three nights from $1524 a couple. 1300 033 202; heronisland.com/mobile/mobile-offers_1228.htm
While wine is off the menu for one of you, this Margaret River escape aims to make it up to mum-to-be in its quiet, forested surrounds. Greeted with flowers and chocolates, you'll both be treated to hour-long massages, daily breakfast, a lunch platter, a basket of goodies by Olio Bello olive oil, a pamper pack of skin products, plus spa, sauna and pool time and late checkout. Minimum three-night stay, from $1225 for both of you. 08 9755 5599; merribrook.com.au/margaret-river-rates/margaret-river-babymoon-package
THE BYRON AT BYRON
Check in to a superior suite and consider your options: daily yoga sessions, a one-hour massage tailored for both the future mamma and the ever-supportive papa, an in-house movie to veg out with, a gift hamper and daily buffet breakfast. Three-night stay from $1410 a couple. 1300 554 362; thebyronatbyron.com.au/special-accommodation-packages/byron-at-byron-babymoon
Staying at the Beach Club, couples greet each new day with a la carte breakfast, and between swims can each check in for rejuvenating, massages. There's also the "VIP point to point chauffeur service", free rein of the spa and sauna and, if you feel so inclined, use of the island's catamarans, paddle skis and snorkelling gear. Four nights from $2486 a couple. 137 333; m.hamiltonisland.com.au/babymoon-package
TUMBLING WATERS RETREAT
This adults-only haven an hour's drive from Sydney has a mid-week babymoon package comprising a lovey-dovey dinner for two, a full-body massage for mum-to-be, a luxury suite with views of rainforest and ocean with promises you won't be disturbed, plus a fancy-pants breakfast hamper. Two nights, $1455 a couple. 02 4294 1888; tumblingwatersretreat.com/luxury-accommodation-south-coast/packages-and-specials/baby-moon