We wanted to do a little “babymoon” before #3 arrives, but these days, babymoons look a little different when you have 2 small children already and you really don’t want to leave them home. It’s always a little complicated traveling with kids, and as much as I love to research a new spot – where do you stay (hotel vs. renting a house), what kind of room should you pick so you’re all comfortable, how much should you pack, and making sure there was enough “luxury” + “kid” for us was our mission. And that’s exactly what we got in this Stone Harbor, NJ escape.
The Reeds at Shelter Haven is situated in the middle of Stone Harbor’s downtown – an ideal location to walk to restaurants and shopping without having to pull your car out of valet all the time. There are 2 sides to the hotel, the Bay View side and the newly renovated Salt Spa side. Both are gorgeous and it’s just a matter of preference which you chose. We prefer a balcony looking over the water and chose a 1 bedroom suite so we could put the kids to bed and still have an area to hang out and have “adult time” once they were in bed. All rooms also had a little kitchenette area, with a mini fridge large enough for a gallon of milk – I don’t know about you but my kids are big time milk drinkers so this is always something that’s on my radar when booking a hotel.
When we arrived at the hotel, the staff arranged to have milk and cookies for our kids waiting as well as a little onesie for the baby to be. It was such a thoughtful gesture and after the drive down, the cookies were the perfect treat for everyone.
I was able to escape for a bit and enjoy the amazing new salt spa while my husband took the kids to an arcade in the town. Having a little “mom time” and a much needed prenatal massage really set the tone for our babymoon. The spa’s amenities are top of the line and after my massage I was able to shower (alone!) so I was ready to go to dinner when I got back to our room.
The hotel features 4 restaurants and an ice cream shop that are either inside or right next door, which makes going out to eat a nice and easy treat before my 3 and 2 year old had a meltdown. We were able to take advantage of both The Water Star Grille (outside dinning on the bay – bring sunglasses) and The Pizza Pub (also outside on the bay but you have to walk out of the hotel to access it). Both spots were kid friendly with great food options for everyone’s palets.
We are beach people so we spent the next two days enjoying Stone Harbor’s flat beaches – which was perfect for my little guy who isn’t quite on board with the sand like the rest of us. Hands down, my kids favorite part was riding in the golf cart to and from the beach. The hotel provides this complimentary shuttle service, and if you weren’t pregnant and had two munchkins in tow, the beach is an easy walk up the street if you prefer that. The Reeds also provides towels, chairs and umbrellas up at the beach and offers a small lunch service making it so easy and enjoyable. We lucked out hitting low tide both days so the kids could easily play at the edge in the tide pools.
Pro Tip #2: I always buy inexpensive toys for vacations so my kids have something “new” to play with and we loved these individual Minnie and Paw Patrol watering cans. They lasted about the length of the vacation so we tossed them before heading home, but kept the kids entertained the whole day on the beach, which is a win in my book.
The Reeds at Shelter Haven was a hidden gem that we fell in love with and they went above and beyond to make our babymoon getaway something we will never forget. Being able to spend a few days with just the four of us before baby #3 arrives is something that was important to do as a family and I’m so grateful for their hospitality. I’m also grateful for the little homemade treats they left for us each night!
Pro Tip #3: They don’t sell these treats, but if you ask really nicely they will bring you a little extra so you can take home.
This post was done in partnership with The Reeds at Shelter Haven and also contains a few affiliate links, meaning, at no extra cost to you, I make a small profit if you purchase from them.