Since last March, like most of you, I have been running purely on fumes. The lines between work and school and home evaporated in the pandemic. From the confines of my office, I perform my work, help my son with a research paper, apply to schools for the next school year, squeeze in workouts and attend school, work and community events and meetings via Zoom.
On top of all that, a book I’ve been working on for a long time snagged a publishing contract last year, and I found myself in book production for the whole of 2020. That meant getting up at the crack of dawn to crank out manuscript revisions before it was time to switch gears for remote school and work.
What kept me going? Gratitude, mostly — a deep and utter sense of gratitude and duty as the world around us was devastated by so much sickness and death and societal ills that boiled over in ways we haven’t seen in our lifetime. Grateful to be healthy, to have a home and healthy family and work, I put my nose to the grind and kept on pushing.
That is, until one day in late April (my birthday of all days!), when I failed so miserably at multitasking that I decided to just stop and laser-focus on one goal: finding a “mom sabbatical.” Other names for this gift of time for us overworked moms include “momcation” and “mom vacay.” Last year, the Washington Post ran an article headlined “American mothers need a break. But is the ‘momcation’ a solution to their problems or a symptom?” The desire to escape is a symptom of our times, and the pandemic didn’t help with that. An online survey conducted by Today.com just in time for Mother’s Day last year revealed that moms just want a little alone time. To be sure, it’s not just mothering that has us all bone-exhausted. We’re bone-exhausted by doing it all — and the ridiculous expectation of doing it all flawlessly.
To get in the mood for my momcation search, I steeped myself one of Tea Forte’s spring-inspired organic herbal teas in its sunny-yellow Soleil teacup. Yes, sometimes a cup of hot tea is the only way to escape in the moment. As the steam rose, I settled back into my chair and inhaled, opened my laptop and began poring over some solo staycation options, a few of which I have gathered for you here.
Happy Mother’s Day!
Picture it: a luxuriously layered bed facing floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the City of Angels. An elaborate breakfast to enjoy all by yourself. A spa treatment just steps away from that king-sized bed you choose to rise from only when you’re good and ready…
This could become your reality at AKA West Hollywood, which is welcoming mothers to consider its flexible home-away-from-home options.
Located at the intersection of La Cienega and Sunset boulevards, AKA West Hollywood’s 110 furnished residences are comprised of spacious studios, one- and two-bedroom suites, as well as luxurious penthouse residences featuring uninterrupted views from Downtown L.A. to the Pacific Ocean.
“The way we live and travel is experiencing a sea change,” says Larry Korman, president of AKA and co-CEO of Korman Communities. “Today, embracing flexibility and freedom of choice is the true meaning of luxury.”
To celebrate the property’s new and more flexible stay options, AKA West Hollywood is introducing a “sabbatical experience” for residents to take a mental, physical and emotional break to reflect, recharge and explore. With the goal of restoring a sense of peace and joy in guests’ lives, the sabbaticals are organized by the “Joy Ambassador,” who will help curate the sabbatical experience based on a resident’s length of stay and individual goals. AKA West Hollywood has also partnered with Flamingo Estate to bring its California orchard and garden experience in-suite with a curated selection of chocolates and exclusive access to the estate’s bathing products and weekly fresh produce boxes delivered in-suite.
The sabbatical experience will also include:
- A welcome amenity featuring Gretchen Rubin’s “Better Than Before” interactive journal to encourage self-reflection, a plant from The Sill to inspire creativity, Green Gorilla USDA-certified Organic CBD products to benefit overall wellbeing and relaxation (for residents 21+) and more.
- Ticket(s) to Descanso Gardens.
- Use of AKA bicycles to explore West Hollywood’s street art via Street Art Cities.
- Access to the property’s private cinema to watch an inspirational film of your choice.
For entrepreneurial spirits who have been working overtime, AKA’s Joy Ambassador will help craft the perfect out-of-office reply so that residents can fully check out during the sabbatical.
AKA’s residences range from 700 to 1,800 square feet and feature floor-to-ceiling windows, private balconies, custom walk-in closets, sumptuous linens by Sferra and fully appointed gourmet kitchens with concealed appliances. Marble-clad bathrooms with stonework from Italy’s Salvatori and made-to-order furnishings from Italian designers create a minimalist yet well-appointed aesthetic.
For all the lush details, visit stayaka.com or call 310-626-0888.
Over in Beverly Hills, moms can leave their to-do lists behind and escape to one of the Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills’ Deluxe Corner Junior Suites.
After sunset, plan to stargaze in your private spa tub at the rooftop pool while enjoying a bottle of wine and cheese plate and taking in 360-degree views.
A peaceful slumber awaits you with a lavender-scented eye pillow and your very own Waldorf Astoria pajamas. The best part? You can wake at your leisure to enjoy an uninterrupted breakfast, followed by a late morning spa experience that includes the two-hour “ultimate indulgent” package incorporating a body exfoliation and wrap with a caviar massage finale.
For more, visit waldorfastoriabeverlyhills.com.
Escape a little farther away
Sometimes, a long drive can help clear your mind, and Vegas is always a popular option for Angelenos. But instead of the razzle and dazzle of casinos and nightclubs, the Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas is hoping to lure moms to the city for a rejuvenating retreat.
From the quiet of the hotel, you can enjoy a strip view suite. Included in the stay is a spa treatment, one in-room dinner and champagne, two complimentary breakfasts at Zen Café and airport transfer. The stay comes with a complimentary $200 gift card to The Shops at Crystals, an upscale shopping mall.
If you’re up for a plane ride, Cancun is open. Nestled within the newest retail complex in Cancun, Canopy Cancun La Isla is steps away from some of the area’s best shopping, restaurants and white sand beaches. Get away from it all with a trip to paradise, where you’ll be greeted with a welcome cocktail.
Mother’s Day offerings include a three-night stay with complimentary breakfast and head-to-toe pampering with a signature massage and foot reflexology treatment. An in-room kit includes a plush bathrobe, Canopy shopping tote, selection of face masks and discount card to Cancun’s La Isla Shopping Village. Available May 1 – June 10.
Just as I was wrapping up this story, I saw this meme on a friend’s Facebook post: “True self-care is not soft baths and chocolate cake. It is making the choice to build a life you don’t need to regularly escape from.” There’s nothing like social media to bring us back down to earth, right? Still, I know that two seemingly opposing things can be true at once: You can absolutely love your crazy, overfull life and still need to get away every once in a while for luxurious baths, chocolates and a room all your own.
Cassandra Lane is editor-in-chief of L.A. Parent.