Sign up for Jyotsna Kini’s weekend plan if you want to bond, relax and spend quality time with your toddlers
When Jyotsna Kini started her Extraordinary Travel Company, she quickly became known for her highly-curated group holidays to exotic destinations from Uzbekistan to Ladakh and Bhutan. But in the last year, things have changed, somewhat. Kini became a mother, moved back from the US where she was based, and now that her son is an adorable 11-month-old, she’s ready to reboot her travel biz. Her first foray is particularly apt: a Mommy and Baby Luxury Retreat – a weekend at the Shreyas Yoga Retreat (“Bengaluru’s best kept secret”) on the city’s outskirts. From Friday through Sunday, a group of mothers and their babies (restricted to pre-kindergarten age) will bond, relax and spend a lot of ‘us’ time in secluded, serene surroundings.
Niche, curated holidays are all the rage, but this one was quite different. So I met Kini and over a glass of suleimani chai she explained what made her think of it. “Motherhood is tough, a rollercoaster. You are expected to take a couple of years out of your life to devote to your baby. But you do need ‘me’ time too – to bond with your baby. Everyone deserves a break from routine, and for mothers, there’s no time like the present to do that. While we do have help here in India, it’s nice to sometimes have your baby to yourself. And get some relaxation, too.”
In New York, where she delivered her baby, there was no opportunity for any mollycoddling. “It was like baby bootcamp. You’re out and about from the get go, dealing with meals, going out, visitors… and your baby! Of course, my prenatal yoga helped me a lot, and my doula (a trained professional who gives physical, emotional and informational support) helped keep my body, soul and mind in alignment.”
Back home, a visit to Shreyas convinced her that here was an ideal getaway for mothers to spend quality time with their babies. Planned for the getaway are Ayurvedic therapies, consultations with nutritionists and counsellors to help deal with post-natal health and well-being, and fun stuff like teaching moms to cook nutritional food for their babies. “Indulge in a spot of baby yoga or chanting sessions with babies to soothe, calm and relax you both. Learn traditional Ayurvedic baby massages. Eat gourmet organic vegetarian food. Swim in the infinity pool. Watch a movie. Or chill in your cottage and do nothing,” she says. (Check out Jyotsna Kini’s Facebook page www.facebook.com/theextraordinarytravelcompany.)
Kini’s blocked the entire resort (a Relais and Chateaux member) of 14 cottages for her group, and it is fast getting booked. Special packages have been worked out and provisions made for those who would like to travel with their nannies. “I’m looking forward to it; a break that’s easy, comfortable with no visas and flights involved. But it will still be like heading out to another country and back.” An oasis of calm in the hectic storm that is a mother’s life? Sounds like the ideal baby getaway.