editorial

Homes For Moms, Selected By Moms

It’s no secret that mother knows best, which is why we went to the most fitting source to curate our list of homes perfect for a family vacation — the moms of Natural Retreats.


Each of these women offers a diverse understanding of what goes into making a family vacation special, yet all share our mission: to provide others with a memorable vacation in a home that feels like their own. They are conscious of how much time, energy, and coordination it takes to plan a family trip, which is why they make the best planners. They know it’s the little details that turn an ordinary vacation into one that the entire family will never forget. Eight of our mothers recollect special family moments shared in their favorite Natural Retreats homes.

Chrissy Labrie — Waterfront 373, Lake Winnipesaukee

As a single working mother of two of the best children on the planet (I’m a bit biased), getting a chance to travel together is hard. Growing up on Lake Winnipesaukee and being fortunate to be our Retreat Manager there, there truly is no place the kids and I would rather be than on the Lake. Which is why we took a staycation at Waterfront 373. This home was perfection; we spent mornings and evenings on the screened-in porch listening to the waves slowly crash against the shoreline and the leaves gently rustling amongst the trees. Afternoons were set aside for catching rays on the dock, building fairy houses in the water, and fishing. For the kids, jumping from the dock was the highlight, but for me, it was simply spending time with my kids.

Our week on the Lake was more than I could have imagined and the memories made are ones I will carry in my heart forever. Thank you to my Natural Retreats family for making this possible.

Stay Here

Diana Calvo — Sunset Hammock, Tybee Island

It had been years since my husband, daughter, and I had taken a vacation, so we decided to spend a week together at Sunset Hammock in Tybee Island. At the last minute, my in-laws decided to join us, which worked out perfectly because of how much space the home had. From early morning coffee on the porch to watching the sunset over the marsh, everyone fell in love with the home.

My little girl had a blast exploring Tybee and all its activities — we took a coastal walk with Dr. Joe, visited Ike the turtle at the Marine Center, and she even took surf lessons! My husband and I enjoyed strolling through the Live Oak-lined streets of Savannah and learning more about the hidden history of the town on a ghost tour. My favorite part of the trip was snuggling up in the king bed with my family in the morning and stealing moments of quiet time with a book and glass of wine at night.

Stay Here

Jeannie Shroads — Chilali 5, Sun Valley

Sun Valley had been on my list for years, both for its family-friendly atmosphere and the outdoor activities. This past winter we decided to take a ski trip there, and my only regret was that we didn’t visit years ago! We stayed in Chilali 5 because it was walking distance to Ketchum. In the morning my partner took the bus right at the corner for first tracks down Baldy, my 15-year-old walked to Perry’s for take-out French toast, and I went for a walk on the trail – but only after having coffee on the balcony first. The home was so well-stocked we felt like we were in our own home. Plus, the building came with all the amenities I didn’t realize I needed like underground parking, ski lockers, and what Mom doesn’t love a rooftop hot tub with an incredible view?

Our trip was all we could talk about for months, which is why we bought a condo in the same building. Because our experience with Natural Retreats was so great, we are now listing our condo with them so that fellow travelers can enjoy a dream ski trip of their own.

Stay Here

Sarah Franzen — Scallop Cove #1, Cape San Blas

Much of my family’s everyday life is spent going from one activity to the next and what I wanted most was to have a vacation where the only thing on our to-do list was spending time together. Which is why we chose to stay at Scallop Cove #1 in Cape San Blas. With its welcoming design, modern features, and bay front views, I could not have picked a better home for my family.
Every morning my daughter made us breakfast as her way of showing her appreciation. But she always forgot one ingredient, so having the market nearby proved to be a very nice convenience. Plus, we were near Weber’s donuts (because you always need a good back up plan.)
Overall, we had the exact week we had hoped for, enjoying each other and our own corner of coastal paradise.

Stay Here

Andra McGill — Casa Monte Vista, Taos

Spring Break in our family means a week dedicated to exploring somewhere new. This year, my two boys (7 and 9) and I went to Taos with my friend and her 8-year-old twins. We stayed in Casa Monte Vista which was perfect for our group — each mom had her own room and the kids shared the bunkroom. The location could not have been better, we were near so many delicious restaurants in town and the local market where we purchased all the fixings for our family dinner.

During the day we went hiking, took a soak in the natural hot springs nearby, and visited historic Taos Pueblo – all must do activities! The boys also loved playing in the home’s huge yard, which gave the moms time to relax, catch up, and enjoy the serenity of Taos.

Stay Here

Blair Rothamel — Carolina Sunrise, Sea Islands

While I love being a new mom, I have learned that everything I do requires a bit more planning and consideration, and that especially applies to vacations. This year we decided on a trip to the Sea Islands but needed a home that had the right layout without giving up what I wanted the most: proximity to the water, amenities, and of course, killer views.

That’s when we found Carolina Sunrise, a home that allowed my husband and I to keep an eye on our sleeping baby without worrying about waking her up. Our favorite part of the trip quickly became relaxing in the outdoor space with marshmallow roasting in the fire-pit, cornhole matches near the shore, and my personal favorite, taking in those beautiful ocean views

Stay Here

Carmen Cox — Donald Ross Trail, Hot Springs

Although I wasn’t technically a mother yet, I decided to have my baby shower in Hot Springs, Virginia because of the incredible amenities nearby. My entire group stayed at Donald Ross Trail l where each guest had a private bedroom and en-suite bathroom. There was a large chef’s kitchen with two ovens which allowed for multiple meals to be cooked at once, an essential when you are throwing a party. The home also had an upstairs wet bar, full bar downstairs, large game room, and a spacious outdoor area where we set up lawn games.

Since the home is on the Omni Homestead Resort our group was able to take advantage of all the resort amenities, including the on-site spa, horseback riding, and archery. With The Old Dairy nearby, the kiddos went swimming while the adults took full use of the hot tub/dry sauna. The Hot Springs area felt like a playground for adults and kids which made planning a baby shower/family gathering super easy!

Stay Here

Colleen Marshall— Prince of Tides, Fripp Island & In The Pines 31, Great Smoky Mountains

I’m a firm believer that a vacation can bring a family together as nothing else can, which is why I have taken my family on a Natural Retreats vacation for the past four years. I can’t pick a favorite, but here are two that stand out to me:

We fell in love with Fripp Island when we stayed at Prince of Tides. My son learned how to cook a seafood feast on the grill and my mother and I got to catch up on life during long walks along the shore. One of my favorite memories was cruising around the island in a golf cart petting the wildlife.

During our stay at In The Pines #13 in the Great Smoky Mountains my son was in absolute awe at Ripley’s Aquarium and we all became roller coasters fans at Dollywood. Coming home to our own cabin in the woods is as magical as it sounds, which is why we’re heading back again this summer!

Stay Here