A Boutique Staycation at Zelda Dearest in Asheville, NC

While this couple was trying to conceive their second child, they decided to take a night away to change their perspective.

Trying to conceive (TTC) is a journey that can be both exciting and challenging. The anticipation of expanding your family brings joy, but the process can also be fraught with stress, anxiety, and emotional ups and downs. During this period, it’s easy for couples to become so focused on the goal of conceiving that they forget to nurture their relationship. 

My husband and I were no exception. 

While our first pregnancy caught us by surprise a month after we got married, conceiving our second child took a bit longer. We are lucky that we were able to see that wished-for positive pregnancy test within three months, but while our experience was short-lived, it was still mentally exhausting for me. I agonized over the two-week wait, I Googled non-stop, and I felt like my body and my sex life was on constant watch. 

I knew we needed to break out of our routine to find a little more joy in the experience, or no matter how long it took, it would drive us apart. I didn’t just want a distraction, but a genuine opportunity to reconnect and recharge. This led us to the idea of a staycation—an intimate, low-stress getaway without the hassle of long travel. With our daughter safely in the care of a trusted sitter, we decided to spend a night downtown Asheville, staying at the charming Zelda Dearest.

Why Making Time for One Another Is Important While TTC

Maintaining a strong emotional connection during the TTC journey is crucial. The stress and pressure can strain even the most solid relationships, leading to feelings of isolation and frustration. Taking time for one another allows couples to remember why they fell in love in the first place. It creates space for communication, intimacy, and fun—elements that are often sidelined by the relentless focus on conceiving.

For us, the decision to prioritize our relationship was a game-changer. We wanted to remind ourselves that we were partners and best friends, not just co-conspirators in the quest for another child. This perspective shift was essential. It helped us approach the TTC process with a more united front and renewed energy.

Plus, getting a little tipsy in the room together before walking around was a much-needed reconnection we were desperately seeking.

Benefits of a Staycation for Couples

A staycation offers many of the benefits of a vacation without the stress of travel. It’s a perfect way to experience the perks of a getaway—new environments, exciting activities, and quality time together—while staying close to home. 

For couples TTC, it provides a break from routine and a chance to focus on each other without the added pressure of planning a big trip. The beauty of a staycation lies in its simplicity. There’s no need for extensive packing or worrying about flight delays. You can fully immerse yourselves in the experience from the moment you leave your house. Plus, the familiarity of being in a known city can add a layer of comfort and relaxation.

It’s important to note that ‘get drunk’ or ‘take a vacation’ is not helpful advice for couples on the TTC journey. For those experiencing infertility and going through treatments, going away for a night or two won’t change the outcome. I didn’t believe the staycation would bring us a baby—but I did believe it was a healthy choice for our relationship during what can only be called a very stressful process. 

Where We Stayed: Zelda Dearest

As a travel journalist, I was offered an overnight stay at the new and hip Zelda Dearest, a boutique hotel in downtown Asheville, known for its unique charm. Zelda Dearest is named after Zelda Fitzgerald, the famed wife of author F. Scott Fitzgerald, who spent time in Asheville more than 100 years ago. The hotel exudes a vintage elegance, blending modern amenities with historic touches that transport guests to a different era.

The rooms at Zelda Dearest are thoughtfully decorated, each with a distinct personality and a nod to the Roaring Twenties. Our room featured a plush king-sized bed, luxurious linens and carefully-selected artwork. The hotel also offers amenities such as a cozy library lounge, a rooftop garden with stunning views of the city, and an artisanal breakfast you can nibble on each morning. 

What the Experience Was Like

From the moment we checked in, the experience was just what we needed: calm, cool and welcoming. The warm staff made us feel instantly at home. With our bags stowed away, we set out to explore downtown Asheville, savoring the freedom of walking hand-in-hand without the worry of driving or managing a toddler’s unpredictable tantrums. 

Our evening was spent dining with friends at a nearby restaurant. Then, we wandered to a chic cocktail bar known for its creative concoctions. The atmosphere was lively, and for the first time in a long while, we felt carefree. We sipped on expertly crafted cocktails, feeling the warmth of the alcohol and the buzz of the vibrant crowd. It was liberating to let loose, knowing we were only a short walk from our cozy room at Zelda Dearest.

As the night progressed, we found ourselves craving a late-night snack. We stumbled upon a charming NYC-inspired pizzeria and indulged in a delicious, cheesy pizza, savoring every bite under the soft glow of string lights. It was a simple, spontaneous moment that reminded us of our early days together—full of love, laughter, and little adventures. 

Back at Zelda Dearest, we slipped into the comfort of our bed, feeling a sense of peace and reconnection. As every parent will understand, there’s something so refreshing about going to sleep knowing you won’t be woken up at the crack of dawn by cries from another room. This short, but mighty, staycation allowed us to focus on each other, rekindling the romance that sometimes gets overshadowed by the complexities of TTC.

The following morning, we enjoyed a leisurely breakfast at the hotel, complete with fresh pastries, fruit, and coffee. The hotel’s attention to detail and personalized service made our stay feel extra special. We spent the rest of the morning walking around before preparing to put back on our Parent Duty caps.

Final Thoughts

Our staycation at Zelda Dearest was more than just a getaway—it was a reminder of the importance of nurturing our relationship. In the midst of the TTC journey, it’s easy to become consumed by the process, but taking time to connect as a couple is invaluable. The memories we made, the laughs we shared, and the moments of intimacy we enjoyed reinvigorated us for the road ahead.

For any couple navigating the challenges of trying to conceive, I highly recommend a staycation. It doesn’t have to be extravagant or far from home. What matters is the intention behind it: to prioritize your relationship, to have fun, and to remember that your partnership is the foundation upon which your family will grow.


  • Lindsay Tigar

    Lindsay Tigar is the co-founder of Mila & Jo Media, an award-winning journalist, two-time entrepreneur and mama to Josefine. She's also a parental leave certified executive coach. She's a frequent-flier, Peloton addict, and a coffee and champagne snob. Her friends are her family and her lifeline. Lindsay calls Asheville, NC home but spends much time in Denmark, her husband's home country.  Follow Lindsay on Instagram. and visit her website.

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