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Our top picks for honeymoons and destination weddings
Vacation Side Travel
May 19, 2014
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Transcript of "Our top picks for honeymoons and destination weddings"
1. © Vacation Side Travel Our Top Picks for Honeymoons Our Top Picks for Honeymoons and Destination Weddings Why You May Want To Go All-Inclusive All-Inclusives offer the simplicity of paying one price for 95% of your honeymoon upfront – the lodging, food, alcohol, taxes, tips, sports, and activities are all included. You can move from one activity to the next without pulling out your wallet and without leaving the resort. But not every resort and not every island fits every couple’s taste. There are low-end, mid-range and deluxe all-inclusive resorts. They range from the small all-inclusive resorts with maybe 10-50 quaint cottages per resort/island with 1-2 restaurants and 1 bar, to mid-size resorts that are more lively, having 100-300 rooms, suites and cottages, perhaps 3-5 restaurants, and 2-3 bars. The very large resorts may have 500+ rooms, 9-10 restaurants, with 7-8 bars, and lots of activity 24/7. So, it is most important that you select carefully so that you know what you’re getting. Contrary to what most couples may think, most of the world’s destinations have no all- inclusive resorts. This is a concept that is found in a very limited number of places. Europe, Asia, South America, the U.S. and Australia have almost none. This is because they abound in long-standing hotels and inns and quaint restaurants, museums, outdoor cafes, bistros, legendary restaurants, and nightlife – couples that go to these destinations relish the idea of discovering the range of culture and diversity that beckons to them. So if you’re the exploring type, an all-inclusive package may leave you feeling stifled. Most of the worlds all-inclusive are found in the following 5 places: Mexico, Antigua, St.Lucia, Dominican Republic & Jamaica. There are a few in Costa Rica, one or two in Hawaii and Tahiti. All- inclusives are also found on islands in the Seychelles and Fiji where the resort is typically the only thing
© Vacation Side Travel Our Top Picks for Honeymoons on that island. Australia has about three to five, all on their own island on the Great Barrier Reef, and there are a few here in the U.S. The following resorts are among our personal favorites, we have traveled to them many times, we have a very good relationship with them, and the couples we have sent there have been very pleased. If you’d like to know if this is the right option for the two of you, let’s meet so we can discuss your tastes, budget, and style so we can determine which all-inclusive would be your best choice, or if an all-inclusive is even the right choice for the two of you. Excellence Playa Mujeres, Mayan Riviera This romantic, adults-only resort is nestled on a 2-mile white- sand beach in a complex with an inland marina, day spa, and a golf course designed by Greg Norman. Downtown Cancun is within 5 miles. Spacious guest suites have balconies or patios, separate sitting areas, private spa tubs, and 2-person rainfall showers. Also included are 42-inch LCD TVs, DVD players, and wireless Internet access.The resort features 8 restaurants, 11 bars, 7 outdoor pools, and 9 spa tubs. This All-Inclusive resort includes various amenities in the room price. See the room description section for details. : Designed in a contemporary, minimalist style, this adults-only resort is situated on an unspoiled 20- mile peninsula. Ideal for honeymooners and celebrating couples, the resort offers a peaceful, secluded retreat that seems worlds away from the hustle and bustle of Cancun. Guests have access to an array of activities including water sports, tennis, golf, cooking lessons, and yoga and aerobics classes. The full-service spa includes private relaxation rooms with heated waterbeds, Swedish saunas, and steam rooms (surcharge). Eight on-site restaurants offer a range of international cuisine including Italian, Japanese, and French. Room service is available 24 hours. Other amenities include concierge services and complimentary wireless Internet access. Secrets Maroma Beach, Mayan Riviera Located 30 miles south of Cancun and 15 miles north of Playa del Carmen, this adults-only all suite resort faces the white sands and turquoise waters of Maroma Beach.All412 suites feature furnished balconies or patios, flat-screen TVs, CD/DVD players, minibars refreshed daily, and bathrooms with jetted tubs and separate showers.The resort features 7 restaurants, 8 bars, and a spa. This All-Inclusive resort includes various amenities in the room price; see the room description section for details. Set on 500 lush acres on serene Maroma Beach, this adults-only, all-inclusive resort is ideal for a romantic Mexico vacation. Active guests can enjoy endless day and evening activities while guests seeking relaxation can head to the spa or simply relax on the white-sand beach. Complimentary activities at this Mexico resort include non-motorized water sports, dance lessons, and yoga. At the on-site spa, guests can indulge in a range of treatments including
© Vacation Side Travel Our Top Picks for Honeymoons massages, facials, and beauty services (surcharge). The spa facilities include Swiss showers, saunas, stream rooms, and a hydrotherapy circuit. Seven on-site restaurants offer an array of dining options, and guests can enjoy cocktails at eight bars and lounges. Grand Vellas, Mayan Riviera Surrounded by tropical jungle and white-sand beach, this luxury Riviera Maya resort is located 5 minutes from downtown Playa del Carmen and 35 minutes from Cancun International Airport. This all suite luxury resort features 491 suites which all have include balconies or patios with ocean or jungle views and bathrooms with jetted tubs; amenities include plasma TVs, CD/DVD players, MP3 players, and stocked minibars. The resort features 8 restaurants, a spa, and fitness center. This All-Inclusive resort includes various amenities in the room price; see the room description section for details. Framed by lush jungle and pristine white-sand beach, this luxury Riviera Maya resort features contemporary Mexican architecture and decor. With separate adults-only and family areas, the resort appeals to couples seeking relaxation as well as families seeking fun and adventure. Guests can unwind by the infinity pool and spa tub or indulge in a treatment at the spa (surcharge). Active guests can take advantage of numerous recreational activities including water sports, bike tours, and exercise classes. Seven on-site restaurants range from casual to fine dining, and guests can enjoy cocktails at four bars. Room service is available 24 hours. Sandals Regency La Toc Golf & Spa Resort, St.Lucia Set on green hills and a coral bluff above a long crescent-shaped beach, this resort for active adult couples is less than 2 miles from Castries, the lively capital of St. Lucia. Rooms Feature poster beds and views of the tropical gardens, pools, golf course, or sea. Some suites feature private plunge pools, this resort is what started the plunge pool phenomenon. The all inclusive here includes meals and beverages, water and land sports (including golf), and entertainment, plus airport transfers. Resembling a colorful seaside village, the hilly, 210-acre resort features a 100-foot coral bluff overlooking the ocean and tropical gardens replete with flowers, doves, and nocturnal singing tree frogs. Ample space exists for tranquil relaxation— especially on pool floats and the uncrowded beach—with group games and activities for those wishing them. Both middle age couples and young honeymooners come here, with the latter group predominating. Vans shuttle guests up and down the hills around the clock, although many guests choose to stroll through the green grounds. Three free-form pools provide alternatives to the resorts 500-yard beach. A huge main pool sprawls 250 feet along the beachfront and includes a swim-up bar and a semi-circular section containing a rock formation from which waterfalls cascade. Adjacent is a 20-person spa. A second, good-size pool is terraced just above the beach halfway between the main building cluster and the bluff. A large pool with rock waterfall lies within the Sunset Bluff lodging section and includes a swim-up bar. Adjacent to this pool is a 10-person spa on the edge of the bluff looking down to the sea. Secrets Wild Orchid, Jamaica
© Vacation Side Travel Our Top Picks for Honeymoons Situated on a private white-sand beach, this adults-only Montego Bay resort is located 2 km (1 mi) from Walter Fletcher Beach and 2 miles from world famous from Doctor’s Cave Beach.The are only 350 suites featuring furnished balconies with ocean views and bathrooms with jetted tubs and separate showers. Amenities include LCD TVs and mini bars restocked daily included with the all-inclusive price tag. The resort offers a spa, 7 restaurants, and 10 bars. Inspired by its tropical surroundings, this adults-only resort is decorated in a contemporary style with warm neutral tones and indigenous art. Couples seeking an active Jamaica all inclusive vacation appreciate the resort’s sophisticated ambiance and abundant activities. The resort offers numerous recreational options including water sports, tennis, aerobics, yoga, and volleyball. After a day of activities, guests can indulge in a poolside massage or herbal wrap at the spa (surcharge). The resort also features an open-air game room, a theater, and a fully equipped fitness center. Seven on-site restaurants include an Italian trattoria, an oceanfront seafood grill, and a Pan-Asian restaurant. Sandals Royal Plantation, Jamaica This colonial-style resort and spa is located a half mile from downtown Ocho Rios. They are two beaches one for activity and the other for people seeking seclusion and peace and quiet. The hotels 74 guest suites each offer an ocean view, four- poster beds, ipod docking stations, and mahogany furniture some even include jacuzzi tubs. With shuttles to nearby golf and dining, this beach front hotel offers the intimacy of a private villa and the amenities of a full resort. Sandals Royal Plantation is the Caribbean’s most exclusive beach boutique resort for two people in love. Nestled atop a seaside bluff above the stunning Caribbean Sea, this resort presents the perfect setting to truly get away from it all. Located on two pristine, private beaches, each of Sandals Royal Plantation’s 74- suites enjoys a direct ocean view and butler service. Amenities include a pool, three á la carte restaurants, 24-hour in room dining, a 5-Star Diamond Award-winning Red Lane® Spa, non- motorized water sports, tennis courts, 24-hour fitness center and world-class golf nearby at Sandals Golf & Country Club. Royal Plantation is the perfect vacation spot for those who enjoy the finer things in life. Paradisus Palma Royal, Punta Cana Dominican Republic This modern resort set amid lush vegetation on the white sands of Bávaro Beach includes meals, drinks, and golf green fees in the room rate.Suites at the Paradisus Palma Real offer furnished balconies overlooking the ocean or garden, living- room areas, minibars, flat-screen TVs, jetted tubs for two, and spa jet-showers.Hotel amenities include three swimming pools, seven spa tubs, a spa and health club, a casino, meeting rooms, a ballroom, a business center, and a theater.Also featuring a brand new boutique resort within a resort, The Reserve at Paradisus Palma Real, with 190 luxuriously appointed Residential Concierge Suites, exclusive VIP check-in lounge and private facilities such as
© Vacation Side Travel Our Top Picks for Honeymoons private beach area, private pool and restaurants, plus access to all Paradisus Palma Real facilities. Secrets Santuary, Cap Cana Dominican Republic Reminiscent of a colonial Spanish village, this beach resort is located in Cap Cana on the eastern coast of the Dominican Republic.176 elegantly appointed suites feature balconies or patios with ocean views; amenities include high-speed Internet access and plasma TVs.Guests can enjoy the on-site spa and beach club plus access to Punta Espada, a Jack Nicklaus signature golf course. Designed to resemble an intimate colonial town, this luxury Dominican Republic hotel is surrounded by white-sand beaches within the exclusive Cap Cana resort community. The resort’s elegant ambiance and sophisticated amenities attract discerning vacationers, honeymooners, and meeting groups. Guests can spend the day relaxing at the beach club or lounging by the pool. The on-site spa features saunas, spa tubs, and relaxation areas (surcharge). Within the Cap Cana community, guests enjoy access to a marina and an 18-hole Jack Nicklaus signature golf course. Other features include seven restaurants, and eight bars. The Hermitage, Antigua Surrounded by 10 acres of tropical gardens and a white-sand beach, this intimate hotel is located on Antigua’s west coast, 15 miles from the airport. Situated along the bay or on the hillside, 25 individual cottages feature furnished terraces, ocean or partial ocean views, LCD TVs, and outdoor garden showers.The hotel offers a spa, restaurant, and bar. This all- inclusive resort includes various amenities in the room price. See the room description section for details. Surrounded by tropical gardens and white-sand beach, this boutique hotel was carefully designed to blend into the natural environment. Located on a secluded corner of the island, the hotel is ideal for couples seeking a quiet and relaxing getaway. This all-inclusive resort welcomes guests 12 and older throughout the year and guests 8 and older during the summer season (policy subject to change). Guests can kayak, snorkel, or sail in the bay or spend the day lounging by the beach or pool. The spa offers facials, massages, and body treatments (surcharge), and the hotel sits on 10 acres of secluded tropical gardens for guests to explore. Creative European and Caribbean cuisine is served for breakfast, lunch, and dinner at the beach front restaurant. Guests also enjoy afternoon tea and canapés during cocktail hour Jumby Bay, Antigua
© Vacation Side Travel Our Top Picks for Honeymoons 300-acre private island resort off the coast of Antigua, home to just 39 suites and 11 villas.Suites include carved mahogany four-poster king beds. Villas include four-poster bamboo beds. No TVs. The resort has two beaches and an 18th- century plantation house containing a fine-dining restaurant and lounge. Once a sugar plantation, 300-acre Long Island is owned by Americans and Britons who maintain multi- million-dollar vacation homes on the island away from Jumby Bay Resort’s 85 acres and ensure the island’s environment remains unspoiled. Endangered Hawksbill turtles lay eggs on the northern beach, their nocturnal June-November arrivals recorded by researchers and assisted by resort guests. Non-woolly feral sheep descended from ancestors left by the Spanish in the 16th century roam the island. Water birds flock to depressions that become ponds during rare heavy rains. Songbirds, mourning doves, and egrets abound. The Blue Pelican can be spotted. The island is so ideally situated to catch trade-wind breezes for a long time the resort offered no air conditioning. No cars other than a small security-staff van are permitted. Guests use bicycles strategically located so they can ride or walk at will without regard for keeping track of “their” bikes. Complimentary golf-cart shuttle service is also available. The resort’s main 0.5-mile beach curves along a calm-water bay facing Antigua Island to the west. Thatch-roof shades and thickly cushioned lounge chairs line the beach, ensuring each guest ample room for uncrowded sunbathing and swimming. (Children have their own beach and swing-set south of the resort’s dock.) Another 0.5-mile beach lies along the northern shore, providing beach combing and snorkeling among coral heads. Secluded inland, a 25-meter lap pool furnishes freshwater exercise and tranquil sunbathing. Curtain Bluff, Antigua On a dramatic bluff overlooking Antigua’s southern shore, surrounded by tropical gardens and facing a private, pink-sand beach, this serene, all inclusive resort caters to travelers in search of the ultimate Caribbean escape. Ride the surf on water skies or a windsurfer; fish the deep seas, sail on blue waters, or practice your serve on one of four tennis courts under the watchful eye of a pro coach. After a full day, soak in your room’s marble bathtub. Food-lovers appreciate the award-winning cuisine, and the extensive wine cellar offers 2,500 bottles. Relax with a yoga session or a game of squash. It’s all included, with very few exceptions, at the exclusive and elegant Curtain Bluff. Sandals Grande Antigua Set on breathtaking Dickenson Bay, this romantic resort offers two uniquely-themed villages.Guests can choose from 379 rooms and suites in a range of categories. Some with private pools and butler service.Enjoy water and land sports, six pools, nine restaurants, eight bars, a nightclub, and theme- dress nights as well as optional treatments at the Red Lane ®Spa. A stained-glass tower in Sandals breezy lobby heralds
© Vacation Side Travel Our Top Picks for Honeymoons the colorful, open-air ambiance. Both group activities and privacy are available around the densely planted grounds. Only couples age 18 and older are accepted as guests. Three medium-sized and one large pool are situated around the grounds. Eight-person spa tubs are paired with the smaller pools. Surrounded by a thick garden, the large pool comprises a good-size round section and a smaller section that curves around a two-sided swim-up bar. Adjacent is a 20-person spa tub. The beach fronting the resort provides a half-mile of nearly white sand. The Veranda, Turks & Caicos The Veranda Resort is an all-inclusive property. Room rates include meals and beverages at on-site restaurants and bars, taxes, and gratuities. Other amenities, including access to recreational activities and entertainment may also be included. Additional charges may apply for meals at some restaurants, special dinners and dishes, certain beverages, and other amenities. The Veranda has 2 restaurants and also features a bar/lounge and a poolside bar. A complimentary buffet breakfast is served each morning. The property provides room service during limited hours. The full-service spa at this property features massage and treatment rooms, facial treatments, body treatments, and beauty services. In addition to 3 outdoor swimming pools, The Veranda All Inclusive features a health club, a steam room, a fitness facility, a children’s pool, and tennis courts. Business-related amenities at this 4.0-star property include complimentary wireless Internet access, a business center, technology support staff, and secretarial services. Meeting and conference facilities measuring 6300 square feet include conference rooms, banquet facilities, and meeting rooms for small groups. Transportation options at this property include a complimentary area shuttle within 2 mi and a complimentary airport shuttle (available on request). This property also offers a coffee shop/café and a concierge desk. Sandals Grande St.Lucian,St.Lucia Green Globe certified Luxury Included® beach resort set on a spectacular peninsula offering breathtaking mountain views. 301 rooms and suites in a range of categories, including new Beachfront Rondovals, suites-in-the-round with 24-hour room service, private pools and whirlpools and Butler Service.Complimentary motorized water sports including scuba diving, eight restaurants, a full-service Red Lane® Spa and exchange privileges at two nearby Sandals Resorts. Romance is the theme, with amenities such as two-person hammocks, two-person hammock-chairs, two-person swings, two-person lounge chairs with privacy shades, two-person massage rooms, and a heart-shape pool. Activities run day and night, but 17 lawn-and-garden acres and the beach provide ample space for private moments. Only couples age 18 and older are accepted as guests.Th resort features is situated on the best beach in St.Lucia Pool options abound: A
© Vacation Side Travel Our Top Picks for Honeymoons lagoon pool encircling a central sun deck sprawls 100 yards on the Atlantic side; a Romanesque pool with inset 30-person spa tub, features a 350-degree swim-up bar; an activities pool pairs with a sunset-view 16-person spa tub, and a heart-shape pool features a deck with double, cushioned, teak lounge chairs beneath fold-up shades and a 10-person spa tub. Anse Chastanet,St.Lucia Nestled between the distant Pitons peaks and the ocean, these 49 bungalows sit on 600 acres of tropical foliage. By the beach or on the hills, rooms offer views of mountains and blue sea outside. For adventure: jungle biking, ocean kayaking, and snorkeling. For the wind-down: spa treatments and a doze on the beach. Long a popular getaway for celebrating couples, Anse Chastanet (Bay of Chastanet) lies at the end of a rugged, 3-km (2-mi) forest road, a world away from real-world stress. Guests come here for the tranquility; the beach; the snorkeling and scuba diving; the jungle mountain biking/hiking; the forest’s nocturnal tree-frog chorus; and the opportunity to be alone together. A 250-yd beach curves between two rocky headlands, with the calm Caribbean lapping against soft, tan/gray volcanic sand. Thatched shades shield lounge chairs and hammocks hang between coconut palms. At the bay’s south end is a notable and accessible snorkeling/diving site where fish, coral, and other marine life are visible within a few yards of shore. The resort provides complimentary snorkeling gear and its diving center offers beginner lessons, certification courses, and reef, wreck, wall, and night dives. LeSport, St.Lucia This resort offers 300 yards of beachfront surrounded by an 18-acre garden.All rooms feature four-poster beds and a view of the garden or ocean.The resort features a full-service spa, pools, and a nine-hole golf course. Guest are treated to one spa service each day as part of the all-inclusive here. Dedicated to health and fitness, rejuvenation and rest, and communal experiences, the resort does not include televisions in guest rooms. During the day, guests often stroll in spa bathrobes. Because the resort attracts Europeans as well as North Americans, topless sunbathing is common. Set on a ridgetop against a hillside covered with blossoms and forest, the Moorish-style seaview health/fitness spa includes 37 treatment rooms, two courtyards (one with pool), and a rooftop nude-sunbathing deck. Forested hills and rocky points prevent outsiders from reaching the beach, above which lies a pool and spa tub. Guests scuba dive and snorkel off the beach. The resort’s Asian-European fine-dining restaurant earns local renown. Peter Island, British Virgin Islands
© Vacation Side Travel Our Top Picks for Honeymoons A 30-minute boat trip from Tortola, this 52-room resort on private 1,800-acre Peter Island features five distinctive beaches. Rooms and suites supply privacy and tropical ambience. Suites have two-person jetted tubs and showers and our situated right on the islands best beach.the resort’s boats transport guests to snorkeling and diving sites and to neighboring islands for shopping and sightseeing. With guests discouraged from bringing children under age 8 and no televisions in rooms and suites, the resort attracts adults seeking rest, relaxation, and privacy. In addition to its five beaches, the hilly island offers myriad points for viewing the sea and neighboring islands along a narrow road suitable for bicycling, walking, and touring by complimentary shuttle. Resort wear dress (long pants, collared shirt, and closed-toe shoes for men) is expected in the lobby area. The room price is Full American Plan (FAP), with all meals (but not beverages) included. Five beaches grace the resort. Crescent-shaped Deadman’s Bay Beach extends about 1 mile and provides swimming, snorkeling, and water sports opportunities. Although all Virgin Island beaches are public, the resort steers day-visitors to Little Deadman’s Bay Beach so resort guests have the larger beach to themselves. Tiny Honeymoon Beach offers intimacy and a single thatched-roof shade. Big Reef Bay Beach’s 0.75-mile length is for beach combing. Furnished with lounges and umbrellas, White Bay Beach is noted for snorkeling, turtle-watching, and privacy. For freshwater swimming, a freeform pool surrounded by cushioned lounge chairs lies between the lobby and the Caribbean.