Ten off-the-beaten-path Honeymoon Destinations
By Katie Thompsn
After all the hubbub of a wedding, the honeymoon is the time you and your new spouse can get away from it all and relax. There are no guests lists to deliberate over, no relatives to please and no one to worry about except you and your beloved.
All the excitement of the wedding and the work to get ready for the big day is one reason that so many couples prefer to get off the beaten path for their first couple weeks of life together. Few couples say they want to go to the big city for their honeymoon. Instead, many head for a sunny locale at a luxurious resort - where the biggest decision they have to make is which swimsuit to wear that day.
Here are 10 suggestions for an off-the-beaten-path honeymoon to remember:
This locale, known for its gorgeous beaches, is one of the most popular honeymoon locations. There are oodles of resorts to choose from, with most major hotel chains represented, as well as a collection of stand-alones. The Ritz-Carlton, JW Marriot, Wyndham and Hilton are just a few of them.
So how do you decide where to stay? First, some resorts are for adults only. So if you want to guarantee you aren't awakened by children splashing in the pool outside your room at 10 a.m., this might be a good choice. Next, check traveler's lists. The Ritz-Carlton in Cancun made two lists in 2008 for top vacation spots. And if you plan on getting in some golf, then the Excellence Playa Mujeres has a signature golf course designed by the Shark, Greg Norman.
Riviera Maya, Mexico
Only in Riviera Maya can you swim by an archaeological site. Tulum, the remains of an ancient civilization, rests on the shore of the Caribbean Sea. It has more than 60 well-preserved structures on the site. Next to where the temple once stood is a small beach where you can swim and take in the world of the ancient Mayans. There are hotels along this stretch of beach where you can gaze at the past while anticipating your future.
Montego Bay and Ocho Rios, Jamaica
Check out hotels in both Montego Bay and Ocho Rios in Jamaica, in the Northern Caribbean for a dream honeymoon. The island of Jamaica has it all - glorious sunsets, beautiful white beaches, green mountains and breathtaking waterfalls - all of which you can enjoy. You have a choice of two locales and your choice of hotels. Again, some hotels are geared to families, which may not be your first choice. Instead, how about the Italian-inspired Sandals Dunn's River Villaggio Golf Resort and Spa or Sandals Montego Bay? Or for a touch of classic Jamaica, try the Jamaica Inn with its 700-foot private beach and views of the sea from every suite.
If you want to stay in the United States, go west to Hawaii. This state and its 130 islands is on most "must-see" lists. Maui, one of the bigger islands, is also home to a host of wonderful honeymoon hotels. The Four Seasons Maui Resort is the only hotel in Hawaii to earn the designation of Mobil's 5-Star Resort. If you want to get even farther away, then check out Hotel Hana Maui and Honua Spa. It's located on a 4,500-acre ranch and offers some of the best views of the undisturbed island.
For a touch of French, try St. Lucia - a small, lush island that remains not nearly as well-known or developed as others in the Caribbean. Its accommodations are second to none and it offers a few discreet resorts if that's what you're seeking.
If you're interested in diving, snorkeling or just basking under the hot sun, the Bahamas may be the spot for you. It's close to the United States, making it a quick trip for most honeymooners. It has a couple skyscraper-type resorts - the Reef Atlantis and the Cove Atlantis - but it also has get-away-from-it-all places like Sandals Royal Bahamian Spa Resort and Offshore Island. This offshore island has two white-sand beaches and fabulous dining at nine restaurants.
Paradise Island, Bahamas
This island is home to the One & Only Ocean Club, which was once a private estate. It landed on Condé Nast Traveler's Gold List in 2009 and Travel+Leisure's 2009 "T+L 500. Enjoy its romantic gardens inspired by nothing less than Versailles.
Located just 600 miles off the coast of North Carolina, Bermuda is a popular choice for honeymoons - as well as weddings. The island has more golf courses per square mile than any other place in the world.
Walt Disney World
OK. It's not quite off the beaten path, but some couples dream of a honeymoon in the Magic Kingdom. For the couple that enjoys amusement parks - and fun in the sun - Walt Disney World can be a dream come true. There is even a Disney Honeymoon Registry, where your guests can help contribute to the cost of your Central Florida honeymoon.
Katie Thompsn is a freelance writer who writes about a variety of travel topics including honeymoons
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Views expressed in the article are those of the author and are not necessarily the opinions of CaribbeanChoice, its staff or members.