There are as many honeymoon possibilities as there are
honeymooners. Here, in no particular order, are a variety of ideas
for a romantic vacation.
The Islands of The Bahamas
East and south of southern Florida, the 700-plus islands and coral
outcroppings that make up the formerly British, now independent,
The Islands Of The Bahamas offer great variety within easy distance
of most East Coast U.S. cities. The pace of some islands is set by
their casinos; the pace on others is slow and natural. The weather
in The Islands of The Bahamas is generally warm and sunny. The
warmest months are July and August, when the average temperature
range is from 75 to 89. The coolest month is January, when the
range is from 62 to 77.
For an overall picture of honeymoon possibilities in The Islands
Of The Bahamas, and a wedding planner, contact the Nassau Paradise
Island Tourist Board, the Brand Bahama Island Tourist Board and The
Bahama Out Islands Promotion Board for details about the dozens of
places to stay on the quieter islands.
Grand Bahama Island's Club Fortuna Beach, one of Viva Resorts'
all-inclusive properties, provides good value for honeymooning
couples who want a lively resort with some foreign atmosphere. The
204-room Club Fortuna has a white-sand beach, a wide range of
nonmotorized water sports, a variety of professional nightclub
shows and access to the nearby Lucaya Golf & Country Club and
the Fortune Hills Golf & Country Club.
On Paradise Island, couples who want the action but have a
limited budget could consider Comfort Suites Paradise Island. The
six-night Bahamian Supreme package can become a honeymoon plan. The
property is a short walk from the beach, restaurants and shops.
Also nearby is the 1,147-room and suite Atlantis Paradise Island
Resort with its casino, restaurants, and 14-acre waterscape. For
honeymoons at Atlantis, ask about the Honeymoon on Paradise
package, which has a two-night minimum and includes chilled
champagne, a picnic lunch and a day cruise.
Sunstruck, sea-splashed holidays are the speciality of this region,
but the 30-plus island groups and the Central and South American
countries bordering the western and southern shores of the
Caribbean offer far more variety than sun-and-sea. While the
justifiably popular all-inclusives are easy to sell, the region
also offers tropical forests with hillside or mountain resorts,
cozy inns, exclusive island resorts and restored plantation
The Caribbean also includes the Aztec and Maya influences of
Mexico's Yucatan peninsula, the Amerindians and Bushnegroes of
Guyana. Honeymooners can observe their culture as well as buy their
crafts. Opportunities also exist to hike in rain forests, go
kayaking and sailing and enjoy soft-adventure excursions such as
jeep safaris in Aruba and birding in the mountains of the Dominican
Aruba's "Honeymoon Planner," available through the Aruba Tourism
Authority, can be given to clients who are uncertain about where to
go. In addition to providing details about getting married in Aruba
and special places for a wedding and reception, the brochure
describes the annual One Cool Honeymoon promotion in May, June and
September, when most properties offer added value with some free
services. Most Aruba hotels have honeymoon packages throughout the
year. Agents can check with Americana, Holiday Inn, Hyatt,
Marriott, Radisson, Sonesta and Wyndham, but shouldn't overlook
some of the domestic properties such as Bucuti Beach Resort,
Amsterdam Manor, or The Mill Condominium Resort that have island
personality and imaginative plans.
On Barbados, Pemberton Princess Hotels has a Royal Romance plan
for both its Glitter Bay and Royal Pavilion properties, beachside
neighbors on the west coast. The honeymoon package includes chilled
champagne and orchids on arrival, plus day-after arrival breakfast,
daily afternoon tea and use of nonmotorized water sports
The British Virgin Islands, rising from the sea northeast of St.
Thomas and St. John, two of the U.S. Virgins, seem far removed from
pressure-cooked life. Berths aboard charter yachts outnumber hotel
rooms in these islands which are surrounded by some of the region's
best sailing seas. Couples eager to enjoy a more quiet setting
should consider Drake's Anchorage, a 125-acre private island off
the north coast of Virgin Gorda, with a 10-room inn with two
villas. Accessible only by boat, the island has four secluded
beaches, hiking trails and a waterfront restaurant.
Grenada's Blue Horizons Cottage Hotel offers a seven-night
Honeymoon Deluxe Vacation until Dec 16. Located on six acres, a
short walk from the beach, the 32 rooms are in cottages on the
hillside. The plan includes all breakfasts and one dinner at nearby
La Belle Creole restaurant.
Grenada's Calabash Hotel has several two-story cottages with 30
suites, some of which have private plunge pools or whirlpools and
all of which face the lawn that reaches to beach and sea.
Jamaica's Half Moon Golf, Tennis & Beach Club with 400 acres
is a beachside resort with complete facilities, including a golf
course, paddle tennis courts, horseback riding, spa facilities,
several swimming pools and a full range of restaurants. Lodgings
include free-standing villas, two stories of seaview hotel rooms
and, the newest addition, 32 five-, six- and seven-bedroom Royal
In Puerto Rico, the Horned Dorset Primavera offers package plans
that can be ideal for honeymoons. With a pool on the lawn in front
of the Spanish neo-colonial hacienda that serves as the main house
and a small-but-pleasant beach bordering the hacienda on the sea
side, the hotel has the feeling of a country estate. A seven-night
Island Relief plan includes daily breakfasts and dinners, as well
as transfers from Mayaguez or Aguadilla airports. Priced at $3,500
to $4,500 Dec. 15 to April 15, the plan does not include taxes and
St. Lucia's Windjammer Landing Villa Beach Resort has a
honeymoon package that offers extras for couples who book one of
the property's one-bedroom villas or a superior or deluxe room.
Weddings can be arranged through the hotel.
In St. Martin (the French side), overlooking Anse Marcel, the
hilltop-capping Privilege Resort and Spa has a seven-night
honeymoon package for $2,645 per couple until mid-December, $3,645
in winter season, through mid-April. (Rates for Christmas holidays
and February are higher.) Included in the package are daily
breakfasts; one dinner; use of spa facilities; access to tennis,
squash and racquetball, and a helicopter tour of St. Martin.
St. Martin's Le Meridien L'Habitation Le Domaine can seem like
being on the French Riviera. Nestled on its own bay on the
northeast (French) shore of the Dutch/French island, the resort has
grown from its original cluster to include a fully equipped marina,
many shops, several restaurants and a wide range of accommodations.
Honeymoon packages at Le Meridien L'Habitation Le Domaine include
dinner for two at La Belle France restaurant, matching T-shirts and
transfers from the island's airport to the resort. Through Dec. 19,
four-night honeymoon packages start at $920.
Clients can combine two or more islands for a longer honeymoon.
Air Jamaica's hub at Montego Bay, Jamaica, allows for stopovers in
Jamaica on a fare to Antigua, Grand Cayman, Nassau, The Bahamas,
Barbados, St. Lucia and Providenciales in the Turks & Caicos,
all of which are included in the carrier's schedule. Call
Well-traveled honeymooners are ideal candidates for Explorer
tickets sold by Antigua-based LIAT (Leeward Islands Air Transport),
for interisland travel throughout the Caribbean. Available
year-round on LIAT services only, the $249 Explorer BE249 is valid
for three stops in a maximum of 21 days. The $449 Super Caribbean
Explorer BE449, also available year-round on LIAT services only, is
valid for unlimited stops in 30 days, and is sold within the
Caribbean. In addition, a Caribbean Air Pass BE80 is offered at $80
per flight for three to six islands, with a maximum 21-day travel
period. Call (268) 462-0700.
Sandals and Beaches resorts flourish in five Caribbean
countries: Jamaica, St. Lucia, Antigua, Nassau in The Islands of
The Bahamas and Providenciales in the Turks & Caicos. Weddings
at Sandals start at $750, and include the clergyman or justice of
the peace, plus witnesses (if required), flowers, wedding cake and
video of the ceremony. At present, weddings are included in the
all-inclusive vacation prices at Beaches resorts.
SuperClubs Super-Inclusive Resorts include the wedding ceremony,
with officials, cake and other elements requested by the client in
their all-inclusive rates. With nine properties in four brand
categories, the Jamaica-based SuperClubs has resorts in three
Caribbean countries -- Jamaica, The Islands of The Bahamas and
Caribbean Inns represents about 20 inns on a dozen islands. Each
place has its own possibilities for special honeymoon packages, for
clients who want unique surroundings in the region. Among the
properties are Admiral's Inn at English Harbour on Antigua; Sugar
Mill on Tortola and Old Yard Inn on Virgin Gorda in the British
Virgin Islands; Hamak on the French island of Guadeloupe, and
Villas Tacul on the beach at Cancun.
GOGO Worldwide Vacations' programs throughout the Caribbean
include many hotels that have honeymoon packages, and smaller
properties where you can make special arrangements for your clients
such as an island tour or a half-day sail. On the Cayman Islands,
for example, GOGO has land-only packages at Spanish Bay Reef and
Beach Club Colony, both of which offer inclusive-priced holidays,
as well as condominium resorts such as Villas of the Galleon,
Westin Casaurina Resort and Treasure Island Resort, both on Seven
While the Florida Keys share characteristics of Caribbean islands
and Sanibel-Captiva offers traditional Floridian places to stay,
self-contained resorts fleck the shorelines -- both east coast and
Disney Fairy Tale Weddings has information about planning
weddings and about honeymoon packages at the Walt Disney World
resorts. In addition to facilities at many of the resorts in the
Lake Buena Vista (Orlando) area, a special wedding pavilion opened
in July 1995 for the program, which began in 1991. Fantasy
receptions can be planned, using Disney themes. Several honeymoon
plans are available; most are four-night bookings. Both the
Intimate Wedding and the Honeymoon packets are available through
Fax-on-Demand at (800) 900-8080, which will help answer a lot of
your clients' questions. For further information call (800)
In 1998, between June 1 and Aug. 31, if your clients hold their
wedding reception and dinner for 150 people (or more) at the Four
Seasons Resort Palm Beach, they'll be given complimentary deluxe
oceanview accommodations and chilled champagne at the Palm Beach
hotel for their wedding night plus a three-night honeymoon
immediately following at Four Seasons Resort Nevis, on the
Caribbean island of Nevis. Air fare (from Miami, via Puerto Rico)
is not included. The couple can also stay at the 210-room Four
Seasons Resort Palm Beach.
Sanibel Island and Captiva Island have dozens of places in all
price ranges that could be ideal for honeymooning couples. With the
atmosphere of Caribbean islands, these places have all the comforts
of being in the U.S. -- and can be driven to and from the island
via Fort Myers, the nearest mainland city and airport. Captiva,
tied to Sanibel by a short and narrow bridge, has South Seas
Plantation Resort at its tip.
The Florida Keys can be an enchanted world for honeymooners who
enjoy fishing and island life. More than 100 islands (keys) stretch
over 126 miles, and more than 1,000 places to stay dot the islands.
The main road that ties Key West to Miami, and most of the keys to
each other, is the artery for arrival, unless your clients fly out
of Miami on the small plane service to Marathon or Key West.
Contact the Florida Keys Tourism Board for airline information.
In the Florida Keys, check out Little Palm Island Resort on
Little Torch Key. The resort can be reached only by boat or by the
resort's seaplane, and has a five-night honeymoon package that
includes body massages, a sunset sail and a snorkeling trip.
The 50th state is eight major islands that are as different in
personality from each other as the people who visit them. Honolulu
on Oahu is the best known resort area, as well as the most
tourist-focused, with its early fame gained from Waikiki Beach and
surfers' enthusiasm for the high rollers there. Maui's more recent
development resulted in tourist enclaves (and timeshare salesfolk)
along several shores. Kauai and Niihau, on the Asian side of the
state, are less trammeled and more natural, while the Big Island of
Hawaii, the largest island, on the U.S. west coast side, has he
headline-making volcanoes and a vast and spectacular national park.
Molokai, Lanai and Kahoolawe are in Maui's orbit, northwest of the
Big Island and southeast of Oahu.
Oahu's Kahala Mandarin Oriental has a wedding chapel where
sensational views include Koko Head and the Kahala coastline.
On the Big Island, bed and breakfast lodgings are comfortable,
unusual and memorable. A six-day trip that includes hiking the
historic King's Trail to a remote beach and snorkeling in a marine
preserve as well as sailing in a catamaran in search of dolphins
and humpback whales is offered through American Wilderness
Experience. The company also organizes a 10-day adventure on Kauai,
Maui and the Big Island, and a 12-day adventure on Oahu and
The Orchid Mauna Lani, a member of the Luxury Collection of ITT
Sheraton, is a 539-room oceanfront resort with a wide range of
facilities that include a spa, fitness center, pools, tennis and
golf. On the Kohala Coast of the Big Island, the resort has a
number of packages that can be adapted for honeymoons, as well as
one tailor-made for the event. The resort can also arrange wedding
On Kauai, the Princeville Resort, on 23 acres at Pu'u Poa Ridge
facing Hanalei Bay, provides a base from which honeymoon couples
can hike the Na Pali Trail or explore other areas.
Maui's beachside resorts are legion, with dozens of
condominiums, as well as some small properties, and several name
brand properties. At the Westin Maui, an 11-story, 741-room resort,
the Honeymoon package usually includes daily buffet breakfasts, one
dinner at Villa restaurant and one sunset boat cruise.
Mexico offers far more variety than most clients expect. The
promotion of Cancun and the ability to value-price make the Yucatan
resort area a prime consideration for many couples, but there are
countless destinations along the west coast as well as in some of
the central areas. For luxury accommodations on the beach at
Cancun, Casa Turquesa has 33 deluxe suites, each with a terrace
The island of Cozumel, south of resort-filled Cancun, is in a
low-key atmosphere that has long been popular with divers and other
water sport enthusiasts. Accommodations range from the modestly
priced 25-room Al Marestel and the 27-room apartment hotel Bahia to
resorts that offer inclusive-priced plans, plus a couple of large
resorts. Among the places offering inclusive packages that can be
ideal for honeymoons are the 220-room Club Cozumel and the 50-room
Bounty Beach Resort. Allegro's 300-room Diamond Resort offers a
three-night honeymoon plan that has some extra services. A $250
add-on gives free laundry services including massage discounts,
breakfast in bed and special check-in.
Mountain vacations come in all price ranges -- and in many places.
Once you've established the budget and time available, you can
steer clients to lovely places in Vermont, Utah, Colorado, Canada,
Switzerland, western Austria, northern Italy, or places that are
The French Alps published a "Discovery Guide," with information
about several mountain resort areas. Some are modern, high in the
mountains, within easy distance of ski lifts that also serve in
summer for reaching hiking trails. One place to consider for
romance is Megeve, where all buildings have been meticulously
maintained in the Alpine chalet style, even when they have been
recently built. Among the several small hotels with very special
atmosphere is the Hotel Alpina, near the main square.
Austria offers a wide range of travel experiences that can
appeal to honeymooners. If the couple wants culture, Vienna is an
ideal place, with opportunities for a day trip or longer to
Budapest, Hungary, and music everywhere in a city where cafe life
thrives. In the western part of Austria, dozens of Alpine villages
offer chalets and other accommodations for couples who enjoy walks,
hikes, skiing and other sports, defined by the season (and the
height of the slopes).
Italy's mountains and lakes have lured poets, artists and other
romantics for centuries. While the major cities may be well known,
many of the villages and towns in the Alps offer charming
facilities and opportunities for the outdoor life. Lago di Garda,
shared by the provinces of Lombardia and Veneto, with a tiny
northern tip in the Trentino-Alto, Adige/Sud Tirol region, is the
quintessential lake, with several small towns along its shores.
Trento, the capital of the Trentino region, in Italy's northeastern
Alps, can be a starting point for honeymooners who want to explore
the area. Italtour has programs in this area. So does Italy Farm
Holidays, which carefully researches its properties each year.
Switzerland has many advantages, including the fact that getting
around the country on public transportation (train, lakeboat,
postal bus, cable car) is very easy with one of an assortment of
Swiss Passes, available through Rail Europe. Switzerland's public
transportation network Passes come in a variety of time spans, both
first and second class; there's a special pass for two people
traveling together that would be ideal for honeymooners.
Colorado's Copper Mountain Resorts, a central office that
represents approximately 75% of the rooms in the area, can help
with putting together bed-and-breakfast packages for honeymooners
as well as suggesting plans with more elaborate accommodations.
Well known for ski vacations, the resort also has plenty to do in
summer months, when the chairlift is free and hiking trails are
well-marked. Horseback riding is popular; bicycles can be rented.
Located 75 miles west of Denver and 20 miles east of Vail, the
resort is easily reached from Denver airport.
Luxury Resorts & Personality Places
When your clients expect a full-service resort, where staff await
their bidding, there are several reliable sources for suggestions.
Answers to a few questions can carve the possibilities into
mountain resort or beachside bastion. From that point onward, you
can look to some of the widely respected hotel representatives. In
addition to the well-known international management names -- Four
Seasons, Hilton, Hyatt, Radisson, Regent, Renaissance, Sheraton and
Westin among them -- it's worth checking Best Western (the firm
represents hundreds of charming, often family-owned,
always-comfortable hotels around European and other countries) and
some groups that are household names in Europe, such as Minotel and
Silence, but perhaps not so well known in the U.S.
If the couple shares an interest in the good life, especially as
it's enjoyed in Europe, give them a copy of the "Relais &
Chateaux International Guide," sold to the public for $8 but
sometimes available to agents at a special price. The 413 privately
owned, elegant hotels that are members of Relais & Chateaux
share a quality found in country houses and estates.
Les Romantiques, a newsletter published by a public relations
firm, has an edition about France that bases itineraries on
exceptional small properties the firm represents. Ideal for
honeymooners, any of the hotels can offer an opportunity to tour
the surrounding countryside. Included among suggested itineraries
are Paris and the nearby countryside, as well as the Loire Valley,
Brittany, Alsace and other areas.
Marketing Ahead represents Posadas in Portugal and Paradors in
Spain, as well as other unique, often historic, always atmospheric
European properties. Well-traveled couples could enjoy renting a
car to drive from arrival city to one or more of the properties,
depending on their length of stay and personal interests. The
representative can give suggestions for arranging a wedding at one
of the properties. Call (800) 223-1356.
Romantik Hotels is a group of privately owned, usually historic
properties throughout Europe. Each hotel has its own personality,
typical of the region in which it is located. Properties are often
family-owned and managed. Bedrooms usually vary in size and style,
as is the case with older European buildings. The properties are
known for good food and pleasant surroundings. An attractive
booklet contains details about the inns, with contact numbers.
Rosewood Hotels & Resorts is a small group of luxury
properties, specifically Caneel Bay on St. John in the U.S. Virgin
Islands, Little Dix Bay in the nearby British Virgin Islands (on
Virgin Gorda), Las Ventas al Paraiso at Cabo San Lucas on Mexico's
Baja peninsula, the Bristol in Panama City, Panama, and the Seiyo
Ginza, a 60-room property in Tokyo.
Another place for one-stop shopping for personality properties
in the Caribbean and Italy is JDB. The firm represents about 20
Caribbean properties and over 100 throughout Italy. Call (800)
Among the Caribbean properties are Rawlins Plantation Inn on St.
Kitts, Cinnamon Reef and Frangipani on Anguilla; Cobblers Cove on
Barbados, and Biras Creek on Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin
Islands. The Italian properties are mostly four- and five-star,
with a few three-star in the countryside. Ask about the In Love
packages, targeted for honeymooners and anniversary celebrations.
Each includes a candlelight champagne dinner for two in a romantic
setting, in addition to other elements.
While sunny destinations immediately come to mind for
honeymoons, there's merit in considering some of the Ritz-Carlton
city hotels near hometowns for couples with limited time. The
Ritz-Carlton Philadelphia, for example, has packages that include
museum visits and other special features. Ritz-Carlton's resort
properties have honeymoon plans as well as other multinight plans
that can be adapted. Inquire about seasonal offerings and specific
facilities at the Ritz-Carlton St. Thomas, in the U.S. Virgin
Islands, or the one on the beach in Cancun, Mexico.
Leading Hotels of the World has a membership that includes 310
of the world's most luxurious properties. Most of the European
sites are historic properties that have been completely refurbished
to meet Leading's standards; several of the properties have
recently added extensive spa facilities. While elegant suites at
all properties would be ideal for a romantic interlude, standard
rooms with a special view offer exceptional facilities at most.
About 25% of Leading Hotels' members offer honeymoon programs, or
romantic multinight vacations that would be ideal for the
Orient Express Hotels are led by the Hotel Cipriani in Venice,
purchased by the company in 1976. Highly respected for its
class-act trains and cruises -- the Venice Simplon Orient Express,
British Pullman, Eastern & Oriental Express and Road to
Mandalay -- the firm's collection also includes two Portuguese
hotels, the Hotel Quinta do Lago in the Algarve and Reid's Palace
on the island of Madeira; La Samanna on St. Martin in the
Caribbean; the Copacabana Palace in Rio de Janeiro, and U.S.
properties such as the Lodge at Vail, Colo.,and Charleston Place in
Exotic and Unique
For couples who have backpacked in Europe and are experienced
adventure travelers, several travel companies and destinations
offer exciting possibilities. On itineraries arranged with the help
of the pros -- Abercrombie & Kent International, Quark
Expeditions, Special Expeditions, American Wilderness Experience
and other companies -- clients can enjoy a more adventurous
honeymoon. Luxurious (and private) accommodations are available on
many of the exotic itineraries. Many of the small ships have deluxe
cabins; most of the carefully chosen hotels have at least one
elegant suite, even when the hotel may be small and remote.
Opportunities to share a common interest -- or for one part of the
couple to learn more about a special interest of the other partner
-- can be wonderful. Boulder, Colo.-based American Wilderness
Experience, has many exotic suggestions for honeymooning couples
interested in real adventure. One four-day lodge-to-lodge
snowmobiling expedition departs from Clark, Colo. to travel by
snowmobile through an area north of Steamboat Springs. Two nights
are spent at an inn; daytimes are outdoor adventures. Departures
are scheduled for January through mid-March.
Give a copy of the company's "World of Possibilities" booklet to
your clients, for them to think about such places as Alaska, or
Papua New Guinea.
For an adventuresome, well-heeled couple who've already spent
quality time together, consider one of the exotic expeditions
planned by Natural Habitat Adventures. Based in Boulder, Colo., the
company uses family-owned and operated hotels reached by air or
land service out of Winnipeg and Churchill, Manitoba, Canada, for
their annual (October) six- to nine-day Polar Bear Adventures, when
participants have a rare opportunity to witness the polar bear
migration and tundra wildlife. Advance planning is essential.
Quark Expeditions provides travel experiences no participant
will ever forget. For well-traveled couples, a private cabin aboard
the firm's Kapitan Dranitsyn is an ideal newly-wed's nest. Some
July-August itineraries include the Northeast Passage along the
Siberian coast on a 4,000-mile journey from Kirkenes, Norway, to
Provideniya, Russia, located across the Bering Strait from Alaska's