Now that you've completed the daunting task of selecting your date, venue, cake, flower arrangements, and music, you and your better half are certainly due for a romantic getaway. But where to? After months of meticulous wedding plotting and planning, you still have one more decision to make before tying the knot: where to stay on honeymoon. Your post-nuptial getaway, like your wedding, has to be perfect, and choosing the right place to spend your first few days of newlywed bliss can feel overwhelming.
But take a deep breath: We're here to help. After compiling the 2013 Best Hotels in the USA and Best Hotels in the Caribbean rankings, a few properties stuck out as prime honeymoon hideaways. From stunning urban escapes to extravagant beachfront resorts, we've compiled a list of romantic retreats that cater to couples of all kinds.
Ski bunnies rejoice: We've found the perfect cozy ski lodge for winter weather-loving newlyweds. If your honeymoon coincides with powder season, then consider booking the "Couples' Mountain Escape" package at the Four Seasons Resort Jackson Hole. Two-day ski rentals, lift tickets, and romantic extras (like a couples High Altitude Body Soak treatment at the spa) are all included in your nightly rate. And did we mention that these romantic digs come filled with chocolate covered strawberries, wine, and cheese? So go ahead: snuggle up with your sweetheart beside the crackling fireplace of your mountain-view suite and watch the sun drape the Grand Tetons. You'll find plenty to love at this resort—from its cozy restaurant to its rustic grounds—which just so happens to hold the No. 2 spot on our 2013 Best Hotels in Jackson Hole list.
What could be sweeter than celebrating your new nuptials on a former sugar plantation? The Nisbet Plantation Beach Club, situated on Nevis' northeastern coast, serves as the perfect place. The No. 6 property on the 2013 Best Hotels in the Caribbean list stuns with its pearly white sand and ultra-luxurious accommodations. Snuggle up with your better half inside one of the resort's plantation-style guestrooms, appointed with wicker furniture and a serene balcony or patio. "Here, couples are able to truly relax and connect with each other," says Leonora Didder, the wedding planner at Nisbet Plantation. "To add more romance to their stay, many couples enjoy a candlelit dinner on the beach or a couple's massage in our spa." Plus, if you and your partner-in-crime are itching to get off the property grounds, you can borrow Vespa scooters from the resort and explore the 36-square-mile island on two wheels.
If you and your sweetheart are a rough-and-tumble kind of twosome, then consider honeymooning at Triple Creek Ranch in Darby, Mont. This cowboy-style retreat offers a rich array of activities for active duos: Snow-shoeing through deep powder, fly fishing, and cattle driving (offered between June and October) are just a few outdoor pursuits available. You can even book a private helicopter to fly you and your honey to Glacier National Park, where you can spend the day hiking. Afterwards, you can steal away to your luxurious lodge to soak up the area's dramatic scenery in seclusion."The whole atmosphere of Triple Creek is very romantic," said Deb Schara, Director of Sales and Marketing for Triple Creek Ranch. "You stay in a log cabin with wood-burning fireplaces. It's a very homey atmosphere." And should you book the honeymoon cabin, you and your new spouse may be hard-pressed to find a reason to step outside: You can have your meals delivered to you, and since Triple Creek's all-inclusive rates cover food, wine, and snacks, you won't have to worry about your life savings while you pamper yourselves in the lap of luxury.
If the very thought of retreating to a remote log cabin or a far-flung Caribbean cabana makes you stir-crazy, then consider stealing away to a bustling urban metropolis like New York City. Stay in the heart of it all by booking a suite for you and your new spouse at The Setai Fifth Avenue, which reigns supreme as the No. 1 Manhattan mainstay on our 2013 Best Hotels in New York City round-up. The Setai's honeymoon package includes all the classics: breakfast in bed, champagne, chocolate-covered strawberries, and a couples' massage. You can spend all day in your suite overlooking Manhattan's iconic skyline, tantalizing your taste buds with a Michelin-rated meal at the in-house Ai Fiori restaurant, or venturing out into the city. After you've hit the town, finish off your day with a nightcap and live jazz at the Bar on Fifth.
Looking to honeymoon amid manicured gardens, bay windows, and white picket fences? Then take a cue from businesswoman and socialite Ivanka Trump and head to the Mayflower Inn & Spa in Washington, Conn. At this idyllic countryside retreat, Ivanka and her husband, Jared Kushner, indulged in a short-but-sweet post-nuptial getaway in 2009. Just a two-hour drive from New York City, the Mayflower reigns as the pinnacle of New England luxury, with 30 opulent guestrooms furnished with four-poster canopied beds, flickering fireplaces, and spacious marble baths. Once you've settle in, you and your sweetheart can pamper yourselves at the Mayflower Spa with a Warm Honey Massage. But that's not all the Mayflower has to offer in the way of romance. To truly appreciate the splendor of the inn's 58 lush acres, you may have to copy Ivanka one more time: Visit in autumn to watch the trees burst with bright red, burnt-orange, and gold-tinted leaves.
Calling all wine-lovers: If your ideal honeymoon consists of sipping heavenly vino and cozying up in intimate caverns, then you should highly consider honeymooning at Calistoga Ranch. Situated in scenic Napa Valley, this resort caters especially to grape aficionados—it has its own wine cave, and you and your new spouse can indulge in wine-tasting seminars and blending classes. But you and your sweetheart won't just fall in love with the delectable vintages: You'll surely find Calistoga's gorgeous scenery just as intoxicating. The 48 free-standing lodges feature outdoor living areas with fireplaces and enormous windows that look out onto the Ranch's wooded surroundings. And if you're looking for some extra romance, spring for the "Starry Nights" package, which includes an intimate candlelit dinner for two and a 60-minute couples' spa treatment followed by complimentary wine and cheese back at your lodge.
Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton honeymooned at The Kahala after their first marriage in 1964, so you know that this resort in southeastern Oahu is classy. And it's easy to see why Liz and Dick chose to stay at The Kahala. These digs feature all of the elements of a classic Hawaiian honeymoon: sweeping ocean-views, superb service, and a deluxe spa with tropical treatments designed for couples. Once you and your better half have settled in, you won't want to pass up the fantastic Hawaiian-Asian-European fusion dining at Hoku's (after all, nothing says "love" quite like Hoku's Molten Chocolate Cake). And if you partake in the "Passionate Kahala Nights" package, you'll even get your own CD of Hawaiian love songs that will certainly get you into the Aloha Spirit. Or, if you're looking to get out and about, you and your sweetie can spend your first few days of marriage swimming with dolphins in The Kahala's own 26,000-square-foot lagoon.
Honeymooners head to Little Palm Island Resort & Spa—which boasts the No. 8 spot on our 2013 Best Hotels in Florida list—to get a taste of island love without leaving the country. Situated on the tiny isle of Little Torch Key, Little Palm Island is known for its romance packages and aphrodisiacal turn-down services. Rose petals leading you and your new spouse to your satin-sheeted king-sized bed? Check. A chilled bottle of champagne and an assortment of strawberries dipped in dark chocolate? Check. Little Palm Island's staff can accommodate your every romantic whim, be it a candlelit dinner on the beach or a couple's massage at SpaTerre. The only things missing here are phones, TVs, and kids (under 16)—but those would only distract you from each other, right?
When most people hear the word "honeymoon," they conjure thoughts of swaying palms, cerulean waves, and tropical punch. But a desert escape with your better half can be just as seductive as a classic Caribbean getaway—especially if you book a suite at The Inn of the Five Graces in Santa Fe, which covets the No. 8 spot on our 2013 Best Hotels in the USA list. This is not your typical Southwestern kitsch hotel (read: no sunglasses-wearing cacti here). Instead, you'll find elaborate, mosaic-tiled bathrooms, hand-painted Afghani beams, and carved headboards adorning king-sized beds. The Inn even offers a dreamy "Romancing the Senses" package, which includes chocolate-covered strawberries, a guestroom littered with rose petals, and a southwest-inspired breakfast in bed. If you and your honey can bring yourselves to steal away from your sumptuous digs, get out and explore the galleries and cafés of Santa Fe's vibrant Canyon Road.
Seeking a classic Caribbean honeymoon spot? You got it. The ultra-luxurious Parrot Cay by COMO resort in Turks & Caicos, which holds the No. 12 spot on our 2013 Best Hotels in the Caribbean round-up, oozes romance with its sugary sands and turquoise waters. And with the option to stay in a private beach house on this private island resort, you can't get much more secluded. Parrot Cay's customizable "Romantic Escape" package covers anything and everything you might want to do with your sweetheart, from yoga classes to candlelit dinners. Spring for the upgrade and you'll get your own personal butler, who can arrange snorkeling excursions or picnics on the beach.
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