Honeymoons of the Rich and Famous

U.S. News & World Report

Honeymoons of the Rich and Famous

As Prince William and Kate Middleton's big day (April 29, 2011) approached, celebrity hounds speculate where the royal couple will honeymoon. Would they enjoy a three-part vacation -- the Broadlands, Mediterranean cruise, Scotland -- like William's parents, Prince Charles and Princess Diana? Or would they retreat to Balmoral like Prince Charles and his second bride, Camilla? Here are the places other rich and famous couples have honeymooned, just in case the royal twosome is open to suggestions:

[See a photo recap of Honeymoons of the Rich and Famous]

The Telegraph reports that one of the most important aspects of a royal honeymoon is seclusion, especially from paparazzi, and that's why a "moving target" (i.e. a yacht) is so appealing. Prince Charles and Princess Diana floated on the Royal Yacht Britannia, now permanently anchored in Edinburgh, to a cache of Mediterranean destinations like Tunisia and Egypt -- in light of recent events, we’re guessing the royal couple will not be honeymooning in either of these places. Among other royal pairs, the Prince of Monaco and Princess Grace (formerly Grace Kelly) also sailed regally on their own personal yacht (a wedding gift) along this sea's blue waters.

After a secretive wedding in New York City, singer-songwriters Jay-Z and Beyoncé headed to the Arizona desert for some laid-back spa, pool and couple time. They stayed at the Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort & Spa in Paradise Valley, Arizona, and yeah, it's no European yacht-hop, but the Insider reports that a two-night stay runs as high as $8,000.

Coldplay's lead singer Chris Martin and actress Gwyneth Paltrow celebrated their nuptials at the Esperanza resort in Cabo San Lucas, along beachy Baja in Mexico. After their intimate wedding and the news of their pregnancy (welcome, Apple), the pair enjoyed relaxing in their thatched-roof villa on the Sea of Cortez. But their honeymoon was not without a few hitches -- Martin reportedly required three stitches after a surfing accident.

Actress Nicole Kidman and singer Keith Urban -- both of whom hail from Down Under -- married in 2006, then honeymooned at the St. Regis Bora Bora Resort's Royal Estate. According to Hollywood.com, the then-new villa reportedly cost about $15,000 a night and included 24-hour butler service and a private pool. Last summer, country singer Carrie Underwood and hockey star Mike Fisher married in Georgia and flew to Bora Bora for their own honeymoon. 

In 2005, Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck married at Parrot Cay in Turks & Caicos, and according to About.com, they spent their wedding night in Bruce Willis' personal home on this same cay. Actress Eva Longoria and basketball star Tony Parker followed suit, honeymooning in Turks & Caicos in 2007; sadly, People magazine reports that this couple is on the outs -- Longoria filed for divorce in November 2010.

Brangelina (aka Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie) toasted their relationship (the couple has been together since 2005 and has six children) at George Clooney's Lake Como home, just around the corner from the famed Villa d'Este. Fifties crooner Frank Sinatra and beauty Ava Gardner also favored this Renaissance villa, and the two slipped away from the Hollywood limelight for several romantic getaways here. And according to the Daily Mail, Pitt "was so taken with the Villa d'Este that he considered using it for his planned wedding to Angelina Jolie (despite much excited expectation, the Brangelina wedding is still in the planning stage)."

In happier times, golf legend Tiger Woods and Swedish beauty Elin Nordegren said "I do" at the Sandy Lane resort. This resort has also ensnared other celebrities with its charms: The Beckhams, Sting, Mick Jagger and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair (and his wife, Cherie) have all vacationed in this Caribbean sunny spot. But according to NBC Sports, Tiger -- until recently, a very private man -- whisked his new wife off to a private yacht for a secluded Caribbean honeymoon.

Several failed marriages have enjoyed paradisical honeymoons here. Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey honeymooned on Turtle Island in 2002, as did Britney Spears and K-Fed in 2004. On a lighter note the first Bachelorette, Trista Rehn and her husband Ryan Sutter, honeymooned here too -- and they're still together. According to TripAdvisor, this resort's rates start at about $1,450 a night and include extras like horseback riding on the beach, sailing on the lagoon or Lomi-Lomi massages. But according to Turtle Island's website, "the options, just like your new life, are wide open."

After a reportedly $3.5 million wedding in the Odescalchi Castle in Bracciano, Italy, TomKat (formerly known as Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes) honeymooned in the Maldives, a sprinkling of islands in the Indian Ocean. According to People magazine, the family of three (seven-month-old Suri came along too) flew to the Maldives by private jet. From there, they island-hopped the Maldives via private yacht. In 2009, Black-Eyed Peas' singer Fergie and her beau Josh Duhamel also flew to the Maldives for Part I of their honeymoon at the Reethi Rah One & Only Hotel, which according to TripAdvisor, costs anywhere from $1,077 to $2,241.

Vivien Leigh (think: Scarlett in Gone with the Wind) and Laurence Olivier (think: Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights) married in 1940 at the San Ysidro Ranch. Travel and Leisure just named this hotel the fourth best in the world, in part for its "500 bucolic acres and clapboard cottages for only 90 guests." Following in the Oliviers' very glamorous footsteps, President John F. Kennedy and Jackie Bouvier honeymooned here in 1953, as did Julia Roberts and Danny Moder in 2002, while Marc Anthony and Jennifer Lopez traded vows here in 2004. Although they didn't stay at this illustrious resort, President Obama and First Lady Michelle honeymooned along the nearby California coast.

Emily H. Bratcher, Contributor

Emily Halonen Bratcher’s writing and editing has appeared in many national outlets and ...  Read more

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