It’s tradition to have your honeymoon soon after a daytime wedding or the next morning following an evening wedding. However, who says you have to follow tradition? We didn’t overthrow Prop 8 in 2013 and help legalize same-sex marriage in 2015 by adhering to traditions. Your honeymoon shouldn’t be any different. In my extended family, some honeymoons have been missed because the groom had a little too much to drink, or the bride was clinically exhausted from all the planning. They had scheduled their travel plans for the morning after a huge evening wedding, or they planned to leave for their honeymoon right after their daytime wedding. Lots of additional money was spent rebooking honeymoons. I would not recommend that for any couple today. Honeymoons take planning too! The earliest you should leave for your honeymoon can be two days after your wedding, and up to a week later or more. If it’s a destination wedding, then you’re already there, and it makes it a whole lot easier, but did you pick the right honeymoon package? Just like your wedding location or destination, be sure that your honeymoon package is right for you both. Here are some great tips and honeymoon packages we were able to either experience or scout out for you.
CHIC PUNTA CANA
CHIC Punta Cana is the perfect resort to celebrate your honeymoon. CHIC invites you to enjoy their stylish and sensual ambience. You can celebrate each other’s company by booking a poolside cabana for the day, taking leisurely strolls along the beach at sunset, then partaking in a romantic candlelit dinner in a gourmet restaurant. As I’ve written before in an earlier article, CHIC Punta Cana has a very sexy and sensual vibe. This adults-only resort caters to the needs of all singles and couples. We have witnessed a couple of weddings and saw many honeymooners having a great time. The property really does lend itself to romantic interludes underneath the Caribbean sun.
Henry and I were treated to their moderately priced Luxury Honeymoon package. For starters, we received a VIP welcome that included an expedited check-in service in a separate area. We were immediately sipping on cocktails as someone took care of our bags. We were then upgraded to a “Newlywed” room (that’s done upon availability) where a beautiful tray of fruit, chocolates, and sparkling wine awaited. This package also granted complimentary access to their hydrotherapy circuit at The Royal Spa. We were then treated to a private dinner and received 20% off on all spa treatments. I really recommend the couple’s massage and the Thermal Energy Massage. CHIC Punta Cana requires a copy of a marriage certificate at the time of booking. The Honeymoon Package requires that a couple have been married within the past six months. My good friend Aida Barcelo is the regional community manager and is your guide for all the activities, excursions, and things to do on and off the property. Book your special moments, anniversary and/or wedding at email@example.com. Carretera Uvero Alto-Punta Cana Uvero Alto, Dominican Republic. Tel: 809-468-0404. www.chicresorts.com
The Hyatt Zilara Cancun is a beautiful resort where you may choose from different wedding packages or create one to suit your specific needs, wants, and desires. For honeymooners, they ask you when making a booking online to please type in “Honey, Honeymoon, or Anniversary” into the comments section under “Special Requests.” Guests who use these codes in the comments section must present a recent marriage certificate for honeymoons or proof of marriage at any Hyatt Zilara or Hyatt Ziva property for anniversaries. Their honeymoon and romance packages are specially designed to celebrate your love with romantic touches for truly unforgettable experiences. Enjoy Champagne in your suite, dance lessons, private beach dinners, couples massages, private cabanas, and more at Hyatt Zilara. My Partner and I have been on their property, and we have witnessed happy same-gender couples enjoying themselves on this adults-only property in Cancun. They have many restaurants from which to choose, activities to participate in, and off-site excursions to enjoy. We received their honeymoon hospitality so that we could write about our experience to share with you. The Honeymoon Package is complimentary for all guests who book their honeymoons under the resort’s guidelines.
As we entered our “Honeymoon” suite, there was sparkling wine already chilling for us to enjoy. A beautiful flower-petal decoration was carefully laid out on the king-size bed as well. My favorite part was seeing from the corner of my eye, a Sweet Heart Cake just for the two of us. If I remember correctly, we had completely eaten the cake before we popped open that nice bottle of wine. They left a wonderful note that included special spa services at significant discounts. Also, there was a card enclosed that beckoned us to call for their activities, excursions, classes, and other couple’s amenities. We had such a beautiful and romantic time that we are already set to return again and again! To check out all of Hyatt Zilara Cancun’s packages and offerings, e-mail my dear friends Paola Gomez, associated director of sales at firstname.lastname@example.org and PatyUlloa, weddings & groups manager at email@example.com and tell them H. Luiz sent you. Blvd. Kukulcan KM 11.5, HZ, Zona Hotelera, Cancun, Quintana Roo, Mexico. Tel: 888-763-3901. www.cancun.zilara.hyatt
THE ST. REGIS PRINCEVILLE RESORT,
The St. Regis is offering one of the first online registry services to focus solely on honeymoons in Hawaii as wedding gifts. The Honeymoon registry is full of many romantic options that a couple can choose to add to their registry. My best friends chose this option, and they have received as wedding “gifts”: a Couple’s Hanalei Bay Ritual at the Halele’a Spa. It’s designed to awaken vitality, stimulate blood flow, and energize couples. This particular treatment starts with a ginger-grass bamboo exfoliation, and is then followed by a yuzu algae shower and a warming silk oil massage. Guests can also upgrade you to have these treatments completed with a luxurious pedicure, leaving you rejuvenated from head to toe. Also on the online honeymoon registry is the option to indulge in a romantic dinner in a private outdoor setting, drenched in candlelight and flickering Hawaiian torches. Family and friends can easily select and purchase from an array of items for the couple’s Starwood Hawaii Honeymoon, or you can create a personalized registry with all of your honeymoon wishes. For days of pampering, nights of fine dining, and late nights for loving, this may just be the option. For today’s modern couple, this digital online Honeymoon Registry may just be what the doctor has prescribed for a totally free and relaxing trip. 520 Ka Haku Road, Princeville, Kauai, Hawaii. Tel: 808-826-9644. www.stregisprinceville.com/weddings/honeymoon
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL
Perfectly positioned overlooking the golden sands of Copacabana Beach, this Rio gem is where magical memories are made. My partner Henry and I have stayed there many times and now you can stay there too, on your honeymoon. Step out together for a private city tour to uncover often-missed highlights. Soak up the sun in the magnificent pool or join Brazil’s style setters at the Piano Bar. At sundown, you may choose from top restaurants, offering everything from hearty local Brazilian dishes to Italian fine dining. A candlelit table for two awaits.
The Belmond Copacabana is not only a great hotel, but they boast a romantic “Come Celebrate” honeymoon package. The package includes luxury accommodations, welcome amenities including sparkling wine, flowers, and chocolate truffles. It also includes daily Brazilian breakfast for two in their Pérgula Restaurant and late check-out until 4 P.M. You may also add to the package other romantic extras and great activities. You can have a tailormade Private Rio Tour to uncover the hidden treasures of this colorful city, complete with a driver. You may also wind through the Tijuca Forest, the largest urban rainforest in the world, to the top of Corcovado Hill to see the iconic Christ the Redeemer statue up close. After a cable car ride to the top of Sugarloaf, hop on the Corcovado Express Excursion. My favorite excursion is the Pedra Do Sal. You’ll begin this tour by setting off on a journey to historic Pedra do Sal, the birthplace of samba. Starting at Conceição Hill, you will be treated to refreshing local beer and delicious Brazilian food before experiencing an authentic samba circle. You’ll party like a local as you dance your way throughout the city. Then, you can uncover the the secrets of Urca, a small and rarely seen traditional neighborhood so full of history. Be sure to tell your package director that you want to include activities for your honeymoon. Avenida Atlântica 1702, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Tel: 800-237-1236. www.belmond.com
FOUR SEASONS RESORT COSTA RICA
AT PENINSULA PAPAGAYO
It’s not necessary for a hotel or a resort to specifically offer a “Honeymoon Package” for you to enjoy your honeymoon. You can take advantage of other packages and in some cases it may even be less expensive for the same or similar experiences. The Four Seasons Resort in Costa Rica may have exactly what you want in a honeymoon package, but it may be called something else like an “Intimate Couple’s Experience.” We have taken that package, again not on our honeymoon (how many hints can I drop here?), and they have many other packages and excursion from which to choose. The Guided Meditation Tour lets you rediscover your inner peace one chakra at a time during a guided meditation class of your choosing, while watching the sunrise. Taught by wellness experts, each hour-long session will teach you relaxation techniques that you can take home with you. You can also take a day trip and enjoy a dip in thermo-mineral hot springs if you prefer. Another option could be to explore the cloud forest of Monteverde, or you can ask the concierge team to customize an authentic Costa Rican experience just for you.
Costa Rica has so many beautiful landscapes to explore from marshlands to volcanoes. You can plan a romantic outing or an adventure for two and share some truly breathtaking experiences. You can also plan a Romantic Beach Dinner, where you indulge in an unforgettable dining experience while watching the sunset on Playa Virador or relax alongside the serene bay waters of Playa Blanca.
Before dinner Henry and I were encouraged to share deep relaxation with the Spa Couples’ Experience. We enjoyed side-by-side massages and waterfall whirlpools. Then the therapist taught me how to give Henry a soothing neck, back, and leg massage. It almost got out of hand if you know what I mean. The couples’ experiences brought us a sense of closeness and harmony while indulging in those side-by-side treatments. They really led to sensual escapades every night. Happy Honeymooning! 26Km al Norte del Doit, Centre Liberia, Peninsula Papagayo, Costa Rica. Tel: 800-781-5700. www.fourseasons.com/costaric