Where does a globetrotting world traveler honeymoon with her hunky new husband?
It’s the question everyone’s been asking and I still don’t have a good answer, other than on some sexy beach, somewhere.
Neither Rick nor I are interested in much sightseeing during that week, if you get my drift, so big cities are out. We’re hoping for peace & quiet, luxurious but laidback accommodations, privacy, relatively few kids, some casual water activities – fishing, SUP, kayaking – and long stretches of beach with palm trees & hammocks. Mega-resorts can be a ton of fun and all-inclusives have their benefits, but ideally we’re on the hunt for a more intimate experience on this particular trip.
I’m hoping if I spell out some of my thoughts on a few top destinations, you guys might be able to help us choose? Here are my 5 regions and a few options in each. Your thoughts & suggestions are appreciated!
A. The Bahamas
Our destination wedding is already in an exotic location at the Bahama Beach Club on Treasure Cay, so for so many reasons, it makes sense to just settle in there for a week after all our guests go home. We could also hop to another island in the country, but since we’re getting married at the end of what’s considered the off-season, most of the quintessential honeymoon properties I’d consider are closed. Tiamo Resort, which has changed a lot since my last visit in 2007, & nearby Kamalame Cay and Green Turtle Club on Green Turtle Cay are all shuttered then. SAD EMOJI.
I checked on availability at ultra-swanky & secluded Fowl Cay Resort, where each cottage on the private island comes with its own boat to explore the Exuma island chain, but it’s not available either. There are still a handful of Bahamian options though, like the adorable EMBRACE Resort & Spa on Staniel Cay and even some of the boutique properties in bustling Nassau, like the historic pirate mansion Graycliff or the colorful Compass Point Beach Resort. With 700 islands to choose from, of course we’re considering options on Eleuthera, Harbour Island (pink sand beach, hello sexy!) and Long Island, too.
It’s not as simple as you might think getting around within The Bahamas, so while staying in Treasure Cay would be the absolute simplest choice, other islands would require another flight or two.
I take for granted that I live in one of the loveliest U.S. states, and millions of people save money for years to travel here while I spend all my money traveling elsewhere. It’s silliness! I never considered honeymooning at home – that doesn’t quite fit with my lifelong dream of a truly exotic, far-flung, once-in-a-lifetime adventure, but from a practical standpoint, a Floridian honeymoon would save us tons on airfare and the return wouldn’t be such an exhausting slog back after weeks away.
The Florida Keys have quite a few options I’d consider, like Cheeca Lodge on Islamorada, where we spent Rick’s birthday in 2013, the villas at Hawks Key Resort on Duck Cay or Casa Marina on Key West, with their signature “toes-in-the-sand” dining experience. I’ve also recently come across the gorgeous bungalows at Little Palm Island Resort, featuring private decks, fire pits, beaches, outdoor bamboo showers and hot tubs – a few key ingredients that would certainly make for honeymoon memories. Doesn’t that sound romantic?
Plus we could splash out on a killer suite at the Fontainebleau in Miami on the way home for a change of pace from the tropical, casual Keys. It’s not exactly intimate, but I had a blast there at the iHeartRadio Summer Pool Party a few years ago. And there’s always the Emerald Coast, with water every bit as turquoise as The Bahamas in Destin and South Walton. Between the Gulf Coast, South Florida & The Florida Keys, there are actually enough beachy, luxurious options to be both easy & luxurious — all in my own backyard!
If we decide to leave The Bahamas & Florida behind in favor of a more exotic experience just a smidge further away, the entire Caribbean opens up – and this is where analysis paralysis takes hold! We’d definitely have to make a few connecting flights from The Bahamas so it will be expensive and possibly time-consuming to get to, but suddenly there are lush green mountains, infinity pools overlooking coves where pirate ships once anchored and sailing excursions to world famous beach bars to look forward to. Doesn’t that sound heavenly?
At the top of my list: Jade Mountain in St. Lucia, which any fan of The Bachelor/Bachelorette will recognize from the most dramatic rose ceremonies EVER; the glorious Belle Mont Farm/Kittitian Hill in St. Kitts, a property I fell in love with while it was still under construction; and Scrub Island in the British Virgin Islands, a 230-acre island resort with hillside villas, a spa and private beaches for picnics & smooching.
And there are dozens of islands I’ve yet to visit – Barbados, Nevis, Martinique, Tobago, Montserrat… the options are as endless as the beaches, and since the Caribbean is my favorite region in the world, I’ve fallen right down the rabbit hole!
The insanity that’ll likely accompany the week leading up to the BIG DAY has mostly made me rule out Hawaii, but it’s been a couple of years since my last stint on Kauai and like clockwork, Bali Hai is calling me back with its unmistakable pull. While a 10-hour+ flight is not ideal, I know I’d forget all about it once I was back in Hanalei Bay. I usually rent a home or condo when I visit, but I’ve always dreamed of staying at the St. Regis Princeville, where the sunsets are just plain magical & the view is everything you could ever dream of.
To make things new again, we could add another island to the mix after visiting all my favorite spots on Kauai. I’ve always wanted to stay at the Grand Wailea Resort and the Fairmont Kea Lani in Maui, and Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island is a draw… but then again, the frenetic itinerary planner who lives inside me is getting away from the main point of the honeymoon. It’s not hiking, am I right?
E. Far Flung
Flying for 36+ hours after a week in The Bahamas with all our relatives (plus 8 months planning a wedding & dealing with the never-ending drama that is Silver Airways) is probably not the best idea, but you guys — OVERWATER BUNGALOWS. It’s everyone’s dream honeymoon, right? I’ve never been to the Maldives or Bora Bora, and they both have everything Rick and I want in a honeymoon. Privacy, lush backdrop, balmy weather, clear water, and did I mention – OVERWATER BUNGALOWS?! If only Florida or the Caribbean had similar accommodations, I think I’d have my answer.
My far-flung honeymoon wishlist includes the Baros Maldives, with its palm-thatched villas, a blue lagoon and sandbank dining – a.k.a. meals served on a sandbar in the middle of the Indian Ocean; the Royal Estate Villa at the St. Regis Bora Bora, which offers butler service, private yacht trips and fireworks on the beach; and the Velassaru Maldives, whose Water Suite has an oversized infinity pool with panoramic views. Can you imagine waking up and just jumping in the sea, straight out of your bungalow? It would be so dreamy!
Can you see why we haven’t booked anything yet?! I’m torn. The fact is, we only get to do this honeymoon thing once, so it’s a huge decision. I want perfection!
So what do you think, A, B, C, D or E? Where did you go on your honeymoon? Does it even matter in the long run?