By Elizabeth Valerio
Almost every hotel has a honeymoon suite, so how do you choose?
“It all depends of what you like,” said honeymoon expert Rick Golden, an agent at honeymoontravelagent.com. “Some people don’t want to go through the passport hassle and some don’t mind it. We send people everywhere.” But when it comes to popular picks, there are some definite destinations. Check out these recommendations for a week (or two) that you won’t forget.
Cancun, Mexico, ever the tourist attraction, is also a favorite of newlyweds. “All of the hotels have undergone renovations since the hurricane, so all of them are in top condition,” said Golden. But his personal favorite is the Ritz Carlton (ritzcarlton.com) right on the beach. The Suite Dreams Honeymoon Package includes a stay in the 876-square-foot dual-room ocean suite with three balconies overlooking the ocean, couples massages, in-suite private breakfast, candlelit dinners and private car transport, starting at $989 a night.
Also in Mexico, Secrets Capri Resort (secretsresorts.com/capri) comes highly recommended from travel agent Sylvia Kowaleuski. “Every client I send there comes back raving about the phenomenal staff, food and beach,” she said. “There’s nothing bad I can say about it.” This adults-only resort boasts a high staff-to-client ratio “and I think that’s one of the reason’s they are so great,” Kowaleuski adds. The Secrets Eternity Honeymoon Package features fresh-cut flowers in your marble-floored room with adjacent furnished balcony, turndown service, couples massages and a certificate for a one-night stay on your anniversary, starting at $699 a night.
In Las Vegas, another popular destination, the Venetian hotel (venetian.com) on the strip tends to be popular to honeymooners. “It’s more romantic than all the others so it tends to be our suggestion for Vegas,” said Golden. This Italian-inspired hotel – with gondola rides available in the canal running through its main floor – also has an art gallery, four nightclubs and four nighttime shows. All rooms are dressed in fine Italian décor, but the largest of them all is the Venetian Piazza Suite – all 1,400 square feet of it. It goes for around $439 a night and comes equipped with a double-door and Italian marble entranceway, a living room, dining room and turndown service.
Excellence Punta Cana (excellencepuntacanaresort.com), formally Secrets Punta Cana, a couples-only resort at the tip of the Dominican Republic where the Caribbean meets the Atlantic, has “top notch everything” according to Kowaleuski, who specializes in Punta Cana vacations. “They will get you anything you want. A helicopter ride from the airport? – done. It’s definitely a wonderful experience.” Paying $562 a night for the honeymoon suite doesn’t seem like a lot when you mix it with a room with an ocean-view private terrace with indoor and outdoor private Jacuzzis and a pool that runs the entire length of the hotel. There’s also a spa, fitness center and casino if you get bored with the Jacuzzis.
When it comes to outstanding honeymoon suites in Punta Cana, though, the all-inclusive Ocean Blue Golf and Beach Resort (oceanhotels.com) is where it’s at, according to Kowaleuski. “The suites have an outside shower and two levels – they’re out of this world, just unbelievable,” she gushes of the six available honeymoon suites. The complete honeymoon packages include Dominican cigars, private dancing lessons, aromatherapy massages, private sailing lessons and romantic horseback riding, starting at $300 a night.
These tropical vacations are great, but if you’re looking for something a little less flashy and closer to home, The Meadowbrook Inn (meadowbrookinn.net) in the Pocano Mountains is the definition of intimate, only 15 rooms. “It tends to have all the romantic things that newlywed couples like,” said Golden. “It’s really upscale, has good entertainment and rooms are kept really well with private Jacuzzis.” Whether you’re into skiing in the winter or hiking in the summer, you’ll enjoy the mountain scenery. Rooms vary, but the largest are in the Mill house and go for around $240 a night.
Photo: The Venetian hotel in Las Vegas