BBCH July 2013 : Page 204

h o n e ymo o n h o t l i s t 10 destinations | By Beth Weitzman with contribution by Meridith Ford | | Opening photo by Sara Hanna | Dreamy celebrate your wedding with a fi ve-star follow-up. these enviable honeymoon hot spots offer the best of the best— top-notch accommodations, amenities and service set in idyllic locales—all packaged for postnuptial bliss. Champagne and strawberries on the porch of the Rhodes Suite, one of two grand master suites, at the Otahuna Lodge

10 Dreamy Destinations

Beth Weitzman

Celebrate your wedding with a five-star follow-up. These enviable honeymoon hot spots offer the best of the best— top-notch accommodations, amenities and service set in idyllic locales—all packaged for postnuptial bliss.<br /> <br /> 1 Otahuna Lodge, Christchurch, new Zealand<br /> <br /> Located at the head of a secluded valley on New Zealand’s South Island, just a 25-minute drive from Christchurch International Airport, Otahuna Lodge offers newlyweds the quintessential New Zealand lodge experience in pastoral surrounds against the backdrop of the fluted cone of an ancient volcano.<br /> <br /> The Couple Romantic traditionalists <br /> <br /> What to loVe A Victorian dream house originally built in 1895, this luxury lodge—an hour south of Waipara Valley, one of New Zealand’s hottest wine regions—boasts seven suites with sheepskin rugs and bedside cookie jars magically refilled each day (evening turndown produces handmade chocolates and perfectly wrapped laundry from the day). Breakfast is served in the kitchen with a come-as-you-are vibe.Fresh baked breads, muffins and made-to-order eggs entice, as do specialty dishes (whatever you desire!). Communal dining for dinner in the opulent formal dining room, replete with a roaring fire and wine pairings, surpasses most resto experiences. More intimate meals for two are served at a private table in the sunken wine cellar, the cozy library, the drawing room turret or a location of choice. Catering to your every whim, staff master-crafts once-in-a-lifetime experiences based on your interests.<br /> <br /> PaCKage deal The Best of Canterbury begins with a three-night stay and continues with a welcome gift; one-hour massages for two; cooking lessons; a private picnic with a you-and-yours-only guided tour of Otahuna’s 30 acres; and either a private exploration of the Banks Peninsula, featuring volcanic harbors and the colonial fishing village of Akaroa (with a scenic harbor cruise), or of Arthur’s Pass National Park; plus a one-way journey on the TranzAlpine scenic railway. $3,200 for a suite, $4,395 for a master suite (May to September), otahuna.co.nz<br /> <br /> 2 Le RoyaL Monceau RaffLes PaRis<br /> <br /> Located in the heart of Paris, a heartbeat away from the Champs-Élysées, this hotel, built in 1928 by the founders of the Miramar hotels in Biarritz and Cannes, embodies past and present Paris in grand fashion. Original architecture brilliantly blends with contemporary French design within 149 luxurious rooms and suites, including three 3,767-square-foot Presidential suites boasting private entrances—all echoing the rendezvous’ rich history, most illustriously revealed in its 1920s guest roster, which includes the likes of Josephine Baker and Ernest Hemingway.<br /> '<br /> The Couple Culturists and art-lovers What to loVe The hotel has hosted and pampered prestigious luminaries for 80-plus years with a wealth of amenit<br /> <br /> ies and proximity—the best of Paris is but a whisper away. Couples seeking seclusion find it in luscious, whimsy-laced suites. Meals are experiences at the hotel’s two signature restaurants, La Cuisine (French) and Il Carpaccio (Italian)—both recently receiving a star apiece from the mighty Michelin guide. Sunday Royal Brunch is a must, as are cocktails in Philippe Starck’s Le Bar Long. Not to be outshined, The Katara Cinema, a 99-seat theater, is Europe’s most modern, state-of-the-art screening room.<br /> <br /> PaCKage deal On-arrival overtures include Champagne, flowers and a special heart-shaped cake by Pierre Hermé Paris. Fall for a grand buffet breakfast in award-winning La Cuisine, before settling in to the ultramod Spa My Blend by Clarins, for a 60-minute massage for the missus and endless time in the indoor pool, relaxation areas and workout room. See the hotel’s exclusive art concierge to arrange a just-the-two-of-you tour of the property’s private art collection, and save stogie time for the Viñales Club. Honeymoon packages start at $1,429 per night, leroyalmonceau. Com<br /> <br /> 3 caPeLLa PedRegaL, los Cabos<br /> <br /> Making a dramatic architectural statement, Los Cabos’ newest ultraluxe resort straddles a craggy mountainside, protruding as a series of low-rise, rock-hewn sanctuaries with 66 rooms, suites and villas spilling onto swathes of stunning sands and sparkling, aquamarine seas.<br /> <br /> The Couple Sexy sophisticates<br /> <br /> What to loVe An in-suite plunge pool, colossal bathtub, fireplace and afternoon fix of guac ‘n’ chips and Coronas come standard. Loungers line the main pool’s shallow end, so expect to sunbathe with your feet wet, cocktail in hand. With the resort’s high-design furnishings and accessories available for purchase at its boutique, you can take your honeymoon back home.<br /> <br /> PaCKage deal The four-night Romance Under the Stars package includes a daily breakfast spread, roundtrip airport transfers and swoon-worthy extras (a couple’s spa treatment, private dinner on the beach and more).<br /> Low-season rates start at $785 per night, capellahotels. Com<br /> <br /> 4 gRand hOteL tReMezzO, lake Como, italy <br /> <br /> An art-noveau palace erected in 1910, the family-owned and -operated Grand Hotel Tremezzo is perched perfectly on the shores of Italy’s Lake Como, off ering unparalleled views of Bellagio, Grigne mountains and Riviera delle Azalee. Sweeping views aside, the Tremezzo reopened last year with its original splendor restored, plus eight impressive rooftop suite additions. Together with the hotel’s wellappointed Historic Suites, there are 97 room options—all honeymooning heaven.<br /> <br /> The Couple Lake-loving cosmopolitans <br /> <br /> What to loVe A one-of-a-kind, amore-filled experience begins in the recently unveiled Honeymoon Suite Maria—paying homage to the extraordinary Maria Mallone, who last carried on the female side of the history of the hotel. Buzz the butler to pour your included bottle of Spumante and enjoy on the private terrace amid surreal lake panoramas; then sink into the whirlpool bath in the exquisite Verona marble bathroom and say, ahh! With a focus on romance, the centerpiece of this suite is a stunning four-poster bed. Taking the passion outside, couples will adore the fl oating pool resting in the lake, with a T Spa infinity counterpart perfect for swimming—especially when followed by a couples massage. Indulgences continue with cuisine. Renowned Master Chef Gualtiero Marchesi oversees gastronomy at the more formal La Terrazza, while informal dining unfolds at the outdoor T pizza bar, lakeside at T Beach and downstairs at the L’Escale Fondues & Wine Bar, where the best in Italian regional wines is paired with the finest fondue in a casually cool, rustic setting.<br /> <br /> PaCKage deal Honeymooning is la dolce vita, where a three-night (or longer) stay in luxury accommodations is just the beginning. Daily breakfast, a candlelit dinner for two at La Terrazza in view of magical pink vistas playing off Lake Como, and a tour of its touted waters aboard the Venetian lancia are also included. Awaiting your arrival is sparkling Spumante with a complement of strawberries and chocolate. Honeymoon packages start from $1,510 per night, grandhoteltremezzo. Com<br /> <br /> 5 hOteL JeROMe, aspen<br /> <br /> First opened in 1889, Hotel Jerome has had its fair share of owners and face-lifts, but through it all has maintained landmark status. Reopening last December as an Auberge Resort after an extensive four-month renovation, the hotel took its storied history a step further up the luxury ladder, taking all that was great about historic Hotel Jerome (status, spacious guest rooms, a bustling scene of guests and locals) and making it fit for the present guest.<br /> <br /> The Couple Th e peak chic <br /> <br /> What We loVe Located in the middle of town, and across the street from beloved Matsuhisa, the new-look Hotel Jerome is at its honeymooning best. Guests and residents alike mingle in the buzzing, new Living Room and bar, where drinks and small plates are served, with modern American cuisine plated and presented in the hotel’s new signature resto Prospect. Raise a glass amid saloon ambience at the ever-popular J-Bar and kick back in one of 93 spacious guest rooms, all well-appointed with mountain-inspired decor. A personal concierge and complimentary local transportation in a Hotel Jerome SUV are at your service, as is an outdoor heated pool and Jacuzzi, the new Auberge Spa (the first spa to exist at the property) and proximity—premier shopping, culinary spots, drinking haunts and Aspen Mountain are within steps, with Aspen Highlands, Buttermilk and Snowmass just a quick ride away.<br /> <br /> PaCKage deal Greeting honeymooners in a guest room or suite of their choosing are Champagne and strawberries, and matching monogrammed bathrobes.Spa treatments and dinner for two at Prospect are also included. Package starts at $545 per night, with three-night minimum stay required, hoteljerome.aubergeresorts. com<br /> <br /> 6 PaResa ResORt, phuket, thailand<br /> <br /> Facing the Andaman Sea and proffering the utmost in privacy and panoramas, nature-flanked Paresa lives up to its Sanskrit translation: “heaven of all heavens.” Located on Phuket’s most sought-after address, Millionaires Mile at Kamala Bay, the luxe boutique resort is truly divine, with 49 guest villas built around several huge banyan trees and immense greenery.<br /> <br /> The Couple Globe-trotting gourmands and spa lovers <br /> <br /> What to loVe All six suite categories boast 270-degree views, open floor plans and indoor/outdoor living spaces separated by floor-to-ceiling glass doors. Light and warm, these utopian, tranquil spaces sport Thai teak floors and creamywhite walls. The five Dima Spa Suites wow with a covetable lineup of infinity pools, steam rooms, water-surrounded island bathrooms with huge floating tubs, and outdoor spa treatment areas for in-suite services. Equally deserving of top billing is the tantalizing tastes at Talung Thai restaurant, an alfresco spot with heavenly views, and Paresa’s Italian culinary concept, Diavolo. The resort’s intimate cliffside spa is an oasis with five double-treatment rooms boasting baths, steam showers and private balconies. Not-to-be-missed is a boating jaunt on the Andaman Sea, which cruises by iconic sea-set limestone karst geological formations and will likely dock on one of the six islands of Ko Phi Phi, with idyllic beaches perfect for picnicking, sunbathing and snorkeling.<br /> <br /> PaCKage deal Honeymooners are pampered with daily breakfast; a suite of spa services, including one of each of the following: a Thai Boran Massage, a Jasmine Rice Body Mask, an Aromatic Thai Facial, plus daily 30-minute his-and-hers massages, all in the Dima Spa Suite; a private dinner at the infinity pool; a private cooking class at the resort’s classroom kitchen, Recipe; and a sunset cruise on the Andaman Sea. $7,300 for four nights, additional evenings May be added at an additional charge, paresaresorts. Com<br /> <br /> 7 the Ritz-caRLtOn, gRand cayMan<br /> <br /> Pristinely poised along the shores of Grand Cayman’s Seven Mile Beach, this grandiose resort flaunts 365 guest rooms (including 12 suites, 37 Ritz-Carlton Club Level rooms and 24 one-, two- and three-bedroom Residential Suites with large balconies, living spaces, full kitchens, private entrances and elevators, plus a dedicated concierge staff). Among the bevy of amenities on offer are nautical eco-adventures a la Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ambassadors of the Environment, tennis at The Courts by Nick Bollettieri and elite links via the hotel’s nine-hole Greg Norman-designed Blue Tip golf course. Hand-in-hand sunset strolls along white sands are equally marquee.<br /> <br /> The Couple Active romantics <br /> <br /> What to loVe Idyllic blue waters, swaying palms and historic island charm set the stage for romance. Your theater? An oceanfront, ocean-, garden- or resortview accommodation of choice, all categories featuring indigenous design (think blue-ocean and yellow-sun saturations). Silver Rain, a La Prairie Spa pampers with innovative spa therapies and a mod, whitewashed relaxation space (where Champagne is served, of course). Recently refreshed, superlative dining venues— Blue by Eric Ripert, the Caribbean’s only AAA Five Diamond resto, and Seven—dazzle discerning palates with headlining cuisine. Dine inside, alfresco or in an oceanfront cabana for two.<br /> <br /> PaCKage deal The Comfort You deal offers couples overnight accommodations in a spacious resort, garden or oceanfront guest room, with a $100 resort credit per night and a buffet breakfast for two at the lavish Seven restaurant. Starting at $419 per night, ritzcarlton. Com<br /> <br /> 8 WaLdORf astORia PaRk city, utah<br /> <br /> Situated a mere 35 minutes from Salt Lake City International Airport and nestled at the base of Canyons Resort, Waldorf Astoria Park City is a window to a premier mountain-resort escape. A dedicated gondola provides year-round access to the Canyons Resort’s 4,000 acres of varied terrain. Proffering a peak experience, this award-winning hotel boasts 175 guest accommodations, from king and queen rooms to a three-bedroom guest residence.<br /> <br /> The Couple Outdoor enthusiasts <br /> <br /> What to loVe The Canyons Resort, a haven for sporting adventure year-round, offers a surplus of both winter and summer activities in a storybook setting (and is home to the first chairlift in North America with heated seats). At the Waldorf Astoria Park City, comfortable elegance begins in the lobby lounge with oversize couches and a mammoth fireplace, which sits adjacent to the hotel’s buzzedabout restos: Slopes for fine dining and Powder for relaxed eating, sipping and après-ski. Cozy guest rooms feature custom furnishings by Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams, fireplaces, 42-inch HDTVs, spacious baths and steam showers, with many also claiming private patios or balconies. One-, two- and three-bedroom guest residences offer grand gourmet kitchens with Viking appliances and granite countertops. Soothing sore muscles is the 16,000-square-foot signature spa, housing 15 treatment rooms, a full-service hair and nail salon, and a large fitness center. Plus, the pleasures of downtown Park City are just a quick ride away.<br /> <br /> PaCKage deal Take pleasure in the two-night Couples Retreat package, offering sparkling wine upon arrival, a 50-minute couples massage, rose-petal turndown and a $50 breakfast-in-bed reward credit each morning. In summer, stay in a standard guest room for $389 or a standard one-bedroom guest residence for $669; winter retreats start at $829 for a standard guest room and $1,109 for a onebedroom guest residence. Additional nights can be easily added: Summer starting rates are $209 for a standard guest room and $489 for a one-bedroom guest residence; winter starting rates are $649 for a standard guest room and $929 for a one-bedroom guest residence. Parkcitywaldorfastoria. Com<br /> <br /> 9 RanchO VaLencia, rancho santa Fe, Calif.<br /> <br /> Nestled quietly into posh Rancho Santa Fe, just 90 miles south of Los Angeles (and a quick zip from San Diego), this Relais & Châteaux property is hacienda heaven, emerging from a $30 million transformation last year with 49 expansive (1,000 square feet is the average) suites: fully teched-out, rustic chic furnishings, high-beam roofs, spacious bathrooms with deep soaking tubs and glass enclosed showers, roomy living spaces and private patios (some with fireplaces and whirlpools).<br /> <br /> The Couple Tennis-, nature- and spa-lovers <br /> <br /> <br /> What to loVe Spanish-inspired surrounds and 45 acres of lush gardens, lantern-lit trails and olive groves provide a verdant backdrop for 18 newly resurfaced tennis courts and a 2.5-acre spa and yoga pavilion. Evening brings craft tequilas and cocktails in The Pony Room (which also serves fresh coastal-ranch delights for lunch and dinner) or on the terrace. Longer indulgences amid candlelight happen at Veladora, where Mediterranean farm-totable cuisine is the specialty.<br /> <br /> PaCKage deal Rev up or relax in style with the five-night Over the Moon package, which includes an on-arrival trio of creme brulee and strawberries with prosecco in the Valencia Suite (plus Rancho Valencia-monogrammed Frette robes at departure); a two-hour couples spa package featuring a custom-blended essential oil and clay sun bake, bath soak and couples massage followed by a private lunch in a poolside cabana. Also included are croquet and cocktails, a four-course tasting menu served in the wine room, a private yoga session or tennis lessons, and sunset hot air balloon ride. $8,900, ranchovalencia. Com<br /> <br /> 10 thRee Bees, harbour island, bahamas<br /> <br /> Those in-the-know are buzzing about the recently opened, privately operated Three Bees on Harbour Island. At a mere 5 miles long and 1 1/2 miles wide, the island, in all its whimsy, is the go-to retreat for society’s elite—and has been for decades. With no hotel offering more than 30 rooms, visitors are typically invited guests of homeowners or among those lucky enough to score a select stay in one of the few rental properties on the island—the most fortunate find themselves square on sandy pink shores at this uberexclusive retreat.<br /> <br /> The Couple Indulgent island-lovers <br /> <br /> What We loVe What started out as a getaway for a high-powered international financier, his knockout celeb partner and their friends, is now one of the most exclusive retreat rental options available. Its trio of distinct properties—the Villa, Beach Cottage and Bayside—is ideal for an intimate destination wedding that extends into a honeymoon. Fully staffed, the property’s three parts rent together, serving two to 26 guests. The Villa (or main house) is the prime gathering spot, where many meals are served along with good times. The two-story home features a grand master and two master suites, one on each floor, joined by two twin-bedded rooms below and three additional bedrooms in an adjoining annex. The freestanding movie theater, meanwhile, reels in viewers with more than 3,000 movie titles and games, as well as chaise-like beds and a popcorn machine. The adorable Beach Cottage boasts two master suites and superclose proximity to the enviable pink-sand beach. A quick 4x4 ride away is the water-lovers activity paradise, Bayside, featuring three spaciously luxurious safari-like open-air tents facing the bay, a full kitchen and oversize all-white dining room/lounge area (think hip Miami hotel). At your disposal is a multitude of aquatic toys (motorized and non), gear and watercraft, like the 37-foot state-ofthe- art speedboat Midnight Express.<br /> <br /> PaCKage deal Minimum week stay includes a full staff, plus all meals (prepared by a hand-selected chef to cater to your culinary preferences) and libations (top-shelf spirits, wine and Dom Perignon), and finally, use of all three properties and their aquatic amenities. $120,000, threebeesvilla. Com/harbour-island<br /> <br /> [The Total Package ]<br /> <br /> pass the privileges, please<br /> <br /> After the cake’s been cut and the bouquet thrown, the happy couple needs a honeymoon plan in place that includes more than strewn rice and cans tied behind the getaway car. Enter Mr. & Mrs. smith, an award-winning hotel website, booking service and travel club that specializes in finding newlyweds their dream destination. Through the service’s newly launched Just married Pass, couples can finally throw their feet up and let the smiths do the work, providing the same level of detailed planning for the honeymoon that went into the wedding.<br /> <br /> In addition to booking access to bespoke travel destinations, the Pass gives automatic room upgrades at all smith hotels (whenever available), romantic gifts that enhance the mood (think private picnic or champagne soiree) and 24-hour access to the smith concierge team and all its insider secrets (private beach, anyone?). The service allows for 5 percent of a hotel stay to be placed toward future bookings, like say… a first anniversary.<br /> <br /> There’s also a honeymoon registry for friends and family to contribute. Plus Pass packages can be customized for post-wedding whims of dolphin dates to stomping grapes in tuscany, or couples can go a la carte and book travel on their own. Get Married Pass, $250, mrandmrssmith. Com/shop

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