The Voice-Tribune (07/08/2008)
Luxury destinations take you far away from it all
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Whether your idea of a romantic honeymoon involves relaxing on a secluded beach or dining in the African bush, there’s no shortage of choices. The following six vacations will give you an idea of the options that are out there.
1. At Le Meridien Bora Bora, honeymooners can watch the natural wonders of the sea through the clear glass flooring of the resort’s bungalows built right over the water, while ladders from the deck make it easy to swim in the island’s beautiful lagoon.
The best way to see the sun go down over Otemanu Mountain is from the water, so Le Meridien Bora Bora offers Popora Sunset, a romantic tour of the lagoon on a traditional Polynesian outrigger with a champagne toast. Rates start at $860 per night. Visit www.borabora.lemeridien.com.
2. Thanda Private Game Reserve in South Africa offers more adventuresome couples a romance package that includes three nights in a luxury villa with a private pool and viewing deck, two game drives per day and a “Romancing the Stone” wellness treatment for two, which is a back, neck and shoulder hot-stone massage. The package includes a moonlit bush dinner outside the lodge. Thanda Private Game Reserve is one of South Africa’s top safari destinations and is located in northern Zululand, close to the Indian Ocean. This package starts at approximately $1,996 per person. Visit www.thanda.com.
3. Hotel Caesar Augustus is located on a cliff high above the Bay of Naples on the Italian island of Capri. A hotel since the 1930s, the property features 56 rooms with private balconies and panoramic views for the couple seeking a classic European retreat. An infinity pool surrounded by sun decks and fragrant gardens seems to flow into the sea, while the eponymous restaurant celebrates local cuisine, with fresh ingredients from the hotel’s own garden.
Four open-air treatment rooms, a Turkish bath and a relax area have recently opened, using the natural rocks found on the cliff to create a haven for honeymooners. Rates start at $678 per night. Visit www.caesaraugustus.com.
4. Newly reopened Hawks Cay – located on its own 60-acre private island, Duck Key, in the Florida Keys – is ideal for those looking for an active, yet romantic honeymoon.
The first stop is Hawks Cay’s full-service marina for world-class fishing. After a successful day on the water, “hook and cook” your catch at Tom’s Harbor House, followed by island-inspired cocktails at Rum Bar. Couples can become trainers for the day at Dolphin Connection or learn to sail at the resort’s Offshore Sailing School. For a more relaxing day, head to one of Duck Key’s uninhabited islands with picnic in hand and enjoy your own private beach or sunbathe at the adult-only tranquility pool.
Rates start at $345 per night. Visit www.hawkscay.com.
5. For a glamorous urban honeymoon, check out Buenos Aires, Argentina, the Paris of South America, and experience world-class shopping, gourmet dining, tango classes and the famous sights of this romantic city. While there, honeymooners can spoil themselves at the five-star Alvear Palace Hotel nestled in the fashionable Recoleta neighborhood and experience gorgeous suites complete with soaking tubs and butler service. Then take a romantic dinner at La Bourgogne, the only Relais Gourmand in Latin America. Additionally, the Alvear Spa & Fitness center, which launched in early 2008, is the perfect space for honeymooners to relax, unwind and connect body, mind and soul. Rates start at $800 per night. Visit www.alvearpalace.com.
6. Hyatt Key West Resort and Spa’s $11 million transformation was just completed and has transformed the property into a true sanctuary for couples who want a greener honeymoon. The comprehensive renovations, in addition to being ecofriendly, have brought a tropical-modern look and feel across the resort. Additionally, the hotel’s new Jala Spa taps Key West’s island magic with nature-inspired treatments performed with all-natural products.
Honeymooners can relax and bond in the new couple’s treatment room or spend the day in one of the three new poolside cabanas.
And even better, a $5 donation is being made to the local Reef Relief Organization with each signature Jala Blue treatment purchased.
Rates start at $480 per night. Visit www.keywest.hyatt.com.