April 11th, 2012 by Honeymoon Compete

Chances are that after the wedding all you’re going to want to do is relax, get pampered and spend some serious alone time together. Here, are some uber-luxe resorts where you can do all that (and maybe spot a celeb or two).

honeymoon-destinations

One & Only Ocean Club, Paradise Island, Bahamas

This ritzy resort is one of the premier affordable honeymoon destinations.  It has seen its fair share of famous honeymooners, including supermodel Cindy Crawford and Rande Gerber, and tennis star Chris Evert and golfer Greg Norman. At this respite tucked away on the north shore of Paradise Island (read: far away from the area’s other resorts) and set on 35 acres of private beach, you’ll feel like the only two people in the world as you watch the sunset from your private villa’s infinity pool.

Star Treatment: All rooms come with 24/7 butler service. If you’re up for something active, there’s tennis, yoga and water sports, or tee up at Tom Weiskopf’s 18-hole golf course (you know, where Michael Jordan hosts his annual Celebrity Invitational). More in the mood to just do nothing? Chill out by the pool, where you won’t even have to get up to grab a drink or cool off thanks to the poolside butler service that includes Evian spritzing for when you start schvitzing. At night, feast on French-Asian fusion with Bahamian accents at chef to the stars Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s restaurant, Dune (from $495). Contact an agent today for an unbeatable price on your One & Only Ocean Club honeymoon or one of our other many desirable and affordable honeymoon destinations.

honeymoon like a celebrity

Turtle Island, Fiji

Join the cast of A-listers, including Britney Spears, Jessica Simpson, and Trista and Ryan Sutter of The Bachelorette, who flock to Fiji’s ultra-secluded Turtle Island, where the movie The Blue Lagoon was filmed.

Star Treatment: With only 28 guests staying in the resort’s 14 private two-room cottages (called bures) at a time and 100 staffers on duty, you’ll really get the royal treatment here. And you can’t find a more romantic setting for your honeymoon — with 14 private beaches lining the blue lagoon’s white sand, you can sunbathe, swim and share a gourmet picnic (with fresh seafood and wines from around the world) in your own little bit of paradise. Or take a sunset horseback ride on the beach before retiring to your cottage for a candlelit dinner for two. Either way, Turtle Island is a honeymoon destination that will make you feel like a star.

December 7th, 2011 by Honeymoon Compete

Below are the list of 10 new wonders on the world, ever thought of honeymooning at one of these?

Ningaloo Coast (Australia)

Ningaloo Coast (Australia)

Made up of nearly 2,335 square miles of Australia’s remote western coast, the striking Ningaloo Coast is comprised of both marine and land-based treasures. An affordable honeymoon destination unlike any you’ve seen, you’ll find one of the longest near-shore reefs in the world and a wealth of diverse sea life, from sea turtles to an annual visit from whale sharks. On the land side, a network of underground caves and groundwater streams help support the coast’s biodiversity.

Ogasawara Islands (Japan)

Ogasawara Islands (Japan)

South of Tokyo, this archipelago of over 30 islands is often called the “Galapagos of the Orient” because of its diverse ecosystems, landscapes and native species. Since the islands have never been near a continent, the native flora and fauna have developed through unique evolutionary processes. Along with over 440 documented native plant taxa, the Ogasawara Islands are home to close to 200 endangered bird species, numerous types of fish and coral, and the Bonin Flying Fox, a bat that’s in danger of extinction. Only two of the islands are inhabited, with about 2,440 residents in total, making this one of the most exotic and affordable honeymoon destinations.

Kenya Lake System in the Great Rift Valley (Kenya)

Kenya Lake System in the Great Rift Valley (Kenya)

Set in Kenya’s Great Rift Valley region, the area around three inter-connected shallow lakes—Lake Bogoria, Lake Nakuru and Lake Elementaita—is home to a stunning arena of bird and mammal life. Great Rift Valley is considered the most important foraging site in the world for the lesser flamingo (the smallest species of flamingo at 3 feet tall)—countless of which can be spotted there—and it’s also a top nesting and breeding ground for great white pelicans. Black rhino, lions, Rothschild’s giraffe, greater kudu and cheetahs quench their thirst at the lakes.

Wadi Rum Protected Area (Jordan)
Wadi Rum Protected Area (Jordan)

The majestic Wadi Rum—the largest desert valley in Jordan—was the famous stomping ground of the real-life Lawrence of Arabia. The Wadi Rum covers 286 square miles in the southern part of the country and is notable both for its natural and cultural wonders. In addition to photo-perfect desert landscapes marked by caverns, narrow gorges and massive cliffs, there is evidence of 12,000 years of human habitation here. Petroglyphs, archaeological remains, 20,000 inscriptions and 25,000 rock carvings offer insight into the lives the early residents of Wadi Rum.

West Lake Cultural Landscape of Hangzhou (China)

West Lake Cultural Landscape of Hangzhou (China)

It’s easy to see why this lake, surrounded by hills on three sides, has been inspiring poets, artists and scholars since the 9th century. Peaceful and picturesque, the area is dotted with causeways and artificial islands, as well as man-made beauties like temples, pavilions and pagodas. Over the years, the West Lake cultural landscape has influenced garden design in China, Japan, and Korea.

The Persian Garden (Iran)

The Persian Garden (Iran)

It may not be the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, but its influence has been no less notable. Comprised of nine gardens that date back to different periods since the 6th century BC, its sites are prime examples of the diversity of Persian garden designs, which traditionally paid homage to Eden and the four Zoroastrian elements (earth, water, sky, plants). Dotted with historic pavilions and walls, as well as sophisticated irrigation systems, the gardens have inspired garden design as far away as India and Spain.

The Causses and the Cévennes, Mediterranean Agro-Pastoral Cultural Landscape (France)

The Causses and the Cévennes, Mediterranean Agro-Pastoral Cultural Landscape (France)

Together making up over 1160 square miles of south-central France, the Causses and the Cévennes regions are notable examples of the working relationship between man and nature—places where agricultural activities, like non-intensive sheep farming, help contribute to the preservation of the land. Within the site you’ll find the beautiful Cévennes National Park, as well as villages and stone farmhouses on the terraces of the Causses. Mont Lozère, the highest point in Cévennes, is one of the last places in the world where they practice summer transhumance, during which shepherds move along with their stock to higher pastures for the whole season.

Saloum Delta (Senegal)
Saloum Delta (Senegal)

This 1,930 square mile delta shaped by the arms of three rivers gives us key insight into both natural and human history. Over 200 islets and islands dot the Saloum Delta, along with dry and mangrove forests and marine habitats for the rich fish and shellfish life. The area is also home to 218 human-made shellfish mounds, some several hundred meters long. Burial sites on 28 of the mounds have yielded important artifacts that speak of the history of human residence along this part of the West African coast.

Cultural Landscape of the Serra de Tramuntana (Spain)

Cultural Landscape of the Serra de Tramuntana (Spain)
Farmers throughout history came up with ingenious ways to work the land.

This landscape is located on the majestic mountain range that lies off of the northwestern coast of the Spanish island of Majorca. Because of the area’s sheer-sided peaks and scant resources, farmers throughout history have had to come up with ingenious ways to work the land. Now, after thousands of years of agriculture, the area has unique water management and transport networks, agricultural terraces, connected water mills and dry stone structures in its villages—making it both naturally and culturally notable.

Konso Cultural Landscape (Ethiopia)

Konso Cultural Landscape (Ethiopia)
Within Ethiopia’s Konso highlands you’ll find original living traditions that date back more than 400 years.

Within the stone walled terraces and fortified settlements of Ethiopia’s Konso highlands you’ll find original living traditions that date back to more than 400 years. Over 21 generations, inhabitants have adapted to the dry, hostile environment by creating special social systems, engineering techniques and craft works—including wooden statues grouped to represent noteworthy residents and heroic events. The statues are amazing standing remnants of funerary traditions that are in danger of disappearing.

May 12th, 2011 by Honeymoon Compete
best honeymoon destinations

Choosing the best places to honeymoon isn’t easy. We live in a beautiful world and there’s a whole lot to see and enjoy with your new spouse. Most of us can’t afford a trip around the globe, and only have time and budget to visit one special place on our honeymoons.

Bora Bora

If you want to be somewhere exotic and secluded, Bora Bora may be just what your heart desires. You can stay in a little hut over the water with a glass floor through which you can see fish, and have breakfast brought to you each morning by canoe. They specialize in romance in Bora Bora and have amenities from hiking and fishing to luxurious spa rituals. Request a free price quote from one of our agents for an unbelievable price on one of the ten best places to honeymoon.

Tuscany

Lying in the sun isn’t everyone’s style. If you want culture and history (and maybe a good helping of wine), consider Tuscany, one of the best places to hineymoon out there. Even within Tuscany, there’s a variety of options. You could stay at a natural thermal spa, a winery, a villa, or in one of the historic cities like Florence or Siena.

Paris

Another urban honeymoon option is Paris, the City of Love. What can we say? The French get romance. You’ll find amazing honeymoon packages offered at the better hotels in Paris, as well as art, lights, and plenty of photo opportunities.

The French Riviera

In the French Riviera, the French are even more laid-back. Go during a hot month to experience the glamour, privacy and exclusivity celebrities love. It’s every bit as fabulous as it’s made out to be. Be sure and spend at least one day out on a yacht, living it up.

Punta Cana

If you like island resorts, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic probably has a perfect spot for you. Click the above to browse what’s available in different price ranges — you won’t have to choose between fun water sports (like scuba bikes and parasailing) and relaxing spa amenities; most of the better resorts have access to it all. Furthermore, if you’re golfers, this is definitely one of the best places to honeymoon for you.

Bali

Bali is home to a mysterious and warm culture and exciting experiences. You can choose to spend a little or a lot here; you can stay in a superlatively luxurious hotel or go the budget route and get $5 massages on the beach. Either way, bring souvenir money — the craftsmanship you’ll find in the local markets is top-drawer.

Hawaii

You don’t have to leave the USA to have an first-class honeymoon. Hawaii is an amazing option — and bonus: your cell phone and money work there. The time change is favorable; your “jet lag” will simply be that you’ll feel like you’ve slept till noon and it will be hours earlier. There are incredible options here for budgets of all shapes and sizes, and the scenery is unmatchable.

Banff

It has a funny name and it’s closeby in Canada, but Banff has some of the most beautiful scenery in the world.  Gorgeous lakes and majestic pines across a landscape of mountains make Banff one of the best honeymoon destinations, and there are plenty of activities for outdoorsy couples, too.

The Swiss Riviera

Arguably the most romantic place in the world, the Swiss Riviera combines the romance of the French influence with unbelievably storybook-like quaint architecture. And then, there’s Lake Geneva. One boat ride in this glassy, pure lake, gazing up at the grandeur of the French Alps will stay with you both for a lifetime.

Your Nearest Body of Water

Don’t have a lot of cash to spend? That doesn’t mean you can’t visit one of the best honeymoon destinations. Just get yourself into a bed and breakfast with a view of your nearest body of water and let the serenity wash over you as you let go of your wedding stress — and fall in love with each other all over again.

April 26th, 2011 by Honeymoon Compete
Bonaire
Bonaire
Lush rainforests, savannahs teeming with wildlife, fertile farmlands, and a diverse population of mammalian and plant life. Sound good? If so, a tropical honeymoon might be perfect for you. The tropics are irresistible to honeymooners who like to go to the beach, but also want a little something extra, be it hiking, zip-lining, or snorkeling.  Bonaire lies outside the hurricane belt and can be enjoyed any time of year without a major threat of big storms. Once you’re here, you could just relax on the beach, but then you’d be missing some of the fun. Famous for diving, Bonaire also has outstanding snorkeling, kayaking, bird-watching, hiking, and horseback riding opportunities. And with an average annual temperature in the 80s and 12 hours of sunlight each day, Bonaire’s best attractions and activities are easy to enjoy.

 

Arunachal Pradesh, India
Arunachal Pradesh,India 
India’s only surviving rainforest can be found in the state of Arunachal Pradesh, a region with rich wildlife and culture. As the country’s least-populated area, with just 13 people (on average) per square kilometer, it’s the best place in India to escape from the crowds. While people may be few and far between, other species are plentiful. Spend your honeymoon scouting the 500-plus types of birds, touring wildlife sanctuaries (tigers and leopards abound), or seeing hundreds of orchid varieties in their natural habitat. Lastly, if you want to get your heart rate up, you’ll have your pick of adventurous diversions, including trekking, rafting, and boating.

 

Singapore
Singapore
Unlike other tropical locales, you can get a mix of cosmopolitan entertainments and out-of-the-way adventures with a vacation in Singapore. After you’ve had your fill of urban nightlife, fine dining, and souvenir shopping, take a self-guided hike through the rainforest on the MacRitchie Nature Trail, or get a bird’s-eye view of the tropics by spending an afternoon on the HSBC TreeTop Walk. The world-famous Singapore Botanic Gardensoffer sumptuous treats for the senses, as does Orchidville, where you can see delicate beauties in abundance. While the city offers plenty of creature comforts, the outskirts hold a treasure trove of wetland preserves, parks, farms, and wildlife sanctuaries. If you have trouble deciding between a city-focused or outdoorsy vacation, you really won’t have to choose here, as Singapore offers the best of both worlds.

 

Big Island of Hawaii
Big Island of Hawaii 
Active volcanoes. Black-sand beaches. Coffee plantations. Four national parks. Hawaii’s Big Island is a boon for nature lovers who want a tropical vacation beyond sun and surf (although there’s plenty of that, too). Visit between December and May for humpback whale watching, or any time of year to dive with friendly manta rays. Get your thrills at Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park, which is both a UNESCO World Biosphere and World Heritage site, and offers a once-in-a-lifetime chance to tour the area around Kilauea, one of the world’s most active volcanoes. Want beauty that’s a bit more genteel? Botanical gardens, hiking trails, and countless waterfalls also await you.

 

Gorongosa National Park, Mozambique
Gorongosa National Park, Mozambique
With so much on display, wildlife lovers can relish in the abundance of Mozambique, particularly in Gorongosa National Park, where travelers can view antelope, buffalo, elephants, hippos, lions, zebras, and birds in their home territory. Open from March through December (closed during the rainy season, when the park’s roads become inaccessible), Gorongosa offers an authentic experience in the wild, while also maintaining some modern comforts. You can stay right in the park (cabanas feature air-conditioning and showers, so you’re not exactly roughing it), dine at an on-site restaurant, and choose from guided or self-drive tours. Most importantly, don’t forget to pack your binoculars!

 

Wet Tropics Of Queensland, Australia
Wet Tropics Of Queensland, Australia
The Wet Tropics of Queensland, located along Australia’s northeast coast, are a boon for the outdoorsy traveler. There are 41 national parks; rainforests holding butterflies, birds, marsupials, frogs, and tree- kangaroos (with many rare or only-to-be-found here species); and countless flowering plants. Wallaman Falls features the longest single drop of any waterfall in Australia, and you can explore nearly 150 trails for self- guided tours. If you’d prefer a local guide, there are plenty of eco-tour operators to show you the sights. And let’s not forget all the wonders of the nearby Great Barrier Reef. In fact, there’s so much to do and see, your first trip to the Wet Tropics may just whet your appetite for many return visits.

 

St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands
St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands 
The smallest of the U.S. Virgin Islands, St. John is also home to the Virgin Islands National Park, which designates two thirds of the island as protected parklands. Additionally, the Coral Reef National Monument and its 12,000 acres of underwater preserves maintain and protect the region’s rich coral and sea life. Not known as a party island, St. John is the place to visit for peace, quiet, and to get away from it all. You can fill your days with hiking, fishing, snorkeling, kayaking, or sailing, and, at night, relax at a beachfront restaurant or bar and feel your blood pressure drop.

 

Vanuatu
Vanuatu
It’s hard to guarantee a happy honeymoon, but the Vanuatu islands sure come close to doing just that. This year, Lonely Planet named the island nation the happiest place on earth (for the second time in four years). Why? The region’s abundant sunshine and diverse natural wonders, as well as the locals’ longevity of life and respect for the planet, have a lot to do with it. This 83-island archipelago in the South Pacific, two hours from Auckland, New Zealand, and just over three hours from Sydney, Australia, is a tropical paradise for those who want to have adrenaline-pumping vacations or do nothing at all. Ever wanted to go sandboarding down a volcano? You can do that here. Or, have you longed to have a beach all to yourself, with a good book and no other commitments? That can be your itinerary, too. No matter what you do, Vanuatu is sure to put a smile on your face.

 

Panama
Panama
Back in 1923, the Smithsonian deemed Panama the perfect place to establish its Tropical Research Institute, and it’s no wonder: The country is extremely hospitable to life, being home to nearly 1,000 species of birds, 10,000-plus plant species, and rich animal biodiversity both on land and in the sea. Today, more than 30 percent of the country is protected nature reserves, and visitors can spend their vacations touring rainforests and parklands, snorkeling and diving, or whale watching. Additionally, agritourism is growing rapidly, and many farmers have opened their lands to travelers. If you want to see where your coffee, bananas, and coconuts come from, you can’t get more authentic than visiting their source.

 

Dominica
Dominica
Dominica welcomes visitors with the allure of nature. Tropical forests cover more than two thirds of the island, and within this lush paradise lies a boiling lake, sulphur springs, botanical gardens, and around 1,200 plant species. Additionally, the island is home to Morne Trois Pitons National Park, the first UNESCO World Heritage site in the eastern Caribbean. On the waterfront, the island teems with coral reefs, perfect for viewing sea life up close with a dive or snorkeling excursion. Known as the “Whale Watching Capital of the Caribbean,” Dominica is the only island where sperm whales frolic all year round, so you have a great chance of spotting one of these majestic creatures during your honeymoon.
April 5th, 2011 by Honeymoon Compete

Staying at a hotel on a private island means you don’t have to share the terrain with hundreds of other hotel guests or local residents. While amenities such as spa treatments and beach views are par for the course, each of these secluded islands lets you relax in style. Can you hear the tropics calling?

Sofitel Bora Bora Marara Beach and Private Island

French Polynesia
Located on a small island just off the coast of Bora Bora, you’ll find a private dive center as well as a beach. Stay in a bungalow; some are over water and others are built into the hillside. Enjoy access to super-luxe amenities like a cigar cave, a wine cellar, two on-site bars, a spa, and an infinity pool. Cuisine inspired by many regions is served in the fine-dining restaurant Latitude 16°, including dishes prepared in a Tahitian oven. At Manu Tuki restaurant, tuck into lighter snacks, such as BBQ and Polynesian or French specialties. Tahitian plants are incorporated into treatments at the spa.

Kamalame Cay in Andros Island, the Bahamas

The Bahamas
Kamalame Cay takes up 96 acres on this island, providing lots of privacy for guests. Nineteen rooms are housed in a combination of colorful cottages, bungalows, peaked-roof beach houses, and plantation- style villas (one has a 1,000-square-foot game room with a billiards table). Bahamian-style cuisine with a modern twist is served in the Great House. For a more casual affair, the Tiki Bar hosts local bands and prepares fresh fish on an open grill. Adventurous travelers can forego relaxing on the designated three miles of beach area in favor of kayaking through mangroves, deep-sea fishing for King Mackerel, or scuba diving — all of which can be arranged by the hotel.

Aerial of Guana Island, British Virgin Islands

British Virgin Islands
Formerly a sugarcane plantation owned by Quakers, this unspoiled 850-acre private island now has seven resort-owned beaches. Guana Island Club’s 15 rooms are housed within stone cottages, or you can reserve the entire Beach House for more privacy. Expect a summer-camp vibe, with ping-pong tables, croquet, beach barbecues, and “Old Movie Nights.” You can also enjoy snorkeling, sailing, kayaking, 12 miles of hiking trails, or massage treatments and yoga classes offered through the spa. All meals are served in The Club and incorporate locally-grown fruits and vegetables.

Young Island Resort

The Grenadines
Johnny Depp slept in one of Young Island Resort’s 30 cottages while filming Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl — proof of the island’s celeb status. Spa Kalina, in Cottage #15, offers treatments incorporating a product line from Barbados, such as a guava-seed foot. Caribbean-flair dishes (including a five-course menu) are served nightly under a palapa hut or among gardens of tropical flowers and plants. Swim out to Coconut Bar — owned by the resort and just a few yards from shore — for a cocktail.

Cayo Espanto in Ambergis Caye, Belize

Belize
Belize is the new hot spot in Central America — yet Cayo Espanto, on a four-acre island in the popular Ambergris Caye area, remains largely undiscovered. Reserve one of seven chic villas, each with turquoise decorative accents, an open-air design for Caribbean Sea views, and direct access to the beach and water. The world’s second-largest barrier-reef system is just a short swim away. Staff can help arrange an excursion, whether it’s a relaxing deserted-island beach picnic, a jungle tour, or intense scuba-diving or fly-fishing voyages.

Beach House in Manafuru Island, Maldives

The Maldives
With so many amenities to choose from, you won’t even think about stepping off Manafuru Island (unless it’s for deep-sea fishing or snorkeling). Villa options include the Water Villa, built above the ocean with glass-paneled flooring. At Moden Spa, the signature Maldivian massage uses local white sea-salt sand and Maldivian coconut oil. The resort also has yoga classes, an art gallery, and a tea lounge. Eight bars and restaurants serve everything from regional-themed menus to wines plucked from the undersea wine cellar.

Parrot Cay island, Turks & Caicos

The Turks & Caicos
Life on this 1,000-acre island is pretty sweet — take your pick of holistic options at COMO Shambhala Retreat; enjoy bone fishing, windsurfing, or hiking; or simply lounge on the mile-long beach. At Parrot Cay Resort, grilled conch and spiced banana fritters are specialty dishes at Lotus restaurant, as are Asian- inspired options like Balinese-spiced mahi mahi. Every Saturday is a barbecue where BBQ Kurubuta baby back ribs slathered in chipotle sauce are the main attraction. Terrace, the other restaurant, is ripe for romantic occasions with an Italian-themed dinner menu and its blueberry hotcakes for breakfast. Lodging runs the gamut from an affordable garden-view room to a duo of four-bedroom maisons (which are owned by Donna Karan).



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