Honeymoons & Travel
With rainy seasons, hurricanes, higher rates during holidays, summer vacations and other local happenings, the choice of which month andRead More
Toss aside previous thoughts of stale buffets, fights over pool chairs and free-flowing cheap alcohol, because today’s all-inclusive resorts are luxurious, indulgent getaways. They boast gourmet dining, craft cocktails, nightly entertainment and top-notch service everything you need to feel pampered on your honeymoon. “Whether you want an adults-only romantic hideaway or a lively party vibe, there is a resort to fit your style and budget,” says Tahryn Nicastro of Shore to Sea Vacations in Howell Township. “Resorts have really stepped up their game to meet the increasing demand for private pools, swim-up rooms, over- the-water bungalows and suites that offer seclusion and privacy.”
Vicki Sneed of Vicki’s Travel Designs in Southampton agrees: “These high-end resorts offer a luxury and romantic experience where a honeymoon couple can feel completely spoiled.”
Another perk is they’re budget-friendly. “Couples in all budget ranges find a great value with a set cost upfront,” says Nicastro. “The price of an all-inclusive includes food, drinks (alcohol included), non-motorized watersports, activities and entertainment. The only extra expenses are local tours, spa treatments and personal spending.”
“Some all-inclusives even offer complimentary golf and scuba diving,” adds Sneed. “These activities can be costly when purchased separately. While alot of resorts will advertise gratuities included, Sandals offers a true gratuity-included experience (except for butler rooms or spa experiences). It is nice to be able to put your wallet in the safe and not grab it until you check out.”
All-inclusives also enable couples to pre-pay and not worry about excessive spending after the wedding is over, Sneed adds. “Honeymoon registries have become popular and work well with the all-inclusive resort experience.”
There are resorts at all price points, but in general a seven-night all-inclusive stay ranges from $2,000 to more than $15,000 depending on the destination, resort and room type, Nicastro says. “In general, Mexico and the Dominican Republic offer a ton of value for budgets under $5,000. Other destinations like St. Lucia, Barbados and Antigua will be a bit higher.”
But all-inclusives aren’t for everyone, especially if you have your heart set on a destination that doesn’t offer them or where there are great off-property restaurants to take advantage of. These include Hawaii, Anguilla, Turks & Caicos, Aruba, Anguilla, US Virgin Islands and Bermuda. “Couples should know there is no right or wrong choice,” says Nicastro. “They should focus on what their vision is and the type of experience they want, then find the destination and resort that will give them that.”
A travel agent can be priceless when planning this once-in-a-liftime trip, especially since their expertise comes at no charge to you. “From picking the right destination and resort to helping you navigate the ins and outs of traveling to your destination, your travel agent acts in your best interest to bring your honeymoon dreams to life,” Nicastro says. “We have relationships with the resorts with access to better rates, perks and amenities you can’t get on your own. Most importantly, you have someone to count on should you encounter any problems. With one text, email or call we jump into action to assist!”
SUGAR BEACH, ST. LUCIA This newly renovated Viceroy resort, located on the site of an eighteenth-century sugar plantation, is set within a pristine rainforest with phenomenal views of the Pitons. Beachfront bungalows, mountain cottages, plunge pools and butler service are just some of the luxuries here.
SANDALS ROYAL BARBADOS Standouts at this all-new, all-suite Sandals include a rooftop glass infinity pool and bar, a four-lane bowling alley, craft beer bar, seven restaurants, gourmet doughnut shop, swim-up suites, scuba diving, Carnivale beach parties and a beautiful unspoiled white-sand beach.
JADE MOUNTAIN, ST. LUCIA Built into the side of a mountain, Jade Mountain is not merely a hotel but a once-in-a-lifetime experience with 29 open-air rooms, personal butlers, private infinity-edge pools, insane views of the Caribbean and gourmet menus. This luxury comes with a price, but it’s worth every penny; jademountain.com.
ZOETRY PARAISO DE LA BONITA, MEXICO This luxury boutique resort in the Riviera Maya section of Mexico offers a vacation experience focused on wellness, serenity and romance. Ninety beachfront suites, a Thalassotherapy center, organic and gluten-free dining and a welcome bottle of Tequila are just some of the offerings.
Sandals South Coast
SANDALS SOUTH COAST, JAMAICA Over-the-water bungalows and brand-new thatched-roof swim-up Rondoval suites are the big draw here at the secluded Sandals South Coast, which features nine restaurants, a gorgeous two-mile white-sand beach and the longest swimming pool in the Western Hemisphere.
HAMMOCK COVE, ANTIGUA The newest boutique resort on the island, Hammock Cove prides itself on gastronomy, personalized service and luxury. Forty-one villas feature indoor-outdoor living plans, sunbeds, plunge pools, hanging chairs, wet bars with sommelier-curated wines and turquoise-blue views.
SANDALS ST. LUCIA The beauty of the Sandals St. Lucia properties is that they offer a “stay at one, play at three” option, allowing you to resort-hop. Grande St. Lucian is the liveliest, with the most dining and activities. Regency La Toc is the best value. Halcyon is smaller and more secluded.
HERMITAGE BAY, ANTIGUA Thirty tranquil luxury suites are nestled on the beach and hillside at Hermitage Bay. Amenities include private pools, open-air showers, panoramic views, private decks, a garden spa, yoga and meditation classes, pilates sessions, water sports, cooking classes and custom menus that change daily.
SANDALS GRENADA Situated between the Caribbean and the Atlantic Ocean, Sandals Grenada offers couples a more exotic and remote honeymoon location. Sky pools, butler suites, swim-up bars, 10 restaurants, scuba diving, paddle boards, soaking tubs and meandering river pools are just some of the options here.
CASA DE CAMPO, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC. If golf is on your wishlist, Casa de Campo and its championship Teeth of the Dog Golf Course will more than satisfy. This luxury resort also offers an equestrian center, acclaimed outdoor shooting facility, multiple beaches and pools, a spa and gourmet dining.