It's wedding season and we've got the honeymoon bug -- clearly. Not only have we gabbed about our favorite spots for a budget (but nonetheless totally awesome) honeymoon, but we've also dished our finds for a wonderfully atypical honeymoon as well. And yet... we can't help but get nostalgic for those classic honeymoon destinations that will forever stand the test of time. The five most popular honeymoon destinations are, after all, the most popular for a reason. Whether beachside in sunny Mexico -- or found along the hidden cobblestone streets of Paris -- the hotels in these locations are truly romantic, and are made even more romantic by their location -- again, whether amid the lush tropics or with views of the Eiffel Tower. So whether it's the chicken or the egg (or in this case, the destination or the hotel), it doesn't matter. Here are the five most popular honeymoon destinations, and hotels in each that are sure to deliver that classically romantic honeymoon getaway you seek.
If you’re shocked that Paris tops our list, then you are in dire need of some lessons in romance before you jet off on your honeymoon, mon ami. Considered by many to be the most romantic city in the world, Paris attracts honeymooners with it’s gorgeous architecture, beautiful parks, fascinating history, and PDA-friendly streets, cafes, canals, restaurants, museums — you name it!! Anything and anywhere is fair game for romance by Parisian standards. Owned by celebrity chef Yves Camdeborde, Hotel Relais Saint-Germain is a cozy love nest focused on food and culture. On-site restaurant Le Comptoir is a destination unto itself, and guests get priority when booking one of its coveted tables. Large, stylish rooms feature unique decor and distinctive details inspired by literary greats, as well as luxe amenities that include stocked minibars and Anne Semonin toiletries.
Costa Rica is quickly becoming one of the most popular beach destinations in the world, although it still remains less developed — and more varied, with not only beautiful beaches but also lush rainforests and active volcanoes — than its nearby neighbors in the Caribbean. And less developed to us means more romantic for you. While beachside hotels are a great option, many couples opt to head for the hills in the country’s northern region, where the area’s eco-tourism is a major draw. The beautiful Arenal Nayara’s 44 individual bungalows, restaurant, wine bar, and spa, all tucked into incredibly lush grounds, set the stage for romance. Some of the amenities are small, but honeymooners come here for the private bungalows with special touches like outdoor garden showers and decks with whirlpools and hammocks.
Napa is one of the world’s best wine-growing regions, with hundreds of wineries sprawling over rolling hills. The most popular visitor activities clearly correlate to why the area is one of the most popular destinations in the world for a classic honeymoon: Couples come here to drink amazing wine, eat delicious food, shop along streets lined by luxe boutiques, and relax in some of the country’s top-rated spas. The luxury Carneros Inn offers homey (and luxurious) elegance. Hillside Adirondack chairs overlook the vineyard. Crackling fireplaces warm every room. Private gardens and tree-lined infinity pools invite guests to relax. The rooms are very comfy, with private decks and stone patios surrounded by overgrown greens and fire pits, and honeymooners in particular appreciate the sexy outdoor tubs and showers. Plus, the open bathrooms inside are huge, with walk-in showers and soaking tubs.
There’s a Mexico that’s a spring breaker’s paradise and there’s a Mexico that’s a honeymooner’s dream. We’re exploring the latter, and in our opinion, honeymooners will do best in Riviera Maya’s Playa del Carmen. The Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza and Tulum are just as accessible as beautiful sandy beaches, and adventurous couples can snorkel in the world’s second largest coral reef, visit archaeological sites dating back to the 7th century A.D., go shopping, and dine in great international restaurants — or you can hang by a beautiful pool the entire time and take full advantage of poolside drink service. The Rosewood Mayakoba is a gorgeous, peaceful retreat, set on a mile-stretch of beach, that’s extremely popular among couples and honeymooners. Along with its serene atmosphere, upscale restaurants, and spa, it boasts 128 suites that feature attractive contemporary decor — picture clean lines, white walls, and rich woods — as well as high-tech amenities and private outdoor plunge pools.
The 50th state has long been a popular honeymoon destination — even before it became a state in 1959! But now that it is a state, it makes getting there that much easier, and soon-to-be-weds without much time to plan can still enjoy a beach vacation that feels like a true getaway. While Lanai is the most remote of the islands, most honeymooners choose to head to the Big Island; with it’s, well, big selection of hotels, beaches, and activities, couples will find plenty to do — or not do — during their time in the Pacific. Make like Megan Fox and Brian Austin Green and honeymoon at the luxe Four Seasons Hualalai. The only five-pearl property on the Big Island, it is unlike any other resort on the Kohala Coast. Lush and beautifully landscaped grounds surround private bungalow-style rooms and suites tucked along winding paths throughout the large property. The thoughtfully designed architecture, pools (all seven of them), and public spaces are utterly indulgent — without seeming excessive.
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