Dreaming of the perfect wedding getaway? These hotels aren't over the top, gaudy, or flashy. They're breathtaking, inviting, and just right. Aruba, Jamaica (Oh I wanna take ya)...
1. Half Moon, Montego Bay, Jamaica
Drawing everyone from Queen Elizabeth to 50 Cent, Half Moon strives for timeless, understated luxury (even at the swim-up bar). Stretching over 400 acres (including 2 miles of beach), the 400-room resort offers attentive service, quality cuisine, and seemingly limitless activities like golfing and horseback riding.
2. The Fairmont Kea Lani Maui, Maui, Hawaii
Wailea’s aptly named Fairmont Kea Lani is a “white heaven” indeed — its 450 units sit on a 22-acre beachfront property that includes four pools, five restaurants, access to world-class golf, some of Maui’s largest rooms, and a relentless dedication to service that rivals the nearby Four Seasons.
3. The Kahala Hotel and Resort, Oahu, Hawaii
A celebrity retreat since 1964, the newly renovated Kahala is quite possibly the best hotel in Oahu. Yet its vibe is more “family fun” than “pretentious glitz” — think swimming with dolphins, not posing in lounges. Sure, it’s your only luxury option in a quiet setting without leaving Oahu — but it’s also a great one.
4. Palms Hotel and Spa, Mid-Beach, Miami
A clean, lively beachside resort in sleepy Mid-Beach, the Palms takes style lessons from the hip boutiques — think poolside house music, a fun tiki bar, updated rooms, a new Aveda spa, and free yoga classes. But for nightlife, revelers must head to South Beach, a five- to 10-minute taxi ride away.
5. The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, Key Biscayne, Miami
A tranquil 450-room island resort off the Miami mainland on Key Biscayne, the Ritz provides some of the traditional “Ritzy” benchmarks — impeccably kept grounds, huge pools, a brilliant spa, a world-class tennis center, a kids’ club, and elegant (if generic) interiors. Too bad service is uneven and the sliver of beach is covered in seaweed.
6. Hyatt Regency Aruba Resort and Casino, Aruba
Gorgeous pools, a reliable kids club, and a soft-sand beach in a modern hotel near the High-Rise shopping/dining/drinking complex — the Hyatt is virtually flawless, even if it does lack local charm. Rooms are clean and modern, and have flat-screen TVs, excellent beds, and iPod docks — they’re among the best in Aruba, excusing the tiny balconies.
7. Punta Cana Hotel, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Punta Cana Hotel’s 202 suites are steps away from the beach, on a giant property that includes the La Cana golf course, Six Senses spa, a nature preserve, eight restaurants, horse stables, and more. La Romana’s Casa de Campo is nearly identical, unless you’re a pro golfer — Casa de Campo’s Teeth of the Dog beats La Cana.