Honeymoon Hotel of the Week

The only chateau-hotel in Paris, the Saint James is well-worth the splurge.

Ah Paris, is there anywhere in the world more romantic than this European capital? Couples can be seen everywhere here, strolling along the banks of the Siene, taking in the Eiffel Tower, or trying to decipher the Mona Lisa’s smile at the Louvre, all the while sharing their own enigmatic glances with each other. It’s a city made for love, with a rich history attesting to the fact that l’amour has always taken precedent among its denizens. And as tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, we can’t help but dream about a honeymoon in this most romantic of places. Paris boasts a plethora of hotels perfect for couples, some with Eiffel Tower views, while others ooze Parisian charm. But for us, the perfect hotel in the City of Light (and Love!) for a honeymoon is none other than the Saint James Paris.

With a sweeping private entrance surrounded by green lawns and an impressive fountain, this upscale boutique is a rare find in Paris; in fact, the 19th century manor is considered the only chateau-hotel in the city, making it a unique and luxurious honeymoon locale. It’s fitting that the historic hotel is located in the wealthy 16th arrondissement, home to many museums, diplomatic residences, and prestigious schools. The 48 rooms and suites are large by Parisian standards, and decorated in plush, luxurious fabrics. And the common areas are even more impressive — especially the black and white grand staircase on the main floor. The terrace is a beautiful spot for lunch on a nice summer day. And there’s also a small fitness center, a spa, and a gourmet restaurant. The rates here are steep, but couples who want to experience luxury in Paris (and can afford it) should say “I do” to the Saint James. Check out more honeymoon-inspired photos of the Saint James Paris here »  Read More »

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The spa pool at the Bernardus Lodge is a perfect spot to relax on your honeymoon.

This 57-room rustic-luxe retreat in Carmel Valley sits in a lovely setting among rolling hills and vineyards. Details such as vaulted beamed ceilings, wood-burning fireplaces, and chic country-inspired decor help to create an atmosphere that is cozy and romantic. Rooms are especially perfect for newlyweds, featuring stone fireplaces, feather beds, plush white bedding, and patios or decks with private whirlpools. Large bathrooms are another delight, with walk-in showers and two-person soaking tubs. There are several restaurants here — including the famous Marinus restaurant with its chef’s table where diners can watch the chef cook (Julia Child is among the many famous culinary gurus to savor the experience). Additional appealing amenities include an outdoor pool, pool bar, and inviting spa where wine-based treatments are available.

Overall, the Bernardus is a sophisticated, romantic spot in Carmel Valley just waiting for couples to celebrate their nuptials. The lodge ups the ante, however, with the Vineyard Romance Package. Couples are greeted with chocolate, champagne, and a set of monogrammed robes before enjoying a candlelit dinner in their room and having a bath drawn for them by the resident Bath Butler. A couples treatment is also arranged at the spa, as is a VIP tasting at the Bernardus Winery. Cheers to that — and to you! Check out more honeymoon-inspired photos of the Bernardus Lodge here »  Read More »

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Set off into the sunset at the Marriott Wailea Resort in Maui.

Situated on a (large) rock between two beaches, the 22-acre, 546-room Wailea Marriott has panoramic ocean views and a serene vibe that’s often missing from some of Maui’s more crowded, neighboring resorts. Renovated in 2008, the Marriott’s spiffy rooms, gorgeous adult-only infinity pool, reputable spa, and popular restaurant make it the best mid-range option in ritzy Wailea, especially for newlyweds looking for indulgent romance without busting their wedding budget. The Marriott has consistently been considered one of Oyster’s best Hawaiian hotels for a destination wedding and honeymoon thanks to its gorgeous setting, great amenities, and reasonable prices.

Honeymooners might consider booking the hotel’s “Experience Romance — Wailea Style” package during their stay. The package offers couples a stay in an oceanfront room with breakfast-in-bed each morning, and champagne and chocolate covered-strawberries upon arrival. Check out more honeymoon-inspired photos of the Marriott Wailea Resort here »

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Gorgeous views and a chic setting make taking a dip on your honeymoon a sumptuous affair.

The luxe Porto Bay Rio Internacional Hotel is located across the street from the popular Copacabana beach in Rio De Janiero, Brazil. A diverse, lively city, Rio is known for many things. Carnaval — a raucous, two-week celebration with dancing, drinking, glitz, and glam — is often what comes to mind first. The city is also home to one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, as it’s gorgeous harbor, surrounded by steep, lush mountains, is truly breathtaking. And the iconic Christ the Redeemer statue that overlooks the city is synonymous with the Brazilian city’s rich religious roots (gilded historic churches are popular sites to visit). Rio de Janeiro’s beaches are another major draw that newlyweds in particular are sure to enjoy. Practically year-round, beaches such as Arpoador (known for it’s sunsets), Copacabana, and Sao Conrado (a popular surfing spot) are crowded with visitors and locals. The center of the city’s nightlife is in Lapa where, any given night of the week, streets can become the site of massive dance parties, with revelers spilling out from the bars and playing lively samba music. Couples are encouraged to join in the fun.

The 117-room Porto Bay Rio hotel is a solid mid-range option for couples looking to experience some South American sizzle in the South Zone, home to the majority of the city’s hotels as well as numerous monuments, and the main attraction: beautiful beaches. Featuring sleek decor with blonde wood floors, small modern bathrooms, and a nearly all-white color palette, spaces are stylish but unpretentious. All rooms have stocked minibars and electric kettles, as well as balconies overlooking the ocean or floor-to-ceiling windows. The small but chic rooftop pool, poolside bar, and fitness center all have great views, and on the beach, attendants provide guests with towels, chairs, and umbrellas. There are also tasty on-site restaurants (one with a free breakfast buffet), and 24-hour room service is available. Couples will definitely enjoy the stunning vistas and stylish ambiance. Check out more honeymoon-approved photos of the Porto Bay Rio Internacional Hotel here »

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