Honeymoons

Ok, it’s time for some real talk. We here at Oyster adore Hawaii. And, of course, we love Paris – any day of the year. But as travel experts, not only do we look forward to returning to destinations that will forever stand the test of time, but we also strive to uncover lesser-known, and lesser-thought-of, destinations that will really knock our — and your — socks off. When it comes to honeymoons, we know couples look for something (and somewhere) romantic and charming, but how about – originalThere are plenty of gorgeous spots around the globe, but we love a duo that’s not afraid of going slightly off book in the pursuit of a one-of-a-kind getaway. Here we’ve selected nine dream picks for an atypical honeymoon that’s anything but ordinary — just like your love, right?

1. Flam, Norway: Fretheim Hotel

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The tiny village of Flam is located in a valley surrounded by steep mountains. It’s the final destination for the Flam Railway, which visitors take through the mountains to reach the village, and is considered one of the most scenic train stops in Europe. From Flam, you can also catch a cruise to the Sognefjord, which is arguably the most beautiful and famous fjord in Norway. Couples choosing this atypical getaway can also choose an aytpical hotel: The Fretheim Hotel dates back to the late 19th century, and its common spaces have charm to spare. The hotel makes the most of its unique, naturally beautiful location with soaring glass windows in the lobby and restaurant that frame the mountains. Read More »

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Getting married is so exciting and wonderful…and stressful….and expensive — are we starting to sound like your father? After all, saying “I do” to your significant other also means saying yes to a reception hall, a caterer, and half-a-trillion other details like flowers, place settings, you name it. While the wedding will certainly be one of the happiest moments of your life, after all that you’ll deserve an epic honeymoon that will kick off your married bliss — and won’t run you straight through your savings. Whether you’re looking for a getaway where you can get more bang for your buck, or are willing to sacrifice a few bells and whistles in the hotel amenities department in order to visit some of the world’s hottest honeymoon destinations, we’ve got ten great spots for you (and your wallet).

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1. Hawaii: Kauai Beach Resort 

Few destinations are more “classic honeymoon” — or really even “classic vacation” than Hawaii. Among the state’s islands, Kauai — with it’s lush, wild mountainous terrain — is arguably the most beautiful and relaxing for a honeymoon. But that doesn’t mean it has to cost you an arm and a leg. The secluded Kauai Beach Resort is a great budget option, featuring large rooms with gorgeous views of the sun rising over a rugged beach, a sand-bottom pool with a waterslide, and a romantic bar with live music. It’s an excellent choice for a quiet, low-key Hawaiian honeymoon. The cherry on top? Rates consistently hover around $150 per night.  Read More »

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With three pools at the resort, couples will have plenty of places to slip away to during their stay.

The Four Seasons Resort Nevis sits on a large, attractive beach on the small, secluded, and relatively unknown island of Nevis. Nevis is a tiny island in the Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis, separated from St. Kitts by just a two-mile stretch of sea. It features beautiful waters, friendly people, and lush rainforests. Less developed than St. Kitts, the island’s remote location makes it a popular choice among newlyweds.

Couples staying at the resort — many of whom choose to wed in this far-off locale, as well — can celebrate their recent nuptials with a private dinner on the beach — complete with their own chef, server, and entertainment — or opt to set sail on a romantic sunset cruise. The gorgeous rooms here are a romantic highlight: The updated decor has a Ralph Lauren-like look, with a blue-and-yellow scheme accented by pops of color and dark wood furniture, while the massive bathrooms feature separate showers and tubs. Plus, almost all rooms have beautiful views, of either mountains or the ocean, which couples can enjoy from their expansive private decks. Check out more honeymoon-inspired photos of the Four Seasons Resort Nevis » Read More »

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This luxury pick in Guatemala lies in the shadow of four volcanoes (two of them active -- for a truly hot honeymoon).

For this edition of Honeymoon Hotel of the Week, we’re heading to La Reunion Antigua Golf Resort in Guatemala. An outstanding luxury boutique located in the shadow of four volcanoes (two of them active — for a truly hot honeymoon), La Reunion is about 30 minutes from the colonial city of Antigua. Luxurious facilities and incredible volcano views are highlights here that the bride and groom are sure bask in during their stay. There’s also a fabulous infinity-edge pool and a Pete Dye-designed golf course, if couples feel like stretching their legs. Plus, the upscale restaurant and rooftop bar both have volcano views. The 26 rooms mix elegant decor with hand-woven textiles from local artisans to create comfortable, romantic spaces. Featuring private patios with infinity-edge swimming pools and fantastic bathrooms with soaking tubs and private outdoor showers, they are perfect for couples.

Honeymooners should consider booking the Romantic Package, which includes a bottle of sparkling wine and either a relaxing couples massage in your private suite or a piece of jewelry designed exclusively for La Reunion by Silvia Asturias. See more honeymoon-inspired photos of La Reunion after the jump »
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Views abound at this luxurious hideaway tucked into Jamaica's famous Blue Mountain.

Jamaica’s Strawberry Hill offers couples a remote hideaway in a gorgeous setting, making it a top pick for a tranquil honeymoon. This former coffee plantation, nestled among the steep and winding hills of the island’s famous Blue Mountain, is a little oasis above the city of Kingston. Owned by music-maker Chris Blackwell, whose work with the likes of Bono, Stevie Wonder, and Bob Marley has made the hotel a celeb magnet, Strawberry Hill might be the island’s most isolated property, offering plenty of intimacy and privacy, with just 12 cottages spread across more than 26 acres. But the hotel also has the features of a larger property: an expansive spa, a breezy restaurant and bar, a hilltop pool, lush gardens, and ample relaxation space — all of which feature panoramic vistas of the jungle, city, and ocean below.

If you’re loving Strawberry Hill, but are concerned about finding the cash to pay for a stay at this luxe spot, check out wanderable.com. On this awesome website, you can create a honeymoon registry that — rather than getting you the boring ol’ pots and pans — will ask wedding guests to give gifts that will help pay for hotel stays and activities during your honeymoon. So forget a floral China set you’ll never use and opt to stay an extra night, upgrade to the honeymoon suite, and enjoy another poolside cocktail with gifts from your Wanderable registry, so you can have the perfect honeymoon! But first, check out more honeymoon-worthy photos of Strawberry Hill here »

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The Marriott Wailea Resort is a romantic honeymoon locale on Maui.

Honeymoons must be two things: romantic and memorable. Any old trip to the beach is just not going to suffice for a couple’s post-nuptial getaway. But thankfully, there are plenty of unique and luxurious properties out there for newlyweds. Remote jungle hideaways, cozy mountain lodges, luxe European grand dames, and gorgeous beachfront properties are waiting with a bottle of champagne at the ready to toast your “I dos.” These romantic hotels around the world are perfect honeymoon locales; go ahead and swoon over them in this slideshow.

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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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Unique, exciting, gorgeous: Going on a safari honeymoon is all that and more.

This ultra-remote, luxurious safari lodge on an island in Botswana‘s Okavango Delta isn’t a hotel, it’s an experience, where everything — including the excellent food and the guided excursions (game drives, bush walks, river cruises) — is included in the price of the stay. At the &Beyond Xaranna Okavango Delta Camp, newlyweds can get up close and personal with exotic wildlife on both land and water (think: lions and hippos), and even arriving to the property is an adventure, requiring transport by small plane, safari vehicle, and a boat. The nine safari “tents” are fully screened in and thoroughly high-end, with huge soaking tubs, four-poster beds, lots of wood, and private plunge pools, creating a charming and romantic atmosphere.

Tinged with the sense of excitement that comes from being on safari — especially here as the camp is not enclosed — a honeymoon to Botswana is definitely going to be a memorable one. As an added bonus, the &Beyond Lodges offer a great honeymoon package that newlyweds might consider. Brides receive a 50 percent discount on their accommodations, and other special requests — such as private excursions — can also be made in advance. Check out more honeymoon inspired photos of the &Beyond Xaranna Okavango Delta Camp here »

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