Honeymoons aren’t one size fits all. Millennials, especially, want to change it up a bit and try more niche experiences, whether it’s horseback riding along ancient roads or going on a spiritual journey as newlyweds.
Go Hipster Luxe
It’s a combo destination that’s a perfect fit for newlyweds: Ixtapa and Zihuatanejo. The latter, once a sleepy fishing village and today a hip hotspot with boutiques and palapa-style restaurants, is home to one of Mexico’s most stunning bays, while Ixtapa boasts upscale shopping and resorts located steps away from the shoreline. It is here where you can find the uber-luxe, oceanfront, 59-suite Capella Ixtapa Resort and Spa. Suites, all of which face the ocean and feature Mediterranean influences with authentic Mexican style, offer plenty of space with a master bedroom, living area, and a private terrace with infinity-edge plunge pools. It’s an absolutely stunning resort where attention to detail is paramount. The resort offers a 7-night Honeymoon package that includes accommodations in an Ocean View Deluxe Guestroom; roundtrip airport transfers in a luxury vehicle; Champagne and welcome amenity upon arrival; daily breakfast for two; nightly romantic turndown service; special gift to be shipped to the mother of the bride; two dinners for two; a choice of a private cooking lesson or sunset yacht cruise; one couple’s spa treatment; and a Flip cam to document the stay. In addition to all these offerings, couples can also opt for horseback riding along the shoreline; go deep-sea fishing; hire a personal shopper who will guide them to the most interesting shops for buying regional crafts; or explore the area while biking, kayaking and snorkeling. And because romance is ever-blooming, couples that purchase a Honeymoon package at this property, can return each year for a complimentary night and a bottle of Champagne to celebrate an anniversary. Call for specific rates.
Exploring the Yucatan with Journey Mexico is a transformative voyage, as couples visit Tulum, with its white-sand beaches, charming Valladolid, the Maya site of Coba, sophisticated Merida, and the World Heritage Site of Uxmal. There are temples, magical towns, wildlife sanctuaries, cenotes, and monasteries to explore, all complemented by stays in four boutique Coqui Coqui Residence & Spa Collection properties. These intimate accommodations are truly jaw-dropping and inimitable. One has views of Mayan sites, and another is just a single room with a huge bed that sits in the same room as two freestanding bathtubs, coupled by a grand lounge area with period furniture, original tiled floors, and draped velvet curtains. Meanwhile, in Valladolid, the Coqui Coqui La Perfumeria is a 1-room retreat that seems plucked right out of “The Great Gatsby.” This 10-day adventurous journey leads couples to the impressive Chichen Itza site; the Celestun Biosphere Reserve, an area naturalists will love; and the Ek’ Balam archaeological site. They’ll also spend an afternoon visiting the non-profit Fundacion de Artistas, where couples will have the opportunity to meet with artistic-minded locals. There is, of course, plenty of time to luxuriate in the accommodations, with afternoon spa times. This itinerary is custom-tailored to your clients’ liking, so there is no exact pricing.
The 128-suite, adults-only El Dorado Maroma Suites, a Beachfront Resort by Karisma, sits on lovely Maroma Beach in Riviera Maya. The accommodations are swoon-worthy and newlyweds can opt for the Honeymoon Suite, with a separate living room, king-size bed, private deck, in-suite jacuzzi and outdoor shower. Must-do’s while on property include a treatment at the Naay Spa, which adheres to the ancient Mayan principles of earth, wind, fire and water, as well as the Thursday pop-up fish market that features seafood caught the very same day, not to mention the option to go kayaking, and take yoga, cooking and dancing classes. Karisma offers a 5-night minimum stay Memorable Moments Honeymoon package that includes the personal service of a Romance maitre d’; a private gourmet 4-course candlelit dinner on the beach; romantically decorated suite with rose petals and aromatherapy following the private dinner; chef’s special gourmet breakfast in bed morning after dinner; beachfront Sky Massage 2×1 offer; chilled bottle of Champagne delivered to room upon arrival; 15 percent discount on spa services; fresh tropical floral arrangement in room; and 1-night anniversary return stay voucher. Couples must stay in a Honeymoon Suite or higher. Call for rates.
A Match Made in Heaven
Puerto Vallarta’s 16-room Hacienda San Angel, part of Mexico Boutique Hotels, with intimate and sophisticated properties throughout Mexico, is a lovely property for newlyweds to start their married life together. It overlooks gorgeous Banderas Bay, and is a stone’s throw away from the city’s historic center. It features a grand lounge, as well as winding paths that lead through tropical gardens, and the house itself is adorned with colonial tile and fine woodwork, and filled with exquisite antique furniture and Mexican art. Couples will relish the Bulgari toiletries, the cocktail hour with live musicians, the three pools, and fine dining on the terrace restaurant with panoramic views. Couples who want to be steps away from the beach during their honeymoon can couple this property with Playa Escondida (or “hidden beach”) in Sayulita. The property is nestled in the lush Nayarit jungle and faces a beach cove that’s protected from the “outside world” by rocky outcroppings on each end. It’s ideal for true hipsters looking for palapas and canopied beds, organic architecture and lounge-worthy nooks. The wide-open accommodations are not for everyone, but do offer glorious views of the surroundings, and 20-somethings are sure to love the al fresco yoga and massages. Rates at Hacienda San Angel start at $250; rates at Playa Escondida at $175.
Riding the Trails
Far beyond a beachside oasis, Hidden Trails’ 8-day Colonial Villages Trail takes couples that like to explore the world on horseback through the heart of Mexico’s colonial heritage along the country’s central highlands. The horseback riding honeymoon begins in picturesque Guanajuato, and trots along ancient roads surrounded by mountains, forests, magnificent agricultural landscapes, and gold and silver mines, as well as rural communities. There are stops in the charming towns of Santa Rosa, Dolores Hidalgo, Atotonilco and San Miguel de Allende, and there is plenty of time to stop and commune with nature while looking out over cacti, semi-desert and wetland landscapes. The trip is ideal for couples that want to immerse themselves in the country’s colonial heritage and complement that with moments that drive them up-close to nature and the country’s stunning outdoor scenery. There are five riding days, with six to eight hours per day of riding; Silver Route and Horse Expedition itineraries are offered with rates starting at approximately $1,720 pp. The horses used are American Quarter, Appendix and Mexican Criollo, and the trip is suitable for riders with a firm seat, that are confident and in control at all paces.
Capella Ixtapa Resort and Spa: capellahotels.com/ixtapa
El Dorado Maroma Suites: karismahotels.com/Hotels-Resorts-Villas/Adults-only/El-DoradoResorts/ElDoradoMaroma
Hidden Trails: hiddentrails.com
Journey Mexico: journeymexico.com
Mexico Boutique Hotels: hotelesboutique.com/en