sunset key cottages, a luxury collection resort, key west
Eclectic Key West welcomes honeymooners with its splashy sunsets, laid-back vibe and colorful charm. Here, couples can stroll the very streets writers Ernest Hemingway and Tennessee Williams once called home, peruse sunken treasures in shipwreck museums, or join nighttime ghost tours, and once they’ve had their fill of the delights this Florida Keys destination offers, they can hop on a boat for a quick ride to their secluded honeymoon digs—Sunset Key Cottages, a Luxury Collection Resort. Poised on a 27-acre island, this high-end resort that spans over seven acres offers a picturesque setting with 1-, 2-, 3-, and 4-bedroom cottages that feature pastel wood finishes and authentic Victorian-style tin roofs. It’s the ultimate for newlyweds—think a complimentary breakfast basket, packed with freshly baked muffins and other bakery specialties, orange juice, and a newspaper; furnished patios and balconies; dual-head showers; pillow-top beds; plush bathrobes; and oh, those views—ocean waters that flow out to sky-stroked horizons framed with lush gardens and quaint footpaths leading to a private beach or the free-form pool. Once honeymooners have been whisked from the mainland via boat to the island, they are greeted with the resort’s signature cocktail, frozen sweet treats and the Luxury Collection brand’s signature concierge service, serving as a portal for the couple to set up adventures in Key West.
Honeymooners should opt for the 2-bedroom oceanfront cottage, because while in Florida, those ocean breezes and ocean views are a must, as well as the 80-minute Sunset Romance spa package that includes a massage for two, plus dinner for two and a bottle of Champagne, all taking place beachside in a private cabana ($1,200). Rates for a 2-bedroom cottage in June start at approximately $642 per night, but call for specific rates because they fluctuate. sunsetkeycottages.com
the old No. 77 hotel & chandlery, new orleans
In New Orleans, there’s a fab, hip, new and historic property for young honeymooners—The Old No. 77 Hotel & Chandlery, located in the city’s Warehouse Arts District and part of the Provenance Hotels portfolio. The property, which began life in 1854 as a warehouse serving the Port of New Orleans, has 167 rooms, is located four blocks from the French Quarter and features rustic original details such as hardwood floors and exposed brick walls. Hipster couples will love the lobby’s street-facing gallery space with rotating art curated by New Orleans Center of Creative Arts, and the fact that the property is located steps away from the art galleries along Julia Street. Onsite, couples will get to dine at Compere Lapin, with a menu that pays homage to the chef’s island roots (she’s from Saint Lucia). Accommodations are light and airy and play up the building’s authentic architecture, with wall-spanning windows and pops of color on painted ceilings and pipes. We recommend you book honeymooners into the Loft Studio Suite, which evokes the style of an artist’s loft. Newlyweds will love the amenities, including 100 percent Egyptian cotton Mascioni linen imported from Italy; Aquaplush pillows; plush bathrobes; lather vegan aromatherapy bath amenities; and an honor bar stocked with locally sourced items like Swamp Pop, NOLA Brewing company beer; Zydeco power bars and the like. Tell couples to take advantage of the hotel’s Kick It Off With A Kick package, which will resonate with honeymooners, since they’ll be kicking off their new life together as a married couple. The package, which is good through Sept. 30, includes 25 percent savings on room rates with two celebratory glasses of the distillery’s famed Gingeroo. Rates start at $139 per night. old77hotel.com
aria, las vegas
Many couples get married in Las Vegas, so it seems fitting that they’ll want to honeymoon in this desert oasis as well, especially since it offers such an array of amusements. Fine dining? Check. Over-the-top shows? Check. Shopping? Check. Dazzling pool parties? Check. Nightclubs, casinos, and zany fun? Check, check and check. And one of the best spots for couples to cozy up to each other during those first few days of marriage is ARIA, which offers an air of sophistication and style (it’s right next to The Shops at Crystals, so tell your honeymooning clients to splurge a little and get themselves a newlywed gift).
At ARIA, romantics and foodies can have a different dining experience every night—from Italian (Carbone, with its New York-inspired cuisine, is opening this fall) and Mexican to Spanish and French; they can take in a Cirque du Soleil show, “Zarkana”; lay on a Ganbanyoku heated stone bed at The Spa & Salon at ARIA; and lounge by one of ARIA’s three ellipse-shaped pools, including the Sky Pool, an upscale exclusive pool specially designed for Sky Suites guests. And that brings us to our accommodations recommendation for honeymooners—you must recommend one of the Sky Suites, which range from the 1-bedroom Aria Suite to the Sky Villas. These up-to-7,000-sq.-ft. suites offer lofty ceilings, custom furnishings, state-of-the-art technology, amenities that range from Hermes bath essentials to an in-suite sauna, and stunning views of Vegas’ shimmering lights-streaked Strip. Rates range from $475 to $7,500 per night. aria.com
four seasons resort the biltmore santa barbara, california
This romantic and historic resort will kick-start any new relationship into high gear: lush greenery, nooks made for snuggling, a beautiful shoreline as a front yard and top-notch Four Seasons service. The resort, which is built in a classic Spanish colonial style, features low-lying main buildings and a collection of 12 single-story cottages situated along winding garden pathways. Accommodations are quintessentially romantic with spring-like colors and regional artwork complemented by French-style balconies overlooking lush gardens. The bathrooms are one of the most beautiful and indulgent we’ve ever stepped foot in, and with the recent updates to the accommodations, newlyweds will be saying “I love you” to each other on the new “Signature Sleep by Four Seasons” customizable beds. The property is made for couples with an array of offerings: Couples can opt for a sunset cocktail cruise; a couple’s massage in an oceanview spa suite; a private 4-course candlelit dinner with the opportunity to meet the culinary team topped off with romantic amenities; a picnic; a private cabana at the Coral Casino Beach and Cabana Club that includes hourly amenities such as warm or chilled towels, popcorn, fresh fruit skewers and smoothie samplers; a stand-up paddleboarding lesson; or they can even grab some beach cruisers and cycle past the Andree Clarke Bird Refuge. Offsite, newlyweds can go on a wine-tasting excursion to Santa Barbara’s Santa Ynez Valley region, or tour the countryside by car, Jeep, or biodiesel van, complete with a prepared gourmet lunch. The destination has an array of fine dining restaurants, but on site, two sea-facing dining hotspots lure couples—Bella Vista, with Italian-inspired California cuisine, and Tydes, overlooking Butterfly Beach. The resort’s Timeless Memories package includes complimentary access to Coral Casino Beach and Cabana Club; dinner for two at Tydes (up to $150 value); arrival amenity customized to the occasion; complimentary self parking; and accommodations in a Premier Room or higher accommodation category; call for rates. fourseasons.com/santabarbara
outrigger resorts, waikiki, hawaii
The lure of Hawaii is a powerful one for honeymooners, who can’t get enough of the warmth of the people, the beautiful vistas and idyllic spots made for romance. In Honolulu, Outrigger Resorts offers two beachfront properties in Waikiki—Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort and Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort. Both offer an array of options for newlyweds. Situated on the edge of Waikiki, the Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort offers couples the opportunity to do like the locals, including feasting on grilled-to-perfection seafood, gazing out at Diamond Head, basking in the sun and listening to traditional and contemporary Hawaiian music under a blanket of stars and the sparkling light of tiki torches. Recommend the Diamond Head Ocean View guestroom with king-size bed, but more importantly with views that are made for a romantic getaway. The resort is offering a Sweet Hawaiian Music package that’s a great option for newlyweds who want to immerse themselves in the islands’ musical traditions. It includes VIP seating for two at Kani Ka Pila Grille, with a deluxe pupu platter, mai tais, and an autographed CD of a Kani Ka Pila Grille-featured Hawaiian music group. The package, valid through Dec. 21, starts at $275 per night for a garden-view room.
Farther down the beach is the Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort, where couples can dive into a variety of ocean activities such as lessons taught by world-champion surfers and the one-of-a-kind experience of surfing an outrigger canoe. Our accommodations recommendation for newlyweds are the Deluxe Oceanfront with Spa Tub rooms—oh, those views from the spa tub. The resort is offering the Oceanfront Indulgence package, which includes a 1-bedroom oceanfront suite or oceanfront guestroom, a special welcome basket on arrival, a 50-minute private beach yoga session for two or a 50-minute in-room massage for two, plus nightly turndown service and a chilled bottle of Champagne with flutes. The 3-night minimum package, good through Dec. 21, starts at $429 per room, per night for the guestroom, and $565 per room, per night for the suite. Note that there are no resort fees for either property. outriggeragent.com