When you think of your honeymoon, perhaps the first thing you think of is sitting on a warm beach somewhere without a care in the world sipping a large, sweet, icy alcoholic drink. You're not alone. Beaches are perennial favorite honeymoon destinations; nearly 45% of honeymooners visit them and about 40% of newlyweds will stay at a resort. From Puerto Rico and Mexico to Pacific escapes like Fiji and Tahiti -- we've found some specials that may inspire you.
El Conquistador (tel. 866/317-8932; www.elconresort.com) in Fajardo, Puerto Rico offers an Island Romance package suitable for honeymooners, valid through December 31, 2009. It includes chilled champagne and tropical fruits delivered upon arrival, two 50-minute massages per package, a round-trip motor coach transportation for two adults to and from the airport, a full Caribbean breakfast every day for two adults, and taxes and fees. It's based on a four-night minimum stay. Prices will vary depending on the season, but a midweek stay in mid-November starts at $275 for a garden view room; rates for mid-March 2009 start at a much higher rate, $521; early May stays start at $376.
Villa Premiere Hotel and Spa (tel. 877/886-9176; www.premiereonline.com.mx) in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico offers a premiere honeymoon package starting at $230 per person, per night, and it includes accommodations in a honeymoon suite with an ocean view and indoor Jacuzzi; in-room aromatherapy, butler services; a candlelit, four-course meal at the beach; a bottle of red or white wine, daily American breakfast served in your room, and other niceties in your room such as flowers, fruit, and sparkling wine. The boutique property features just 83 rooms and is situated within walking distance of Puerto Vallarta's cobblestone streets, colonial district and boardwalk. The package requires a three-night minimum stay; taxes and gratuities are included, and is valid for stays through December 19; it's also available next year, April 8 through December 19.
Also in Puerto Vallarta, the Buenaventura Grand Hotel and Spa (tel. 888/859-9439; www.hotelbuenaventura.com.mx) offers a package at $99 per person, per night, and it includes dinner for two, a bottle of domestic wine and fruit ready on arrival, and your choice of a 25-minute spa treatment. If you would like to upgrade to a honeymoon site, it costs an extra $55 per night plus tax and service charges. It, too, is valid for travel through December 19. It is also available January 4 through December 20, 2009.
Occidental Hotels and Resorts (tel. 800/858-2258; www.occidentalhotels.com), with locations in Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Aruba, Costa Rica and Spain, has a honeymoon package that only requires a minimum three-night stay and is available year round. You receive congratulatory baskets in the room, breakfast in bed, or turndown service. You can upgrade to the premium package for a starting rate of about $250 per couple. Amenities will vary depending on the resort but can include anything from a surprise gift to a quiet candlelit dinner for two. The resorts are all-inclusive -- they cover all taxes and gratuities, meals, snacks, alcoholic beverages and soft drinks and juice, non-motorized water sports, scuba clinics for beginners, and whatever daily activities are scheduled. Rates will vary depending on the location and were unavailable at press time for the Spanish properties, but Royal Hideaway Playacar starts at $300 per person, per night, and Allegro Playa Dorado starts from $150 per person, per night.
If perhaps you want to get married in the Caribbean, Sonesta St. Maarten (tel. 800/223-0757; www.sonesta.com) has an incentive for those planning a 9/09/09 wedding with its "lucky love" package. Couples who get married there receive a free honeymoon package; or, if you visit there after your 9/09/09 wedding you can receive free champagne and breakfast in bed, provided you stay a minimum of five nights by October 31, 2009. The honeymoon package includes chocolate and a bottle of champagne, a pool or ocean view room, roundtrip airport transfers, a private, an in-room dinner for two (including dessert and wine), American breakfast in bed for two (one per stay), 20 percent off spa treatments and turndown service every night. Rates for 2009 start at $270 per room, per night; the room tax is not included. The package is valid at either property: Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort and Casino or Sonesta Maho Beach Resort and Casino.
Tahiti is another idyllic spot for honeymooners -- far away, secluded, and beautiful. The Tahiti Tourism site (tel. 877/GO-TAHITI; www.tahiti-tourisme.com/honeymoon/tahitihoneymoon.asp) enables you to customize your package depending on your departure gate and interest (choose "honeymoon," naturally), or you can select from their available packages for your honeymoon. Prices start from $1,799 for Manuia Moorea, Tahiti, and Moorea for eight days, roundtrip airfare from Los Angeles, room taxes, inter-island ferry transport, all transfers and baggage handling, meeting service, and room taxes. It is valid for departures through March 31, 2009. Or choose its Bora Bora Getaway priced at $2,399 per person, including roundtrip airfare from Los Angeles to Tahiti and Bora Bora for seven days. You'll spend one night at the InterContinental Tahiti and five in a gardenview room at Le Maitai Bora Bora. Airport transfers are included in this price, along with hotel taxes and surcharges, too. The rate is valid for travel November 1-December 11, 2008 and then January 12-May 31, 2009. Air taxes of $97 are not included.
The islands of Fiji (tel. 800/YEA-FIJI; www.bulafiji.com) offer a whole lot of packages, too -- jut click on "vacation packages" and select your departure company to find out what is available. There are plenty of them labeled for weddings and honeymoons. Conde Nast Traveler terms Royal Davui "the most romantic hideaway," and its luxury honeymoon package includes seven nights stay, private pool, and roundtrip airfare based on Los Angeles departures, private transfers, and all meals (tel. 800/576-7327; south-seas-adventures.com). The price starts from $3,650 per person for travel through March 31, 2009, with blackout dates December 19, 2008 through January 9, 2009.