Paired with the expensive price tag of a wedding, a honeymoon can easily become an afterthought and the focus it deserves can get discarded. But what kind of jet-set bride would let that happen? Resorts around the world—from a small island in the British Virgin Islands to wild and rugged Alaska, and Sonoma to St. Lucia too—offer honeymoon deals worth saying "I do" to, and we’ve thrown in a safari and South African dream trip for good measure.
The Deal: 50%-off for the bride’s accommodations
Where: At any of &Beyond’s safari lodges in Zanzibar, Kenya, and Tanzania
For couples that book a honeymoon safari, the bride pays just half of the published rates for her accommodations (a.k.a 25% off the total). Choose from Mnemba on a private island off the coast of Zanzibar where there are just 10 thatched-roof huts for guests and they can be treated to a sunset cruise in a Swahili-style boat; Bataleur Camp on the Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya, featuring glamping-style accommodations and a private torch-lit dinner in the bush with a Masai warrior performance; and Ngorongoro Crater Lodge in Tanzania, perched on top of a crater where guests can book a romantic picnic tended to by a butler.
The Deal: "Caribbean Dream Honeymoon" package
Where: Biras Creek Resort, Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands
Forget all those crowded Caribbean locales and hide away at this 31-room resort set on 140 acres on Virgin Gorda. The $740-per-night rate, as part of this brand-new package, includes a bottle of Veuve Clicquot Champagne, chocolates, and flowers picked from local gardens upon arrival. Other perks include a food and wine pairing dinner served at Hilltop, a private sunset cruise with cocktails and food, free access to beach cruisers and water-sports equipment, two 55-minute couple’s massages, and three meals for two daily. Airport transfers—the resort is only reachable by boat or helicopter—are also included in the room rate.
The Deal: "Perfect Honeymoon" package
Where: Blue Palace Resort & Spa, Elounda, Crete, Greece
At Blue Palace Resort & Spa, not only do guests fall asleep each night in a picture-perfect Greek isles setting, but honeymooners especially are pampered from the couples olive-oil massage to a bottle of Greek liquor in the room, plus a classic Greek breakfast served in the room one morning. The package, which starts at 338 Euros ($438) per night, also includes a breakfast buffet one morning and lots of in-room amenities (a bouquet of flowers, bottle of French Champagne, and seasonal fruits).
The Deal: "Just Married" package
Where: Sugar Beach, a Viceroy Resort, Soufriere, St. Lucia
Far from where cruise ships stop in Castries, Sugar Beach, a Viceroy Resort’s location is ideal. While lounging on the sugar-white sand beach or snorkeling just yards from the resort, one need only look up to see the island’s most famed attraction: the World Heritage-listed Pitons, two volcanic plugs that make a prime hiking spot. At $550 a night, the "Just Married" package includes a bottle of Champagne, a fruit basket, and tropical-flower bouquet upon arrival, breakfast and two couple’s massages at the resort’s Rainforest spa (seven tree houses connected by bridges). But the biggest perk is this: a romantic candlelight dinner on the beach.
The Deal: "Alaskan Honeymoon Adventure"
Where: Pearson’s Pond Luxury Inn & Adventure Spa, Juneau, Alaska
This deal is not for the faint at heart. It includes a slew of adventure treks at Pearson’s Pond Luxury Inn & Adventure Spa. Helicopter hopping? Check. Glacier cruising through the Tracy Arm Fjord to the Sawyer Glacier? Obviously. Also included at $598 per night are whale watching, ziplining, floatplane flights to glaciers (plus a salmon bake served next to the glacier), and a ride to the top of Mt. Roberts on the tram. Romance and pampering are folded into this seven-night package, too, with a two-person private whirlpool tub, campfire s’mores one evening, and breakfast in bed one morning. On check-in, the room is decked out with candlelight, soft music, a chilled bottle of Champagne, rose petals leading to the bed, and a drawn bubble bath.
The Deal: "Honeymoon Suite Surrender" package
Where: Madrona Manor, Sonoma, California
Bunk in a stylish suite tucked into a former schoolhouse turned historic inn, at Madrona Manor in Healdsburg, California, where for $1,340 honeymooners get two nights in the suite, a bottle of California sparkling wine in the room, and a six-course decadent dinner at the inn’s Michelin-starred restaurant. Wines are included with the dinner—and smartly paired for you—and the package includes an in-room couple’s massage, cocktails at the bar, and a buffet breakfast.
The Deal: "African Sun" package
Where: The Table Bay Hotel (Cape Town), The Palace of the Lost City at Sun City Resort (Sun City, South Africa), The Royal Livingstone Hotel at the Victoria Falls (Zambia)
For honeymooners looking to log miles, this hop around South Africa enables stays at chic properties owned by Sun International while taking in wonders along the Route of the African Sun. In Cape Town, it’s all about views of Table Mountain along the harbor; The Palace of the Lost City at Sun City Resort indulges guests with four hotels and once-in-a-lifetime encounters like game drives to see The Big Five; and at The Royal Livingstone Hotel, one can mingle with wild zebra and giraffe on the grounds and eat dinner underneath a monkey tree. We’ve saved the best detail for last: the price. This 11-day trip costs just $4,500 per person including airfare from either Washington D.C. or New York City direct to Johannesburg on South African Airways, plus all domestic flights once in South Africa; accommodations; meals; and sightseeing tours.
Kristine Hansen is a freelance writer based in Milwaukee where she reports on food, wine, and travel topics around the globe for Fodors.com, along with new-hotel openings. She also writes for Wine Enthusiast, TIME, Whole Living and American Way. In 2006 she co-authored The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Coffee and Tea (Alpha Books/Penguin). You can follow her on Twitter @kristineahansen or through her web site.
Photo credits: &Beyond courtesy of &Beyond; Biras Creek Resort courtesy of Biras Creek Resort; Blue Palace Resort & Spa courtesy of Blue Palace Resort & Spa; Sugar Beach, a Viceroy Resort courtesy of Sugar Beach, a Viceroy Resort; Juneau, Alaska via Shutterstock; Madrona Manor courtesy of Madrona Manor; "African Sun" package courtesy of Sun International