Honeymoon in Spain - HELP!

Nov 7th, 2001, 04:08 PM
  #1  
Jerry
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Honeymoon in Spain - HELP!

I am planning our honeymoon in Spain for 2-3 weeks starting September 10 of next year. I don't even know where to start. I figure we should be hitting Barcelona, Madrid and some coastal cities.

I would really appreciate any advise about where to eat, stay, travel with my wife-to-be. We don't want to be hurried. We would like to mix first class with local flavor. We defintely want to party hard too (hey, we will probably be pregnant soon after)!

LASTLY - she really wanted to try and fit in Venice for a day or two. Is this feasible and , if so, how?

Thank you - feel free to contact me by direct email as well.
 
Nov 7th, 2001, 10:06 PM
  #2  
Paul Zanini
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I am addicted to Hotel Hacienda Na Xamena in Ibiza, Spain. This place is located on the wild part of this Balearic Island, with spectacular sea views from your room that hang on the cliffs. It is on a remote location but only 30 minutes from the very lively town of Ibiza great for night life.
You get the best of both worlds.
I booked that hotel at:
http://circumvista.com/naxamena.html
 
Nov 7th, 2001, 11:00 PM
  #3  
Nikki
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Hi Jerry! Congratulations on your engagement! Spain is a lovely choice for a romantic and adventurous honeymoon. I would recommend that you contact www.okspain.org and request their exceptional Spain Travel Kit which will answer most of your questions, and it includes beautiful colorful booklets & maps. Madrid, Costa del Sol, & Ibiza are probably what you are both looking for. You'll have wonderful memories to last you a life time.
 
Nov 7th, 2001, 11:23 PM
  #4  
qiu
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I went to Spain last year. My favourite hotel was "Molino del Santo" at Benaojan, near Ronda in the Andalusian mountains.It is located beside a stream. I also visited the Hacienda in Ibiza but I preferred "Cas Pla" just a stone's throw away from Hacienda.TO me it is the best hotel in Ibiza,even better than the much vaunted Pikes Hotel where many Hollywood celebrities have stayed. It is a 5 star, 13 room rural retreat very much like a home and has views of the sea in the distance.The owner and his mastiff are super friendly. Hacienda, unfortunately, was a bit impersonal for me.Check out their websites- you won't regret it.
 
Nov 8th, 2001, 06:31 AM
  #5  
Brian in Atlanta
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Jerry, we did our honeymoon in Spain in Oct of 1997 and loved it. We did Barcelona first for 4 days (and did some serious partying), Mahon, Menorca for 3 days (for some much needed rest and quiet), then finished in Madrid (more partying, but not as much fun as Barcelona).

We definitely opted more for local flavor than first class, so I won't recommend the hotels we stayed in in Barcelona or Madrid, but we did stay at a 4 star in Mahon - the very nice Hotel Port Mahon with a nice pool, big balconies over looking the water. Menorca is the less touristy Balleric Island and great for a less hectic rest. You can rent a jeep and see the entire island and it's numerous prehistoric sites. There are cute bars/restaurants along the waterfront just below the hotel in Mahon.

Madrid was OK, it just seemed to big and crowded for us.

Good luck with whatever you decide to do.
 
Nov 8th, 2001, 06:31 AM
  #6  
BOB THE NAVIGATOR
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Jerry, Venice does not fit with any Spain itinerary. Actually, I see Spain as 4 distinct tourist regions and it is hard to do all 4 in only 3 weeks. You will want to concentrate in Andalusia.
That is the best of Spain, and Seville is as good a party town as Barcelona. You need to decide the number of days first--that will determine what you can do feasibly. Let me know if you need more details. Spain is a great place.
 
Nov 8th, 2001, 06:40 AM
  #7  
Maribel
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Jerry,
Speaking of the Baleares, many honeymooners find Richard Branson's "La Residencia" in Deia (northwest corner of Mallorca) sheer bliss. Sophisticated, romantic, lots of local flavor. One poster here stayed in room #67 with its own pool, garden and kitchen and said it "this place has it all". And there's plenty of partying to be done in Palma. You might like to combine this with Ibiza, a hedonist's paradise!
 
Nov 8th, 2001, 06:55 AM
  #8  
Patrick
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I suggest you go to www.parador.com and look at the wonderful state owned paradors (castle hotels). As you plan you might really want to incorporate a couple of these in your itinerary -- very romantic and upscale places in most cases. I believe you can request a catalog from there. Although one word of advice. You may come across a US booking agency for the paradors, which charges up to double the price of booking direct with each parador.
 
Nov 8th, 2001, 06:59 AM
  #9  
Patrick
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OOOPS! If you're wondering why I suggested you contact a multi-media organization, it's because I screwed up the web address. Try www.parador.es
 
Nov 8th, 2001, 01:16 PM
  #10  
Jerry
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THANK YOU ALL! I really appreciate the great advice so far.

KEEP IT COMING! This is going to be such a great trip.
 
Nov 8th, 2001, 02:32 PM
  #11  
Maira
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Jerry--- Congrats! Planning a September honeymoon in Spain......WOW!!

I have to second the suggestion(s) on the Paradores. At their website you'll find suggested routes, which I think will make planning a bit easier. As far as tackling the planning, I would drat a list of MUST sees for you and fiance, then try to match the list with Paradores and see how it goes. With a three-week timeframe, a flight connection from Madrid-Venice is doable and it would probably be a great finale to a memorable honeymoon!

As far as regions, I am biased to the Northwest (Costa Verde), but needless to say Barcelona, Nerja, Costa del Sol, they all offered amazing sightseeing.
 
Nov 8th, 2001, 04:09 PM
  #12  
Leslie
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While Madrid is my fav city in Spain it doesn't have a lot to offer tourists when compared to cities like Barcelona, Ibiza, Granada, etc. You'll prob land there- I wouldn't plan on spending more than a couple days there- see the Prado, the Reina Sofia; go out in the Plaza Santa Ana- then move on to another glorious Spanish city. Granada gets my vote for most romantic - plus there is acutually a parador in the Alhambra (pricey- but what a unique honeymoon experience).
 
Nov 9th, 2001, 02:05 AM
  #13  
melissa
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Hi Jerry,

I took my husband to Barcelona for his birthday last year. The Hotel Arts is wonderful - but you must be firm with them. I requested a high floor and a water view - I got the third floor and view of the A/C. I put up a polite ruckus sbout how disappointed I was in such a fine establishment ruining a 30th birthday surprise (hell, why would you book a 25+ story hotel to stay on the 3rd floor?!?!) so they moved us to a corner suite on the 18th. Really nice, with views of the water and the city.

We ate at some fab places right off the main drag in Las Ramblas. (Can't remember the names, one is right off the Passeig de Gr?cia, and one is on it)El Tragaluz is also good. Be sure and end your days at the harbor - there is a boat called Gaz de Luz that you can sit on and have jugs of sangria. (every day we got there earlier!) We had no problems taking the metros, but some people have warned about the increasing crime so be aware.

There is GREAT shopping there - so tell your new bride to keep some space free in her luggage. Have a wonderful time!
 
Nov 9th, 2001, 02:18 AM
  #14  
MH
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Watch out for pick pockets and purse snatching. Theft and crime is very prevalent in Spain. They esp. like tourists who seem to be oblivous to their surroundings. As for Venice, how do you plan on getting there? It would not be doable if driving but could be by flying. Have fun but stay alert to your surroundings....
 
Nov 14th, 2001, 11:03 AM
  #15  
Evan
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My wife and I spent our 11-day honeymoon in Spain in March 2000 and had the time of our lives.
You have more time than we did so you'll probably be able to see more. But I'd caution not to try to cram too much in -- you want to take some time to savor the places you go. Madrid to Venice is about a two-hour flight and would probably tack on significant costs.

We flew into Madrid and spent three nights there [took a sidetrip by bus to Segovia, spent a day at museums, relaxed in the park].
We then rented a car [Avis rented us a Chrysler Sebring-type car for $170/week] and driving down south enroute to Granada province. Stopped for lunch in Toledo and did some sightseeing. We liked Toledo but the busloads of tourists kind of made us wish we'd come at different time.

The highlight for us was our accomodations in Otivar, one of the "white villages" in the mountains just south of Granada and just north of the Costa del Sol. We stayed at the Palacete de Cazulas and loved it. it's a beautifully renovated moorish estate now operated as small hotel. During our stay, we drove to Granada and spent a day at the Alhambra and waited for the sunset on the hill opposite the palace in the moorish quarter. Spent the next couple of days exploring the coast nearby, including Nerja, returning each night to a great meal at the Palacete de Cazulas.

Then drove to Sevilla where we stayed at the Casas de la Juderia in the Santa Cruz Jewish quarter. We dumped our car there because the streets are much too narrow to navigate in a big American gas guzzler. We enjoyed a couple days in Sevilla [touring the Giralda, taking in a touristy but still very enjoyable flamenco show] before taking the AVE back to Madrid for a last night prior to flying back home.

Feel free to e-mail me if you want more info.
 
Dec 1st, 2001, 07:44 AM
  #16  
olga
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If going to Seville,
rent a car and stay at the Casas de Carmona hotel in Carmona, a beautiful small town with tons of history.
The hotel is gorgeous, my husband and I were going to stay 1 night and ended up staying 3. It´s like a small palace, and has beautiful courtyards and salons
where you can sit and relax with a drink from the self service free bar,
among antique catalogs, plush pillows and luxurious paintings by a fireplace.
Just like your own country estate.
The rooms are all different and the decor is exquisite. it is true that their standards of service have decreased a bit lately, but it´s still
wonderful.
Same applies to Hacienda Benazuza,also outside Seville. This one is more secluded, but it has lush gardens, a bigger pool and better service and one of the best restaurants in Andalucia, La Alqueria.
 
Dec 1st, 2001, 09:33 AM
  #17  
Kay
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I am planning to visit both Venice and Barcelona in May/June. You could fly into Venice from Spain and home from Malpensa in Milan or even on Delta out of Venice probably. I got a flight from JFK to Marco Polo, Venice for May. They just started flying direct from JFK a few months ago. You might also check the Talgo and EuroStar connections, but I think it would be a lot of trouble. I am driving from Provence to Barcelona (about a 4-5 hr. drive I am led to believe from the Luberon), so you could drive up to Marseille, Nice, or even Genoa and pick up a train to Venice. I have driven part of this drive from France south to Italy and it is a beautiful drive! Check Iberia and Alitalia flights, you might find they are not so expensive anymore. I am flying from Venice to Naples and from Catania to Milan on an "open jaw" ticket for $371. I also use a web site called ViaMichelin a lot to determine driving distances and plan my trip and day trips! I am going to try La Residencia in Majorca the first week of June. I wasn't able to get a room with a private pool, I tried! This would be a romantic place, but I don't think it will be a "Party" place. From what I have researched, you have received great advice from others, Ibiza is the party place. However, if she really wants to see Venice, I recommend you try to find a way to fit it in! Take this advice from someone who has been married 32 years. Congratulations on your engagement!
 
Dec 1st, 2001, 02:57 PM
  #18  
lisa
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Jerry: Congratulations on your engagement!

We spent 2 weeks for our honeymoon in Andalusia in 2000. It was fabulous. Like you, we didn't want to travel too much -- we didn't want to have to drive long distances between cities and we didn't want to have to pack and move each day. One other requirement of ours (and I *highly* recommend it to you) was a few days of R&R first, before sightseeing. It is absolutely essential to recuperate from the wedding "hoopla."

That being said, here was our itinerary:

Costa del Sol -- Skip touristy Marbella and park yourself at a 1st class resort in Estepona. We stayed at Las Dunas and it did not disappoint. The rooms were lovely, the service impeccable and the food delicious.

Day trip to Ronda -- a lovely town on a gorge. We spent the day there, but you could easily stay a night there. It is known for the gorge and for its bullfighting -- beautiful ring and museum.

Granada -- Our favorite city of the entire trip. We stayed at nondescript hotel in town. Many will suggest you stay at the Alhambra. The parador there is lovely. However, we preferred staying in town -- we like the "energy" of the city (seeing people out at night, walking to work in the a.m., etc). That way, you can walk to almost all sites, restaurants and bars. There is a great area of tapas bars behind Plaza Nueva you must check out. Also, be sure to get tix to Alhambra in advance, or take one of the bus tours sponsored by hotel (round-trip bus ride, entrance tix and excellent guides).

Cordoba
 
Dec 1st, 2001, 03:02 PM
  #19  
lisa
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cont'd

Cordoba -- our least favorite city of the trip. We stayed at the Hotel Melia, outside the Jewish Quarter and do *not* recommend it. Stay at the Amistad or another nice hotel within the Jewish Quarter. We felt Cordoba, with it's winding streets and blind alleys, was unsafe (and we're NY'ers -- not really faint of heart). The mosque is beautiful and we saw a touristy (although thoroughly enjoyable) flamenco show there.

Seville -- We stayed at Casa Imperial, although many will suggest the Alfonse XIV (or some other number). Casa Imperial is a lovely, homey hotel in the hacienda style. We enjoyed its quiet courtyards. Lots of great sites and fabulous restaurants in Seville. This is also a town of lots of great shopping -- clothes, leather, etc.

Like the others, I would not encourage a trip to Venice, too. I think you will regret spending so much time and energy traveling and not enjoying your travels. Hope you have a beautiful wedding and a wonderful honeymoon!
 
Dec 3rd, 2001, 01:04 PM
  #20  
Jerry
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Again - I am really appreciating all this advice and have been researching every lead above.

Please note that I am still reading these entries so please keep them coming.
 

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