The Ideal Honeymoon

Jun 5th, 2002, 08:42 AM
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We are getting married in August and after having been engaged for nearly a year and a half, it seems there wasn't a place in the world we really didn't consider.

Here's how we ended up at our final decision ...

My first choice was Bali. We were going to spend the first couple of nights in Hong Kong in a nice hotel to adjust to the time change and "be romantic", then head to Bali for a week of relaxation and spa treatments - the works! Eventually we came to the conclusion that it would just be too much time spent on airplanes and in airports. So we're saving Bali for an anniversary trip.

We thought about the Seychelles. Flying to Paris for a couple of nights (we got engaged there and love it too). But thought the amount of travel would be similar to going to Bali so we nixed the Seychelles idea.

The Caribbean and Mexico also surfaced as possible destinations, but we live in Florida, so (1) we can go to either place easily at any time, and (2) August is the peak of hurricane season and we don't want to get stuck.

We absolutely love Hawaii - been there twice (spent time on Oahu, Maui, and Kauai). We considered going to Lanai for the whole time - it has some highly rated properties and it can't get crowded. If you haven't been to Hawaii, it's definitely worth looking into - had we not chosen Italy, we'd be going there again.

We also considered doing a Mediterranean cruise, since we could not decide on one particular destination in Europe that we wanted to see. My big worry was that in August everybody tends to go on holiday so the destinations are crowded. A friend recommended that we don't do a cruise for the honeymoon because you're always surrounded by other people (outside, at meals, etc.) We didn't like the sound of that so we scrapped the cruise idea.

Finally we decided to not worry about crowds and settled on Italy. The only problem then was where exactly to go? I have been to Italy before and got a sampling of just about every place, with the exception of Sicily. We managed to put together a trip that included a week in Tuscany and a few days in Florence and Amsterdam (originally our flights were on KLM). Another trusted friend told us one thing about that trip - "don't ever go to Florence in August". He said it's not the same city it is during the rest of the year. Too many people, too hot, too sweaty, long lines, too many places are closed because of owners going on holiday. Add to that, my fiancee decided she had to be on the water for the honeymoon - well, bye bye Tuscany.

So ...

One day our Conde Nast Traveler magazine arrives and on the cover was the beautiful seaside town of Camogli. I read a little bit about it and was intrigued by the sound of things ... small seaside village ... quaint ... near Portofino, but not nearly as expensive ... I was starting to think this might just be the place to go. Not too far from Cinque Terre (which I loved when I visited the first time and swore I'd bring my true love back to). My fiancee just looked at the cover of the magazine while I was reading the article and said "why can't we go there?". So now we are going to Camogli for 8 nights and then spending 2 nights in London on our way back home and I couldn't be happier with our decision - or be happier that we finally made a decision!

The moral of the story - long engagements are BAD. Too much time and too many opportunities to change your mind!!!

The good thing about your date of September is - it's the perfect time to travel anywhere in the world. The weather is usually gorgeous everywhere. The one exception is of course it's still the hurricane season in the Atlantic/ Caribbean. We happened to pick August, which is quite possibly the worst month to travel - because that's when everybody is traveling!

Best of luck with whatever you decide and congratulations!
Jun 11th, 2002, 08:11 AM
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Dave, I don't know if you'll see this, but thank you so much for the post! You have enabled me to "argue" the honeymoon issue through without any of the work or angst. I will look into Camogli as a destination. I really appreciate your input! =)
Jun 11th, 2002, 08:50 AM
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I agree with Julie and Capo:

Lake Como
Amalfi Coast

A great choice for a few quiet days, moderately priced, I believe, is Villa Cimbrone in Ravello. Both the hotel and Ravello are stunning, but not as accessible for day trips. Congratulations!

Jun 11th, 2002, 09:55 AM
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Congrats! I'm getting married next Sept, as well!! We're planning our honeymoon in've been there before...could you email me privately please and give me some good tips of what to see, places to stay, etc??? I would greatly appreciate it!!! I've posted to the boards, but not gotten much of a response.

As to your situation, try something new! I think Italy would be incredible
Jun 11th, 2002, 07:26 PM
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Glad I was able to help you out!
Jun 14th, 2002, 12:08 PM
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to the top
Jun 14th, 2002, 12:52 PM
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We did Greece last year and totally loved it. You can combine several islands to get totally different flair. We did Hydra (very small, no cars, old mansions), Mykonos (crazy, good beaches, nightlife), Santorini (Ia, amazing views). All had good food and great sun. Sept will be perfect for so many places. I have also heard great things about the Amalfi coast. I haven't been, but want to go to Turkey and Istanbul. My friend in the consulate can't stop raving.
Jun 17th, 2002, 08:03 AM
just a thought
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how about the poconos?
Jun 17th, 2002, 08:21 AM
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I really loved Venice but am not sold on it as a honeymoon destination.

For one thing, a honeymoon merits a special and spacious hotel room.

You said you're not on a luxury budget, and I have to say that even a standard hotel room in Venice costs the equivalent of something special elsewhere.

Whilst Venice was romantic, we really wanted to see as much as we could, so it wasn't a typical relaxing trip so much as a lot of sightseeing, even with our relaxed travelling style.

I really like Dave's idea of choosing a smaller and more intimate resort where you can get more for your money in terms of accommodation, where there are sights in the area to visit should you want to but also where you can spend some days just chilling out and enjoying each others company.

Another option would be France.

What part of September are you going to be travelling?

We had a wonderful trip to the Loire early in September a couple of years ago, the accommodations were less expensive at that time of year and visitor numbers down but the weather was wonderful and sites were all still open.

Congratulations on your wedding and hope your honeymoon is wonderful, wherever you choose.

Jun 17th, 2002, 09:15 AM
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Ooooh, we are facing the same delicious dilemma! Congratulations! Planning our honeymoon for late September/early October 2003. Thanks to Kavey's wonderful reports, safari and South Africa (Cape Town, wine country) are high on our list... but I can't seem to let go of the idea of Italy! If we do choose Italy, we'll spend a few nights (splurge) in Venice, possibly a few nights in Florence, and then head to Italian Riviera or the Amalfi Coast. The latest issue of Travel + Leisure has an article about hotels on the Ligurian Coast, and some of them aren't too terribly expensive--or maybe one of them isn't too terribly expensive--but you might want to check that out. Let us know what you choose!
Jun 17th, 2002, 10:08 AM
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I definitely feel the remote camps of Southern Africa (Botswana, Namibia, South Africa) offer an incredibly romantic holiday. I go all starry eyes every time I think of it!
But within Europe there are also so many romantic and wonderful possibilities that the first decision has to be about what kind of trip you are looking for.
Either way you will have a honeymoon to remember I am sure.
Jun 18th, 2002, 06:53 AM
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Kavey--thank you so much! We plan to travel in mid-September, although the date of the wedding itself is not set in stone. Would love to hear more about the Loire.

Rachael--sorry I can't be more helpful about Ireland; my father lives there and we stay with him every time.
Jun 24th, 2002, 07:44 AM
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Had to post a reply. Sicily. It is the most wonderfully laid back place. Forget the mafia as it is a cliche. Try to spend a week on the Aeolian Islands - Stromboli (which sparks lava each night and can be seen from the other islands), lipari which is wonderful or panarea which is a sleepy Greek feel kind of island. Then you could spend a few days on the mainland and do a sunset tour up to Mt Etna and/or visit the ampitheatre in Taormina which towers over the town and the sea. The weather is still lovely, the food - well no need to boast there - and the people are warm. On Lipari you could splash out a little (probably cost approx £80 a night) and stay in - amazing hotel set on the rocks and all you can hear from your room is the lapping sea.
We spent our honeymoon in September last year doing exactly what I have explained above and I wanna go back!!!!
Jun 24th, 2002, 07:51 AM
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Liz we visited the Loire in early September a couple of years ago.

We stayed in Chateau de Beaulieu (the one in Saumurs not Tours). We had the suite and it was the most romantic room... just beautiful.

But I am not sure they offer accommodation anymore, certainly I can't find them listed anywhere or contact them via email.

We pootled around for the week in our car, the weather was wonderful, sights were open, tourist numbers were low and we adored our time there.

I did a trip report here on the forum, you might be able to find it, if not let me know (via email) and I can email it to you.

Africa was awesome. Looking up together at the stars, at our galaxy and at other galaxies far away, standing alone on the dunes, was just so special.

We're going back to Africa for our 10th wedding anniversary (if we can afford it, Ive just gone self employed) and are going to make it a second honeymoon...

What are your thoughts so far.

Jun 24th, 2002, 08:02 AM
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Actually I have found websites for our chateau again:

Our room was the Louis XIII suite.

We chose this chateau because of the price and location. There were so many recommended ones but their prices were about 4-8 times as high as this chateau quoted for their best room...

A look at the site shows the prices have gone up, but they are still good value for this place.

Anyway, just thought I'd add the links incase anyone wanted to follow them.

Jun 24th, 2002, 08:54 AM
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I would recommend the absolutely beautiful area of Positano in the Amalfi Coast of Italy followed by Rome or just skip Rome and next a stay at the unbelievably romantic Hotel Locanda dell' Amorosa, Sinalunga (Siena) about 1 hours driving distance from Florence--this place is stunning! In Google, type out "Locanda dell' Amoroso, Tuscany" and get information. Ideal base for seeing Siena, Florence, wine country of Montepulciano, or walled city of San Gimagiano.
Jun 25th, 2002, 01:42 PM
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Thank you all so much! Now I am more excited to plan the honeymoon than the wedding!
Jun 25th, 2002, 02:03 PM
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I'm getting married this Saturday.

We have developed a hybrid of the plans described above.

-First night in NY (RC, Central Park)
-Venice for 5 nights (Grand Dei Dogi)
-Seadream Yacht Club French/Italian Riviera 7 night cruise

We didnt want to run ourselves ragged so we decided that we only wanted to pick up our bags and go to a new place once.

That being the case, we decided on Venice at the Grand Dei Dogi which is located in a quiet part of the city.

Seadream in an intimate type of luxury cruise (max 100 passengers), so we think it will be good for a honeymoon.

I'm not suggesting this plan for you in particular, but I know it is helpful to get all the different ideas you can.
Jun 28th, 2002, 07:47 AM
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My wife and I had spent our honeymoon on a river cruise of Russia. It was incredible.
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