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Looking for "undiscovered" destination for "pop the question"

Old Feb 21st, 2011, 08:01 AM
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Looking for "undiscovered" destination for "pop the question"

Ok guys and gals, I'm sure this has been asked 1000 times on this and other forums, but either I don't know how to search the forum or the search just stinks and isn't returning good results. Forgive me in advance, but I've done so much looking online that I'm just confused now. Please lend any advice/suggestions if you have them

In November I plan on asking my girl friend to marry me and I'm looking for the perfect vacation spot to do so.

What I'm looking for: an October or November vacation destination that is either "undiscovered" or not overly commercialize and touristy. We was to get a real taste and feel of the local culture, not a watered down version. Not interested in hot spots like Cancun, Bahamas, virgin island ect. We don't want a spring break-y place. I am looking for more a Traveler experience than a tourist experience. I'm trying to find the perfect mix of raw nature and luxe. We'd like a nice semi-luxe spa hotel or resort for at least part of the trip but are open to "roughing it" for some of the trip. I want lush jungle and adventure, she wants spa, white beaches and relaxation. Romantic locale a bonus. We are both very much into food and trying new things so a destination with great and interesting cuisine is a bonus. I had originally planned for something in Thailand, but I'd really like to keep the flight times under 12hrs. I am still considering Thailand if i can't decided on anything else. Other than flight times Thailand or south east Asia would be perfect IMO. We will be flying out of DFW. I'm hoping to keep the total cost for flight + hotel under $6,000usd. Planning on being gone from home for about 5 - 8 days (including travel time). Multiple destinations would be cool to.

So in a nutshell.. pop the question, romantic, jungle, beach, food, undiscovered, not touristy or commercial, and under 12hrs flight from Texas,USA. Tall order I know, but maybe someone out there doesn't mind sharing their secret. PM me if you prefer.

oh, and in the interest of full disclosure, yes I am posting this on other travel sites so don't bust on me too hard for it.
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Old Feb 21st, 2011, 08:40 AM
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not beachy, but perhaps you'll consider...
barcelona-highly romantic, cultural, and the food is stellar.
amsterdam-cute, intimate, quirky, a great deal of international food selection (falafel, indonesian, argentinian, etc...
ireland-all about the people and scenery, (think castle for the proposal?) it will the mid to low season then, so affordable, etc...
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Old Feb 21st, 2011, 08:43 AM
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i should add we went to amsterdam on honeymoon, and enjoyed it immensely.
though this are "city" type vacations i've suggested, very easy to go off the beaten path, and certainly not touristy in the resort kind of way. the weather will be fair in the places i've suggested, perhaps a little rain in ireland which goes without saying. let me know what you think.
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Old Feb 21st, 2011, 01:34 PM
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Personally, I'd take her to Paris - the City of Lights is second to none for romance and great food but it certainly wouldn't meet your definition of "undiscovered".

For something closer to what you are seeking check out the Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica (www.fourseasons.com/costarica/) - lots of tropical rain forests, beaches, spa, off the beaten trail and you can fly to Costa rica in about 4 hours from DFW.
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Old Feb 21st, 2011, 05:51 PM
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You know, Bocas Del Toro, Panama might fit your bill. You'll get an area that is not commercial, laid-back beautiful atmosphere, a few spa-like hotels that are beachfront and surrounded by jungle, etc.

Also - there is a Four Seasons in Peninsula Papagayo, Costa Rica.

Otherwise, I'd vote the Seychelles.
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Old Feb 22nd, 2011, 04:26 AM
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www.jademountain.com

www.hotelvillacaletas.com

my top 2 for this.
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Old Feb 22nd, 2011, 07:15 AM
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great input here guys. Thanks. I'm going to research a little to narrow things down. I'll let y'all know what we decide.
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Old Feb 22nd, 2011, 07:22 AM
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I would like to add that one of the things that really piqued our interest about Thailand was the culinary experience. The hotel we decided on offered a one day cooking class which involved buying local fresh ingredients from he market then cooking them later that evening. We both love to cook. Any one know of a places thats been mentioned that we could find a similar experience? Buying local and learning to cook the local cuisine?
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Old Feb 22nd, 2011, 03:21 PM
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I think it sounds like you are describing the Mayan Riviera of Mexico. It's very close for you. And offers the mix of luxury options and adventure (ruins, etc.).

5 days is a VERY short trip, I can't imagine going all the way to Thailand for such a short time!
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Old Feb 23rd, 2011, 05:46 AM
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Someone on another forum recommended:
"If you're looking for something really cool that you'll never forget, you should DEFINITELY check out the Costa Rica Tree House Lodge. The tree house, a small eco lodge has 4 houses on the ocean front - AWESOME! Check it out - http://www.costaricatreehouse.com/"

This seens like it is exactly what I'm looking for and will probably be the place we go. The only issue is the 4-5hr drive from San Jose' and It doesn't have the SPA, so I imagine we will do 3 nights here, then head to some luxury spa hotel in Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Belize or DR. I know I said undiscovered destination but i'd certainly settle for a short stay at an "off the beaten path" hotel/lodge at a popular vacation destination then another few nights at the luxe spa she'd like .

Any one else know of another lodge similar to the Tree House Lodge (http://www.costaricatreehouse.com/)? What we like here is real local culture near by, unique lodging tucked into the jungle with native wildlife roaming the grounds and the private beaches.


re: suze : "5 days is a VERY short trip, I can't imagine going all the way to Thailand for such a short time!"
5 would be the minimum stay at the destination not including the travel days. She has a 2yr old child so we can't stay gone as long as we'd like.
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Old Feb 23rd, 2011, 06:38 AM
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Sure I understand a time constraint, I'm only suggesting somewhere closer (and without a long drive from the airport upon arrival) would maximize your time *being* on your honeymoon, instead of getting there!

Once you open up your question to all those other countries there's loads of possibilities.

another small suggestion... I you haven't yet, repost your question over on Mexico & Central America, South America, and Caribbean forums here at Fodors (see "change forum" in blue). A lot more people read those and can give you more suggestions (this "Travel Tips" branch doesn't get a lot of traffic).
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Old Feb 23rd, 2011, 07:26 AM
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Thanks for the tips SUze. I've taken your advice and posted this in the Mexico & central america forum. We can consider this post closed.
new post: http://www.fodors.com/community/mexi...e-question.cfm
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Old Mar 1st, 2011, 03:10 AM
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WOW! definitely Lisbon at Palácio Belmonte (http://www.palaciobelmonte.com/) . A very cousy and unique national monument retreat in Lisbon - only 11 suites with private roof terraces with amazing views over the old Lisbon and the Tagus river! Palácio Belmonte is located next to Saint George's Castle in the historic district (http://www.visitlisboa.com/Conteudos...spx?lang=en-GB). Within a 20 minutes drive you will discover places like the romantic Sintra (UNESCO site), the charming Estoril Coast, Cascais and it’s unspoilt beaches and so much more. And I have to say this please be prepared for great wines and gastronomy tastings! To stay at the Palácio I dare you to choose the Ricardo Reis suit or the Padre Himalaya suit both figure on their exclusive "Belmonte Tribute to Love" - a very exclusive experience for lovers wishing to celebrate a special moment thought a unique and unforgettable travel experience I’ll be around for more tips, just let me know!
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Old Mar 2nd, 2011, 09:10 PM
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Hello wgonfan! here's some rocking information.'Festival Under The Clock is a 1-day free family festival that takes place in Rathmines Town Hall and surrounding area' with legendary Irish musician Liam O’Maonlai and classical musician Cora Venus Lunny.Hope so you will be there with you girl friend.Please reply...
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Old Mar 4th, 2011, 05:05 PM
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I know you don't want touristy or spring break-y beach locations. What about the Four Seasons Punta Mita in Mexico. It's about an hour away from Puerto Vallarta, but in the middle of a giant nature reserve. If they can't arrange cooking lessons at the hotel, I'll be there is something nearby - and Mexican food (the real thing, not Tex-Mex) is very complex and interesting.
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