Post # 1
Hi everyone! I’m getting married later this year, and we’ll be taking our honeymoon most likely in December. I’ve just begun research on honeymoon locations and boy am I overwhelmed! There are so many options! I’m wondering if any of you could share some advice and help point me in the right direction.
We are most definitely interested in an all-inclusive beach experience. We want everything to be taken care of. We’re looking to spend $3,000 or less (with airfair). I’d love to have a beachside room, with some privacy. (Not stacked up in a hotel)
Any suggestions? I’ve looked into Sandals, and would DIE to stay in one of their private villas in Grand Antigua, but I don’t think it’s in our price range 🙂 But that’s definitely the vibe we’re going for. If we could, something that’s tucked away from the main hustle and bustle, and close to the beach.
Post # 3
are you looking for a ‘big resort style’ all inclusive or are you also interested in more of a boutique all inclusive?
I ask because the two can be very very different 🙂
do you want to be around a lot of other people w/in your resort or more remote/romantic setting? with little to no people – private chef style?
cheapcarribean.com is a good starting place for all inclusive resorts – but it is mainly on the HUGE style resorts not the smaller ones like this one:
the caves in jamaica:
I know of some good smaller for remote all inclusives if you are interested in those…
Post # 4
@Coloradolov: We’re interested in the more private/romatic set up. We would like to do the activities like hiking, snorkeling, etc, but be able to go back to our rooms and be away from the crowds.
Post # 5
- Wedding: May 2011 - Trinity Lutheran Church & Idlewild Country Club
We’re going with the Secrets (like a Sandals) Maroma Beach in Rivera Maya, Cancun. It sounds absolutly amazing and has super reviews on Trip Advisor.
We got a great deal through Apple Vacations.
Post # 6
ok so I don’t know if you are interested in jamaica, but there are a lot of boutique all inclusive resorts there. Just search jamaica all inclusive and use terms like ‘small’ or ’boutique’. You may also just want to search for private villas in the carribean. They often come with chefs and are essentially all inclusive.
the caves, that I already mentioned, is one is ranked one of the top 25 hotels in the world and in off season is more affordable(although still pricey)… the website it is on has links to some other hotels and private villas that are very cool as well. With plane tickets those might be out of your budget… especially in december which is generally very high season for the carribean. The sooner you book the better.
I would get on tripadvisor.com and serach for boutique all insclusvie hotels and that will give you honest reviews and steer you away from those larger resorts. If you have some specific destinations that you are interested in I can probably help you some more 🙂
Post # 7
We’re planning to the Valentin Imperial Maya. We chose it because we could get one of their nicest rooms and still stay in budget. This wasn’t something we were finding at other all-inclusives. We also read reviews that it was much more romantic and private than some of the resorts that are more focused on nightlife/entertainment.
Post # 8
If you could stretch your budget a wee bit more, I highly suggest Sandals Royal Bahamian. If you stay in the Royal Village part of the resort (villas rather than traditional hotel blocks), you’ll definitely get a quiet intimate feel. There are 3 smaller swimming pools back there that are never occupied, so you feel like you have your own personal plunge pool.
I’ve heard that there are awesome deals in Mexico and the Dominican Republic. Also, check out cheapcarribean.com. We would have booked through them, but we got a military discount by booking directly through Sandals.
Post # 9
Check out Couples Swept Away in Jamaica – it’s couples-only (which I strongly recommend for your honeymoon) and when we were there, it felt like we were the only ones even though the place was full. I’ve been there twice and highly recommend it! (There are other “Couples” resorts that have their own attractions, but I like Swept Away best.)
Also, a tip: When looking at all-inclusives, be sure to compare what is included, especially across different resort brands (Couples, Sandals, etc.). Not all all-inclusives are created equal; there are significant differences in the free/paid amenities, like liquor, off-property excursions, water sports, etc. The Couples Resorts are very generous when it comes to this (snorkeling and even SCUBA diving are included, as are daily excursions, and you can have full liquor bottles delivered to your room!) This can make a big difference depending on what’s important to you.
Post # 10
This has been so helpful! Thank you all! The Secerets Resort looks pretty amazing, I’m going down the list and will check out all the suggestions!
@Coloradolov: I don’t necessarily have any destinations in mind, although I’m drawn to St. Lucia and Antigua, just from what I’ve seen on TV. Really, it’s more the experience we’re going for. We’re really looking to spend the days on the beach, maybe an outing or two, eat really good food, maybe go out dancing at night, but probably just hang out on the beach. We’re not huge into the social scene, which is why we’d like something private. My dream honeymoon would be having a private villa all to ourselves, beachfront, with fantastic restaurants to choose from. And free drinks 🙂
Post # 11
I did LOTS of research and wanted an all inclusive. At first I was shocked and disappointed when I saw all the bad reviews a lot of the Sandals resorts had. I found Secrets Maroma through a facebook friend that just recently went there in December and LOVED it! The reviews for it are so great and it just won a ton of tripadvisor awards. They have a facebook page that I also stalk daily =)
Secrets Maroma was also cheaper than the sandals resorts! We are doing 5 nights and an ocean view room (not the preferred because I don’t think it’s worth the money if your budget is tight) and it was just a bit over $3000. We ended up booking through expedia because I found the best deal that way.
Good luck!! My biggest advise is to check the reviews at tripadvisor and really read them!
Post # 12
Ok. My sis and brother in law have visited several times to Round Hill, in Jamaica.
It is GORGEOUS. Not part of a major chain and they treat you like royalty.
Food is simply sublime, and the interior design of the rooms in the Great House and the villas are designed by Ralph Lauren (who owns one of the villas also).
I’d say check that out.
Also, I’d check out Jalousie Plantation, Sugar Beach in St. Lucia. Very very gorgeous. My dh went there a short while before we met (he went by himself). All the villas there have their own plunge pool, food is gorgeous, and its’ on the best beach in St. Lucia. Great views of the Pitons from the villas.
Also not that “chain” feeling at Jalousie Plantation.
Two gorgeous resorts on two different islands that are all inclusive!
Post # 13
The FH and I just came back from a trip to Negril Jamaica. If you are going to consider Jamaica go to Negril. The beaches are AMAZING. We stayed at at an all inclusive Riu. It was fantastic. It wasn’t kid-free, but the place was huge and I hardly noticed them. I would certainly go back for a honeymoon there.
Post # 14
With your budget and your dream setting of a private villa I would highly recommend st. lucia and jamaica. You can get a lot for you money at both of those islands.
larger islands/airports – more flight traffic – thus cheaper airfare generally (especially if you are in VA and fly out of DC or richmond…)
There are some private villas in jamaica that are in your range. I would suggest one that is not too remote so you can go out to eat etc (negril, montego bay, ocho rios, runaway bay and maybe even port antonio – less people but really nice villas/beach…)
In st. lucia you will find a ton of private villa rentals. Because this is a large island and a huge cruise ship destination there is tons to do on the island and you can find private villas for cheap. I reccomend finding one that might come with a staff (you generally pay a grocery bill but staff does the cooking etc and is including in the price). You might even want to call travel agencies to help you if you can’t find what you want.
If you go the all inclusive resot route I think you will find a lot of great options too – it just might be a bit harder with your budget in high season. Jamaica and dominican republic have a lot of great all inclusive resorts though – best bang for you buck is probably dominican republic. You can get great deals there and the beaches are beautiful.
Post # 15
There’s a very cool, very tiny resort in Jamaica called Sunset at the Palms. The rooms are tree house style, and the service is outstanding. It’s all inclusive as well.