Thursday, May 9, 2013

Iconic Honeymoon Getaways

Whether you're planning your honeymoon or just wanting a romantic getaway, check out these four iconic honeymoon getaway locations.

JFK and Jackie O’s honeymoon, Clark Gable and HRH Princess Margaret’s vacation getaway – these are the special locations where the famous would find their romantic oasis. Decades later, these amazing enclaves still entrance and enchant couples who are looking for the royal treatment on their honeymoon vacation.

Location One: Sandals Royal Bahamian

When you wish to be treated royally on your honeymoon, then head to the playground of the nobles – Sandals Royal Bahamian in Nassau, Bahamas.  Originally The Balmoral Club when it opened in 1946, the resort has catered to all sorts of British royalty – from royal friends of the Duke or Windsor to rock’s “royal” The Beatles.

A $17 million refurbishment to the Balmoral Tower was completed in Spring 2012, and now the grand dame of the Bahamas is better than ever.  Couples can experience their own royal playground by relaxing on Sandals Cay, the only private offshore island in Nassau, then enjoying dining under the stars and over the sea at Gordon’s.  Enjoy the ultimate in royal pampering by staying in the new Balmoral Tower Beachfront Penthouse Suite.  With unobstructed views of the turquoise sea and butlers trained by the Guild of Professional English Butlers to take care of your every whim, you will truly feel like the king and queen on your honeymoon.

Location Two: San Ysidro Ranch

You don’t have to travel far to find a romantic retreat for your honeymoon.  Just south of Santa Barbara is a hidden gem that has catered to couples in love for over half a century.  From the wedding of Hollywood’s Vivian Leigh and Sir Laurence Olivier to the secluded honeymoon of John and Jackie Kennedy, the gorgeous garden setting of the San Ysidro Ranch in Southern California’s Montecito wine country continues to cater to discerning couples even today.

For your honeymoon, it is worth the splurge to snag one of just forty-one cottages and suites nestled along the hillside creek.  These private retreats include Old World masonry fireplaces, private patios with hot tubs and even outdoor rain showers. Although it would be tempting to stay ensconced in your private retreat – especially with in-room dining available for all meals – there is still plenty to see and do in hiking trails, beaches and wineries all close at hand.  Named the #4 Hotel in the World according to Travel + Leisure's T+L 500: World's Best 2011, a stay at the San Ysidro Ranch will ensure you get the celebrity treatment for your special getaway.

Location Three: Half Moon

Created on a perfect 2-mile crescent of while sand beach, Half Moon was the visionary vacation getaway of a wealthy group of investors in the 1950s.  Shortly after it opened Hollywood notables (such as Joan Crawford and husband Alfred Steele) and European Royals were finding their way to gracious Jamaican hospitality in this tropical paradise.

Over the years, the resort underwent many refurbishments and additions to keep up its original laid-back luxury.  Even today, couples can still enjoy the same casually elegant experience as past notable guests.   For an unforgettable stay, opt for one of the Imperial Suites, where you will enjoy VIP treatment from the time you check-in and be mesmerized by the views of the cerulean sea from your balcony. From an equestrian center, Robert Trent Jones, Sr. golf course, and Dolphin Lagoon to the award-winning Fern Tree Spa, 13 tennis courts and 6 restaurants, you will lack for nothing on your honeymoon vacation.

Location Four: Halekulani

From an era when it took five days by boat to cross the Pacific to Oahu to today’s short five hour flight to the island, the Halekulani has graced guests with the mythical romance of Hawaii.  Visiting the hotel today, you would never imagine that the 456-room Halekulani had its humble origin as a small collection of guest bungalows on the beach of Waikiki in the early 1900s.  From the beginning, the hotel has entertained such notables as Ernest Hemingway and his wife, Martha, and Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall, to more recent guests such as Nicolas Cage, Kelly Preston, and Monaco’s Prince Albert. Visitors to this oasis of tranquility are drawn to the warm hospitality of the staff and their incredible attention to detail.

With a sparkling signature pool that mirrors the deep blue of the ocean and divine dining experiences at Le Mer and Orchids, you will truly feel that you are in heaven. Although Bungalow 8, known as the “Honeymoon Cottage”, is long gone, you can still enjoy your own tranquil oasis in one of the well-appointed rooms or suites.   For the truly breathtaking experience, reserve a Diamond Head Suite that has stunning panoramic views of the famed volcanic crater – guaranteed to inspire romance!

Article written by:
By Becky Gillespie – Kahala Travel