ten ways to avoid mainstream merriment

October 26th, 2011

Escape the humdrum of the holidays and leave behind the crowded stores, traffic, gift-wrapping, and tangled lights in exchange for a stress-free season at one of these 10 alternative spots. Whether it’s close by or halfway around the world, it’ll surely be unforgettable.

Enjoy the holidays stateside…

Nantucket, Massachusetts

Where: White Elephant and Jared Coffin House

What: A New England holiday

Why: Nantucket Island celebrates the season with Nantucket Noël, a month-long celebration that runs November 25–December 31. The highlight event is the Annual Christmas Stroll Weekend, December 2–4.  Stores, shops, and restaurants open their doors for shoppers (almost everything on the island is on sale!), carolers sing favorite holiday tunes, and Santa Claus arrives aboard a Coast Guard vessel. Steps from historic downtown, White Elephant is the perfect place to spend the weekend. For a longer stay, the Jared Coffin House is ideal. Open all season long and built in 1845, this historic hotel will have you feeling the spirit of the holidays.

When: White Elephant rates start at $195 per night from December 1–5. Jared Coffin House rates start at $155 per night during this special season.

Jump the pond…

Provence, France

Where: Hotel Crillon le Brave

What: A traditional French holiday experience

Why: Hidden in a tranquil town in France, Hotel Crillon le Brave is the perfect place to go for a peaceful escape. Festivities start on December 23 with a classical music concert in the local village church. On Christmas Eve, the hotel hosts an elaborate dinner that is sure to get guests into the Christmas spirit, who are also invited to celebrate the New Year with champagne in La Grange, the cozy bar, followed by a decadent dinner in the restaurant by a roaring log fire.

When: Holiday rates start at $329 dollars per night from December 23–January 2.

 

Salisbury and Canterbury, U.K.

Where: Onboard Belmond British Pullman

What: Festive seasonal journeys that rival the magical Polar Express (and you don’t have to go as far as the North Pole!)

Why: Hop on the British Pullman and enjoy the caroling in Canterbury or Salisbury’s world famous cathedrals. Following the concerts, guests are welcome to roam freely through the festive cities. With each excursion, they can look forward to a delectable brunch served with a Bellini on the outward journey and a four-course meal with wine and champagne on the way home. To make the trip even more unforgettable, upon return to London, guests visiting Salisbury may choose to stay overnight at The Goring, a luxurious hotel adjacent to Buckingham Palace, where Kate Middleton spent her last night as a commoner.

When: Rates begin at £350 ($550) per person and include brunch and a four-course dinner with champagne and wine. Dates for the Canterbury journey are December 6 and 13, 2011, and for the Salisbury journey, on December 15, 2011.

 

Paris, France

Where: Le Pavillon des Lettres

What: A cozy Parisian getaway

Why: The new Le Pavillon des Lettres is housed in a classic Haussman townhouse in the 8th arrondissement. The hotel features 26 rooms – each devoted to a letter of the alphabet and an international writer corresponding to that letter. Shakespeare, Baudelaire and Rousseau are among the authors whose quotes are elegantly scrawled on the walls en Français. Settle down in the hotel’s library, next to the fireplace, and spend the holidays relaxing and reading while sipping a sumptuous cocktail from the honesty bar.

When: Rates start at £250 ($345) per night.

Farther still…

Marrakech, Morocco

Where: Royal Mansour Marrakech

What: A Rockin’ Moroccan New Years

Why: Spend the advent of a new year in utmost relaxation unwinding in a private riad, a Moroccan style house decorated with luxurious hand-done tile work and mosaic-covered courtyard floors. Visit Royal Mansour’s own traditional-style hammam, while the children are entertained at the exciting Kids Club, before a luxurious meal with menus created by three Michelin-starred chef Yannick Alléno, or escape into the city of Marrakech for a bite while soaking in the unique rhythms of the centuries-old city.

When: Holiday rates start at $2,228 for a one-bedroom riad from December 15 to January 7.

As far as you can get…

Paro Valley, Bhutan

Where: Uma Paro

What: Ten days of exploration in this culture-rich Himalayan Kingdom

Why: With sweeping mountain views, there is no shortage of adventure at Uma Paro. Bring the whole family during Uma Paro’s 10-day holiday program and attend lectures on Buddhism, go for hikes in the Himalayas, watch an archery contest, or participate in candlelit yoga sessions. There will also be a special mask performance, a Bhutanese film night, and an evening of traditional music and dance. Children 12 and under who are sharing a villa with their parents stay free.

When: rates start at $330 until December 31, 2011.

 

Koh Samui and Koh Phangan, Thailand

Where: Anantara Lawana Resort & Spa and Rasananda Phangan Island Resort & Spa

What: Two island experiences for the price of one

Why: For anyone wanting to get away for a week of relaxation and exploration before the holiday season kicks into high gear, the “Two Island Experience” package from Anantara is a perfect fit. The six-night island hopping adventure begins with a three-night stay at Anantara Lawana Resort & Spa on beautiful Koh Samui in the Gulf of Thailand, to be whisked away by speedboat to the more remote yet infamous island of the full moon parties, Koh Phangan, for an additional three-night stay at Rasananda Phangan Island Resort & Spa.

When: rates start at $578 through December 20 and include accommodations, daily breakfast, speedboat transfer, and roundtrip airport transfers.

 

Bali, Indonesia

Where: Uma Ubud and COMO Shambhala Estate

What: A Balinese escape for the mind, body, and soul

Why: The holidays can be exhausting, so treat the family to a well deserved break at Uma Ubud. This exotic retreat overlooking a valley is the perfect place to unwind and explore with its lush forests, sweeping rice paddies, and COMO Shambhala Retreat spa. Nearby in the town of Ubud is COMO Shambhala Estate, a secluded, residential health retreat with a focus on wellness and relaxation. The Discover COMO Shambhala program allows guests to design their own wellness experiences at the retreat and is the perfect way to decompress during this stressful season.

When: Holiday season rates start at $290 per night from December 20–January 6 at Uma Ubud, and the Discover COMO Shambhala program at COMO Shambhala Estate starts at $1,400 for three nights.

 

Uttarakhand, India

Where: Shakti Kumaon Village Experience and Shakti 360° Leti

What: A unique getaway that’s far off the beaten path

Why: Experience the culture and beauty of India this fall with Shakti’s Kumaon village walking experience followed by a stay at 360° Leti, the boutique hotel set at 8,000 feet elevation.

When: Season is from October 1 until April 30, 2012.

A four-day, three-night Shakti Kumaon village experience is $1,307 per person, based on two or three adults, and includes accommodations, food and beverage, activities, English-speaking guide and porters, car at disposal, and roundtrip transfer between Kathgodam train station or Pantnagar airport and village houses, and taxes. Rates for a three-night, four-day package at 360˚ Leti start at $1,916 per adult, based on two traveling on a twin/double share basis. Rates include accommodation in a private cottage, all food and beverage, activities, English-speaking guide and porters, car at disposal, roundtrip transfer between Shakti Kumaon village experience and Shakti 360˚ Leti, and all taxes.

 

Chiang Rai, Thailand

Where: Anantara Golden Triangle Resort & Spa

What: An elephant adventure in Northern Thailand

Why: For anyone seeking an unforgettable holiday adventure with the whole family, Anantara Golden Triangle Resort & Spa’s Mahout Discovery package is just the ticket! Learn how to feed, bathe, and ride these gentle giants through the forest during a 3-day mahout training course. Perched on a lush hillside near the borders of Burma and Laos, the resort, so rich in culture, is a blissful escape for adults and children alike.

When: rates start at $342 per night based on double occupancy through December 31.

see the world in these rooms with a view

October 19th, 2011

EUROPE

La Réserve Paris
Paris, France

La Réserve Paris sits in the heart of the city at Place de Trocadéro, letting visitors live like a Parisian – and a chic one at that. The stylishly furnished apartments provide all guests the comforts of home, with a view only available in Paris – the Eiffel Tower cuts the sky and behind it is a backdrop of the green Champs de Mars, often speckled with picnickers.

RATES: start at 2,590 euros per night (about $3,564) for a minimum stay of 3 nights.

Le Pavillon des Lettres
Paris, France

The penthouse suites at the new Pavillon des Lettres are a dream for bibliophiles. Each of the hotel’s 26 rooms is dedicated to a letter of the alphabet and a corresponding author. The two penthouse suites, Yeats and Zola, have beautiful views of the Eiffel Tower, the Grand Palais, and Paris rooftops. Gaze out at the lights on the Eiffel Tower while reading Zola’s Nana from the room’s iPad – stocked with novels in several languages – or scan Yeats’ The Wind Among the Reeds that is printed on the wall.

RATES: start at 250 euros per night (about $347).

Victoria-Jungfrau Collection – Palace Luzern
Luzern, Switzerland

Founded in 1906, the Palace Luzern epitomizes the height of Belle Époque elegance.  While embracing the style of a true palace hotel, numerous renovations have brought the hotel into the 21st century with a fresh, modern aesthetic.  Overlooking Lake Lucerne, it offers a unique combination of Alpine scenery and proximity to the center of Lucerne, which is host to renowned music festivals, world-class museums, and many charming boutiques.  Sailing, golf, and skiing are all available nearby.

RATES: start at $308 for a City View Double Room.

ASIA

Uma Paro
Paro, Bhutan

Uma Paro is in the extraordinary Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan, sitting atop a tree-lined hill on 38 acres overlooking the town of Paro in the valley below. Situated on the country’s western border, the Paro Valley is one of the main cultural centers of Bhutan. Simply relax and gaze out at the unbelievable view, or join one of Uma Paro’s activities such as hiking or biking to the nearby monasteries or exploring the country through the lens of a camera.

RATES: start at $ 330 through December 31, 2011.

Park Hyatt Shanghai
Shanghai, China

Located in one of the world’s tallest buildings, a bathing experience at the Park Hyatt Shanghai is far from ordinary. Even with the heated floors in the bathroom, you’ll shiver at the thrill as you glance down at the breathtaking city from a window-side deep soaking tub. For the faint of heart, there is always the oversized monsoon rain shower, not a bad trade.

RATES: start at $391 for a Park King room.

Park Hyatt Beijing
Beijing, China

Park Hyatt Beijing illuminates the city skyline as a new landmark. Directly opposite the China World Trade Center and the striking new CCTV Tower, the hotel occupies the uppermost floors in the main tower of the Beijing Yintai Center — the tallest development on prestigious Chang’an Avenue in the heart of the capital’s Central Business District. The interiors of Park Hyatt Beijing have been inspired by classical Suzhou architecture and water gardens, and the hotel incorporates these Oriental aesthetics into a sleek, contemporary design.

RATES: start at $288 for a  Park King Room.

Park Hyatt Sydney
Sydney, Australia

The iconic Park Hyatt Sydney will reopen in late 2011 after a seven month makeover and complete redesign. Located in the Rocks district of Sydney’s city center, the hotel has been reimagined by Melbourne-based design firm BARStudio. All rooms are being completely redesigned to enhance the guest experience and highlight the hotel’s harborfront location. Views of Sydney Harbor and the Opera House take on new meaning with a series of floor-to-ceiling windows throughout almost all areas of the property, including in The Dining Room, the hotel’s premier restaurant, completing the large-scale redesign.

RATES: opening rates starting at $871 for a City/Harbour King Room.

Shakti 360˚ Leti
Uttarakhand, India
U.S. Toll-free: 1 877 637 5665

At 8,000 feet in elevation surrounded by soaring peaks of the snowcapped Indian Himalayas, Shakti  360˚ Leti has some of the best views in India.  Each of the four en-suite cabins and the central lodge of this high elevation hotel have floor to ceiling windows, which means the views of the peaks and, in spring, the rhododendrons in full bloom, never disappear.  Described as “a contender for the world’s most remote luxury resort,” Shakti 360˚ Leti can be visited as an extension from the Shakti Kumaon Village Experience, or as its own destination.  Accessible by car or charter flight from Delhi, the fun getting there really begins with the hour-long trek into the hills.  But once you’re there, you won’t want to leave…  Forget your Blackberry, power down your iPhone, disconnect, and just breathe in the fresh mountain air while listening to the silence that surrounds you.
Season: October 1 – May 1

RATES: 3-night, 4-day package starts at $1,916 per person, double occupancy.  Rates include accommodations; all meals and beverages; activities; English speaking guide and porters; a car at your disposal, and all taxes and return transfers between Shakti Kumaon Village Experience and Shakti 360˚ Leti.  Flights are not included.  Minimum of a 3-night stay required.

MIDDLE EAST

Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara
Liwa Desert, Abu Dhabi, U.A.E.

In the heart of the Liwa Desert just ninety minutes from Abu Dhabi International Airport is Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara, the newly built 206-room resort surrounded entirely by legendary red sand dunes. The Liwa is part of the Rub’-al-Khali, or Empty Quarter, the world’s largest uninterrupted desert. Built right into the sand, the resort is modeled after an ancient Emirati fort that rises out of the desert and evokes the rich culture of the Bedouins, the indigenous tribes people who roamed the desert for centuries. Get away not only from your everyday life, but this century altogether!

The rooms and suites spill off the main lodge like little villages, and all have stunning views of the ocher dunes of the Liwa. Hundreds of museum-caliber artifacts are on display throughout the hotel to provide more feasts for the eye, including the world’s largest collection of camel saddlebags used in desert crossings by the Bedouins throughout Arabia.  Offering all the comforts of modern luxury in a superbly unique setting, Qasr Al Sarab is more than just a luxury hotel; it is a window into the history and culture of a nation.

RATES: start at 2,100 AED from October 1-November 30, 2011, and at 1,900 AED from December 1, 2011-January 31, 2012.



 

 


 

 




 

 



 


 

 


 

 


 

 

giving back to the community

September 27th, 2011

COMO Hotels and Resorts is giving back to the community with your help! In 2010, COMO partnered with MasterCard for the Purchase with Purpose program which helps raise funds for local community projects. Last year, the project raised $35,580 and COMO has decided to bring the program back for 2011!

For every transaction made with a MasterCard card at a COMO property between 1 October and 31 December 2011, MasterCard will donate $30 to a community project with which the COMO property is closely affiliated. The money raised goes to educational and wellbeing initiatives as well as to local schools to improve nutrition and sanitation. In 2010, the funds helped stock the libraries of Tirta Kumara Kindergarten in Bali and the Maafushi and Guraidhoo schools in the Maldives. The program also helped deliver sanitary essentials to the nuns of Kela Goemba in Bhutan and improve sanitation and cooking facilities in the Wat Bangploeng School in Thailand.

With this program, guests have the opportunity to make a real difference in the communities they visit. As if you needed a better reason to go on vacation!

best of t+l’s world’s best 2011

July 7th, 2011

Why settle for less than the best when you don’t have to? Travel + Leisure makes finding the very best in travel a whole lot easier with their annual World’s Best Awards list. This year, 13 of our favorite hotels and resorts, not to mention our best-loved cruise line and spa brand, all made the list. Some properties even walked away with awards in multiple categories! Now that is something to celebrate!

Anantara Golden Triangle
#15, Top Resorts in Asia
#4, Top Family Hotels in Asia
#5, Top Hotel Spas in Asia

Crystal Cruises
#1, Top Large-Ship Cruise Lines

The Peninsula’s ESPA Spa
#9, Top Hotel Spas in US and Canada

Palacio Duhau Park Hyatt Buenos Aires
#1, Top City Hotels in Central and South America
#19, Top 100 Hotels Overall

Park Hyatt Beaver Creek
#41, Top Family Hotels in U.S. and Canada

Park Hyatt Chicago
#45, Top Large Cities Hotel in US/Canada (100 rooms or more)

Park Hyatt Milan
#52, Top 100 Hotels Overall
#4, Top Large City Hotels in Europe

Park Hyatt Melbourne
#2, Top City Hotels in Australia, New Zealand, and the South Pacific

Park Hyatt Mendoza
#4, Top City Hotels in Central and South America

Park Hyatt Saigon
#10, Top City Hotels in Asia

Park Hyatt Sydney
#4, Top City Hotels in Australia, New Zealand, and the South Pacific

Parrot Cay
#25, Top Resorts in the Caribbean, Bermuda, and the Bahamas

The Wauwinet
#7, Top Inns in US/Canada (fewer than 40 rooms)

Uma Paro
#12, Top Resorts in Asia

White Elephant
#19, Top Family Hotels in U.S. and Canada

Congrats to all of the winners!

 

 


 

 

picture perfect

May 31st, 2011

Capture the beauty and essence of majestic mountains, lush forests and ancient monasteries on a seven day tour through scenic Bhutan. COMO Uma Paro Resort is offering this amazing “Through a Lens” excursion June 22nd-29th. The unique experience is available to photographers of all skill levels, as guests will be guided by a skilled photographer through the distinctly different valleys of Paro and Punakha for a series of location shoots and once-in-a-lifetime moments to be caught on film.

After long days of capturing the splendor of Bhutan, guests will return to their comfortable lodgings at Uma Paro and a charming hotel in Punakha with accommodations provided on a full board basis. Guests can also enjoy complementary use of the swimming pool, library and gym at Uma Paro, as well as a 1-hour daily Yoga class.

For more information and a full itinerary, visit http://bit.ly/lgOLGo.

more than just the essentials

May 24th, 2011

The beautiful, yet rugged, terrain of the mountains surrounding the Paro Valley of Bhutan was no match for the COMO Approach Team at Uma Paro.

Last week, the team delivered 60 pairs of shoes to the orphans at the Neyphug Monastary. Though the trip was indeed an extensive operation, all was worthwhile when the team saw the children’s smiling faces.

They also traveled to Kela Goemba to deliver toiletries to the nuns living in the monastery as part of the Master Card “Purchase with a Purpose” project. This project supplies an essentials package containing toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, shampoo and more to this and other remote locations around the world.

What’s next for the COMO Approach Team?  Help pay for a recent loan to buy a car the nuns of Kela Goemba desperately need for emergencies. The efforts of the team are in line with COMO’s commitment to the local communities, culture and environment.

where should the royal lovebirds honeymoon?

November 17th, 2010

These two got engaged on a Kenyan safari, so we’re sure the honeymoon will be equally as cool and unique. Here are our picks for the Royal Honeymoon.

CARIBBEAN 

 Parrot Cay

Parrot Cay, Turks & Caicos

The private isle is the ultimate place to hide away from the cameras and unwind after all of the pomp and circumstance of a royal wedding.

Royal Treatment: Rent out the COMO Shambhala Cottage for a night of Champagne, spa treatments, and candlelit dining.

 

Rosewood Mayakobá, Mexico 

Let loose after escaping to the beautiful Mexican Riviera hotel and test tequilas recommended by the resident tequila sommelier.

Royal Treatment: With Mayasutra, newlyweds can get intimate with a Moonlight Tantric Yoga class and a couples massage instruction session followed by 30 minutes of “alone time”.

  

Geejam, Jamaica 

No stranger to celebrities, the luxury property was originally a residential recording studio where the likes of No Doubt and Amy Winehouse laid down some tracks.

Royal Treatment: Stay at the amazing Sanwood villa designed by British architect Anthony Wade in the 60s and relax in the private pool or bask in the Jamaican sun and take in the views on the sun deck.

 Fleming Villa 

GoldenEye, Jamaica 

Next to the man in line for the throne, James Bond might be the most enviable Brit we know, so vacationing at this Jamaican hideaway where Fleming penned all the Bond books would be quite fitting.

Royal Treatment: Stay in the Fleming Villa for a private beach and the spirit of James Bond lingering in the air and compelling the swilling of shaken-not-stirred martinis.

 

The Caves, Jamaica 

Dodge the paparazzi at the romantic Caribbean resort where couple feeling like a dip can leap off a cliff for a private swim.

Royal Treatment: It doesn’t get much more private than a candlelit dinner for two in a hidden cave looking out on the water.

 

Strawberry Hill, Jamaica 

Following in his parents’ footsteps, William would love to vacation at this mountain resort where, besides Charles and Diana, the guests list boasts Mick Jagger and Bob Marley.

Royal Treatment: Get away from the photographers 3,100 feet above sea level and take in the sweeping views from the Blue Mountains.

 

Jakes

 

Jakes, Jamaica

Kick off those shoes and lose the fancy cap; this charming seaside resort is the perfect antidote to structured courtly life.

Royal Treatment: Enjoy a private yoga session by starlight and listen to the waves.

 

NANTUCKET

White Elephant, Nantucket

What’s more fitting for English newlyweds than a trip to New England? This harborside Nantucket hotel is a classic (and classy) spot for postnuptial bonding.

Royal Treatment: Only on Nantucket (at Brant Point Grill) does a Bloody Mary come equipped with lobster.

 

THAILAND

Anantara Golden Triangle Resort & Spa, Chiang Rai, Thailand

The luxurious Thai resort is tucked away in the beautiful Golden Triangle, away from the hustle and bustle of Bangkok.

Royal Treatment: Take a romantic ride atop an elephant – sure beats a limo!

 

Anantara Phuket Villas, Phuket, Thailand

After the long awaited ‘I do,’ couples can celebrate the occasion with a wide selection of live entertainment – including a seven-piece band at this Thai property.

Royal Treatment: Hidden in the mangroves, the lavish villas have a 355 ft. sq. private pool, outdoor showers, and a terrazzo tub built to accommodate two (and only two).

 

MALDIVES

 Anantara Veli

Anantara Dhigu Resort & Spa and Anantara Veli Resort & Spa, Maldives

These romantic spots embody what a honeymoon should be – nothing but sun, water, sand, and a newlywed couple pampered and sunkissed.

Royal Treatment: Answer to only your whims on a private a romantic island getaway with Anantara Dhigu, Veli, Naladhu, and the soon-to-be, Anantara Kihavah Villas opening in early 2011. The best part about Anantara in the Maldives is that at whatever resort couples choose to stay, free transfer is available between islands to enjoy the benefits of all.

 

Cocoa Island, Maldives

The private island resort in the South Male Atoll is just over 1000 feet long and is surrounded by pristine, turquoise water.

Royal Treatment: Honeymooners get a complimentary sunset cruise with vino and an antipasti plate.

 

SOUTH ASIABhutan

Uma Paro,

No tabloid photographers here; the remote mountain lodge is a great spot from which to explore Bhutan’s monasteries and temples and get spiritually in tune before returning to palace life.

Royal Treatment: After trekking through the country by bike or raft, couples can be pampered in the COMO Shambhala Retreat.

 

INDONESIA

Uma Ubud, Bali
The luxurious retreat set in the tangled jungle is perfect for the couple that likes an exotic locale without giving up modern comforts.

Royal Treatment: The COMO Suite allows guests to have spa treatments in private in its private treatment area.

 

High Seas

Crystal Cruises

Couples can sail away on a luxurious cruise to spots around the globe – no need to pick just one. Romantic “must-sees” include Rome, Mykonos, and Casablanca, to name a few.

Royal Treatment: Enjoy a Couples Massage in the Feng-Shui inspired Crystal Spa or cozy up in the back row of the Hollywood Movie Theater and watch a first-run movie while sipping champagne.

plan your great escape

October 4th, 2010

Bhutan

There are so many wonderful travel destinations in the East – but sometimes the only thing holding you back is that inconvenient (and expensive!) airfare ticket. But now it’s time to grab your passport because now through the end of the year Etihad Airways is offering up to 40 percent off fares to popular travel hubs, including: Bangkok, Kuala Lumpar, Frankfurt, Munich and London.

Where to go? Qasr Al Sarab Resort by Anantara in the Lima Desert, Metropolitan Bangkok in Thailand or Uma Paro in Bhutan are all now much more reachable with this great offer. Plus, there’s no rush, travel is valid through March of 2011.

tweet tweet, hear all about it

August 12th, 2010

AMPR ticker tape…AMPR ticker tape…AMPR ticker tape…AMPR ticker tape… AMPR ticker tape     

Hot off the press…

AUGUST  2010

Here is our monthly news in tweetable form.

New and Notable

Hotel Parq Central

  • Up up and away for #BalloonFestival!  #HotelParqCentral opens on 9/23/10. Rates starting at $179/night including breakfast and other treats.

Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas

  • #AnantaraBophut in Koh Samui, #Thailand will be getting an upgrade! And we have the pics (http://bit.ly/cSwDte) to prove it!

  (more…)

newlyweds rejoice!

March 19th, 2010

The high season for weddings has begun! Below find a round-up of honeymoon packages to suit all kinds of couples, from the couple who wants to just do nothing together to the couple that wants to do everything together.

For the laidback couple: beach time

Riviera Maya, Mexico

 Rosewood Mayakoba

Rosewood Mayakoba  knows that running around town to pick up save the dates, sample wedding cakes and find the perfect dress is hard work, even with the help of a great wedding planner or maid of honor so the five-night “Honeymoon Mayan Romance” package begins with top-shelf tequila upon arrival, and is all about chilling out. Take a Tantric Yoga class and enjoy a Moonlight Massage for two on your suite terrace. Glory in your private plunge pool and butler and end the day in an Aroma Bath with champagne and chocolate. You’ll also get a Couple’s Massage instruction session with 30 minutes of “alone time.” Let stress slip away at this gorgeous resort, nestled between the Yucatán jungle and Caribbean Sea that marries high design with serious luxury. Rates start at $1152 per night.

Visit www.rosewoodmayakoba.com or 888-ROSEWOOD for more details.

Maldives

Naladhu

At Naladhu, the Island Romance package begins before you even reach the property. A speedboat will meet you as you leave the airport to take you directly to this Maldivian island resort. A House Master will lead you to your private house, where Champagne cocktails and fruit are waiting. Spend the day by the pool or snorkeling in the reef then relax with a complimentary coconut milk bath for two. As if that wasn’t enough, chocolate cake to share is included!  Nightly rates for the Island Romance package begin at $1,475 per night with a four-night minimum (rate excludes service charge and Maldivian government bed tax).

 For the stress-crazed couple: inner peace

 Bali

COMO Shambhala Estate

Begin your journey together in Bali’s spiritual heartland, at the COMO Shambhala Estate, with a Wellness Program tailored to your needs. Give your marriage the brightest possible beginning by learning how to stress-battling techniques based on the philosophies of Yoga, Chi Kung and Tai Chi. Then let the experts in holistic healthcare go to work using massage, acupuncture, Ayurvedic therapy and hydrotherapy (using water from the Estate’s sacred, mineral-rich spring). Rates begin at $2,100 for a three night Stress Management program in a Garden Room. Visit http://www.cse.como.bz/rates-2010 for more details.

Turks & Caicos

Parrot Cay

Stay at Parrot Cay and simply ‘be’ as a couple in one of the few pristine places in the Caribbean: a 1,000-acre private island where the spacious, teak-filled bedrooms spill out onto a mile of powder soft beach. Recover from the pre-wedding jitters with complimentary extras like Pilates and yoga classes and use of windsurf boards and catamarans. A seven-night Parrot Cay Honeymoon also includes 60-minute couples massage, a candlelit dinner in the COMO Shambhala Cottage and a bottle of champagne on arrival. (BONUS: The COMO Shambhala Stress Management program is available here as well!) Rates start at $6,012 per couple.

For the classic couple: New England whimsy

 Nantucket, Massachusetts

The Wauwinet

The Wauwinet, a natural, stunning waterfront setting in Nantucket, is perfect for the couple that doesn’t want to go stray too far from home. Newlyweds can stay at one of the Wauwinet’s charming garden cottages, just slightly removed from the main buildings. Arrive at the hotel via the Wauwinet Lady, the hotel’s private charter, then indulge in couples treatments at The Spa by the Sea. With Nantucket Island Resort’s Hot Dates, Cool Rates promotion, rates at the Wauwinet start at $225 for 2010.

For the foodie couple: Southwest seasoning

Santa Fe, New Mexico

 

Inn on the Alameda

Stay at the Inn on the Alameda and explore our oldest capital city’s culinary and cultural delights for your honeymoon. With the Taste the City Different package, couples can take a three-hour walking tour around beautiful and historic Santa Fe with a chef guide to introduce you to the city’s most unique dining destinations. The next day, see who’s got better mincing skills with a cooking class and lunch to follow. When you’ve had your fill, the hotel’s Kiva fireplaces, triple-sheeted beds, and afternoon wine and cheese will be waiting. Don’t forget to bring home those authentic Southwestern recipes ‘por dos.’ Rates begin at $675 for a three-night package.

 For the adventurous couple: exotic escapades

Bhutan

  

Uma Paro

Honeymoon in the largely unspoiled kingdom of Bhutan, and participate in adventurous activities that include rafting, archery, camping and fly-fishing at Uma Paro. Then hit the road with biking and trekking courses that visit local monasteries and villages for a slice of culture.  And don’t forget, the Bhutanese measure their wealth in Gross National Happiness, so the joy of recently married duos will certainly spike that statistic! Stay in a Como Suite and you’ll have a stunning 180 degree view of the Paro Valley. Rates start at $595 per night.

 Chiang Saen, Thailand

Panorama of Pool AGT_161 

High in the rolling hills of Thailand’s north, Anantara Golden Triangle Resort & Spa  is the perfect locale for the adventurous honeymooners to hang their hats before setting off for an unforgettable adventure.  Never a dull moment at the resort, couples can learn to ride, bathe, and feed Thai Asian elephants at the on-site elephant camp.  Choose the Mahout Discovery package for a three-day intensive mahout training course and learn all the sublties of elephant driving, or partake on a tri-country expedition on the Mekong through northern Thailand, Laos, and Burma, with the Three Country Discovery package.  Nightly rates for the Mahout Discovery package begin at $480 for a Deluxe Room, double occupancy, and at $682 for a Deluxe Room, double occupancy, for the Three Country Discovery package. Certain restrictions and conditions apply. Please refer to the package links for details.

For the couple who wants it all: beach, adventure, culture

Changlang Beach, Trang, Thailand

Anantara Si Kao Spa pond

Anantara Si Kao Resort & Spa in Thailand will satisfy the couple looking for an unforgettably full cultural experience. Try pretty much every water sport imaginable, from sailing, snorkeling, diving, windsurfing, waterskiing, to even swimming with sea cows! Need something to hang beside the marriage certificate? Get scuba-certified on site with the resorts 5-star PADI scuba diving center. And you both can learn how to prepare a full Thai meal with staff-led cooking classes.  More creative couples can partake in the art of Kae-Sa-Luk, Thai fruit and vegetable carving.  Book your stay online 40 days in advance between now and December 20, and receive 20% off and daily breakfast buffet for two with the Early Bird Bonus special package. Nightly rates begin at $270 for a Deluxe Garden Terrace room.

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