The Top 5 Honeymoon Destinations for Wine Lovers

From the gorgeous scenery of South Africa’s Cape Winelands to France’s abundance of historic vineyards, the following prominent wine regions are among our favorite travel destinations for an unforgettable honeymoon getaway.

Cape Winelands, South Africa

Whether as a leisurely day trip from Cape Town, or a few days of solid R&R, the Cape Winelands are not to be missed. The Stellenbosch region was the first to create a formal route to access its now 200+ wine producers, and is dotted with boutique hotels, spa-like sanctuaries, fine-dining restaurants, and even informative museums which offer insight into the region’s deep history.

Nearby Franschhoek boasts beautiful landscapes, enriched with French Huguenot heritage, which is immediately evident in the region’s famed “Cap Classique” – the Cape’s take on Champagne. Its boho chic village is lined with bars and bistros, and a hop-on, hop-off wine tram makes traveling between estates a total joy.

Bordeaux, France

This world-renowned winemaking region is home to some of the most valuable and historic châteaux and vineyards (Château Latour, Château Margaux, Château Lafite Rotschild).

With the Atlantic coast to the west, Medoc to the north, and Saint-Émilion to the east, Bordeaux is a perfect place from which to day-trip your way around France. It’s also the perfect gateway to Dordogne, the modern-day home of the ancient country of Perigord — filled with honey-colored medieval villages like Sarlat, more than 1,500 ancient castles, and even truffle markets (check out the stalls in Périgueux).

Image courtesy of The Vines of Mendoza

Uno Valley, Argentina

Argentina’s Uco Valley is one of those rare places that is able to produce quality wines at high altitudes, making it a world-famous region for Malbecs and other red wines. It’s also totally remote and relaxing.

To taste the terroir, post up at The Vines of Mendoza, a 22-villa resort in the foothills of the Andes. It’s set on a 1,500 acre working vineyard, with spa-style bathrooms, en-suite fire pits, and an on-site restaurant imagined by Francis Mallmann. The Argentine super-chef applies his open-flame cooking techniques to regional dishes that showcase Argentina’s famous beef, like four-hours roasted lamb with Anna potatoes and watercress salad.

Napa Valley, California

Northern California’s grape-growing region is widely recognized as one of the premier places in the world for wine production. All the while, it has steadily become one of America’s top honeymoon destinations thanks to its beautiful landscape, diversity of activities offered, charming small towns, phenomenal dining choices, high-class wine making facilities, and elite resorts and inns.

For an incredible day, start with a tour of wine country from above via Napa Valley Balloons. Next, head to Schramsberg Winery outside of Calistoga, famous for its sparking wines, caves and majestic views.

In the afternoon, visit beautiful Hall Vineyards high atop the hills in Rutherford for a private tour before dinner at The Rutherford Grill.

Santorini, Greece

The island of Santorini is known for its Assyrtiko grapes, which produces some very distinct but excellent dry white wines. After checking in to your hotel at the elegant Perivolas Santorini, make your way to Santo Wines, an exceptional winery situated high atop the caldera cliffs just south of Fira.

Stop in for a wine and food tasting right before soaking in a brilliant Santorini sunset. The property also features a deli shop where couples can purchase an assortment of wines plus traditional food products like capers, sun-dried tomatoes, and fava beans.

 

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Image courtesy of Kym Ellis

Hotels We Love for a Honeymoon: Rosewood Baha Mar, Bahamas

The megaresort complex of Baha Mar is the hottest new development in the Caribbean (with a $4.2-billion price tag).

While it’s composed of three different resorts, the forthcoming Rosewood Baha Mar — which is situated on the incredible white sands of Nassau’s Cable Beach — promises to be the most luxe.

Post up in your residential-style room before testing your luck at the 100,000 square-foot casino, playing a round on the Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course, getting massages at the ESPA spa, or dining at one of 20 different restaurants and bars.

We promise nowhere else in the Caribbean will you eat sushi as delicious as at Katsuya by Starck Baha Mar.

Are turquoise waters and soft white sands calling your name? This incredible property will be the perfect fit for your once-in-a-lifetime honeymoon getaway.

Top 6 Reasons to Honeymoon at Arenas del Mar Resort, Costa Rica

Arenas del Mar Beachfront & Rainforest Resort is a stunning beachfront resort tucked into the rainforest just a stone’s throw from central Costa Rica’s famous Manuel Antonio National Park. With the perfect balance of luxury and nature, it’s an exceptional place for a honeymoon.

Below, we’ve listed six of our favorite reasons for newlyweds to take their ultimate vacation there.

A Commitment to Nature

Upon arriving at Arenas del Mar you’ll be immediately greeted by a friendly staff and lush tropical canopy, plus the resort’s refreshing welcome drink named after the country’s famous motto “Pura Vida.”

You’ll notice right away the resort team’s commitment to protect the rainforest and the result is breathtaking. You’ll experience the sounds, sights, and sensations of being oceanside while surrounded by flora, fauna, and wildlife.

Be on the lookout for sloths, iguanas, monkeys, and a variety of birds and butterflies. These are just some of the wildlife you can catch sight of within minutes of stepping foot on the property!

Sun, Surf, and Play

The resort’s unique access to both the public Espadilla Beach and the secluded Playitas Beach give couples plenty of opportunity to lay, swim, or surf in the ocean air. For a more active beach experience, Espadilla Beach is perfect for your morning run and afternoon surf lesson (complete with a post-surf siesta under the shade of palm tree).

Meanwhile, Playitas Beach is designed for complete relaxation. Favorite activities include taking a dip in the ocean, ordering lunch (the mahi mahi tacos come highly recommended!) and enjoying fresh juices or cocktails from the bar while spending the day lounging on a daybed. If you find yourself needing a break from the sand and surf, grab a spot at one of resort’s two incredible swimming pools, the infinity pool overlooking Espadilla Beach or the Playitas pool.

(Sensational) Rooms with a View

The rooms and amenities at Arenas del Mar leave nothing to be desired. Whether you choose a room with an ocean view and an outdoor private Jacuzzi or a garden room surrounded by nature, you’ll feel like all your needs have been considered.

One particular highlight is the in-room Tico Bar. It’s stocked daily with local coffee and snacks including kombucha, beer, chocolate covered dried pineapple, and plantain chips to enjoy while taking the view.

Activities & Amenities

Whether your interest is lounging during your visit, exploration, or both, the front desk team at Arenas del Mar will help you make the most of your stay. Take advantage of the on-site activities where you can learn about sustainable tourism, make tortillas, explore the nightlife, experience a treatment at the spa, or practice yoga.

Excursions to nearby sites are well organized and a guided tour of the Manuel Antonio National Park is a must for nature lovers. Get there early in the day to avoid the crowds and make sure to bring a suit and towel to enjoy the pristine beach. If you’re looking or more action, zip-lining through the rainforest, parasailing, and horseback riding are just a few of the options.

Dining and Sunsets

One thing you don’t want to miss is the glorious sunset marking the end of each day. Enjoy sunset at the El Mirador Restaurant and Bar with a cocktail crafted with local ingredients and small bites. Perched on a cliff above the ocean, this is an ideal spot to watch the sun go down.

The restaurant’s dinner menu is impressive with locally sourced seafood, along with vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options. The care and curation of this menu will not disappoint. On many nights, you can even make your way down to Playitas Beach for themed dinners served right on the beach.

Ultimate Convenience

Honeymooners will find arrival to be simple and stress-free. From Juan Santamaria International Airport in San Juan (SJO), you can take a quick 30-minute flight or three-hour shuttle to the resort. If you choose to take the shuttle, you’ll be greeted by one of the resort’s experienced drivers in an air-conditioned van stocked with local snacks and bottled water.

Tip: Don’t pass up the chance along the way to stop at the bridge to Jaco over the Río Tarcole for your first pipa frío (cold coconut) and a view of the famous American Crocodiles.

 

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Top 5 Restaurants for Your Oahu, Hawaii Honeymoon

Planning to travel to Hawaii for your upcoming honeymoon or anniversary trip? Be sure to add these five acclaimed Oahu restaurants to your itinerary.

Serving up everything from Hawaiian regional cuisine to the freshest sushi in America, we’re confident that each dining spot will deliver a meal to be remembered.

Mahina & Sun’s

Chef Ed Kenney offers his unique take on island cuisine, with a clear emphasis on utilizing local, organic ingredients. Located at the stylish Surfjack Hotel & Swim Club, this hip, casual restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch, dinner and late night (featuring expertly crafted cocktails).

Alan Wong’s Honolulu

Chef Alan Wong’s Honolulu flagship is Hawaiian regional cuisine at its finest. Menu items like macadamia nut-coconut crusted lamb chops and twice cooked short rib are heavenly, while the chef’s tasting menu stands out with an all-star lineup of delicious offerings.

Hoku’s at the Kahala Resort

Hoku’s is a fantastic choice for creative fusion food, as the restaurant merges Asian, Hawaiian, and European flavors to perfection. Expect a twist on contemporary island classics, like salt crusted rack of lamb or Kurobuta pork chop with Maui gold pineapple and shishito peppers.

Roy’s Waikiki

This dining destination is truly a honeymoon treat. Based in Waikiki, the restaurant is known as a pioneer of Hawaii regional cuisine and remains fabulous today with its top-notch wine list, decadent desserts, and signature fusion entree items.

Sushi Sasabune

Sushi fans flock to this South King St. favorite from all over the world. The main attraction is no doubt the restaurant’s unforgettable omakase sushi experience. Be sure to sit at the counter for an up-close glimpse at chef Seiji Kumagawa’s methodical preparation. You can go for the omakase or a la carte at the restaurant’s regular tables too.

 

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Photo courtesy of Surfjack Hotel & Swim Club

The Top 5 Hotels for a Honeymoon in Iceland

With awe-inspiring natural wonders like the Northern Lights, out-of-this-world outdoor pursuits, and a lively capital, it’s easy to see why Iceland ranks as one of our most popular European honeymoon destinations.

If you’ll be heading to the “land of fire and ice” for your ultimate getaway, drop your bags at any of these incredible hotels. Highlights include a brand new resort at the Blue Lagoon, an adventure hotel in the countryside, and boutique properties in Reykjavik.

The Retreat at Blue Lagoon Iceland

Nearly every person who travels to Iceland makes time for a soak in the world-famous Blue Lagoon, a naturally forming geothermal pool surrounded by 800-year-old lava fields. This blue-hued hot spring is not only an Instagram-must, but it also supposedly has healing properties (the average 100-degree waters are rich in minerals like silica and sulfur).

When the Retreat at Blue Lagoon Iceland debuts in late-spring, couples will be able to stay overnight for the first time. The 62 suites open on to a private section of the lagoon, offering 24/7 access to the water (grab a complimentary Icelandic beer from the minibar before you dip in), plus other amenities like a subterranean spa and a high-end New Nordic restaurant, serving seven-course tasting menus at the chef’s table.

Hotel Ranga

Situated about 75 minutes from Rekyjavik, this charming hotel offers premium views of the aurora borealis. The 4-star property boasts a terrific on-site gourmet restaurant and comfy suites with Jacuzzis and specific country or continent themes.

ION Luxury Adventure Hotel

Here’s a great option for couples looking to embrace Iceland’s incredible landscape and plethora of outdoor recreation options. Highlights include 45 rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows, an on-site restaurant, and even a thermal pool. The 4-star adventure hotel is about an hour from Rekyjavik.

Icelandair Hotel Reykjavik Marina

This harborside hotel is stylish, affordable, and overall a great option for newlyweds. On top of excellent food and drink options (read more about Slippbarinn above), guests can’t beat the cozy rooms and convenient marina location.

Canopy by Hilton Reykjavik City Centre

We’re huge fans of this boutique property close to Laugavegur, Reykjavik’s main shopping avenue. On top of modern, cozy rooms, couples can enjoy bikes for exploring the city, complimentary artisanal daily breakfast, local art throughout the hotel, and evening tastings of local beers and spirits.

 

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Photo courtesy of the Retreat at Blue Lagoon Iceland