|Le Méridien Bora Bora has Overwater Bungalows with touches such as glass flooring.|
Nothing says honeymoon quite like a lavish suite. Here are some to consider after you tie the knot.
A top-notch wedding ceremony is best followed by a first-class honeymoon. At Le Méridien Bora Bora, this comes easily. The themed bungalows are either perched over the lagoon or nestled beachside and shadowed by coconut trees. Overwater bungalows have a glass floor, providing views of the marine life below. Beach bungalows come with private beaches and hammocks.
For the newly wed, we hear it’s best to snag one of the 23 Premium Overwater Bungalows—they offer the utmost in privacy. These accommodations are known for their views, looking down on the inner lagoon and out to Otemanu Mountain in the distance. Top Touch: Each bungalow, of course, is notable for its large glass flooring. They also have large decks with attached ladders that allow guests to easily slip into the water.
|Stonepine Estate’s Taittinger Suite in the Chateau Noel is two stories.|
Luxury travel advisors should get in touch with Reservations Manager Nathalie Merehau ([email protected]) with questions. Travel advisors sending VIPs to the resort can contact General Manager Denis Le Nohaic. Nuptial Note: For those looking to complement their wedding with a traditional Polynesian ceremony, the resort recently added an overwater wedding chapel. Travel advisors should also contact Merehau to make these arrangements.
Guests dining at Le Méridien Bora Bora are in for a visual and gastronomic treat: the resort’s main restaurant, Le Tipanie, is situated such that diners overlook the inner lagoon as they eat. (Hint: Ask for one of the tables that ring the actual lagoon.) On Friday evenings, the restaurant has a special buffet dinner served concurrently with a Tahitian show. More casual dining is available at Le Tiare and Le Te Ava. Note: The resort reopened January 23 after undergoing a complete renovation—of restaurants, bungalows, pontoons and the pool area, among others. There is also an intimate wellness center that offers massages.
|A Pool Beach Villa at Le Méridien Bora Bora has a large living room overlooking a private terrace and swimming pool.|
Getting There: Fly clients into Bora Bora International Airport, which is accessible via a 45-minute connection from Tahiti Faa’a Airport. Note: There is no direct international access to Bora Bora. From the airport, the resort provides a private boat shuttle. We hear the resort fills up quick for July and August.
If skiing is preferred over sunning, Badrutt’s Palace, in St. Moritz, Switzerland, is a surefire winner (think 217 miles of ski slopes). The top suite here is the 2,700-square-foot Hans Badrutt Suite, on the hotel’s second floor, with views of Lake St. Moritz and the Engadin Mountains. We say, however, that the Beau Rivage Suite is best for honeymooners. The accommodation has a living room with balcony, as well as a separate bedroom area. Top Touch: The Italian marble bathroom boasts a steam room and bath with views of the Engadin landscape. We also love the mirrored TV above the bathtub. Note: Butler service is available in every room at Badrutt’s Palace. Luxury travel advisors can contact Senior Sales Manager Lars Wriedt with questions. Ask him also to tell you about the hotel’s other suite accommodations, which include the 970-square-foot Suite St. Moritz and the Engadin Suite, notable for its wood-clad interior.
Honeymooners will want to book any number of treatments at Badrutt’s Palace Wellness. Recently renovated, there are 10 treatment rooms, including two luxury Spa Suites, one with a private garden. The spa also has an array of amenities in the Wet Zone (think ice room, mist room and salt steam room). Luxury travel advisors can contact Wellness Advisor Martha Wiedemann ([email protected]) and ask her about the spa’s signature treatment, the Rebalancing Massage.
|The Ritz-Carlton Lodge, Reynolds Plantation’s Lakeside Cottages have wraparound porches and stone verandahs.|
While there are seven restaurants on property, honeymooners will want to spend at least one evening dining in the hotel's formal, signature Le Restaurant, which serves international and French cuisine. (Note: The venue requires men to don a jacket and, preferably, a tie.)
During the day, consult Concierge Giuseppe Pesenti (con [email protected]) who can arrange such excursions as a personal shopping day at Palace Galerie on Via Serlas, boasting such high-end labels as Gucci and Bottega Veneta.
Fly clients into either Zurich or Milan where transfer can be arranged (each airport is more than 100 miles away). Best Bet: Samedan Airport accommodates private and charter aircraft only and is four miles from Badrutt’s Palace.
Who says you have to leave the U.S. to have a great honeymoon? The Ritz-Carlton Lodge, Reynolds Plantation in Greensboro, GA, is a 35-acre shoreline property on Lake Oconee. We say the best bet for honeymooners is one of the 1,800-square-foot two-bedroom cottages, which have such tranquil features as stone verandahs and wraparound porches with views of Lake Oconee and The Oconee golf course. (Note: The resort has 99 holes in all spread over five courses. Perfect, we say, for the husband who wants to hit the links and wife, the spa—or vice versa.)
|The Hans Badrutt Suite at Badrutt’s Palace has a Jacuzzi with views of the Engadin Mountains.|
The Cottages are residential in style with such touches as butler kitchens, dining rooms, wood-burning fireplaces and Jacuzzi tubs in the master bath. Note: Cottage guests receive preferred golf and dining reservations.
For couples who don’t need as much space, opt for either a 460-square-foot Lake View room or 892-square-foot Executive Suite. Both are considered to have the best views on property (think lake or resort vistas) and also come with private balconies and well-appointed marble-trimmed bathrooms.
Note: Club Level accommodations have personal concierge service. These rooms are on the hotel’s fifth floor and have a “hotel-within-a-hotel feel.”
Luxury travel advisors can contact Travel Industry Sales Manager Valerie Lipscomb
([email protected]; 706-467-7452).
The 27,600-square-foot spa has a menu with a definite southern feel. We hear that The Ritz-Carlton Signature Massage is the most requested treatment, though wedding party treatments are also in high demand (ask Head of Group Spa Sales John Kossenyans about the "All The Groom’s Men" and "Here Comes The Bride" treatments). Luxury travel advisors can also contact Spa Director Sherrie Huebner ([email protected]; 706-467-7163).
Dining at The Ritz-Carlton Lodge is a decidedly casual and fun experience. We say a must-try is the Chiminea Dinner. This is a lakefront meal arranged by the hotel and taken while relaxing in Adirondack chairs in front of a personal chiminea. Dishes are designed for two to share. Restaurant Note: In March, the Linger Longer Steakhouse (think hardwood grilled rib eyes), which burned down last summer, will reopen. If you are looking for outdoor ambiance, Gaby’s by the Lake offers waterfront seating.
Note: Luxury travel advisors can also contact Concierge Judith Fleming ([email protected]; 706-467-7130) who can arrange wedding proposals or surprise slumber parties in the resort’s Presidential House.
Fly clients into Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson, about 75 miles from the resort (call 706-467-7130 to have the resort arrange private car transportation). Greene County Airport, 15 miles from the resort, can accommodate private jets.
In Carmel Valley, CA, Stonepine Estate is perfect for the honeymooning couple that wants complete privacy. Here, the two-story Taittinger Suite, in the Chateau Noel, which includes a formal 30-seat dining room with burnished cherry wood paneling that dates to the 19th century, is popular with honeymooners. It includes two fireplaces, a private loft sitting room and champagne décor with satin finishes. We also recommend the Briar Rose Cottage for romantics (it reminds some of Sleeping Beauty fabled cottages, we hear). It has a large porch that overlooks its own fragrant rose garden and fruit orchard and often affords a view of deer feeding in the surrounding woods. Other features include a rustic fireplace in the living room.
Luxury travel advisors can contact Director of Reservations Michele Higa (831-659-2245).
Activities also abound at Stonepine, including horseback riding (there is an equestrian center on the grounds), archery, tennis and hiking.
Fly clients into Monterey Peninsula Airport, where guests can be scooped up in Stonepine Estate’s Rolls-Royce. Private helicopters can land right on Stonepine’s grounds.