RAVE: Honeymoon Hotspots – 1

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Honeymoon Hotspots

May 2005
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Every year, Hawaii boasts more than 500,000 honeymooners from all over the world. They all go there for one reason: lack of imagination. Yeah, Hawaii’s pretty, but we know RAVE readers crave more exotic, colorful adventures. That’s why we’ve spiked our first ever list of honeymoon hotspots with a healthy dose of mirch-masala. “Everyone’s trying to be unique,” says Beverly Hills-based travel-agent-to-the-stars Gary Mansour, who’s worked with celebs like Angelina Jolie and Renee Zelleweger. “So it’s a castle in Scotland, a private island in the Caribbean, or off to Fiji.” While Mansour says most couples never leave the cozy cocoon of their honeymoon suite, we’ve come up with lots of fun options should you get the urge to explore.

Turtle Island, Fiji

Turtle Island, Fiji


WHY: No TVs, no shopping malls, no tennis courts. Instead, wake up to the scent of Jasmine and Frangipani. Indulge in a breakfast of champagne and garden-grown mangos and bananas on your own private beach, catered to by your own personal bure mama. Swim naked in turquoise waters or mountain bike through jungle-edged paths. Live the ancient, exotic culture of Fiji by sharing a cup of Kava and a song with the locals.

WHEN TO GO: Enjoy warm tropical breezes and the startlingly aquamarine waters of the white powder beaches year-round, but avoid the few weeks in July and December when this usually couples-only resort goes family-friendly.

HONEYMOON BUBBLE: With only 14 thatched bure cottages on this 500-acre private Fijian isle in the Yasawa chain in the South Pacific, this eco-friendly all-inclusive resort has played honeymoon haven to celebs like Nick and Jessica, the Bachelorette’s Trista and Ryan, and Britney Spears and hubby-number-two. Stay in one of the resorts uber-romantic grand bures, complete with king-size four-poster bed, Jacuzzi and outdoor shower built for two. (From $1,975 per night per couple all-inclusive, 877-2 TURTLE, www.turtlefiji.com)

IF YOU ACTUALLY LEAVE THE HOTEL: Snorkel or scuba the Blue Lagoon (yeah—the one Brooke Shields frolicked naked in) or enjoy a lobster and champagne picnic while horseback riding on one of the island’s 14 private white sand beaches. Bike through rainforests fluttering with butterflies and exotic birds or reserve a sailboat to island-hop while deep-sea fishing for Barracuda, yellowfin tuna and bonefish. When it’s time to unwind, take an excursion to meet and greet the uber-friendly natives in a traditional Fijian village.




WHY: With almost half of this 115-island archipelago’s land mass designated as nature reserves, the lush, tropical Republic of Seychelles was dubbed the original site of the Garden of Eden. And it just might have been, considering the Eve-evoking, aphrodisiac Coco-de-Mer palm nut which are unique to the islands. The scent of cinnamon andvanilla grown here draws you in, but the charm of the nation’s distinctive blend of French Creole, Asian and African cultures is just as inviting.

WHEN TO GO: The climate offers balmy breezes and warm ocean dips year-round, but the tropical islands are warmer during northeast monsoon season from March through May and cooler during southeast monsoon rains from late May through September.

HONEYMOON BUBBLE: On the main island of Mahé, stay at the Banyan Tree Resort with it’s airy plantation-style veranda-ed villas tucked cliffside on the famous Intendance Beach. Book the magnificent Presidential Villa, situated on it’s on private cove complete with infinity pool, outdoor Jacuzzi and shower. (www.banyantree.com, honeymoon via packages from $1270 a night) Or fly twenty-minutes East and stay in one of the 16 ultra-luxe 2000-square-foot villas on the ultra-private Fregate Island, where Paul McCartney honeymooned with new bride Heather Mills. A former pirate cove turned eco-resort, (www.fregate.com, from $2,390 nightly per couple, all-inclusive) More a less budget-breaking but still luxurious option, try the Plantation Club, a resort and casino nestled on a 100-acre beach-edged former coconut grove, where rooms offer all the creature comforts of home, including satellite TV. (www.plantationclub.com, doubles starting at $265)

Don’t miss the magical Aldabra, the largest raised coral atoll in the world, and home to more than 150,000 giant land tortoises. Then hit the mouth-watering Le Jardin du Roi, with its intoxicating rows of vanilla vines, cinnamon and nutmeg trees. Or take to the air for an exhilarating half-hour helicopter tour of the islands. At Fregate, charter the 43-foot Fregate Bird yacht to catch your own dinner, prepared for you by the island’s gourmet chefs, or take a guided jungle hike narrated by one of the island’s in-house ecologists.

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