RAVE: Honeymoon Hotspots – 4

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Honeymoon Hotspots
RAVE
May 2005

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WHERE: SCOTLAND

WHY: Imagine waking up to tea and biscuits and the mouthwatering
smells of a full Scottish Breakfast wafting up the stairs. Imagine
being curled up in the arms of the “one” as you both look down on the rolling emerald highlands from the balcony of your own castle. Now stop thinking about it, and have the honeymoon of a lifetime in
Edinburgh.

WHEN TO GO: Go during the summer months when the weather is at its breezy best. In August, the city comes alive with thousands of theater-lovers pouring in for the Festival Fringe, mayhemwith over 1700 shows in more than 200 venues, from street-corner Shakespeare to truly impromptu stand-up comedians. (www.edfringe.com, August 7-29)

HONEYMOON BUBBLE: Live like a King and Queen…literally…in one of the many real life castles with spectacular views. Give your sugarplum a rub-a-dub-dub in the hot tub at the luxurious $491-a-night honeymoon suite at the 13th century Dalhousie Castle and Spa. For the ultimate in relaxation, try Aqueous thermal Hydro Spa–the first of its kind in Scotland! (www.dalhousiecastle.co.uk, breakfast inclusive deluxe doubles starting at $230). If castles aren’t your thing, cozy up at the peculiarly-named Auld Reekie bed and breakfast, which offers luxury and prime location smack in the center of Edinburgh for $48 a night, including a hearty Scottish breakfast (www.auldreekie-guesthouse.co.uk, rooms max out at $72)

IF YOU ACTUALLY PLAN ON LEAVING THE HOTEL: Considering poor dollar-to-EURO exchange rates, score the biggest bang for your buck with the Edinburgh Pass, which, for $282, covers mundane things like airport transport and entrance fees for museums and attractions, letting you focus on the important things–like making your honeymoon as romantic as possible! (www.edinburgh.org) For a more cultural adventure, try spotting Nessie at Loch Ness, or gallivant through the highlands with tours at Viator starting at just $70 per person (www.viator.com) Tired? Relax with a pint at the colorfully named Last Drop Pub, also the site of the last public hanging in Scotland (www.edinburgh247.com).

WHERE: TANZANIA

WHY: As you absorb stunning sunsets while elephants and zebras roam free and birds with wingspans bigger than the airplane you arrived soar past, the luscious, intoxicating aromas of cinnamon, vanilla, turmeric, cloves and banana waft in from nearby plantations. National Geographic redux? Nope, welcome to the most romantic place on earth–your honeymoon in the lush greenery of Tanzania!

WHEN TO GO: While your family and friends shiver in January and February, you’ll be slathering sun block on your shorts-clad legs. But if you want to catch the animals, visit between late June and October, when the heat is tempered by cool breezes.

HONEYMOON BUBBLE: For the ultimate in relaxing, romantic luxury, check out E Unoto Retreat’s honeymoon suites, starting at just $180.All the bungalows have Maasai tribal themes with intricate furnishings and carvings, but the best part is the wildlife. With panoramic views of the beautiful Lake Miwaleni, where you can spy hippos wading and baboons prancing, and maybe even a leopard lounging by the pool–hey, it happened once. (www.maasaivillage.com) You can’t beat the land of spices for exoticism on a budget: score a beach-front bungalow $90 in the high season at Menai Bay on the country‘s eastern coast, where you can sway in your hammock staring out at the Indian ocean or stroll on the white sand. (www.menaibaybungalows.com, doubles start at $40 and include breakfast).

IF YOU ACTUALLY PLAN ON LEAVING THE HOTEL: Tanzanian tour guides offer nature walks where you can stop to smell the cinnamon trees, or safaris at the six mountain peaks of the Ngorongoro Crater Conservation, where you can spot lions, elephants, rhinos, buffalo, and leopards. Better yet, take to the skies on an uber-romantic hot-air balloon safari. (www.tatotz.org) Craving a bit more human company? Visit the Maasai village of Mto wa Mbu –home to more than 120 different tribes–to chat with locals over a cup of Mbege, a traditional beverage made from banana and local grains.

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