Ultimate indulgence – for honeymoons, and when only the best will do
Unforgettable romantic experiences – something a little out of the ordinary
Maximum luxury for your dollar – serious pampering without a hefty price tag
For a once-in-a-lifetime event such as a honeymoon or proposal, you need the very best of everything. These luxurious hotels will ensure that your dreams are fulfilled and your expectations exceeded.
For serious pampering by stunning beach, Esencia fits the bill perfectly. Formerly the home of an Italian Duchess, this estate includes two beachfront swimming pools, a superb spa, and a fine dining restaurant.
The twenty nine rooms include the lofty “Torre” suite, located in the villa’s watch tower and boasting 360 degree views, and the sprawling Rosa suite, with its private sun terrace and plunge pool. We’d happily settle for one of the less expensive Garden Suites, set back from the ocean in beautiful gardens, each with a plunge pool. The decor is predominantly white, with simple, modern lines and uncluttered spaces.
Expect the finest 600 threadcount Egyptian cotton sheets, Molton Brown amenities, automatic black out blinds and the latest audio-visual equipment. There’s even a sub-zero full size bottle refrigerator in each room, so you can mix the perfect pre-dinner cocktail in your suite.
Intimate, unique, and memorable – la Casa que Canta was designed for romantics. This boutique hotel was featured in the film “When a Man Loves a Woman” and is a favorite with honeymooners from all over the world.
Choose one of the property’s Master Private Pool Suites and you’ll find it difficult to leave the suite. There’s something magical about the individually decorated interiors that lead to sumptuous furnished terraces (more like outdoor living rooms), and of course a refreshing plunge pool. Each moment spent together, mesmerized by the breathtaking view, is unforgettable.
Room service is available, so you can dine together in your suite (breakfast on the terrace is idyllic). However, it’s a shame to miss the elegant restaurant, with tables spilling down the cliffside terraces beneath the star-filled skies, or cocktails by the photogenic infinity swimming pool. La Casa que Canta also has a spa and fitness center.
This stretch of coastline is home to some of Mexico’s top resort and boutique hotels, but the Viceroy Riviera Maya is unique. It has a beautiful Caribbean beachfront location, but the heart and soul of the property lies in the lush jungle gardens beyond. Each guest room is an individual, thatched roof villa that’s surrounded by palm trees and tropical vegetation. Instead of ocean views, the wow-factor here is the sensual, natural environment, the privacy of your own plunge pool for midnight dips and the temptation of the outdoor moon shower in the villa’s walled garden.
Together with the natural blessings, there are a host of modern delights too. The villas are fully airconditioned, and have oversized indoor-outdoor bathrooms. Each has a satellite TV, Bose DVD player and CD player (movie and music libraries are available). Further treats for the senses can be found in the superb “jungle spa” and the exquisite “la Marea” restaurant. Mayan cooking classes, tequila tastings and the Temascal (sweat lodge) are just some of the intriguing activities that couples can enjoy here.
Las Alamandas, a long-time favorite with Hollywood stars, lies on Mexico’s picturesque Costa Alegre, around midway between the resorts of Puerto Vallarta and Manzanillo. The vast estate includes several pristine beaches, and even a landing strip for small aircraft. A maximum of forty two guests can be accommodated at any one time, and it’s quite possible that you may not see any other guests at all during your stay. The attentive staff will arrange a picnic or afternoon of sunbathing on a private beach, just for the two of you. Or maybe you’d like to enjoy canapes and wine on a rooftop terrace, or dinner a deux, by the pool. Nothing is too much trouble for the attentive staff.
The accommodations are divided over seven houses, with from one to four suites in each house. A palette of vivid colors is used to give a true Mexican flavor to the classically elegant furnishings. Several suites feature plunge pools, whilst others offer huge oceanfront terraces or secluded daybeds. Activities include horseback riding, tennis and boat rides along the Saint Nicolas river.
A few years ago, we’d find it difficult to entertain an All-inclusive resort being included in our favorite romantic hotels. But the Grand Velas blew us away with its dazzling adults-only Ambassador Grand Class section. Every room in this section is beachfront and has an amazing view of the Caribbean. We love the open-plan layout of the rooms, with a flat screen TV that swivels between the sitting area and the bed. What’s more, double sliding doors divide the bedroom from the bathroom and dressing area, so opening up the doors enables you to see the ocean even from the Jacuzzi tub. The spacious terrace has sun loungers, outdoor dining area, and a fabulous plunge pool.
You’ll find the dining at the Grand Velas equally as impressive as your room. The five evening restaurants are all fit for special occasion dining, with white linen, elegant furnishings and superb service. At lunchtime, dine on the terraces by the beach at “Bistro” in the Grand Class section, or choose a buffet of sushi, sashimi and seafood at the Azul restaurant.
To cap it all, the beach here is just fabulous – you can stroll for miles either south to the Mayakoba estate, or north towards Playa del Carmen. There’s just nothing missing in this property, and, amazingly, it is “all included” in the price.
The One&Only Palmilla is one of the finest resort hotels in Mexico, with a world class spa and some of the best hotel restaurants in the region. What we love about the property are the innovative romantic touches, such as the “Private Cove Experience”. Where else can you enjoy your own private section of beach, complete with a lavish four poster day bed, an over-water sun lounger, and even your own butler to bring more cold drinks or snacks at your command?
Palmilla has one of the few good swimming beaches in Los Cabos, and there are numerous prestigious golf courses close by. Most of the guest rooms are either ocean front or ocean view, and feature opulent furnishings and luxury amenities. Guests enjoy complimentary 24 hour butler service, so you don’t even need to do your own unpacking when you arrive. At the One&Only Palmilla, you’ll both be pampered to your hearts’ content.
Maroma’s beach was voted one of the top 10 in the world by the Travel Channel – it is simply perfect. This elegant, adults-only hideaway has hosted presidents and royalty in its elegant suites. Although only about twenty minutes from Cancun airport, Maroma is a world away from the brash resort areas. Set in acres of jungle grounds, there is an atmosphere of tranquility and exclusivity here. A pianist often accompanies evening meals in the beachfront “Sol” restaurant, and there are no televisions in the guest rooms (though wireless internet access is now provided).
Maroma has two tennis courts, three swimming pools, and of course an amazing spa. The Kinan spa specializes in Mayan treatments, but also features a range of medical spa treatments including botox and Infrared light technology.
We recommend the glamorous Sian Nah suites, with their magnificent ocean front bedrooms and large living rooms. Each suite has an area for spa treatments and even a private, air-conditioned fitness area equipped with a treadmill or other cardiovascular equipment.
These options may appeal if the two of you have always done things a little differently, or if you can sacrifice a few modern day comforts for an everlasting memory. Perhaps you want an ecological honeymoon, or to stay in a romantic hotel that’s close to some of the most amazing sightseeing. Or maybe you just want a simple but idyllic “no news, no shoes” vacation. It’s all here.
Did you know that you can get that “desert island” castaway experience, within an hour of landing at Puerto Vallarta’s International airport? If you’ve booked a casita at Majahuitas Resort, a member of staff will be waiting at the airport for you, and you’ll be taken first by road and then by boat to this idyllic little hotel. The ride along the bay in the small “panga” boat will be one of the highlights of your trip, and you may even see dolphins playing in the waves. Majahuitas Resort is actually part of the mainland, but is accessible only by sea. The seven rustic but very romantic casitas are perched on the hillside, and all offer views of the sheltered bay. The casitas have lighting and ceiling fans, but windows and even some walls are left open to the breezes. You’ll sleep on a king bed beneath fine mosquito netting, and will awaken to a stunning view.
Two things set Majahuitas apart from other rustic properties in the region. Firstly, the hospitality is amazing, and you’ll feel pampered from your first arrival. Secondly, the food at Majahuitas is divine. You’ll enjoy wonderful fresh fish and seafood as well as international dishes and barbecues. You can also enjoy a private, candelit dinner for two on the beach – what could be more romantic?
This gorgeous, fifteen room Hacienda hotel is located less than an hour from Merida’s international airport, and about three to four hours’ drive from Cancun. The journey is worth the effort, because this is one of the most romantic places in Mexico. Picturesque gardens lead to the hacienda’s pretty chapel, and the azure blue painted buildings of the Master Suite. This suite has a large terrace and a private swimming pool surrounded by ancient stone walls. Other suites have secluded gardens and circular plunge pools, heavy wooden beds and impossibly high ceilings.
The hacienda has a large and incredibly photogenic swimming pool, with hammocks strung across the shallow sections. There is a pretty restaurant housed in the old machine room, but guests can dine where ever they please. This region is rich in natural and archaeological treasures – some well known and others “off the beaten track” – so it’s worth taking time to explore. You’ll return with some amazing memories.
Tulum is an idyllic vacation spot, with stunning beaches and a relaxed, bohemian atmosphere, but most of the accommodations are very simple. If you don’t want to compromise on design and if you can’t do without air-conditioning, Be Tulum is a perfect option. This chic little hotel offers visitors to Tulum previously unimaginable luxuries, such as Jacuzzi tubs and rooftop plunge pools. It also has a buzzing bar and occasional live music, plus an excellent restaurant. The spacious rooms are set back from the beachfront, amidst tall palm trees. There’s a sensual, tropical ambiance that more than makes up for the lack of sea views in most of the rooms. The ultimate choice for lovers are the two Ocean Suites, which are located on the top floor near the beach, and have a covetable infinity edge pool on their roof terraces. The views of the sunset over the Jungle are incredible.
Be Tulum is located in the southern part of the beach zone, near to the Sian Ka’an Biosphere reserve. You can stroll along pristine beaches for miles in either direction. Here the sand is soft and white, and the sea is a stunning turquoise blue, just as you’d imagine in your dreams.
It’s rare to find a true ecological hotel that’s also very romantic, but the Eco Paraiso Xixim is perfect for honeymooners. The hotel is set in a vast nature reserve on a secluded stretch of coast just west of Merida. An unpaved road leads from the little fishing town of Celestun to this natural paraside, where the accommodations are thatched roof casitas facing the shoreline. Each has a huge shaded terrace with a hammock that’s big enough for two to share. The new Master Suites also have a plunge pool and a romantically draped four poster king bed.
“Xixim” is Mayan for seashell, and the miles of virgin coastline that front the property are strewn with thousands of tiny shells. This is one place where you can be sure of uncrowded beach. In the morning, the sea is almost always perfect still and crystal clear, so we can rarely resist an eary swim. The property also has two inviting swimming pools and a new spa, specializing in invigorating or relaxing natural treatments. For the energetic, the hotel has mountain bikes that you can take to explore the salt flats and mangroves nearby. There are also excellent excursions to Mayan ruins or ancient haciendas, and boat trips to see the habitat of hundreds of pink flamingos.
The best romantic vacations involve plenty of time together, cozy chats, romantic dinners and sunset strolls. The intimate and indulgent Hacienda Xcanatun offers an idyllic setting for couples to relax and enjoy each others company. Its restaurant is one of the finest in the region and has hosted Presidents and celebrities. Tables are set with the finest linens and glasswear; service is discrete and formal. If you are out to impress a loved one, or celebrate a special anniversary, then this is the place.
Guest rooms at the Hacienda are elegant and inviting. You’ll want to spend some time together in the comfortable chaises, the romantically draped beds and the big bath tubs. Choose a Master Suite for the maximum indulgence, and you’ll never want to check out. Nearby, you can take a ride in a horse drawn carriage for two down Merida’s grand Paseo Montejo, explore ancient ruins together and take a dip in a mysterious cenote. To complete a perfect day, enjoy a traditional Mayan treatment together in the Hacienda’s spa, followed by a lingering dinner on the terrace as the sun falls.
Kin Sol Soleil has just ten exquisite suites, and it’s the perfect place for a madly in love couple to hide away for a few nights, or even a few weeks. Yes, it’s small, but what more do you need than a spectacular beach, a gorgeous suite with lots of indulgent features (think plunge pools, rooftop terraces or even private swimming pools) and one of the area’s best restaurants just a few paces away?
Choose Angela 1 and you can enjoy a private walled garden with an outdoor shower as well as a gorgeous swimming pool overlooking the beach, just for the two of you. Or maybe Angela 2, with its rooftop terrace and plunge pool overlooking Maroma bay, perfect for champagne, sunsets and lingering siestas.
Discover the special honeymoon package, with all the ingredients for an unforgettable week together, including accommodations in Kin Sol Soleil’s most romantic suites.
So you want the honeymoon or vacation of your dreams, but don’t have the budget to match? These are some fabulously romantic places that you’d think would be way out of reach, but are surprisingly affordable. There’s no compromise on the quality of accommodations and the excellent service you’ll receive.
Ixtapa-Zihuatenejo has long been considered a dream destination (think “Shawshank Redemption” and “When a Man Loves a Woman”). When the prestigious hotel group Capella announced their new property in Ixtapa, we were super excited. And it’s every bit as good as we imagined – the comtemporary design and spectacular views are mesmerizing, and the facilities are amazing for such an intimate hotel (two swimming pools, a full service spa, several gorgeous restaurants – why would we want to ever leave?)
To complete the fantasy, each room has its own private plunge pool that seems to merge with the Pacific ocean beyond. The expansive views can be enjoyed from the furnished terrace and also from the bedroom. Every suite has an oversized bathroom and dressing room, and the indulgent amenities include a minibar stocked with complimentary sodas, and twenty-four hour room service. Ixtapa’s tropical climate means that this hotel is perfect for a January or February honeymoon (temperatures run in the mid 80s). And all this pampering is a lot more affordable than you’d imagine, so you can stay for longer too!
This glamorous little hotel is perfect for a romantic tryst. Who could resist the theme of roses and chocolate? As you might expect from the name, this is a gourmet destination. Rosas y Xocolate has an outstanding restaurant, with an elegant indoor dining room and a sun-filled terrace for breakfast. After dinner, the rooftop bar is the place to be, with mood lighting and an extensive cocktail list.
If you want to impress your sweetheart, choose the magnificent Rosas suite. The decor is not flowery, but sophisticated and subtle. The trendy bathrooms, fine quality bed linen and high-tech gadgets will satisfy the most discerning tastes. For a hedonistic day to remember, we suggest a city tour in a horse-drawn carriage (calesa) followed by a visit to the in-house chocolate shop, and the exquisite tequila bar. It’s an experience that you’ll surely want to repeat!
The Villa Premiere is our favorite property in downtown Puerto Vallarta. It’s an adults-only boutique hotel with a perfect beachfront location and romantic rooms. We recommend the delightful Honeymoon Suites, which have an Ocean view balcony and private plunge pool, and the incredible Master Suites; they have wrap around balconies and separate bedroom and sitting rooms.
It’s easy to relax and be pampered at the Villa Premiere. When you arrive, you’ll be treated to a glass of champagne and a complimentary neck massage to ease away the stresses of traveling. The excellent spa has a fantastic range of treatments for both men and women, including indulgent couples massages and even an Oxygen bar. Honeymooners love the romantic four poster daybeds by the pool and on the beach.
Unusually, the Villa Premiere is an all-inclusive hotel with an optional European plan. So if you intend to try many of the many amazing restaurants in Puerto Vallarta, you can choose the room-only option. However, the all-inclusive plan offers amazing value and many people find that it’s worthwhile taking this option even if they plan to eat out from time to time.
Las Brisas in Acapulco is a legendary resort, often labelled as one of the most romantic properties in Mexico. Every one of the guest rooms has its own private or semi-private swimming pool. For honeymooners we recomend the Junior Suites, which are in the adults-only section of the property and are guaranteed to be totally private (their swimming pools are not overlooked by any other rooms). They are perfect for midnight swims beneath Acapulco’s starry skies.
Honeymooners love Las Brisas so much that they rarely leave their casitas. Room service can be enjoyed on your pool terrace, with spectacular views of the bay of Acapulco. In the evening, the exotic nightlife of Acapulco is just a short drive from the hotel, or guests may choose to enjoy a lingering evening meal in the unforgettable Bellavista restaurant. In the distance, and far below, are the twinkling lights of the high rise hotels along the coastline.
At this pretty hacienda hotel, it’s easy to escape the crowds and spend time sightseeing together, off the beaten track. The “real Mexico” can be found just outside the walled gardens of the hacienda, as you drive through traditional Mayan villages and discover lesser known Mayan ruins, mysterious cenotes and sacred caverns. When you tire of exploring, there’s plenty of space to relax beneath shady palm trees, or swim together in the large swimming pools. Be sure to allow for a traditional Mayan massage or facial when you arrive, the ingredients used are entirely natural and are sourced locally.
The hacienda is owned and managed by a French family, and the restaurant offers a delicious mix of Mexican and French-Creole dishes that are served on the ancient verandas of the hacienda. Since the hacienda is only a short drive from the colonial city of Merida, you can also take advantage of the complimentary evening cultural activities there (regional dancing, mariachis, salsa bands and more). The taxi fare is reasonable, so you can linger there as long as you like before returning to your hideaway.