By Elizabeth Valerio
No longer must couples experience their last hurrah with their wedding ceremony and the honeymoon. More and more, second honeymoons are emerging. Whether it’s to celebrate a silver anniversary or just to show love for one another, couples are honeymooning, renewing their vows and taking some fantastic trips. So where are they going?
Doug Stallings, an editor at Fodor’s Travel and an expert on honeymoon travel, said that on the second honeymoon, couples are more willing to let loose and spend more.
“For the second time around, you’re looking for something a little more exotic, a little more luxurious, but you still want to have a pleasant, enjoyable, relaxing experience,” said Stallings. “People who go on second honeymoons are usually further along in life, have more money and are willing to indulge themselves. If the couple went to a nice little resort in the Caribbean for their honeymoon, they’re going to be much more willing to go to an exclusive luxury resort in Tahiti.”
Stallings recommends Bora Bora “because it’s the most beautiful and relaxing of beach destinations—it’s exotic and indulgent.” The St. Regis Resort in Bora Bora (starwoodhotels.com) is one of the most exclusive hotels on the island. Bookings fill years in advance and rates change often, and it’s no wonder why. The resort boasts a private saltwater lagoon filled with native fish and stingrays and an Oasis pool with a swim-up bar. Accommodations vary due to the eight different room styles, but the most elite, the royal estate, features a private spa, beach and pool, dining room, Jacuzzi and chef’s kitchen.
If you prefer the Caribbean, go someplace where you can really get away – 40 miles south of a main island to be exact. “Petit St. Vincent is a very small private island resort – no TVs, no phone, no cell phone reception, no Internet – it’s a place you go to really get away from everything, a different kind of experience,” said Stallings. You won’t get bored with the lack of communication to the outside world when there are massages, scuba diving and kayaking lessons, and yoga classes to be had. Each secluded cottage has a sundeck, dual-baths, bedroom and dressing rooms with rates ranging from $495-$960 per night (psvresort.com).
For those without tropical inclinations, romantic destinations abound.
“If you did a tropical honeymoon, why not do a different kind of trip for your second time around,” said Stallings. He recommends sailing and safaris – something a little more daring, yet beautiful.
Vietnam is an exotic, less-visited Asian country with some of the most beautiful scenery in the world – and it’s comparatively cheap. Stallings recommends splurging for the long flight on a business class flight on Singapore Airlines or Thai Airways to ensure that you arrive in relative comfort. Once in Vietnam, the Hanoi Daewoo Hotel (hanoi-daewoohotel.com) is the resort that plays host to the world’s diplomats with rates ranging from as little as $135 to $4,800 a night. Each of the 411 rooms has a panoramic view of the city and luxury amenities, and additionally, the hotel boasts four restaurants with varied cuisine and two bars.
As for sailing, Stallings said that a mid-sized to small ship is best as opposed to some of the larger commercial cruise lines. The Regent Seven Seas (rssc.com) charters cruises to every continent in the world. However, Stallings said that any one out of a plethora of Mediterranean voyages is best for a second honeymoon. Even if you have seen Europe before, touring it via the vast sea is unlike any other vacation. Choose routes from Venice to Athens, Copenhagen to Dover or Barcelona to Nice. Rates vary depending on each location and number of nights, but fall in the realm of $3,000 to $6,000 for seven to nine nights, per person.