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Vacation Days

These ten sexy honeymoon trips are worth the splurge—even if it means scrimping on the hors d'oeuvre.

Honeymoon ideas for couples who want to. . .

. . . keep active.

HOT CHILE
If hiking up an active volcano, biking across ancient salt flats, and walking through a field of geysers sound like your idea of relaxation, then Explora Atacama (explora.com; from $1,300 for three nights, all-inclusive), in northern Chile, should be at the top of your honeymoon wish list. Located just outside the rustic village of San Pedro de Atacama and flanked by the Pacific and the Andes, the isolated desert resort houses 50 simple-but-elegant rooms with incredible views of a snowcapped volcano. After a day of, say, biking to an ancient village or Incan fortress, perhaps ogling a flock of flamingos along the way, treat yourself to a massage at Explora’s brand-new spa or soak in the nearby natural hot springs before fueling up for the next day’s adventure. Meals here are surprisingly gourmet. It may be ecotourism, but you’re not camping, after all.

HAPPY TRAILS
Nothing gets hearts racing like a few ski runs down the Alps—except maybe a little après-ski canoodling in the hot tub. For a snow-filled honeymoon complete with Sound of Music scenery, head to Zermatt, Switzerland, home to the 14,690-foot Matterhorn mountain (71 lifts serve three ski areas suited to beginners and experts alike). Lined with chalets and converted old barns, the winding cobblestone streets of this picturesque hamlet are completely car-free; people are transported via snowmobile, train, or horse-drawn carriage. Your best bet is to book corner room 309 at the romantic Riffelalp (zermatt.ch/riffelalp; from $108), a 120-year-old resort perched 2,000 feet above town. At night, descend via train into the snowy village; you’ll find that the best restaurants—the Buffet Royal, the Whymperstube—are in hotels.

. . . be completely alone.
THE LOVE BOAT
If the thought of total isolation—no phone, no Internet, no HBO, no other guests to gossip about—doesn’t make you panic, consider chartering a private sailboat. The Virgin Islands provide great cruising itineraries for honeymooners, since the waters are relatively calm and there are plenty of small islands with secluded bays and romantic coves (perfect for picnics), as well as larger islands where you can stop off to shop or dine in a proper restaurant. The Sacks Group Yachting Professionals (954-764-7742; sacksyachts.com) rents out crewed boats starting at about $5,000 a week for a 50-foot sailboat with food, beverages, and fuel. On the higher (but by no means highest) end is the $15,000-a-week Wildflower, a 72-foot beauty complete with air-conditioning, TV/VCR, DVD, a king-size bed with en suite bathroom, and luxurious touches like free-flowing Dom Pérignon (served in Baccarat flutes), a chef flown in from New York who prepares meals according to your preferences, and even satellite phone service—all at your disposal.

The Londolozi lodge is the ultimate in safari luxury.
PARTY OF TWO
Who says tree houses are just for kids? At the South African Londolozi Tree Camp (ccafrica.com; from $840, all-inclusive), six air-conditioned suites are positioned in the treetops along the Sand River. Twenty-five feet high and accessed by stairs, the luxurious aeries are spaced far-enough apart that none is visible from the others. So whether you’re relaxing in the king-size four-poster, soaking in the tub-for-two overlooking the bush, or chilling in the cascading plunge pool on your teak deck, your only audience will be the animals. Reverse roles during guided nature walks and game drives, where you’ll see everything from leopards and lions to elephants and hippos—not to mention hundreds of species of birds, frogs, and lizards. Romantic moonlit bush dinners typically include delicious dishes like lightly curried corn soup served with nan bread, paella with prawns, local venison sausage with sautéed oyster mushrooms, spice-rubbed chicken with grilled bananas and ginger chutney, and fire-roasted Botswana beef with caramelized onions.

. . . lounge on the beach.
THE BIG EASY
For those who fantasize about a sun-soaked honeymoon where they never have to lift a finger, Barbados’s recently renovated Sandy Lane resort (866-444-4080 or sandylane.com; from $700) is about as decadently deluxe as it gets. After being chauffeured from the airport in a Bentley, guests are given a cold drink and a chilled towel while their luggage is whisked away to a room with a view of the turquoise Caribbean. At 900 square feet, rooms are larger than most one-bedroom apartments in Manhattan and feature modern white marble bathrooms decked out with heated floors and soaking tubs. Rich mahogany headboards, crisp white sheets, thoughtfully placed lamps, and remote-controlled everything (from the plasma TV to the stereo system that’s piped into the bathroom and balcony—even the curtains and lighting) round out the superluxe experience. Outside your door, a pristine white-sand beach awaits, as does a doting staff, ready to clean your sunglasses, spritz you with Evian, or deliver a frosty drink or tropical-fruit plate while you lounge.

At Soneva Gili in the Maldives, you won't have to lift a finger.
ISLAND TIME
At Soneva Gili (sixsenses.com/soneva-gili; from $1,320), a sexy private-island resort in the Maldives, you’ll stay in one of seven tiny houses on stilts that appear to be floating on the Indian Ocean. These thatched-roof wonders, accessible only by rowboat, are outfitted with stereos and satellite TVs, plus soaking tubs with magnificent views of the water, daybeds on rooftop sundecks, and lots of built-in upholstered nooks for snuggling, napping, or reading. The resort’s main bar is built around a water hole, so you can find Nemo below while sipping wine and nibbling on sushi. For a place that’s in the middle of nowhere, the food offerings are quite cosmopolitan: A typical candlelight dinner includes rum cocktails served in a pineapple, sesame-crusted jumbo prawns, a sushi-and-sashimi platter, and roasted crayfish tails; carnivores can enjoy five types of barbecue and a selection of duck, aged steak, or venison, plus snacks of mini-hamburgers. Work it all off in the gym, where flying fish have been known to zip through, or get pampered at the spa, where treatments range from massage and reflexology to a “sunburn soother” for those who might have overindulged—easy to do in a place where time seems to stand still.

 

From the Spring 2005 New York Wedding Guide

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