Warm August Nights
April 7, 2008 9:09 PM   Subscribe

HoneymoonFilter: Searching for relaxed beach spot for August 2008. Bonus points for citing specific resorts/hotels/villas. Sadly none of the previous honeymoon/beach posts quite did the trick.

Trying to use the following criteria:

1) Warm, but not scorching. Must be able to sunbathe and swim for a good part of every day.
2) Brief daily rain OK. All day rain or hurricanes not OK.
3) Snorkeling and beginner/intermediate surfing a big plus.
4) All-inclusive OK, but gigantic Disneyland-like hotels not OK.
5) Preferably no 18-24+ hour travel days. We're traveling either from Duluth or NYC -- so sadly this rules out sweet places like Fiji, Bali, and the like.
6) Hoping to avoid places where the US dollar is laughably weak.

The Caribbean or Central America would be ideal, but we worry about hurricane/intense heat situation. But perhaps some places thereabouts have more manageable weather?
posted by blapst to Travel & Transportation (13 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Hilton Head Island, SC. The Monarch, Marriott condo.

posted by wv kay in ga at 9:43 PM on April 7, 2008

It seems like Hawaii meets all your requirements. There are gigantic Disneyland-like hotels there, to be sure, but you don't have to stay in them. I've been to the Big Island in July (great snorkeling, nice weather on the Kona side, rainier on the Hilo side, marvelous hiking in Volcanoes Nat'l Park, beautiful drive up Mauna Kea and weird altitude effects afterwards) and Kauai in December (lots of rain with occasional sun, gorgeous beaches, beautiful kayaking and hiking) so those are the only ones I can vouch for, but I hear all the islands are nice.
posted by crinklebat at 9:51 PM on April 7, 2008

Oh, I didn't see the request for specific resorts/hotels/villas. On Kauai we ("we here being my fiance and me) stayed at the Sheraton which had an incredible view and a very, very short walk to the beach. On the Big Island we chained from hotels to B&Bs to vacation rental condos in rapid succession, but our mutual favorite place was Aaah the Views B&B. Lame name, but totally gorgeous and homey. We liked the people there and didn't feel that sometimes creepy B&B vibe.
posted by crinklebat at 9:55 PM on April 7, 2008 [1 favorite]

I am getting married at the Paradisus in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic this July. The Paradisus resorts are all inclusive, but tend to be much smaller than the usual mega resort. I believe the Paradisus Palma Real and the one in Puerto Rico are the most "elegant".

We are honeymooning at the Sandals in Negril, Jamaica. I was very hesitant to go with a chain resort like this, but after HOURS of research, we narrowed it down to Couples Swept Away or Sandals Negril. Both are very intimate, romantic, and have wonderful service. We chose the Swim-up River Suite at Sandals, and I can't wait.

I would also suggest sticking to the bigger islands in the caribbean that have airports. I initially dreamed of St. Lucia, but getting there is a pain the airfare is very expensive. Places like Jamaica, Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico have larger airports and often you can get a direct flight to them.

Oh, and as far as weather - most places in the Caribbean tend to be the same temperature year round {mid 80's}. Good luck with your search!
posted by tryniti at 5:22 AM on April 8, 2008

My wife and I went to St. Lucia in September, which was beautiful. It's out of the usual hurricane path, and although it was hot, it wasn't horrible. (Certainly no hotter than anyplace else in that general area). We DID spend a lot of time in the plunge pool and in the water, though.

I don't think the dollar is too bad there (the Eastern Caribbean dollar was linked to the USD). Someone complained about the airfare, but it wasn't too horrible when we priced it. (And actually, American Airlines only requires (required?) 25K frequent flyer miles for the tickets, which is a real bargain if you have miles or someone might gift you miles for your wedding.

There's some good snorkeling, though I didn't see much (any?) surfing. Most people who go to St. Lucia go to one of the handful of large all-inclusive resorts. My wife and I rented a villa at Marigot Bay from Oasis Marigot (The Emerald Hill Villa) if anyone was keeping track. Early in the week, we went to the city (Castries), bought food at the grocery store, and did a lot of our own cooking with exotic St. Lucian ingredients, but there are several restaurants if cooking on your own honeymoon isn't your speed. We also chartered a sailboat to Martinique for 3 nights.

If you want any more info about any of this, just email me. Otherwise, remember- the honeymoon is much more about who you're with than where you are.
posted by JMOZ at 5:52 AM on April 8, 2008

I honeymooned at the Princeville on Kauai. Gorgeous hotel with a refined yet casual level of service. Its been almost 5 years and my wife and I still talk the place up.
posted by mmascolino at 6:13 AM on April 8, 2008

August in the Carribean is a dice roll...the weather is surprisingly nice...hot but always with a breeze. The chances of a hurricane affecting your particular island are pretty small but the downside of that small chance is bad. Prices are at their best that time of year but the weakness of the dollar will still make much of the Carribean look pretty expensive (much of the Caribbean trades in the dollar but pricing is driven by Euro spenders).

Hawaii is probably a better bet...I have not been back to Kauai in many years so I don't have a hotel suggestion, but it is beautiful and provides plenty of opportunity to be active or just play the honeymooners and have quiet dinners and shack up. On preview, the Princeville is a great recommendation.
posted by cyclopz at 6:24 AM on April 8, 2008

What about South America? It'll be winter there! Brazil is probably the main choice. Rio is the obvious choice for most. Also check out Natal, Recife, or Salvador.
posted by gauchodaspampas at 7:42 AM on April 8, 2008

Parrot Cay
Pricey, but all inclusive. 3 hour ride to PLS (Providenciales Airport) from JFK via American Airlines, then a 30 min boat ride (free from resort) to the island.
posted by angry jonny at 8:41 AM on April 8, 2008

Add my vote for Brazil. Rio must be experienced at least once in a lifetime. We stayed at the Sheraton on Ipanema beach, with an amazing view of the beach, city, and mountains. geoffbart is right in recommending the Santa Teresa neighborhood in Rio. After a night at Relais Solar, a converted mansion, and wished we had spent a week there. For a more chilled out atmosphere drive a couple of hours up the coast to the town of Buzios, which is surrounded by about twenty different beaches. Come nightfall, the sleepy cobblestoned 'downtown' swells with people eating, drinking, and dancing. We stayed at the laid back Casas Brancas and didn't want to leave.
posted by Kabanos at 9:04 AM on April 8, 2008

Second St. Lucia. My wife and I honeymooned there and we're going back this summer. Summer is the low season and is off the standard hurricane track. Typical tropical heat but perfectly fine since you'll be near a pool/beach/bar. Airfare from DC is ~$650 and the exchange rate is fine thanks to the dollar peg. People speak English and are friendly to Americans.

We stayed at Anse Chastanet but there are cheaper options. You could rent a villa in the Castries or Soufriere areas, rent a car, buy groceries locally, and kick back.
posted by pandanom at 10:02 AM on April 8, 2008

Sandals White House in Jamaica is a great resort. It is all inclusive and easy to travel to from the east coast. The service is wonderful. Watersports are included except for scuba certification classes. There are extras like romantic beach dinners available but all of the restaurants are very nice. The pools are great and the beach is beautiful and never crowded. You can be alone as much as you want or get involved in games (beach volleyball, pool volleyball). The Red Lane Spa is very nice and has many spa options.

Although it will be hurricane season, Sandals has a hurricane policy. That time of year, you may get some afternoon rain but it clears up quickly.
posted by maxg94 at 12:17 PM on April 8, 2008

MAUI MAUI MAUI. We did it for our honeymoon in August 2003. You can fly direct from Atlanta I believe (or at least to HNL definitely). Continental has a 10 hour flight direct from Newark.

The weather is always great. And, if you stay in Kannapalli -- albeit the most crowded of the areas, you will have access to one the best beaches in the world for people watching, snorkeling, and just spending a day. If you want beaches that are more private and simply have natural beauty or black sand or private caves -- you can have that too -- just drive for a bit. On Kannapalli, it's amazing how you can from your room. grab some snorkeling gear and see amazing fish in about 15 minutes.

The best thing about Maui though is even if the weather sucks where you are, you can drive for about a half hour and hit dessert like Wailea, go hiking or taking a car up mount Halakalea (sp?) or even step into a rain forest in Hana. Or go to tree laden, breezy, windy Kapalua.

Take a drive up Halakalea (in a convertible car rental which are surprisingly VERY CHEAP in Hawaii) in the early morning. The amount of stars I saw out that night were overwhelming -- it was like being in a Star Wars movie -- it almost brought tears to my eye.

I'm not one for hype and I was, as my handle, implies, skeptical about Hawaii's fame before I visited, but, WOW, just get there and be taken in by what I feel is a real Aloha spirit.

The US dollar is of course accepted there, but the resorts can get crazy expensive. However, try to snag a deal by an extended stay. Or, if you are ok not staying on the beach, you can stay much cheaper.

At last, CABO, is a lot of stuff Hawaii offers, is cheaper and can be as beautiful, but it's landscape is more dessert like than the lushness that can be seen in places in Hawaii. The weather is like Southern California's -- almost always perfect. But, it meets all your criteria easily too. They got a couple specifically adult places like Pueblo Bonita Pacifica (not all inclusive but attend a timeshare presentation and get $300 for the resort) and ME Cabo that I think might be adults only + all inclusive.

Good luck.
posted by skepticallypleased at 9:03 PM on April 8, 2008

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