When Danielle first contacted me about her honeymoon in Turks and Caicos, I was really excited to hear about her trip because I haven’t been there yet and it’s definitely on my travel to-do list. But by the time I finished reading her draft, I was shocked/totally impressed by how ballsy she and her husband Gary were to plan a Caribbean vacation smack dab in the middle of hurricane season! If you don’t recall, a recent real honeymoon post featured Sarah and Patrick, who had to cancel their September 2007 honeymoon in Aruba at the last minute due to a hurricane, and ended up going to Hawaii instead. Fortunately though for Danielle and Gary, their risk paid off and they enjoyed great weather and off-season discounts. Am I brave enough to plan a similar trip during September? I doubt it, but I’m so glad that everything worked out in their favor. Read all about their incredibly relaxing honeymoon below, and check our Danielle’s super cute blog Les Bon Enfants as well!
When and where did you honeymoon?
Turks and Caicos, September 2011.
How long was your trip?
How did you decide on your honeymoon destination(s)?
We did a lot of thinking about what we wanted our honeymoon to be. We love to travel, and we want to see the world, but the thought of planning a huge wedding, and immediately after embarking out on a major sight-seeing vacation (and all the meticulous planning that goes into such a trip) sounded more exhausting than relaxing, and we needed to relax! Something tropical, romantic and luxurious was in order. I have been all over the Caribbean many times with my parents, and really wanted to go back to St. Bart’s with my new husband – I knew he would love it – but mom made a comment that made me think twice about my decision: she said our honeymoon should be a place neither of us has ever been before. That way, over time the memories won’t get tangled up in the memories of our family vacations. It will be our own special place. With that in mind, we decided on Turks and Caicos, and it really fit the bill for us.
The best part about our honeymoon was…
Our hotel, The Regent Palms. It looked like an old plantation house! The rooms were huge with a pretty patio and a little kitchenette (which we used to make espresso every morning and stored Caribbean beers in the fridge). The staff was amazing and really went out of our way to make us feel pampered and at home. It was right on Grace Bay Beach, arguably the most beautiful beach in the Caribbean, so we never even felt like we had to leave the hotel grounds.
I was also happy that we booked such a long time (two whole weeks!.) It took the pressure off of having to cram in things we wanted to do and count the days until it was over. We could truly chill out and unwind without even having to worry about what day it was!
If I knew then what I know now, I’d change…
Not. A. Thing. A few of my friends thought we were nuts for planning a trip to the Caribbean during hurricane season, but really, I’ve done it before and I’d do it again. The hotels and airlines are so great about re-booking you for a hurricane-related delay (or offering a full refund) since they know days ahead of time that when they are coming that we felt totally comfortable taking a chance. Prices are a fraction of what they are during high season, the beaches are way less crowded, and the weather is perfect.
How much planning did you do in advance?
I am a total planner, but it was nice after going into planning over-drive with our wedding to go to such a low-key place. Aside from researching which hotel to stay at, there wasn’t much else for us to plan for – we could simply relax. I’m so glad we did – after a whirlwind wedding weekend, and then traveling halfway across the world, it took us a good three days to just catch up on sleep and “wake up” and realize where we were!
The one thing we did do ahead of time was arranging “surprises” for each other. Our hotel had a great list of activities and excursions available, and the hotel spa has been voted Best in the Caribbean every year, so we thought it would be fun if we each planned a few little things on our own to surprise each other with during our trip. My husband had flowers and a huge basket of snacks waiting for me when we checked in (he knows me so well), and I booked a couples massage for us. He arranged a sunset cruise for one evening and I booked a snorkel/conch diving trip. It was a great way to break up the beach bumming and get to experience the best of our surroundings.
What was your biggest honeymoon splurge?
Our hotel, the Regent Palms. Since we weren’t going to be doing much sight-seeing, we knew we would be spending more time in the hotel. For us, a great hotel can make or break a trip, and we decided what better time to splurge than on our honeymoon? It made for great lazy mornings sleeping in, afternoon cocktails on the patio and a nice escape from the heat when it got to be a little too warm out.
Where do you want to go on your next big trip?
We’re planning a trip to Riviera Maya with my family this summer, and I have been dreaming about an African Safari for our 30th birthdays!