My best friend Alice and her husband Jason did a mini-moon in Carmel in 2012 right after their amazing wedding at Carmel Valley Ranch, and decided to go on a longer honeymoon over their one year anniversary. Alice loves traveling as much as I do (and has been everywhere), so we had lots of long discussions about where would be the best November destinations for their trip. Finally she and Jason decided on an incredible itinerary in both the Philippines and Hawaii.
Fast forward nearly a year later, Alice sends me a headline about a super typhoon headed straight toward the Philippines — uh oh. They had to act quickly and re-plan everything, and even though it wasn’t the honeymoon they were expecting, Alice and Jason had a fantastic time in Costa Rica. (A Jay-Z and Beyoncé spotting at their hotel didn’t hurt either.) Read all about their awesome Costa Rica honeymoon below:
When and where did you honeymoon?
We honeymooned in Costa Rica in November 2013. During our trip we stayed in two areas– near the Volcano Arenal for the first part, and on the Pacific coast at Playa Papagayo for the second part of the trip.
How long was your trip?
Our trip was two full weeks, from November 14 – November 28.
How did you decide on your honeymoon destination(s)?
We planned our honeymoon to be on our one year anniversary in November, and originally had everything set for 2.5 weeks in the Philippines and in Hawaii. Due to the “super typhoon Haiyan” that hit 5 days before we left, we decided to not continue with our original honeymoon plans for that destination. As a result, we planned a last minute honeymoon in Costa Rica because it had great beaches, activities, and very importantly, good weather :)
(If anyone is curious about a honeymoon-oriented trip to the Philippines, I am happy to provide details on our plans to travel to Manila, Boracay, and Oahu).
The best part about our honeymoon was…
Can’t narrow it down to just one, but top three include:
- Exploring the natural hot springs at our first hotel, The Springs & Spa Resort in Arenal (where they filmed episodes for The Bachelor). It was great being able to stumble upon various natural pools and springs throughout the entire property.
- Experiencing the wildlife overall– river tubing and seeing a snake, golfing at an amazing course and running into anteaters and spider monkeys, hearing an angry gorilla in the forest during zip lining, and having an iguana run across my foot (ok that wasn’t ideal).
- Lounging by the pool/beach and reading lots of books. After everything with shifting and re-planning the trip last minute, it was pretty amazing just relaxing with piña colada in hand.
If I knew then what I know now, I’d change…
We would have split the trip more evenly between the two destinations we stayed at. We spent 4 nights at the first hot springs/Arenal hotel, and then 10 nights at the Four Seasons. During our planning the week before, we had received a deal where we got every 5th night free at the Four Seasons– and as a result, we shortened our stay at The Springs & Spa Resort. Because the Four Seasons is very remote and almost everything has to be done on the property, we would have balanced the trip out more despite room credit, etc. from the Four Seasons.
How much planning did you do in advance?
Minimal for Costa Rica (a lot for the Philippines). I had been to Costa Rica before, so I had some idea of what to expect, etc. so that helped with the last minute planning.
What was your biggest honeymoon splurge?
Staying at the Four Seasons. Neither of us had stayed at one before, and the property was really amazing. (There are some things about the property that have room for improvement– if interested, take a look at my TripAdvisor review.)
Where do you want to go on your next big trip?
Hmm.. tough question! Japan is top of the list for us (Jason wants to go watch a Tokyo Giants baseball game). Other places include Argentina/Uruguay, Portugal/Morocco, and the Philippines.