07/09/2013 5:16 PM
07/12/2013 1:31 PM
After the cake has been cut and the last song of the night played, you and your new husband can take off your host and hostess hats and take a deep breath. You’re married! And now it’s time to enjoy a little privacy. Whether you seek luxurious hand-and-foot service or just sand, sun, and some great island fare, head to the Bahamas for a breathtaking escape. These three properties offer the ultimate in romance for honeymooners.
At Your ServiceFor those that want to be pampered beyond belief and treated like royalty, indulge in unparalleled service at One&Only Ocean Club, Bahamas. From the moment you step on the property, your comfort and satisfaction is the clear priority at this 50-year-old private-residence-turned-resort. From 24/7 personal butler service (want a drink from your mini-bar? Your butler can whip one up for you), to a complimentary morning ocean-view yoga class, steal away this paradise and don’t look back. Ocean Club beautifully blends island tradition with modern luxury. The Hartford Wing with its Courtyard Terrace (with a reflecting pool, fountain, and overhanging palms) has maintained its original structure, and its restaurant highlights local ingredients with dishes like Yellow Fin Tuna “Cannelloni” with Stone Crab, and Lobster and Lamb Carpaccio; a few of the staff have served at the restaurant for over 30 years. At ocean-front, French-Asian inspired Dune, however, executive chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten presents a modern take on local classics, like the Roasted Grouper with Aromates Vegetables and Herb Mash or Local Lobster in a Light Curry Sauce with Fried Plantains and Bok Choy, with a breakfast to match (be sure to try the French Toast with Mango and Passion Fruit—a perfectly executed island twist on the dish). Even the Pool Terrace cuisine is a can’t-miss, with some of the best conch fritters on the island.
And though the beaches are gorgeous and the ocean-side service is just as luxe as the suites themselves, you might even wish for a rainy day for an excuse to visit the spa. Treat yourself to a coconut scrub or a bath, and after your service enjoy a few minutes and a glass of tea in your private, lush garden and lounge area. Or, cozy up with your honey for a movie and to-your-door delivery of some hot popcorn.
With sister property Atlantis just a quick five-minute town car ride away (complimentary for guests), you can try your luck at the casino, bring out your playful side at the waterpark, or plan an excursion to dive with the manta rays among the ruins. The property is also a celebrity favorite, recently playing host to the wedding of Paige Johnson (Ne-Yo was the singer at this Colin Cowie event), and known as the setting of the Bond hit "Casino Royale."
The first couple to be married on site has been coming back for every anniversary since—just recently celebrating their 27th—so perhaps the resort has a magical spell for romance. The setting is unparalleled, and the food and amenities are unexpectedly indulgent. But at the end of the day, it’s the people at Ocean Club that keep visitors coming back year after year.
Island EscapeThe ferry ride to Kamalame Cay is short. In fact, at low tide you could almost walk across the turquoise channel between the private cay and Andros Island. But those few moments on board of soaking in the sun, enjoying the Caribbean breeze, and sipping a local rum cocktail as you leave behind the mainland set the scene for a stay at this idyllic resort.
The Bahamian island features 96 acres of white beaches, sandy paths, and lush palm gardens. Upon arrival you and your new spouse will be given a golf cart, which are the only motorized vehicles on the island. And while you could walk to all of the resort’s amenities, the seclusion of your seaside cottage makes the cart useful, especially in the evenings.
In addition to being nestled in wooded isolation from other guests, the resort’s cottages also offer panoramic ocean views from wrap-around verandas and an interior lined with windows facing the azure sea. A hammock sways between palm trees outside your door and a thatch roof cabana offers shade on the beach beyond. This is the kind of place where you’ll likely spend most of your time barefoot and reclining.
But there is plenty to keep you entertained on the island. Bicycles are available for exploring its miles of paths and catching glimpses of native wildlife like the curly tailed lizard. Grab one of the two-person kayaks on the beach to paddle to one of the nearby coral reefs or play a game of tennis on one of the seaside courts. Those looking for serious adventure can enjoy the area’s famed bone fishing or scuba dive in the waters teeming with brightly colored fish.
The ocean-side Great House restaurant, featuring fresh seafood and an al fresco bar, offers plenty of chances for replenishing throughout your day. Whatever you do, plan on unwinding after it in the over water spa where massages come with cool sea breezes and postcard-worthy views. By the time you’re sailing back across the channel at the end of this tropical escape, you’ll undoubtedly feel refreshed and relaxed—and ready to plan your anniversary trip return.
Pink PerfectionIf your ideal honeymoon includes a gorgeous oceanfront, silky fine sand, and plenty of peace and quiet, look no further than Pink Sands Resort on Harbour Island. Your individual bungalow and deck offer the privacy you seek, and the lush setting will inspire you to embrace the island’s laid-back way of life.
The name doesn’t deceive: the pink tinged sand is some of the finest on all of the Bahamas, and the water is clear, calm, and perfect for snorkeling and diving. The dining at Pink Sands doesn’t disappoint, either. With romantic string lights, and a multi-level outdoor patio, you feel like you’re dining in an exotic jungle at Garden Terrace, where favorite dishes include the perfectly cooked fresh grouper with cilantro coconut rice (Chef Ed Boncich notes that he developed his cilantro-following from training with Bobby Flay). Though more casual in setting, no less care is taken with the food at the Blue Bar, just a staircase away from the beach and offering hearty breakfast and lunch specialties, small bites like conch fritters for happy hour, and an all-day cocktail menu with tropical concoctions like the Goombay Smash.
When (and if) you’re finally ready for a little human interaction, the Bahamians are ready to welcome you to Dunmore Town, a quaint, colorful spot brimming with hidden gems. Grab a golf cart to explore the three-mile island—most of the best offerings of ‘Briland’ (say Harbour Island quickly to get the nickname) stem off of Bay Street. Do a little shopping at The Blue Rooster, Sugar Mill, Miss May’s, or Princess Street Gallery. Cap off the afternoon with a stop at Queen Conch—you haven’t visited the island until you try their famous and incredibly fresh conch salad, though their other kitchen offerings like curried conch and grilled garlic shrimp also deliver some of the best flavor on the strip.
Arthur’s Café is your morning stop for freshly made pastries and coffee, and when you need an icy afternoon treat, check out Sweet Spot for a house-made sorbet or a sparkling mint fruit juice. For those looking for a one-of-a-kind souvenir—or perhaps an early anniversary gift—be sure to stop in Shine, where the owner handcrafts custom gems to delight even the trendiest jewelry shopper.
Peace, pampering, and delightfully pink sand between your toes—what more could you want?
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