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The Honeymoon
Phase

The Honeymoon
Phase

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Marriage is more than a lifetime commitment -- it's the perfect excuse to take a romantic getaway. Whether you and your betrothed are looking for the hustle of city streets or the privacy of an island cabana, one of these holidays will suit your persuasion.

NAPA VALLEY -- EPICUREAN PARADISE Calistoga, Calif.'s Solage is Napa Valley's latest hot spot. With the largest champagne list in the area, the hotel's restaurant, Solbar, is an ideal place for newlyweds to toast their nuptials. The simple but stylish 89-room resort feels relaxed and sexy, with young guests biking to the pool in bikinis, meandering to the spa in robes, or nibbling on fruit and toast poolside.

The free bike rentals make exploring the town -- prized for its healing spa waters -- a breeze. Don't forget a visit to Copia, the nearby educational center devoted to winemaking and the culinary and visual arts (www.copia.org), where you can check out a myriad of herb, fruit, and vegetable gardens or the revolving cultural exhibits on food lore and history.

MEXICO -- OLD-WORLD LUXURY The legendary Hacienda de Antonio is lost in time. The verdant 19th-century coffee plantation, featuring a casa grande built of volcanic stone, sits in the shadow of an active volcano in Mexico's hilly state of Colima. Home to the pristine Parque Nacional Volcan Nevado de Colima, the area remains the favorite summer destination of many Mexicans. Honeymooners will find no shortage of beauty or relaxation opportunities on this 5,000-acre property, which features fountains, pools, shaded orchard trails, tennis, horseback riding, bountiful breakfasts, and warm, impeccable service. Two-hour guided tours of the rambling grounds give a glimpse of a working coffee plantation. For dinner, stick around the Hacienda for chef David Ferre's incredible culinary creations derived from the estate's El Jabali highland ranch, which produces cheeses, yogurts, meats, and organic vegetables using traditional methods. And of course, no meal would be complete without a cup of the estate's organic shade-grown coffee.

PARIS -- THE URBAN EXPERIENCE In a city full of romantic hotels, Paris's enchanting L'Hotel truly stands out. Located on the Left Bank -- less than a 20-minute walk from the Louvre, the Musee d'Orsay, Saint-Sulpice, and Notre Dame Cathedral -- the hotel features 20 unique rooms, each decorated in vivid textiles such as crushed velvet and leopard print. Though there are no Eiffel Tower views, the cellar hides a private two-person pool and steam room, a cozy place to spend some private time together after seeing the sights. Paris's Michelin-rated restaurants are certainly worth a visit, but the unassuming romance of its smaller cafes and bistros can't be beat. Get off the predictable path and head to La Butte aux Cailles, a cobblestoned neighborhood in the 13th arrondissement. The French Basque fare and heaping salads at charming Chez Gladine make it a mainstay for area artists.

THE MALDIVES -- SWEET SECLUSIONThe Conrad Maldives Rangali Island is the kind of remote beach getaway ideal for newlyweds. The resort spreads out over two coral islands and is surrounded by nothing but white sand and the cerulean Indian Ocean. The sumptuous villa suites, all built over the water on stilts in a traditional thatched-roof style, are outfitted with iPod docks, Wi-Fi, and luxury bedding. Treatments at the Over-Water Spa (one of two spas at the resort) include the resort's signature Siddhartha rituals for couples, which use a variety of natural aphrodisiacs to awaken your senses. For dinner, descend 16 feet below sea level to the glass-encased undersea restaurant, Ithaa, where diners savor freshly caught reef fish with bittersweet orange essence and lobster with Maldivian beach grass and lime.

BOTSWANA -- NATURE AND NURTURE The massive Okavango Delta can be seen from outer space, and Conservation Corporation Africa's newest properties, the Xudum Delta Lodge and Xaranna Tented Camps, are right in the heart of it. The luxed-out Xudum Lodge has private plunge pools and rooftop sleep-outs that overlook a hippopotamus-filled lagoon, while the elegant air-conditioned tents are only slightly more rugged.

Couples also can view the Moremi Game Preserve, the indigenous Bushmen known as the San, and Chobe National Park, home to some of the largest elephant herds in the world. Twice-daily treks in four-wheel-drive safari vehicles, mekoro (dugout canoes), or powerboats offer guests ample opportunity to investigate the surroundings. After the safari, personal butlers arrange lantern-lit, private alfresco dinners before tucking you into comfy mosquito-netted beds

Advocate Magazine - KehlaniAdvocate Magazine - Gus Kenworthy

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