New Resorts for Your Honeymoon

Martha Stewart Weddings, Winter 2011

These six new hotels -- some stateside, others far-flung -- will send you to bed in style. Whether you're heading to the mountains, craving big-city action, or bound for the beach, make your reservation for romance now.

New Mountain Retreats

In the States

The Ranch at Rock Creek in Philipsburg, Montana: Set on 6,600 acres, halfway between Yellowstone and Glacier national parks, this lodge is not your average dude ranch. Sure, there are antler chandeliers and lamps made from cowboy boots, but there are also luxurious bedding, reserve wines, and five-star cuisine. Even city slickers will feel at home on this range (all-inclusive rates from $1,850). 

Where to sleep: Cozy up in the Bluebird Cabin, with a birch-branch canopy bed and a screened-in porch overlooking Rock Creek. Or, set up base at the creekside Trapper canvas cabin. It has a toasty gas fireplace and a hot tub on its private patio. 

When to go: Take your pick between winter and summer. February and March have the perfect weather for snowball fights, skiing, and snowboarding, while June through September is prime for fly-fishing, hiking, horseback riding, and unparalleled views (it's called Big Sky Country for a reason!). 

When to book: Make a reservation six months out, unless you're set on checking into Bluebird or Trapper. In that case, opt for eight. 

How to get there: Fly into Missoula, Montana, get a rental car, and cruise one and a half hours to the property. You'll want wheels handy to explore the area's ghost towns and sapphire mines. 

What not to miss: Pay a visit to Philipsburg's The Sweet Palace. They have hand-dipped chocolate truffles made with local Moose Drool Brown Ale.

Around the World

Tambo del Inka in Urubamba, Peru: South America is for intrepid honeymooners, but this riverfront property -- easily the Sacred Valley's nicest resort -- makes the trip a cinch. When you arrive, the friendly staff will even give you a cup of coca-leaf tea to fend off altitude sickness (the hotel is at 9,186 feet). Each room is well appointed with indigenous art and a full wall of windows. And how's this for a perk: From the private train station, you can connect right up to Machu Picchu (room rates from $455, 

Where to sleep: Snag a west-facing room to be wowed by the sky-high Andes. Number 249, for example, a deluxe king on the second floor, offers a sweeping panorama of mountains, lake, and gardens. 

When to go: In April or May, you'll see more llamas than tourists, and the hills are alive with greenery. You'll have uncrowded access to ruins (Machu Picchu isn't the only ancient site around) and restaurants serving up spicy, flavorful food. 

When to book: Call to secure your room and rail tickets three months in advance. Or, for an unforgettable adventure, you can hike a section of the Inca Trail to the ruins instead. Interested? You'll need to give the hotel at least six months' notice so they can arrange for a special permit. 

How to get there: Hop a plane to Lima (LAN Airlines has nonstops from New York City, Miami, and Los Angeles), then connect to Cuzco. Skip the taxi negotiations, and have a hotel driver shuttle you for the last hour of your journey. 

What not to miss: Unwind together at Tambo's spa, the region's largest and most indulgent. Treatments include Andean-chocolate facials and gold-dust massages. 

New City Sanctuaries

In the States

Andaz 5th Avenue in New York City: This contemporary hotel is close to Times Square, the theater district, and just about every kind of shopping experience imaginable. The cozy rooms have 12-foot ceilings, large bathrooms with black porcelain footbaths, and toiletries from C.O. Bigelow, an iconic Greenwich Village apothecary. And at about $100 less per night than comparable properties, your bite out of the Big Apple will go down a little more smoothly (room rates from $425). 

Where to sleep: Take in the vistas of the New York Public Library and the Empire State Building from an enormous egg-shaped tub in one of seven Splash Suites (named for their awe-inspiring baths). The one on the ninth floor is the highest, with the most sweeping views. 

When to go: Crowds wane and the temperature drops from muggy to just right in late September and early October. If you're into theater, that's also when Broadway gears up with scads of openings. And fall is one of the best times for seeing the sights. The Statue of Liberty's crown has reopened, while new must-sees, such as Coney Island's Luna Park and Manhattan's High Line --  an elevated railroad track turned into a metropolitan garden and oasis -- are coming into their own. 

When to book: Reservations are taken up to a year in advance, but two months is plenty of time. There are 184 rooms, and availability isn't usually an issue. 

How to get there: Jet into JFK , LaGuardia, or even Newark airport, and then take a taxi. If cost isn't a concern, the hotel can have a private car at the curb for you. 

What not to miss: Andaz's cool underground bar is quickly becoming a go-to watering hole for hip urbanites. Before setting out on the town, stop in to sip seasonal cocktails and share a small plate, like spot prawns roasted en papillote.

Around the World

Le Pavillon des Lettres in Paris: You've heard all the catchphrases: Paris is for lovers; it's the romance capital of the world. And yet ... they 're all true. This city -- and this hotel -- was made for newlyweds. Each of the 26 rooms is named for a letter of the alphabet and devoted to a famous writer (think H for Hugo and B for Baudelaire). En suite iPads are loaded with books, and passages are scrawled above every bed (shown above). The quote in Henry James's room says it best: "There [is] nothing like Paris after all." Le sigh (room rates from $417). 

Where to sleep: Nest in one of the two top-floor suites (Y for Yeats and Z for Zola) for what will feel like a private viewing of the Eiffel Tower and the Grand Palais. 

When to go: Summer is most popular, but spring is arguably more romantic. The cherry and apple trees are abloom, the streets are uncrowded, and (the best part) the flights are less expensive. 

When to book: One month's notice is recommended; if you're traveling during high season (June through August), fashion weeks (in March and September), or would prefer a suite, give at least two. 

How to get there: Even smaller U.S. cities, like Seattle and Charlotte, North Carolina, have nonstops to Paris. Or choose the cheapest flight you can find to Europe, then continue to the City of Lights on a discount carrier, such as EasyJet. 

What not to miss: Le Pavillon is close to the Tuileries gardens and the Louvre -- make it a point to visit both (when else are you going to have the opportunity to come face to face with Mona Lisa?). Then head to Spring Restaurant for dinner. The Parisian hot spot, which just moved to a brand new location near the museum, boasts a prix-fixe menu that changes daily. Before bed, stake out a spot on the hotel's fifth-floor balcony to watch the Eiffel Tower light up. 

New Beach Getaways

In the States

W Retreat & Spa on Vieques Island, Puerto Rico: With a restaurant from famed chef Alain Ducasse and a state-of-the-art spa that uses Sue Devitt skin-care products, this hotel is top shelf. On its two secluded stretches of sand, "beach ambassadors" dole out drinks and complimentary games and sunscreen (room rates from $379). 

Where to sleep: Request one of the 33 Fabulous Rooms (yes, that's really what they 're called). Unlike others that face the pool and bar -- not exactly romantic -- these are situated in a quieter part of the resort and overlook only the Atlantic Ocean. 

When to go: Sneak in after high season (December to April), but before hurricane season (June to November), for beautiful weather and up to 30 percent off hotel rates. 

When to book: Firm up your plans three to six months prior to takeoff. It's a U.S. territory, so you don't even need to bring a passport! 

How to get there: Take a flight to San Juan, where direct service is available. Then, puddle jump to Vieques, and wait for your hotel transfer at the airport's exclusive W Welcome Lounge. 

What not to miss: During the day, explore the unspoiled beauty of the small island, where horses run wild and roosters crow at sunrise. After dark, kayak to the magical bioluminescent bay to swim in water that glows like starlight. Aqua Frenzy Kayaks staffs experienced guides.

Around the World

The Romanos in Costa Navarino, Greece: Traveling to this sprawling Mediterranean resort is like stepping back in time: The open-air lobby looks like a Greek temple, and hiking trails snake through centuries- old caves and ruins. A wide beach on the Ionian Sea runs the length of the hotel, and diversions include an 18- hole golf course and an outdoor cinema. But the staff is all Greek at heart -- they cold-press olives from their own groves for oil sold on the property, and they stock guests' rooms with homegrown figs and pomegranates (room rates from $347). 

Where to sleep: Ask for one of the 12 Infinity Rooms, and reap what may just be the best honeymoon amenity of all time: a relaxing infinity pool all to yourselves. When to go: June and September are idyllic, but beware: It's hot as Hades in July and August. 

When to book: Play it safe by planning your trip at least three months out; make that six if you're banking on one of the Infinity Rooms. 

How to get there: Fly to Athens, then take one of Aegean Airlines' daily direct flights to Kalamata. Meet up with your hotel-arranged transfer at the airport's Costa Navarino booth, or hail a taxi for the 40-minute drive. 

What not to miss: Catch the free hotel shuttle for lunch and a swim in the beach village of Gialova. Or head to the historic town of Pylos to see the ruins of the Palace of Nestor. Go it alone or explore with the hotel's in-house tour operator, Navarino Outdoors.


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