Wednesday, January 5, 2011


I know it's early (but not too early) but Kyle and I have been deeply immersed in honeymoon talks pretty much every time we need a playful diversion. And we made a kind of breakthrough over the past couple of days, so I wanted to bring it up!

As I mentioned, we were originally gung-ho about getting married at the Grand Hyatt in Kauai, Hawaii.

As I was in talks with my friend Julie before her wedding last summer, I picked up one of her wedding magazines and discovered this place and fell in love. Kyle was the one who was originally skeptical, but he ended up being the most flabbergasted when I said we were no longer getting married in Hawaii.

My mother is of course right, very few family members would have been able to come. And we would have felt their absence acutely. I originally thought it would be worth it because they do everything for you which forces you not to stress. Furthermore, the honeymoon was a given, at the same resort (which is not all-inclusive, but still has everything you need).

Waterfalls, an open-air spa, lagoons, four restaurants. I could go on. But I won't. We were pretty much certain that even though we were no longer getting married in Kauai, we would still honeymoon there; neither of us have ever been, and, hello! it's Hawaii!

The Na'Pali coast, north shore of Kauai.

And Kauai has the most breathtaking waterfalls.

So our decision seemed an easy one.

For some reason though, I started having misgivings. It might have had something to do with Couples Retreat, which was a pretty abysmal movie, but it took place in Bora Bora...

I mean come on! The gorgeous crystal clear water, the little huts over that gorgeous crystal clear water!

Your own private little hut over that gorgeous crystal clear water!!!

You can even get your own private poolside cabana!

Kyle and I value our privacy, as we found out when we took on a roommate and have felt our privacy violated ever since. I do not really want to see ANYONE else during my honeymoon unless I choose to.

So with this idea taking root in my head, I approached Kyle. We looked up our options... then we started looking at prices... and airfare...

Here's a breakdown of expenses for Kauai (for two):
For a seven day honeymoon (I don't think that's too much to ask, it is a honeymoon, might as well make it feel like a vacation!)

  • Hotel: $3,850
  • Food: (roughly) $1,470
  • Airfare: $1,886
  • Flight: 13 hours, with stop, but we could use miles here
  • TOTAL: $7,206
And that includes nothing extra. We wake up, we eat, we lounge by the pool, we eat, we lounge, we eat some more, and then we go to bed. Now, don't get me wrong, I don't plan on doing much during my honeymoon... But at this price, we couldn't if we wanted to. And 13 hours on a plane or in airports waiting for our connection when I just want to get onto a beach? Not ideal.

How about The Four Seasons Bora Bora (for two):
  • Hotel: $6,519
  • Food: (roughly) $2,800
  • Airfare: $2,834
  • Flight: 19 hours, with two stops, and we can't use miles
  • TOTAL: $12,153
And of course, this includes nothing extra BUT this is more of an exclusive resort that I would not feel the need to get away from as we wouldn't have to worry about noise of other guests nor would we have to worry about kids, because the Grand Hyatt has no problem with kids, but the Four Seasons Bora Bora I don't think allows kids... not 100% sure on that one, but even if they do, you don't have any neighbors! No thin walls or ceilings between you! This to me would be worth some extra expense, but not $5,000. $7,000 is too much too, and I don't think it would be just that, because I picked the 2nd most modest room they had, and for my honeymoon, I don't really feel like being modest. Sorry.

Anywhoo, it appeared as if we were stymied. Either we would foot a huge bill for Hawaii and feel guilty about it later, or not have a honeymoon (or have a much shorter one) and feel guilty about it later!

Thank goodness I saw a special on TV about bioluminescent bays in Puerto Rico.

Being a scientist, I thought it was just really cool by itself:

because this little guy is why the bay bioluminesces!

But upon further investigation, I realized it was in a really nice area of Puerto Rico. I started looking up the area and found the El Conquistador Resort about half an hour from where the bioluminescent bays are!

This place isn't particularly special, but it's got great views and cliffs and it's a Waldorf Astoria hotel, and has great rooms with great views:

Moreover, it's better-priced than anything else we'd looked at yet.

Puerto Rico for two for seven days:
  • Hotel: $2,679 (this includes taxes, which I forgot to add for the other two, and I'm not going back now)
  • Food: (roughly) $1260
  • Airfare: $730
  • Flight: 4 hours, NO stops
  • TOTAL: $4,669
Now that is much better! I can swallow that.

I was still a little hesitant though, because this place is more family friendly and once again, we were looking at a hotel- a nice hotel- but a hotel nonetheless where you have neighbors on all sides of you separated by thin walls and all connected to hallways. I started to think it was going to be impossible to find exactly what I wanted without paying a down payment on a house for it.

Well, once again, thank goodness for wedding blogs!! Usually they just have cute little ideas that make me say "Awww, that would would be sweet." but this one made me jump out of my seat! This one may actually change my whole life!! That may be a bit dramatic, but, not by much!

I would like to introduce you to Oxygen Jungle Villas!

Fantastic, yeah? Private villas, modern architecture and furniture. GLASS WALLS!! Yes, you read correctly, the walls are all glass. There are curtains though... no biggee.

There's a king-sized four poster with mosquito netting...
A spectacular front porch area that as far as I'm concerned, might be the farthest I venture out of the villa...

Super modern bathroom, but with normal privacy considering the rest of the structure has all GLASS WALLS!!!

I would venture out of my room for this infinity pool though with that view!

This is the beach in Uvita, the town in Costa Rica where Oxygen is located. Have I not mentioned it was in Costa Rica? It is, in fact, in Costa Rica.
This is the whale's tale, the little lagoon-type structure that protects the beach on either side, and it looks cool. Oh, and this is a view from Oxygen Jungle Villas!

It also has its own jungle reserve:

with waterfalls and swimming holes and howler monkeys and toucans!!!

Kyle's only worry was security and safety of the area, but a friend of mine studied abroad in Costa Rica and told me she had a spectacular time and felt completely safe the whole time. And let me note that this chick is self-proclaimed "sheltered" and too friendly for her own good. So if no one managed to take advantage of her, I'm pretty sure no one's going to be able to put the wool over both mine and Kyle's eyes.

My only worry was and kind of still is getting there. It's half an hour away from the nearest airport, and the Oxygen website tells you to rent a 4X4 vehicle... Whhyyyy????

It's because of this!!

Apparently there is some rocky terrain... That makes me a little nervous, not because Kyle can't drive, because he can, he's a very good driver. But in a foreign country, on our honeymoon, I'd really rather not fall off a cliff into the jungle... That's just me.

Anyway, I e-mailed them to ask if you could take a taxi and hopefully that will resolve itself. Other than that, you wanna' know the best incentive for Oxygen Jungle Villas???

The PRICE!! Here's the breakdown for Costa Rica for 7 nights for two:

  • Hotel: $1,260
  • Food: (roughly) $800
  • Airfare: $1,548
  • Flight: 8 hours, with two stops, and of course one bumpy ride
  • TOTAL: $3,608
Of course there's the matter of the trek to get there not being as pleasant as Puerto Rico, but it's still a better trek than Hawaii and only one time zone change!

Kyle and I talked last night and decided that saving money for a house and a family is a better idea that going broke on a one week splurge. For about $4,000, we'll be able to have our own private villa in a NO CHILDREN resort, a restaurant, bar, pool, and spa. We'll wake up to natural sunlight and bird-song. We'll get served breakfast at our villa and champagne poolside. OH, I forgot to mention the place also only has 12 villas! So only 24 people can be at the resort at one time... compared to hundreds everywhere else! Why are we even still debating??

Does anyone have any misgivings that I haven't thought of?

1 comment:

  1. A holiday or trip taken by a newly married couple. Specially in hilly area or beaches are great.
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