Courtesy of Royal Plantation at Fowl Cay
Celebrities can afford their own private island honeymoon getaways, but here's a secret: so can you. Tammy Levent, owner of Elite Travel, leads the way to private island resorts where you and your new spouse can live it up in rock star style.
Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon, Fergie and Josh Duhamel, Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman all spent their post-nuptials tucked away on private islands. And while that may seem like a luxury reserved for multi-millionaires, there are some private islands that are better deals than you may think.
Raffles Canouan Resort
Just 110 miles west of Barbados is Raffles Canouan resort: 156 luxury rooms and villas curving around three white sand beaches. Each room or villa comes with its own golf cart that guests can use to traverse the three hundred acre estate. Over one hundred villas may seem like a lot of company for a private island, but...
when you have three hundred acres to explore, you won't see your neighbors unless you want to. If you go during the low season, there are not only fewer people, but the villas are cheaper also. Just be sure to get trip insurance in case of hurricanes.
Since you can't spend a whole week inside a luxurious suite with a king sized bed and deep soaking tub (can you?), there are four restaurants and bars, a large swimming pool, tennis courts, the Trump Club Privee casino, the Raffles Golf Course (voted top course in the Caribbean), and the Raffles Amrita spa with treatment rooms overlooking the ocean. Their honeymoon package ranges from $4,630 to $17,860 per week depending on the room or villa and the time of year. That price may seem steep, but when you consider that it covers 7 nights, transportation from Barbados to Canouan via private jet, most activities and breakfasts, it's surprisingly affordable. And if you're planning a destination wedding, Raffles Canouan has a stunning 17th century stone church that was shipped from England and reconstructed on the island in the 19th century.
Royal Plantation at Fowl Cay
If piloting your own golf cart thrills you, how about your own private motorboat? And does your villa need a butler? Royal Plantation at Fowl Cay thinks so. Only thirty people at a time can stay at this six villa resort on a fifty-acre island, just two hundred miles from Miami. Villas come with full-sized stocked kitchens, butler service, and a small boat, which you can use after proving some competency. If you're wondering what a butler does, he meets you at the arrival dock with a silver tray of drinks, cooks your breakfasts, loads your snorkel gear into the boat for your tour of the islands, and disappears at exactly the right times.
To get to Fowl Cay, fly into Nassau International Airport, then take a forty-minute flight to Staniel Cay airstrip in the Exuma islands. The Royal Plantation boat will pick you up when you land and take you to the island. Hey, if it was easy to get there, it wouldn't be a private island, would it? There is a 4-day, 3 night minimum stay for $2175 per person, which is a very good price since a comparable experience in Tahiti would cost $1800 per night (and doesn't include food). —Tammy Levent