At this point, you could say it’s been a while since you had to delay or reschedule your honeymoon. While many of us sacrificed during the COVID-19 pandemic to keep ourselves, our loved ones, and even strangers healthy, the itch to finally travel again and start planning for this most epic of trips has likely been looming in your mind. And you’re not alone if you’re thinking about doing it in the biggest, most luxurious of ways, as evidenced by a new emerging trend referred to as “revenge travel.”
What is Revenge Travel?
Revenge travel is the idea that people will start to spend more money on travel as it becomes safer, and more accessible, to visit locations around the world.
"‘Revenge travel’ plays off of ‘revenge shopping,’ which is a phenomenon where consumers are spending money on things that they felt they were deprived of last year—in this case, travel,” says Dana Marineau, chief marketing officer at Rakuten Rewards. “This trend will resemble what we saw during the Roaring Twenties, post-WWI, and the last pandemic where a surging economy drove consumers to shop for more of the finer things.” And when it comes to revenge travel, you can expect to see a resurgence of that spending on lavish trips. “Folks are itching to get out and travel again, and this time, with a vengeance,” Marineau adds.
A recent "Vacation Deprivation" study from Expedia further supports this, highlighting that most people are willing to put more budget into their bucket list vacations in 2021 than originally planned, and have extra motivation to use their days off now more than ever before. So go on, with the ideas below, start planning your revenge-style travel honeymoon—you’ve possibly even had the opportunity to save a bit of cash to do so and you deserve to make it extra special and fulfilling.
The current outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization. As the situation remains fluid, we’ll be sharing tips and stories from industry experts to give you of-the-moment advice and help you navigate wedding planning today. For the most up-to-date guidelines and latest on travel restrictions and requirements, check the CDC and U.S. Department of State websites.
Origins Lodge: The Luxury Eco-Lodge
Peaceful and private, it’s difficult not to relax and enjoy each other’s company during a stay at Origins, an epic, eco-lodge perched in the high valley of the Alajuela rainforest and nearby to a dormant volcano. Waking up in one of the six-lodge style rooms or expansive, three-bedroom villa, you will hear a symphony of nature akin to a spa soundtrack, with monkey's howling and birds chirping.
The lodges themselves are covered in dreamy, moss-covered roofs and surrounded by lush vegetation including the beautiful flowering plant heliconias, also known as Lobster Claws. Each lodge enjoys its own, expansive deck and attached outdoor fireplace that heats a private hot tub. Large, Adirondack-style chairs and a comfy, leather chaise lounge—plus the tented canopy bed inside that overlooks it all—is ideal for relaxing and further amps up the romance factor.
Away from your private retreat, the property is centered around a functional common and gathering space, supported by large tree trunks, which doubles as cocktail lounge, dining area and pool house for the attached infinity pool and boasts awe-inspiring views of the valley below. Here, card games, puzzles and games like Scrabble, Pictionary and Jenga are an ideal match for a cocktail and a quiet night cuddled up next to one another.
During your stay, the attentive team at Origins will treat you like family and create a personalized experience for you on- and off-property. This could include hikes in the rainforest or to caverns, scenic horseback riding, or creating a comprehensive spa and wellness program, not to mention plenty of gourmet food. Seriously—the esteemed, in-house chef plates up some of the most innovative creations you’ll ever feast your eyes on. In the gift shop, you can take home a part of this paradise by purchasing exclusively designed jewelry, locally inspired art pieces, and clothing items, curated décor, and other items which support indigenous communities and local artists. Rooms start at $696/night.
Manapany: A Caribbean Fantasy With a Dash of French Culture
If you can’t decide between a dreamy honeymoon in France (or technically take one, as of press time) or a posh resort in the Caribbean, let the island of St. Barth guide you to both. Serviced by Tradewind Aviation, which offers luxe connections from Puerto Rico, the landing into the tiny island of St. Barth, which is surrounded by mountain peaks covered in lush greenery and bright blue waters, is a special part of a honeymoon or romance-focused trip that every couple should experience at least once.
Located in a protected cove, Manapany is an ideal outpost of 43 private villas and suites for you and your S.O. to land at once on the ground. What you’ll love most here is the resort’s vibe: Relaxed and carefree, with plenty of sophisticated but never pretentious touches, which are all thoughtfully considered and eco-conscious. We’re talking brushes for sandy toes leaving the beach, lounging hammocks connected to palm trees, and turtles and other green reptiles sharing the road on the property’s many pathways.
Gouverneur and Saline beaches are must-sees for anyone visiting St. Barth, but for something truly special, make a point of hiking to Colombier, which is only reachable by foot or by boat.
Also easy to love is Manapany’s setting surrounded with an other-worldly view, its peaceful spa boasting a private infinity pool, and plenty of comfortable spots to slink into both indoors and out. Weathered wood tables are just one of those places where guests take in their breakfast filled with French pastries you might otherwise find in Paris, and within view of this delightful crumbfest is a sparkling oval-shaped aquamarine pool just inches from the crashing waves of the Anse des Cayes. This is a popular beach with surfers on the island, and the hotel further promotes surf culture by offering up guests access to a private surf instructor and surf school. Come nightfall, you can easily choose to explore the island’s many sophisticated restaurants, but one of the best culinary experiences is just a few feet away—and ideally served with your toes dug into the sand. Depending on the season, rooms start at €550/night.
Ritz-Carlton, South Beach: A Luxe Miami Gem
Honeymoon in the city where the heat is on—with year-round sun, pulsing nightlife, and an incredible, internationally-influenced dining scene, Miami reigns supreme as one of the U.S.’s most popular honeymoon destinations. If you and your S.O. are looking for beach and excitement, the height of luxury and location can be had at Ritz-Carlton, South Beach, which had just completed a massive renovation prior to the pandemic impacting travel.
Couples are quickly rediscovering the joys of this iconic property. Housed in a restored Art Moderne building, architecture and decor-minded couples will especially appreciate the hotel’s glamorous digs, which include lots of retro-inspired furnishings, like comfy beds with leather tufted headboards, wicker backed chairs, mid-century-inspired credenzas, and handsome marble bathrooms.
The hotel also boasts an incredibly romantic, beautifully lit lobby bar—the perfect place to slink up next to each other for classic, well-crafted cocktails. During the day, comfy lounge chairs and private day beds dot a prime stretch of Miami Beach directly in front of the hotel, and those celebrating their nuptials will enjoy spending sun-soaked days of relaxation between here and the massive pool area, which also has a separate hot tub.
Hotel Matilda: A Boutique Design Dream in Mexico
Celebrated for its architecture, San Miguel de Allende will absolutely steal your hearts. The city is an unexpected way of seeing Mexico, especially for those couples looking to honeymoon closer to home. A thriving art scene, cultural festivals, and inventive restaurants will be at the center of any romance-filled trip here, and a stay at the boutique charmer Hotel Matilda will solidify this as a truly special destination.
Opt for a stunning suite with a private terrace to take in the sunrise or sunsets; couples big on contemporary design will be wowed by all the sophisticated touches, as well as the hotel’s location in the middle of town, within walking distance of Parroquia de San Miguel Arcangel—a beautiful, historic church and the focal point of SMdA—and El Jardin, a charming urban garden. El Mirador, which offers an unreal view of the city, can also be accessed from its center.
Steps from your room at Hotel Matilda, a tranquil pool area can be used almost year-round thanks to the temperate weather, and the on-site spa offers more opportunity for R&R, including treatments focused on energy, focus, recovery, radiance, and decompression—and which incorporate local ingredients like Mezcal.
At Moxi, Hotel Matilda’s attached indoor/outdoor dining space with a gorgeous patio, you can also get in on tasting the national spirit of Mexico and enjoy creative dishes that put a spin on their culture’s classics. Travelers may also opt to spend a night at Luna Rooftop Tapas Bar, located on top of the Rosewood Hotel for delicious nibbles, drinks, and—most importantly—the very dreamy twilight views. Rooms at Hotel Matilda start at $214/night.
Sumaq Hotel: An Epic Machu Picchu Experience
Recently reopened to tourists, if Machu Picchu has been on your honeymoon vision board for a while, there’s no better time to make your reservation than today. “Now is the time to book your future vacation to get the best deals,” Marineau says. “Many companies are still offering fully refundable deals or the benefits of free cancellations. However, as more people become vaccinated and start traveling again, the increase in demand will drive down these types of deals. Waiting to book your future vacations will very likely have you paying higher prices for airline tickets and hotel accommodations.”
A fine example of a current deal can be found at the outstanding Sumaq Hotel, which is incentivizing honeymooners by offering a special 20-percent discount for their non-refundable rates—but don’t worry, booking this way still allows couples to modify their travel without penalties. Located at the foot of the historic sanctuary of Machu Picchu, this hotel is situated on the flowing waters of the Urubamba River and offers impressive, sweeping views of vegetation-covered mountains. In the tiny town of Machu Picchu's village, also known as Aguas Calientes, the hotel the north start of authentic, Andean touches and luxurious experiences, which include everything from spa experiences featuring local natural herbs to a guided, spiritual tour of Machu Picchu with a local shaman.
Some of Sumaq’s most celebrated offerings, though, are those of the gastronomic variety; the hotel’s appreciation for the ingredients and ancient cooking techniques can be experienced by couples who like to eat and get a demo or history lesson. Guests here can learn to make ceviche together, or get schooled in the preparation of the country’s most famous cocktail—the Pisco Sour. For something truly special, book the Pachamanca demonstration, a feast of potatoes, meats, beans, and corn which are cooked in an “earth pot”, in a ritualized ceremony where the pot is buried in the ground as a sign of respect and thanks to Mother Nature for all of her many gifts. Current discounted rooms start at $310/night.
Untold Story Travel: A Dream Safari
For more adventurous couples, a trip to Rwanda can offer the opportunity to track mountain gorillas with Untold Story Travel—and the government only issues a limited number of passes for tourists who want to visit these mountains, so it’s something that comes with serious bragging rights.
Naturalists find Rwanda to be a heavenly place right here on Earth, in part because it’s blessed with biodiversity and oft-untouched landscapes, and therefore the ideal place to find animals in their natural habitat. During a trip, aside from tracking gorillas in Volcanoes National Park, couples have the chance to go on a safari in Akagera National Park. You’ll also have the chance to see crocodiles and hippos from the safety of a specially adapted swamp cruiser, and if you’re both extra daring, you can even go on a nighttime safari!
And even though you’re staying in the bush, you won’t have to rough it. You can both kick back and enjoy the relaxation of the Singita Kwitonda Lodge, which has just eight luxurious suites, each in possession of a heated plunge pool. The resort also offers on-site outdoor fire pits, authentic and sustainable Rawandese cuisine, and stunning views of mountains and lakes. Package trip starting at $12,000/person based on double occupancy; inquire for more details.
The Bodrum EDITION: Beachfront Meets the Balloon
While travel is not advised to Turkey at press time, this may be a destination worth dreaming about. Imagine you and your loved one are gazing out over the Aegean Sea from your own private infinity pool at The Bodrum EDITION, which is located just steps away from one of the world’s most famous bays. Recently opened, it’s officially a reality for honeymooners and couples looking to take in Turkey’s east-meet-west culture.
The resort offers suites and villas, all of which capture the location’s stunning views, and some of which even offer private pools, gardens, and balconies. While Turkey is already a dream destination for foodies, and the hotel’s on-site dining options only further highlight that, with two bars, a gourmet grill, and even a pulsing night club, each offering cosmopolitan dining experiences under the guidance of acclaimed Peruvian and Turkish chefs. You can also kick back on the famed Yalikavak beach with a handcrafted cocktail or delicious meal from the EDITION’s beach club. Rooms start at €300/night for Marriott Bonvoy members.
Since you’ll be splurging and extending your stay, for a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience, no trip to Turkey is complete without a hot air balloon ride in Cappadocia. You get a bird’s eye view of the stunning landscape, which features rock formations, valleys and ravines.
Kalesma Hotel: A New Way to Enjoy Mykonos
Recently opened for travel (with restrictions), you can be one of the first couples to touch down again in Greece on the wonder-inspiring island of Mykonos. Take this to the next level by staying at the just-opened Kalesma Hotel. At this new couple’s paradise, you’ll want to take in panoramic views of the Aegean Sea and glittering horizon from your suite or villa, which all have a modern, Cycladic feel and lots of romantic little details, including outdoor chaise loungers for soaking in the sun and indoor seating areas, perfectly positioned to watch the sunset together.
The resort sits atop a hillside covered in plants and is intimate by design, with 25 suites and two villas, all of which are attached to their own private, heated pool. Removed but quickly accessible from the island's main town and busier areas, Kalesma offers a peaceful, noiseless retreat for couples who might want to get in on the celebratory spirit of Mykonos, but not be fully submerged into party mode every day and night.
For sand-filled days filled with relaxation, the hotel’s beach concierge can reserve sunbeds in advance at the island’s many beach clubs, and will also provide recommendations based on the desired vibe, whether that’s completely secluded, geared towards enjoying water sports, or has a day party ambiance. The hotel is also notable for its attentive, round-the-clock butlers, who will help guests organize activities, like cruises to hidden coves, as well as night tours of windmills in Little Venice. Suites start at €1,200/night; villas start at €3,500/night.
Editor's Note: As of press time, most of the above destinations are welcoming travelers from the U.S. or plan to be within the next few months with modified restrictions for entry. Remember to look up what’s necessary to travel in each place, and stay smart and safe when it comes to social distancing.