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When faced with the decision of choosing between a fancy coffee maker or a luxury suite someplace tropical, which would you choose? If you're like us, you'll choose the latter. But after the cost of the wedding, most brides and grooms can't afford the lavish, exotic honeymoon of their dreams. After all, not everyone can have Chris Harrison fund our romantic escapes.
But with the advent of honeymoon registries, more and more couples are getting what they really want--vacations instead of appliances for the kitchen.
Hilton Hotels launched their Hilton Honeymoon Registry earlier this year, allowing couples to register for specific rooms, suites, upgrades, amenities and other experiences, all bought for by their wedding guests.
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Did someone put a ring on it over Valentine's Day? Congratulations! Now it's time to get to work planning your dream wedding.
But while you embark on the what will be, without a doubt, the most exhausting, nerve-wracking, limit-testing ordeal of your life (until you have kids, of course) here's a clever way to pay for your honeymoon--have your wedding guests chip in.
Hilton Worldwide has just launched the new Hilton Honeymoon Registry . Simply register for one of more than 100 Hilton properties worldwide (including their Conrad and Waldorf Astoria brands). and from there you can select specific rooms, suites, upgrades, amenities and other experiences for your friends and family to give to you on your wedding. Read more on how it works here.
We perused a sample registry and you can literally put anything available at the hotel on the registry from a bottle of wine in the room to dinner in the restaurant and spa treatments.
While china, place settings and food processors from your friends and family will always be appreciated, we kind of like these gifts too because you will actually use them. Just pray that Grandma doesn't buy you a sensual couples massage. Eee.
[Photo: Hilton Honeymoon Registry]
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Here's a tip for anyone looking to spend their honeymoon in gorgeous, sunny Taos: El Monte Sagrado, New Mexico's sole Autograph Collection property, offers a luxury suite known as the Kama Sutra suite. And boy, will it put you in the mood for love.
We toured the whole property recently, but particularly liked our precious few moments spent exploring the warmly-lit, sensuous space at the far end of the resort. Featuring a king bed with an elaborate hand-carved wooden frame, plus plenty of curved walls and enlarged wooden beams reaching up vertically, the suite is pure sex.
For more photos, click below!
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There are many places we dream of going if we had unlimited funds and Italy is definitely at the top of the list. So when we heard that billionaire Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his new bride, Priscilla Chan, were honeymooning in Rome, we had to find out where they were staying.
There was trouble brewing in the Monegasque paradise between Prince Albert of Monaco and his bride Princess Charlene, long before they tied the knot on July 1. But you would think that they could at least try and enjoy their honeymoon in South Africa?
After all, they were staying in the presidential suite of the Oyster Box Hotel on the beach in Umhlanga Rocks. The suite alone spans two floors, with its own private elevator, two bedrooms, two marble bathrooms with views of the ocean, a study, a lounge, a dining room that seats 10 and a fully equipped kitchen. Oh and its own swimming pool.
But sadly the strain of the allegations that Prince Albert fathered yet another child out of wedlock may have forced him to seek out his own less luxurious hotel room at the Hilton in Durban, ten miles away from the Oyster Box.
Last time we heard from upstate New York's The Roxbury, they had recently unveiled "Amadeus' Bride," a dazzling, family-size bridal suite decorated in gold leaf and outfitted with a 200lb Austrian crystal chandelier. These people know how to put on a show.
So it didn't come as a surprise when they emailed us about their new Gay Elopement Package (The Roxbury is owned by a gay couple), an offshoot of the general Elopement Package which debuted this winter. It turns out co-owner Gregory Henderson is himself a wedding officiant, so this is a great option if you're actually ready to tie the knot. The full package includes a wedding officiant, complimentary bottle of champagne, two passes to the Shimmer Spa. Oh, and a custom monogrammed photo album wedding gift—interested now?
We are suckers for a room with a killer view. We find that we are even more likely to forgive some minor hotel inconveniences if we can stare out the window at something pretty--yeah we are that shallow. Let's help out our fellow hotel mavens by uploading rooms with killer views to the HotelChatter/Flickr photo pool, or by sending the photo along to us. We will feature our favorites in this space from time to time. Remember to tell us the name of the hotel and the room number of the hot view.
It's not quite spring yet with most of the U.S. still getting dumped with cold, rainy weather which is why we're taking the time out to drool over this hotel view from the Carpe Diem Hotel in Santorini.
Pictured here is the hotel's pool which gives guests views of the nearby medieval village of Pyrgos as well as the Aegean Sea. But the hotel also offers private pools in each of its 10 luxury suites should you want a little more privacy.
We have a confession to make. Just over a year ago, while on a visit to the Fond Deux Cocoa Plantation Hotel on the Caribbean island of Saint Lucia (see those awesome pics here), we inadvertently trespassed on the edge of a new hotel property. Don't worrya guard stopped us after emerging from a gingerbread-looking guardhouse. Where the heck were we? As it turns out, it was the Hotel Chocolat, which just opened February 28.
The Hotel Chocolat isn't so named because it sounds pretty; the place is high up on the island, within the actual chocolate-producing, 18th-century Rabot cocoa estate. The hotel was constructed here because its British owners are themselves crazy for the stuff, and manufacture a brand of chocolate already named Hotel Chocolat. This then is the embodiment of their dream, and guests are of course invited to learn from and participate in various chocolatier activities.
While Prince Wills and Princess-to-be Kate Middleton are rumored to be spending their honeymoon in Isles of Scilly, we can't help thinking the royal couple should maybe pull a switcheroo and shack up at the newly opened Star of the East on Zanzibar.
The Tanzania hotel would provide a paparazzi-free zone. It only offers 11 villas, and each has its own private plunge pool, Jacuzzi, personal butler, ginormous furnished terrace and lush garden full vegetation, from which the newlyweds will be able to watch the sunset and get all romantic.
We’re back at it again this year, dishing on the latest and greatest in honeymoon-worthy hotels. From dirt cheap digs in ridiculously stunning places to once-in-a-lifetime luxe splurges, we’ve searched high and low (and across oceans and continents, oh my!) for the 10 most romantic destinations on the planet.
We know that your honeymoon is the most special trip of a lifetime, so here are five splurge and five steal options to help start your life together.
Check out our Steals and Splurges for Brides-to-Be here:
If you can't make it to Vegas or Versailles, an alternative is, um, Upstate New York's Catskills region. The Roxbury—no relation to that old Saturday Night Live skit, so no worries of bumping into Chris Kattan—offers a suite that meshes the Palace of Versailles' opulence with Vegas flash.
The Amadeus' Bride suite, inspired by the flick Amadeus, is done up with handmade 18k gold-leaf moldings, a wall of mirrors that tallies 27 reflective surfaces, a 200-pound Austrian crystal chandelier and ceilings of more than 20 feet tall.
They've been married just over a week and there's already drama for Mr. and Mrs. Brand. Not in their marriage, mind you--no, it's hotel-related drama that's been following Katy Perry and Russell Brand ever since they tied the knot at India's Aman-I-Khas Resort.
First came the news that managers at the resort were being charged with violating noise laws during the wedding. While Perry and Brand would not be charged, a laywer tells the New York Post that the hotel management could face a fine or a few days in jail. (Bet they won't forget this California Gurl any time soon. Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh!)