I know weddings are a planning adventure, or nightmare depending on how you interact with your spouse-to-be, so while you may have some extra research time, start exploring wedding and honeymoon destinations for 2021. Kim and Kanye may have had a cell phone free wedding, but it does not mean you have to. There is a happy medium. If your eleven-year-old niece wants to send a Snap of her first gay wedding to her thousands of fans she should be able to. It’s becoming more commonplace for couples to request guests to simply be present and limit the use of their phones during the actual wedding ceremony, but it’s okay if a few pictures go up onto your guest’s Instagram stories. Unplugged honeymoons are also becoming more commonplace. As difficult as it might seem, go ahead and seize the opportunity to start the next chapter of your life by leaving the laptops at home and setting the phone to airplane mode and leaving it there until you’re back home. We’ve put together a list of some outstanding destinations to enjoy. Go ahead and live it up like #kimye if you want.
Situated between the Pacific Ocean and the Western Sierra Madre Mountains (and conveniently near Puerto Vallarta) Riviera Nayarit is an exquisite stretch of nearly 200 miles of coastline where you take in emerald mountains, golden beaches, turquoise waters, and the love of your life. Many of the top hotels are situated at Punta de Mita, including Imanta Resorts (https://www.imantaresorts.com/), which offers an exquisitely romantic and unspoiled venue for honeymooners because of its unique location in the Sierra de Vallejo national biographic reserve. Check in and take in a Temazcal ritual, a “hothouse experience”, or a “spiritual cleaning” conducted inside of a volcanic rock dome structure. During the ritual clay containers are used to pour aromatic and healing herb potions over the red-hot volcanic stones to create hot steams during the “four doors ceremony directed towards all cardinal points’ ‘. Start your marriage off by detoxing and rejuvenating. Opt for a luxurious casona with a private infinity pool, you can even book Kourtney Kardashian’s favorite “the Casona Jaguar ”, which features a rooftop terrace with jacuzzi, and access to a private beach. Looking for something even more remote? Mar al Cielo (https://maralcielo.com/), a private oceanfront eco-retreat on eleven acres of beachfront jungle paradise in Lo de Marcos. Perched on top of a beachfront cliff just north of San Pancho, this two-person resort offers a chance to relax and explore perfectly manicured jungle trails with over 300 bird species, a private beach, and posh hilltop residence. Forget about the office, what’s happening on Twitter, and truly live in the moment. Did we mention whale watching? Mar al Cielo is located smack dab in the middle of a migration route and calving region of the great humpback whales. Get ready for a truly unique stay. Looking for something fun to do off resort? Punta Mita Expeditions (https://puntamitaexpeditions.com/) offers excursions on top class powerboats and catamarans with private chefs and tour guides that can take you out on reef encounters, ocean adventures including trips to Marietas Islands, marine safaris, wild dolphin adventures, whale watching, and more. Be sure to take a little time to walk around Sayulita (https://www.sayulita.com/), the sunny beach town considered the “crown jewel” of Nayarit (pop into the Mercado del Pueblo for local bites and nice selection of mementos).
Half Moon Bay
Closer to home, Half Moon Bay boasts stunning beaches, farm stands, open space, and amazing places to eat and stay. Hike along the Half Moon Bay Coastline Trail, watch surfers at Mavericks, and venture through the towering coastal redwood groves at the Purisima Creek Redwoods Open Space Preserve (https://www.openspace.org/preserves/purisima-creek-redwoods) where you can put an arm around your beau and take in the majestic view at Purisima Creek Canyon and the coastline. Treat yourselves (it’s your honeymoon, after all), and check in at the Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay (https://www.ritzcarlton.com/en/hotels/california/half-moon-bay), a decadent and iconic resort set on top of a rugged bluff with prime local views, a 261-room spa and golf resort known as the Bay Area’s only oceanfront resort. A few minutes onto the property and the only reason you’ll need your phone is to capture the sweeping views. Don’t you dare plug back in, though, as you’ll want to be present to indulge in the “Five Stars, Five Senses” package taking in five of the resort’s distinct signature offerings in taste, sight, smell, touch, and sound. Go for a signature drive to explore the historic main street, hiking, horseback riding, wineries in the Santa Cruz mountains, surfing, and panoramic views. Back at the resort, The Ritz-Carlton Spa offers a couple’s massage or Redwood Forest Rituals with a variety of indigenous earthy herbs and wood blends which you’ll experience side-by-side treatment in a couple’s room.
Lake Placid Lodge
Lake Placid (https://www.lakeplacid.com/), the two-time host to the Winter Olympic Games (in 1932 and 1980), is a breathtaking village in the Adirondack Mountains in Essex County, New York. Lake Placid Lodge (https://www.lakeplacidlodge.com/) has long been known as a place to relax and completely unplug, regardless of if you’re looking to relax by the lake, take to the slopes, or just relax by the fire. The property is known for their “Check in to Check Out – Fourth Night Free” package, where you literally leave your technology at the door and check-in to check-out at Lake Placid Lodge. Book this package and enjoy a four-night luxurious stay with the last night free, chef’s choice of freshly prepared snacks and wine, and custom made-to-order breakfast daily served in the Artisans restaurant (or delivered to the room). Immerse yourself in the area, go on hikes through the Adirondacks, go for a swim in Lake Placid, go cross-country skiing, or just stay in and keep busy indoors. Their “Opal Collection Romance Package” offers sparkling wine and chocolate covered strawberries on arrival, breakfast, dinner, and a late checkout (who doesn’t love a late checkout?). Thinking about venturing into town? The Lake Placid Olympic Museum (http://www.lpom.org/) is worth a visit, as is the Historical Society Depot Museum (http://lphsdepotmuseum.org/) in the old train station, where you can check out a historical caboose from the 1920s.
Off the Map Travel
Are you an adventurous couple? Off the Map Travel (https://www.offthemap.travel/) is a team of travel experts who work with experiences and destinations to allow people to explore the hidden wonders of the world. Go off the grid with Off the Map and book a romantic trip to the new floating Arctic Bath Hotel and Spa in Lulea, Sweden or head out on a Romantic for Two Glamping Northern Lights Holiday in Sweden. Each of their destinations offer a variety of accommodations from cozy log cabins to rooms made entirely of ice, or even sleeping beneath the stars in a luxurious teepee. Arctic Bath, floating in the heart of Swedish Lapland, is a stunning location to take in the northern lights in winter, or bask in the midnight sun during summer months. The Swedish Lapland is known as Northern Europe’s “last remaining wilderness”. This “road less traveled” destination offers unique year-round experiences from dogsledding through snowclad forests to starry nights when Aurora Borealis lights up the sky. The entire hotel has a holistic approach to well-being; the spa and wellness facilities integrate tailor-made Kerstin Florian products with a combination of high levels of antioxidants, minerals, and essential acids to make you feel beautiful inside and out. Interested in unplugging even more?
Opt for The Wilderness Camp through Off the Map Travel and take a trip to the wilderness and spend the nights under the Northern Lights in a mobile sleeping hut with a glass roof to allow guests the opportunity to lie back and gaze up at the stars. An overnight at the camp begins in the early evening when you’re transported by snowmobile to your hut. Local snacks and hot drinks are provided as well as an Arctic grill for dinner and breakfast. You may have gone glamping before, but you haven’t truly glamped until you’ve glamped on a frozen Arctic Sea. Head to Lulea, on the shore of Bothnian Bay for an exclusive five-night/four-day program including a private Northern Lights and night sky-searching experience, all meals including a private dinner at the two-person Aurora Hideaway restaurant on skis, private snowmobiling and snowshoeing, a stargazing experience, lodge accommodations, and even sleeping in an adorable yurt at the private glamping site.
Last modified: May 12, 2020