While most honeymooners end up at a resort, there is an alternative that not only offers much-desired privacy but also provides greater space and charm at a comparable, or even lower, rate.
Throughout the world, beautiful villas, private homes, and vacation condominium properties are available for short-term rental. Here are some of the best in the US, the Caribbean, and Europe:
Vacation Rentals By Owner
When you rent a property from the owner, prices are generally lower than going through a service. Most homes which are also used by their owners have a warm and comfortable atmosphere typically found in a cherished and well-cared-for house. And owners can provide tips that only the locals know about, which can help you enjoy your honeymoon even more.Vacation Rentals By Owner has a vast listing of homes in the U.S. and abroad to browse; from the opening page choose a destination and explore.
Wimco Luxury Villas
An excellent source for villa rentals in the Caribbean, Italy, Greece, and the south of France, Wimco specializes in very fine properties and also offers last-minute specials.
Cape Cod has long been a favorite destination of honeymooners, and rentals in Hyannis, Truro, Wellfleet and other summer honeymoon havens are available. All Cape Cod offers a selection of rentals organized by regions.
Florida Keys Dolphin Vacation Rentals in Marathon, Florida has a number of vacation homes and condominiums for rent, many with private swimming pools.
This state has many, many private accommodations to rent. One I can personally recommend is Kapalua Villas on Maui. It's affiliated with Kapalua Resort, a gracious place. As a villa guest you get access to its golf course, tennis courts, watersports, and restaurants.
Villas of the Caribbean
Many Island Hideaways properties, located throughout the Caribbean, come with a private swimming pool and deck in addition to a living room, kitchen, dining room, and that all-important bedroom. The services of a cook and maid are often included in the rates. From the Island Hideaways home page you can search for villas on Barbados, Mustique, Jamaica, St. Barts, and nine other tropical islands.
Research 20,000 properties in Europe, including Tuscany, the Alps, and the Ticino region through Interhome.
CottageNet, which has rentals in the United Kingdom, Wales, and Scotland and offers everything from London apartments to three Cotswold cottages that sleeps up to 28 (great for a destination wedding).
From the Loire Valley to the Cote d'Azur, you can discover charming vacation rentals by clicking at French Connections. Glynis Shaw points out the advantages of villas in France over hotels: "Most holiday homes in France tend to be over 100 years old, with oak beams, period fireplaces, etc. They offer total privacy and seclusion; many are off the beaten track. You can eat and drink what you like when you like (take your wine to bed!). You can have your own swimming pool and sunbathe in private. And it's cheaper and more relaxing and romantic than a hotel. Plus there's more flexibility in eating times, getting up, etc. You are free to sample a region's romantic restaurants when you're not tied to a hotel package -- or even try your hand at French cooking!"
If an exotic and faraway destination appeals, Bali can be a magical answer to your quest for an unusual honeymoon. Bali Vacation Villas offers both private homes for rentals as well as villas affiliated with hotels. One cozy house has a private pool and garden. The services of two house boys and a gardener/pool attendant are included.
Is a villa rental the right honeymoon for the two of you? If you're independent types who prefer to make your own schedule, arrange your own activities, are willing to perhaps clean up and cook some meals for yourselves, and want to stay far from the madding crowd, the likely answer is yes.