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Honeymoon Suite Accommodations

Whatever Happened to Bridal Suites?

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I hate to break this to you, but finding a dedicated honeymoon bridal suite in a fine hotel is as tough as locating a wedding bandleader who'll play an extra half hour for free.

Fact is, outside of traditional honeymoon destinations such as Niagara Falls and the Poconos -- and hotels that specialize in wedding business -- most top-rated resorts do not have special suites reserved expressly for honeymooners. They have studio suites and junior suites, balcony suites and villa suites, ocean-view suites and alley-view suites, smoking and non-smoking suites.

What don't they have? Honeymoon suites!

There is, of course, a sound business reason for this: Imagine if you owned a hotel (I know, you'd build a bridal suite). With a utilitarian suite decorated in a neutral style, you could rent the same quarters on different nights to a traveling salesperson, a family with a child, a grandma and grandpa in town for a Rolling Stones concert, and a pair of honeymooners.

Honeymoon Bridal Suite Style

A hotel suite decorated for honeymooners tends to have a distinctive look -- yet it's rarely the stuff of Architectural Digest layouts: White or pastel-colored walls. A four-poster bed with a sturdy king-size mattress, perhaps so far off the ground a small ladder is called for. A gauzy canopy. A loveseat. Instead of a desk, a vanity table. Thick carpeting. Strategically placed mirrors. Vases to hold long-stemmed red roses. And a bath big enough for two.

As one descends the lodgings food chain, honeymoon accommodations tend to get cheesier and cheesier: Creaky white wicker furniture. Fussy bed coverings. Priscilla curtains. Fluffy rugs. Dusty lace. Walls you wouldn't want to inspect with a black light. Bathtubs shaped like anything but bathtubs. And worst of all, a bed that sags in the middle.

Honeymoon Romance Packages

Just because your chosen hotel doesn't have a dedicated honeymoon suite, though, don't think the staff can't make the setting romantic for you. Before you check in, they can convert that one-suite-fits-all into a custom-tailored one.

Enter: The Romance Package. While the particulars vary from place to place, these are some typical romance-package amenities honeymooners can anticipate at finer hotels:

- fresh flowers
- strawberries dipped in chocolate
- chilled Champagne and two flutes
- in-room massages for two
- thick, white terrycloth bathrobes
- breakfast in bed
- gourmet picnic lunch
- sunset cruise
- private terrace dinner
- an extra day at no charge

Nice as these goodies are, do make sure beforehand that you're not overpaying or paying for something you don't want or need. Compare the price of the "romance" package by multiplying the daily rate times the number of nights you want to stay. Then check with a Web travel agent to make sure the room rate isn't even cheaper if you book online.

Finally, remember this when it comes to hotel rooms: In the dark, they're all alike.

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