Top Tips for Luxury Weddings in Hawaii, Australia and New Zealand

Oceanfront guestroom at Ko’a Kea Hotel & Resort
Oceanfront guestroom at Ko’a Kea Hotel & Resort

Always a popular wedding and honeymoon destination, Hawaii offers myriad options. Ko’a Kea Hotel & Resort at Poipu Beach near Kauai’s southernmost point is one of the many options for couples to spend their honeymoon. Although wedding ceremonies and receptions are not currently available at Ko’a Kea, discounted accommodations are on offer for groups celebrating elsewhere on the island.

Among the most popular retreats for honeymooners is Room No. 376, an oceanfront suite closest to the water on Kauai. The 624-square-foot room has a separate living room, wooden-beamed ceiling and large soaking tub (one of just 12 on property). A patio with chaise lounges is ideal for taking in 180-degree views of Poipu Beach.

For family or friends traveling together to celebrate their loved ones’ special day, the resort presents 29 sets of connecting rooms located in various areas of the property. They range from two Partial Ocean View Rooms (Nos. 269 and 271) to an Oceanfront Room and Oceanfront Suite (Nos. 378 and 374). And good news for those traveling with their furry friends: the hotel permits dogs 25 lbs. or less. The pet fee is a non-refundable $100 per day, and a bed, food, water bowl and toys are supplied. (Note: Due to limited availability of oceanfront and suite rooms, it is advisable to book at least two months in advance. During high demand periods such as summer and winter holidays, booking three, or more, months before is recommended.)


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To book a room, contact Mahealani Miles ([email protected]), guest services manager.

Ko’a Kea Hotel & Resort at Poipu Beach
Ko’a Kea Hotel & Resort at Poipu Beach

Romantic dining can be found in the resort’s upscale seafood restaurant, Red Salt, where they can enjoy the Red Coral Martini, Ko’a Kea’s signature cocktail made with Stolichnaya vanilla and raspberry vodka with a splash of pomegranate juice. Tables 22 or 27, next to the windows overlooking the property and ocean, are the most romantic seats in the house. Reservations are recommended one week in advance.

Couples or groups can enjoy some down time at The Spa at Ko’a Kea, which has five treatment rooms, plus a seaside cabana. Why not live like the natives and enjoy a traditional Hawaiian Lomi Lomi massage before taking a walk along the seaside path that runs in front of the hotel or directly on the sand. More vigorous oceanfront hiking is located nearby on the bluffs of Mahaulepu. Bicycle rentals are available at Outfitters Kauai, about four minutes from the hotel.

One&Only Hayman Island
One&Only Hayman Island

Australia and New Zealand

Josh Alexander, a travel advisor at Protravel International in New York, says that he’s seeing a trend in luxury honeymoons to Australia and New Zealand, with each offering great luxury properties and countless activities. “Given the long flights, I recommend at least a two-week stay in order to be able to experience some of the amazing luxury properties, as well as the destination itself,” says Alexander. “An additional perk is the strength of the U.S. dollar compared to both the Australian dollar and the New Zealand dollar, which offers travelers an incredible value.”

In Australia, Alexander recommends the One&Only Wolgan Valley in the Blue Mountains, a two-hour drive from Sydney that offers an “Australian Safari” type of experience. “That’s one of the main reasons we include this property in our luxury honeymoon itineraries,” says Alexander. “As the first highlight of their destination, couples have the opportunity to see their first kangaroo while their driver is picking them up from the airport early in the morning — international flights normally arrive in Sydney before 6:30 a.m. — and taking them to the ultra-luxury conservation-based resort. At the resort, couples can enjoy a private villa, spa and fitness, or go on 4x4 nature tours, experiencing the breathtaking scenery and, of course, the Australian wildlife.”

At the Great Barrier Reef, Alexander loves qualia — a private hideaway at the northern tip of Hamilton Island that can only be accessed by guests — and One&Only Hayman Island, “the perfect place for couples to enjoy relaxation and adventure alike.”

This year, Alexander is seeing a big demand for Japan and exotic destinations in Southeast Asia, like Thailand and Vietnam. “In Japan, I recommend the Aman Tokyo, which just opened last year. My clients want to stay in Tokyo and Kyoto, but also have an interest in staying at a traditional ryokan and exploring the Japanese countryside. This year, the Aman group is opening its first onsen (Japanese hot spring) resort Amanemu. It’s an exclusive ryokan-style retreat on the shores of the Bay of Pearls, on the Shima Peninsula south-west of Tokyo. Blending modern and classic design, Amanemu provides honeymoon couples with the perfect destination to explore the sacred Shinto shrines and the Kumano Kodo ancient pilgrimage routes.”

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