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When My Vacation Lady speaks to our honeymoon couples during our very in depth honeymoon consultation, most of the couples want their honeymoons to be luxurious. They also have a budget in mind that they don’t want to exceed. So how do we manage to create a luxury honeymoon within a budget?
First of all, what does luxury mean to you?
When we talk to our clients, we give them examples of hotel chains that they might recognize- to see what they are familiar with and what level they think they may want. So we’ll talk about 5 star luxury hotels as Four Seasons, Fairmonts, St Regis, Ritz Carlton. We’ll talk about 4 star hotel chains like Hyatt, Marriott, Sheraton, Westin. A 3 star hotel chain may be a Holiday Inn. 2 star might be a Best Western and a 1 star might be a Motel 6. Now these are generalizations and many times, the hotels can vary pretty significantly but you typically won’t find a 5 star Holiday Inn, Best Western or Motel 6. Some of the Hyatts (like Grand Hyatts) would be 5 star properties and there can be some Marriotts and Sheratons that may also come close.
If you are a Disney World person– let’s look at their properties within a similar star rating. Grand Floridian, Contemporary and the Polynesian would be considered 5 star. The Caribbean Beach, Port Orleans and Riverside would be considered 4 star. The All Stars would be considered 3 star.
So now that you know a bit about hotel rankings, how can you get luxury within your budget?
- If you are set on the Four Seasons in Maui but it’s really not in your budget, try pricing out the least expensive room they offer. Please keep in mind, that it may be a view of a parking garage but you’ll still have the same amenities as the guests who booked the ocean view rooms.
- If you really want an over water bungalow in Bora Bora, think about an over water bungalow in one of the other Tahitian Islands that may be less expensive (like Moorea) and stay in a beach bungalow in Bora Bora. Depending on the season, an overwater bungalow in Bora Bora can start at $700+ per night (for a 4 star resort). During the same time period, you might be able to get an over water bungalow in Moorea for less than $550 per night or around $650 per night in Rangiroa.
- Book EARLY– in some destinations, like French Polynesia, the early bird gets the worm. OR in other words, if you book early, you’ll get the best rates.
- Play around with dates to go when pricing is lower. Summer months will be peak season in Tahiti, Fiji, Bali, Hawaii, Greece and Italy. If you wait until October, the weather should still be nice and the prices may drop enough for you to get more bang for your buck.
- If you really want the Amalfi Coast and fell in love with the town of Ravello (where some of the luxury resorts will go for $1500 per nite and up), try Sorrento or Positano. There will be more choices of properties in many different price ranges.
- Be flexible with your destination. If airfare to Tahiti is running $1800 per person from Los Angeles, you might be able to get to Fiji for about $1200 per person. While Fiji may not have the over water bungalows that you’ll find in Bora Bora, you can get a room with a private plunge pool, one in the tree tops or one right on the sand– all for less than what you might get in French Polynesia.
- If you really want an adult only all inclusive resort, check out the Riviera Maya and Cancun for some upscale and luxurious resorts that will fit most budgets.
- Shorten your honeymoon. If you really want the best of the best, and your budget doesn’t allow for it, shorten your honeymoon to lower the price.
My Vacation Lady is an award winning honeymoon specialist and is the top rated honeymoon travel agency, located in NJ, according to the couples on Wedding Wire. We won’t be the first to tell you that your honeymoon should be special but we are the right honeymoon travel agency to make it special.