‘Group Honeymoons’ Are Like Destination Weddings but Better
Yes, being laid out on the beach or locked away in a private cabana with your new husband or wife is amazing, but it can be even more amazing with close family and friends. As long as you guarantee a healthy dose of alone time, shaking up tradition can have its perks.
So whether you want relaxation on the beach or adventure in the mountains, here are a few places that guarantee a good time with a group.
Little could be better than taking in the sights and sounds of an African safari with some of your nearest and dearest. And there is more to do there than just spot prides of lion.
All nine of South Africa's provinces offer a wide range of activities, from deep sea and shark cage diving to mountain climbing and abseiling, to fishing, surfing, hang gliding, hot air ballooning, whale watching, and more.
Start off your group honeymoon by taking an Elephant Back Safari or checking out the big game viewing in the national parks across the bottom half of the continent, and end it with a hike across the mountainous region, where you are sure to spot waterfalls, lush forests, and valleys.
Since it is a honeymoon, you may want to splurge on a luxurious hotel to wind down in after the day’s activities, like the Premier Hotel OR Tambo. However, there are also a plethora of private guesthouses and bed and breakfasts to choose from in case you want to save money for more adventures.
Looking for a place to get everyone out of their comfort zones? Thailand is just that. Bustling cities, beautiful beaches, jungles, and exciting food choices make this a sightseer’s paradise.
Depending on the vibe of the group, there are different ways to plan the trip. Want a bit of history? Head to Northern Thailand and check out Chiang Rai, most famous for its White Temple, and hit Bangkok and explore the city. See the Temple of the Reclining Buddha, the Grand Palace, or take a food tour of the city. The Park Plaza SOI 8 Bankok is close to all forms of transportation and is group-friendly. Airport transfer and complimentary shuttle service is also available to accommodate your plans.
In South Thailand, pristine beaches await. Spend your days on Ao Nang Beach, snorkeling in clear water and sipping cocktails as the sun goes down. Take boat tours to the beaches of limestone islands such as Ko Hong, Ko Poda, and Ko Gai. Other boats make trips to Railay Beach, a well-known destination for rock climbers.
Check out the BlueSotel Krabi, close to nightlife, beaches and shopping – with a pool that will be the envy of everyone who checks your social media feed.
If you have time, start at the top of Thailand and make your way down the coast for an all-around adventure.
The Exumas, Bahamas
The Exumas tend to fly under the radar as the masses opt for the more well-known Bahamian islands of Nassau or Paradise Island – leaving all the more untouched beauty for you to discover.
Known for the famed Pig Beach, the Exumas is also great for a mixed group, including kids. The Grand Isle Resort in Great Exuma has activities for couples and adults, as well as a club for kids between the ages of five and 12. The hotel can also set up excursions for you and your group, so you don’t have to worry about a thing. From boat tours across the cays to getaways to secluded island beaches, the Exumas will be a group trip to remember.
While Paris is often touted as the most romantic city in the world, there are a million reasons why going with a group can make it even better.
There is so much history in Paris to keep the group active. With must-see attractions like the Eiffel Tower, Musée d'Orsay, Palais-Royal, Luxembourg Gardens and more, it's easy to pack your days with things to do and see. Spend some time at the Musée Rodin with or without the group. The 18th-century mansion is one of Paris's most beautiful museums, boasting rose gardens and an outdoor café that's perfect for stealing some alone time.
And while sometimes eating out with a group has its challenges, the French have that covered. Try Restaurant 14 Juillet, which has something for everyone in your group to enjoy on its expansive menu. L’Estrapade, too, has a menu fit for a group.
Splurge on a luxurious hotel like the Four Seasons George V, with lux accommodations, a spa, and signature experiences, like a cocktail class.
It’s not a big city or bustling with a lot of activity, but Sedona can be the perfect place to relax and unwind with your closest friends and family after an event as big as a wedding. Surrounded by red rocks, nature, and wildlife, Sedona is home to numerous spas and resorts that will allow for total relaxation.
And when you're well rested and ready for adventure, the Grand Canyon and Antelope Canyon are within reach. You can take a hike or a helicopter ride, go white water rafting, or even head into the clouds with a romantic hot air balloon ride. (Grab one for you and your spouse, and let the group board their own).
If you’re looking to splurge on a fabulous hotel that will accommodate your group, go upscale at the Amara, a Kimpton Hotel with a spa and SaltRock restaurant onsite. Small groups can score a discount of about 30 percent.
If all you and your squad want to do after planning a wedding is kick back and have some cocktails on the beach, the Maldives are for you.
Stay in the lap of luxury at Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, a 64-room sea-view villa hotel with sweeping views of the Indian Ocean, or the Gili Lankanfushi Maldives, a 29-room, secluded spot that offers total privacy.
And while you're unlikely to get tired of lounging on those beautiful beaches, water sports can be arranged at many of the resorts in the Maldives. From snorkeling and dolphin spotting to scuba diving and everything in between, groupiemooners will not be bored. You can also arrange a private dinner or cocktail party for your friends and family inside your villa or in an event area at many of the hotels for a low-key night with a stunning backdrop.
Want a night to yourselves? Private dining options are available at many of the resorts in the Maldives, a perfect precursor to falling asleep snuggled up in your own private villa. For even more private moments, Taj offers an Ocean Pavilion, which can be reached by a small boat. It is a secluded yet charming structure of antique wooden columns with a thatched roof that promises a magnificent sunset view.
Celebrate your love – and the love of those around you – in the heart of Italian wine country. Book a private wine tour for you and your group, either by car or bike. With so many companies offering wine tours, there are plenty of ways to customize it to your group.
Food lovers? Stay at the Relais Borgo Santo Pietro, where you can arrange for your group to take an authentic Italian cooking class.
Want something a little more relaxed? Rosewood Castiglion Del Bosco is extra luxurious, with an infinity pool, spa, and golf course. The hotel also offers wine tastings in guest villas, so you never have to leave the grounds.
You can also see Italy’s famed Cinque Terre in one day with a guided hike through the five idyllic, old-world fishing villages.
You’ve already spent a ton on the wedding, so maybe the all-inclusive route is the way to go for the group honeymoon. There is no shortage of all-inclusive resorts on this island, and the self-proclaimed “honeymoon capital of the Carribean” has something for every type of person. Lay on the white sand beaches of Montego Bay and enjoy the luxurious accommodations of Half Moon Jamaica – the staff has a reputation for being so friendly, you might even add some more pals to the group.
In Ocho Rios, adventure awaits. Not only does this side of the Island have expansive beaches, but it offers horseback riding, polo, golf, tennis, shopping, scuba diving, deep-sea fishing, and swimming. Join the fun on an excursion to the world-famous Dunn's River Falls, one of the most beautiful spots on the island. The squad can also swim with bottlenose dolphins in Dolphin Cove.
Known for its beaches, but also for its nightlife, is Negril. If you have a sleep all day, party all night kind of crew, this island hotspot is a great pick. The Caves Hotel will be a spot everyone goes home talking about, with a unique bar set up inside a cave.
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
It may not be the first place that pops into your head when planning a honeymoon, but for a group that loves to eat and drink, Montreal is certainly a place worth spending time.
The Canadian city, which looks remarkably like a charming village tucked away in the European countryside, is a hot spot for food lovers who want to celebrate all of the cultural food and beverage in the region. Jump on a wine and pairings tour, brewery tour, Jewish food walking tour, chocolate tour, or even a food truck tour by bike.
Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
The energy is always exciting in Mexico, and while Cancun is more spring break, Cabo San Lucas is a sophisticated place to spend a group honeymoon. Cabo is home to great fishing and beautiful beaches, however, you can also live in the lap of luxury by charting a private yacht for the group. Whether you want to lay back and enjoy the view, fish, or take on a few water sports, there is something for everyone available on the 60-foot to 120-foot yachts. Cabo also offers camel rides – just imagine the group photos.
Stay at a Villa Group property, which can accommodate several people. Not only will that help with the cost, but having everyone in close proximity can help keep the party atmosphere alive.
While Ibiza is known as a party city, there are plenty of activities for people who are past their clubbing days as well, making it perfect for honeymooning with a mixed group.
The coolest way to travel around the island is surely by Vespa. Make arrangements to tour the island with Legends Classic Motorcycles to take your group on a spin they won’t forget. Want a little adventure? Try cliff diving off the coast. RockID also has several different ways to make the most of your trip – including a relaxed sailing day or a night tour of the markets. Yoga classes and massage sessions are also available to help everyone relax.
For a romantic yet unique group dinner, check out Sa Capella, housed in a 400-year-old monastery chapel that legend says is haunted.
But if partying is your thing, make sure to stay on the east end of the island, Playa d’en Bossa, where revelers will greet you and invite you to join in the fun the second you walk out of your hotel room.
Austin, Texas is picking up steam as one of the most fun and eclectic places in America. The young, vibrant city is home to great food and culture.
Start your groupiemoon on a boat on Lake Travis or in Barton Springs Pool, a man-made recreational swimming pool located on the grounds of Zilker Park. Want a little more sweat? Check out the Hike and Bike Trail, which circles the river downtown.
Nightlife is hopping in Austin as well, with a variety of bars and restaurants. Head down to “Dirty 6th,” where the bars stay open until 2 a.m., if you're really looking to celebrate. Looking for something more upscale? Rainey Street will quickly become your favorite spot in town, where bungalows and houses have been turned into fancy bars and cocktail lounges with outdoor music.
Hawaii has long been a dream destination of newlyweds, so why shouldn’t the rest of the crew come along?
Maui has earned its reputation as a great place for sunshine-filled honeymoons because of the amount of activities it offers. There are calm beaches, surfing beaches, kiteboarding meccas, hiking trails, and so much more. And once you've worked up an appetite, you'll be glad to notice the farm-to-table trend is booming. Mama’s Fish House is a can’t-miss meal.
A stay at the Four Seasons Resort in Wailea, with its tours, customized experiences, and dining, with complete your trip to paradise.
Las Vegas, Nevada
While it’s a staple for bachelor and bachelorette parties, groupiemooning in Las Vegas isn’t a bad idea when it comes to keeping the party going.
During the day the group can hang out by the pool, renting a private cabana or taking part in one of the very many pool parties hosted on the strip. There are also great places to play golf, shop, and day drink.
Want to throw in a little adventure? Just a short distance away is the Hoover Dam, Red Rock Canyon Conservation area, and Grand Canyon National Park. Take a helicopter ride with your crew, hike some trails, or skydive while taking in expansive views of the desert.
Don’t want to leave the strip? There are plenty of ways to get in some thrills without renting a car. Take a rollercoaster ride at the New York-New York Hotel & Casino; check out the Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay, or head to the Stratosphere for an array of attractions that will take the wind out of you… literally. Jump from 829 feet above the neon strip or check out some of the other thrill rides at the casino’s top!
And, of course, nighttime in Las Vegas is what hangovers are made of. With no shortage of amazing restaurants, bars, shows, live events and nightclubs, it’s a groupiemoon that will have your squad reminiscing for years to come.
Stay on a budget at Treasure Island or the Mirage, or feel free to splurge at The Wynn or Encore where the suites showcase what living large is made of.
Nashville has seen a revival thanks to the increased popularity of country music, and it doesn’t seem as if the buzz will be dying down anytime soon.
Plan a group night at the Grand Ole Opry, one of Nashville’s must-see attractions. From there, check out the legendary road known as Honky Tonk Highway, blasting out music 365 days of the year. Book a trip on the Sprocket Rocket, a party bike tour, and spend a leisurely afternoon on the rover with River Queen Voyages. Outdoors not your thing? Book a trip on the NashTrash tour bus, where the Jugg Sisters will dish the dirt on your favorite polyester, double-knit, sequined country music legends.
And while the bright lights of Nashville may be calling you to the party scene, the city is not without a little romance. Splurge on a stay at the Hermitage Hotel, where 1,000-thread-count sheets are the norm and spa soaking tubs grace the bathrooms.
Want a little private time with your honey? Grab a Romeo and Juliet cocktail, a mix of rosewater and gin, at The Patterson House, take tours of the Belmont Mansion and Belle Meade Plantation, or stroll hand-in-hand through the Cheekwood Botanical Gardens.