Are you planning a December wedding and honeymoon? There are many reasons why this could be an excellent move. You can celebrate your honeymoon on an entirely different level of festivity when you combine it with Christmas. Whether you are reaching for the mountain tops or the beach, your honeymoon will be filled with romance and holiday cheer. When else is a honeymoon celebrated with colorful festive lights, decorated trees, special music, and a grand meal?
For anyone more practical than romantic, consider the fact that December usually has the advantage of lower prices.
Below are some popular romantic destinations that are perfect for December.
Honeymooners looking for paradise in December need look no further than Aruba in the Caribbean. While the temperature hovers around a cozy 80 degrees, Aruba celebrates not one, but three Christmases.
The Dutch Santa, Sinterklass, comes on December 6 while Santa Claus waits until December 25, both bearing gifts. Couples staying through January will meet the Three Kings. Arubans put up a huge display of Christmas lights, especially on Seroe Preto Hill, a favorite destination. It’s gorgeous, and the Arubans have become the Michelangelo of colorful Lights.
Christmas food can include a bit of everything, from a traditional ham to arroz con pollo.
Renaissance Wind Creek Aruba Resort in Oranjestad offers sheer bliss which includes the private island of Flamingo Beach and Wind Creek with its strutting flamingos and spa treatment available at the Spa Cove. Cabanas at the cove are available for an overnight stay. A wide array of restaurants offer food and handcrafted cocktails, and the casino is open 24 hours in the adult-only Renaissance Marina Hotel portion of the resort.
As a break from strolling Aruba’s many beaches, couples can visit the capital, Ornamented with its many historic buildings and shopping opportunities. Ft. Zoutman is a monument to Aruba’s rich Dutch history. Main Street is a haven for shoppers as it is lined with the Renaissance Mall, the Renaissance Marketplace, and an abundance of flea markets.
Curacao is the warmest of the Caribbean islands and has a temperature in the mid-80s in December. Their Christmas Eve celebration, called Nochebuena, can last until morning on this party-filled island. Gifts are exchanged on December 25th. Karakter Curacao by Simpson Bay Beach on Sint Maarten serves an unforgettable five-course Christmas dinner.
Curacao not only has some of the best Caribbean beaches, but some of the best beaches in the world.
The Baoase Resort has private villas, suites, and rooms. The luxurious honeymoon suite has a porch, private hot tub, all with an incredible view of the gardens and waters. Two of the resort’s restaurants are right on the beach.
Couples can enjoy all beach activities, and the resort will arrange for yacht excursions and pampering by a personal beach butler. Honeymooners can look forward to a private romantic dinner on the beach and a professional photographer honoring the event for a lifetime of memories.
Exploring Curacao’s capital Willemstad is a journey to Denmark with its colorful buildings and shops. The Curacao Ostrich Farm is located just a few minutes from Willemstad, where these birds can be petted.
The best snorkeling on Curacao may be at Playa Abou Beach.
December is a great time to honeymoon in the Bahamas with its white beaches, azure waters, and all-inclusive resorts. In addition, they know how to celebrate Christmas with a huge breakfast and a very traditional turkey dinner or glazed ham with all the sides.
After dinner, couples can prepare for the traditional Junkanoo, with the streets filling with music and dancing until the morning of the 26th.
Sandals Emerald Bay is an all-inclusive resort with private villas and beautiful suites situated along the beachfront, some having 24-hour private butler service. The all-inclusive includes 11 restaurants and 6 bars, a premium spa, and first-class golf. Sandals Emerald Bay has 3 pools and 7 whirlpools, a tennis court, and nightly entertainment as well as certified scuba lessons.
It has won the World Golf Award for three years and has been ranked one of the top all-inclusive resorts in the Atlantic and Bahamas.
One of the memorable and fun activities in Exuma Cay is its Swimming with the Pigs adventure. Couples are taken to the Cay in a catamaran for some great snorkeling and, if desired, share the blue waters with the delightful pigs who live here. Hint: they enjoy a nice snack.
The weather in December is wonderful, making it a great beach Christmas destination in one of the island’s luxury resorts.
Christmas in Barbados can mean a swim on Christmas Eve or a beach barbeque on Christmas Day. The luxe resorts all serve traditional turkey and potatoes to pamper their guests. Of course, lobster is available, as well. Most holiday meals are topped off with a glass of local rum.
The Sandy Lane in St. James is labeled one of the most exclusive resorts in the world. Its luxury suites overlook the blue Caribbean. Four restaurants and beachside bars make dining a delight. Sunny Lane is the site of three golf courses with a major view of the ocean.
Honeymooners are pampered with a candlelight dinner by the water, chocolate truffles, a couples’ massage, and a personal butler who will prepare a relaxing bath.
Santa, who is as fond of luxury as anyone else, arrives each Christmas Day (sometimes by parachuting down to the beach!) with treats for all the guests.
Couples can go rum tasting at Mount Gay Rum and take master mixology classes in shaking and stirring Barbado’s favorite tipple.
The Harrisons Cave is one of nature’s wonders in Barbados and should be explored on a tour. This limestone cave has streams, pools of water, and a Great Hall. These tours take place by traveling on an electric tram.
Known for its great beaches, Dubai also has a spectacular Christmas. As a matter of fact, December is one of its busiest months. The Dubai Shopping Festival is a six-week shopping extravaganza with concerts, fireworks, and discounts at high as 90 percent on top-quality brands. There is a Santa Claus in Dubai.
World-famous chef Gordon Ramsay’s Bread Street Kitchen and Bar located at Atlantis, the Palm, does his traditional roast turkey fare on Christmas Day. For couples remaining through the New Year, the Palm has one of Dubai’s most prestigious New Year’s Eve celebrations with caviar, lobster, and champagne.
Sofitel Dubai The Palm is a shorefront hotel with plenty of French influence and balconies and terraces offering views of the Arabian Gulf or the lush gardens. Eleven restaurants and bars have earned a reputation for culinary mastery.
Guests have a private beach which allows them to order snacks from the resort’s Maui beach restaurant. The beach is wonderful for aqua fitness classes, kayaking, snorkeling, and paddle boarding. There are also six pools, some with slides and waterfalls.
The resort’s wedding planners can arrange for the ideal dream wedding on the white sand beach.
Romantic helicopter tours begin at the Atlantis Hotel and provide an incredible vista of the city. Rides can last from 12 minutes to 40 minutes. Or why not enjoy a lovely evening on a three-hour yacht dinner cruise with drinks and a gourmet meal? A live DJ will lead the entertainment and dancing.
Beautiful weather, all-inclusive luxury resorts, and amazing beaches – here is something for every honeymoon. It is also one of the prime scuba diving spots in the Caribbean.
Christmas is alive in Mauritius, and it is a very tropical event with barbeques on the beach. Mauritius is slowly but inevitably accepting that feasts such as stuffed turkey and a Bûche de Noël are in high demand, and Le Chateau de Bel Ombre, a former sugar plantation, serves a traditional Christmas Eve meal. Guests return on Christmas Day to the C Beach Club for a Christmas buffet and some relaxing background music.
The Four Seasons Mauritius on the island’s east coast is surrounded by tropical greenery and its own secluded island, Ile aux Cerfs. Accommodations consist of private villas with their own pool and garden. Two golf courses are on site.
Couples have many options for food, including a private dinner in the resort’s private wine cellar. They can also count on daily yoga on the beach, 2 tennis courts, snorkeling excursions, and private cooking lessons.
Honeymooners shouldn’t miss Mauritius’ celebrated sunset of reds and purple. A catamaran cruise at dusk can be the highlight of any honeymoon.
The Swiss Alps
Many couples prefer white alpine slopes to white sandy beaches. And the Swiss Alps welcomes them. December is cold and fulfills the promise of a very white Christmas. With the peaks of the Matterhorn and the Jungfrau ruling the landscape, the magnificence is almost indescribable. It’s a picture postcard brought to life.
St. Moritz is the Swiss glamor spa destination, where the elite come to check out other elites; however, it’s also where the masses come to catch the elites checking each other out. It works out well for everyone. And St. Moritz has the most festive spirit in all of Switzerland. The Agnelli and Onassis families vacationed here, as did Ivana Trump and many of the European royal houses.
The holidays here start with the incredible Christmas market with its Christmas Village, ice skating rinks, and craft shops.
The Badrutts Palace and its 155 suites and rooms is over a century old and still in the hands of the original family. By the 1950s, the jet set and elites were welcomed with open arms, especially to the Christmas Palace Balls. Guests here get treated like royalty. The Spa goes well beyond ordinary treatments. It offers special spa suites with Jacuzzi, sauna, shower, champagne, and nibbles. Some spa suites even have a private garden.
Christmas at the Badrutts Palace begins during the first week in December with the lighting of the breathtaking Christmas tree that takes three days to decorate. It’s pure Christmas magic with music, Christmas cakes, and Santa himself. The Badrutts’ Christmas gala dinner is legendary; its proceeds go to charity.
St. Moritz is a winter wonderland consisting of 350 kilometers of slopes.
Several companies in St. Moritz offer romantic sleigh rides through the snow. Time to snuggle up under a blanket.
The Rhaetian Railway is an eight-hour spellbinding moonlight train ride through the mountains. Be prepared for a welcome drink, a fondue, and soft music.
For snow enthusiasts, the Village of Vail turns into a winter wonderland in December with galleries, shops, and great restaurants. There are few places more scenic for celebrating Christmas.
The annual tree lighting happens at the Children’s Fountain in mid-December, complete with carolers and Santa Claus.
The Grand Hyatt Vail is located by Vail Mountain and a few steps from Vail Village. All rooms and suites have a spectacular mountain view. Gessner Restaurant is available for apres-ski dining. Or couples can eat while playing virtual golf in the hotel’s Topgolf Swing Suite.
For Christmas, the Gessner Restaurant serves a special holiday fare on Christmas Eve between 4:00 and 10:00 p.m. A Christmas Day buffet is also served.
The list of activities in Vail is long and exciting. Couples can take one of Vail’s private gondolas and enjoy a very private dinner. A horse-drawn sleigh ride following dinner can turn into a true fairy tale or a personalized romance novel with you are the stars.
Honeymooners can unwind apres-ski at the King’s Club in front of a fireplace with a beer and live music.
December in New Orleans is a genuine honeymoon treat with its special traditions and enough decorations to dazzle the eye. The traditional bonfires created to guide Santa Claus are a wondrous sight, as is the caroling by candlelight in Jackson Square.
Every Christmas, the stunning historic mansions in the French Quarter allow guided tours of their Christmas home. Or couples can cruise with Santa on the Steamboat Natchez.
In French-styled New Orleans, Christmas dinners are called reveillon dinners, and one of the best is the five-course reveillon at Antoines.
The Hotel Monteleone and its Beaux-Arts architecture has exemplified New Orleans’ style for a century. It is a French Quarter landmark and a member of the Historic Hotels of America. Its rooms and suites are stylish, and some have a view of the Mississippi River. For literary fans, many of the rooms at the hotel have inspired some of America’s greatest writers, and the suites have been named after them, such as the Hemingway Penthouse, William Faulkner Suite, the Truman Capote Suite, or the Tennessee Williams Suite.
The Criollo Restaurant serves its Louisiana-inspired meals, while couples can enjoy creative cocktails at the Carousel Bar, which is referred to in one of Ernest Hemingway’s short stories.
If ever there was a Christmas city, it is Bethlehem, PA, which was named in 1741 and has been established as Christmas City USA ever since. For the full Christmas light effect, couples should take the Bethlehem by Night bus tour. Or take a guided stroll through the landmark district to experience Bethlehem in the 17th century.
The Hotel Bethlehem is centrally located in the city’s historic district. Come December, the hotel has a spectacular display of 35,000 lights, several Christmas trees, 36 wreaths, two giant nutcrackers, a large gingerbread house, and six 7-foot toy soldiers. It’s a childhood dream come to life.
Comfortable rooms and suites have views of the valley or downtown Bethlehem. The cuisine is tasty, and the Tap Room features Thursday Night Jazz. The hotel’s wedding planning team is prepared to assist with all details of the ideal dream wedding.
During December, Bethlehem turns into magic. The city is filled with holiday markets and a Live Advent Calendar. Every window has a candle. The Christkindlmarkt has a gala display of thousands of specialty goods, live music, and a skating rink.
Couples should stop at the Moravian Bookstore. Founded in 1795, this is one of the oldest functioning bookstores in the world. After browsing, the affiliated Lost Tavern Brewing Company offers craft beers and a selection of sushi.
The Windcreek Casino has 3000 slots and 150 gaming tables to try your luck.
In the historic district, the Moravian Museum, the oldest building in Bethlehem, showcases three centuries of Bethlehem’s history.
For honeymooners, San Francisco offers urban sophistication and national parks worth exploring. The city is filled with first-rate restaurants, shopping, and museums to help create unforgettable honeymoon moments.
Union Square is at the center of Christmas with blazing lights and extravagant shopping opportunities at Macy’s or Nieman Marcus and many other shops.
The century-old Westin St. Francis upholds its classic standards with rooms featuring marble bathrooms and elegant chandeliers. It is upscale chic and the sole hotel in Union Square. The Clock Bar exudes the charm and vibrancy of early 20th-century Paris as it literally turns back the clock to another era. Fortunate couples will love the wine-tasting selection from the cellars of the celebrated Chateau Montelena; its Chardonnay was the winner of the 1976 Paris Tasting.
For a special event such as a wedding, the Westin’s Golden Gate event room is located on the 32nd floor and can be accessed by five glass elevators that carry guests up to the clouds. The Golden Gate is known as the “most spectacular special event venue in Northern California.”
The St. Francis’ 12-foot Sugar Tree in the Christmas lobby has 1,000 pieces of candy and gift boxes hanging to adorn the entryway. Goodies can be purchased at the hotel’s Sweet Shoppe. In addition, 11 smaller holiday trees line the way to the shopping arcade.
The Great Dickens Fair as part of the Cow Palace Exhibition Halls places visitors in Victorian-era London with its music halls, dancing, pubs, and the scent of chestnuts roasting. Dimly lit streets are alive with Dickens characters and their saucy doings. This is a holiday tradition for many.
The Fairmont Hotel has a full-sized gingerbread house that couples can stroll through and have tea in the gingerbread dining room.
The city of Grapevine Texas, known as the Christmas Capital of Texas, is situated between sizzling Dallas and Ft. Worth. The city has 1,400 holiday events in 40 days, with more than a million seasonal visitors prepared to celebrate Christmas Texas-style. This promises to be a brilliant December honeymoon destination, as well.
Grapevine is known for its galleries, wine tastings, artists’ studios, and local shops. In December, the town has the largest light parade in Texas. To see Grapevine and its delightful surroundings, couples can take the Grapevine Vintage Railroad tour on weekends.
The Christmas show at the Palace Theater has showings of the Nutcracker and Reba, Elton, and Elvis singalongs.
The Gaylord Texan Resort has 1,800 rooms, a waterpark, an indoor atrium, four restaurants, and the Relâche Spa. It is located by the Cowboys Golf Club and Lake Grapevine. Most of the rooms and suites have a view of the striking atrium. Onsite restaurants with a great view serve an array of food but lean toward Texas-style cuisine.
The spa has both an indoor and outdoor pool, a snack area, a sauna, and a steam room.
The onsite nightclub, the Glass Cactus, entertains with its live, pulsing music, dancing, exquisite cocktails, and a view of the lake. Just bring your dancing shoes.
The majority of restaurants are open for Christmas dinner in this Christmas Capitol of Texas.
Biltmore Estate, Ashville, NC
The Inn on the 8,000-acres Biltmore Estate is a fantasy created by George Vanderbilt in 1895. The Inn and surrounding gardens are one-of-a-kind exquisite and could only have been imagined by one of the wealthiest men in the world. The Inn has a spa, heated pool, and an assortment of eateries worthy of the Vanderbilts. Downtown Ashville is nearby with its galleries and many museums.
Guests can take a sampling tour of the winery or shop in the estate’s own Village with its shops and historical collections. There is a two-hour tour of the entire estate.
The Vanderbilts were renowned for their uncompromising love of luxury, and the Inn and its world-class restaurants and accommodations have been recognized by Forbes Travel Guide, Travel and Leisure, and Conde Nast routinely.
Biltmore is transformed each year into a magical tradition dating back 120 years. The stunning lights and decorations, the music, and candlelight guarantee an extraordinary experience.
The main tree is 35 feet tall with 25,000 ornaments and 100,000 special lights. The magical festive ambience spreads throughout the estate. Evenings are ablaze with candles as musicians perform favorite songs.
Christmas Eve dinner and Christmas dinner are splendidly served in Vanderbilt style as the Dining Room, the Deerpark Restaurant, Cedric’s Tavern, and the estate’s other eateries. There are several Christmas packages available.
Lovers of chocolate can check out the goodies at Ashville’s Chocolate Fetish. And don’t forget to share.
Ashville’s Basilica of Saint Lawrence has stunning architecture, stained glass windows, and an expansive history and makes for an interesting visit. Self-guided tours are available.
During medieval times, eligible singles came to London in search of romance. It still retains its romantic aura with unlimited activities, including for couples. For a December honeymoon, the city comes to life with decoration and lights.
A wonderful beginning is a tour through Buckingham Palace. A private winter tour, given from November through February, is even better and more intimate than a standard tour. Follow the steps of Queen Victoria, who was the first royal to make the palace her home, and marvel at the glittering chandeliers, the magnificent state rooms with their treasures and irreplaceable furniture, the Throne Room, and works of art by Rubens, Van Dyck, and Rembrandt. Spend a part of your honeymoon living like royalty.
At the Shangri-la London the rooms and suites, all above the 34th floor, have an amazing view of London landmarks. Some come with valet laundry service and personal butler service. All restaurants and lounges also have a stupendous view. Dining in the Sky is a rare romantic treat consisting of a special dinner in a private space with a view of London, a glass of champagne, a three-course meal, a bottle of wine, and upgraded décor.
Hyde Park turns into a fairyland featuring skating, live entertainment, a holiday market, rides on the Giant Observation Wheel above the festive lights, and the Magical Ice Kingdom with 500 tons of ice sculptures hiding in passageways.
The Grand Temple of Freemasons has an annual candlelight Christmas concert.
Londoners love their holiday, and many restaurants prepare a lavish Christmas dinner.
The Londoner Restaurant has a five-course non-traditional feast of seafood and plates of roasted duck. The Spaniards Inn has been serving dinner since 1585, and its Christmas feast is straight out of Charles Dickens with roasted turkey and chocolate truffles for dessert.
The Duck & Waffle on the 40th floor of the Heron Building is the highest restaurant in England. It serves turkey, truffle soup, and a Christmas pudding waffle.
A Christmas honeymoon in the Florida Keys can revamp a few holiday traditions as couples stroll passed palm trees decorated with Christmas lights and can enjoy a holiday festive boat parade. It is one of the best times to visit as it follows the traditional hurricane season. The beaches are still great for relaxing and may be warm enough for a swim.
Ocean’s Edge Key West has been named the number six hotel in Key West by TripAdvisor for its luxury rooms and suites, swimming pools, a marina, and a shuttle to Old Town. It provides introductory lessons in paddle boarding, kayaking through the Mangrove, and holds regular Saturday poolside parties.
Rooms have a balcony with an ocean view, and the onsite Yellowfin Bar and Kitchen blends Florida and Caribbean cuisines with fresh seafood straight from the marina.
Tavern N’ Town in Key West serves a very traditional Christmas Day dinner, while the Casa Marina leans more toward seafood and a traditional dessert.
While daytime kayaking tours are quite common in Key West, couples may wish to opt for a romantic nighttime kayaking excursion beneath the stars.
Key West has some of the best beaches in Florida. Smathers Beach is a popular beach for strolling, and they have water sports equipment available for rent. Higgs Beach has loungers, showers, and, for history lovers, a Civil War fort and an African refugee cemetery.
Rest Beach, contrary to its name, encourages activity with its small yoga classes.
Looking for a bit of fun? Virgilios hits all the right notes. On Martini Monday, the bar has $5.00 martinis. Couples can dance to live music every night and relax on the patio.