Tim and Nina Zagat, creators of Zagat restaurant guides, have not compiled a book of honeymoon destinations yet. But they have picked out a few ideas from their hotel guides, and they share them Tuesday on The Early Show.
Here are their favorite regions for honeymooning:
California wine country
Asia (Maldives or Bali)
Four Seasons on the Big Island:
"Ahhh...perfection" coo sybarites, naming this low-rise resort "paradise found" (No. 1 resort in the U.S.). An "especially attentive staff" greets guests by name-- every time-- and "superb" Island-style Continental fare at Pahu i'a, oversized rooms, small beach, golf that's reserved for guests only and open-air spa all make this "one of the greatest places on earth".
Lodge at Koele:
There's "no place like" this "unusual combination" of a "classic English lodge" and island resort with croquet, lawn bowling, chess and skeet at an "estate" in the "misty" hills-- "so beautiful, you don't need a beach"; "huge room" with fireplaces are "truly special", "service is superb" and the "golf astonishing" with pines and bonsai-like greens; formal dining ("pineapple cider to die for") rounds out accolades for "one of the best spots in the world."
Four Seasons Georges V: It's "elegance on a platter" at this "truly special" top-rated hotel in the city that wows its patrons in recently remodeled "sultan style"; a "spectacular location" between the Champs-Elysees and the Seine, a staff that "leaves no stone unturned", "magnificent rooms", "fabulous" flowers ("I'd go there just to see them" and "memorable dining" at Philippe Legendre's Restaurant Le Cinq have those with a penchant for "luxury incarnate" (and no need "for a second mortgage to pay the bill") singing "superlatives." Less expensive: Bel Ami or Relais St. Germain: Bel Ami: This chic hostelry (opened in early 2000), the third brainchild of the savvy hotelier behind the Montalembert and Lancaster, delivers all you might have come to expect: a fashionable Left Bank address close to designer stores, extremely hip rooms carved out of a converted 1920s printing factory and a clientele described by the management as 'the modern people of this century'.
Relais St. Germain: Fans of this "Left Bank 'pocket' hotel" call it a "charmer" in a "fabulous neighborhood" with "personable" hosts and rooms (some with kitchens) that are "like elegant apartments"; detractors, however, say it's "non-distinct", with "cramped" quarters that can be "noisy" if they face the street and "management that makes Fawlty Towers look like a well-oiled machine."
Rated the top small hotel in the nation, and with the No. 1 ranking for rooms as well, this "glorious" inn is where those with deep pockets "go to be coddled" in the "height of luxury"; guests swoon over "beautiful cottages in private woods" and rooms at the Main House (which has one of "the best contemporary art collections of any hotel in America"), as well as "fabulous" dinners made from estate-grown produce and served by an "exceptional staff"; those "who can afford" this "enchanting" spot near Woodstock insist it "should be experienced at least once in a lifetime"; N.B. adults only.
Less expensive: Shelbourne Farms "The 19th century rules" at this "elegant" mansion resort aside Lake Champlain; a staff that "makes you feel like a Vanderbilt" compensates for rooms so "old-fashioned" they're devoid of heat *this working dairy farm is open only from May-October), and everything else achieves "absolute perfection" -- including "excellent" dining and "quiet time" to nourish "body and spirit."
US WINE COUNTRY
Auberge du Soleil
Parrot Cay in the Turks & Caicos Islands
Maldives: Four Seasons Maldives (can also visit Jaipur or Lake Palace in India on this trip)
Bali: (high end) Four Seasons Jimbaran Bay Amandari
(less expensive) Chedi, Grand Hyatt or 2 Sheratons
La Mamounia in Marrakech:
Reputedly, "Churchill loved" this art deco and Moorish-style hotel (circa 1922), which has always attracted the "movie set", as an "oasis" in a "beautiful city", and so do our surveyors, who praise its "luxurious public spaces", gardens with mountain views, five restaurants and a "pampering" staff that attends to details like "putting rose petals in the fountains"; "over-the-top indulgence" extends to "lunch at the pool" and the beauty and hair-care institute that seems to appeal to the celebrity clientele.
For more information, visit zagat.com.