Of course a fantastic honeymoon is worth the wait until after you’ve tied the knot, but getting engaged is almost as exciting as finally being married—and we say it should be celebrated in the same fashion with an engagement-moon!
Whether you’ve hit a planning lull between finding your vendors and finalizing the details or are feeling the stress start to mount as your wedding day approaches, there’s no time like the present for a long-weekend getaway to relax and unwind before the Big Day. Why save all the fun and relaxation for after the wedding when you could use some down-time now? These nine engagement-moon destinations are perfect for a long weekend escape, and will have you feeling rejuvenated, refreshed, and ready to take on the rest of your planning to-do list!
See more: The Engagementmoon Is Officially a Thing: How to Plan a Perfect Pre-Wedding Getaway
COURTESY OF TWIN FARMS
Looking for something a little more bucolic? Head up to Twin Farms in Barnard, Vermont for an inclusive getaway that’s a far cry from those beachfront resorts of your Spring Break days. The adult-only Relais & Chateaux property has just 20 rooms on 300 acres, so you and your S.O. can get back to nature and really unplug. The rates include all of your meals (hello, farm-to-table seasonal dining), as well as wine pairings from a 15,000-bottle collection that would put most big city wine lists to shame. Or if you’d rather take advantage of seasonal activities like a bike ride, canoeing, snowshoeing, or a hike, ask the chef to pack a hearty lunch for your adventure – then give tired muscles a break during an afternoon at the spa. For the ultimate in pre-wedding romance, book one of ten private cottages (some of which have in-room hot tubs!) to really connect with your future spouse as you write your wedding vows in front of a roaring fireplace.
COURTESY OF THE OTHER SIDE
The Bahamas are an easy hop, skip, and jump for most East Coast couples, perfect for a little fun in the sun that don’t require using up all of your vacation days. While there are plenty of big hotels and sprawling beaches to choose from, an engagement-moon is all about slowing down in the midst of wedding planning, so opt instead for a luxe off-the-beaten-path alternative. The Other Side is a luxury and eco-friendly glamping property on Eleuthera, where safari-style tents are surrounded by deserted beaches, lush landscapes, and plenty of space to spread out and slow down. Do yoga by the pool, soak in your outdoor bathtub, or hop on a paddleboard in search of sea turtles. The owner is also a talented chef, preparing farm-to-table Caribbean fare using ingredients grown in the hotel garden, and the bar tent is equipped with mixology books so you can make your own libations (or have the bartender whip up something a little more complicated).
COURTESY OF GRAN HOTEL MANZANA KEMPINSKI LA HABANA
Havana is the Caribbean’s answer to Old World Romance, seemingly untouched by time but quickly being updated with gorgeous hotels and incredible amenities to tempt the modern traveler. Step back in time at the Gran Hotel Manzana Kempinski La Habana, the first luxury hotel in Cuba and ideally situated in the heart of Old Havana. Surrounded by museums, monuments, and the scent of the ocean, it’s the perfect home base as you explore this historic city. On the days when you don’t feel like leaving the property, get pampered at Spa Albear by Resense or work on your tan by the rooftop pool. Book a table on the terrace at San Cristobal Restaurant, with panoramic views of the city, then head downstairs to the intimate Constantine bar, where Cuban rum is the specialty and the classic Daiquiri is not to be missed.
COURTESY OF WEDDING NATURE PHOTOGRAPHY
If you can’t decide between a few days in wine country or a trip to the beach, treat yourselves to both with a stay at Calamigos Guest Ranch. This 250-acre ranch in Malibu Wine Country, while a quick ride in a luxury shuttle takes you to the Beach Club, with gorgeous views, a delicious restaurant, and plenty of lounge chairs. Back at the ranch, private cottages and bungalows offer plenty of privacy for a romantic pre-wedding weekend, with private patios perfect for sipping your morning coffee or an evening glass of wine. Head outdoors for a deep tissue couple’s massage al fresco, then cozy up in a colorful cabana overlooking the pool to enjoy the perfect spritz or a glass of champagne. Enjoy a wine tasting tour, get creative at the Pizza Bar, or explore the ranch on horseback – the perfect easy getaway for LA brides and grooms.
COURTESY OF HOTEL WAILEA
Setting out on an engagement-moon from the West Coast? Nothing compares to Maui and the oasis that is the Hotel Wailea. Unlike other massive beachfront properties that dot this island state, Hotel Wailea has only 72 suites and is adults-only, ideal for a few days of serious relaxation. Manicured tropical gardens cover the grounds, encouraging you to wander and reconnect with nature. The restaurant serves island-to-table cuisine (much of which is grown on-site!) and the lounge serves fresh and tropical cocktails. For a real moment of romance, though, you’ll want to book dinner at The Treehouse, a private spot set amongst mango and avocado trees with ocean views that boasts an indulgent seven-course tasting menu and sunset champagne toast. You may have already gotten engaged, but the romance might just move you or your partner to propose again!
Looking for a cool and curated take on your Mexican vacation? Hotel San Cristóbal, set at the end of a dirt road on the Baja peninsula, is your answer. This boutique property features colorful design inspired by the beachfront setting, creating comfortable enclaves where you can unwind and feel right at home. Splurge on an ocean-view room with a sunken outdoor tub, where you can relax as you listen to the waves crash nearby. Feel your toes in the sand, or kick back on a lounge chair by the pool—no matter what you choose, the ocean (and a killer margarita!) is never far. The hotel highlights sustainability, from locally-sourced produce to sustainably-produced wines from around the world, so you can feel good about your indulgence. The chance to release baby sea turtles as part of your stay brings good vibes, too.
New York City
COURTESY OF PUBLIC HOTEL
New York is the perfect place for a quick trip. Whether you want to dine at the hottest restaurants, peruse the newest exhibitions at one of the city’s many museums, catch a show, or sleep in before wandering the city hand-in-hand, it’s the ideal backdrop for whatever type of engagement-moon you’re imagining. Check into the PUBLIC Hotel in the Bowery, putting you at the heart of the city’s bustling downtown neighborhoods. It’s luxe but affordable (great for your wedding budget!), combining refined design with a pared-down set-up that makes the most of each space. Head to The Roof bar for a celebratory cocktail, indulge in a creative and playful meal at Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Public Restaurant, then set the mood for an evening of romance with your room’s epic mood lighting. And don’t forget to Insta-story the hotel’s iconic escalators!
For a little dancing along with your R&R, head south to Nashville—the perfect place to brush up on your moves before your first dance. At Urban Cowboy, the eight unique (and totally funky) suites in this Victorian mansion make for an edgy yet comfortable home base for all of your explorations. Each has soaring ceilings and a clawfoot tub, but that’s where the similarities end. The Victorian is peaceful and calm, with a crystal chandelier over the king bed, while the ultra-private The Cabin (located in a separate building in the back of the property) embraces Nashville’s country charm and boasts a couples-friendly double soaking tub. Wherever you drop your bags, belly up to the bar at Public House for a craft cocktail before hitting the town. Don’t forget your boots!
JOSHUA HAINES PHOTOGRAPHY
Get away to the Windy City for a weekend that combines the charm of a bed & breakfast with all the trappings of a cosmopolitan destination. The Publishing House is an urban loft in the heart of the West Loop, a cozy getaway with just 11 rooms and suites that flaunts one of the city’s best breakfasts surrounded by bars, restaurants, and nightlife aplenty. Settle in to the communal living areas (the perfect combo of vintage and mid-century modern), and keep an eye out for the cutest greeters—the staff’s pups!