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Tough Decisions For Romantic Memorable Trip

California
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17 posts
2 reviews
9 helpful votes
Tough Decisions For Romantic Memorable Trip

This is going to be a little bit of long post --- something I generally try to avoid, but there is a bit to unpack (or at least that's how it feels to me) --- and yes, maybe I should consider hiring a travel agent --- but hoping the community can provide some thoughts before I even think of doing that. As an aside, if anyone has a really amazing and patient travel agent I might want to check out (after reading my post), please let me know.

I am looking to take a vacation (myself and my wife) in July (the only time of the year outside of Christmas that is even feasible this year) --- and yes, I know I am getting to this late --- definitely later than I would usually like to.

Being located in southern California (about an hour from LAX), we typically do a TON of research only to end up in Mexico (due to the relatively short flights) or take a cruise (mostly due to convienence not to mention our daughter really enjoys them). This time we want to do something different --- something unique --- something really special. The best experience I have had to date was in Cabo, MX at Waldorf Astoria Pedregal. This really set the bar for us --- service was outstanding and food/drink were well above average --- being able to hear the waves crash below our room at night also made it super special (we were there in October --- little cooler than we would have liked but not cold). I am not sure I have ever had a better experience at a resort restaurant (we are foodies). Hoping to create something similar type of moment (maybe at a slightly lower price point --- if possible).

Back to our current trip...and a few of our "must have" requirements.

1. Great food and drinks --- high expectations here.

2. Room quality (while I by no means want to stay on our room the entire time, having nice amenities is well...nice).

3. Great scenary --- picture-worthy.

4. Great service/staff.

5. Romantic -- at least in some aspects.

Nice to have (but not must-haves):

1. Some nighttime activities (again, fear of boredom).

2. Maybe some cooking classes would be nice.

3. Swim-up bar (we like to be social --- but not overcrowded).

Now for some logistics and costs

1. Total out of pocket - $15K max -- including RT airfare.

2. July 25 (departure) and have to be back in California no later than Aug 5.

3. Prefer to keep flights non-stop or at most 1 stop.

Some itineraries I have considered so far are:

1. LAX - Dubai - Maldives --- my only concerns here are --- well it is monsoon season in Maldives and it is summer in Dubai. So hot and more hot....not to mention rain. Plus, would we be bored in the Maldives? Would staying at more than one resort be helpful --- or more hassle than its worth?? --- we REALLY want to be able to relax and not be packing/re-packing too much.

2. LAX to Hawaii --- we have never been to any of the islands, so definitely a real option here. I know there are some gorgeous places and I know the food is great....just wondering if this will create that memorible moment we are looking for (not picky --- just being thoughtful).

3. Have also thought about Seychelles, Mauritius, Bora Bora, Fiji, Greece, Croatia,Phuket --- not opposed to any of them really --- just overwhelmed with all the information. Also thought about a safari in Africa --- but that is probably going to put me over budget.

Bottom line, I am open to thoughts, ideas, suggestions. What were those really memorable trips that you always come back to?

FYI, I am probably going to avoid the Caribbean given it is right in the middle of hurricane season.

Edited: 17 June 2024, 03:43
7 replies to this topic
Allen, Texas
Destination Expert
for Honeymoons and Romance, Beach Vacations
Level Contributor
12,842 posts
172 reviews
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1. Re: Tough Decisions For Romantic Memorable Trip

To clarify…. You are wanting to put all of this together for THIS year, and as in next month….???

St. Lucia
Destination Expert
for St. Lucia
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21,598 posts
12 reviews
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2. Re: Tough Decisions For Romantic Memorable Trip

Hawaii.

Easy flights.

Easy to get around.

Absolutely stunning vistas everywhere.

I'm partial to Kauai, with the Na Pali coastline, stunning beaches, cliffs, flats, waterfalls galore, quaint villages, loads of outdoor activities, beautiful properties, etc.

I'm also partial to Hawaii, as in the big island. Both Kona and Hilo, and points in between. Beautiful!

You're surrounded, everywhere, with absolutely beautiful scenery, lovely hospitality and tons of 5 star properties...

Lots of people love Maui. And Oahu is great for some city activities, history with Pearl Harbor and more, North Coast, etc.

And good - yes, food! Everything from food trucks to 5 star dining..

That would be my choice out of your three, as you e written off Caribbean! And, quite doable for a trip a month from now...

Costa Rica may well fit a lot of what you're looking for along with a little more exotic and such, as would, probably, Panama..

(..

Edited: 18 June 2024, 01:03
California
Level Contributor
17 posts
2 reviews
9 helpful votes
3. Re: Tough Decisions For Romantic Memorable Trip

@stranieri_divertenti

Yes 😀

I realize this is a big ask.

Edited: 18 June 2024, 02:17
California
Level Contributor
17 posts
2 reviews
9 helpful votes
4. Re: Tough Decisions For Romantic Memorable Trip

@Sea_Reed006

Thank you very much for the suggestion.

Any particular resort stand out to you?

St. Lucia
Destination Expert
for St. Lucia
Level Contributor
21,598 posts
12 reviews
22 helpful votes
5. Re: Tough Decisions For Romantic Memorable Trip

In Kauai, I've stayed at Grand Hyatt and Sheraton in Poipu. Both fab, lush grounds, etc. There's tons of others. And villa rentals galore. .

Kona - Hilton Waikoloa Village was superb. Again, loads of others around Hawaiia, both Hilo and Kona and environs..

There's a specific Destination Forum for each Hawaiian Island, I'd suggest heading there to find some suggestions.. good luck!!

St. Lucia
Destination Expert
for St. Lucia
Level Contributor
21,598 posts
12 reviews
22 helpful votes
6. Re: Tough Decisions For Romantic Memorable Trip

For continuity, looks like OP is going with Maldives:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g293953-i7445-k14798080-Questioning_July_Aug_Trip_To_The_Maldives-Maldives.html#121048260

Norway
Level Contributor
6,669 posts
18 reviews
12 helpful votes
7. Re: Tough Decisions For Romantic Memorable Trip

I’d go for these 3:

1. Hawaii. The Big Island offers a great mix of relaxation and adventure, with stunning scenery (think volcanic landscapes and black sand beaches), world-class cuisine (fresh seafood and local favorites like poke), and plenty of activities (hiking, snorkeling, stargazing). Consider staying at multiple resorts to experience different parts of the island, but be mindful of travel time in between.

2. French Polynesia. Bora Bora is known for its luxurious overwater bungalows and crystal-clear waters, perfect for relaxation and romance. However, it can be quite expensive. Consider other islands in French Polynesia like Moorea or Tetiaroa for a more affordable option.

3. Greece. Santorini offers stunning caldera views, delicious food (think fresh seafood and Greek salads), and a vibrant culture. You can find luxurious accommodations with infinity pools and impeccable service, perfect for a romantic getaway.

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