Tuesday, April 28, 2009

How to Honeymoon, Part Numero Dos

OK, so I'm jumping all over the place with my blogs, right? Veils to travel to CAKE (it's coming)!

I'm going back to the travel part of having a honeymoon and how to do it a little less expensively than an all-inclusive resort or hotel somewhere. My Modern Bride magazine called out 3 places (might have been a few more) under $200 this month. Conde Nast Traveler was all excited about their "under $250" specials. I am sorry, but that is not a deal in my book.

I digress (I think). The last time I mentioned honeymoons, I was talking about my solo vacation in 2004 (prior to meeting and loving The Candyman) in Hawaii. The Candyman had never been further west than Texas in all of his thirty-something years, so I was bound and determined to show him the Pacific. I had a big ol' pile of frequent flier miles to my name and Home Away at my fingertips, so I got to planning. I wanted to try a new place (not that there was anything wrong with the place I stayed originally). I wanted a change of scenery. I found another cottage two blocks over called Savannah's Cabana! Terri Cordell, the owner of the main house and her family were just the sweetest people we had ever met. They made us feel really welcome and the cottage was perfect. We had less of a kitchen than I had a Kailua Beachwalk, but it didn't matter. All we really made was coffee and lunches to go.

Our "home away" in Kailua, Hawaii!

Our protective yard Buddha!

In the shared yard - a great place to chill and chat with the neighbors!

A slightly sunburned Candyman!

Savannah's Cabana was $135 a night, plus a cleaning fee and taxes. We stayed over Labor Day weekend and instead of the rates going up, we got a small discount. Their site doesn't mention this, so they might have changed it, I'm not sure. Again, we were a block away from the best beach ever.

Looking south on a Friday afternoon.

Looking north on a Friday afternoon. Note the crowds.

OK, so for our honeymoon, I wasn't sure what we should do or where we should go. Part of me just wanted to jump in the car and head up to Gatlinburg, TN, or Asheville, NC, and hide out in a cabin for a week. But, Asheville reeks of patchouli and Gatlinburg can get a little too mountain-like (Deliverance, anyone?), so I started searching all sort of crazy places that I'd always dreamed of going. Lo and behold, Home Away served up what I was hungry for. I found Sueno Del Mar in Zihuatanejo, Mexico, on the Mexican Riviera. Never heard of it? Good. That means fewer people will be there! Kidding (sort of). If you've ever seen "When a Man Loves a Woman" (Meg Ryan plays a drunk and Andy Garcia her pilot husband), you've seen Zihuatanejo (scene in an infinity pool). If you've seen The Shawshank Redemption, you've seen Zihuatanejo. It's where Morgan Freeman meets up with Tim Robbins at the very end of the movie. See, you know where it is!
Check out these photos of the place!

All photos courtesy of Sueno Del Mar

Amazing, right? We are going at the end of their low season (could be rainy), so got the lower rate of $165 a night (this is a 2-bedroom), but the owner Harriet Garfinkle, gave us a discount of 10% since we are just 2 people! Sweet! I did opt to pay $150 more to have them stock the kitchen with groceries for the week. We'll see if this was worth it, but my guess is that it will be. Upon receipt of 50% of payment (standard), Harriet sent me the most comprehensive guide book I've ever seen! All about where to go and what to avoid, what to eat, what not to eat and all sorts of little things you'd never think about (i.e there are scorpions in Mexico. Holy $H*T !). Harriet has also been updating us via email on the crap going down in Mexico. Mostly that stuff is happening in scary border towns and larger places like Mexico City. If you're smart, most of that kind of stuff can be easily avoided. I read a few articles that state most problems Americans have in Mexico are Tequila related. Thankfully, I learned my lesson with Tequila long ago and I now avoid it at all costs.
On Home Way, there are 8 reviews - all give 5 out of 5 stars. On Trip Advisor, there are 28 reviews - all with 5 out of 5 stars.
Lastly, check out their website with amazing photos and one honeymooner's description of their paradise. Harriet also called out my BLOG! Thank you, Harriet!!!! We can't wait!!!

If you want to book Sueno Del Mar, email Harriet at Travelzihua@gmail.com and tell her Louise sent you!

1 comment:

  1. Oh... I am so jealous! I vacationed in Ixtapa/Zihuataneho a few years back and it was marvelous! We were there in the end of September, sort of off-season, and it was great - very few tourists, and even if it rained it was still very-very warm with at least a couple of sunny hours a day. Wonderful seafood too! I hope you enjoy it!