If you were to look up statistics and blog comments on the internet for the top travelling pet peeves, they would all involve your cliché honeymoon in the tropics that require both taxi and flight times to secure your spot on the plan and at the resort. From being crammed into a sardine seat, to overall grumpiness in the taxi and with the flight attendants you encounter (frankly it’s been a very, very long time since a flight attendant showed me a smile that was true), to the loud activity at 2 am in the hotel hallway, and the rude encounters you face in line ups at the buffet and in the reservation podium at any given busy resort. What’s it all for? Since I’ve started hosting small family reunions and weddings at my cottage, honeymoons have also been given a special focus that provide the right amount of romance, relaxation, and true vacation experience that newly married couples so desperately need and deserve.
Historically, honeymoons were considered the “pause” for the husband before he had to return to the military (usually a year), or the period of time AFTER the wedding, when the bridal couple would do a tour, visiting friends and family that were unable to attend the wedding. Even today it is considered a “special” time that requires thought and planning, as it really only comes along once in the beginning of a marriage to make that time sweet and romantic. It sets the marriage to a warm and loving start when the bridal couple get that special time.
In busy style resorts, whether they are in the cities, tropics or abroad, the concept of honeymoon has been moulded and often recreated to appear commercial and superfluous. The more money you spend, in many instances, signifies a “better” or more “luxury-oriented” honeymoon for your new spouse, even sometimes making you think it’s more romantic. What a crock! Like any travel experience, there are so many steps and measures to go through, so many different people you need to encounter to finally reach your destination, a beach or hotel pool that you often wonder, what is worth it? And the tipping!!!! I think personally, that is one of MY biggest pet peeves, and I come from the hospitality industry. Often you must tip FIRST in order to get service. I always thought the tip was a gesture of gratitude for a job well done. Nowadays it seems to be prejudge the customer or resort guest as to whether they are “worth the time” for a trip to the bar or to the kitchen.
It has been my experience from both personal and professional exposure, that the cottage honeymoon can be more fulfilling and memorable for its simplistic and nature loving appeal. Take away the “busy” and “hectic” and “time-sensitive” schedules for the most part. You enjoy the experience of water therapy by a lake or ocean, on a dock or beach, adjacent a roaring and cozy campfire, with your new spouse. It doesn’t have to be busy or crowded to mean the same thing. Remove the long line-ups or disappointed experience of not having space at special restaurant or hotel masseuse. Taking a walk along a nature trail while holding hands, photographing the candid shots of one another amidst a lovely lakeside cottage, or taking turns making one another breakfast in bed, have the appeal of an alternate sort of luxury that cottage life can provide. And what of the extras, what would you add? With the money you would have spent going abroad, or into the tropics for the typical honeymoon, you could put those funds towards a nice boat rental, or gourmet prepared foods that you bring with you, or a local town visit to nice spa, maybe a round of golf at a small village course, perhaps you can go horse-back riding at a local ranch (there are many in Ontario), or use the money to turn a one week honeymoon into a two week honeymoon instead. The benefit of scaling down the travel expenses, affords more spending money DURING your cottage honeymoon. It could upgrade you from one style of cottage or chalet, into another. And who said a honeymoon HAD to be in the summer months? Perhaps you decide to have your honeymoon in the winter and go to a nice mountain ski chalet within a certain driving distance.
To cottage rental owners who are seriously interested in offering this option to their cottage rental guests, I suggest Romantic Getaway Packages that for one affordable rate, you can provide your guests the complete Cottage Honeymoon Package, here is a sample idea:
Honeymoon with the Loons!
7 Days in a romantic setting with a lovely welcome basket (gourmet, coffee, tea, chocolates, red and white wine, cheeses and crackers, bottle of champagne, 3 romantic films, and tickets to a local theatre/event, mood candles, and local area postcards)
*2 Lake Boat Tour Excursions at your leisure
*Lovely Lakeside Sunsets
*Romantic Linens and Couples Robes
*All on your time and scheduling!
It does not have to be extravagant or complex. It can be simple and some of the little extras that you put thought into for your honeymoon cottage rental guests, could bring them some lovely memories that will last for years. It’s all about them so make it about them. This is just a sample package idea. It can be completely different. The message here is look for the romance in your cottage rental, and market that experience to this type of cottage rental: the honeymoon couple. My husband proposed at our cottage, and for me, it only seemed fit that both wedding and honeymoon would take place there. It’s not about how much you spend; it’s about romance, relaxation and rest.