Bottoms Up

These beverage-focused honeymoons will quench your thirst

Someone once said that being in love makes you thirsty. In that case, a honeymoon ought to quench your craving, buoy your mood, wet your whistle and debut a life abundant with toasts and clinked glasses. With that in mind, we offer up an imbiber’s compendium to liquid-y retreats, both alcoholic and otherwise.

Whisky In Scotland

Wee drams, bagpipes, the Loch Ness monster, kilts and whisky made in the green, glen-abundant Highlands define your tippling honeymoon to discover the five Scottish regions responsible for scotch whisky. In romantic Speyside, home to pear- and vanilla-intoned whiskies made near the River Spey, you can also fish for salmon, bike and hike. Immerse in the terrain as you paddle down it with Spirit of the Spey. This canoe lover’s whisky tour, an outdoors enthusiast’s favorite way to nip, finishes in a yurt with tastings and storytelling. For an atmospheric stay, historical Craigellachie Hotel seals the deal, featuring charming rooms and more than 900 whiskies stored behind the bar. Or, consider a bespoke Celtic itinerary designed by Brendan Vacations, where local hosts deliver insider experiences, including sharing the secrets of master distillers and private dinner tastings. 

The Retreat; Image copyright Andres Garcia Lachner

Coffee in Costa Rica

Honeymoon the holistic way with crystals — and coffee. With views of the Nicoya Peninsula, atop a mystical quartz mountain, The Retreat facilitates the fine art of disconnecting with phone- and TV-free rooms and verdant nature. Selenite crystals anchor each suite, but for a real buzz, hurry to the on-site organic coffee farm, an ideal place for coffeeholics to indulge their passion. Sip coffee to the chorus of chirping birds, while you learn how crystal-energized soil and crystal-infused spring water can improve the quality of coffee. After time spent in the hideaways romantic salt water pools, trekking through the surrounding jungle or  yielding to Ayurvedic treatments in the Vida Mia Healing Center & Spa, experience some of Costa Rica’s other coffee “hot” spots — such as Espiritu Santo, a farm in Naranjo, just outside San Jose. They offer a seven step tour, which focuses on all aspects of the coffee process, including harvesting, roasting and the nation’s famous chorreador brewing method.

Jose Cuervo Express

Tequila in Mexico

You and your boo don’t dream about Mexican beaches. Rather,  you imagine yourselves tromping through the state of Jalisco’s dusty red soil and profuse agave fields. You want to see the UNESCO-recognized town of Tequila (and its environs), a region rife with succulent-brimming terrain and artisan distilleries. More than that, you hope to participate in a harvest. You long to chop out the agave’s heart (called a pina), watch it get roasted, see the distillation process and taste the final, smooth-as-silk product. The high point of this honeymoon, however, happens as you chug through the landscape aboard the Jose Cuervo Express (aka: The Tequila Train). Ensconced in its new Elite wagon, a train car with panoramic windows, you’ll relish its sought after tequila tasting experience as much as the vistas. Do visit the Beckmann Gallardo Cultural Center, a museum dedicated to the history and arts of the region. Base at characteristic Hotel Solar de las Animas, a stylish lodge with a gastronomic focus.

Chocolate In Ecuador

Claiming top status as artful chocolatiers thanks to its abundance of sustainable small producers, Ecuador’s Amazon is believed to be the birthplace of the cacao tree. Supplying some of the world’s highest-quality cocoa beans, which are known locally as black gold for the impact on the economy, the locale produces a chocolate that borrows from the terroir. It exudes a berry-infused, subtle spiciness — ideal for hot chocolate.  Near Quito, partake of Metropolitan Tours Journey to the Origin of Chocolate in the Amazon, a two-day experience, which includes a visit to a working cacao farm, birdwatching and a dip in an Andean thermal spring spa. Pamper yourselves at Casa Gangotena, a Relais & Chateaux member boutique hotel, where the Junior Suite with balcony room overlooks a wondrous garden and the Virgin of Quito atop a hill.

CuraÇao in CuraÇao

Like a hint of what to expect when you visit the tropical island of Curaçao, its namesake aquamarine-hued, bitter orange-flavored liqueur mirrors the color of the sea. Forty miles off the coast of Venezuela, a diving mecca, friendly Curaçao reflects its Dutch history with bonbon-colored row houses that may remind you of Amsterdam. Boasting nearly 40 palm tree-dotted beaches and some 70 bucket list dive sites, the island tends to attract outdoorsy types. But it also draws cocktail fans, yearning to know how that spirit that turns their Mai Tai blue gets made. Join a ToursByLocals expedition, which not only presents the island’s highlights, but also organizes distillery tours to attractions such as Landhuis Chobolobo, set in a 19th-century house. Fully bespoke, these led-by-residents forays, allow honeymooners to get an insider’s spin on Curaçao (and any destination where the company offers its program). Be coddled at the beach-sited Curaçao Marriott Beach Resort, where the one bedroom suites feature balconies with views as blue as the cocktail you’re drinking. 

One&Only Nyungwe House

Tea in Rwanda

High altitude, moisture-rich climates and slopes for cultivation contribute to stellar tea crops. All this comes together in Rwanda’s rainforest jungle, where the fertile organic soil completes the recipe for bumper crop tea. Stay on a tea plantation at One&Only Nyungwe House, where treehouse-style suites lie among the myriad green expanses of the Gisakura Tea Estate. Honeymooners can pick, dry and brew tea, learning all about its various flavor profiles via the resort’s unique tea ritual experience. Between cuppas, you and your true love can trek with a guide in search of monkeys and chimpanzees or luxuriate in the Nyungwe Forest-sited spa with a massage a deux. Don’t leave without letting the staff set up a private dining table in the tea plantation. Expect a field-to-plate menu with dishes, such as pesto pasta, made with — what else? Tea, of course.

Royal Champagne Hotel & Spa

Champagne in France

Bubbly snobs know it’s only Champagne if it comes from Champagne, that bucolic region just 45 minutes from Paris. So, why not surprise your soulmate with a stunning suite gainfully equipped with a phone, which sports a button labeled: “Champagne, please?” At Royal Champagne Hotel & Spa , an elegant refuge, you’ll have a dedicated Champagne Concierge, capable of arranging exclusive tastings at top Champagne houses — such as Bollinger, located nearby. With design inspired by Napoleon Bonaparte and his era, the hotel showcases it original 19th-century trading post, a station frequented by the kings of France — not to mention Napoleon himself. What can you do besides quaffing? Soar above vineyards in a hot air balloon, spa, eat at Michelin-starred restaurants and bike through the countryside like characters in a film.

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