Your Get-A-Way to Cortina d’Ampezzo

Imagine hitting the slopes and having one of the world’s most beautiful backdrops, The Italian Dolomites. I invite you to experience Cortina d’Ampezzo., surrounded by the most stunning scenery in the world. The Dolomite mountains are majestic, with some serious jaw dropping cliffs and peaks rising up from beautiful valley.


Located a couple hours’ drive from Venice, Cortina ( as the locals call it) is a several hours drive from Venice and a true paradise for ski enthusiasts. Powerful, sleek, and majestic, these gorgeous mountains have been named a World Heritage site.
The 1956 Winter Olympics put this area on the maps and in the living room homes around the world. Film buffs will recognize a genra of films shot at this location, from war and romantic movies to Italian comedies. The Pink Panther was filmed here in 1962 and you can channel your inner James Bond as Roger Moore hurtled down the slopes on skis while being chased by the bad guys on spike wheeled motorbikes. Brilliant.
Fashionistas will love Cortina, as it on the cutting edge of fashion and trends. You can check out next season’s fashion’s by walking along Corso Italia, the pedestrian street and the place to shop. Choose from the most exclusive brands from around the world, antique shops, art galleries, a true shopper’s paradise.
Skiing can work up quite the appetite and skiers will not be disappointed by the fine offerings of restaurants while on the slope. Once off the slope there are several high-end restaurants for the discerning tastes of the gourmands.
As a border territory, the food in influenced by both the Veneto and Tyrolean regions.

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For more information regarding luxury getaways to The Dolomite Mountains, contact Nancy Barkley at Honeymoons and Get-A-Ways.

Photo credit: Cortina d’Ampezzo website.

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I INVITE YOU TO INDULGE IN THE DOLCE VITA LIFESTYLE.

After spending 3 days in Lake Como, located in the foothills of the Italian Alps, I quickly learned why JFK said “It is the most beautiful lake of the world” Forming an upside-down Y, Lake Como is an hour’s drive … Continue reading

How I spent my 25th Wedding Anniversary.

Lying back in a wooden rowboat together and entering the magical Blue Grotto in Capri Italy.

 

Romantic sunset gondola ride on the Grand Canal in Venice, Italy.

 

Wine pairing at a family run winery in Sicily.

 

 

Exploring Montenegro with its twisting byways, Byzantine architecture, and pitched mountains plummeting straight into the Adriatic Sea.

 

Walking the medieval walls that surround Dubrovnik and then exploring what lies within the white old city.

 

Visiting Split Croatia with its bustling harbor lined with cafes and Diocletians’ Palace in the center of town.

 

Strolling through the streets of Rovinj, Croatia where hints of Italy are everywhere, in the signs, in the language, in the cuisine, thanks to having spent more than 500 years under Venetian rule. Romantic, quaint, and captivating, it’s Istria’s most beloved town.

 

Trip of a lifetime, you bet!  Memories that will last forever, indeed!  Can you experience this?  Absolutely, call Honeymoons and Get-A-Ways today!  215-793-4808

www.honeymoonsandgetaways.com

 

How to set your own trend for your Destination Wedding!

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Tell your own story:

Customize everything you can. You’ll be able to set your own trend for your destination wedding and reflect your unique personality. Continue reading

Love, Italian Style!

  1. Learn from the celebrities. Many engaged couples want to emulate the lavish celebrity weddings held overseas in some of the world’s most romantic locales. These types of celebrations are not necessarily out-of-reach of the average couple—ask local tourism boards or suppliers to recommend wedding and reception venues. You might be surprised what’s available.

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  1. Italy reigns. No surprise, Italy continues to be at the top of the list of wedding locales, with its culture, stunning landscapes and rich history—not to mention the excellent cuisine and wines. Venues range from luxury villas to medieval castles, renaissance palaces to ancient monasteries. One of the most desired locations is Chianti, in the Tuscany region, known for its stunning rolling countryside, vineyards, medieval villages and Renaissance churches.
  2. Take over an entire property. More couples are choosing to buy out an intimate venue for a weekend for the exclusive use of the wedding party and guests. During a buyout, all hotel amenities (including restaurants, lounges, spa, etc.) are open only to the wedding party and guests, assuring an exceptional, unique, unforgettable and private celebration.

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  1. Eloping is still an option. Perhaps surprisingly, more brides and grooms are choosing to run away secretly to get married. But make no mistake, this is no hurried affair, it is a sophisticated event — just one without invitations and guest lists. Today’s elegant elopements often include elaborate photo shoots in gorgeous locations and stunning wedding gowns.
  2. Fuse cultures and religions. The trend toward interfaith or multi-cultural weddings shows no signs of slowing down. You can help your clients combine and personalize the ceremony with different traditions, foods, dance, music and attire. They can recite vows in multiple languages, before officiants of differing religions. Such joint ceremonies can honor both religious and ethnic traditions.

Nancy Barkley/Honeymoons and Get-A-Ways/215-793-4808

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La Corte dei Papi, the perfect venue for your intimate and authentic wedding in Tuscany

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Cortona in Tuscany, Italy is perhaps best known as the setting for the book and movie “Under the Tuscan Sun” Cortona is among Tuscany’s loveliest destinations offering astonishing landscapes and romantic backdrops.

Couples seeking to get married at an intimate and elegant country house rich of flowers and perfumes, La Corte dei Papi is the perfect choice. If looking for exclusivity you may reserve the entire estate for your guests.
And because your wedding will last more than one day, the hardest choice you will have to make is choosing from all the amazing activities available to your guests. On site cooking classes? Walking or cycling the countryside? Or personalized private tours to Pienza, famous for its cheese, Montepulciano and Montalcino, known all over the world for its wines Nobile and Brunello.
You can visit Siena and San Gimignano, true historic and landscape treasures on the foot of Chianti.

Or perhaps your guests will just want to stay in their rooms? Why? This XVIII century country house was completely restored with luxury and wellness in mind. The spa suites offer a private spa for 2 people with a Turkish bath provided with 4 multi-sensory showers.

Couples choosing to marry at La Corte dei Papi will receive attention to every detail, superior professionalism and discretion from the staff. You will have a chef preparing each recipe with quality and elegant presentation for an ultimate dining experience. La Corte dei Papi is the absolute perfect location for your destination wedding which guests will be talking about for years to come.

Nancy Barkley, Honeymoons and Get-A-Ways, 215-793-4808

 

Your perfect destination is calling you. Half Moon Bay, Jamaica!

Visualize yourself getting married in the jewel of the Caribbean, where royalty and dignitaries choose to stay, truly one of the most legendary destinations, Half Moon Bay, Jamaica.  Having just returned from this magnificent resort, I can confirm that getting married at Half Moon Bay will be a dream come true.

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Half Moon Bay offers brides and grooms breathtaking backdrops to choose from.  Oleander Terrace offers the music of the Sea and prime beachfront location.   Sunrise Beach, a spectacular half mile curve of beach sheltered

by the offshore reef offers a quintessential toes-in-the-sand ceremony experience, especially at dusk when the constantly shifting hues of the sky and sea add a memorable backdrop. Or perhaps the elegant Sugar Mill Restaurant overlooking Half Moon’s beautiful golf course.

Your guests will be treated luxuriously in 5 star accommodations on private estate of 400 acres all fronted by two miles of private beach.  The hardest choice they will have to make is what fine dining restaurant to choose from and will they either enjoy the 18 hole championship golf course, Equestrian Centre, thirteen tennis courts, and a variety of water sports including a private Dolphin Lagoon or spend the day at the spa?

Words do not do justice on how beautiful Half Moon Bay is, so you will need to experience it for yourself and I promise you will have the perfect destination wedding.

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Nancy Barkley/Honeymoons and Get-A-Ways/215-793-4808

Nevis, the new, hottest destination for couples seeking elegance and romance!


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Why Nevis?

Nevis offers near perfect weather, luxurious indoor and outdoor space and stunning ocean views.   Couples can choose from picturesque churches, historic plantations, soft, sandy beaches or beautiful tropical gardens.  Nevis is truly one of the world’s premier Caribbean wedding destinations.

Who Nevis?

Nevis is for the couple looking for privacy and exclusivity. Nevis is a unique, elegant, romantic location for a destination wedding, honeymoon or Anniversary trip.  If it is Romance Related, that is who it is for.

When Nevis?  

Perfect time Nevis , December to early April.

What Nevis?

Top Romantic Activities on Nevis

  • Sunset Cruise

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  • Nevis Peak Hike
  • Botanical Gardens on Nevis

  • Private dining in the Mill at Montpelier Plantation & Beach

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  • Private picnic at Lovers Beach
  • Funky Monkey off-Road Adventure in a 4×4 wheeler, with picnic
  • Exploring Nevis out by bike

Where Nevis?

Top places to get married on Nevis

  • The 18th lawn of the Four Seasons Golf Course- A tropical setting just beyond the 18th hole between the green and the sea

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  • Botanical Garden of Nevis- the natural beauty of the one-of-a-kind Garden will make your dream wedding come true
  • Avenue of the Palms at Nisbet Plantation – This iconic venue among an avenue of coconut palms with a backdrop of the ocean.

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  • Thomas Anglican Church
  • Cottle Church- Ruins of an Anglican Church built in 1824 by John Thomas Cottle

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  • Various stunning beaches on Nevis

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  • Nelson Wedding Site – British Admiral Horatio Nelson married Fanny Nisbet on this site in 1787.

Your wedding day is one of the best days of your life, choose Nevis ……unspoiled, unpretentious, and unforgettable.

Nancy Barkley/Lifestyle Specialist Honeymoons and Destination Weddings/ Certified Nevis Romance Specialist

Honeymoons and Get-A-Ways / 877-793-4908

 

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Tips for Planning a Successful Destination Wedding

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Planning a wedding can be overwhelming. If you then add a foreign country to the mix things can definitely start to get a little crazy. While destination weddings conjure up thoughts of exotic, dreamy locations the reality is there is a lot of leg work that needs to be done before you get to that magical day. To help get you there without a hitch we’ve put together our top tips to planning your special day.

Having Time on Your Side

Planning a destination wedding takes time. To ensure your venue choices aren’t limited and that your wedding is scheduled during the season with the best weather conditions allow yourself plenty of time.  Your guests will need time as well, to accommodate this it is essential that you send out Save the Dates as soon as you have the location and date selected. If neither is set in stone, an estimate will suffice. For instance the month or year and the city/country are enough information for your guests to decide whether they will be able to attend.

Avoid Doing it All on Your Own

If you are tying the knot at a resort, as part of your package the resort will most likely provide you with their resident wedding planner who will take care of most things. Local based wedding planners will have relationships with suppliers in the area and will be able to source the best deals. However it is also a wise move to enlist the help of a wedding planner from your area who specialises in or has experience with destination weddings. The two teams of wedding planners will then be able to liaise with each other ensuring that your dream day is made complete. Securing local suppliers can be difficult especially when time differences or language barriers are an issue, hiring a wedding planner will ensure that you remain stress-free throughout the entire process. This does not by any way mean that brides cannot plan a successful destination wedding without a wedding planner. If you do happen to have room within your budget however it will just make things run a lot smoother.

Doing Your Research

Your wedding guests will be far more dependent on you for an overseas wedding than they would for one at home.  It is important to work with a travel agency that specializes in Destination Weddings, like Honeymoons and Get-A-Ways, who will do extra research and work for them.  They will negotiate hotel contracts, secure airfare, transportation, and activities for them to do in the area. It’s a good idea to have planned group activities to keep your guests occupied and make a full week or weekend of festivities for your guests to mingle with one another.  This is key is to make your wedding a celebration unlike any other.

Sourcing Suppliers

If you have your heart set on a particular photographer or hair and makeup artist discuss with them the possibility of travelling to your wedding. Try and negotiate with them the additional rates or whether they would just want you to cover the costs for their airfares and accommodation. If they can drive to your venue, it is not unheard of for vendors to charge a set rate based on the distance they are required to travel so keep this in mind. For overseas weddings, if you have had bad experiences with makeup artists in the past or are not entirely comfortable with the thought of having not had a trial beforehand consider creating your own look. Perhaps have a session with a makeup artist who can teach you some tricks for perfecting a bridal makeup look. Then have at least one practice run of doing your own makeup in the lead up to the big day. Another alternative is to ensure you arrive at your destination a few days in advance and to schedule in a trial so you can have a test run and make any tweaks to the look before the big day. One more idea is to bring all your own makeup products for the makeup artist to apply.  This way you can guarantee the foundation will suit your skin tone.  If your wedding destination is quite close to you, for instance driving distance it’s a good idea to go and meet with local suppliers and schedule in trials, consultations and tastings with your wedding reception venue in the one day.

Understanding the Reality of a Destination Wedding

It is best to understand that in the event of a destination wedding there will be quite a few close family and friends who will have to decline your invitation. This is merely the harsh reality of a destination wedding however it can keep your costs and guest list numbers down.  If by chance there are certain family members or friends that you simply can’t imagine your day without who are unable to attend due to financial reasons, consider setting aside some of your budget to offer to pay in full or partially pay for their accommodation or flights. While some guests may be put off by this, insist that you can’t imagine your day without them and that it is already taken care. If they are still hesitant you will have to respect their wishes. Other guests may decline your invite as they are unable to take time off from work in this instance try and ensure you select a convenient time of year that will suit a majority.

The Art of Travel

When it comes to selecting your bridal attire, wedding stationery and any other elements you wish to bring with you it is important to consider how you will transport such items. Perhaps you pay for extra baggage or split items amongst guests and the bridal party. Ensuring nothing will get damaged in transit is paramount to avoiding any unnecessary wedding day dilemmas. To do this meticulous planning will be vital.  No bride wants any unwanted surprise in the lead up to her big day.

It is recommended to refrain from requesting gifts from guests who have made the effort to travel to attend your big day. If by chance you are given gifts you will have to figure out how you will get these home, perhaps look into the option of packaging them up and shipping them back separately or ensure you have left room in your luggage just in case.  Doing this ahead of time will eliminate potential stress.

It’s always nice to put together welcome gifts for all your guests. They can be as extravagant as you like however just simple baskets of goodies is more than enough. For instance in tropical locations provide your guests with sunscreen, insect repellent, band aids etc. – essential items they may not have thought of.  Your guest will love this personalized added touch.

While planning a destination wedding can definitely be more difficult, working with a Travel Agency that specializes in Destination Weddings,  Honeymoons and Get-A-Ways will definitely make it stress free.

‘Kristi Charter is an experienced freelance writer with a breadth of knowledge across an array of subjects. Captivated by the wedding industry, Kristi is currently the Content and Social Media Coordinator at Giant inviations. http://giantinvitations.com.au/

Greece Honeymoon

There is a reason Greece tops Lonely Planet 2014 Best of Europe Top 10 List.  This country, which resembles a huge post card, is one of the most romantic places in the world to honeymoon.

I would like to share a glimpse of my recent trip to Athens this past May.

Athens, a contemporary city, combines the present and the past in a unique way. Modern restaurants with famous chefs, lovely nightlife and various cultural events run every day and still the Athenian past is obvious in every corner.  The history of the Acropolis of Athens is long, when democracy, science, philosophy and art flourished leading to its creation. The Acropolis and the Parthenon in particular, is the most characteristic monument of the ancient Greek civilization.

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Santorini is one of the most sought after destinations in the world, and I had the opportunity to experience 5 star hotel accommodations while staying at Mystique.    Mystique is a stylish property built on Oia’s most famous cliffs offering amazing views of the Aegean Caldera.

The rooms, which are built in a cave offer seclusion, tranquility and spectacular bathrooms that directly look out to the sea affording jaw dropping views.  If you do choose to connect to the world and not hibernate, the complimentary WI-FI works great.

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The Asian Spa at the Resort offers both unique and memorable spa services that can be experienced in their spa, or in  your room.

 

The Santorini Wine Adventure allows you to discover the most distinct wineries and traditional cellars in Santorini through a unique wine tasting journey.   During the 4 hour tour of the Santorini country side you will visit the most distinct wineries on the islands where winemaking dates back more than 4, 0000 years.  The volcanic land gives special features to the wines. And you will experience an adventure of flavors winding through traditional villages and dramatic landscapes with hillsides covered in vines.

I hiked the 12 km from Oia to Fira, along the brow of the Caldera and met a lot of friendly travelers from all over the world making the same hike.

 

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There is no better way to discover the volcano, hot springs of Thirissia island then by way of catamaran.  We explored the craters of one of the most important volcanoes in the whole world and Thirissia island while the chefs on the catamaran prepared us a gourmet lunch.

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I spent an extremely educational afternoon at Akrotiri ,  one of the most important prehistoric settlements of the Aegean. The first habitation at the site dates from the Late Neolithic times (at least the 4th millennium B.C.). The large extent of the settlement (ca. 20 hectares), the elaborate drainage system, the sophisticated multi-storied buildings with the magnificent wall-paintings, furniture and vessels, show its great development and prosperity.

 

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I then departed for Mykonos, a 3 ½ hour journey by speedboat and was transferred to The Rochari Hotel,  located in a very convenient location just a few minutes’ walk to the town center and the old port of Mykonos. My terrace offered a stunning view of Mykonos and the Aegean Sea.

Mykonos is  famous for its giant whitewashed windmills and chapels scattered along the countryside, divine sandy beaches, unique Cycladic architectural style, wild, cosmopolitan nightlife, endless entertainment opportunities, yummy local delicacies and countless gastronomic restaurants

 

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Mykonos is also an island jetsetters frequent for the unbelievable upscale shopping and nonstop partying .

 

However, when you do wish to relax, visit Psarou beach which is guarded by locals and VIP visitors where crazy partying is frowned upon! It is actually an attractive -not too small, not too big- beach with clear waters, umbrellas and sun beds and a place for boats and private yachts to anchor. Psarou beach has a restaurant, a traditional taverns, a cafe-bar, and even a sushi bar for the most demanding! For those who are more active, Mykonos offers a variety of water sports. From snorkeling to water ski and from tubes rides to parachute each one of you can find something interesting!

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Greece was truly one of my most fulfilling and memorable travel experiences ever!