A Long Search for a Little Piece of Paradise

While we’re hard at work this weekend on our invitations (that may or may not involve a gocco, a xyron, zips, an embosser, and 8 lbs. of paper!), we’ll be dreaming of this view that we’ll enjoy in just three months!



And we’ll enjoy our honeymoon even more knowing how much time and effort we put into locating it! Let me fill you in.

From the beginning, Nick and I knew we wanted a tropical destination. As much as we both appreciate art, history, and culture, all we want for our honeymoon is sun, sand, and maybe a little pampering.

We received two very generous offers from Nick’s parents and relatives to use their timeshares. However most of what we found (with the exception of this one: Ocho Cascadas, which is not available in September) were huge high-rise resorts among other huge high-rise resorts. This is fine for some couples, but we really envisioned a secluded, rustic villa. No crowds, no kids, and no tourist attractions.

So we moved onto our own search. We scoured the Web for accommodations that fit our criteria, and we landed in the Caribbean. The Caribbean is a nice choice because it’s close to home (i.e. Pennsylvania), and most of the islands are small and intimate, but they also include fun and adventure.

We fell in love with this eco-friendly spot in Dominica (aptly named the Nature Island): Jungle Bay Resort & Spa:


The Escape Honeymoon Package offers everything from a private luxurious cottage in the jungle to waterfalls and natural hot springs to spa treatments and yoga. Awesome, right? Unfortunately we learned that the resort is closed during the month of September for renovation. And we encountered a similar problem with at least one other resort in the Caribbean.

We took it as a sign that we are not to travel to the Caribbean in September. It is hurricane season, after all. So we started to explore Hawaii … and soon discovered that our ideal accommodations are few and far between, unless we’re willing to pay an arm and a leg, which we are not. From Hawaii, it was on to Belize and Aruba. But still nothing said to us, “Come here to celebrate the first blissful days of your new marriage!”

After spending hours upon hours searching online, we decided to enlist the help of an expert. I went through three (unhelpful) travel agents before I discovered David Rojahn from DTR Travel. I googled “honeymoon vacations,” or something similar, and found him on one of the results pages. He’s located in in Denver, but I thought I’d contact him anyway. What did we have to lose at this point? He may be on the opposite side of the country, but he was quick to respond. He runs a family business, and his compassion and commitment toward couples is really evident.

We corresponded with David via email and phone. He listened to everything we had to say and found not one … not two … but three places for us! They’re all great, but El Dorado Maroma is perfect! It’s in the Riviera Maya and offers the following amazing amenities: just 72 suites — with either a swim up jacuzzi or an infinity pool (we chose the infinity pool), a private terrace, one of the top ten beaches in the world according to Travel Channel, gourmet food, watersports, a spa … the list goes on! Doesn’t it sound lovely?! This place is definitely a romantic retreat.  It’s everything we envisioned and more.

We may have invested countless hours searching for our ideal honeymoon, but it’ll all be worth it when we’re lounging in our private pool overlooking the Caribbean Sea … as man and wife!

Tell me about your honeymoon! Did you enlist the help of a travel agent?