As same-sex marriage becomes legal and accepted in more places around the world, it’s only natural for more hotels to jump on the bandwagon and offer LGBTQ wedding and honeymoon packages.
Romantic getaways and nuptials for same-sex couples are taking place in a wider variety of international destinations, according to David Rubin, CEO and founder, DavidTravel, an upscale travel agency in Corona del Mar, Calif. “We find the honeymoons, especially for our gay clients, are getting longer, including trips like customized, ‘around the world in 80 days’-type trips,” he said.
London-based Jacada Travel reports South Africa and Indonesia are among the trending destinations for same-sex honeymoons. “Both these countries are generally very accepting of LGBTQ travelers, with top luxury offerings,” said Heather Richardson, marketing and editorial manager, Jacada.
Amenities vary, but the important thing most LGBTQ couples look for is a welcoming environment. At Costa Sur Resort & Spa in Puerto Vallarta, marriage packages include a free wedding banquet, three hours of open bar and — for the couple — two free all-inclusive nights of accommodations, a suite upgrade and late check-out.
In Puerto Rico, the Condado Plaza Hilton this year announced a partnership with LGBTQ travel expert Andrew Collins to create a new “Coloring San Juan with Love” wedding anniversary package. The deal includes an itinerary written by Collins plus a five-course food tasting with wine pairing and a turndown service with rose petals and daily breakfast.
For an all-inclusive experience, Paradisus Palma Real Golf & Spa Resort and the Paradisus Punta Cana Resort in the Dominican Republic offer a “Where You Want to Be Celebrating” package for same-sex couples priced at $3,500. The program includes a wedding ceremony for 24 guests and spa treatments for the couple tying the knot.
A few airlines have even jumped into the market. Alaska Airlines, for example, features an LGBTQ Destination Weddings section on its website that provides information about group rates for family and friends, as well as recommendations for LGBTQ-popular destinations.
Southwest Airlines is cutting almost 20 non-stop routes as of January 2020. The airline says the move will allow it to focus its efforts on top destinations. The airline announced the move last month, with flights from Boston (BOS), Dallas Love Field (DAL), Los Angeles (LAX) and Orlando (MCO) seeing the most cuts.
United Airlines announces a number of new routes.
Mandarin Oriental, Geneva now offers its Royal Penthouse suite, one of the largest in the city at nearly 3,500 square feet, with an additional 1,800-square-foot terrace.
For any traveler interested in backcountry camping, wilderness exploration or any other type of outdoor adventure, REI now offers a wilderness safety training course to the general public. The programming is in partnership with the National Outdoor Leadership School, takes place on weekends and is “ideal for all outdoor enthusiasts.”
Welcome to Rhodes, a medieval treasure beautifully preserved throughout the centuries. Rhodes is the capital of the Dodecanese, an island ideal not only for those who want to relax, but also for those looking for an action-packed holiday! With its bright green hills, rich green valleys and uninterrupted line of golden beaches, Rhodes is truly a blessed place. “The sun island” has more sunshiny days and milder temperatures throughout the year than any other location in Greece. It is, after all, one of the country’s easternmost places and among the first to welcome summer on its impressive beaches. Add in the excellent facilities for tourism, the island’s special blend of cosmopolitan and traditional, and numerous cultural and archaeological sites, the most important being the Medieval (Old) Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and you’ve got the perfect holiday destination. While on Rhodes, don’t miss a daytrip to nearby Sými. An island of sponge divers and seamen, Sými used to have 30,000 inhabitants before the Second World War and was the richest island in the Dodecanese, despite its small size. Today, Sými attracts many visitors thanks to its beautifully preserved Neo-Classical buildings and the famous Archangel Michael monastery at Panormitis.
Ryanair will soon start its first round-trip Georgia flights. The flights, which start this November, will connect the capital Tbilisi (TBS) to Milan Bergamo (BGY) four times weekly and the western city of Kutaisi (KUT) to Bologna (BLQ) and Marseille (MRS), both twice weekly. Then, in April, Ryanair will add twice weekly flights between Tbilisi and Cologne (CGN).
TAP Air Portugal is adding 15 new weekly flights from the United States and Canada by summer 2020, a new record for the carrier of 71 weekly flights between North America and Portugal.
Attend one of the most acclaimed fall events, Autumn at the Arboretum, in Dallas. In its 14th year, the annual event is known as one of the best pumpkin festivals in the country, with its creative displays featuring more than 90,000 pumpkins, gourds and squash. The event takes place at Dallas Arboretum, Sept. 21 –Oct. 31. Alongside thousands of pumpkins, guests glimpse 150,000 autumn flowers across the 66-acre space.