Friday, February 26, 2010

Aruba, Jamaica, ooooh I wanna take ya...

During the wedding planning process, I always find it interesting to compare my previous expectations to what pans out in reality. For instance, when I went dress shopping, I was expecting to be overwhelmed with emotions when I found "the one." As you know, it didn't happen...but that is just one of the realities of the planning process I've had to deal with!

I experienced another one while planning the honeymoon. Ahhhh the honeymoon. I always thought that this would be one of the most exciting trips to plan, and I was imagining sunshine and rainbows and unicorns. However, the reality was more like Mr. Buttons and I kind of put it on the back burner. At the "6 months to the wedding" mark, I really started to pull myself together and get serious about booking something. I was so busy with planning the wedding that planning a honeymoon on top of it was just a lot to process!

In an ideal world, Mr. Buttons would probably have liked to surprise me by picking where we went. However, because he knows me so well, he was aware that I wouldn't like to be surprised, and would want at least SOME input on the decision.

So...what were our criteria for the trip?

  • Sunshine/tropical - we really love the beach...
  • Relatively close to Florida - I am not a very good traveler, and long plane rides would really do me any thoughts of Hawaii, Australia, etc. were nixed right away
  • Affordability - Mr. Buttons and I do like to get bang for our buck, so we wanted to find some place that was reasonably priced but still was spectacular
  • Seclusion - Mr. Buttons preferred that we find a honeymoon location that featured separate cottages, villas, etc. so that we wouldn't feel like we were in a hotel. This was his biggest request.

So, Mr. Buttons and I scoured Trip Advisor, asked recommendations from friends and travel agents, and created a list about a mile long of potential locations to travel to. I won't go over the long list of contenders because it would take me a few hours...but essentially it came down to a decision between an all-inclusive resort and an "a la carte" one. Although the allure of the all-inclusives was strong (who wouldn't want free drinks all day long, as well as all you can eat food?), we ended up selecting the latter.

Want to see where we're going???

All images from Rockhouse Hotel website

The Rockhouse Hotel is a boutique hotel in Negril, Jamaica. You may recognize it...Mrs. Ant was married there! And...coincidentally, when we announced to our families that we selected this hotel, we discovered that Mr. Buttons' brother and his wife honeymooned there a few years back! The ratings on Trip Advisor were glowing, and I was completely sucked in as soon we we visited the website.

It features only 34 rooms (8 premium villas, 12 villas, and 14 standard rooms), which Mr. Buttons was a big fan of. Hopefully that means peace, quiet, and seclusion for the two of us!

The premium villas have been constructed recently; we will be staying in one! You can literally jump off of any cliff into the water cool is that???

The regular villas sit back a little farther on the cliffs in comparison to the premiums.

There are a few restaurants to eat at on-site; The Rockhouse Restaurant and Pushcart Grill & Rum Bar have received great reviews...I'm excited to taste some Jamaican cuisine...

A really nice draw for me was their spa; they use a line of spa products made from only natural ingredients indigenous to the Caribbean.

Another thing I love about the hotel? They give back to the local community by donating to schools. Also, they are constantly improving their environmental practices and minimizing their use of natural resources, air emissions, and hazardous materials.

Mr. Buttons and I were thrilled to book our trip to the Rockhouse...and I can't wait to report back on our experience after the wedding!

What criteria factored in to your honeymoon search? What location did you end up selecting (or hope to select)?


  1. Loooove! That place looks so amazing and relaxing-- exactly what I envison my honeymoon spot to be. Unfortunately for me, my fiance insists on our honeymoon location to be a big secret and surprise for me. Hmph! I "need" to know where we're going! Maybe I'll give him a BIG hint by sending him a link to your blog. hehe.

  2. Wow, this looks fantastic!! I'm so jealous. I miss my honeymoon, it was the best time!! You guys are going to have a blast!!

  3. Nice! My fiance and I went to Negril, Jamaica last March and it was amazing. We stayed at Couples Negril (which was awesome) and when we went on a catamaran cruise, we passed by the resort you'll be staying at. The water is beautiful there and you're going to have a great time! We would totally have gone back to Jamaica for our honeymoon but October is hurricane season.

  4. I am doing that today!!! We wanted in-expensive and relaxing! We are actually opting to get a luxury cabin the mountains in Tennessee. I always thought we'd go tropical, but they were all so expensive. Someplace we could drive to and that was quiet and secluded, we were all for it.

    We live near the beach and are there all the time in the summer, and we love the mountains too - so we just thought this would be more relaxing and more secluded if we went this route!

    Your place sounds great...if it isn't too much, could you email me w/ what kind of deal you got???

    PS - our wedding is in 4 weeks! We are just a lil behind!!! lol

  5. I hope both of you enjoy your honeymoon.The location is very beautiful the beach is perfect. Good luck to your trip.

  6. Looks amazing! We went to an all inclusive in Aruba - and LOVED it!

  7. That looks lovely. My only criteria was that I didn't want to have to think or make any decisions for an entire week. We went to Sandals in the Bahamas and it was beyond fantastic. There was no thinking involved whatsoever, and if I can give you any advice it's this: Leave your cell phone, TV, and computer in their "off" mode. The only technology we had for the entire week was to turn on the Weather Channel once. That's it. It was pure bliss :)


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