Honeymoon registries have been around for a while now, but we’re excited to hear that Hyatt Hotels & Resorts has finally jumped on the bandwagon! The company’s new gift site allows you to register on its site (just as you would for items at a department store) for everything from room service breakfast to couples massages to the room itself. And believe me, choosing one of Hyatt’s fab honeymoon-worthy hotels (a personal fave: the Park Hyatt in Buenos Aires) is just as fun as picking out a blender. Plus, your gifts don’t expire and there are no blackout dates. Check it out at hyattregistry.com. For more information on honeymoon registries, check out our July/August issue, on sale now. –Xander, The Honeymooner

I went to a preview of New York City’s brand-new High Line park this week and met newlyweds Cynthia and James, and their photographer Annabel. Built on an abandoned elevated train track, the meandering pathways and landscaped nooks offer a unique perspective of Manhattan and the Hudson River (it hovers about two stories high). Its remarkable design, including beautiful wooden lounge chairs and a water feature, make it the most exciting new attraction the city has seen in years! And get this: One of the park’s co-founders, Joshua David, started his career as a travel editor here at BRIDES. Small world. —Xander, The Honeymooner

WNola2New Orleans is known for great music, fabulous food, a blend of Afro-Caribbean and European cultures, and—oh yes—that steamy weather. On a recent visit, I discovered a genuinely cool spot to beat the heat: The pool at the W New Orleans in the French Quarter. It shares a Moroccan-inspired courtyard with a fountain and daybeds, and it’s illuminated by candles and lanterns at night. There’s nothing like a cocktail and a dip to start off an evening in the Big Easy. –Xander, The Honeymooner

 

KiplingYou remember Kipling bags—those sporty, nylon standbys favored by Europeans on holiday. For the first time ever, Kipling is designing with leather, and the results are surprisingly stylish and great for travel. This spring’s Vintage Collection is a perfect marriage of form and function. I love the Cyan shoulder bag—it’s large enough to hold everything I could possibly need for the day, and it’s incredibly comfortable to wear on the shoulder or across the chest. Looks like little Kipling’s all grown up. –Xander, The Honeymooner

Planning a trip can be totally overwhelming—the wealth of information online can be confusing, inaccurate, or simply not to your taste. (Don’t get me started on user reviews…) Enter: seejanefly.com, a new website by a frequent traveler who had the same planning issues. It has a simple, clean interface and spot-on advice. Just pick a type of trip (i.e. Romantic Escape), fill out a short questionnaire, and presto! It’s like a very cool like-minded friend just gave you the low-down. San Francisco is this first city to launch with L.A., Vegas, New York, and Miami on the way.  –Xander, The Honeymooner

This week’s announcement of the Webby Awards got me thinking about office-chair travel—you know, sitting at your desk at work, looking longingly at gorgeous places on your computer screen.  So, in the spirit of the Webby’s, why not do a little 9 to 5 honeymooning?  Here are a few sites (some are award-winners!) that are so transporting you may just forget you’re sitting in an office.  Just try not to get caught…

For fabulous hotels: www.kiwicollection.com
For faraway places: www.andbeyond.com
For a hop over the border: www.tourisme-montreal.org
For general info on lots of destinations: www.concierge.com

–Xander, The Honeymooner

A friend of mine who got married last year is heading off to Kauai today for an anniversary trip.  While she and her husband took a non-traditional honeymoon to Bhutan, I think they’re both very excited to do the beach thing now.  The cool thing about Kauai is its incredibly lush landscape and hippie surfer culture.  There are laidback—and affordable—resorts like the Hanalei Colony and excellent fresh food.  When I was there a few months ago (check out this issue’s Hawaii Hotlist!), I went to a place called Mermaid Café and had an ahi tuna wrap that almost brought me to tears.  If only my friend could bring one back…  —Xander, The Honeymooner