For couples who have just had a destination wedding in a tropical beach-y locale, switching up the vibe for the honeymoon might be the perfect move. RIU Hotels and Resorts, while very common in the Caribbean, are also located in some incredible cities, from New York, to Miami, and Panama, which could be the ideal place for two newlyweds to head off to. We’ve put together some suggestions about what to do, where to eat, and what to see for each of these fabulous locales, so you can get the best out of your city-scape honeymoon!
RIU PLAZA NEW YORK, TIMES SQUARE
New York – the city that never sleeps! You’ll never run out of things to do in the Big Apple, from eating at incredible restaurants, seeing fabulous shows, checking out the Statue of Liberty of Central Park, and more! The RIU Plaza New York is located right in Times Square, with easy access to some of the city’s most well-known sites, from Central Park, to Rockefeller Center, the Empire State Building, Carnegie Hall, and luxury shipping on Fifth Avenue. The Plaza is also less than a 10min walk from the subway, which can take you through all of the boroughs. The hotel showcases RIU’s design aesthetic, with bright colours, sharp lines, and lots of windows to give you a great view of the vibrant city. With 29 stories and over 600 rooms, this glass tower is sure to impress.
WHERE TO EAT AND DRINK
Make plans to do a romantic brunch on one of your days in NYC, at Temple Court, which takes you back in time to a royal court with waiters who serve you like a perfectly choreographed edible ballet.
For an Instagram worthy meal, check out the all-Millennial-pink Italia restaurant, Pietro Nolita, where you can take a perfect Lady & the Tramp pasta sharing photo.
When it’s time to get the evening going and grab a drink, Backroom NYC is a speakeasy that has been operating since prohibition, and NoMo SoHo Kitchen and Library Bar has an actual secret room behind a bookcase.
They also have a stunning atrium that transports you out of the city entirely, while another bar, Mr. Purple, has a fantastic rooftop pool bar.
Rose Bar at the Gramercy Park Hotel bathes its patrons in red lights that will make you feel like you’re doing something naughty in Amsterdam’s Red Light District.
If you’re feeling adventurous we definitely recommend capping off the night with one of the delicious tiki drinks crafted by the bartenders at Mother of Pearl.
WHAT TO DO
If you love museums, NYC has a ton of them, from the MOMA (Museum of Modern Art) to the Guggenheim, and American Museum of Natural History. Check out Museum Hack to get tickets for amazing and specialized tours as well. For a romantic museum visit though, visit The Met, where you can take a trip through the Cloisters, or grab a drink at the stunning Roof Garden.
Seeing a Broadway show is practically a must-do when you visit NYC. There are so many incredible shows to choose from, but a few of our current favourites are Come From Away, Dear Even Hansen, Waitress and of course the ever popular Hamilton. Try and book your tickets in advance to make sure you get to see the show of your choice, as availability for some of the more popular shows can be limited!
Spend a day at the Aire Spa, where you can have a romantic afternoon together taking dips in the different baths, enjoying the steam room, and having a couples massage.
In the evening, take a trip down to Battery Park, and go for a romantic ride in the Seaglass Carousel. Once the sun sets, the carousel is transformed, and the seats – designed like fish in memoriam to the destruction of Hurricane Sandy, and made of sea glass – shimmer and shine as if travelling through a magical underwater sea garden.
During the day, take a trip to Central Park where you can rent a rowboat or paddle boat and take a trip together around the lake.
Lastly, what romantic trip to New York would be complete without a breathtaking view of the skyline at night as you walk across the Brooklyn Bridge.
RIU PLAZA MIAMI BEACH
The RIU Plaza Miami Beach is sleek, clean, and crisp, with a fantastic pool, comfortable hammocks, and access to the crystal clear water and white sands of Miami Beach, where you can go windsurfing, kayaking, water skiing, and more! The hotel is located right in Miami Beach, where you can take a walk on the famous boardwalk, peruse the historic Art Déco district, visit the museums of the Coral Gables neighbourhood, check out the Cuban neighbourhood of Little Havana, and party at the nightclubs on Washington Avenue.
WHERE TO EAT AND DRINK
For an eclectic menu, try 27 Restaurant. Located inside a home from the 1930’s, you’ll be able to try everything from kimchi fried rice, to Bloody Mary ceviche, and shawarma fried chicken Benedict. Their cocktail menu is extensive, and is made with fresh ingredients from their garden.
If you’re looking for somewhere for a night cap after your dinner, Broken Shaker is located right next door and has a gorgeous courtyard area to sit and sip while you enjoy the warm Miami night.
Sweet Liberty is an incredible bar with extensive cocktail list and delicious snack menu with fried chicken, spicy tater tots, and cauliflower nachos, not to mention the $0.75 oysters during Happy Hour.
For a late-night snack, La Sandwicherie is a must-try. All of the sandwiches are made fresh, and they have everything from croquet monsieur to a classic Italian. The only time they’re closed is from 5-7am so for a post-drinks/pre-sleep snack, this is the best place to go.
WHAT TO DO
Pack a picnic to take to the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, and stroll around the eleven lakes and ponds, seeing the incredible floral displays on view.
Take in the history and culture of Miami by wandering around the Art Déco district with its 1930’s architecture, or visit Little Havana with its amazing restaurants, shopping, live music and art.
Visit the biggest tourist attractions, by going to Zoo Miami, the Miami Science Museum, or Miami Seaquarium.
In the evening, there are an unlimited number of clubs and bars to check out, from the huge dance clubs like Mokai, LIV, Icon Miami, and the Electric Pickle. Mango’s Tropical Café has non-stop entertainment on the main level, with rooms dedicated to hip hop, electric music, and salsa upstairs. The Clevelander and The Betsy are also fan favourites. If you want a spicy Latin night, go dancing at Hoy Como Ayer in Little Havana, or check out the 1930s gambling den themed Cuban bar Ball and Chain.
There’s no better way to relax and be romantic then spending the day at the spa together, and Miami has a ton of fantastic ones – the Ritz-Carlton Spa in Key Biscayne, the St. Regis’ Remede Spa in Bal Harbour, and the Hotel Beaux Arts Miami all feature sensual couples treatments.
Drive an hour outside of Miami and you’ll come across the Redland, Miami’s countryside. Take a tour of Schnebly Winery, where you can sip on wine made from indigenous fruits, such as lychee, passion fruit, guava, avocado, and coconut. They also have a brewery for those who are bigger fans of suds and want to try some interesting craft beers. In the evenings on weekends, they also host live musicians and entertainment.
Coral Castle is a mysteriously designed tribute to love, and well worth the tour. The mythos surrounding the castle is romantic and tragic, and the visuals are stunning.
For a truly romantic evening, take a private ride for two on Miami Balloon Rides, whose sunrise flights over the amazing Everglades, Biscayne Bay and Atlantic Ocean climax with a post-ride picnic celebration with champagne.
RIU PLAZA PANAMA
The RIU Plaza located in the heart of Panama City’s financial district is a 34-story tower, with vibrant décor, a gorgeous pool surrounded by luxurious day beds, elegant spa, and restaurants with delicious culinary delights. The hotel is located within walking distance of the subway, making it easy to discover all that Panama City has to offer, and close to the famous Soho Mall. Right outside the city lies the tropical rainforest of Panama with lush vegetation and stunning beauty.
WHERE TO EAT AND DRINK
Make a reservation at the Panama Canal Restaurant where you can get an amazing view of the raising and lowering of the Canal gates without having to jockey for space among all the tourists.
For traditional Panamanian beer, grab at drink at the La Rana Dorada Cerveceria restaurant and brewery. The bar is named after the Rana Dorada golden frog, a symbol of prosperity and good luck, and takes that theme along into its yellow décor. The menu at the restaurant includes finger foods, pizza, and traditional ceviche, while the pub serves premier beers, all brewed in-house.
El Trapiche specializes in typical Panamanian cuisine, using local produce to create its signature eight-dish delicacy, the Panamanian Fiesta.
WHAT TO DO
Visit the Gamboa Rainforest, for the ideal jungle retreat, where you can take jungle cruises, night safaris, play a round of golf on their 18-hole course, or unwind at the spa.
The Bocas del Toro archipelago of hundreds of islands on the Caribbean side of Panama is the perfect place to go for scuba diving and snorkeling, while the national park is a wonderful place to see the jaguars, tapirs, and other animals native to Panama.
In Panama Viego – the old town – you van visit historic colonial buildings, like the Nuestra Señora de la Asunción Cathedral, Casa Alarcón, the Palacio Presidencial and the Iglesia de San José church.
Taboga Island is a wonderful spot to visit, with its lively beaches, and the potential to see humpback whales migrating across the sea.
Of course, the main thing you have to do is visit the Panama Canal, and experience its feat of engineering from the Miraflores locks. There are tons of activities to do at the Canal as well, including sailing, hiking, and bird watching.
Take a night tour of Casco Viejo, a UNESCO world heritage site, where you can enjoy the romantic views of the water and skyline. Historic homes, old churches, and ruins meet restaurants, galleries, and bars for an eclectic and fun evening where impromptu dance parties and live entertainment are the norm.
Shell Island is an uninhabited island with graceful sand dunes and an inland lake where coastal creatures roam. You can take a romantic pontoon ride over and spend the day lounging on the beach in privacy together.
We can’t recommend couples spa days enough, so try to visit the Serenity Spa and the AAA Four Diamond Sheraton Bay Point Resort, where you can indulge with whirpool baths, steam rooms, massages, mani/pedi’s, facials, and more.