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Time was, honeymoons—or any romantic getaway, really—were about hitting the brakes after a hearty dose of sun, sand, and fruity cocktails. No longer. Blame it on our high octane, multitasking lives, but be it a Costa Rican canopy tour or a pre-Olympic taste of Beijing, couples have been finding some pretty exciting ways to charge their shared battery. "My office is overrun with newlyweds in need of malaria pills and Tetnaeus shoots," says Marvin Cooper, MD, a Manhattan travel doctor whose clientele until recently mostly consisted of journalists and human rights workers.
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Topping the twosomes' lists? South Africa, he says. Numbers seem to bear this out. Since 2002, the number of Americans, especially couples, booking trips there has been on a strong upswing (well outpacing competing destinations like Australia, Brazil, Kenya, and Morocco), according to data compiled by the South African Tourism Board. With its mix of culture, beach, wildlife, and adventure, the country's hitting all the right notes. Below, three over-the-top resorts to sate your boldest wanderlust:
Urban Retreat: Cape Grace, Cape Town: Perched on the majestic V&A waterfront, this classically designed hotspot (most recently featured in Blood Diamond) takes a "your wish is our command" approach. From arranging a picnic (replete with regional fare) seaside or atop famed Table Mountain, to offering high tea and regional wine tastings, a lexicon of neatly anticipated services are at your disposal. Newlyweds get complimentary use of spa areas, as well as in-room champagne breakfast. Sign up for the registry (your friends can buy you lunch—or a facial) and you’ll also get a 30-minute massage. www.capegrace.co.za