My 20 year anniversary is coming up next fall. I have plenty of points and am looking for a place to take my wife. We'll have 8 days and would like someplace on a beach (outside of the US) but with history/cultural things to do nearby. Suggestions?
The Marriott Fisherman's Wharf shich is technically still inside the US as it's in the US Virgin Islands but offers you things to do on St. Thomas, you are not far from the British Virgin Islands for day trips and also St. John. I've not been to the Marriott there but understand it's beautiful. With the Ritz Carlton being a part of our program you should check and see where else you may be able to use your points. Have fun planning and Congratulations!
Have you thought about Singapore. They have a beautiful beach there called Sentosa. Lot's of great food and shopping. History and cultural is diverse. Singapore is 70% Chinese but the official language is English. It is also probably the safest country in the world. It's a long flight but well worth it. The Marriott is on the corner of Scotts and Orchard Roads and you would have to take a taxi to the beach but I think it would be worth it. Just a thought. BTW, the weather is good year round because it's only one degree north of the equator.
If you haven't been to Thailand, Phuket is supposed to be awesome! I'll actually be going there for my honeymoon with all of the points I've saved up as well! I've had friends from Thailand as well as non-locals that swear it's a definite must visit, in terms of beaches. There is a movie, The Beach, which was said to be filmed there. You can take a glimpse to see if it's something you'd enjoy! I thought Nice/Cannes was nice as well. Not sure if that's your cup of tea. The atmosphere in Nice is quite nice and it's very close to Monte Carlo, Monaco, and Cannes, some medieval villages, and Fragonard (one of the lead perfumeuries). I would recommend taking a day tour. ... My fiance and I loved visiting! Fall is the beginning of the off season (end of April/start of May is there peak for the Cannes Film Festival and Grand Prix) which is when we went. Still lovely weather though! Warning: Nice has stones on their beaches and Cannes has the sand.
My wife and I recently went on our honeymoon in Curacao. If your anniversary is in the fall, this might be the best option as it is south of the hurricane belt. The beaches are really nice (the Marriott there has a wonderful beach with good snorkeling right in front of the hotel). There is lots of culture. The city, Wilemstad, is a UNESCO world heritage site and is very interesting. Most of the populus speaks 4 languages (dutch, spanish, papiamentu and english).
I'll second the Phuket option. The JW, is fantastic, although the beach was restricted while my wife and I spend 8 days staying in one of the upgraded ground level rooms with private patios. The architecture, pools, activities (from Thai cooking classes, tennis, elephant rides--right on premise), are incredible. The only drawbacks: it's on the opposite side of Phuket from the markets and nice beaches, though it's not a far drive. Also consider the weather- monsoon season can leave a very wet visit! A closer option is Aruba - Stay at the Renaissance, they have a private beach island just off the coast. My wife and I spent our honeymoon there and loved it. It's difficult to get reservations, but the Capri hotel is wonderful, and close to the Amalfi coast (I visited but have not stayed). If you're feeling adventurous, go to Jordan and stay on the Dead Sea resort. We spent two weeks exploring everything from Wadi Rum to Petra, and cultural places of interest from the Baptism spot on the Jordan river, through Arab, Ottoman, and Crusades cities, castles and ruins. Congrats on 20 years!