HEAVENLY HONEYMOONS (PART 2)
If Part 1 of our Top 10 Heavenly Honeymoons blog didn't entice you enough to pack your bags and get your passport ready for a once-in-a-lifetime honeymoon trip, then Part 2 is sure to! In the second instalment to our two-part series, travel writer and editor Anisha Patel, shares another five of her highly recommended honeymoon hotspots!
6. MOOREA, FRENCH POLYNESIA
Bora Bora’s unsung sister has all the far-flung glamour of her renowned neighbour – yes, I mean resorts with those super-sexy, over-water villas that epitomize this part of the world – but without hoards of fellow honeymooners. And the island happens to be in the shape of a heart, so it couldn’t be more befitting for a romantic escape. The best boutique beds can be found at Moorea Pearl Resort and Spa, which lives up to its name as a jewel in French Polynesia’s crown with its location between emerald mountains and sapphire and cobalt blue lagoons. If you're a sucker for snorkelling, you can get lost in a rainbow of sea life off the coast of the resort, which is home to hundreds of species of tropical fish and pristine coral reefs. (www.spmhotels.com/resort/moorea)
7. LAUSANNE, SWITZERLAND
If you want a real-life fairytale ending to your wedding, the Château D’Ouchy has the answer. Sitting pretty right on the edge of Lake Geneva, the four-star, neo-gothic castle even has a 12th-century tower suite straight out of Sleeping Beauty – think corner turrets, four-poster bed and stained glass windows – except once you check in, you’ll want to be banished here forever. If you don’t plump for the tower suite, there are 50 beautiful rooms that seamlessly blend classic and contemporary styles. Complimentary access to the spa at Lausanne Palace will ensure that the royal treatment doesn’t end once you step out of your lofty abode. (www.chateaudouchy.ch)
8. DUBROVNIK, CROATIA
If you want a dose of European history and culture, but still have the beach on your doorstep, the Adriatic coast – which is lined with white-sand beaches overlooking crystal turquoise waters – is a good place to start. Dubrovnik’s charming Old Town is not only home to a 1,940-metre walkable wall, the stunning 16th-century Sponza Palace and a 700-year-old Medieval pharmacy, but it’s also where you’ll find Villa Dubrovnik, which endorses the tagline ‘romance forever’ with good reason. Tucked away on a rocky outpost amidst pine, orange, and lemon trees, you can start married life here with lazy days of Champagne and strawberries by the bougainvillea-flanked pool, serious pampering sessions in the serene spa, and gourmet indulgence at the rooftop Prosciutto and Wine bar – which not only does exactly what it says on the tin, but also happens to be the best spot for a sunset view. Back in the suites, the Egyptian cotton bed linen, Bulgari bath products and espresso machines will take care of your every in-room whim. (www.villa-dubrovnik.hr)
© Villa Dubrovnik
9. ST. LUCIA
With over 7,000 islands and islets to choose from, you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to picking an all-inclusive Caribbean haven, but Viceroy’s 59-villa Sugar Beach resort – which is nestled neatly between St. Lucia’s grand Piton Peaks – is one to put your money on, not least because it’s recently undergone a $100 million revamp. Sitting on a golden crescent-shaped beach, the hotel’s cavernous rooms are merely an appetizer of what makes it a great romantic escape: the main courses to look out for include getting a butler to hail a buggy to take you down to the beach for a lunch of freshly grilled fish or visiting the Rainforest Spa, which has treatment rooms set in the treetops, for bamboo massages and salt scrubs. If it’s good enough for Matt Damon, who recently renewed his vows to Luciana Barroso in April here, it’s good enough for you. (www.viceroyhotelsandresorts.com/sugarbeach)
Photo Courtesy Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort
10. THE HIMALAYAS, BHUTAN
Once-in-a-lifetime adventures don’t get bigger or bolder than an Himalayan escape, and Aman Resort’s Amankora more than deserves its spiritual stripes: the circuit of five lodges are set throughout the Kingdom of Bhutan’s central and western valleys, from the 7,000-metre peaks in the north to the low-lying plains of the south, and will satisfy chill and thrill seekers alike. When you’re feeling active, you can hike over mountain trails where wild goats, langur monkeys and even the occasional leopard may be sighted. But when it comes to some serious downtime, the Punakha lodge is the place to head to. Just a short drive north of the magnificent Punakha Szong temple – where Bhutan’s answer to Wills and Kate, King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck and Jetsun Pema, got married in 2012 – the converted farmhouse is surrounded by rice paddies and fruit orchards, and is home to a two-storey spa where you can indulge in rooftop yoga and meditation before escaping to the treatment room below for a chakra pleasing massage. Whatever your fitness or Zen levels, you’re guaranteed to love it. (www.amanresorts.com/amankora)
With such a comprehensive list of amazing options, picking just one honeymoon destination may be a tough choice. Best save this list for future anniversaries too!
PS If you missed part one you can read it here.
Anisha Patel is a London-based editor and writer specializing in travel and food. She currently edits Travel, the inflight magazine for Thomas Cook, and contributes travel features for titles such as PrivatAir and EasyJet Traveller. When she’s not jet setting her way around the world from Nepal to Namibia, she can be found eating her way around London’s best restaurants, and plans to blog about her gourmet adventures very soon. Watch this space.Follow Anisha on Twitter.
Feature Image: Tucson Bride and Groom