Mozambique is a honeymoon hotspot well worth getting married for! Africa’s Indian Ocean is at its most exotic here, with hideaway hotels, traditional sailing dhows, sand dune camping, exquisite seafood and all within reach of a full-on safari. In my mind, Mozambique satisfies that yearning for a new frontier with a generous helping of feet-in-the-sand chic.
For adventurous couples, a white beach and rum punch doesn’t really cut it. Book with Chameleon Tailor-Made and you could go gorilla trekking in Uganda, explore the beaches and jungle of Colombia or see the Cambodian temples of Angkor. Along with your weddings rings, these are the kind of experiences that bond you forever.
Bali offers both a spiritual and hedonistic honeymoon. You can’t help falling in love with a place where there’s a temple or rice paddy at every turn, where cutting edge architecture rises from lush river valleys and honeymooners are treated like royalty. You’ll be safe in the hands of the i-escape team – they have sought out the best hideaways to suit every taste and budget.
‘It’s who you know’ couldn’t be more apt than when honeymooning with Enchanting Travels – a company with the inside track on delivering the most original of romantic tours whether it’s a look at Mumbai’s booming modern art scene or exploring the Rajput glories of Udaipur. And with people on the ground, any last minute tweak to heighten the romance is as good as done.
It’s no fluke that Modern Bride magazine named Jamaica Inn the number one place to say ‘I do’. This classy hideaway has retained all the glamour of Jamaica in the ‘50s when the likes of Noel Coward frequented. All 47 suites overlook the Caribbean, dining is alfresco and the indigenous spa is perched on a cliff.
The mere mention of Zanzibar sends a tingle up my spine. This castaway island, where Arabia meets Africa, is one of the world’s truly exotic destinations. The Residence Zanzibar offers five-star honeymooners pool villas and an exquisite spa – plus a 20% discount and other goodies such as champagne sundowners on the jetty.
One of you loves culture, the other wants to fly ‘n’ flop. Or perhaps you just want two bites of the honeymoon cherry. Either way, Sri Lanka and the Maldives is a winning combination. And if you’re thinking of marrying overseas, Sri Lanka has everything in place for memorable weddings, with the Maldives the perfect honeymoon escape.
Laluna is one of my favourite honeymoon retreats. Even its singsongy name makes me feel happy. Created by an Italian couple from a fashion industry background, this place is infused with the romance of the Spice Island of Grenada, the glamour of Italy and the gentle soul of Bali. Laluna is like Kate Moss – effortlessly chic and a little bit edgy.
Egypt is so very easy to get to, yet so very foreign, making it all the more alluring for couples who have never visited. Cairo is a crazy sprawl of a city with breathtaking delights, from the Sphinx to Mena House, a landmark hotel. Take a romantic cruise down the Nile on a super-stylish boat and soak up the sights and sites.
Meeru Island Resort is textbook Maldives: powder white sand and turquoise lagoon. Except here you get 4-star quality at 3-star prices. Bag the all-inclusive option and look out for complimentary room upgrades. Newlyweds should aim for the Jacuzzi Water Villas or the Honeymoon Suites, a short dhoni boat ride away.
Sir Richard Branson famously bought Necker Island for a song and built it up to be one of the world’s most exclusive private islands. Hire the entire island with friends and family or book a room just for the two of you during a ‘Celebration Week’. Adrenaline junkies will find all the toys from kite surfing to racing around the island on mini catamarans.
Follow in the footsteps of the poet W.B. Yeats by honeymooning in Ireland. Cruise out of Dublin in an Alfa Romeo Spider, en route to Dromoland Castle for the ultimate minimoon. Or how about a week on the County Wexford coast and the lush valleys of County Cork with moonlit kayaking, country house hotels and top cuisine?
It may be one of the most far-flung archipelagos, but Fiji is a South Pacific honeymoon idyll like no other with genuinely castaway beaches, overwater bungalows set on turquoise lagoons and guitar playing fellas with flowers in their hair serenading your love. Combine it with a sophisticated urban stopover in Hong Kong or Los Angeles, and honeymoon heaven is sorted.
There’s a new cool about Mallorca. Its capital Palma couldn’t get more hip if it tried. Add to that the idyllic beaches, stunning mountains, fabulous local cuisine and some of the best villas in the Med for the ultimate in privacy. We love the beautifully restored farmhouses with private pools in charming spots like Sencelles and Selva.
The tiny Caribbean island of Anguilla is one of those eye-poppingly beautiful places that you can’t quite believe exists. Just a short hop from Antigua, it is encircled by platinum-white beaches with an exclusive yet laidback feel. It’s perfect for honeymooners who crave lazy days on the beach, barefoot gourmet dining in waterfront restaurants and cool, contemporary hotels.
How could the birthplace of the Renaissance be anything other than magical? From your own private villa for two, explore the vineyards of Chianti Classico, dine on Tuscan delights like porcini mushrooms and truffle dishes and treat yourselves to jewellery from the shops along Florence’s Ponte Vecchio.
Honeymooners will be bowled over by St Kitts’ natural beauty and creativity. Choose from a wide mix of hotels from plantation chic to an “all singing and dancing” resort. And when you’re not cocooned in your love-nest, take a rainforest hike, visit neighbouring Nevis and ‘lime’ the night away at a rustic beach bar.
Botswana is the Rolls Royce of safaris, home to the Okavango Delta and some of Africa’s most gorgeous camps. Watching big game from a mokoro canoe, meeting the bushmen tribes of the Makgadikgadi Pans and experiencing the beauty of the Kalahari Desert are just some of the highlights. Round off with some R&R in Mozambique, Mauritius or South Africa. Bliss!
If you crave Indian Ocean island but want something more adventurous, Madagascar is the perfect choice. It’s the fourth largest island in the world and 90% of its wildlife is found nowhere else on earth. Combine golden beaches, teeming rainforest and traditional Malagasy villages with tranquil lodges and romantic beach resorts for one memorable honeymoon.
Even when Carrie Bradshaw was jilted at the altar and had to honeymoon in Mexico with the girls, she still managed to enjoy herself. The Secrets Resorts & Spas are five-star luxury all-inclusive resorts for adults only, and they won’t break the bank. Book a luxurious ocean front room with breathtaking views of the Caribbean ocean and let married life begin!
Essential Detail’s portfolio is like a cherry-picked box of romantic one-off hotels all owned and run by folk who know and love the Caribbean and who really care about your honeymoon. The London-based team will recommend the perfect hideaway for you both, be it a glamorous beachfront retreat in Jamaica or a barefoot private island hotel in the Grenadines.
Robinson Crusoe couples are in for a treat. With just 15 islands over two million square km of Pacific Ocean, The Cook Islands are exquisitely cast away. Head to Rarotonga for a lush island experience; take a scenic flight to the incredible Aitutaki, and write a postcard home from One Foot Island. Combine with New Zealand if you have time.
Morocco is a 3-hour flight away, yet it offers a thoroughly exotic honeymoon. Let all your senses be stimulated in the souks of Marrakech, before retreating to a palatial riad. Romantics will fall in love with the Atlas mountains and coastal gems like Essaouira, not to mention camel trekking and hot air balloon rides for two.
Adventurous couples looking for a wow factor honeymoon will find their nirvana in the breathtaking landscapes of New Zealand. Heli-hike vast glaciers, horse-ride across the bush, swim in hot springs and cruise the Milford Sound. Choose a self-drive tour for the freedom of the road, staying either in motels or boutique B&Bs en route.