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.
There’s a new wave of cool in Cornwall from surfing to local cuisine that’s making it a top choice for UK honeymoons. Gwel an Mor is top of my list for its VIP Scandinavian-style wooden lodges with private hot tubs, spa, and ocean view restaurant. If you’re taking kids on honeymoon, this is a great choice, otherwise you might want to avoid peak school holiday times.
Bag yourselves a beautiful apartment for two on the Amalfi coast and you’ll never look back. La Trasita is set in a 14th century Saracen tower overlooking Positano from its circular roof terrace. Play Italian Mr & Mrs in your own private love nest and explore Sorrento, the island of Capri, the ruins of Pompeii and the mighty Vesuvius.
If you haven’t heard, the maximoon is the latest honeymoon trend. This is your chance to escape for a month or more on that round-the-world tour you’ve always promised yourselves. Austravel are the experts and they have a cool Honeymoon List Service allowing friends and family to help fund your trip. So no unwanted toasters. Hurrah!
Madeira has cast off its fuddy-duddy image and offers everything from extreme sports to extreme natural beauty. Quintas are Madeiran manor houses converted into boutique hotels in a garden setting. Expect spa treatments, horse riding, golf, levada walks and whale watching. A great short-haul option with year-round sunshine.
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.
Sure it’s an offshore banking hub, but it has more flora and fauna than the Galapagos. In-the-know honeymooners board the 40-minute flight from Grand Cayman to Little Cayman for world class diving at Bloody Bay Wall and parties at The Hungry Iguana. Population: 150. Charm: off the scale. It doesn’t get much more laid back than this.
Whether you’re the recluse or the playboy (and girl) type couple, there’s a world of honeymoon glamour right on your doorstep and it’s called the Cote d’Azur. Cannes, Nice and Monte Carlo just can’t help themselves when it comes to old school cool. Drink pink champagne at Le Club 55 on the beach in St Tropez or hide away in the stunning medieval village of Eze.
You just know there’s an exceptional honeymoon resort out there with your (married) names on, but you just can’t seem to find it. Sarojin is it! Set on Thailand’s castaway Andaman Coast, it’s one of those resorts that’s pushed a little further in terms of design, service and romance with dinner next to a jungle waterfall or a private cruise on a sexy speedboat.
It’s all aboard Star Clippers’ handsome vessels for a ship-shape honeymoon evoking the era of Captain Cook. Whether you want to laze on deck under fluttering white sails or help with the rigging, you’ll feel like you’re discovering new worlds as you stop at intimate ports of call which the big cruise liners simply can’t reach.
From An American in Paris to Amélie, the sultry French capital is where romance blossoms. Kirker gives you the inside track on avoiding tourist clichés and crowds with fast track entrances to less obvious museums and galleries, top reservations for dinner and carefully selected luxury hotels with flowers, petits fours and champagne waiting for you. C’est formidable!
Artfully masquerading as ‘The Inn on the Beach’, this is one of the most sophisticated hotels in Devon and the latest project from Peter de Savary and his wife Lana. Teetering over Babbacombe Bay, rooms are the best of British seaside chic, there’s a bijou spa room and a space-age pod for wedding vows with breathtaking sea views.
A star of the novel and now film, Eat Pray Love, the spiritual island of Bali is synonymous with rejuvenation and well-being, not to mention romance. Honeymoon at the relatively new adults-only Spa Village Resort Tembok Bali and you’ll begin married life with a Discovery Path to ‘balance’, ‘creativity’ or ‘vigour’. All very useful for your new lives together as Mr & Mrs.
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.
Robin Pope is one of the most respected names in African safaris. Their experts have put together an adventurous, indulgent and downright sexy lake and bush honeymoon in Zambia and Malawi, selecting the most romantic lodges, private game drives, bush walks and boat cruises, intimate breakfasts on board a dhow in Lake Malawi, candlelit dinners and snorkelling.
Corsica has a delicious sophistication and old world charm that only the French could achieve slap bang in the Med. For powder white sand without the long-haul flight, this is the island for you, with beaches like Palombaggia. Throw in dramatic mountains, historic towns and fabulous cuisine, and Napoleon’s birthplace makes perfect sense.
Pink Gin Beach on the Spice Island of Grenada! How could newlyweds resist this exotic combination? The luxurious Sandals LaSource sits bang on this stunning beach, one of the best in Grenada. Bag yourselves a room with a tranquility soaking tub or a Skypool Suite with butler service at this couples-only all-inclusive.
I greeted the millennium sunrise in Costa Rica and have fond memories of lush rainforest canopies, awesome surf beaches, volcanic craters with vivid green lakes and rustic hideaways. These days the accommodation is more sophisticated with boutique hotels and stunning eco lodges. A multi-centre trip is the best way to experience Costa Rica – add on Nicaragua for more wow factor.
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.
From buzzing Hanoi and Saigon to a lazy Mekong river cruise, Vietnam is an inspired choice for a honeymoon. There’s culture, nightlife, cookery classes in street food, gourmet dining, colonial hotels and jaw-dropping romantic gems like the Six Senses Hideaway. A Chinese junk cruise of Halong Bay is one of my do-before-you-die experiences.
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?
A few years ago I wrote a book called ‘A Place to Wed’ featuring just 25 places worldwide to tie the knot. Hayman Island was high on my list. Located in Australia’s castaway Whitsunday Islands, you’ll fall in love all over again in your sumptous beach villa with private pool and 24-hour concierge, spa pampering and the Great Barrier Reef all around.
This exotic honeymoon combines the high-octane thrills of a safari in Tanzania from game spotting to luxury camps and sundowners on the boot of your 4WD, with the spicy romance of Zanzibar where you can explore the labyrinthine streets of Stone Town and relax on blinding beaches. Two honeymoons for the price of one.
Just a two-hour flight away, it’s easy to forget just how outrageously romantic the classic Italian cities are. Take in the glory of Rome, the sheer romance of Florence and wander the streets of Siena. Whether you’re culture vultures, followers of fashion or simply hopeless romantics, this Italian trilogy delivers.