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.
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.
Cambodia is exotic, authentic and primed for adventure. You’ll be wowed by the jungle-clad temples of Angkor Wat and charmed by the grace and friendliness of the people. Cruise the mighty Mekong, walk with elephants, stay on floating river lodges and immerse yourselves in the café society of Phnom Penh.
How could I not include Venice – one of the all time classic honeymoons with iconic hotels such as the Cipriani. Everyone from Lord Byron to George Clooney has been beguiled by this floating city. Take a gondola ride, sigh over the Bridge of Sighs, tour the Doges Palace, appreciate art at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, explore the glass works of Murano and sunbathe at The Lido.
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.
From the jaw-dropping Big Sur to the wide open spaces of Yosemite National Park, with theme parks, surfing, wine routes, glam cities and dramatic beaches in between, California is a place of incredible diversity. If you’re the kind of couple that wants to pack a million honeymoon experiences into a couple of weeks, The Golden State is for you.
Northern India and Rajasthan have all the ingredients for an uber-romantic honeymoon. Enjoy an insider’s view of Old and New Delhi, discover the jaw-dropping Pink City of Jaipur and marvel at the Taj Mahal, the world’s greatest monument to love – then unwind with some beach time in Kerala or Goa. If India doesn’t work its magic, nothing will.
There are plenty of family-friendly all-inclusives in swanky Barbados, but only one for couples only. Sandals Barbados, opened in January 2015 on the iridescent white sands of Dover Beach in the lively south of the island, is the ultimate all-inclusive with everything from gourmet dining to scuba diving and yoga. You can even tie the knot for free.
A member of Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Limited Edition collection, Kasbah Tamadot is a magical oasis just outside Marrakech in the clear air of the Atlas Mountains. Book a luxury Berber tent with private pool, enjoy intimate dinners set up specially for two, try the Hammam spa and explore the area by foot, mountain bike, 4X4 or mule.
Sleeping under the stars in Balinese Dream Beds on a luxury cruise ship more akin to a private yacht, visiting a new destination every day and toasting one another on your cabin balcony with a cocktail as your cruise ship pulls out of port. These are just some of the romantic highs on a luxury cruise honeymoon.
A safari honeymoon is one of the most romantic ways to start married life. Being whisked out of your everyday life to a remote Kenyan camp with thrilling bush drives or even balloon safaris by day and dinner under the African stars by night. Bring out your inner Karen Blixen and add on a dreamy Indian Ocean beach retreat at the end for good measure.
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.
I’d like to let you in on a secret! There’s a hidden side to the Caribbean, a world away from the glossy travel brochures. Ironically it’s a side that many honeymooners hanker after – an authentic Caribbean found in the small hotels, b&bs and lodges that are often family-run and overflowing with local bonhomie. Essence of the Caribbean has the inside track.
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!
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.
For a small island, Sri Lanka delivers a staggering range of experiences. Add to that some stylish hotels – including amazing creations by local architect Geoffrey Bawa, Amanwella in the 17th century Dutch town of Galle and Amangalla on the sandy shore of Tangalle. If you fancy tying the knot here, you can even do it on elephant back.
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.
Turkey is a honeymoon no-brainer. It’s a four-hour flight with a fabulous climate, stunning coast and a heritage to rival any destination. The stylish adult-only Mandarin Boutique Hotel has just eight rooms with king-sized beds and Jacuzzis for two. With delicious organic cuisine on the menu, it’s both gorgeous and affordable.
Peru is famed for its lost Inca cities – including magical Machu Picchu – but who knew it also had stunning Pacific surf beaches? Take a luxury private tour of this vast fascinating country, from snowy peaks to lush Amazonian rainforest, staying in smart lodges. Go trekking together or simply sit back and soak up those views. Truly a trip of a lifetime.
Bag yourselves a beautiful apartment for two on the Amalfi coast and you’ll never look back. Il Faro is set in a 13th 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.
Who’d have thought that a guitar donated by rock legend Eric Clapton to London’s original Hard Rock Café would expand into an empire of ace resorts? Hard Rock’s all-inclusive hotels in Mexico and the Dominican Republic are incredible value for money for couples. If you regard your honeymoon as a chance to chill, pamper and party hard, this is for you.
There’s a powerful romance about American road journeys from Jack Kerouac’s On The Road to legendary tales of driving California’s Big Sur. For honeymooners who crave the freedom of the road, a fly-drive is the perfect bonding adventure. Exsus ups the ante with a convertible Mustang, America’s best boutique hotels and insider tips on top restaurants and activities.
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.
Artfully masquerading as ‘The Inn on the Beach’, this is one of the most sophisticated hotels in Devon and packed with the special touches I would expect from Peter de Savary and his wife Lana. Teetering over Babbacombe Bay, rooms are the best of British seaside chic, not least the new beach huts, and there’s a fabulous new spa with breathtaking sea views.