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.
Couples that play together, stay together. If you share a love of cycling, Headwater has come up with inspiring routes, some off-road. Romantic itineraries include gastronomic routes in Piedmont and Chianti. And the best thing is, your bags are taken from hotel to hotel for you. They’ll even get the wine orders in.
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.
From walking on glaciers to basking in the midnight sun, a summer honeymoon in Iceland is magical. Or go in winter for the Northern Lights. Stop over in hip Reykjavik before heading to the Hotel Ranga, not only home to great food and natural spring hot tubs but also one of Iceland’s best spots for a glimpse of the Aurora Borealis.
Who would have thought that two big hitters in the honeymoon world, India and Maldives, would make such sense as a romantic two-centre experience? Imagine flying non-stop to Delhi for a private tour of the Golden Triangle or safari where you might spot a Bengal Tiger, before taking the four-hour flight to the Maldives, the ultimate barefoot paradise.
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.
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.
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.
Calling all wannabee gauchos! Argentina is one of the hottest honeymoon spots around and great value for money to boot. Bright lights and adventure are assured when one moment you can be partying in Buenos Aires, the next standing hand in hand atop a Patagonian glacier. With meandering vineyards, breathtaking lakes and cutting-edge hotels, what’s not to like?
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.
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.
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.
If there is one honeymoon destination where all-inclusive resorts make sense, it is the Maldives. On your own private island there is no option to dine around. But many all-inclusives are not only great value, they are also genuinely classy hotels with romantic overwater villas, luxury spas, watersports and a choice of restaurants.
What an incredible way to start married life. The buzz of Cape Town with its iconic Table Mountain and nearby winelands contrasts wonderfully with the adventure of spotting the Big Five on safari. And what better place to unwind than Mauritius, renowned for its pampering hospitality. An odyssey that’s bound to cement your vows.
When I visited Tahiti, I understood why French painter Paul Gauguin was so utterly seduced. The beauty of its outrageously gorgeous lagoons, volcanic peaks and tattooed, flower-wearing locals is hard to take on board. You may feel like you are honeymooning on a magical film set full of vanilla plantations and dinner served to you in the turquoise shallows. Enjoy!
All your safari dreams come true at Ulusaba, Sir Richard Branson’s private game reserve in South Africa. Honeymoon packages include champagne, massages and a private dinner. Spectacular weddings are held under an Amarula tree surrounded by flaming torches. Book the exclusive Cliff Lodge which includes a private spa room.
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!
Italy is a top spot for romance, but Puglia goes largely under the radar. Explore the Baroque splendour of Lecce, Alberobello’s fairytale streets and unspoilt Adriatic beaches. Honeymoon hearts will skip a beat on arrival at Sardatur’s collection of luxury hotels – the five-star Borgo Egnazia with its sexy pool villas, the charming Masseria Cervarola and historic Il Melograno for example.
The dream of saying ‘I do’ at the Sydney Opera House, amongst the glitz of Las Vegas or on the white sand of a private island in the Indian Ocean can all come true these days. Weddings abroad are a magical experience and overseas vows often work out much cheaper than getting married at home. Some are even free.
I’m in no doubt that Croatia should be on everyone’s honeymoon hot list. It’s one of those ‘under the radar’ destinations that’s got it all, and is fast becoming an affordable rival to St Tropez. Completely Croatia has the inside track whether you want to discover historic cities such as Dubrovnik, hide away on a tiny traffic-free island or explore the countryside by Ferrari.
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.
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.
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.
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.