In our second “My Honeymoon” feature, we talk to Carly Beresford (now Carly Thomasin-Foster) about her honeymoon. Carly is the Group Sales Manager for Historic Sussex Hotels.
When did you go?
We had the luxury of 20 days, travelling in September 2009.
Was it a joint decision or a surprise for one of you?
The style of honeymoon (active/cultural) was a joint decision but my husband, David, picked the countries and planned the entire tour as a surprise. As I have travelled extensively and my career has always been working with luxury hotels worldwide, he had his work cut out to find hotels that would give me the wow factor. He managed to achieve that over and over throughout our amazing honeymoon.
As the destinations were a surprise, he even got my doctor to promise not to tell me which vaccinations I was having so I could not work out where I was going – good job I trust them both implicitly!
Where did you go, and why?
We toured both India and Egypt. During our 10 days in India, we visited Mumbai, Udaipur, Bhilwara, Jaipur, Agra and Delhi – the classic Northern India itinerary. In Egypt, we took in Cairo, Luxor and finished our honeymoon on the beach in Hurghada.
We both love exploring far flung places and both India and Egypt were on our wish list – I didn’t expect David to book both though! Seeing so many different places and being on the go all the time was fantastic, and the last few days on the beach were wonderfully relaxing.
Hotel, villa or other…and what made you choose it?
We stayed in a mix of former royal palaces & boutique hotels, both rural and city based plus the Oberoi Sahl Hasheesh on the shores of the Red Sea.
What were the best bits?
Without a doubt, the best bit for me was waking up the day after our wedding to be told we were flying off to India. David didn’t tell me until we had toured India that we were then off to Egypt. He kept the tour itinerary a secret and each day at breakfast told me where we were off to and what we were seeing – it was very exciting and a real luxury to have it all planned for me.
We had our own chauffeur and private guides for the entire trip, which was wonderful as we could ask as many questions as we liked and stop as many times as we liked for photographs etc.
The Oberoi Amarvilas, our hotel in Agra, was amazing. We had an uninterrupted view of the Taj Mahal from our balcony and bedroom – one evening we sat on the balcony, camera in hand and watched the sunset change the Taj Mahal from white to orange to dusky purple before it was submerged in darkness.
Our hotel in Cairo, the Mena House Oberoi, was also amazing – we had the most spectacular view of the pyramids from our balcony and spent much of our time gazing in awe at them.
What was the most romantic bit?
There were so many romantic moments! Each hotel spoilt us with various gifts such as roses, personalised honeymoon cakes, his and hers pillows, room upgrades etc. One hotel filled our bedroom with candles and ran us a bath filled with rose petals ready for our return from dinner.
The Taj Mahal at sunset was extremely romantic – especially knowing it was a monument built for the sake of love.
Any bits you’d rather forget?
The stinking cold I had in India – although it was amusing trying the various local remedies offered to me including tea laced with Masala spice. I was also upset by the poor working conditions and cruel treatment of the elephants at the Amber Fort in Jaipur, India.
Where would you choose if you were to do it all again now?
It was a perfect honeymoon and I wouldn’t change a thing about it (apart from the stinking cold!).
What is your top tip for couples planning their honeymoon?
Don’t be afraid to do something different. A typical beach honeymoon didn’t appeal to us as we can do that anytime. Having such a cultural honeymoon made it even more exciting and our friends and family were just as excited about it as we were. Take lots of photographs as you will look at them for years to come and each one will take you back to the special moments.
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