That's the new-age mantra for a happy marriage if you aren't aware. The first step? A luxurious honeymoon
By: Karishma Parkash
Posted on: October 10, 2011
A celebration of your holy matrimony, the honeymoon should be THE most perfect trip of your lifetime, so plan it well! The amount of effort, not to mention the money, which goes into planning a wedding, is astonishing. But while planning the wedding, don’t forget that your honeymoon is equally important. It’s that exceptional time the two of you will share with one another. A perfect honeymoon needs reciprocated planning and the first step is to narrow down on a destination that pleases both of you. Why? Simply because you have to make it one of the most memorable and unforgettable experiences of both your lives. There are a number of great honeymoon destinations be it mountains, deserts or seaside locations. Figure out what works best for the two of you.
Coming to the more important facet of this feature, most couples today prefer shorter, but more luxurious honeymoons. ‘Living in the lap of luxury’, as most couples call it, seems to be a growing trend. Many elements go into making a great honeymoon, so take some time to decide on the activities and amenities you would like when choosing the destination. And considering the popularity of these destinations below for honeymooners, it is no surprise that they have been included in this feature. Go ahead, point your arrow and shoot! The globe is your playground, literally!
According to a recent report by Forbes, this destination will woo you, and of course your pocket! A three-hour flight from London transports you to North Africa - only a short hop from Spain across the straits of Gibraltar - but exotic, mysterious and a world away from modern Europe. A perennial favourite with one and all, medieval Marrakech provides intrepid honeymooners with a glimpse of Berber, Arabic and Moorish heritage. A dawn hot-air balloon ride over rose-hued rooftops, with views of the ancient Atlas Mountains and Sahara Desert, has to be one of the most romantic experiences on earth. It is the perfect honeymoon destination for adventurous newlyweds. Whether it is to discover architectural jewels that date back to the 11th century, former palaces, mausoleums and harems of a distant culture or experiencing a slice of Moroccan life, this place has something for everyone.
Wondering where to stay? Amanjena, which means ‘peaceful paradise’, was Aman Resort’s first property in Africa. Open-air fountains flank the entrance, which is sheltered by palm and olive trees. The architecture, particularly the rose-coloured walls of open-air buildings, was modelled on the Moorish packed-earth buildings that once crowded Marrakech. Reflecting pools and guest pavilions radiate out from the bassin, the central-heated swimming pool. Nightly rates for a pavilion with a private gazebo start at $800 while pavilions with a private pool are $1,350 (excluding 20% tax and service charge). Does it make your list?
One of my personal favourites, Tahiti, manages to make into every honeymoon couple’s wishlist. There are only a handful of places that can boast postcard-quality scenes around every turn and Tahiti is one of them. What you see is what you get here. The crystal clear waters and gleaming beaches provide a feast for the eyes, whether stretched out on the sands or scuba diving in the bright underwater seascape. The Polynesian natives are known for warm hospitality and relaxing massages - meaning you’ll want to return again and again. The Hotel Tahiti Nui joins resorts by Manava, InterContinental and Radisson among the best-known places to stay, but there are always thatched-roof hideaways available.
Bora Bora, the famed island in French Polynesia, is a major tourist destination. With stunning beaches and turquoise waters filled with brightly-coloured fishes and coral, Bora Bora offers unparalleled opportunities for scuba diving, jet skiing and kite surfing. Couples looking to laze often take a slow cruise around the island’s gorgeous lagoons, allowing the setting sun to add even more romance. Without a doubt, there are very few places capable of providing more breathtaking moments than Bora Bora.
One of the most beautiful island chains in the world is Seychelles - an archipelago off the eastern coast of Africa. Known for its diverse seabirds and lush green jungles, legend has it that one of the islands was the Garden of Eden. It’s worth it to spend your honeymoon jumping from island to island, whether to see Port Launay and the Marine National Park or to stroll along some of the most beautiful beaches. Cote d’Or, Anse Lazio and Anse Source D’Argent are particularly picturesque.
Lémuria Resort of Praslin should be included in your staying options. Natural materials, such as pink granite and thatched roofs, which went designing the Lémuria Resort of Praslin, were intended to help preserve the environment for the resident wildlife, while subdued lighting was installed to avoid scaring off turtles that come ashore at night to lay eggs. A three-tiered pool leads down to the ocean, and guests can pass their time with a game of tennis, windsurf or kayak free of charge (there are additional charges for scuba diving, deep-sea fishing and mountain biking). Rates start at $1,514 per night for a junior suite, including breakfast, with a minimum stay of ten days during high season (offer applicable from December 23, 2011 to July 1, 2012). Want another dig at sheer luxury? Check out the Four Seasons Resort at Mahe. To describe it in one word - breathtaking!
Italy, though a cliché now, is one of the best honeymoon places in Europe with just you, your loved one and romance in the air. Another personal favourite of mine because of their romantic accent and sumptuous foods! A super option for most, Venice is among the world’s most romantic cities. Visit Piazza San Marco and feed the human-friendly pigeons there. Move towards Rome, the capital of Italy, which has a stunning night life! If you are a wine-lover, then don’t forget to visit Chianti region where you can taste some of the best wines in the world. Feel like re-enacting Shakespeare’s balcony scene with your newly betrothed? Verona, the meeting place of Romeo and Juliet, is within striking distance of this intimate and ivy-covered manor. L’Albereta, located in Franciacorta, between the southern shore of Lake Iseo and the Po River Valley, is deep in the heart of several vineyards and was once the estate of the Moretti family. An on-site riding school, four nearby golf courses, a spa and Italian chef Gualtiero Marchesi are among the many reasons to visit.
The Palazzo Vendramin, a 15th-century residence, is part of the Grand Hotel Cipriani in Venice. Both hotels are located on their own island, directly across from Piazza San Marco. A private vaporetto (waterbus) shuttles guests back and forth. Palazzo Vendramin’s guests can avail themselves of the Cipriani’s facilities, including the heated salt-water pool, spa and bars. But private butlers, the eight lavish apartments and the added privacy of the property make it perfect for honeymooners. Rates start at $2,578 for a junior suite, including breakfast. I can already feel my eyes fluttering.
From the moment your plane touches down, you will feel the excitement tingle in your skin. No, it’s not the effect of your lover. Close your eyes and exotic smells and serene sounds will soothe you. You will feel in the midst of civilisation, yet away from the hustle bustle. Hawaii will simply feast your eyes and bathe you in lush beauty. The volcanic mountains rise alongside beautiful beaches, giving honeymooners plenty to look at when not staring into each other’s eyes. Consider the Four Seasons Hualalai Ka’upulehu, Mauna Lani Bay Hotel and Bungalows, Mauna Kea Beach Hotel and Kona Village Resort when making your decision.
Halekulani’s restaurant La Mer is home to Hawaii’s only Michelin-starred chef, who used to cook for the royal family and Grace Kelly in Monaco. If that doesn’t get you to book a flight here, this refined hotel on Waikiki Beach recently launched a honeymooners’ dream suite. Every element of the 2,135 sq foot Vera Wang Suite was designed or chosen by the wedding-dress genius, right down to the embroidered pillows on the bed, the crystal and silver in the dining room, and the 19th-century Chinese writing desk. A 24-hour formal butler and arrival treats, including Champagne and foie gras, are included in the room rate, which starts at $4,000 per night and goes up to $5,500 for an adjoining bedroom. Standard rooms start at $385 per night. Four days on one island and four on another could be the perfect duration (if you can’t stay a lifetime like me, which you will more than consider doing!).
Keep in mind the period of time that you can take off for your honeymoon - whether a few days or a long extended trip - because it will help you pick a place that you both can enjoy stress free! Also, work with a budget in mind so you can allocate the expenses accordingly. Keeping your mutual preferences as a priority, take some time out and properly plan your honeymoon with your honey. It is the beginning of a new life and the first honeymoon, well, will never come again.