In this edition of industry expert opinion pieces we ask two leading luxury honeymoon providers where they think are 2014’s honeymoon hot-spots. Read on to find out more.
Expert: Mary Croasdale is Content Manager at Destinology.
With a passion for travel Mary’s industry experience spans many years. From Yugotours to Budget Holidays and Global, tour operations have featured widely and have taken her to virtually every country in Europe. Taking two years to tour further afield she has explored Australia and New Zealand extensively through all seasons and even crewed aboard a 40ft cutter before slowly returning home through South East Asia and India. Over recent years she has visited the Maldives and Mauritius as well as returning to Indonesia and Malaysia – islands and their surrounding clear waters remain a favourite as do snow-covered mountains with lifts!
The Six Senses Zighy Bay, Oman
The Six Senses Zighy Bay, Oman offers the unique chance to paraglide into the resort as well as a variety of amenities and extras for honeymoon couples. Depending on the length of the stay, couples will be treated to a romantic bath ritual, an hour-long spa treatment, and a three course meal at the Spice Market, allowing you to immerse yourself in Middle Eastern tradition.
Geographically, its location has been compared with the Nordic fjords, cushioned between a towering mountain range and brilliant white sandy beaches.
And the culinary options available are plentiful, with wine and cheese tasting, in-villa dining, beachfront barbecues or the option to choose a location around the resort for an idyllic romantic soiree.
To celebrate your union in tranquil seclusion, this is the resort for you.
The House by Elegant Hotels in Barbados
If you’re looking to relax after all that wedding-planning, celebrating, dancing and making-merry, The House by Elegant Hotels in Barbados could be the destination for you.
Strictly an adult-only affair, the resort was recently refurbished and offers a variety of packages for honeymooning couples. Again, depending on the length of your stay, luxury car transfers, champagne breakfasts in bed, room upgrades and catamaran cruises are the order of the day and, as there are only 34 suites at the resort, you’ll never be stuck for a place by the pool.
As you’d expect from Barbados, the beaches and views are stunning. If quiet intimacy is your thing, look no further.
Gili Lankanfushi, Maldives
For a more active retreat, couples should try Gili Lankanfushi, situated in a sparkling lagoon in the Maldives.
Centred around an idyllic coral island, home to the resort’s shared buildings including a spa and gymnasium, jetties lead out to forty fairy-tale-esque villas, where couples will find their own private paradise.
Showered with gifts, amenities, and the option of a dolphin cruise depending on the length of your stay, guests can literally step down into the calm blue waters surrounding their villas and, as you’d expect, a whole range of water and land-based sports are on offer.
An exceedingly romantic destination, its emphasis on natural construction materials truly make it stand out among other Maldives resorts. Its popularity with honeymooners is reinforced by a free half board offer for the bride.
Maradiva Villas Resort and Spa in Mauritius
Here’s one for the foodies! Maradiva Villas Resort and Spa in Mauritius offers a free candlelit dinner and bottle of wine, either in your private villa and or under a raj tent on the beach during your stay. But, that aside, you’ll be in the vicinity of a number of restaurants and lounge bars, specialising in a vast array of cultural cuisines and cocktails.
The accommodation, again, is comprised of secluded villas with private pools, gardens, and beautiful beachside vistas and, in common with Gili Lankanfushi, it too offers a range of sporting activities, both on and off dry land – there’s even an 18-hole championship golf course just a 15 minute drive away.
For bohemian style and unbridled luxury, this is the resort for you. And with honeymoon offers including gifts, massages, petal baths in the spa, and up to 50% off in the low season (May to October), Maradiva truly has it all.
Expert: Tom Marchant is the co-founder of The Black Tomato Travel Group, parent company of the award winning travel brands Black Tomato, Beach Tomato and Epic Tomato.
In the 7 years since its launch, the group has grown to become known as one of the leading experts in the world on luxury travel and lifestyle services and caters to the travel needs of a globally located discerning client base. Responsible for the group’s business development, marketing and creative strategy, Tom also regularly writes and talks on trends and the future of the luxury travel and lifestyle industries.
Rwanda / Mauritius
A luxurious honeymoon doesn’t necessarily need to be all desert islands and white sandy beaches. Sometimes it can be a great chance to get off the grid and experience something totally new and boundary pushing. Take two of Africa’s most contrasting destinations; intrepid Rwanda and the idyllic island of Mauritius, which make for an unusual honeymoon with the perfect blend of adventure and relaxation. Start off in Rwanda’s northern Parc Nationals de Volcans in search of mighty mountain gorillas, then fly south to the beautiful island of Mauritius for some beach downtime at the exclusive Oberoi Resort.
Black Tomato www.blacktomato.com can arrange a twelve night luxury holiday to Rwanda and Mauritius staying at Virunga Lodge and The Oberoi Mauritius from £5,220 PP based on two travelling. Price includes transfers, return flights, accommodation, and gorilla permits.
Bora Bora & California
With time being a precious commodity for most couples today, it’s even more important to make the most of your time away together. Escaping to a long haul destination for up to three weeks ensures that you really switch off and make the most of your time. The Four Seasons Bora Bora, surrounded by a lagoon in the middle of the Pacific Ocean is the perfect place to switch of your IPhone and Tablet and sink into a more relaxed way of life. Hole up in one of the idyllic pool suites where you can dip from your own private pool to the ocean in a matter of steps. Combine your Pacific Island retreat with a few days in L.A. where you can soak up the bohemian city vibes in Abbot Kinney and explore the surrounding coastal towns of Santa Monica and vineyards of Santa Barbara.
Black Tomato www.blacktomato.com can arrange a 17 night luxury holiday staying at the Four Reasons Bora Bora, and Shutters on the Beach, Santa Monica from £11,355 pp Prices includes accommodation, transfers, and international and domestic flights
Jumby Bay, Antigua
One of my personal favourites is Jumby Bay, this private island resort off the coast of Antigua is the ultimate destination for some serious post-nuptial relaxation. With no cars on the island, guests are given a bike to peddle around as they please, ensuring the peacefulness and natural state of the island is maintained. Hole up in the spacious pool suite which feel as though you’re staying in your own private Caribbean home away from home.
Black Tomato www.blacktomato.com can arrange seven nights at Jumby Bay staying in a pool suite £4,850 pp including the flights and transfers.
The perfect combination of some of the world’s best beaches, private islands, bold cuisine, and ancient temples, Indonesia is a sure fire hit when it comes to choosing a romantic honeymoon destination. This trip takes you from the jungles and temples of Java where you’ll stay at the beautiful Amanjiwo for the first few nights. Here you can discover the ancient history of the island on a private tour of the Borobudur temple before it opens to the public, and watch the sunrise over the dramatic volcanic landscape in total privacy. From the jungle head to one of Indonesia’s best kept secrets Kura Kura Island. Located in the Karimunjawa archipelago and one of the best spots in Indonesia for diving, this island hideaway is made up of only a handful of beach cottages and pool villas so you can enjoy the unspoiled surroundings without any disruption.
Black Tomato www.blacktomato.com can arrange an eleven night luxury holiday to Indonesia staying at Amanjiwo, Kura Kura Island Resort, and The Hanging Gardens Resort from $5,439 pp. Price includes transfers, return flights and accommodation.