Where To Go And What To Do For The Perfect Honeymoon
1/5 The Island Paradise: Hurawalhi Maldives
The Maldives are already the classic honeymoon destination—the place everyone dreams of when they’re drowning in “wed-min”. But add to the mix the gorgeous new Hurawalhi hotel, and you might start wondering how to go on your honeymoon twice before actually settling down. Opened in December 2016, it is set to take indulgence and luxury to the next level, offering guests a curated and gourmet experience from start to finish. With elegantly simple rooms built on stilts above the azure seas, villas boast private infinity pools and steps leading straight into the ocean, so you and your spouse can feel like the last two people on earth—albeit with access to luxurious spas, underwater restaurants, cocktail bars, tennis courts and a range of water sports.
Why it’s perfect
Solitude—everything at the Hurawalhi can be done for just two. Arrange dinner on the beach, with only the light of the candles and the gentle lap of the waves keeping you company or head to the Champagne Pavilion, an area situated overwater designed especially for couples to sip on cocktails, share a few canapes and plan the future. The spa is perhaps the most romantic of all the facilities: with vast treatment rooms overlooking the spectacular scenery, it offers couples treatments including rose petal and rose oil baths, and joint massages to take away the aches of all that wedding night dancing.
2/5 The African Adventure: andBeyond Phinda Rock Lodge
There’s nothing like the edge of wildness to bring a heightened sense of romance to your honeymoon, and there are few places on earth more exotic than andBeyond Phinda Rock Lounge. Set in the heart of Zululand in South Africa, the luxury lodge is perched on a cliff face, looking down at a plain below teeming with wildlife. The deserted setting is made even more exclusive with only six suites in this intimate, character-filled lodge. Of course, the safari game drives bring you to the centre of the action: when you are not exchanging glances with the elusive leopards—a highlight at Phinda Private Reserve—you will be watching a herd of elephants play in the mud, a pride of lions snooze or a rowdy troop of baboons scout for food. And when you are in need of sleep and sustenance yourself, nowhere could be more relaxing than the lodge itself, with its earthy tones, deep, comfortable beds and expansive terraces fitted with plunge pools.
Why it’s perfect
As with most game lodges of this calibre, mornings and evenings at Phinda are spent in jeeps looking out for wildlife, while days and nights are spent at the camp in the lap of luxury. But for honeymooners, that glamour goes one step further. In the morning, you can embark on a walking tour with your guide that ends in a champagne breakfast for two in a deserted grove. Alternatively, you can take it easy and spend quality time at the plunge pool cocktail in hand, all while watching the animals pass you by.
3/5 The Train Sojourn: Belmond Andean Explorer
Nothing says romantic getaway like a journey across Peru on a refurbished train from the 1990s. South America’s first luxury sleeper train, Belmond Andean Explorer takes you from Cusco to Lake Titicaca (Puno) and Arequipa along one of the highest routes in the world. Take in breathtaking sights of natural wonders as you sip on a glass of Pisco Sour from the open deck of the observatory car, or watch them glide past your window in the comfort of your personal cabin. Each cabin is decorated in rich, Peruvian accents and hand-woven fabrics, and features an en-suite bathroom and shower. Couples with a taste for epicurean delights will not be disappointed by the menus designed by chef Diego Muñoz, which showcases the full spectrum of Peruvian flavours prepared with local produce.
Why it’s perfect
There’s no better way to begin your married life than with an adventure-packed journey on board a train to satisfy your wanderlust. After all, there is a bohemian charm about spontaneous trips to little-explored lands over mountains, forests and deserts. The Belmond Andean Explorer takes you across picturesque sceneries to Cusco, Puno and Arequipa—for an unforgettable Peruvian adventure that christens your first steps as newlyweds. You’ll be reminiscing this trip for years to come.
(Related: The White Book: Your Guide To Planning A Great Wedding)
4/5 The Culture Trip: The Four Seasons at Ten Trinity Square
There’s something uniquely romantic about London. No matter the time of year of your visit, there is no lack of perfect spots for stealing a kiss. Its majestic parks in the heart of the city invite couples to sit and share a bottle of wine and a picnic until the last light starts to fade… and that’s before we even get to the endless culture on offer. An ideal setting to start a culture-filled holiday is The Four Seasons at Ten Trinity Square, which is also one of the more romantic hotels in the British capital. Set in a Grade II-listed Art-Deco building that hosted the first meeting of the United Nations, the hotel’s 100 rooms are serviced by 200 bright young staff, so you know you’re going to be treated exceptionally. Sitting on the same site William the Conqueror chose for the Tower of London, it is also a leisurely stroll across the river to Borough Market, Shakespeare’s Globe and the Tate Modern.
Why it’s perfect
The hotel’s clever concierge, who has the keys to open every door in London, will soon start to vie with your new spouse for the title of Most Favourite Person. Want seats in the stalls to the Donmar Warehouse’s latest play? He’ll get them for you. He’ll also get you a table at The Clove Club, The Ledbury or Dinner by Heston—three restaurants that are nigh on impossible to score a booking at.
5/5 The Wellness Endeavour: Tri Lanka
Tucked away in Galle in south Sri Lanka, Tri Lanka is an oasis for wellness. It adopts the golden ratio in its architecture and design, and blends in organically with the lush, surrounding landscapes—an aesthetic feast for the eyes. Sustainability is at the heart of the resort, where you will find living walls and green roofs dressed in tropical foliage; each of the eight luxury villas boasts solar panels and interiors crafted from recycled wood. For a restful break, the breezy yoga shala overlooking the canopies provides a break from city life. Tri’s connection with nature extends into its restaurant’s Sri Lankan fusion cuisine, conceptualised by chef Neil Wager. “Lake to table, and garden to plate” is the essence of the resort’s culinary experience, which uses locally-sourced ingredients and seasonal produce in its nutritious selections—food for the mind and body.
Why it’s perfect
A honeymoon is as much about bonding with your loved one as it is about de-stressing after a hectic wedding. Tri, surrounded by foliage and nothing but the sound of birds, is indeed an ideal place to help you achieve true serenity. Why not try a private yoga class with Lara Baumann, founder of the Quantum Yoga method and co-founder of the hotel, followed by an indulgent couple’s spa treatment? A sunrise or sunset boat trip on the serene Lake Koggala, or a private tasting dinner underneath the resort’s vast and ancient Banyan tree are other ways to reconnect with yourself, your partner, as well as with nature.
Reporting by Chloe Pek, Kissa Castañeda and Melissa Twigg.