Tuesday, 24 July 2018

10 honeymoon destinations and romantic holidays you need to have on your radar

I always wondered why they call it honeymoon. I always thought it was because after you get married everything is wonderful and perfect and it's the time you are especially sweet on each other. Turns out I was half way there. The word 'honeymoon' originates from the Old English ‘hony moone‘. ‘Hony‘ meaning honey, symbolised the sweetness of marriage and the European custom to supply newlyweds with month-long lasting alcoholic liquor called mead made with fermented honey and water (you learn something new every day!)

Traditionally honeymoons are beach orientated affairs with white sands, crystal clear waters and picture perfect sunsets. However when it comes to planning your honeymoon, think about you. Make a list of all the things you want to get out of your honeymoon, and mark each thing as either 'essential' or 'if budget allows'. Alternatively there is a great quiz here where you answer some questions for different scenarios, and it'll tell you what type of honeymoon suits you best (I fell within the Island getaway category if you're interested!)

Like with any other holiday, there are so many travel destinations out there, and deciding on just one can feel quite overwhelming. Something I know all too well, having not been on my own honeymoon yet (sad times). It feels like I have been searching forever and if you're in the same boat as me, I've done some of the hard work for you with this post. Here are 10 honeymoon destinations and romantic holidays you need to have on your radar.

SEYCHELLES

The Seychelles: long synonymous with romantic getaways and honeymoons. I wanted to say more, but I think I'll let the pictures do the talking....

Four Seasons Resort Seychelles


With the perfect balance of tropical vegetation, blue skies and crystal clear waters, imagine waking up to a view like this every morning! More details on the hotel and prices can be found here

Maia Luxury Resort and Spa


Another elevated-up-a-hilltop dream (are all hotels in the Seychelles like this? I always thought Seychelles hotel rooms would be right on the beach? My mistake!). More details on the hotel and prices can be found here

More Seychelles hotels and inspiration to be found here

ST LUCIA

St Lucia is somewhere I have always wanted to visit. Located just North East of Barbados and nicknamed 'Helen of the West Indies' after Helen of Troy (the daughter of Zeus and according to Greek mythology, the most beautiful woman in the world). But is St Lucia worthy of being comparable to the most beautiful woman in the world? Decide for yourself below!

Cap Maison Resort and Spa



I love the look of Cap Maison Resort and Spa with its beautiful white rendered buildings against a sea backdrop - it feels very Mediterranean don't you think?

Jade Mountain


No word of a lie, but this hotel is actually one of our shortlisted hotels for our honeymoon. The concept is that your room is entirely open to the elements (no windows here!) and that you and nature feel at one. And what a view. You can read more about the hotel here and here.

More St Lucia hotels and inspiration to be found here

MALDIVES

I know... such a cliche. Perhaps one of the most coveted honeymoon destinations and it's easy to see why. The good news is that the Maldives don't necessarily have to be expensive. Sure, there are some pretty luxurious resorts that come at a price, however there are also more traditional beach hut types of accommodation (cheaper than over the water villas) - so if you look long and hard enough, you can find a Maldivian resort to suit your budget. The resorts I love the look of include:

Dhevanafushi Maldives Luxury Resort



How picturesque does this Maldives resort look?! And imagine a bath in that roll top bath watching the sun rise and sun set.... More details on the hotel and room types can be found here

Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas


What attracted me to this resort was this restaurant - after a day of diving, isn't this a lovely backdrop for a romantic meal? More details on the hotel and room types can be found here

Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru


How perfect does the Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru look? With my salary, I'm not going to be staying at any Four Seasons hotels any time soon - but I can dream, right? More details on the hotel and room types can be found here

The choice is real with the Maldives, but there are plenty of price options and you can find more Maldives inspiration and hotels here

THAILAND

If you can't decide between a beach holiday or a rainforest based holiday, how about Thailand with its vast green spaces? Top places to have on your radar include:

PHUKET

Cape Panwa Hotel


Renowned for its luxury accommodation, the Cape Panwa Hotel is a hotel for foodies (just a mere five restaurants and five bars to choose from!). Ideally located with just a 10 minute walk to the village centre and Phuket Aquarium only 750 metres away.

The Old Phuket


I loved the fun pops of colour in this hotel - it stops all-white rooms and furniture from feeling too clinical, don't you think? Just 400m away from Karon Beach and many shops, bars and restaurants only a 5 minute walk away. More details on the hotel, prices and board types can be found here

You can find more Phuket ideas and hotels here

I naively didn't know how many different places there were to visit in Thailand and seriously underestimated the sheer number of hotels there are... so the following Thailand areas will be listed and kept short and sweet so we're not here all day (feel free to click though if you like the sound of any of them!)

KOH SAMUI

Thailand’s third largest island and located just off the east coast of Thailand. Koh Samui is known for its idyllic beaches and happening nightlife. Some examples of Koh Samui hotels can be found here

HUA HIN & CHA AM

Hua Hin was once a summer destination for the Thai royal family, but nowadays is one of the country’s most luxe holiday destinations. Within easy reach of Bangkok, Hua Hin is also home to several theme parks - including Black Mountain Water Park and Vana Nava Par (the latter is said to be jungle themed). Some examples of Hua Hin hotels can be found here

KHAO LAK

With Phuket just an hour away, Khao Lak was one of the places hit by the 2004 tsunami. One of my favourite Khao Lak resorts I've seen is the Apsara Beachfront Resort and Villa, the interiors of which remind me a little of the Love Island villa with its blue and pink cushions.


KRABI

There's nothing to be crabby about in Krabi! If you want bustling nightlife, head to Bangkok and Phuket. However if you want a more relaxed holiday, head to Krabi. A full list of of hotels can be found here but Rayavadee was the one that caught my eye with its link to nature, nestled in amongst the trees. Imagine bathing in the roll top bath looking out at this view:


PATTAYA

Pattaya is a must if your perfect holiday must have a strong nightlife scene. Pattaya is also great for nature lovers - highlights include Sriracha Tiger Zoo and Pattaya Elephant Village. Hotels are available with a range of different star ratings and prices which you can find here.

PHI PHI

Phi Phi is west of the mainland south of Thailand’s largest island, Phuket, and is reached by boat from either Phuket or Krabi. Phi Phi is said to be a gem and one of Thailand's most beautiful areas, rich in tropical forests, with great cliff-side views (as below). Some examples of hotels here. The Zeavola Resort looks pretty special with canapy-like lofty rooms nestled in the trees.


CHIANG MAI

The ancient city of Chiang Mai is said to be the ideal place to discover rural Thailand, with its historic Buddhist Temples and surrounding countryside and mountains. Some examples of hotels here.

SRI LANKA

Heritance Tea Factory


I'll be honest, I've never really considered Sri Lanka before, but how incredible is this hotel concept? Part museum in the hill city of Nuwara Eliya, guests have the chance to pick their own tea, surrounded by greenery and waterfalls - what a location for a hotel. A really memorable honeymoon to be had and great for tea lovers More details on the hotel and prices can be found here

Shangri-La Hambantota Golf Resort and Spa


A hanging chair in my hotel room has never been a requirement but it is now! Shangri-La Hambantota is close to some of Sri Lanka’s national parks (how amazing would it be to see elephants in the wild?!). More details on the hotel and prices can be found here

You can find more Sri Lanka ideas and hotels here

MAURIITIUS

I have been to Mauritius before and it's easily in my top 5 of travel destinations. My advice? Choose a hotel that isn't completely isolated if you can. The best part of my trip was visiting local towns and trying local eateries. My friends and I found a lovely small family owned restaurant overlooking the sea where my seafood dish translated to just £1 something! It's difficult choosing a hotel because they are all pretty special...

Veranda Pointe Aux Biches


How tranquil does this resort look?! I could easily see myself in one of those hanging chairs with a cocktail watching the sunset. More details on the hotel and prices can be found here

LUX Grand Gaube


With hanging plants gracing the ceiling and the prettiest of interiors, the LUX Grand Gaube is high up there as one of the hotels I would love to visit one day. More details on the hotel and prices can be found here

The St Regis Resort Mauritius


When I found out this resort had a library I was sold - I love curling up in a corner with a book, and holidays are one of my favourite times in indulge in a new book. Some of the communal areas transported me back to Paris and others transported me back to Nice and I love that. More details on the hotel and prices can be found here

You can find more Mauritius ideas and hotels here

BARBADOS

Or as my husband pronounces it: barba-doss (he knows the real pronunciation of course, he's just special)

Crystal Cove by Elegant Hotels


Something about this hotel feels quite Mediterranean with its white rendered buildings and sea views. Bridgetown is only 15 minutes away by car, whereas the nearest beach is only 5 minutes away. More details on the hotel and prices can be found here

Waves Hotel and Spa by Elegant Hotels



The perfect resort for a honeymoon with its mix of water sports, couples massages and romantic private dining by candlelight. More details on the hotel and prices can be found here

You can find more Barbados ideas and hotels here

MEXICO


If your budget won't quite stretch to the Caribbean or Indian Ocean, how about Mexico? There are usually some pretty good deals to be had, making luxury within reach. The Viceroy Riviera Maya for example (above) could well be the Maldives when you scroll through the photos. Have a browse at the different hotel star ratings and price bands here

JAMAICA


A honeymoon on a Jamaican beach with a rum cocktail sounds great to me! Jamaica is one of those places I'd love to go to and learn more about the culture and the local cuisine (something I've never tried before!). Some examples of hotels here. My favourite has to be Secrets St James Montego Bay which have the nicest interiors don't you think?

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC


Another one on my travel bucket list! I have wanted to visit the Dominican Republic ever since the days of Shipwrecked (who else remembers that show??). The Dominican Republic is meant to be home to some of the beautiful beaches in the world and many hotels have all inclusive options. Have a browse here. Dreams Punta Cana Resort and Spa (here) looks very special and all kinds of romantic don't you think?

And now over to you...
  • Have you been to any of the above destinations or hotels?
  • Are you like me, looking for a honeymoon destination?
  • Do any of the above destinations or hotels take your fancy?

I'd love to know!

* Post written in collaboration with Destination 2, but as ever, all words and opinions are my own. All images from the Destination 2 website