Worlds best honeymoon hotels
MALDIVES – SONEVA JANI
Why – The newest edition to the fabulous and luxurious Soneva family. This is pure barefoot luxury at its best. They even take your shoes from you on arrival where they are kept in a special linen bag until you leave the island. Flip flops only please! As soon as you arrive at the island by seaplane you are pampered. You are allocated your very own Man Friday who is there to make sure everything you need you get. There are various romantic dining experiences available. Whether you want a private dinner in your villa, an intimate sunrise breakfast on the beach, or a private astronomy dinner under the stars. I personally think it is worth upgrading and paying the extra for a villa with a slide. Is there a better way to wake up each morning than getting out of bed and sliding straight into the warm crystaline waters of a tropical lagoon?
Where – Soneva Jani is located in the Medhufaru lagoon in the Noonu Atoll about a 45 minute seaplane flight from Male airport. Remember to book international flights that land by 3.30pm or you will have to overnight at the airport.
When – The Maldives is hot and sunny all year round although the wet season runs from May to October with the wettest month being June. It is still fine to go in the wet season as generally rain showers are short and very sharp. November to April are the dry season and weather will be better but prices will be higher.
SEYCHELLES – Six Senses Zil Pasyon
Why – The Seychelles have long been a favourite for couples looking for a secluded tropical paradise. Six senses won’t dissapoint. It is a small luxurious hotel on a stunning private island. With only twenty eight villas it has a very intimate tropical hideaway feel. Each of the villas offers complete privacy and they are all set in lush surroundings with breathtaking ocean views and private pools. Couples can cosy up together at the outdoor cinema, enjoy a unique hilltop dining experience or see the turtles hatching on the beach.
Where – The Seychelles is in the middle of the Indian Ocean. Direct flights to Mahe from the UK take around 10 hours. You will need to then either take a domestic flight to Praslin island and then the boat over to Six Senses on Felicite island. Or if your budget allows the hotel can arrange direct helicopter transfers. It is not the easiest of hotels to get to but that adds to it’s private tropical hideaway feel.
When – The Seychelles are tropical so weather is very warm and humid all year round. May to October are the driest months so a good time to visit. November will see more rain before the start of the wet season which runs December to March. Generally rain will be in short sharp bursts although in the wet season there are regular storms.
INDIA – Taj Lake Palace
Why – Do I really need to say? Where else in the World can you stay in a floating Palace built by the Maharana? This has to be one of the most incredibly beautiful hotels in the World. Its gleaming white marble facade seems to float on the glassy waters of Lake Pichola. The hotel is steeped in history and has been beautifully restored to its former glory. The interiors are as luxurious as the exterior and the hotel oozes old world charm and elegance. The service is exceptional, you are pampered from the moment you arrive to the moment you leave.
Where – You will need fly into Udaipur in the Northen state of Rajasthan. The airport is quite far out and the transfer will take about an hour or so to the lake. Then you have a short boat ride to the hotel. There are no direct flights from the UK so you will probably fly via Delhi. Most people will include the Lake Palace into a tour around India that includes Delhi and Agra where the Taj Mahal is.
When – Daytime temperatures are warm year round but the summer months can be uncomfortably hot, up to 40oC. July to September is the wet season. You will definitely see rain in this period although Udaipur’s moonsoon is not as severe as other parts of India. October through to April is a good time to go with warm sunny says from around 25-30oC. It can get a but chilly at night, particularly in December and January. If you go in April you can experience the colourful Mewar festival, where there are lots of dances, celebrations, music performances and a procession through the city and onto the lake itself.
SAFARI – Lion Sands, Kruger.
Why – Not everyone wants to just sit by the pool or on the beach. A safari can be a really romantic experience. Think, watching the sun go down over the Savanna with a cocktail on your private veranda. Or waking up to the sounds of elephants at the waterhole. Lion Sands is one of the best honeymoon safari options. Go for the Tinga Lodge which is the most romantic of the three lodges there. Each of the villas are very luxurious and have an old world nostalgic feel. They are also set apart so very private, each boasting a four poster bed and veranda with plunge pool overlooking the river and the wildlife. Private dining is available on your veranda. You will also get the chance to spend the night in the unique treehouse where you have ultimate privacy and where you sleep under the stars. The lodge, although not adults only, will only allow children over 10 years old, so no screaming toddlers or babies to disturb the serenity.
Where – On the border of the Sabi Sands Game Reserve and Kruger national park in South Africa. the small airfield has flight connections to Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban. I think its worth connecting through Cape Town and spending a couple of nights there as its a great city. You could also add a beach extension in Mauritius or maybe Seychelles. There are plenty of direct flights to Cape Town and Johannesburg from the UK.
When – the dry season is generally best as there is less rain which means less vegetation for the animals to hide in. This is May to September but March, April and October are also good times. September is probably the best month as its the end of the dry season so great for spotting the wildlife. It is a dry warm month and the night time temperatures are not as chilly as the middle of the dry season.
THAILAND – Treehouse Villas
Why – Set on a quiet secluded beach on Koh Yao Noi, the resort is away from the hustle and bustle. This is an adults only hotel and they cater almost exclusively to couples. Each of the quirky treehouses comes with an open air living area with plunge pool, swing seats and day beds. The upper floor of each villa has a huge four poster bed and wonderful seaviews. The hotel has a great spa where they have a natural waterfall plunge pool and they also offer treatments in your treehouse. They will also organise romantic candelit dinners on the beach.
Where – The hotel is on the quiet island of Koh Yao Noi. This is a relatively untouched island in Phan Nga Bay between Phuket and Krabi. You will need to get a speedboat from Krabi or Phuket, both of which have airports. Most flights to both will go via Bangkok which I always recommend staying in for a couple of nights.
When – It is hot and sunny all year round but you might want to avoid the monsoon season which runs from May to October. The school holiday peak periods are also best avoided if possible, to avoid the crowds and the higher costs.
BALI – Hanging Garens of Bali, Ubud
Why – This hotel has one of the most amazing pools in the World. It has to be seen to be believed. It is also in one of the most beautiful settings anywhere in the World. Nestled into a steep forested hillside with views over the lush jungles and river valley below. For honeymooners I recommend booking one of the panoramic villas. As the name suggests these villas have amazing views from the terrace or private pool. The hotel also has a lovely spa where you can take riverside treatments on the valley floor. they also have some romantic dining experiences including in villa dining, riverside picnics and a candlelit temple dinner with Hindu blessing included.
Where – Ubud is in the heart of Bali up in the lush hills about a 45 minute drive from the airport. The town is renowned for arts and crafts and as well as the lush countryside there are lots of interesting temples in the area.
When – Bali is hot and sunny all year round. They do have two seasons, wet and dry although the wet season is nothing like a lot of other tropical places that have severe monsoons. generally speaking the dry season is April to November. The peak season summer months can get super busy and very expensive so if you can avoid school holidays that is best. June or September are great times.
SANTORINI – Canaves Oia boutique hotel
Why – Oia is the most romantic village on Greece’s most romantic island. If you have seen photos of amazing whitewashed villages clinging to the cliffs overlooking azure waters it is probably Oia you have seen. The Canaves Oia boutique hotel is a great honeymoon choice as they have a range of stunning villas and suites. All have breath-taking clifftop views over the Med and private verandas where you can enjoy the views. The honeymoon suites are really private and have a covered outdoor jacuzzi. I personally prefer the unique river pool suite that has a private river pool that goes from inside to outside. The Petra restaurant is perched high up overlooking the ocean and boasts 100% private dining candlelit dining. The hotel has its own luxury yacht and speedboat, both of which you can hire for the day for an added bit of luxury.
Where – There are direct flights from the UK and flight times are around 4 hours. Santorini is also a great addition to a Greek islands hop. A great option would be Santorini, Mykonos and Naxos which are all connected by ferries.
When – Santorini is lovely all year round but if you want warm sunshine then the Summer months are best. Maybe avoid August with the school holiday crowds and prices.
BORA BORA – St Regis Bora Bora
Why – Bora Bora is truly paradise on Earth. It has long been the ultimate honeymoon destination. The St Regis is nestled onto tropical islands and has some of the best over water villas in the Pacific. They come with glass floors to check out the myriad of ocean life. Plus private decks with pools where you can relax and enjoy the stunning scenery. They also have beach villas, where each one is surrounded by lush palm trees giving you lots of privacy. One great feature of the resort is the natural private lagoon full of tropical fish where you can snorkel. They also have a fab Clarins spa which is set on its own tropical island.
Where – Bora Bora is arguably the most beautiful island in French Polynesia. It is set in the middle of the Pacific making it quite a trek from the UK. You will have to fly first via LA or San Francisco and then onto Tahiti before a short hop over to Bora Bora. Total journey time with stops is going to be over 24 hours so most people will stopover in the U.S for a night or two.
When – Wet season is December to March so worth noting. The summer months June to September can get very busy and expensive so if you can go April, May, October or November you can’t go wrong.
ANTIGUA – Hermitage Bay
Why – There are lots of fabulous luxury hotels in the Caribbean that are great for honeymoons. I picked the Hermitage as it is set in a breathtaking hidden cove. You have amazing views out over the lush hills, white sand beach and crystal clear waters, from your hillside villa. The villas are great for honeymooners as they offer privacy from neighbours and private plunge pools and day beds. Plus those views. It is a small resort with just 30 villas and also adults only, so quiet and peaceful, just what you want for a honeymoon.
Where – Antigua is an island in the Eastern Caribbean. There are plenty of direct flight options from the UK. The flight times is just over nine hours. Hermitage Bay is about a 35 minute drive from the airport. Private transfers can be arranged.
When – Antigua is hot and sunny all year round. The hurricane season runs from July to November with September generally being the wettest month. The actual risk of hurricanes in Antigua is fairly small and rain is generally short sharp bursts then back to sunshine, but I would always try to avoid August and September. Prices are much lower in the storm season though so you can grab a bargain. Basically our Winter is the best time to go.
VENICE – ST REGIS.
Why – Venice is the Worlds most romantic city. Walking around the ancient cobbled streets and canals you feel like you are in a movie set. It is a great place for a short honeymoon and for people who don’t just want a beach. After two years of renovation the Sumptuous 5star St Regis has opened its doors. The hotel is an elegantly converted historical palace. This is a great choice for honeymooners as the location on the Grand Canal cannot be beat. I also love the rooms at the top of the hotel which have amazing Grand Canal views and also spacious terraces, something you don’t generally get in Venice. A great place to relax with your partner and have a drink whilst enjoying the amazing views. The hotel is elegant and stylish and full of artworks and sculptures. The canal side restaurant is a great place for a romantic dinner, after an apertif or cocktail in the hotels garden. Being in such a central location means you are just minutes away from St Marks square and the Rialto bridge.
When – Personally I like Venice is the spring. April or May are great. Nice and warm and without the Summer crowds. In the hotter months the canals can get quite smelly and the narrow streets very crowded. The famous Carnival is in February and this is a special time to go where you can dress up and go to evening balls. Expect to pay a lot in this period for flights and hotels.
Where – Venice is great for a short honeymoon as it is just a two hour direct flight with various UK departures available. When you get to the airport you can then enjoy probably the best airport transfer in the World. Whether you take a private motor launch, taxi or the water bus, the arrival at this magical city is breathtaking.
Are you planning a honeymoon? Congratulations if you are.
If you like any of these fabulous hotels or maybe want to check out some others, just let Paul know. Contact Paul