WHERE TO HONEYMOON IN 2018
On a day like today we’re all scrolling through old holiday photos wishing we were right back there…preferably with that tan. Holiday daydreaming is one of my favourite things to do and quite often distracts me from the jobs I should be completing. But, if your fictional holiday daydreaming becomes real life honeymoon planning, then where better to take inspiration than from Mr & Mrs Smith, the luxury travel experts. Their collection of resorts and retreats are unrivalled, much like their knack for seeking out the worlds best infinity pools, dining experiences and even mattresses.
When it comes to honeymoons, Mr & Mrs Smith, can do it all…source the perfect escape for you and your newlywed companion, arrange your flight itinerary and book your transfers too. So, what and where do they think we will be thinking about when we come to book the big trip?
Number One : Responsible Travel
Hotels that give something back. Not just a recycling bin in the kitchen, this years trend will be to seek the local hotel heroes who work with both the environment and the community, to build an experience that enhances the area surrounding them. Two such fiercely community minded, ethical hotels that don’t scrimp on luxury are the Nay Palad Hideaway on Sigaro Island in the Philippines and the Uxua Casa Hotel & Spa in Bahia, Brazil. The picture says it all really.
Number Two : In The Thick of It
Getting back to nature, sleeping under the stars and being open to the elements can bring a sense of freedom that often compliments the activities of a honeymoon couple, if you know what I mean. These beautiful boutique retreats take safari camping to a whole new level. Think four poster beds, personal butlers and unspoilt views to be enjoyed from your private veranda. Mr & Mrs Smith recommend Chamba Camp Thiksey in the Himalayas, Nihi Sumba Island Hotel in Indonesia and South Africa’s Lion Sands Game Reserve for the best back to nature experience.
Number Three : Pools With a View
The outdoor pool is often one of the first things I look at when searching for the perfect holiday location. I like them to be a short stroll from breakfast, but far enough away from the hotel hustle that you can enjoy the serene waterside scenery. Two of Mr & Mrs Smith’s most spectacular pool side settings include the reed-fringed pool at Tieraa Atacama Hotel & Spa in Chile, with front-row seats to a sunset that paints the volcanic backdrop a fiery red. The second is the Other Side in Eleuthera, a Bahamian island where the pool floats atop a wooden jetty leaning out to sea, and is filled with water filtered straight from the ocean.
Number Four : Castaway Chic
No news, no shoes and no blues are the rules for these three superbly secluded honeymoon destinations. In the Maldives the One & Only Reethi Rah lives up to its name, located all on its very own island with 12 beaches and eight dining spots. Soneva Jani, also in the Maldives, hosts its own overwater cinema, star-gazing observatory and meditative labyrinth. Yes, a meditative labyrinth. And finally, Be Tulum in Riviera Maya, Mexico. Tucked within a tropical forest, winding jungle paths are illuminated by hanging lanterns, with leather butterfly chairs and palm-thatched palapas for just the right amount of shade.
Number Five : All About the Food
These are the places you’d book for a special birthday lunch or an anniversary dinner, so if you can stay there as well, then why not? Far flung and the best of British, Mr & Mrs Smith have picked their top two gourmet getaways to find the best way to most people’s hearts…food. Zaborin in Japan offers ambitious multi-course menus, showcasing traditional skills and techniques with dishes shaped by the seasons. Set amidst the Hanazono Forest, the wild wood, lake and Mount Yotei provide the culinary temptations from just steps away from the hotel itself. The Lime Wood hotel in Hampshire is a little closer to home, especially for me. They cater to every taste, with a raw-food bar at the spa, a smokehouse and an accomplished cookery school that has put their culinary cred on the map of the most established chefs.
Number Six : Sppppaaaa Relax
After the hectic wedding planning, sleepless nights and endless conversations about table cloths, take a minute to chill and enjoy each other at some of the worlds most spoiling spas. Chablé Resort & Spa in Mexico not only has its own cenote but also three ancient Mexican sweat lodges too, the perfect place to receive sound cleansing and spiritual guidance. Secondly, the world-famous birthplace of vinothérapie, you can see where they were going with this one. The place where spa brand Caudalie began creating its wine based lotions and potions, Les Sources de Caudalie in Bordeaux, France has 19 treatment rooms, barrel baths and plenty of places to do as little as you like.
Number Seven : Villa Villa Nice
If you’re having a destination wedding and you don’t mind the wedding party crashing your honeymoon, then why not extend the wedding weekend and host your guests for a social stay in a home-from-home feeling, hotel-worthy space to entertain or be entertained. Els Comellars in Mallorca, is family-friendly with generous grounds, lounging spots and Jaipur-pink clay walls that perform in the Balearic sun. Built in the 16th century, Lake Como's Villa Sola Cabiati has opened its gates to reveal its parterre gardens to those outside of the blue bloodline. Marble balconies bedeck this Baroque folly, proudly showing off a grand piano, porcelains and in-house museum of Napoelon’s hats…naturally.