Planning a wedding can be stressful enough without thinking about the honeymoon. Luckily, we’ve been speaking to some of the UK’s top honeymoon specialists. We asked them the questions on your mind and they came back with some fantastic advice to get the most out of your honeymoon…
What’s the most underrated honeymoon location?
James: New Zealand! You can stay in everything from 5* hotels to campervans. It is also a fabulous place to twin with the islands of the South Pacific, in particular Fiji. Spend 10 days driving through the New Zealand countryside from vineyard to vineyard before hopping over to a Robinson Crusoe style desert island for a few days of sunshine and total relaxation!
Tiff: Spain! Think rural tranquility and beautiful haciendas with the occasional visit to one of the majestic Andalusian towns or pretty white hillside villages…it’s not all like kiss-me-quick Benidorm!
What extra features can couples expect in their honeymoon package?
James: Everything from ‘Brides Stays Free,’ to room upgrades and special treats. Others include champagne on arrival, flower petal strewn bed, sunset cruises and candle lit dinners. Every hotel loves a honeymoon couple as it adds glitz and glamour to their establishment.
Claire: A few little surprises that we include in some of our Maldives packages are sunset champagne cruises, a private candlelit dinner on the beach and champagne on arrival.
Tiff: From us at Myriad they can expect complimentary lounge passes at the airport to get their honeymoon off to a flying start and as we contact all the resorts we deal with prior to their arrival they will receive honeymoon VIP amenities which could be a complimentary room upgrade, champagne, fruit and in some cases a sunset cruise, romantic candlelit dinner or a couple’s massage.
How can couples get the best deals for their honeymoons?
James: Use a honeymoon specialist who knows the best offers and has seen the properties first hand. Always tell the tour operator it’s your honeymoon – it may seem obvious but it’s actually really easy to overlook! Many hotels offer discounts for longer stays such as 10 nights for 7. Take advantage of our gift list service where friends and family can contribute to your honeymoon.
Claire: For those with a more relaxed approach to their honeymoon there are often late deals to be had at some resorts particularly in the Indian Ocean, it’s worth bearing in mind however that the best rooms/honeymoon suites may already be booked.
Tiff: Book early – 11 months in advance to get the best deal and the resort you want!
If couples are looking for something a bit different from a beach holiday, what would you recommend?
James: South Africa is wonderful value at the moment – a safari honeymoon is very romantic. Think crackling camp fires, starry nights and sleep outs under the stars. Combine this with cool chic hotels in Cape Town or organic working vineyards and farms in the winelands. Alternatively, a twin centre safari beach holiday with the Seychelles or Mauritius can work very well.
Claire: Twin-centre holidays are an amazing alternative. A few destinations which are great to combine are: Sri Lanka and the Maldives, Vietnam and Bali and New York and Mexico.
Tiff: I would look to a destination such as Morocco. Try Richard Branson’s Kasbah Tamadot in the Atlas Mountains and stay in a luxury Berber tent. Or head for the snow and cocoon yourself in one of the amazing glass igloos at Kakslauttanen Resort in Finland and lie back to admire the many stars with the opportunity to see the Northern Lights.
The Great British staycation is as popular as ever for honeymoons – where would you recommend?
James: Although we don’t offer UK holidays I would recommend the Lugger Hotel Portloe as a wonderfully romantic bolthole – especially in winter with wild winter walks along the cliffs and crashing surf.
Tiff: Definitely The Scarlett Hotel in Newquay! It’s a stunning boutique property and you can relax in one of their cliff top hot tubs. This adult-only property was voted one of the top 20 hotels in the UK by Conde Nast!
How can couples with children book the perfect honeymoon?
James: Mauritius is a favourite with great facilities for kids, free water sports and fab kids clubs. All our featured hotels manage to combine romance… with the end product of all that romance!
Tiff: Try Beaches Resorts in Turks & Caicos, one of the best family all-inclusive luxury resorts in the World where kids no matter what age are well catered for giving parents time to be alone. They even have a teenagers nightclub called “Liquid” where they serve mocktails.
What are the most friendly locations for same sex couples?
James: Indian Ocean, Thailand and South Africa are all hot destinations for our Turquoise Goes Pink Honeymoons. Cape Town in particular has a thriving gay scene, with cool cafés and bars.
What would be your top ultimate honeymoon planning tip?
James: Check the weather where you intend to travel or speak to a good tour operator about stormy, snowy or monsoon seasons. Also remember it is always better to have a good room in a cheaper hotel than a cheap room in a more expensive hotel. And, most importantly, make sure you factor in a budget to eat and drink at your chosen property.
Claire: Shortlist destinations based on when’s the best time to travel there around your wedding. If your heart is set on an African Safari but it’s the rainy season then consider a short romantic weekend break immediately after the wedding and defer the honeymoon for a couple of months until it’s a good time to travel. It also gives you something else to look forward to after the post-wedding blues!
Tiff: Safari in South Africa and then onto Mauritius – best of both worlds. It’s an amazing wildlife experience followed by a luxurious spa resort right on the beach.
Some couples are on a budget – what’s your advice to them when booking a honeymoon?
James: Travel in ‘shoulder season’ rather than peak season (the few months before and after the peak season). The weather is usually as good, if not better than in peak season and rates can be half the price! Our team continuously seeks out the best airfares, offers and deals for our honeymooners… take a look at our honeymoon special offers page for more inspiration!
Tiff: If you are on a budget I would suggest a weekend break staying in an amazing hotel. Honeymooners can choose from staying in a hotel dedicated to wine, the Quinta Nova Luxury Winery House located on the Douro Valleys starts from £559 per person with a complimentary wine tasting session. Alternatively opt for island hopping around the Greek Islands. Combine 3 nights in Mykonos, 3 nights Paros, 4 nights Naxos and finish off with 4 nights in Santorini from £1017 per person staying in small establishments and eating out in local tavernas recommended by us.
What would you recommend for couples looking to splash out on a luxury honeymoon?
James: Fly in a premium cabin either premium economy or Business class – this makes flying part of the journey a much more special way to start and finish your honeymoon. The South Pacific is one of our most exclusive destinations and Bora Bora is the ultimate draw card. Or consider North Island in The Seychelles… if it’s good enough for Kate & Will it should be good enough for even the most lavish of tastes.
Claire: Luxury means different things to different people but after the hectic wedding planning phase we always find that couples are happy not to have to think about anything on their honeymoon therefore if money isn’t an object then opt for a private chauffeur transfer from home to the airport, private lounge passes at the airport and an upgrade to business or first class for your flights. This will get married life off to a very relaxing start! Upon arrival you’ll be fully cared for either by a private chauffeur transfer or by speedboat or plane, depending on where you’re heading. Always upgrade to the honeymoon suite if available and, if there’s a spa in resort, book yourself in for plenty of treatments.
Tiff: Combining adventure with beach – Maldives is still the ultimate honeymoon destination and combine it with the beauty of Sri Lanka. I would spend 11 days in Sri Lanka taking in this beautiful country of rainforests, waterfalls and UNESCO world heritage sites. You can even pick your own tea leaves and have them dried to take home as a souvenir. Then fly the short 40 mins flight to the Maldives where you would stay in a Crusoe Residence at the stunning Gili Lankanfushi Resort. The Residence is the ultimate luxurious getaway set out in the Indian Ocean on its way with the only means of getting to land is by small row boat. Here you will have your very own Man Friday (butler) to take care of you. Experience the over-water spa and the marine life below and dine on a sandbank in the middle of the ocean.The Emirates A380, First/Business Class passengers receive a complimentary chauffeur – so you can go to and from the airport in style. Nothing but the best for the happy couple!
Ready to book your dream wedding here at Fennes? Why not get in touch to see what we can do for you.