If you’re set to follow in the footsteps of Harry and Meghan but still desperately seeking honeymoon inspiration, we’re here to help. From mini moons and fly-and-flop island escapes to romantic city breaks, dnata travel’s head of product Rob Arrow shares the hottest destinations on the romance radar
If you’re short on time or simply want to stay local, there’s simply no better way to minimise travel stress than with a mini moon, relaxing after the big day at one of the region’s stunning luxury hideaways, such as The Ritz-Carlton Ras Al Khaimah, Al Hamra Beach. With just 32 pool villas, a water’s edge spa and the intimate, chilled Shore House restaurant, you can relax and unwind, and feel like you’re a million miles away without even getting on a plane. Too time-pressed for the Maldives? There’s a similar aesthetic at Zaya Nurai Island in Abu Dhabi where you can embark on an adventure time just 10 minutes by speedboat from Saadiyat Island. If you’re searching for something utterly romantic aside from islands and beaches, Alila Jabal Akhdar perched high on a mountain plateau in Oman offers scene-stealing views and the chance to relax and enjoy each other’s company in absolute solitude.
A city break entrée
Combining a city break with a relaxing retreat can work very well for a honeymoon and Southeast Asia is a fantastic place to do it. Start with a fun trip to a shopping hotspot such as Hong Kong, staying in a luxurious Harbourside hotel. At the new Rosewood Hong Kong, opening this winter, or at the stunning, refurbished The Peninsula Hong Kong you are just minutes away from some of the city’s most wonderful designer shopping. Take a trip on the Hydrofoil to Macao, or go on a cultural tour to Victoria Peak. When it’s time to relax, there’s no better place to do it than the magical island of Bali. With an array of secluded resorts, you can mix and match between beach and mountains. Bulgari Resort Bali is perfect for the honeymooning couple with its own private beach (complete with elevator) and villas with stunning infinity pools. In Ubud, you can enjoy a natural rainforest experience at Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan home to a stunning spa and some of the best cuisine on the island.
Fly and flop in paradise
Living in the GCC is certainly an advantage for honeymooners travelling to island getaways for a relaxing, ‘do nothing’ retreat, with idyllic Indian Ocean hotspots within easy reach, such as the recently opened Four Seasons Resort Seychelles at Desroches Island. Just a short flight from Mahé, you’ll be whisked away to total seclusion in a private villa, although having a picnic in one of the private coves, with treats from the pantry, will tempt you out. For something a little more chilled, you can’t beat a honeymoon at St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort which, in my opinion, is the best new opening in the archipelago. This smaller island takes Maldivian resort life to the next level, from the mouth-watering cuisine to the expansive views from the spa – you will come back filled with amazing memories.
Immersed in nature
For something a little more adventurous but no less luxurious, Resplendent Ceylon boutique hotels in Sri Lanka offers dreamy getaways that highlight the natural beauty of the island. It is the sole Sri Lankan member of Relais & Châteaux, with three amazing, locally inspired retreats to choose from: Cape Weligama on the Indian Ocean coast near Galle; and Wild Coast Tented Lodge, Yala a palatial tented camp adjacent to Yala National Park. They will take care of everything, allowing you to take a tour or two in between doing very little indeed.
Unconventional European romance
To add an extra dash of romance to your honeymoon, there’s nothing quite like Europe where historic cities have it in spades. Of course there is the charm of Paris and the timeless appeal of Barcelona – both grand cities – but why not stroll the quaint cobbled streets of Lisbon walk hand in hand alongside the canals of Amsterdam sip a coffee in an open square in Vienna while listening to classical music or having dinner overlooking the Acropolis in Athens?
The road trip of a lifetime
A travel trend to consider if you have more time is an extended road trip. Imagine embarking on a West Coast USA starting in San Francisco, winding down to Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, the Sonoma or Napa region, ending up in San Diego. Or, you could take yourselves further inland and head for the vast expanse of the Nevada Desert finishing on a high in Las Vegas. If you wish to travel the opposite way and head down under, then Australia is another great honeymoon destination. A road trip taking in Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne and heading along the Great Ocean Road to Adelaide offers a blend of urban life, the chance to see kangaroos and koalas in their natural habitat, and even allows you to experience the edges of the great Australian Outback. While in the region, you could easily venture a few hours by plane across the Tasman Sea to New Zealand, hire a car and spend a good few weeks enjoying the fresh country air of Middle Earth, the unique landscape around Rotorua, or the far south of the Otago Peninsula, home to a unique breed of penguins.
Inspired to go? Click here for the latest offers