The first question has been answered with a big ‘yes’ but now you need help answering the next most important one… where to go on honeymoon. Well, we’re a romantic bunch here at Auree, so we’ll let you into a little secret who goes by the name of Louisa Stewart. And who happens to also be a walking “little black book” when it comes to travel.
We caught up with her to find some inspiration for every season whether you are tying the knot in mid Summer or the weekend before Christmas. Your honeymoon needs to be unforgettable (in a good way) and is the one opportunity to really blow the budget… not to say we won’t expect a holiday like this every year.
SUMMER (June, July & August)
Hands down, the most popular time to get married and hopefully most will have a day filled with sunshine. No matter how many sundances you do, that English weather is as unpredictable as its comes – but they do say ‘rain on your wedding day is lucky’ so it can’t all be bad.
Europe would be an immediate thought, and with such a short flight, it seems the obvious place. If I had to say a favourite, it would probably have to be Italy. I can, and already have, put together the most wonderful honeymoons across Italy, starting on The Amalfi and ending up in a convertible winding through Tuscany. Stunning properties, romantic villages and incredible views. It is definitely worth considering. Be sure to add Monastero Santa Rosa, which has the best pool I’ve ever been swimming in, and Castello di Vicarello to your shortlist.
But, I’d like to turn your thought to going further afield – to Indonesia. Best visited in our summer, it makes the most wonderful of honeymoons. And what is more, your money goes a lot further than it does in Europe.
Combining a few islands, exploring beaches and temples, there is as little or as much as takes your fancy. Hotel wise, there is such a variety to suit all budgets so you can go as mad or as reserved as you want to. One of my favourite properties is Amanwana, with just 20 tents – it is a wilderness hideaway.
AUTUMN (September, October, November)
My mother says she has only had four wet September 4th’s in 40 years of marriage… so there is no wonder why it’s such a popular month to get married. But, it is also the hardest season to find a honeymoon destination.
It’s generally wet in Asia, coming out of summer in Europe, monsoon in The Caribbean and wet in The Maldives. However, there are some perks… it is the Great Wildebeest Migration in the Maasai Mara. Mozambique, Mauritius and the Seychelles is the ultimate combination at this time of year. The Wildebeest Migration is an annual march of literally millions of animals following well-trodden paths – it is one of nature’s most spectacular displays. A bucket list spectrum.
The other place I want to mention is India. A country close to my heart, a place I have both lived in and visited many times. Ladakh, Northern India, is only open in the summer season from May – September and there is some wonderful walking for the more adventurous honeymooners. Bhutan is wonderful but Ladakh is also worth considering. November is a great time to visit Rajasthan when the aggressive heat from the summer has passed. The standard of hotels is out of this world. India, sadly, is often missed when thinking of honeymoon destinations, but think again as it certainly delivers when it comes to romantic hotels.
If I was to pick a few, I would highlight The Serai, Chhatra Sagar (image above) and Raas Jodhpur. A visit shouldn’t just be about wonderfully colourful and bustling cities with the amazing palaces and shopping but also about the incredible countryside that surround.
WINTER (December, January and February)
Winter weddings are special. Candles in the church, Christmas trees up the aisle. It’s not only a romantic time of the year to get hitched, it’s a great time to escape the long English winter. While we are shivering most of the rest of the world are basking in sunshine in their peak season.
The Caribbean is the perfect choice. Only an 8 hour (predominately direct) flight and you’re whisked to a beach with a rum punch in hand – it takes some beating. By combining Sri Lanka with The Maldives you can fulfil that need to explore culture with the absolute necessity to sleep that is imperative post the wedding mayhem. Australia and New Zealand, South East Asia, Brazil, Skiing – I can think of too many options. But, what gets my pick for this season is South Africa and more specifically Cape Town and the Winelands. The flight is expensive but when you are there, the quality of accommodation, food and wine you get for your money is outstanding.
I recommend starting your stay at More Quarters where you have your own one bedroom apartment in the heart of Cape Town, before moving onto Babylonstoren (image above) in the Winelands. Explore, eat, and drink to your heart’s content without taking out a mortgage to do so.
SPRING (March, April, May)
The blossom is on the trees, the bulbs and bluebells out… it’s when I got married so I may be biased. It can be chilly but worth the risk for those wedding shots amongst magnolia.
My advice for honeymooners is always: don’t try and fit too much in. There is often a tendency to want to ‘do something different’ or go somewhere others haven’t. I can understand it and certainly do not dismiss it. However, to me, a honeymoon should be about relaxing, sleeping and reminiscing about the wedding. Yes, do some adventure but definitely have some days at the beginning to just be together and shake off the tiredness that comes with getting married.
I absolutely adore Six Senses Hotels and the newly opened (in 2017) Six Senses Zil Pasyon takes a lot of beating. ‘Rustic luxury’ is right up my street. The hotel has that real sense of destination, back to nature, authentic, feet in the sand feel, yet with impeccable detail to comfort. It is expensive but you know why when you stay there.
Should this be over budget Denis Island has that lovely relaxed island feel with less of a price tag. The island of La Digue with no cars on the island is also well worth a visit if you can get there.
Travel Contributor: Louisa Stewart
Image credits: monasterosantarosa.com, luxuryaccommodationsblog.com, cntraveller.com, telegraph.co.uk, hqwalls.com, hhatrasagar.com, Baros.com, joziliciousblog.co.za, sixsenses.com, denisisland.com