We scour the globe for the best hon­ey­moon des­ti­na­tions.

GQ (Australia) - - CONTENTS - WORDS MEG MA­SON

WE SCOUR THE GLOBE TO BRING YOU THE VERY BEST SPOTS TO CELEBRATE YOUR WED­DED BLISS, FROM LAZY BEACH RE­SORTS TO AD­VEN­TURE EX­PE­RI­ENCES.

This is it, your re­ward for all the months spent dis­cussing flo­ral con­cepts and videog­ra­phy pack­ages with your la­dylove. Yes, the hon­ey­moon – fnally, a chance to en­joy a taste of laid-back lux­ury, ad­ven­ture and Egyp­tian cot­ton bed sheets. Since this is a once-in-a-life­time af­fair, it’s time to push the boat out – and whether you’re an in-bed-’til-noon sort of cou­ple or a more dy­namic frst-on-the-slopes power duo, GQ has your dream hon­ey­moon sorted.

1. THE IS­LAND PAR­ADISE

THE BRANDO, TE­TIAROA IS­LAND, FRENCH POLY­NE­SIA

If your hon­ey­moon search terms hap­pen to be ‘re­sort + lu­di­crously high-end’, then here’s the top re­sult. This newly opened eco ho­tel set in a lush nat­u­ral for­est on a re­mote atoll once owned by Mar­lon Brando of­fers just 35 rooms, each with their own plunge pool, out­door bath and pri­vate out­door din­ing area. Pad­dle­board up to your back door, block out a morn­ing in the spa, swim in the bath­like la­goon or think about us­ing the fullser­vice gym and then find your­self too busy nap­ping in a ham­mock. Jet-skiing is pro­hib­ited on eco­log­i­cal grounds (no com­plaints from us), but div­ing and snorkelling are avail­able. If you can be both­ered.

WHY YOU’LL LOVE IT:

Ac­cess is via a scenic 20-minute flight from Tahiti in a pri­vate plane. Farewell, reg­u­lar life. the­brando.com

2. THE LO­CAL(ISH) HIDE­AWAY

EA­GLES NEST, BAY OF IS­LANDS, NEW ZEALAND

There are lux­ury lodges, and then there’s this spot in New Zealand’s in­cred­i­ble Bay of Is­lands. Ea­gles Nest is a re­treat set on its own 75-acre hill­top site over­look­ing the sea, and if you’re vi­su­al­is­ing an in­fin­ity pool off the back of your own pri­vate villa, well done – you’ve got it in one. There’s a but­ler ser­vice and gourmet pro­vi­sions re­plen­ished daily, so your need to ven­ture be­yond the master suite or sun-drenched ter­race is lim­ited. If you do fancy an ‘ac­tive’ day, the re­sort can chop­per you to one of the area’s world-class golf cour­ses or winer­ies, or pro­vide bikes or a pair of sad­dled ponies.

WHY YOU’LL LOVE IT:

It feels like another world, but the flight to Auck­land and drive to su­per-quaint Rus­sell is de­cid­edly un-tax­ing for a weary bride and groom. ea­glesnest.co.nz

3. THE CUL­TURE FIX

W ST PETERS­BURG, RUS­SIA

Leave Venice to the honeymooners who lack imag­i­na­tion, and make for the Venice of the east: St Peters­burg, a glo­ri­ous, crum­bling cap­i­tal with more cul­ture per square kilo­me­tre than seems pos­si­ble. Af­ter you’ve knocked over the State Her­mitage Mu­seum (or more re­al­is­ti­cally, a small por­tion of it), and taken in a few onion­domed cathe­drals and a bal­let at the Mari­in­sky Theatre, swing by the New Hol­land Is­land cul­tural precinct (re­cently re­de­vel­oped by one Ro­man Abramovich) be­fore re­turn­ing ex­hausted to your room at the W ho­tel in the cen­tre of town. This is the chain’s first foray into the bloc, and it has gone all out with B&B Italia fur­nish­ings in ev­ery room, a rooftop bar, and the W’s no­table Wher­ever/when­ever ser­vice, cater­ing to your ev­ery need.

WHY YOU’LL LOVE IT:

Porsche kindly pro­vides your air­port trans­fers. wst­peters­burg.com

4. THE SA­FARI EX­PE­RI­ENCE SIN­GITA BOUL­DERS LODGE, SABI SAND GAME RE­SERVE, SOUTH AFRICA

If your idea of a ro­man­tic get­away in­volves sip­ping cock­tails on the ter­race at twi­light while a lion roars in the dis­tance, this one’s for you. Kruger Na­tional Park, ap­prox a sev­en­hour drive from Jo’burg, is the ul­ti­mate sa­fari des­ti­na­tion and the hand­ful of high­end bou­tique ho­tels bor­der­ing it present a choice of great bases for game spot­ting. Our pick is Sin­gita Boul­ders Lodge, a con­tem­po­rary 12-room ho­tel set on the banks of the Sand River in a pri­vately owned 45,000-acre game re­serve ad­ja­cent to Kruger Na­tional Park. Ev­ery room has a pri­vate pool, a dou­blesided fire­place and its own deck for view­ing the pass­ing wildlife. The lodge can also set you up with a driver for trips into Kruger Na­tional Park.

WHY YOU’LL LOVE IT:

Chil­dren un­der the age of 10 are not welcome, so your lazy lie-in will not be in­ter­rupted by the sound of a nearby kids’ club. Peace at last. sin­gita.com; book­ings via mrandmrs­smith.com

5. THE ALPINE AD­VEN­TURE

KEMPIN­SKI HO­TEL DAS TIROL, JOCHBERG, AUS­TRIA Noth­ing rounds out an Aus­tralian sum­mer wed­ding like a Euro­pean win­ter hon­ey­moon – es­pe­cially a stint in a charm­ing ski re­sort in the heart of Aus­tria’s Kitzbühel Alps. Welcome to the Kempin­ski Ho­tel Das Tirol. Lo­cated in the tiny vil­lage of Jochberg, it’s just 10km from Kitzbühel, a walled me­dieval town that’s fre­quently cited as one of Europe’s most pic­turesque but re­mains less ‘sceney’ than Cha­monix or Méri­bel. The newly ren­o­vated ho­tel con­nects you to the slopes via a heated ca­ble car and af­ter a long day on the pow­der, the open fire in your suite is quite the ticket. There’s a spa on site, dra­matic alpine views from your bath­tub and a Miche­lin­starred res­tau­rant, Neuwirt, nearby for a ro­man­tic din­ner.

WHY YOU’LL LOVE IT:

As far as cog­ni­tive dis­so­nance goes, there’s some­thing to be said for turn­ing laps in the 25m in­door pool while gaz­ing over snow-capped moun­tains. Equal parts sur­real and spec­tac­u­lar. kempin­ski.com

6. THE EX­OTIC ES­CAPE

JARDIN ES­CON­DIDO, BUENOS AIRES, AR­GENTINA They say mar­riage is about com­pro­mise – and here’s the mid­dle ground be­tween a city break and a South Amer­i­can ad­ven­ture: 10 days in the colo­nial­cool cap­i­tal of Ar­gentina, stay­ing at Fran­cis Ford Cop­pola’s for­mer town­house, now a bou­tique seven-room ho­tel in the hipster-friendly down­town dis­trict of Palermo Soho. The ho­tel it­self is about un­der­stated lux­ury (bonus points for the dis­creet staff) and it’s walk­ing dis­tance to as many tango bars, steak places, gal­leries and shop­ping strips as an intrepid new­ly­wed cou­ple could wish for. It’s also an ideal base­camp for kick­ing off a wider South Amer­i­can ex­pe­ri­ence – or un­wind­ing af­ter one.

WHY YOU’LL LOVE IT:

The ho­tel has an on-site som­me­lier, for all your wine­pair­ing re­quire­ments. mrandmrs­smith.com

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