Town & Country (UK)
Dream destinations for newlyweds
Follow your heart to these dreamy destinations for heavenly honeymoons BY LUCY HALFHEAD
FOUR SEASONS BORA BORA french polynesia
Surrounded by translucent turquoise waters, even the tiny airport on the paradise island of Bora Bora feels appropriate for a honeymoon. At the Four Seasons’ impeccable property, 100 overwater bungalows perch on stilts above the shimmering lagoon, each featuring traditional Tahitian teak furnishings, an oversize bath tub – large enough for two – and a glass panel in the floor to watch the neon fish swim by. You can choose various views, but for this once-in-a-lifetime trip, we recommend splashing out on a room facing Mount Otemanu, the magnificent remnant of an extinct volcano. Book ahead for a candlelit dinner on a nearby deserted island, which starts with champagne sundowners and could end in fireworks… Four Seasons Bora Bora (www.fourseasons.com), from £1,435 a night for a one-bed bungalow.
AMANYARA turks and caicos islands
You can’t go wrong with an Aman hotel, and at the luxurious Amanyara, where Victoria and David Beckham chose to spend last New Year’s Eve, days seem to slip by in a haze. Usually they involve sunbathing on the teak-terraced pavilions by the onyx-black infinity pool, but they could also see you take a boat trip to countless dive sites. The food is wonderful: few can resist the lavish breakfast on the pretty terrace of the Restaurant, where everything from Thai kingfish Benedict to fresh exotic fruits is on offer, followed by a lunch of spicy gazpacho at the Beach Club. Amanyara (www.aman.com), from about £1,050 a room a night.
ONE&ONLY LE SAINT GÉRAN mauritius
After a multi-million-pound refurbishment, the One&only Le Saint Géran has reopened on Mauritius, the land of sunkissed beaches and sparkling waters. The spa is more blissful than ever, and newlyweds can enjoy Espa products in the 13 treatment-rooms set out around the swimming pool, or opt to undertake a wellness journey such as Chakra Balancing, which releases tension using local mint, citronella essence and volcanic hot stones. There’s also the option to explore the coast onboard a vintage boat complete with a skipper, butler and spa therapist. Afterwards, savour a dinner of pan-asian flavours at Tapasake, with lagoon views from every table. One&only Le Saint Géran (www.oneandonlyresorts.com), from £382 a room a night.
COMO COCOA ISLAND maldives
Como’s Maldivian outpost, Cocoa Island, is covered in shady groves of palms and hibiscus, and fringed by cashmere-soft whitesand beaches. Crucially, there are no family facilities on the island, meaning children, while not banned, are unlikely to disrupt your first few days of wedded bliss. The decor throughout is exquisite – the 33 beautiful overwater villas are inspired by the gently curving wooden forms of the local dhoni fishing boats. Make sure you book into the superb Como Shambhala spa, where the Asian therapies include Indonesian massage and Sundari facials, or sign up for a relaxing session of couples’ yoga. Como Cocoa Island (www. comohotels.com), from about £670 a room a night.
SONG SAA PRIVATE ISLAND cambodia
A sustainable sanctuary with a conscience, Song Saa is situated ina10 0-hectare marine reserve and straddles two picturesque islands in the Koh Rong Archipelago. Whether you and your love stay in a villa that’s hidden amid the jungle or suspended over the sea, you’ll enjoy Robinson Crusoe-chic interiors and breathtaking surroundings. The design cleverly echoes the external environment, with thatched roofs, timber beams and stone walls, and a private plunge pool that is an excellent spot to unwind after the stress of wedding planning. Energetic couples will relish snorkelling along the nearby coral reefs or kayaking through the mangroves. Song Saa Private Island (www.songsaa.com), from about £1,290 a room a night.
NGOMA SAFARI LODGE botswana
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle holidayed in Botswana during the early days of their relationship and it’s where he sourced the central diamond in her engagement ring. One of the country’s most romantic retreats is Ngoma Safari Lodge, with its dreamy suites filled with Zulu artefacts and boasting expansive views across the Chobe River floodplain, where elephants, giraffes and zebras roam. Although it’s remote, there is plenty to do here, including game drives, river cruises, picnics à deux in the bush and dinners under the stars by the lodge’s 3,000-year-old baobab-tree. Ngoma Safari Lodge (www.africaalbidatourism.com), from about £340 a room a night.
FREGATE ISLAND PRIVATE seychelles
If you were to imagine the Garden of Eden, it might look like Fregate Island Private, the verdant heart of the Seychelles archipelago. Except that in the place of serpents, giant tortoises wander free, and rather than forbidden fruit, there are organic plots where the majority of ingredients for guests’ meals are grown. Conservation is a guiding ethos for the island: rare and endangered species thrive on its pristine beaches and in its crystal-clear shoals. The resort offers an abundance of water sports, or for couples who prefer more tranquil activities, there is a clifftop spa with a bird’s-eye view of the lush greenery below. Fregate Island Private (www.fregate.com), from about £2,890 a night for a Private Pool Residence.