LONDON, Oct 6 — As a couple, your idea of a weekend well-spent is to leap out of a flying airplane. Maybe you fell in love at a protest to try to protect the fate of black rhino, or while swooning over a sublime glass of Bordeaux at a wine tasting. Every couple has their own story. Which is why we’ve come up with a list of honeymoon ideas that cater to different types of couples and needs, be it the nature-loving newlyweds, thrill seekers and even the unapologetic geeks.
Fit and fabulous
You met in a sweaty, intense CrossFit session, your eyes meeting over your 20th burpee. Or you fell in love while training for your first marathon together. You’re the kind of couple whose idea of a great date is to go for a run or take your bikes out for a spin. Why not consider a biking tour of some of the world’s most stunning landscapes like La Route Verte, a 4,000km trek across Quebec that stretches along the St. Lawrence River to the Laurentides or the Ruta Austral in Chile, a 1,330-km route that stretches from central Chile to northern Patagonia. Or join a sight-running tour, the latest tourism trend that’s taking major cities by storm allowing runners to see the sights with a guided tour. Do a search for “running tour” for cities like New York, London, Paris, Boston, Copenhagen, Barcelona and Cape Town and you’ll find no shortage of options.
You knew you were meant for each other the day you spent three hours talking about the cultural and sociological impact of “Star Trek.” Or the day you agreed to disagree about who’s more boss: Stephen Hawking or Peter Higgs. You’re both geeks of the highest order: curious, intellectual and adorable in your nerdiness. Consider boarding a cruise tailor-made for geeks. Artful Travellers, for instance, has created a cruise package along the Panama Canal with the makers of the scientific series “Nova,” the most-watched documentary series on US public television. Or, sign up with Context Travel, which offers in-depth walking “seminar” tours in more than 20 cities around the world which are led by scholars and experts in archaeology, art history, cuisine, history and the classics.
Ready to go all out and fete your nuptials like it’s 1999? Couples with deep pockets who are looking for a luxurious, extravagant way to start their marriage might want to consider booking a once-in-a-lifetime trip to the North Island Lodge Seychelles, named the most luxurious resort in the world by luxury-hotels.com. Part of what makes the private island sanctuary so expensive is that guests are helicoptered into the site which sits 30 km off the coast of the main island, Mahé. A one-night’s stay per couple costs around US$5,845 (RM18,585) per night. Rounding out the top three most luxurious accommodations were Laucala Resort in Fiji and Khwai River Lodge in Botswana, both of which cost US$4,000 to US$5,000 a night per couple. Or check out the Gili Lankanfushi, a five-star resort in the Maldives that was named the leading luxury resort in the Indian Ocean for 2013 at the World Travel Awards, described as the Oscars of the travel industry.
You’re semi-starving artists, or young lovebirds who’ve only just graduated from college. Or you’re looking for a cheap and cheerful honeymoon after having emptied your savings for your splashy, 500-guest wedding. Whatever the scenario, you need a getaway that will help you reconnect as a couple. If you’re up for a cultural vacation, use TripAdvisor’s latest pricing index as a guide. For example, after looking at the cost for a one-night stay for two in a four-star hotel, with cocktails, dinner and a round-trip 2-mile (3.2km) taxi ride, Sofia, Bulgaria emerged as the most affordable travel destination at US$158 — all in. According to Hotels.com, meanwhile, rates in Hanoi dropped 32 per cent in the first half of 2013 compared to the same period last year, making the Vietnamese capital one of the site’s picks for the top bargain destinations of 2013. But if it’s a beach vacation you’re after, consider the island of Ambergris Caye in Belize, which is often passed over by Caribbean-bound tourists for its more popular neighbours. Consequently, the tropical island boasts lower price points.
Thrill seekers and adrenaline junkies
Are you the type of couple whose idea of fun is to leap off tall perches and test your invincibility? As a couple do you thrive on testing your limits and bond over adrenaline rushes from death-defying feats? Travel + Leisure magazine offers a few ideas for adventure travellers like white-water rafting through Class Four rapids on Salmon River’s Middle Fork in Idaho or heli-skiing in British Columbia, Canada. Or, take amotorcycle trip in Vietnam, following the Ho Chi Minh trail from Hanoi to Saigon.
One of the reasons you love each other is your mutual love of the planet. Maybe you met at a wildlife conservation event, bonding over your love of black rhinos, or you fell in love while tree planting for a summer. You’re looking for an eco-friendly resort that will allow you to enjoy your honeymoon guilt-free. Consider the Laguna Lodge in Guatemala, recommended by Ecohotels.com, a five-star boutique hotel that’s completely off-grid, powered by solar energy. Set along Lake Atitlan, suites at the lodge are carved out of volcanic stone and decorated in indigenous Mayan antiques. Or, for the fit, outdoor-loving couple, consider taking one of the most beautiful treks in the world, as deemed by author Peter Potterfield who penned “Classic Hikes of the World” and shared them with National Geographic. His picks? The Fitz Roy Trek in Patagonia, Argentina; the Dana Reserve to Petra, Jordan and Long Range Traverse, Newfoundland.
Get it on
After all the work put into throwing the wedding of the year, you’re looking forward to one thing, and one thing only during your honeymoon: knocking boots as man and wife. Consider booking the Play Room suite at Hotel Pelirocco in Brighton, UK also known as the “dirty weekend” room which comes with a stripper pole, an 8-foot round bed, mirrored ceilings, and a double monsoon shower that fits two people. Or, read each other erotic, steamy passages of “Fifty Shades of Grey” at the Library Hotel in New York, where floors are organized by the Dewey Decimal System. For couples who are looking forward to getting randy, consider the Erotic Package which includes a bottle of Veuve Clicquot champagne, a Kama Sutra Romance Kit with massage oil, a feather tickler and bubble bath, and a Kama Sutra copy to take home.
Food and wine lovers
The only thing you love perhaps as much as swooning over each other, is swooning over Michelin-starred meals and a sublime glass of vino. Create a travel itinerary of Michelin-starred restaurants using the company’s online travel planner. For the more adventurous palates and globetrotters, consult Lonely Planet’s 1000 Ultimate Sights guide, which offers bucket-list travel ideas that include the Spice Bazaar in Istanbul, Turkey, the caves of Roquefort, France where the blue-veined cheese is aged, the Tokyo Fish Market and Darjeeling, India for its tea. Oenophiles may also want to consult Wine Enthusiast, whose picks for the top wine destinations of 2013 include Rioja, Spain, Danube, Austria, Stellenbosch, South Africa and Vale dos Vinhedos, Brazil.
Now firmly entrenched in travel lingo as another form of holidaymaking, more and more expectant couples are taking babymoons as their last hoorah before their lives are turned upside down and inside out. Experts over at Parents.com offer an array of babymooning ideas including the Cliffs Resort in Pismo Beach, California, which has created a “Baby Makes Three” package that includes a welcome basket with diapers and one-piece for baby, all the amenities needed for a final quiet night with an in-room movie and ice cream; breakfast in bed, a couples massage and a commemorative bottle of wine. The Peter Island Resort in the British Virgin Islands also offers babymoon-specific package spa treatments tailored for pregnant women, a de-stressing massage for the dad-to-be, a picnic lunch at one of their five beaches and special nightly turndown service.
Sometimes, work schedules, kids and budgetary constraints don’t permit for long-haul or lengthy honeymoons. Enter the minimoon, a concept that squeezes traditional weeklong holidays into a weekend getaway or a staycation. Book a room at a quiet bed and breakfast in the countryside, where you can find time to decompress after the wedding. Make reservations at a five-star or Michelin restaurant and feed each other amorously before retreating to the honeymoon suite at the swanky boutique hotel you pass every day on your way to work — a holiday in which no time is wasted but you feel like you’re indulging. — AFP/Relaxnews