Perhaps one of the less arduous tasks in the wedding planning calendar is daydreaming about your honeymoon. In fact, so in love are we with the prospect of our newly wed holiday, that a survey by hitched.com found that while the hire of a wedding venue is typically the biggest item on the budget, the honeymoon comes in as the second highest cost, above catering, the engagement ring, and without the dress even getting a mention.
Luxury is still the name of the game for most people – presumably to recover from both the wedding and the wedding planning – and there’s plenty of advice out there about how to choose the perfect destination.
The Huffington Post, for example, suggests nailing down the basics. That means deciding how much to spend before you set your sights on a real budget buster, and suggesting you choose a theme for your honeymoon – i.e country or city, Europe or Asia, beach or adventure and so forth.
On a practical note, considering the season, wherever you’re thinking of going is also eminently sensible (the hurricane season in Barbados is perhaps not ideal), and thinking about the kind of atmosphere you want as well – do you fancy a buzzing, vibrant destination, or a peaceful, private one?
The honeymoon staycation has also been on the rise in recent years, a rather beautifully stylish option that perhaps implies something of a throwback to an old school tradition brimming with romance.
Here’s a few honeymoon favourites of ours that embody the trends of luxury, beauty romance, and well deserved post-wedding relaxation, whether you’re an overseas or staycation kinda couple…
We might have all been just a teeny weeny bit jealous of Meghan Markle as she ran off into the sunset with her prince this summer, but we can all play the part of princess for a few days at Peckforton Castle Hotel. This magical location is everything fairytales are made of, and has inspired Hollywood as well, setting the scene for movies including Robin Hood and Dr Who.
Outside it’s all impressive stone walls, towers and turrets, while inside it’s about four poster beds and Jacobean tapestries on the walls – visit when there’s snow on the ground and you could happily think you’ve escaped to Narnia.
You definitely don’t have to go overseas to experience the ultimate in contemporary luxury. The Earl of Swinton’s ancestral seat dates back to the 1800s and sits amidst a 20,000 acre estate that you can wander to be greeted by roaming deer and other wildlife.
Accommodation is in the lavish country house, and for special occasions such as this we suggest opting for one of the five suites located in the Turret. Meanwhile, the spa is brand and sits within the grounds offering world class facilities both inside and out. Key features include an aroma steam room using seasonal natural fragrances and a 10 metre outdoor natural pool that offers environmentally friendly, natural bathing in bio-filtered water.
Few places do romance quite as well as Venice, and for those looking for luxury without the complication of a long haul flight, it is really the perfect honeymoon destination. Fusing location and luxury, Almar Jeselo, Resort and Spa is an award-winning, beachside, five star destination on the Lido di Jesolo.
It gives you just enough space to relax and unwind, whilst also being close to the famous city. It is surrounded by beautiful gardens, offers contemporary style, and has a spectacular spa experience complete with impressive details such as an awe-inspiring 70-metre long outdoor swimming pool and nine treatment cabins.
The Balearics offer a kind of rugged beauty and escapism that keeps its devotees coming back time and again, and at Jumeirah Port Soller Hotel and Spa you really experience the best of it all.
In a clifftop location overlooking the UNESCO Heritage Serra de Tramuntana mountain range, it combines sun, sea and mountains with guests staying in suites across 11 buildings, and each with private balconies or terraces. Wonderfully private, it’s also wellness and understated luxury with cycling, trekking and yoga in addition to the spa facilities, and treatments using natural ingredients such as citrus, almonds and olive oil.
For the couple who really want to just sit back and have everything laid on during their honeymoon, Aphrodite Hills Hotel is the place to go. The all singing, all dancing resort has everything you could ask for, from beaches and pools to horse riding and nature trails, five star rooms and suites and a whole village of bars and restaurants.
There is also an extensive spa experience complete with Greco-Roman bathing rituals, 27 treatment rooms, hydrotherapy facilities and its own sun deck for smoothies and healthy lunches, so you can stay in your robe and slippers all day enjoying the pampering.
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