Though I’m not qualified yet to talk flowers, dresses, churches or wedding bands, one wedding item on the check list I AM qualified to talk about is honeymoons. If you will be saying “I Do” in the near future, check out these 3 honeymoon options below to suit every budget.
The spice island of Zanzibar, off the coast of Tanzania is still one of my fav islands. It’s a great choice if you have a limited timeframe because you can jump on an overnight flight from Heathrow and be at the beach in time for breakfast, with no Jet lag.
Since the sixties, tired backpackers have been coming here to chill out after climbing Mt Kilimanjaro or crossing the continent by truck. Long before the backpackers though, it was Arab traders who came and went from the island. 93% of the islands population toady is Islamic and the Eastern influence is still very noticeable around the ancient city of Stone town, where women in burkas weave through the narrow streets, past intricately carved wooden doors.
The 5 star Residence Hotel is about as beach perfect as you will get. The property has 66 villas, 29 of which are ocean front. And you can have your meals delivered to the private deck of your villa by your own butler.
The food is amazing and you can dine like a sultan on mezze, slow baked lamb and spicy fish stew. before collapsing on low wide sofas, loosening the drawstring on your linen trousers and smoking a hookah pipe to your hearts content.
Swimming with dolphins in the wild is something that regularly makes peoples Bucket List and in Zanzibar, as well as diving and snorkelling, it’s one of the most popular things to do. It really is an incredible experience.
For those who want to disappear a little deeper into the Indian Ocean, there is a fully licenced PADI dive school in the hotel. They also organize deep sea fishing trips and sunset cruises.
Paris as an incredibly romantic honeymoon and should not be ruled out just because it is on our doorstep. Its also a great post wedding break if you are planning a honeymoon further afield at a later stage. For me, the key to enjoying any city break is to feel at home at soon as possible. So you absolutely need to get the inside track from a local. Thats where “Rue Amandine” comes in. This boutique company set up by Parisian Amandine, tailor makes an itinerary just for you. You fill out a simple questionnaire detailing that you are on honeymoon and what kind of things you like to do and she will go above and beyond to organise the most romantic trip. She believes to feel like a local, you have to live like one. So no hotel rooms. Homely apartments and studios in different areas of the city, like the one I stayed in in Les Halles. Think high ceilings, original tiled floors and windows that look out and down onto the street below and across the chimneys and rooftops of the Paris skyline. Little touches like freshly squeezed orange juice, fresh French Baguette, coffee and tea and a gorgeous bottle of red wine means you know you are in good hands. Not to mention your own personalized road book; a tailor made itinerary for your few days. From antique shopping to wine tasting to specialized food tasting. Nothing is too quirky for this all girl work force to handle. They will organize tables in the hottest restaurants in town, have flowers delivered, book wine tasting or river cruises. They’ll even book you into a fancy hotel for one night of Parisian extravagance. All you have got to do is fall in love all over again.
This is my favourite of all Caribbean Islands. For the couple wanting more than just a deserted island experience, it has it all. Sun, sea, sand, attitude, fiver star hotels to splash your cash or rickety beach shacks where you can unleash your inner hippy. Rhianna’s homeland is an island of dazzling white beaches, rugged cliffs and rolling green hills perfect for horse trekking where you can pull up and dismount outside one of the islands many rum shacks and enjoy the views…the highlight of my last trip there. Oistins Friday night jump up, which is essentially a pig street party is also a must and you cannot leave without ordering the fish fry! Yes, it is renowned for being an expensive place to holiday but like anything if you do a little research, you can find something for your budget. Like the Dolphin Inn on the south coast. It is light, welcoming, roomy and, best of all, great value for money. An en suite double costs less than €50 per night. It is just a stroll away from beautiful, secluded beaches and the bars and restaurants of St Lawrence Gap. Also check out the Graeme Hall nature sanctuary to oooh and ahhhh at the baby turtles!! On the top end of the hotel scale, you have the stunning Sandy Lane, the Fairmont Pavillion. But be warned you will cry coming back down to reality after the onslaught of luxury! Or my favourite, the 4 star, Little Arches Boutique hotel.