From city breaks and luxury escapes to child-friendly trips and backpacking adventures, Olivia Knight from Patchwork Present shares her top 10 inspirational honeymoon trends for 2016.
Looking for a heavenly escape? This is it. White sands, turquoise seas and nothing, nothing, nothing to do but lose yourselves in the paradise that is Bora Bora. Its remote position in the middle of the Pacific Ocean does mean it’ll take you a day to get there but once you arrive you’ll discover pure peace, ridiculous relaxation and unlimited luxury. Book a tailor made trip with Black Tomato and your only chore will be to choose whether to sleep on land – in a bungalow with private beach and pool – or on water – in a hut on stilts overlooking the crystal clear sea. Oh wait…and which spa treatments to indulge in each day.
When nature calls
Whether you’re wildlife enthusiasts, animal lovers or adrenaline junkies, Costa Rica has it all. A Jurassic landscape, eco accommodation and jungle activities mean you can get as close to nature as you dare! For unrivalled romance stay at The Pacuare Jungle Lodge where you can sleep in a secluded bungalow nestled in the rainforest canopy, watch the wildlife from the comfort of your candle-lit terrace, soak in your private plunge pool and cosy up in a hammock made for two. By day Original Travel can organise a range of rainforest experiences with expert local guides. So whether you want to zip wire through the clouds, climb rock faces, ride the rapids or take a gentle tree-top tour, you’ll find the perfect level of adventure to get your hearts racing.
Sex in the City
Want to celebrate your nuptials in style? Head to New York for the best shopping, big nights out and breakfasts that last all day. It’s all about Brooklyn baby. Pretend you live in a beautiful brownstone apartment with Airbnb, enjoy all day eggs at Café Collette, eat dinner at the Ides, drink cocktails at the Clover. Then indulge in some drunk shopping for vintage finds you don’t really need at the amazing Brooklyn Flea market.
Safari in style
Love nature but want a little luxury too? Steppes Travel has the answer with this tailor-made tour of Tanzania. Sleep under the stars, watch wildlife outside your window and admire the ever-changing scenery as you travel in comfort from Taragire to the Serengeti. Highlights include staying at the luxurious, yet conservation-focussed Mwiba Lodge with views across the Serengeti, exploring the flourishing flora and fauna of the surrounding wildlife reserve, spotting elephants and lions in the Tarangire National Park and witnessing the unique landscape of ‘nature’s colosseum ’ at the iconic Ngorongoro Crater.
With a live volcano, Mayan ruins, cloud forests, mountain villages rich in tribal history and culture and Darwin’s Galapagos Islands just off the coast, a trip to Ecuador is like a condensed and super colourful history of planet earth. And it’s easy to explore too. Friendly locals, lots of good quality accommodation, efficient public transport and great street food make it the perfect honeymoon for travellers on a budget. Just brush up on some basic Spanish, fill your backpacks, then download the Lonely Planet App and go.
Want to combine romance and relaxation with some quality time with the kids? Family friendly, boutique hotel Caserío del Mirador is the answer. This picturesque farmhouse, set amongst almond and olive groves in the Spanish mountains, offers you and your children a chance to get in touch with nature in a safe and serene setting. Half an hour from the beach, with gorgeous gardens, a child-friendly pool and ponies, goats and a pet pig to play with, there’s plenty to entertain the children during the day. Then once they’ve gone to bed, you can sit back, relax and enjoy being served a delicious dinner every night, knowing your kids are safe, happy and loving the familymoon as much as you.
Want to pretend you’re doing a culture trip but really just want to party? Tulum is the answer. Dance together all night then appreciate the Mayan ruins whilst enjoying a massage on the beach the morning after. Stay at Airbnb’s Casa G with its lush gardens and private pool, enjoy the finest seafood at the unassuming El Castillero and hang out at the taco trucks for cheap and cheerful street food, cold beers and excellent conversations with leathery skinned old men. By day, hire bikes to explore the temples in your own time and follow hand-painted signs to find secret cenotes that crowded tour buses can’t reach.
Love and pasta
Rolling hills, winding streets, fine wine and food like your own mama does not make. Puglia is the perfect place to relax, unwind and put an end to the pre-wedding diet. If you really want to escape head back 300 years to Lama di Luna, a fortified estate set in 190 hectares of organic olive groves, overlooking the coast. Deliberately cut off from the modern world, this once-working farm feels more like a monastery than a hotel and provides a heavenly escape for food lovers looking for peace – and the world’s best pizza! Eat at the Michelin starred Antichi Sapori just down the road, bring books, borrow bikes and relax with the one you love.
High on love
For active couples that like to climb mountains and then ski, snowboard, abseil or bungee back down! Canada’s Rocky Mountains are perfect destination for an action-packed winter honeymoon. For a less extreme experience explore the Rockies in the summer months when horse-riding, canoeing and guided walks offer a more leisurely way to appreciate the stunning scenery. And if you want to take in more than just the mountains, book a tour with Audley Travel to include the vibrant city of Vancouver, the old-world charm of Victoria, the pristine fjords of British Columbia and the cowboy country of Southern Alberta. A truly epic adventure.
Olivia Knight is the founder of Patchwork Present, a cash gift registry that lets you design your dream honeymoon and invite your wedding guests to fund it – piece by piece.