Isn’t it just the perfect time of year to think about travel? Especially honeymoons. Whether you are looking for turquoise seas or jungle adventures anything is possible.
Senior travel consultant Gemma Miles gives us the lowdown on boutique hotel experts Mr & Mrs Smith and what’s top of their honeymoon hot list right now.
Tell us all about mrandmrssmith.com: what makes you stand out from other travel companies?
Mr & Mrs Smith has a carefully curated collection of the world’s most stylish stays – more than 900 hotels – that you can book with us online or over the phone. We only feature properties that at least one of the team has personally visited, and we provide a personal service, matchmaking our customers to the right hotels for them. We love putting together itineraries, too: we all travel frequently, so we can tailor the ultimate honeymoon for each couple. And, you also get a a free little extra treat at each hotel you book with us – a Thai massage, perhaps, or a cocktail-making class…
Monteverdi in Tuscany
Honeymoons: where does a couple start? There’s so much choice out there.
It can be hard to narrow down options, so try to think about what you actually want from the trip, and pick a destination based on that. If you want to spend a week exploring somewhere new and seeing some culture, for example, but you also want to relax on the beach, then Sri Lanka twinned with the Maldives would be great. How much travel do you want to do? How much activity versus relaxation?
Mini-moon, seven nights or a long trip… Which do you recommend for your couples?
Well, all three, if they can! It depends how much time you have. I’d definitely recommend going somewhere immediately after your wedding day, even if it’s just for a couple of nights. I always think that two weeks are more than twice as relaxing as just one – you really get a chance to switch off, and you can justify travelling further, to long-haul destinations like Bali, Malaysia or Australia.
Short haul or long haul: is one or the other preferable for a honeymoon?
It depends what type of traveller you are. After the stress of a wedding, it can be nice not to be stuck on a plane for a whole day. We have some incredible properties in Italy, like Casacau in Rome (where they hang a breakfast bag of treats on your door each morning) and Monteverdi in Tuscany, which has the most incredible views. I love Lesic Dimitri Palace on the island of Korcula in Croatia, too: it’s just a two-hour ferry trip from Dubrovnik. The Arabia room is the ultimate honeymoon suite.
But, if you want a real change of scenery and a new experience, places like Costa Rica, home to the stunning Kura hotel, or Brazil, where Uxua Casa won our Best Smith Hotel award last year, are really worth the trip.
What are the most popular destinations for couples?
Italy and Greece are our best sellers for honeymoons – Santorini is always a winner. The caldera views are beautiful and I love Iconic Santorini with its white-washed walls, and The Tsitouras Collection is incredible, too. Mexico’s also really popular: book well in advance if you’ve got your heart set on the Riviera Maya!
Have you seen any new travel trends for the year ahead?
As new airline routes are added, destinations increase in popularity – we’ve seen a lot more inquiries for Vietnam and Sri Lanka, for example. Couples are increasingly after a mix of culture and beach, so multi-stop trips are popular, too.
Which destinations offer the best value at the moment?
Asia is always good value. In Europe, your money goes a long way in Croatia. We have a fantastic budget-boutique hotel called Brody House in Budapest. Spain can be a great option and we have some beautiful properties in the south, like La Escondida and Palacio de Villapanes.
What’s your most super-splurge luxe hotel recommendation?
Alila Villas Uluwatu is incredible and was voted runner up in our awards last year for Best Smith Hotel – the architecture is world-class, the scenery stunning and you even get your own butler. Six Senses Ninh Van Bay in Vietnam is amazing, too: Water Villa number 5 took home the prize for Sexiest Bedroom.
Relaxation versus adventure: can a couple have a multi-destination trip combining the best of both worlds?
I’d always recommend you build in enough time to relax, but how much downtime you need is up to you – if one of you is more active than the other, make sure you have a balance of things to do along with plenty of chill-out time.
Is it possible to plan a honeymoon as a surprise for a fiancée?
Of course! I know plenty of people who have trusted their partners to plan the whole trip in secret – they didn’t even know where they were going! In fact, we’ve got a special section of our site called The Groom’s Room where we give honeymoon-planning gentlemen a helping hand, steering them towards not just the best hotels but also the best rooms, with lots of insider tips and advice… If you’re trusting your partner with planning your trip, send them the link!
Do you offer a honeymoon gift list?
Absolutely – your guests can contribute to your honeymoon (and we have cards in the shape of hotel-door hangers that you can pop in with your wedding invitations if you like). You can see more here.
Does a couple need to factor in the seasons/time of year when travelling afar?
You might have your heart set on a destination, but there’s no point going during rainy season. Always check it’s the best time to travel – if you’re not sure, just give us a call.
Amazing! What a stunning array of hotels and destinations. Have you chosen your honeymoon yet? Thank you Gemma xo Lou
Gemma Miles is a senior travel consultant and honeymoon expert at Mr & Mrs Smith: visit mrandmrssmith.com/honeymoons or call 0330 100 3180 for more details.
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