Honeymoons With a Twist

Inspiring destinations for newlyweds

Dromoland Castle
Dromoland Castle

Couples are determined to create the ultimate romantic trip when it comes to their honeymoon with no expense spared. But increasingly luxury holidays spent lying on the beach are being replaced with more unusual options as honeymooners seek a unique and special way to spend their first few weeks together as husband and wife. Here are three honeymoon destinations with a difference.

If a luxury pod in the Swiss mountains, only accessible by foot or skis sounds good to you, Whitepod in Villiars could be your ideal honeymoon destination. Nestled in the charming village of Les Cerniers, surrounded by a blanket of glistening white snow and panoramic mountain views, Whitepod offers a unique experience for prospective honeymooners. The giant snowball-like pods dotted on the mountain side are geodesic structures anchored on wooden platforms, naturally insulated from the cold and snow. All of the pods are equipped with cosy wood-burning stoves, organic luxury bedding and full service bathrooms. Honeymooners can snuggle in the sheepskin rugs whilst enjoying the stunning views across to Mont Blanc in complete privacy.

The intimate resort’s restaurant Les Cerniers provides couples with the ideal place to experience quality cuisine on the slopes. Innovative yet refined, the restaurant offers traditional dishes such as fondue as well as the chef’s own diverse range of balanced and modern dishes which marry perfectly with the authentic mountain cuisine. Included as part of your honeymoon is the Whitepod ski estate made up of 7km ski pistes which cater for beginners as well as the more experienced. Two private lifts are opened to guests taking you to a perfectly maintained slope. A unique mountain escape, this is the perfect honeymoon destination for couples with a sense of adventure and a thirst for something different.

Everyone wants to be treated like royalty on their honeymoon, so what better place to spend it then in a castle? Be pampered in style at Dromoland Castle, County Clare in Ireland, as you enjoy indulgent treats and majestic accommodation. The vastly proportioned 5-star rooms are certainly fit for a King. A stay in one of the deluxe suites will guarantee you a stunning view out over the lake and Dromoland Gardens. Individually designed and decorated each room consists of a King sized bed (naturally), Dromoland Castle’s signature soft slippers and bathrobes and an interactive television with movies on demand.

Take a morning stroll in the 410 acres of private grounds with a specially prepared picnic basket, packed full of freshly made snacks and a bottle of chilled champagne. Couples can enjoy horse-riding through the grounds, golf on the private course, tennis and cycling. Or for a relaxing indulgence get pampered at the Dromoland spa or wander round the drawing room and galleries for a feel of antiquated luxury. A luxury honeymoon destination with a twist, this is sure to be a memorable stay.

If you still want to get away to warmer climates and enjoy a beach honeymoon with a tropical environment, Costa Rica could make a fantastic alternative. The remote and eco-friendly Lapa Rios Lodge is set in 1,000 acres of Central America’s last remaining lowland tropical rainforest. Honeymooners can stay in a spacious bungalow with spectacular ocean views, complete with a private wooden balcony to enjoy the sunshine and a pleasant open air shower.

Couples can plant a tree together to celebrate their union, or enjoy a massage in the rainforest view massage room. For something a little more adventurous take a romantic horse trek along the beach, go surfing or even explore the lush surroundings of the rainforest and discover the waterfalls and pools. A boat excursion offers the chance to see sea turtles, whales and the opportunity to swim with dolphins. This is a honeymoon destination for nature lovers and explorers, a unique retreat far removed from the modern world.

Craig is a professional travel writer and travel enthusiast always on the look out for the best new honeymoon destinations.

How to Achieve Your Ideal Asia Honeymoon Without Going Bankrupt

Asia-Honeymoon
Asia-Honeymoon

Some couples end up paying ?6k for two-week Asia honeymoons – a sum easily stretched for months by frugal backpackers. Unless you’re a couple of investment bankers, such anecdotes could easily deter you from trying to honeymoon in the Far East, however longingly you dream about it.

Yet your honeymoon is an ideal opportunity to actually achieve your dream holiday. With friends and family on hand to potentially help out with the budget, it seems a shame to compromise. So how do you keep the cost down?

Research is a great place to start. You may groan at the prospect, especially if you’re already fretting about wedding arrangements. Many couples feel pressured by their families’ expectations. This may seem unfair – this is your special day, right? Not exactly. Two clans are
uniting, here. You’ve made a lot of people very excited. Some may be feeling a little lonely. If you’d like them all to celebrate the union, you must realise that the wedding itself is very much a family affair.

The honeymoon, on the other hand, is absolutely all about you two. Researching destinations, seeking inspiration, and creating your ideal post-wedding bubble is one of the most satisfying aspects of the wedding. Even a few hours research will improve your chance of spending less. Doing it well in advance will drastically increase the number of deals available.

To give you a head start, Vietnam is rapidly modernizing but epically beautiful, its convenient scenic railway spanning from Hanoi, in the north, to bustling Ho Chi Min City – Saigon – in the very south. For a less modern but no less iconic experience, Cambodia offers some of the most hauntingly sacred places in South East Asia, Angkor Wat the most famous of many.

Head to Thailand for a classic Asian blend of vivid culture, amazing shopping and hidden tropical beaches, while Laos is laid-back and ecologically-minded, full of stunning conservation areas. Try Borneo for full-on rainforest adventure, with the chance to meet orang-utans and cruise up jungle riverways, with neighbouring Malaysia perfect for accessible jungle and affordable glamour.

Browse mainstream travel guides, like Lonely Planet or CN Traveller until you have a shortlist of destinations, then look for candid first-hand coverage of these places. Individual traveller blogs are excellent for this, especially if the blogger uploads their own photos, which often give the most realistic view of a place.

This may all sound daunting if you’re really busy or shy about phoning foreign hotels to make deals. Don’t worry – a growing number of travel companies will tailor-make the arrangements for you while staying tactfully aware of your budget. Some even run wedding-list services. These let guests pay gift money straight into your honeymoon fund, letting your advisor know exactly how much money you have to play with.

Whether you decide to do it yourself or get help from experts, make sure you sit down together first, and really mull over what you do and don’t want from your experience, whether it’s glamorous beach-side seclusion or treks into the rainforest.

All-Inclusive Honeymoons

Sandals Grande Antigua
Sandals Grande Antigua - Image by by kim.panian

When choosing a honeymoon destination, many couples often choose a place with soft sand and beautiful ocean views. A great option for honeymooners is to consider all-inclusive resorts because the last thing you will want to do on your honeymoon is be stuck at a hotel with nothing to do but watch allied satellite tv. If you book a stay at an all-inclusive resort, your trip is practically worry-free. One rate will take care of the costs of your entire stay. This includes not only meals and drinks, but also entertainment, tips, taxes, airport transfers and more. What all of this means is that you will not have any surprise costs and you will avoid reaching into pockets for tips. If you think an all-inclusive resort is the best option for you and your other half, there are many to choose from, but these are the top 5 all-inclusive resorts.

Jamaica, Couples Swept Away—Last year this Jamaican resort was recognized by Travel & Leisure with a “World’s Best Award.” Couples Swept Away features white sand beaches and tropical gardens that surround the resort provide the perfect romantic setting for honeymooners. You will have access to seven restaurants, each with their own specialties to enjoy. The inclusions that couples can take advantage of are romantic accommodations, unlimited fine, gourmet dining, entertainment each night, green fees for golfing, and much more.

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Dominican Republic, Excellence Punta Cana—Just a few steps from the Caribbean Sea sits Excellence Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic. Here you will also find eight different restaurants with varying international cuisines. If you are looking for a cold drink, there are numerous bars and lounges all around the resort. Excellence Punta Cana is also well-known for its exciting activities offered. Some of the activities include cave exploring, whale watching, and zip lining. This resort is perfect for the active couple.

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Mexico, El Dorado Royale—Another great site for active couples or even those who like to just sit back and relax is the El Dorado Royale in Mexico. At this resort there are so many things to do for all types of people. Activities that include hiking, snorkeling, kayaking, volleyball, and swimming are sure to keep restless couples busy. The spa at the resort will appease those just looking for pure relaxation. Options for dining and entertainment seem limitless. This Mexican resort boasts seven different restaurants, four bars, and ten swim-up bars.

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Antigua, Sandals Grande Antigua—If you are looking for romance, the Sandals Grande in Antigua is just the resort for you. For the last twelve years this all-inclusive resort has been voted the “World’s Most Romantic Resort.” You will also have dining options at ten restaurants. Located on Antigua’s very famous beach Dickenson Bay, this resort and spa has all of the amenities necessary for the ultimate romantic getaway.

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St. Lucia, Sandals Grande St. Lucian—In St. Lucia there are three different Sandals resorts, but the top pick is the Sandals Grande St. Lucian. At this resort, you are surrounded by incredible Atlantic Ocean beaches and mountain views. The seven restaurants at the resort are plenty, but Sandals offers a stay at one, play at three promotion. So you can take advantage of all of the restaurants and amenities at all three resorts. Many of the activities like kayaking, sailing, and snorkeling are included, while the spa and golf are optional. You will never run out of things to do in St. Lucia.