Emily Ashwell looks at what’s new on the honeymoon market for couples this year
Once your clients have found their own perfect match and popped the question, it’s time for you to line up another ideal partner – the honeymoon of their dreams. Including some of the newest properties on the market, our suggestions are up-to-the-minute and tailored to a range of couples.
PERFECT FOR… LUXURY
The Indian Ocean is an obvious place to start. If your clients have deep pockets and a sense of style, then one of the 87 studios or pavilions at new lifestyle resort Niyama Maldives is sure to suit. Selling points include the world’s first underwater nightclub and a 24-hour spa. Book early for Niyama’s sister property Huvafen Fushi, which is set to reopen later this year after a major refurbishment.
If they are looking for a more urban resort coupled with Middle Eastern opulence, suggest 380-room the St Regis Saadiyat Island Resort in Abu Dhabi, which opened in December. It has every amenity you would expect at a luxury resort – spa, golf course, butlers – and there’s also plenty to do at nearby Yas Island.
Sample price: Seasons offers seven nights at the St Regis Saadiyat Island Resort from £1,660 per person, twin-share, in a superior room, including breakfast, flights and transfers. Valid to September 30, 2012.
PERFECT FOR… ADVENTURE
A tented camp in Africa will give honeymooners the romance of a bygone age of travel combined with the thrill of seeing wild animals. The simple but elegant Naboisho Camp, which opened last June in Kenya’s Masai Mara, currently has a great offer (see sample price). In Mozambique, the White Pearl Resorts (formerly Ponta Momali) opened last year with a contemporary white decor. Set on a beach, a stay there makes a good twin-centre with a South Africa safari.
As an alternative to safari, Sunvil Latin America has introduced two properties perfect for honeymooners. The Lastarria is a residence in the bohemian centre of Santiago, Chile. Built in 1927, its opulent decor makes it a sophisticated city bolthole, which could be twinned with Chile’s wine regions, the Atacama Desert or the glaciers and mountains of Patagonia. Mashpi Lodge is due to open in Ecuador’s rainforest this summer. Contemporary architecture, including giant glass walls, gives this eco-friendly rainforest lodge the wow factor, and mainland Ecuador is a perfect combination with the Galapagos.
Sample price: Audley Travel has three nights at Naboisho Camp twinned with five nights at Funzi Keys from £3,415 per person, saving £1,000 per person, on selected dates. The price includes flights and transfers, all full-board accommodation and game viewing.
PERFECT FOR… MINI-MOONERS
Why send time-stretched couples halfway across the world when some of the most romantic destinations are a train ride away? Raffles Paris enlisted French designer Philippe Starck to redesign Le Royal Monceau, which reopened in October 2010, while a Shangri-La and Mandarin Oriental have both opened there in the past year. Chic city retreat W Paris – Opera opened in February.
The romance of Italy is equally infectious and there are some new openings that are ideal for mini-mooners. Classic Collection is selling the elegantly rustic Villa Armena, which opened earlier this year in Tuscany, where clients will love the locally sourced food in the restaurant and the relaxing spa treatments. Meanwhile, Seasons is brochuring the Monastero Santa Rosa, which will open in May. A converted 16th-century monastery, it perches above the Amalfi coast. The Hotel Splendido in Portofino on the Ligurian coast will be unveiling five suites in May.
For the ultimate in luxury, check out Aman Resorts’ latest property, Amanruya, near Bodrum, Turkey, which opened in December.
Sample price: Classic Collection Holidays has five nights at Villa Armena from £1,386 per person twin-share in June, in a junior suite, with flights and car hire.
0800 294 9318
PERFECT FOR… HONEYMOONS WITH KIDS
When kids come into the equation, customers will have a different set of requirements. Some high-quality childcare will give the happy couple the reassurance to take time for themselves. The new Mark Warner resort at the five-star Levante Beach in Rhodes, opening in May, might therefore not seem such a strange idea for honeymooners – newlyweds can sneak away to the couples-only pool and spa or for dinner while the kids are well looked after.
If your clients are after something child-friendly but long-haul, take a look at Tamarind in Barbados. Opened by the Elegant Hotels group just over a year ago, the property, which was formerly known as Tamarind Cove, is aimed at couples and families but offers clubs for children and teens as well as babysitting.
Sample price: Virgin Holidays offers seven nights at the four-star-plus Tamarind from £999 per person based on two adults and two children travelling and sharing a junior suite, from May 10, 2012.
0844 557 3973
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