Travel Weekly asks three operators to put together the perfect Caribbean honeymoon.
Finding a romantic spot for a honeymoon in the sun-kissed Caribbean should be a cinch, right? Pick any of its lush islands and you can barely move for hotels catering to couples seeking romance and seclusion.
Yet when it comes to honeymoons, the pressure is on to get every last detail right, down to the welcome basket on arrival or choice of couples’ massage in the spa – with absolutely no room for error.
That’s why we asked operators to delve a little deeper into their choice of hotel, matching three very different couples with very different styles of honeymoon, but all with the same guarantee of unadulterated romance.
The laid-back honeymoon: Antigua
Tessa Dunmall, Caribbean product and commercial manager, Kuoni:
“I’d recommend Carlisle Bay in Antigua. It’s calm and cool, with a modern, contemporary vibe that would suit younger honeymooners. It’s featured in our Kuoni Collection brochure, so it’s top-end, five-star luxury – it’s so spacious that even if the hotel were full, you wouldn’t know it – and the location is lovely.
Antigua is all beautiful white-sand beaches – I don’t think I’ve seen sand like it anywhere but the Maldives – but the hotel itself is very lush and green, so it feels part of its rainforest surroundings.
You can eat breakfast in the restaurant, Indigo, while gazing at the sea, plus the food is really fresh and healthy and they do the most amazing sushi in pan-Asian restaurant East. The pool is also quite serene, plus they have great tennis courts, a yoga pavilion and a nice spa.
It takes families as well as couples, but there are adult-only suites so if you’re on honeymoon, I would suggest booking those. The standard rooms are still beautiful, but they are something special.
Antigua is really popular with honeymooners at the moment – it’s a small island and easy to get around, so you could hire a driver for a day to take you around, or just chill in the hotel.”
Book it: Kuoni offers a week in a garden suite with breakfast, British Airways flights from Gatwick and private transfers, from £2,436 in November. Upgrade to all-inclusive from £3,465.
The activity ‘Moon: Tobago
Jade Andrews, product executive, Funway:
“Tobago stands out for its variety: it’s a small island, but there’s such a range of landscapes, beaches and activities that you can be on a quiet honeymoon, but still have access to everything Tobago has to offer.
The Blue Waters Inn is in the north, away from the busiest part of the island. It’s a small, friendly boutique-style place with only 38 rooms, so it’s perfect for honeymooners who want a more secluded base. The restaurant has a very good reputation, and they do half-board and full-board packages.
There’s a five-star Padi diving school on site, where they offer diving and snorkelling lessons, and complimentary kayaking, which is nice to do as a couple even without a guide. Plus the hotel faces an island called Little Tobago, which is famous for its snorkelling and birdlife. You could go snorkelling together to Buccoo Reef or Nylon Pool, get involved with one of the summer festivals that Tobago is famous for, or go and spend time ‘liming’ with the locals at Crown Point.
We can arrange rainforest walks, bird-watching or catamaran charters to explore the island’s natural beauty, plus other active opportunities like snorkelling, diving or surfing. It’s a real strength of Tobago that it has this combination of activities.”
Book it: Funway offers a week on bed and breakfast basis at Blue Waters Inn, with British Airways flights from Gatwick, from £849 for travel on December 5.
The all-inclusive escape: Barbados and Saint Lucia
Ross Sinclair, Caribbean senior product manager, Travel 2
“Barbados and Saint Lucia are our most popular Caribbean islands because they are so different; you can see them as alternatives, or as a twin-centre. In Barbados, people tend to get out and see the island, eating at Oistins Fish Fry for example, but Saint Lucia is more relaxed, so they can stay in their hotel but still enjoy the scenery.
Sandals Barbados is adult-only, which is a plus on honeymoon, and it’s just had a massive facelift, so it’s now an all-singing, all-dancing resort with great dining, premium drinks, land and water sports, and transfers included, making it great value. They have lots of activities for couples: you can dine on the beach or take a trip to other nearby islands to get that on-your-own experience.
I’d also recommend Rendezvous Saint Lucia: it’s more of a boutique-style property than Sandals, so it’s more intimate and romantic. It’s couples-only, not adult-only, but what makes it stand out is the little extras: the exotic honeymoon package includes private transfers, a room decorated with petals and a massage for two.”
Book it: A twin-centre combining five nights each in a premium garden-view room at Rendezvous and a crystal lagoon luxury room at Sandals Barbados, both all-inclusive, starts at £3,059 for travel September 1-October 20, including all flights and transfers.
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