Hot Honeymoon Advice from a Luxury Travel Expert

Honeymoons are the blissful post-wedding holiday, for you and your partner to relax, celebrate and really enjoy each other’s company. Whether you opt for a “minimoon” (a closer-to-home, few days away), or choose a long-haul destination honeymoon, a trip with your loved one will be one of the most exciting experiences you'll have as a newlywed. Whether lounging on sun-kissed, white sand beaches is your thing, trekking through tropical jungles to breathtaking viewpoints or exploring African game reserves, tracking the local wildlife would be your preferred escape, there really is a honeymoon for every couple.

But... which is right for you?

We’ve been chatting with Matt from Hayes and Jarvis, a luxury travel company specialising in tailor made honeymoons, to find out about the top destinations for that once in a lifetime trip, and where to start with booking it.

What’s the first thing you ask couples when they come to book their honeymoon?

After giving them a huge congratulations, I like to find out when their big day is and how soon after they are looking to depart for their honeymoon. Particular destinations are better at certain times of year. Leading on from this, I start trying to get an idea of the perfect destination by asking the couple to describe to me the view they want to wake up to on the first morning of their honeymoon.

How far in advance should a couple start planning their honeymoon?

Some couples like to get the honeymoon planning ticked off before they even properly begin the wedding planning, but some prefer to leave it until further down the line - it's really up to you. Airlines release their flight schedules 11 months before departure, which means we can book and guarantee prices at this point. However, if a customer would like to get everything sorted before the flights are released we are able to estimate the cost and update them at a later date. 

What are the trends for honeymoons in 2019?

Couples are looking for more adventurous aspects fitting in around a relaxing beach stay. We have seen a upwards trend in Bali bookings, especially with couples fitting in a few nights at the cultural capital Ubud, where we have unique options for resorts surrounded by wildlife filled forests.

Do couples have to choose just one location?

Not at all, we are all about tailoring the perfect honeymoon for the customer, which makes our honeymoons much more bespoke. One of our post popular twin centre trips (a trip with two main locations) is Maldives and Dubai, which works out perfectly for couples who like a bit of shopping. To access most of the resorts in the Maldives, the couple will take a seaplane (which only allows 20kg luggage - plenty for a beach stay). But... on their flight home, they can take full advantage of Emirates 30kg allowance, after a few days of shopping at the amazing malls of Dubai. Another amazing multi centre experience which is proving popular amongst our honeymooners includes a safari in Africa and then a few days of relaxation on the beaches of Zanzibar for example.

Can Hayes and Jarvis work to a couple’s budget?

Absolutely, with our abundance of hotels and resorts available there should always be something ticking all the right boxes. We can tailor our trips to suit how much you'd like to spend, and if there is a little spare, organise some extra special activities.

What are your top destinations for that extra special honeymoon?

There are so many fantastic locations, its becoming increasingly more difficult to choose! But here are a few of our favourites

JAPAN

Known as the Land of the Rising Sun, Japan is home to intoxicating landscapes, stunning history and vibrant city life; the ultimate country of contrasts. A popular option that we offer for Japan combines a little bit of everything this country has to offer. Start your trip among the neon lights and sky scrapers of the buzzing city of Tokyo, once your visit is complete the fast pace continues with a high speed bullet train out of the city on to your next destination. Hakone is where the pace will slow down a little while you explore and appreciate the picturesque landscape around you, and finally in Okinawa you can come to a complete stop while relaxing on a sun lounger looking out to the East China Sea. 

When Japan is mentioned, beaches are probably not the first thing that comes to mind but with over 30 different beaches to choose from you will be spoilt for choice on Okinawa Island. Some are very well known large beach resorts and others are hard to find and secluded but all offer sandy white shores and sparkling clear waters.

Japan Honeymoon Wedding Blossom

CALIFORNIA

From cycling over the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco to kayaking over Lake Tahoe in the Sierra Nevada; a California holiday is sure to be truly memorable. The state is bursting with natural beauty; it’s magnificent National Parks are testament to this fact with Yosemite, Redwoods and Death Valley just a few examples. Gaze up at the Giant Sequoia trees, hike through mountain ranges and valleys and discover the hottest and lowest point in America.

Head down the Pacific Coast Highway by car, stopping off in the picturesque fishing villages en route, to Los Angeles to finish off your honeymoon in style. 

(My partner and I actually did a very similar trip to this in September 2017 - it was one of the best trips we've ever had - I'd definitely recommend it! There were sooo many amazing highlights but visiting Yosemite was truly magical - as was wine tasting in Sonoma!)

California Honeymoon Big Sur Los Angeles San Francisco

BRAZIL

A vast and diverse country, expect sun-kissed beaches, vibrant street life and natural wonders. Sip a caipirinha while enjoying the view of Ipanema beach in Rio de Janeiro, take in the amazing atmosphere of a football match in the Maracaña Stadium and explore the Brazilian and Argentine sides of the Iguazú Falls. Explore quaint towns such as Paraty, trek through the Amazon jungle or search for Jaguars in the Pantanal. 

(We went to Brazil in 2016 and visited Rio, Ilha Grande and Paraty - it's such an incredible country with so much to see - we barely scratched the surface so we definitely need to go back! My top tip would be to hike up Morro Dois Irmãos for incredible views of Rio de Janeiro!)

Brazil Rio de Janeiro Honeymoon

MALDIVES

There is a tremendous amount of resorts in the Maldives, perfectly suited for honeymooners. With its excellent weather, beautiful beaches and glistening ocean, its the perfect place to relax and unwind.

We have access to a resort on a private island, surrounded by a beautiful lagoon, with an excellent house reef and long stretches of white, sandy beach. There are only 90 private, spacious villas on the island, with half offering private infinity pools so you can enjoy a swim gazing upon stunning sunrise or sunset views across the lagoon, or perfectly positioned along the beach. There's an undersea restaurant, an "over-the-water" spa with luxury treatments, a PADI 5 star dive centre and a variety of watersports such as water-skiing and wind surfing.

A top tip is to stay somewhere that is all-inclusive, as in the Maldives everything is imported so paying separately for drinks quickly adds up.

Maldives Honeymoon Beach

CANADA

The diverse culture, history and scenery from East to West are what we love most about this country. With numerous National Parks across Canada, you'll be spoilt for choice; enjoy the spectacular views and the chance to spot wildlife, or head to one of Canada's lively cities. 

Your Canadian adventure awaits: see cosmopolitan cities, towering mountains, stunning glaciers and turquoise lakes and waterfalls in breathtaking Canada.

From vibrant Vancouver to historic Montréal, Canada has plenty to offer. Witness the Northern Lights, take an epic cross-country train or motorhome journey to explore the landscapes and see amazing wildlife up close including whales, bears, moose, eagles and bison. This is sure to be a trip you’ll never forget, and offers the chance to experience the incredible First Nations and French-Canadian cultures.

Canada Honeymoon Vancouver

BALI

Bali's laidback atmosphere, fantastic culture and tropical landscapes make for an unforgettable holiday. We'd recommend staying a tranquil, luxury hotel in a quiet corner of trendy Seminyak to start of your trip in style and to enjoy the beautiful palm lined coast. Take some time out of the sun and head to the spa for a traditional Balinese massage, which will leave you feeling rejuvenated. Twin your stay with a few nights in the cultural capital Ubud. After arriving in Ubud, take in the greener-than-green rice fields, discover the intricate woodcarvings and batik paintings at the market and be sure to catch a Balinese dance, showcasing Bali's unique blend of spirituality and tradition.

(We visited Bali and the Gili Islands in 2015 - it is truly stunning! A top tip for Bali if you like adventure is to take the hike up Mount Batur, arriving at the top for sunrise. It really is worth the early wake up call! Also, the scuba diving here is incredible! We saw so many turtles we lost count and one of the biggest rays I've ever seen!)

Bali Honeymoon Ubud

KENYA & ZANZIBAR

Kenya is Africa’s safari capital and the best place to see wildlife where it belongs. Trips to Kenya are perfect for experiencing a unique adventure against the backdrop of dramatic African landscapes. Witness the Masai Mara wildebeest migration, feast your eyes on Africa’s rolling plains, vast lakes and breath-taking natural beauty; it’s the perfect spot to be at one with nature. After the high-octane experience of an adrenaline-fuelled safari, why not treat yourself to some relaxation time. The island of Zanzibar is the perfect place to unwind. Only a short flight away, the white sand archipelago of Zanzibar is considered the Indian Ocean's best kept secret. Steeped in history, the island offers intrigue of years gone by and tales of traders and pirates as well as world-class resorts offering the ultimate in pampering and relaxation.

Our top tip for Kenya is to take a hot air balloon trip, which is especially beautiful at sunrise, and finish with a champagne breakfast in the bush.

Kenya Safari Africa Zanzibar

MAURITIUS

Mauritius is a popular honeymoon destination for couples that are looking for a few more activities on their beach stay and delicious food offerings. They can also fly to Reunion island from Mauritius and spend a few nights there, exploring the volcanic rainforest if they are looking for a real adventure. The stunning resorts are ideal for honeymooners; many of the idyllic island retreats are located at the water's edge, with tailor-made experiences just for couples. Indulge in a honeymoon treatment at a luxurious spa, or a candlelit dinner for two on the beach, or dine around at one of the island’s superb restaurants, and head to one of the two bars for a delightful evening of rum, wine and cocktails.

Mauritius Honeymoon Beach Relaxing

NEW ZEALAND

New Zealand is a fascinating tapestry of landscape and culture. A contrasting landscape of steaming volcanoes, spectacular fiordlands, magnificent mountain ranges and dense forests, there's a reason New Zealand is voted best country in the world year after year. The added bonus is that all of this is found within a country comparable in size to the UK, and with a population of only four million, it's also one of the world’s least crowded places. A holiday haven for those looking for peace and rejuvenation, as well as a playground for thrill seekers and adventurers - New Zealand is in a class of its own!

New Zealand Adventure Honeymoon

And finally, what’s your best piece of advice for newlyweds searching for their perfect honeymoon?

With the amount of incredible honeymoon destinations available, there is no need to compromise on the opportunity to create your dream itinerary. Picture every detail that is important to you and let us craft your perfect honeymoon. Also, don't forget to take that marriage certificate on the plane with you! It really does work magic!

A huge thanks to Matt from Hayes and Jarvis for his insider honeymoon knowledge - feel free to email him on matthew.burtenshaw@hayesandjarvis.co.uk to pick his brains further and to book your dream trip!