BASK IN THE HONEYMOON GLOW

We all know the go-to destinations for newlyweds but there are many swoon-worthy destinations you may not given the consideration they deserve. Every couple is different, meaning no two honeymoons are ever the same, you and your loved one need to consider if you want to start your newlywed chapter with a relaxing romantic beach holiday, action-packed adventure, history-rich learning experience or gastronomical enterprise.

The Greek Islands, Bali, Bora Bora, Phi Phi Island and the Italian Riviera are all top-rated honeymoon hotspots, often meaning they attract those honeymoon prices. There are a number of destinations emerging in the couples-paradise market you may not have considered.

 

Orosi Gulf Sardinia
Some of Italy’s most beautiful and secluded beaches are waiting to be discovered and, in fact, aren’t on mainland Italy at all. The island of Sardinia, west of Naples, leaves plenty to be desired and is one of the country’s best kept secrets and is largely unvisited by English-speaking tourists, creating an authentic Italian experience. Many of the top beaches on the east coast of Sardinia are not accessible by car or foot, instead you must go by boat from Cala Gonone. Must-stops include Cala Goloritze, Spiaggia di Cala dei Gabbiani, Cala Mariolu and Cala Luna. These white sand and pebble beaches are heavily featured atop of the world’s best beaches lists and it’s easy to see why. Getting up to 40 degrees in the peak of summer, there is nothing more soothing than the gentle feeling of the calm waters. One of the most comforting things about these spots is the lack of commercialisation, being so secluded means there are no businesses, no rubbish and everything is pristine and tranquil.

Southern Croatia
Strike it rich in colour, culture and celebrity, while basking in brilliant sunshine, exploring historic townships and indulging in the finest gelato. There is a paradise for all tastes and budgets in southern Croatia. Get lost among Dubrovnik’s spectacular city walls and forts. There is a reason why famed HBO program Game of Thrones opts to film scenes in this historic city, it is just magical. Hvar Town is a playground for the rich and famous and is predominately known as a party town with its marble pedestrian streets filled with restaurants and bars, with something
to suit all tastes and budgets. Hire a boat and explore by dinghy and cruise around the natural grotto of the Green Caves and Blue Caves, they are illuminated in the purest of tones, where lighting is experienced at its best between noon to 2pm. Tours to the caves can also be arranged from Hvar and Split. In major port, Split ancient history meets modern culture. Take a stroll back in time through Diocletian’s Palace and take a break by Bacvice Beach.

Tasmania
A hop, skip and a jump across Bass Straight, Tassie offers a plethora of romantic experiences to be had. Wineglass Bay is every inch as stunning as it sounds. Located on the mid-east coast of Tasmania, both walking tracks are brisk, but provide a picture-perfect view. You can also visit the Wineglass Bay beach where you can enjoy the crystal blue waters and white sand while snorkelling, mountain bike riding or sea kayaking. For the more adventurous the Overland Track more of a challenge – it requires a booking and has a few shorter walks as well as a six-day hike between Lake St Clair and Cradle Mountain – which could be the perfect newlywed test for some. Food and wine options leave little to be desired. Hobart’s MONA gallery requires at
least a full day in itself to properly explore the exhibitions and displays, while it’s fine dining restaurant, The Source, is a must-visit.

Iceland
Dramatic scenery, northern lights sightings, wilderness lodges, mountains and glaciers, it’s hard not to feel passionately romantic on an Icelandic getaway. Enjoy excellent cuisine and the vibrant night-life in Reykjavík, where modern culture meets rich history. Honeymoons can be as relaxing or adventurous as you desire, from self-driving experiences to explore the country at leisure, to stays in remote luxury hotels with private hot tubs and amazing wilderness sights to enjoy.

Sri Lanka
Friendly and fascinating, Sri Lanka is a honeymoon destination that’s both unique and affordable. At the very south of the island, on the fringes of the Yala jungle, Tangalle is uniquely positioned, offering plenty for lovebirds. On the west of Tangalle are exotic hotels and villas, tucked away in idyllic coves and bays. On the east, there are beautiful mangrove lined lagoons and smooth sandy beaches where the blue of the sea is sure to ignite romantic feelings. Witness the magic of the giant turtles coming ashore at night on the beaches of Rekawa and Kahandamodara to lay eggs and explore the wonder of the national parks close by.

Western Australia
Get your glamp on at Western Australia’s Ningaloo Reef, where the outback meets the ocean. Feel secluded with your significant other, at approximately 1200 kilometres north of Perth. The coastal reef and inshore waters provide one of Australia’s great marine experiences, while the limestone backdrop of the Cape Range hides deep gorges of spectacular beauty. Each stay is an immersive wilderness experience which offers the chance to reconnect with nature. The reef is acknowledged as the best place in the world to swim with the world’s largest fish, the whale shark, gentle giants who migrate through each year. Indulge in the best of Australian bush cuisine and fine Western Australian wines, all while abiding to strict environmental credentials which ensure a minimal footprint in the pristine environment.

Ha Long Bay
Cruise along the waters of northeast Vietnam. Ha Long Bay is renowned for its stunning emerald waters, sprinkled with of towering limestone islands topped by rainforests. Whether it’s a tall sailboat float, luxury cruise ship tour, small junk-boat adventure or sea kayak expedition, sights are truly best seen from the water. The region is a heaven for scuba diving, rock climbing and hiking, particularly in mountainous Cát Bà National Park. See the islands named for their shapes, including Stone Dog and Teapot islets.

Belize
Hide away on the eastern coast of Central America, with Caribbean Sea shorelines to the east and dense jungle to the west. While it is a cliché to say that good things come in small packages, in the case of 290 kilometre-long by 110 kilometre-wide, English-speaking nation Belize, it is spot on. Explore all that is offshore with the extensive Belize Barrier Reef, dotted with hundreds of low-lying islands which host rich marine life. Go wild in Belize’s jungle areas which are home to Mayan ruins like Caracol, renowned for its towering pyramid, lagoon-side Lamanai and Altun Ha, just outside Belize City.

DESTINATION WEDDINGS WITH A DIFFERENCE

When you think destination wedding, minds often drift to a beachside getaway. However, there are so many other stunning backdrops to say “I do” at across the world.
Preferred Hotels & Resorts has put together a list of distinct hotels that specialise in throwing an unforgettable wedding – no sand in sight.


Castello Di Casole in Tuscany, Italy
Perfect for oenophiles and food lovers, Castello Di Casole is a 4200 acre estate in the heart of Tuscany that offers a picture-perfect backdrop for wedding day nuptials with sweeping views of the romantic Italian countryside. Couples can exchange vows among rows of Italian vineyards, in an intimate centuries-old chapel, or in a newly restored stone amphitheatre. The hotel also offers a couture wedding package, featuring a couture wedding gown designed by an Italian designer. Between formal gatherings, wedding guests can live la dolce vita by enjoying a pizza making class, painting with wine, or taking a dip in the infinity pool overlooking the grounds.


The Alpina Gstaad in Gstaad, Switzerland
With the beautiful Bernese mountains as a stunning wedding backdrop, blissfully-engaged couples can choose The Alpina Gstaad as an exclusive and reclusive retreat. The resort hosts one or two big weddings per season, allowing discerning brides and grooms the opportunity to have an ultimate extravaganza with limitless possibilities. The resort can organise helicopter flights, limousine transfers, or even ceremonies on alpine huts. In the summer season, couples can exchange vows in the mountain huts located in the alpine gardens and enjoy long days. After sundown, couples can release lanterns into the sky or choose a fireworks display to wrap up the evening. Couples can soak in the alpine scenery on their wedding night in the stunning Panorama Suite, voted one of the 50 greatest suites in the world by The Telegraph.


Hotel New Otani Tokyo in Tokyo, Japan
For couples looking to participate in a one-of-a-kind ceremony, the Hotel New Otani Tokyo offers a “Shuugen” wedding package in its beautiful 400-year-old Japanese garden. The package includes live instrument performances, decorations, and ceremonial equipment for Kagami-biraki, a Japanese tradition that celebrates a significant event such as marriage with pair of round mochi – round ornamental rice cakes. Couples break the mochi to mark the beginning of their new lives together. For even more memorable wedding portraits and a true immersion in local culture, traditional wedding kimonos, with hair-sets and makeup, are currently available for the brides and grooms to purchase.

The Lodge & Spa at Brush Creek Ranch in Wyoming, USA
Celebrate wedded bliss with a slice of Americana at The Lodge & Spa at Brush Creek Ranch in Saratoga, Wyoming. The sprawling 30,000 acres of unspoiled ranch land provides a rustic and romantic setting for couples looking for a truly intimate affair. Couples can exchange their vows outdoors in a natural stone amphitheatre with the majestic Medicine Bow Mountains serving as the backdrop, for a stylish and unique ceremony. The ranch also offers the Cowboy Chapel & Dance Hall for indoor ceremonies and receptions so guests can fully immerse themselves in the ranch experience. The bride and groom will arrive and depart by horse drawn carriage and guests can enjoy a fully immersive ranch experience. For brides and grooms looking for a western wedding weekend, the Brush Creek Ranch is the ultimate one-stop destination.

For more no-sand celebration ideas, visit
preferredhotels.com/experiences/preferred-weddings-and-celebrations

HAPPY HOLIDAYS

honeymoon

After the rush of your wedding it’s time to unwind on a dream honeymoon. Take the opportunity to enjoy each other’s company and start your next chapter together on the right note

Daylesford and Macedon Ranges
Nourish the soul in the natural beauty of the Daylesford and Macedon Ranges region.
Bathe in mineral waters, discover historic villages, relax in gorgeous wellness retreats and feast on locally-produced food and wine.
Take a picnic to Hanging Rock, walk through enchanting forests or peruse craft markets.
Stay at a cosy B&B or chic apartment. The popular Lake House in Daylesford, for example, has heated bathroom floors, pamper packs, views across the lake and a fine-dining restaurant and spa on site. So there’s no need to leave.
This region is little more than an hour’s drive away from Geelong, so it is the perfect place for a quick escape. Many couples choose the area to host their full wedding affair, from pre-day dinners to the ceremony and post-occasion gatherings.
For those short on time, it is also an ideal minimoon destination.

spa

Hamilton Island
Chase the sun to tropical love nest Hamilton Island.
This luxurious self-sufficient haven among the Whitsunday Islands has a whole department dedicated to wedding planning and proposal packs, so it is no surprise it does honeymoons exceptionally well too.
Whether you want to laze by a private pool and indulge in spa treatments or seek a little adventure and hit the water, this destination has it all. And you don’t even need a passport.
For those wanting a five-star VIP stay, you can’t go past world-class resort Qualia. You might even spot a celebrity while you’re there.
There’s more affordable hotel and apartment accommodation too.

qualia

New York City
Let love blossom in the Big Apple.
This is a place where it pays to do your research and immerse yourself in the city like a local.
Find secret gems among the hustle and bustle and explore the alluring cultures of different districts.
Pack comfy shoes and get about the avenues on foot.
Of course, make sure to visit iconic buildings, statues, bridges and parks. Picture yourself on the set of Sex and the City or Gossip Girl and continue the dramatic theme by catching a theatre production on Broadway.
On a spare day, dress up in your best nautical threads and slip to the stylish Hamptons.
Accommodation options range from classic hotels, downtown boutiques and budget hostels.

new-york-city

Maldives
Clock onto blissful island time at the Maldives. Bury your toes in the sandy shores and wade in the crystal blue water with your new spouse.
You deserve to be pampered, so book in for spa treatments and soak up the sunshine afterwards.
Feeling adventurous? Plunge into the calm Indian Ocean seas and discover a colourful world of marine life.
Later you can sail at sunset, toast your union with a candlelit dinner on the beach and retire to an above-water bungalow or lavish villa.
Other tropical paradise options include Fiji, Bora Bora and the Bahamas.

maldives

Paris
This city of love was made for newlyweds.
Stroll hand-in-hand along the beautifully maintained boulevards full of historic charm and romance.
Stop by the iconic landmarks of movies, skip across bridges over the river Seine, take happy snaps atop the Eiffel Tower and indulge in the quaint restaurants and patisseries which pepper the city. Take a day trip to nearby wineries and villages.
Accommodation options are plentiful to suit all budgets.
The real treat of Paris is its central European location, meaning you can start there and simply skip to other cities you fancy.

paris

 

HONEYMOON ESCAPES

Tropical Treehouse in Hawaii

Tropical Treehouse in Hawaii

 

After all the time and energy put into your wedding, it’s time to take a well-earned break on your dream honeymoon.
There is literally a world of options to choose from as your first getaway as a married couple.
Holiday accommodation listing website Airbnb has revealed its most popular destinations and listings.
When it comes to cities to honeymoon in, Europe has proven the most popular, especially Italy, with Rome, Florence and Venice all making the top ten.
Paris was unsurprisingly the most popular city to travel to on a honeymoon, with 24,000 listings users added to their honeymoon wish lists.
Bali, Barcelona, London, San Francisco, New York City and Los Angeles also made the list.

Fisherman's Cave in Greece

Fisherman’s Cave in Greece

Top 10 honeymoon destination cities on Airbnb:
1. Paris, France
2. Rome, Italy
3. Bali, Indonesia
4. Barcelona, Spain
5. Florence, Italy
6. London, England
7. San Francisco, California
8. New York City, New York
9. Venice, Italy
10. Los Angeles, California

When it comes to choosing an actual listing, treehouses were the most popular; with the treetop-style accommodation taking up five of the top 10 listings. Seaside escapes also proved popular in Hawaii, Greece and Mexico.

Treehouse in Costa Rica

Treehouse in Costa Rica

Top 10 honeymoon listings on Airbnb:
1. Relax in the natural hot and cool springs at a rainforest tree house in Costa Rica. The number one most wish-listed honeymoon listing is a treehouse in Quesada, Costa Rica, is located in a 35-acre rainforest reserve with natural hot springs.
2. A treehouse near a volcano in Hawaii is the second most popular honeymoon listing on Airbnb.
3. Hawaii also takes the third sport with this hidden jewel at Kealakekua Bay, – a perfect honeymoon cottage.
4. Another lovely treehouse nestled in lush rainforest in Costa Rica makes the list, great for animal-lovers.
5. Couples can explore Santorini and stay in this traditional Greek abode.
6. This stunning tropical treehouse in Hawaii has a 360 degree view of the jungle.
7. Celebrate being newlyweds in a Balian treehouse, only a short three minute walk away from the beach.
8. This adorable garden gingerbread house in Makawao, Hawaii is a romantic hideaway.
9. The famous seashell house in Isla Mujeres, Mexico includes a private pool.
10. Newlyweds are also in love with this traditional Fisherman’s Cave,located in Oia, Greece.

Treehouse in HawaiiCosta-Rica Balian-Treehouse

Kealakekua-Bay---Hawaii-(2) Seashell-House-(2)

Can’t decide from all of these stunning options? Choose one for your honeymoon and plan ahead for your anniversaries to come.

A MINIMOON PARADISE

Plan a quick post-wedding break and spend your first few days as newlyweds unwinding somewhere local and stress-free

It’s the rise of the minimoon, a short vacation for the time-poor newlyweds.
It’s a chance to recover from the festivities during an indulgent long weekend of couple-time. From five-star resorts to adventurous weekend escapes, you can plan your minimoon to suit your style.
Here are some of our best picks.

Unwind and indulge in Daylesford
It’s the spa capital of Victoria and you’re here to do one thing: relax.
Daylesford is home to Australia’s largest concentration of natural mineral springs. Think mud wraps, skin treatments and couple’s massages – the perfect way to wind down post-wedding.
Boutique luxury accommodation offers secluded cabins for you to while away the hours between rejuvenating in the spa waters, visiting the art galleries and botanic gardens,
and indulging in the region’s gourmet food and wine in some stunning restaurants just right for newlyweds. Visit lakehouse.com.au

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Find adventure in the Otways
Nestled in the heart of the Otways is the stunning town of Forrest. From four-star bed and breakfasts to full service guesthouses, it’s a delightful place to retreat and relax as newlyweds after your big day. Get adventurous and try your hand at mountain biking on the world-class trails, bushwalking in the pristine wilderness or horse riding along tracks before enjoying some local brews and stunning food at the Forrest Brewery or the town’s quirky local cafe. Visit forrestaccommodation.com.au

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Explore the Mornington Peninsula
Classic seaside cottages, countryside wineries, top restaurants and steaming hot springs: the Mornington Peninsular offers a perfect mini escape for a busy bride and groom. Drive through the region and have a love affair with the area’s wine, fresh produce and bountiful seafood or fall
for some adventure by the sea with kayaking or diving. Discover art galleries and historic homesteads, explore the wildlife on a bushwalk or shop in the stunning towns of Sorrento, Mornington and Mount Eliza. Visit buoysonqueens.com.au

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Get a buzz from Melbourne
You don’t need to relax all day to feel rejuvenated after your wedding. If you’re a couple who likes non-stop entertainment, take a trip into Melbourne and feel the buzz of the lively city. Indulge in some of Victoria’s best restaurants and coolest cafes, take in a show or some live
music in one of Melbourne’s historic venues and enjoy exploring the laneways and secrets of the city. Visit langhamhotels.com

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A Balinese delight
Tucked in the foothills of the Dandenong Ranges lies the Balinese Retreat, an exotic, private hideaway, perfect for an ultra indulgent minimoon. Enter your luxurious, self-contained villa via a walkway lit by traditional Balinese lanterns. Pamper yourself at the day spa before indulging in a five-course Thai banquet prepared by your personal chef. During the day you can easily visit the Yarra Valley wineries just 15 minutes away, or just let the tropical garden waterfalls in the resort take you away into an afternoon nap. Visit balineseretreat.com.au

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Enjoy some island life
Take a short plane trip from Essendon Airport and land in another world on the pristine Flinders Island. Swim on footprintfree white sand beaches, indulge in the local produce and relax in one of the island’s stunning beach houses. After a few short days on island time you’ll feel like a new couple, ready to face the real world again. Visit westendbeachhouse.com.au

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HOW INVITING

invitations

Make a fabulous first impression with stunning wedding stationery

1. Bespoke Letterpress save the date cards, available from bespokepress.com.au
2. Pretty In Paper invitations, available in store at 85A
Little Malop Street, Geelong, or from prettyinpaper.com.au
3. Wedding Paper Divas invitations, available from weddingpaperdivas.com
4. Kaydi Bishop invitations, available from minted.com
5. Bliss & Bone Montague Illusion invitation, available from blissandbone.com
6. Kerrie-Anne invitation, available from kerrieanne.com

GROOMED TO PERFECTION

mens-accessoris

Keep your main man looking sharp with these dapper goodies

1. Dolce & Gabbana The One Gentleman 50ml EDT, $96 from Chemist Warehouse
2. Harvey wash pack, $89.95 from Sportscraft
3. Classic Sheffield silver 40mm watch, $269 from Daniel Wellington,
available at himandi.com.au
4. Spot bowtie, $29.99 from yd; 5. Jarrah tie bar, $29.95 from Peggy and Finn
6. Reversible leather belt, $39.95 from Ted Baker
7. New York boxer, $44.95 from stonemen.com
8. Grown Alchemist shaving gel, $34.95 from Myer
9. Violet leaf hair balm, $35 from Aesop
10. Mohle M89 rose gold shaving brush and R89 razor combo, $279
from theiconic.com.au
11. Urban cap toe shoe, $199 from Country Road
12. Portuguese leather carry bag, $299 from Peter Jackson

TAKE ME WITH YOU

honeymoon-pics

These honeymoon lust-haves are perfect for your loved-up adventure

1. Southern Sun necklace, $290 from Samantha Wills
2. Summer Sun self-tanning spray, $29 from Napoleon Perdis
3. Valentino Assoluto EDP 50ml, $127 from Myer
4. Ann-Marie super round sunglasses, $69.95 from Witchery
5. Rumor hat, $39.95 from Seafolly
6. Essence Switch one-piece, $310 from Zimmermann
7. Frends Layla headphone in rose gold, $179.95 from wearefrends.com.au
8. Scarf-print sundress, $80 from Topshop
9. The Aztec Roundie towel, $99, and leather strap, $39 from
The Beach People, available at Frank & Dolly’s
10. Mim travel wallet, $199 from Mimco
11. Ferrage sandal in silver, $99.95 from Tony Bianco