Top 5 yacht charter honeymoon destinations


For those looking for an unrivaled honeymoon experience, a yacht charter offers it all. With a dedicated Captain, crew and chef, all of your requirements will be catered for down to the most intricate of details and you can enjoy cruising in some of the world’s most stunning locations.

Whether you are looking to dine al fresco, swim or dive in a secluded bay or party in some of the world’s hotspots, a yacht charter offers infinite possibilities.Here are out top three yacht charter honeymoon destinations:

Maldives

Nestled within the Indian Ocean, the Maldives is a tropical nation of 26 atolls made up of over 1,190 coral islands and inlets. Offering some of the best sailing in the World, you will experience a journey of discovery that incorporates powdery beaches, secluded anchorages and a laid-back pace of life.

Whether you wish to island hop and visit some of the Maldives’ five star hotels or spend your full honeymoon aboard in complete privacy, a yacht charter provides the ultimate way to experience this stunning destination.

Seychelles

Located just off the east coast of Africa, the Seychelles is a group of islands renowned for their beaches, palm trees and beautiful landscapes.

This archipelago is made up of 115 islands, comprising some of the oldest granite islands in the world, and low-lying coral atolls and reef islands. This diversity of the Seychelles is a fantastic advantage when sailing, as each island is just a short trip away, providing a range of options depending on how you would like to spend each day.

British Virgin Islands  

For those that truly want to get away from it all, the British Virgin Islands, located in the Caribbean to the east of Puerto Rico, provide the ultimate destination. Particularly challenging to get to without a yacht, a honeymoon here will position you in 0ne of the World’s most unspoilt of locations.

Made up of more than 60 islands and islets , you will experience white sand beaches at every turn. Beach bars are located on many popular bays, whereas there are also many unexplored and inhabited locations for those moments when you’re looking for ultimate privacy.

Eastern Mediterranean

For those looking for something a little more adventurous, a yacht charter in the Eastern Mediterranean could provide the perfect solution.

Whether you want to casually cruise the coastline, or visit some of Europe’s most stunning cities, a yacht allows you to move between destinations and return to your yacht at your leisure. Some of the best destinations to consider include Greece, Turkey and Cyprus.

South of France

Offering quintessentially breathtaking backdrops that can’t fail to impress, a yacht charter in the South of France can’t fail to impress.

Destinations to visit include St Tropez, Monaco and Bonifacio and your Captain will also be able to show you some of Europe’s most idyllic locations and secret anchorages, perfect for swimming and private dining.

Prices for a week-long charter start from just £12,000 per week.

Geoff Moore is Managing Director at West Nautical. With offices in Russia, UK and France, West Nautical is a specialist in bespoke yacht charters, brokerage and management.

If you would like to be a guest blogger on A Luxury Travel Blog in order to raise your profile, please contact us.



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Top 5 luxury resorts for a romantic honeymoon in Switzerland


While tropical locales have long been the conventional honeymoon choice for newlyweds looking to celebrate, there’s something to be said about eschewing tradition and jet-setting to a mountainous terrain instead. A backdrop of snow-capped peaks and ski lifts offers the ideal place to snuggle up and begin a new life together.

Arguably nowhere is this truer than in the charming country of Switzerland. With its famous Swiss Alps mountain range, temperate climate, and endless list of things to do and see, a trip here is the ideal way to celebrate your new union. If you’re traveling from a nearby country in the Schengen zone, you won’t even need a passport to enter, so take advantage of the effortless opportunity to experience the country up close for yourself. Otherwise, pack your identification along with your bags and sit back. You’re about to be transformed into a storybook land that’s nothing short of breathtaking. Let’s check it out.

Hotel Des Trois Couronnes at Lake Geneva

Step one foot onto the property of the famed Hotel Des Trois Couronnes and you’ll understand why so many of the world’s most elite have chosen to stay there. From literature greats Tchaikovsky and Henry Miller to Hollywood great Charlie Chaplin and esteemed composer Camille Saint-Saëns, many have chosen this resort for its privacy, opulence, and sweeping views.

Overlooking gorgeous Lake Geneva, the hotel is located in the center of Vevey, nestled between Lausanne and Montreux. From your room, it’s only a five-minute walk to the city’s historic center, where you’ll find fantastic local wine and lively, local shops and restaurants.

Yet, it’s unlikely you’ll ever want to leave your suite. Choose one of the 35 rooms that offer unobstructed views of Lake Geneva and the Alps, and spend the hours gazing at the scenery before you, preferably while sipping an espresso on your private terrace. For a truly luxurious stay, book the anniversary package. You’ll enjoy a three-course meal at the on-site Restaurant Les Trois Couronnes, a bottle of celebratory champagne, a decadent anniversary cake, and unlimited access to the resort’s Puressens Spa, where you can indulge in a steam bath and sauna visit every chance you get.

The Park Hotel Vitznau at Lake Lucerne

Recently renovated, this 100-year-old gem of a resort sits on the shore of Lake Lucerne, the fourth largest lake in the country. During the process, the contractors took great care to preserve the historical, regal feel while also integrating modern technology to offer guests a once-in-a-lifetime stay.

Creatively, the hotel is divided into three portions, including Wine and Dine, Health and Wealth and Art and Culture. Depending on your preferences, you can experience one or all of these sections at your leisure.

In the mood for world-class fare in an elegant dining atmosphere? Head over to the Wine and Dine portion, where you’ll have access to all of the best local flavors, courtesy of the resort’s two restaurants and six on-site wine cellars. Following Health and Wealth will lead you to the resort’s wellness spa. Enjoy the 12 meter long, floor-to-ceiling saltwater aquarium on your way to unwind in the Finnish sauna or take a cool reprieve in the invigorating dip pool. The Art and Culture portion includes art galleries and exhibits, curated to feature local artists.

At the end of your day, unwind with a cigar in the hotel’s opulent Living Room, then retreat to your suite. Fashioned in one of six themed styles ranging from “New World” to “Nobel Prize Winner,” each is decked out in fine linens, sleek furniture, and of course, those unbelievable lakeside views.

Hotel Firefly at Zermatt

When you think of curling up in the Swiss mountainside, you may picture doing so in cozy, yet chic cabin-style lodging. While the wooden and stone exterior of the Hotel Firefly might give off that rustic aesthetic, the inside is nothing short of spectacular. A traditional alpine lodge at its finest, it’s centrally and conveniently located right at the foot of the Matterhorn, offering you a front-row seat to some of the best skiing in the world.

This family-owned resort spares no attention to detail, as is evidenced by their plush and personal suites. See for yourself when you and your betrothed book the Skylight Loft, the hotel’s largest suite featuring 250 sqm of living space. Overlooking the Matterhorn with intimate private access, it’s equipped with a state-of-the-art luxury kitchen, open fireplace, and even a Finnish sauna to start or end your day off right.

As a guest, you’ll enjoy free access to both the spa and on-site gym. Enjoy a few laps together in the stainless steel pool, relax in the salt grotto, or indulge in a couples massage before retreating to the adjacent conservatory, where you’ll drift off into dreamland surrounded by 360-degree views of the gorgeous land and water around you.

Le Grand Bellevue at Gstaad

Foodies will especially adore this recently refinished luxury hotel in the resort town of Gstaad. Le Grand Bellevue’s flagship establishment is Leonard’s, a Michelin-starred restaurant that’s equal parts laid-back charm and first-rate dining. Book a dinner or two during your honeymoon stay and discover why the country is known for its impeccable culinary taste.

Unwind in your elegant suite, where you’ll have access to panoramic views of nearby parklands and mountain ranges. The Suite Le Grand Bellevue is the most prestigious, featuring floor-to-ceiling windows of the scenery outside, along with two luxurious bathrooms and two floors of versatile, stylish living spaces.

For a truly romantic trip, you can work with the hotel staff to arrange a private movie showing in the resort’s 18-seat, on-site cinema. You can also treat your new spouse to a chauffeured ride in the resort’s vintage Bentley S3 to the nearby destination of your choice. There’s no better place to explore than the nearby town of Gstaad, which is rich with year-round festivals, fine dining, and designer shopping spots.

Of course, a night on the town might leave you craving some spa time the next morning. Luckily, the hotel’s on-site wellness center is a world-class gem, featuring treatments such as an infrared sauna, goat’s milk foot soaks, and a Rhassoul steam bath perfect for detoxing and destressing.

LeCrans Hotel and Spa at Crans-Montana

This ski lodge allows visitors to ski in and ski out, making it ideal for couples who want to experience the top-notch skiing that this country has to offer. Located at the pinnacle of the Crans-Montana ski resort, it’s the perfect oasis for travelers looking to relax, rejuvenate, and recharge after a day out on the slopes.

Take in the panoramic views from your private terrace, then retreat back inside for a soak in your whirlpool. For a truly luxurious experience, book a honeymoon stay in the Deluxe Suite Les Alpes, where you’ll have an uninterrupted view of the Valais peaks. The pine walls are more than 150 years old, yet the style is unabashedly modern with touches of traditional flare. Retreat to the upper mezzanine bedroom to feel as though you’re sleeping among the stars.

When hunger hits, travel downstairs to the Le MontBlac Restaurant, where the rich, brasserie dishes served on the heated terrace are not to be missed. After dinner cigars can be enjoyed in the Cigar Lounge, or you can use the remaining hours to indulge in the heated outdoor swimming pool. Nestled between the sky above and towering mountains below, you’ll truly feel as though you’re a part of paradise, and that’s a pretty sweet way to set off on a newlywed journey to remember.

A can’t-miss mountainside honeymoon

Perhaps your idea of a romantic honeymoon is cozying up with your significant other in a plush, decked-out hotel room with all the amenities you can dream of at your fingertips and world-class dining on-site. Or, maybe you crave the adrenaline rush of an outdoor adventure, or a day on the town indulging in a little retail therapy.

Regardless of your shared notion of romance, Switzerland offers it all. Visit for the mountain ranges, the lakes, and the fields, but stay for the little touches and luxuries that make it a resort destination you’ll want to return to anniversary after anniversary to recreate that magic.

Courtney Myers is the Founder of Vintch. Vintch is a lifestyle blog where she shares the ins and outs of small-town life and motherhood, as well as how to find beauty in the simple everyday.

If you would like to be a guest blogger on A Luxury Travel Blog in order to raise your profile, please contact us.



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New Zealand: the ultimate celebration destination


A land of snow-capped mountains, mystical glaciers and active volcanoes; New Zealand is a magical place whose scenery deserves a standing ovation. Pair this with some of the most unique experiences and luxurious properties on the planet; this far-flung paradise provides an unbeatable backdrop to celebrate life’s most special occasions. From birthdays on private yachts […]

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Understanding Sandals and Beaches resorts


Sandals, a brand synonymous with couples only, ultra all inclusive, stunning beaches, luxury and fun, began its life in Montego Bay in Jamaica in 1981, and is still owned by the same Jamaican family today, but now boasts 7 resorts in Jamaica, 3 in St Lucia, 2 in Bahamas, 2 in Barbados, 1 in Antigua and 1 in Grenada, as well as sister brand Beaches which is aimed at families having 2 resorts in Jamaica, and 1 in Turks and Caicos.

The brand offers luxury included, claiming to offer more quality inclusions than any other resorts on the planet. But what does that actually mean?

For every Sandals and Beaches package you get:

  • Round trip airport transfers
  • All taxes, tips and gratuities (the brand has a no tipping policy with a few exceptions – butlers, drivers and Spa)
  • All meals, snacks with anytime dining in a wide choice of restaurants.
  • Unlimited drinks in a wide choice of bars (up to 9 per resort) including local and imported beers, Robert Mondavi wines, and premium brand spirits and liqueurs and a huge selection of cocktails.
  • Nightly entertainment (in most resorts)
  • Unlimited land sports including tennis, basketball, table tennis, shuffleboard, beach volleyball, fitness centres and fitness classes.
  • Unlimited watersports, with instruction including kayaks, paddle boards, windsurf, sailing and waterskiing (not available at every resort)

  • Scuba diving – certified divers can take 2 dives per day, non-certified divers must pay fee locally to take the resort certification ($100)
  • Golf – Some resorts in Jamaica, St Lucia and Bahamas also include golf with free green fees and PGA certified golf clinics. Emerald Bay in Bahamas – only first 2 rounds are complimentary unless staying in Butler Suite and t&c’s apply. Complimentary shuttles are available to take you to Sandals Golf and Country Club from Sandals Ochi Beach Resort, Sandals Royal Plantation, Beaches Ochi Rios in Jamaica and Sandals Grande St Lucian and Halcyon to Regency Le Toc course in St Lucia.

  • Free weddings (T&Cs apply) and weddingmoons

  • Access to Red Lane Spa
  • Shuttle services between nearby resorts in Jamaica and St Lucia meaning you can stay at 1 resort but use all the facilities, bars and restaurants of up to 3 resorts in the vicinity.
  • Stay at 1 play at 3 privileges including shuttle is available when staying in Jamaica at Sandals Inn, Sandals Montego Bay and Sandals Royal Caribbean. Also in St. Lucia at  Sandals Regency Le Toc, Sandals Grande St Lucian and Sandals Halcyon. Guests staying at Sandals Royal Plantation in Jamaica are also free to use the facilities at neighbouring Ochi Beach Resort, however the privileges are not reversed.

All Beaches resorts offer Pirate Island waterparks, infant programme with certified nannies to look after your precious cargo from 9am to 6pm (also later for a fee), unique kids camps with Sesame Street characters for toddlers, pre-teens, trench town, X-box lounge, DJ Academy and club liquid for teenagers. You can even have one of the Sesame Street Characters tuck your kids up in bed and read them a bedtime story.

Sandals and Beaches offer many different room types and categories which can often be confusing, however, there are actually only 3 different levels of accommodation:

  • Deluxe rooms are the lead in category and give access to all resort facilities and include the same in room amenities as all rooms including bathrobes, pillow menu’s etc. They are usually in the least desirable locations in the resort with no views, some resorts even no balconies. They do not offer any extras such as room service or in room minibar.
  • Club rooms (concierge in Beaches Resorts). These are found in various locations throughout the resorts, and come with access to a club lounge and concierge service (where check in is done), an in room full bar which is restocked daily and offers in room dining/room service between hours of 7am and 10pm.
  • Butler Elite rooms. These are in the best locations on resort and offer English butler service, private in suite check in, unpacking and packing service, 24 hour room service, fully stocked bar with your choice of top shelf spirits, and much more.

The newest type of accommodation offered by Sandals is their overwater bungalows at Royal Caribbean and South Coast in Jamaica. A luxury overwater haven, some with private infinity pools, and of course all are butler elite category so you needn’t ever leave your private slice of heaven.

I hope this helps make choosing your Sandals or Beaches holiday a little easier.

Kim Robertson is Director at Your Way (Travel) Ltd. Your Way (Travel) Ltd. specialises in long haul, tailor-made, cruise and luxury travel to the USA, Caribbean, Indian Ocean and Far East.

If you would like to be a guest blogger on A Luxury Travel Blogin order to raise your profile, please contact us.



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5 ways to honeymoon in luxury on Martha’s Vineyard


Want to start your new union off on the right foot? You could book a hotel in a busy city with a soundtrack of street noise. Or, you could opt for a luxurious, private stay in the glamorous and still gloriously secluded island of Martha’s Vineyard.

Long a playground for royalty and celebrities alike, the 88-mile stretch boasts scenic water views, fine dining, and top-tier recreation around every corner. Located six miles off Cape Cod, you can’t drive over a bridge to get here. Rather, you’ll need to book a plane or take the ferry across. Once you arrive, however? You’ll never want to leave.

Whether you’re a seasoned visitor or are planning a first-time trek, there’s no better place to honeymoon than here. We’d give the destination five stars for its incredible lobster rolls alone, but thankfully there’s more to it than that.

Let’s take a look at five ways you and your significant other can take your vows to the Vineyard in style.

Book a stay at the Harbor View Hotel

Most of the lodging options on the island are comfortably rustic. Part of the location’s nautical charm is a no-frills approach to high-class living, which makes it easy for millionaires to slip casually into the crowd, topsiders and Ray-Bans in tow. The exception? The alluring Harbor View Hotel.

For newlyweds looking to splurge, you can’t go wrong with the one-bedroom deluxe suite located in the Captain’s Cottage. Water-view rooms afford visitors incredible glimpses of the ocean and nearby Edgartown Lighthouse. Featuring sleek wooden furnishings and crisp white touches, the space is airy, light, and open. Curl up in bed and turn on the fireplace. You’re in paradise.

Take a sailboat on the water

Channel your inner Jackie Kennedy and set sail on the crystal clear waters of the Atlantic. Before you set off, spend the afternoon enrolled in Sail MV’s adult program. The three-hour course will teach you all you need to know about sailing basics, while allowing you and your partner to socialize with locals and other maritime visitors.

Manning the ropes yourself sound like a little too much work? Consider chartering a luxury yacht instead. A skipper and crew will take care of all the manual labor for you, so the only thing you have to worry about is when to pop the next bottle of champagne.

Pack a picnic and head for Menemsha Hills

While the Vineyard is remote and bucolic itself, for those romantic adventurers seeking a little more aloneness, the 211-acre Menemsha Hills nature reserve is ideal. Located just outside of Chilmark, it’s main attraction is Prospect Hill. Sweat and grow together as you ascend the 308-foot summit, then settle in at the top for breathtaking views of the Aquinnah Cliffs.

A great way to fuel up for your hike? Stop in at the Chilmark General Store. The high-end grocery features a full restaurant serving up breakfast, lunch, and dinner highlighting local and organic fare. Grab a baguette from the Pain D’Avignon bakery in nearby Hyannis, and a bottle of Kombucha and hit the trails together.

Take in the Mytoi Gardens

Surprisingly, Martha’s Vineyard is home to some of the most intricate and artistic Japanese gardens in the world. The Mytoi Gardens are located in Chappaquiddick, which is part of Edgartown on the eastern side of the island.

Take your time and stroll through the mesmerizing Zen gardens. Meander beneath the towering maple trees and lose your breath crossing the showcase pond. Absorb some delightfully unexpected culture and return to your seaside digs with a newfound sense of appreciation for the diverse and dynamic locals who call this enchanting place home.

Dine at Sweet Life Café

There are no shortage of seafood restaurants on the Vineyard, and all are equally delicious in their own right. However, when you’re ready for an elegant change of pace, head over to Oak Bluffs, and right into the doors of Sweet Life Café.

Chef Carlos Montoya hails from New York City, where he worked at the famed Aureole and Fresco dining establishments. At Sweet Life, known to be a favorite of the Obamas, he’s cranking out some of the finest French American cuisine both on and off the island. Set in a gorgeously refinished Victorian townhouse, if you’re lucky enough to nab a seat at this exclusive spot, any dish off the menu will impress. Pair your pick with a bottle of chardonnay from the cellar – one of the most expansive on the island.

They say when the honeymoon is over, that’s when real life begins. We can’t think of a more exciting and illustrious place to begin your journey together than on the majestic shores of Martha’s Vineyard. Go for the history, the vistas, and the top-notch sightseeing. Stay for the laidback peacefulness and renewed sense of calm you get when you ditch reality for a while and immerse yourself in everything island life has to offer.

Courtney Myers is the Founder of Vintch.

If you would like to be a guest blogger on A Luxury Travel Blog in order to raise your profile, please contact us.



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Honeymoon in Bali? Here’s some planning advice


Bali, without doubt one of the top honeymoon destinations in the world right now. And rightly so. With so much variety of culture mixed with romantic settings and upmarket hospitality, it has everything required for an enjoyable and memorable honeymoon. But for those travelling from the UK and visiting Bali (and possibly Asia) for the first time, it takes a fair bit of researching to plan your special trip.

So we’re going to give you a headstart.

First of all, how to get to Bali (from the UK)

There’s a few different flight paths you can take to get to Bali and it’s a great idea to stopover for a couple of nights at one of the major cities in South East Asia then, from there, take a budget airline flight to fly to Bali.

For example, you can fly from the UK to Bangkok, Singapore, or Kuala Lumpur then stay in a luxury hotel for two nights while soaking up the city (and getting over jetlag). In Bangkok we’d recommend staying at the Anantara Riverside Resort – a huge hotel resort on the bank of the Chao Phraya River – with easy access to the city. The staff are incredibly welcoming and they even have their own small boat to take you across the river where you’ll find a large outdoor market called Asiatique The Riverfront, brilliant for finding keepsakes and unique Thai goods.

Anantara Riverside Bangkok

From Bangkok (or Singapore or Kuala Lumpur), book a direct flight to Bali with one of the many airlines on this route. AirAsia operate from all these cities and have many flights each day – they’re a solid option and you should be able to book at under £50 each way – which is a bargain for a 3-4 hour flight! Reserve your seats at the left side of the plane to get an awesome view of the Bali coastline when landing.

AirAsia

Next, where to stay in Bali?

Bali has so much accommodation options ranging from cheap homestays to luxury hotels and villas in many different regions and villages. Our advice for honeymooners is to split your stay to experience two very different sides to Bali.

First, spend a week or so at a secluded beach resort down in Uluwatu – there’s quite a few to choose from. A great choice would be The Ungasan Clifftop Resort where you will experience 5 star luxury living and service within a large secluded hotel resort. These resorts normally have there own beach club and The Ungasan is no different – it has it’s very own lift to take guests 500m down the cliff to it’s own secluded beach and beach club, Sunday’s Beach Club. It’s a brilliant way to unwind while sipping cocktails, soaking in the sun, and taking a dip in the crystal clear sea.

Sundays Beach Club

After you’ve chilled to the maximum you’ll probably be ready for a bit more hustle and bustle. In which case we would suggest spending your second week in an area called Seminyak. Here we suggest you rent a romantic private villa in this more touristy area so you will still have your own private accommodation as well as your own personal staff – housekeeper, chefs, driver, security guard etc. Check out the villas at The Residence Seminyak; a strategically located villa resort just a few minutes walk from the main street (known as “Eat Street”). From there everything you need is withing walking distance; from restaurants, bars, and beach clubs, to shops, spas, and markets.

Villa Nilaya at The Residence Seminyak

What to do while in Seminyak, Bali?

Eat

As obvious as it sounds, you’re not going to go hungry as Bali has a huge range of restaurants – in fact, more than 5000 across the entire island – of all types of cuisine. From cheap local eateries to fine dining with world-famous chefs. For something special, try Metis, a French Mediterranean fine dining restaurant in Seminyak. If you’re just after a big feed of “great food, done very well” we suggest Nostimo – a Greek restaurant that is packed out on most nights, and is very reasonably priced at around £6-£10 per head.

Nostimo Greek Restaurant platter

Massages

There’s so many spas in Bali – you’ll find one every which way you turn –  and they range from the cheap and cheerful to the upmarket wellness centres. We suggest Bodyworks in Seminyak; a top quality and professional relaxation spa with high standard massages and beauty treatments, all set within a traditional style building. While walking around it’s not unusual to stop off in one of the many spa salons for a quick foot massage – there’s so many in the area it’s not even worth mentioning one!

Bodyworks Spa Bali

Beaches

Bali is famous for it’s beaches as it has so many, each offering something a bit different. Don’t be too disgruntled if your first experience of a Bali beach is one of the busy tourist beaches which are bustling with visitors and beach bars and aren’t the picturesque sandy beaches you’ve seen in photos. The most beautiful beaches are located in the southern peninsula, in areas such as Uluwatu and Jimbaran. You can easily take a day trip to these beaches or book accommodation in this area for a while. The beaches of Kuta and Seminyak are livelier and are home to various beach bars.

Seminyak Beach

Shopping

From local markets and independent designer boutiques to the tourist shops, supermarkets, and your typical brand stores. Bali has the lot. We really suggest having a look at the many designer clothing boutiques in Seminyak – there’s a lot of women living in Bali who have opened their very own clothing line, all of which is produced in Bali. Also check out the art shops and think about taking home a unique piece of local art.

Beach clubs

A visit to Bali would not be complete without hanging out at one (or more) of the many famous beach clubs. They are great for all day grazing, drinking, chilling… as well as watching the beautiful sunset come down over the ocean every evening. Sunset in Bali varies from 18:10 to 18:40 all year round, and watching it at the beach is a daily ritual for thousands of tourists and locals alike. In Seminyak, Ku De Ta and Potato Head are the obvious choices.

Ku De Ta - Bali Sunset

If you’re planning a honeymoon in Bali we hope this advice helps makes your decision-making more straightforward.

Mark Tulloch is Co-Founder at Asia Holiday Retreats.

If you would like to be a guest blogger on A Luxury Travel Blog in order to raise your profile, please contact us.



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5 of South America’s most romantic spots


For those in search of a romantic experience that’s different from what’s found in a typical vacation package, South America offers some of the most amorous destinations in the world.

These getaway havens not only mean dinners by candlelight, long dreamy-eyed walks on the beach, and accommodations with all the creature comforts, they stand apart for their own special romantic appeal …where there’s something inimitable yet somehow unidentifiable in the air.

Steeped in romance, these South American retreats are places where you can cuddle up under the stars, samba across the dance floor or look into each other’s’ eyes while dining by flickering light. As your cupid, we our pointing our bow and arrow toward five of the continent’s most romantic spots.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: Cidade maravilhosa (“The Marvelous City”)

With its magnificent views, year-round tropical sunshine, pulsing nightlife, and famously good-looking locals, the tropical setting of Rio oozes excitement and passion – the perfect romantic getaway.

Though known for its endless white-sand beaches and cool tides wherever you might wander, couples trying to decide between “sun and surf” or bright lights and big city action can find all of the above. Indeed, this tropical city provides a full slate of vibrant culture, sumptuous dining, hip nightlife and fantastic shopping. For a romantic getaway with that special someone, Rio will ensure you’re never come up short for ideas for truly memorable romantic moments.

Its main tourist attractions boast some of the greatest landmarks in the world. A cable-car ride up Corcovado mountain to marvel at the Christ Statue and the jaw-dropping view of the “Sugar Loaf” – a romantic indulgence that even the unavoidable crowds can’t ruin.

You or your mate might actually be the famed “Girl from Ipanema” as the two of you stroll along that beach or others like Copacabana or Leblon. Similarly, you can time your visit to experience one of the world’s most sensual festivals: Carnaval – an annual event that crosses the line between what’s romantic and what’s categorically sexy.

In addition to Rio’s own host of attractions and experiences, there are scores of other unspoiled nearby spots that offer lovers an escape from the crowds. If the two of you have time to spare, be sure to take a short trip to the beautiful “Costa Verde” (Green Coast). This captivating stretch of pristine beaches, paradise islands and the well-preserved 17th-century port town of Paraty is well worth the journey.

All and all, Rio is a city that will have your senses tingling and your pulse racing. As a destination for a romantic getaway, it’s hard to beat.

Buenos Aires: Dubbed the “Paris of South America,” you might find that it’s better

Buenos Aires… The very name of this Argentine capital city evokes images of sensuous tango dancers, fine Malbec wine world-class opera and thick juicy steaks.

Though these classics alone make for a formidable romantic cocktail, this thriving cultural center provides even more opportunities to ramp up the passion. Possessing an astounding variety of hues, aromas, styles, traditions and architecture, it’s easy to see why Buenos Aires has made it as one of the most popular destinations in South America.

By day, a traveling duo with a passion for urban life will find all the romance they need. Lovers in Argentina’s capital can spend their days strolling through the city’s bohemian neighborhoods, visiting cutting-edge art galleries, checking out the city’s upscale boutiques, or gazing up at the neoclassical, Greco-Roman and Art Deco architecture.

In the evening, you can set down to what is arguably the best cuts of meat in the world, and later head out to tango your way to romance. In glamorous clubs such as Rojo Tango or Tango Porte you can watch professional dancers perform the world’s sexiest dance, while on Sunday afternoons, you can even join in the fun in clubs and plazas scattered about the old San Telmo barrio.

It’s easy to get swept away by Buenos Aires’ diverse culture and colorful nightlife, and it’s equally easy to understand why the city has been dubbed the “Little Paris of South America.”

Galapagos Islands: Follow Darwin’s footsteps in the “Enchanted Isles”

A romantic getaway should be one that’s outstanding …one you will never forget. Many couples follow the crowds to more traditional spots like Hawaii or the Bahamas, though a vacation in the Galapagos Islands will take out of the cliché as you travel to a place of extraordinary wildlife and untouched landscapes. The Galapagos will leave the two of you feeling like you’ve been transported to another world.

Located 600 hundred miles off the South American coast, these “Enchanted Isles” are easy to reach, filled with extraordinary populations of unique wildlife, and — with less than 200,000 visitors annually — one of the more intimate destinations in the world.

In these islands, you can relax and enjoy the amenities of a luxury hotel combined with exotic wildlife and the mesmerizing sunsets. Rent a bike, ride the waves, snorkel the seas, dive the blue deep, kayak tandem or hop on horseback. Add candlelit dinner overlooking clear blue waters, gorgeous white-sand beaches, and pure relaxation to the mix – not to mention snorkeling together alongside sea lions, tropical fish, sea turtles and rays – and you’ve got all the ingredients for a perfectly romantic trip.

Retreat to your luxurious cabin in a sleek white catamaran, or to charming accommodations in one of the island’s fun little port cities, then the next day begin the romance all over again. It’s a romantic experience you won’t get anywhere else, and might not have the chance to do ever again.

Cartagena, Colombia: “Your only risk will be wanting to stay”

A celebrated destination for romantic vacations in the Caribbean, the old city of Cartagena is one of the most beautiful and well-preserved cities in South America.

Just a 5-hour flight from New York City, this tropical Caribbean city possesses all the makings for your perfect fairytale getaway. Here you’ll find colorful colonial mansions with 360-degree ocean vistas, cobblestone streets framed by bougainvillea in bloom, the unworried atmosphere of palm-frilled plazas, and of course screen-saver-worthy beaches that likely exceed your expectations.

Most visitors stay in Cartagena’s walled “Old City,” the stunning historic quarter that’s ripe for romance with dreamy ocean breezes, charterer-brimming boutique hotels and vibrant nightspots year-round.

For couples seeking a bit of romance, Cartagena beckons. In the evenings, the Old City is at its best as the hawkers roll away and allow plazas to turn into dance floors for locals and visitors alike. For foodie couples, note that the Old City is king when it comes to ceviche. At any of the restaurants, you can try the Colombian specialty fish and rice dish cooked in coconut with plantain – simply subline when enjoying the sunset and the ocean breezes. In the clubs and bars, you’ll discover that the bartenders are wildly creative, infusing their liquors and masterminding daily drink specials.

Amazonian Riverboat Cruise: Romance in the rainforest

How can you really impress the one you love for a honeymoon, anniversary Valentine’s Day or just as a treat? What not go beyond the usual greeting cards and roses to dazzle your soulmate with a journey deep into the heart of the exotic Amazonian rainforest? Named as one of the world’s “New Seven Wonders of Nature,” the Amazon is an almost mythical ecosystem whose richness and wonder continues to lure adventurous travelers from all walks of life.

For couples, as an alternative to luxury cabaña, consider an all-inclusive riverboat cruise. On these, you can sit back, relax and drink your complementary glass of champagne while watching the Amazon rainforest pass by. But don’t worry at all about getting bored – from dawn till dusk you have the option of participating in various Amazon jungle excursions and activities: from spotting sloths and monkeys and watch brilliantly colored tropical birds overhead, Pink dolphin watching, piranha fishing, kayaking, jungle trekking, visits to remote indigenous communities and more! Of course, all of these activities are optional; so if you prefer a day of relaxing on deck or in your guest suite, you can simply enjoy the view and each other.

After a full day taking in the rainforest sights and sounds you can savor pisco sour with the setting sun from the top deck roof or lounge before sitting down to delicious a romantic candlelight meal in the ship’s restaurant (or privately in your honeymoon suite), before finally snuggling up under plush Egyptian cotton sheets.

Your soulmate, a passport and the yearning for romance and adventure are all you need to turn your dream getaway into reality!

Endowed with an unequaled variety of natural wonders and an amazing array of stunning destinations, South America is the perfect place for couples seeking their romantic getaway. Take long walks on sun-kissed beaches, explore quaint colonial towns, sip a Pinar sour amid cool breezes on the Caribbean coast, or enjoy the sensual delights of tango with a candlelit dinner. Amazingly amorous shared adventures are plentiful on this enchanting continent.



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5 luxury honeymoon experiences in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos : A Luxury Travel Blog


Planning a wedding is stressful, there’s no two ways about it. But planning a honeymoon should provide respite. No table plans to navigate, caterers to negotiate with, or photographers to sift through. This first holiday as a married couple should be the perfect tonic after a frantic few months.

With a relaxed pace of life, phenomenal natural wonders, rich history, and high-end accommodation, Indochina promises an unforgettable honeymoon. Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos are so close to each other geographically, but each have something different to offer – it would be amiss to travel all that way, only to set foot on one. Hopefully these very special experiences will inspire you to take on the trio.

1. Vietnam: Travel to Halong Bay by seaplane

Halong Bay has long been used in countless advertising campaigns the world over. Just look at it! This area is home to a series of limestone islands and islets that rise from emerald waters, leaving you positively dwarfed from below. Even on a grey day (and they can happen), mist forms a halo around the tip of each of the karsts, giving the whole place an otherworldly feel.

Weaving around by boat is a memorable experience, but it is impossible to grasp the sheer scale of the area, take a seaplane to see the moss-blanketed pillars stretch out into the horizon.

2. Cambodia: Take a private helicopter over Angkor

Angkor Wat is world-famous for a reason. This enormous complex of 12th-century temples offers a snapshot into the days of the Khmer Empire, and exploring the area on-foot is an absolute must when visiting Cambodia. Appreciate the workmanship on the faces of the bas-reliefs, and see how huge jungle roots have enveloped them over time (Ta Prohm drew particular attention following the release of Tomb Raider). It’s well worth rising early to see the sun rise over the temple-strewn skyline.

But, the area is extremely popular, and it’s (highly) unlikely that you’ll have the place to yourself. Take a private helicopter to appreciate the vastness of the site and the sprawling jungle beyond, without other tourists cramping your style. A unique way to see one of the most incredible man-made sights in the world.

3. Laos: Swim at the Kuang Si waterfalls

The magnificent Kuang Si waterfalls are only 32km from the sleepy city of Luang Prabang, but this haven, with its thick, lush greenery, could be a world away. Waterfalls cascade through trees, over limestone tiers, and into aquamarine pools below. This gift of nature (to tourists and locals alike) provides a welcome respite from the heat. After taking a dip in the waters, and breathing in the freshest forest air, take some time to explore the surrounding area.

The jungle, with its range of flora and fauna, is a lovely hiking option. Look up into the trees to spot birds jump from tree to tree, and visit the local sanctuary to see bears that have been rescued from poachers and given protection in this oasis.

4. Vietnam: Relax in the Cham Islands

With architecture that draws influence from across the world, a scenic riverside location, top tailors, and tasty Vietnamese coffee to boot, Hoi An is a firm favourite for visitors to Vietnam. Visit during the Hoi An Lantern Festival to see the town plunged into darkness (as electric lights are switched off), and then magically lit by twinkling tea-lights that float down the river.

After spending a few days in the town (and taking a day trip to the My Son ruins), reward walking-weary limbs on the surrounding white-sand beaches just a short speedboat ride from the coast. With empty coastline, and only two small fishing villages, The Cham Islands are a great option for a spot of honeymoon R&R.

5. Laos: Take a sunset cruise on the Mekong

The UNESCO World Heritage City of Luang Prabang is a relaxing place to while away a few days – a particular highlight is a walking tour around beautiful architecture, from golden temples, to French colonial villas. The city is fringed by rambling countryside, wooded areas, and the winding Mekong and Nam Khan rivers beyond.

Spend a day in the city before boarding a traditional riverboat on the Mekong in the evening, and look out as the sun sets over the surrounding mountains. All this sightseeing is hungry work; moor up and prepare for a delicious Lao feast, accompanied by entertainment from a local band and a group of traditional dancers.

All that’s left to say is good luck for the big day, and happy planning your honeymoon to Indochina.

Alastair Donnelly is Director at InsideAsia Tours.

If you would like to be a guest blogger on A Luxury Travel Blog in order to raise your profile, please contact us.



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Take your honeymoon to the secluded shores of the Galapagos


After months of preparation and organizing with family, friends and planners, take your first few weeks of marriage to a place where you can truly begin your new adventure together – an archipelago of not only stunning beauty, but also unworldly diversity, where everything from the sand that borders the crystalline waters to the beaks of the finches bursts with variety and color.

The Galapagos Archipelago is a land frozen in time, where outside of its sleepy towns, nature is almost entirely untouched by man. Wildlife grows, evolves and simply wanders around, ignorant of any danger greater than the Galapagos Hawk. Lose yourself on the isolated beaches, dive among some of the richest and most pristine waters on earth, and allow yourself to devote your undivided attention to the one person who you have dedicated your life to.

The perfect setting

The call of the magnificent frigatebird floats along the sea breeze to where you sit on the balcony of your beachfront hotel room, with a mug of locally-grown coffee snug between your hands. Walking down to the white sand beach, the sun sparkles against black rocks dotted with gorgeous Sally Lightfoot Crabs; in the distance, you can see a group of blue-footed boobies dive into the ocean, fishing for an early lunch.

Later in the evening, after a day of kayaking and trekking across the islands, you return to your hotel for a relaxing massage and to catch the last rays of sunlight as they span across the open expanse of ocean and bathe the sea lions, marine birds and rocks in rich golden hues. Enjoy a poolside dinner with the love of your life under the twinkle of the fading light, which gives way to a blanket of stars, unobscured by the light pollution of distant cities.

The Galapagos Islands are typically known for their role in molding our understanding of biology and evolution; however, people rarely consider the tremendous beauty seen in the diversity and natural peace of the islands, not to mention their tropical waters. Just 3% of the archipelago is inhabited, leaving nature to flourish. Whether on land or diving under the seawaters, during the clear light of day or bathing beneath a sea of stars, the Galapagos offers spectacular photo opportunities at every turn, and of life that is found nowhere else on the planet.

Outstanding cuisine

However, if you decide to take the evening into town, Puerto Ayora, located on the island of Santa Cruz and the largest town in the Galapagos Islands, has a charming local culture known for its excellent and varied cuisine. Restaurants range from small mom-and-pop eateries where you can delve into local flavors, to fine dining that blends local ingredients with international recipes and, if you’re lucky, cooked by a cordon bleu-qualified chef. The Galapagos Islands have also been making an effort to move towards a more sustainable lifestyle, so it is probable that the exotic fruit or vegetables you enjoy were produced locally on a sustainable farm.

An adventure for two

In addition to being a refreshing holiday at a secluded beachfront hotel, don’t forget that while in the Galapagos Islands, almost every animal, plant or geological structure you see is only the surface of decades of biological, geological, marine and historical research and investigation, which guests are welcome to dig deeper into if they choose. In between drinks in your ocean-view suite and lounging on the beach, you can explore some of the most unique marine and terrestrial life in the world, as well as lava tunnels, enormous sinkholes and underwater caves. In fact, the Galapagos National Park and Galapagos Marine Reserve were designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO thanks to the unique marine environment, stunning geological formations, the importance the flora and fauna have in our understanding of evolution, and finally, the incredible biodiversity the islands have to offer.

On the other hand, if you choose to enjoy this rich biodiversity from a more luxurious position, select hotels offer their guests the opportunity to explore the depths of the islands from the vantage of a private yacht. Explore the islands from the leisure of one of these beautiful vessels; not many can say they have observed Galapagos flamingoes and flightless cormorants while sipping a gin and tonic!

Don’t let the opportunity slide

From watching your spouse swim with penguins to relaxing beneath an exotic sunset, the Galapagos Islands is full of those little moments that last a lifetime. Give your loved one the adventure and peace they deserve as you start the next phase of your life together.

Adrián Peñafiel is Corporate Commercial Vice-President at Metropolitan Touring.

If you would like to be a guest blogger on A Luxury Travel Blog in order to raise your profile, please contact us.



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Tanzania: the perfect honeymoon – A Luxury Travel Blog : A Luxury Travel Blog


Looking for the perfect honeymoon? Try Tanzania. You only get married once but how about three honeymoons? Tanzania has it all – mountains, savannah and beach, so don’t rush it. Treat yourself to a three-week honeymoon to make sure you get the most out of this beautiful country. And you’ll forge
wonderful memories to last you a lifetime.

Three honeymoons?

Yep, three. For Honeymoon Adventure Part 1, you’ll face the challenge of Mount
Kilimanjaro, the rooftop of Africa. It’s a relationship-building experience that’ll see you
cuddling up together with steaming mugs of coffee, gazing at the sun setting in the golden
skies, after a hard hike across Kilimanjaro’s four different landscapes.Next, the vast plains of
the majestic Serengeti and the stunning wildlife of the Ngorongoro Crater will be etched
forever in your memory and, to complete your magical experience, you’ll chill out with a
visit to the white sand beaches and azure waters of Tanzania’s Spice Island, Zanzibar.

Kilimanjaro – the adventure begins

If you thought your wedding day was an adventure, try this! Team up to start your honeymoon with a hike up Kilimanjaro. You’ll both need to be fit as it’s a physical and mental challenge. But more than that, it’ll test you both as individuals and as a team. Your adventure starts at bustling Moshi in the foothills of Kilimanjaro and you’ll be driven through coffee and banana farms to the start of your adventure.

There are seven or so routes to choose from but the Machame Route is arguably the most beautiful. This seven-day accompanied hike takes you through different climate zones. Highlights include a scramble up the “Breakfast Wall”, a doable but challenging climb just after a big breakfast (hence the name!) and, of course, the ascent to the peak Uhuru in darkness, your efforts greeted by a 360 degree panorama of the dawn sky, the landscape of Tanzania unfolding before you.

Safari time – Mother Nature at her most spectacular

Tanzania is justifiably world famous for its diverse wildlife and each of Tanzania’s national parks is special in its own way. One of the jewelsis the Serengeti National Park. For Honeymoon Adventure Part 2, book a safari in the park to explore this eco-system that is beyond words; a buzzing, chirruping and roaring eco-system of animals and birds living their lives across the vast plains. This majestic landscape is a stunning backdrop to one of the world’s most dramatic natural stories – the annual Great Migration of wildebeest and zebra across the savannah.

You might choose to stay agile in a mobile camp site or choose from one of the many comfortable lodges. But if you’ve a little extra money to spend then why not splash out on a 5-star stay at one of the high-end lodges? After all, you only honeymoon once (fingers’ crossed!). Try the gorgeous luxury of the Four Seasons Lodge, located right next to a watering hole popular with elephant, zebra and gazelle. Spend the days on private guided walks and the golden dusks sitting out with a glass of wine, as the sun sets as the shadows lengthen and the night birds call.

Another gem is the Ngorongoro Crater, the largest unflooded volcanic crater in the world. It’s a unique ecosystem that’s packed full of wildlife. It’s not just the Big Five you’re sure to see (and if you’re really lucky, you might spot a rare black rhino): there are jackal, cheetah, gazelle and bat-eared fox, too. The perfect setting for your honeymoon is the &Beyond Crater Lodge, a top-notch piece of heaven perched on the rim of the crater itself. Four-poster bed, roll-top bath, private butler, visiting zebra? No problem, madame.

Zanzibar – the big chill

For Honeymoon Adventure Part 3, jump on the quick flight to Zanzibar, Tanzania’s spice island fragrant with clove, nutmeg and vanilla. Sip a virgin cocktail on one of the dozens of soft, white sand beaches while you decide when to slip into the turquoise waters to check out the rainbow-hued fish that skip around the corals.

But there’s much more to Zanzibar than relaxation – if you’re still feeling bouncy then try kite surfing, or diving in some of richest waters in the world. Cruise by traditional wooden dhow to Pemba Island’s stunning coral reef and vertical dive wall – and maybe meet up with some dolphins, too! Zanzibar’s Stone Town is a coral-hued architectural maze of ancient buildings influenced by Arabian, Indian, African and Portuguese culture, and of course there are the street food markets and colorful, chattering bazaars to investigate.

But where to stay? There’s a great choice of resorts and lodges for every price range, but if you want a final splurge before the plane home, how about a night at the crazily beautiful underwater room at The Manta Resort on Pemba? It’s a three-level Swedish-engineered floating lodge, with a roof deck for star gazing (no light pollution here! Ever REALLY seen the Milky Way?) and an underwater room with a 360 degree view of what’s outside. With shoals of fish lazily swimming by, you’ll probably want to watch the view all night.

Tanzania’s unique mixture of adventure, wonder and relaxation is a blend idea for the perfect honeymoon. It really has everything to offer and you can do as much or as little as you like. Start married life as you mean to go on – with an adventure infused with romance, discovery and joy.

Alfred Michael is Owner & Managing Director at Viva Africa Tours.

Alfred Michael is Owner & Managing Director at Viva Africa Tours.

If you would like to be a guest blogger on A Luxury Travel Blog in order to raise your profile, please contact us.



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