Did you know that there are over 172,000 Google searches made globally each month for honeymoon destinations? Or that by accessing Instagram (and the hashtag honeymoondestinations) it’s possible to find out where is trending? Photography and videography experts The Photo Team collated the details and discovered Paris topped the list with 120,351,166 hashtags.
Photograph by Beyboy, Shutterstock
If you are considering staying in the City of Lights, push the boat out at the The Peninsula Paris, a magnet for the fashion crowd and located close to some of the city’s most famous monuments, including the Arc de Triomphe and Champs-Élysées. It comprises 200 rooms, including 86 suites, which are inspired by Haute Couture. For some added romance, the hotel arranges chauffeur-driven exclusive tours of the city by night as well as providing access to the hotel’s “Secret Table.” Located on the seventh-floor, this private rooftop terrace has a view over Parisian rooftops, the Sacré-Cœur of Montmartre and the Eiffel Tower … www.peninsula.com
Photograbh by Soft_light, Shutterstock
It’s no surprise honeymooners flock to Bali, which came in second place with 67,097,317 but it is NOT the only Indonesian city to make the top ten list. Lombok is another Instagrammable honeymoon destination. Located in Indonesia’s West Nusa Tenggara province, Lombok is known for its soft sandy beaches, colourful marine life and Mount Rinjani – Indonesia’s second highest peak. Given its proximity to Bali, the island remains remarkably untouched by mass tourism and offers a much more rural culture. Why not check out the opening rates at The Legian Sire, Lombok, which is launching in May. Located on Sire Beach, the all-suite and villa resort has staggering views towards the Gili islands and Bali’s Mount Agung. The generous suites, which all overlook the sea, are decorated with a nod to local craftsmanship featuring Tenun Ikat fabrics from Sumba and exquisitely detailed ‘lattice’ walls – handcarved in solid teak from Sumbawa. Wellness is taken seriously at the resort – daily yoga, mindfulness meditation, positive affirmation and visualisation sessions are a feature – but far from “a fly and flop “ destination, guests of the hotel can snorkel, dive, trek and hike as well as enjoy tours of the island’s waterfalls and a visit to Lombok’s oldest mosque – Bayan Belek – built in 1634; www.lhw.com
Dubrovnik is another favourite destination – just over three hours flying time from Dublin. The boutique Hotel Bellevue Dubrovnik combines luxury and design and is in a secluded setting on a clifftop with views over the Adriatic Sea, just a ten-minute walk away from the medieval city centre. The hotel comprises 91 rooms and suites, a sophisticated vapour restaurant, a sleek spice lounge with a terrace, and an energy spa with ceiling to floor windows capturing the cinematic backdrop. Guests can take a yacht to the Elafiti islands, an archipelago located just northwest of Dubrovnik – the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of the Old Town – and discover the crystal blue waters, hidden caves and golden-sand beaches. Explore Konavle Valley, the Tuscany of Croatiaby enjoying wine tasting tours in the endless bijou wineries, as well as indulging in traditional konobas (taverns) serving authentic Mediterranean cuisine. Alternatively, take a short trip to the picturesque fortified medieval town of Ston, known for its culinary heritage as much as its history (visit an oyster farm and fresh oyster tasting is available). Ston also has one of the prettiest sandy beaches in Croatia – Prapratno Cove. www.adriaticluxuryhotels.com
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Equally accessible with direct flights from Dublin is Marrakech, where the Royal Mansour is a compilation of 53 individual riads, just a short walk from the medina and a short distance from the Yves Saint Laurent Museum. For foodies, the Royal Mansour has the 3 Michelin starred Yannick Alléno at the helm and he has overseen the restaurants at the hotel – from the brand-new Italian Sesamo which opened in December 2019, the sophisticated La Grande Table Marocaine which serves Moroccan flavours in its sumptuous setting, to poolside restaurant Le Jardin serving light grilled dishes and sublime sushi. The heart of the hotel, Le Jardin is an oasis of lush landscaped gardens. The spa houses one of the best hammam experiences in the world while in the boutique guests will find an exclusive by Christian Louboutin who has made a special babouche, The Lady Mansour, for the hotel – just one of many designer collaborations which will be announced throughout the year. www.royalmansour.com
Photograph by Aksenovden, Shutterstock
Sri Lanka is an up-and-coming honeymoon destination which has abundant natural beauty and also boasts eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites – so is ideal for honeymooners who want to explore rather than spend time around the pool. Local Sri Lankan experts are Hayes & Jarvis, whose new office has just opened on 16 Exchequer Street, Dublin 2. They recommend the so-called “Pearl of the Indian Ocean” and can create many classic Ceylon tours. A sample itinerary begins in Colombo, the colourful capital city of Sri Lanka, from where tours to Dambulla are organised. One of the country’s eight World Heritage Sites, Dambulla consists of five caves with over 2, 000 square metres of painted walls and ceilings. Next up is the historic ruins of Polonnaruwa, the country’s second capital city and another World Heritage Site, where the ruins of the Royal Palace, the Gal Viharaya is situated. Other activities include a visit to Kandy Lake, the tea plantations of Nuwara Eliya and a beach stay in the coastal town of Negombo, www.hayesandjarvis.ie.
Photograph by Lamcomino, Shutterstock
Always popular is the Amalfi coastline in Italy where la dolce vita is guaranteed to revive post-wedding fatigue and where history and honeymoon options are plentiful. Just an hour’s drive from Naples, the 186-year-old Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria, sits on the clifftops of the Amalfi coastline in Sorrento. Built on the foundations of a villa designed for Emperor Augustus, the hotel has a Michelin-starred restaurant with breath-taking views over the Bay of Naples and Vesuvius. Pompeii is just a 45-minute drive away, and from March to November, hotel guests can take advantage of the Campania Express, which provides a comfortable 20-minute train journey from Sorrento to Pompeii. Recently, two new discoveries were made in Regio V, an area of the archaeological park. One of them is a fresco depicting a scene from the Greek myth Leda and the Swan and the second fresco shows the end of a fight between two types of gladiator – a murmillo and a Thracian – where one wins and the other succumbs. exvitt.it
With thanks to www.Thephototeam.co.uk who commissioned the data. All photographs via Shutterstock.
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