South Africa – romance and nature
The poetry of South Africa with its infinite horizons and savannah teeming with wildlife is the stuff of dreams. Fly out to Cape Town, the continent's southernmost city. There, you can wander amongst the colourful houses of Bo-Kaap, the city's Malay quarter which stretches down the slopes of Signal Hill. Your romantic stroll takes you down to the docks, to the redeveloped Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, which then gives way to wide open beaches. Camps Bay Beach will delight you with its stunning sunsets against a backdrop of palm trees. Nearby, a hanging wooden bridge takes you straight to your love nest, the Camps Bay Retreat. Put time on hold in the privacy of this luxury hotel, tucked away on the edge of Glen Forest.
Take to the skies and head to Johannesburg. From there, a small plane will set you down in next to no time on the edge of Kruger National Park, one of the largest wildlife sanctuaries in the world. Located in a private concession, the Pafuri River Camp promises a fabulous experience in a luxury tent set on a wooden platform above the Luvuvhu River. Sitting hand in hand on your terrace, you can watch elephants, antelopes and other animals roaming around the reserve. At night, cuddle up with your loved one around the camp fire and watch the stars above, while lions roar in the distance. Next day, you need to be up with the lark to watch these big cats on their way back from the night's hunting.
Camps Bay Retreat
7 Chilworth Road
Cape Town 8040
+27 21 437 8300
Pafuri River Camp
Bende Mutale 0950
+27 82 785 0305
The exotic romance of Havana
In recent years, the Cuban capital has become the place to be. The Malecón 663 boutique hotel welcomes guests on the iconic boulevard of the same name where romantic souls gather to watch the sun go down. The building, constructed in 1912, has been completely renovated and decorated by local designers; settle in to your contemporary suite with fabulous views out to sea. Take a vintage tour of the city in an old American classic convertible car. Baroque and neoclassical facades in pastel colours pass by like the set of a film from a bygone age. Caribbean rhythms drift out of open windows and cafes. Driven by an irresistible urge to dance, you head to the Casa del Son. In this highly acclaimed dance school, you can take a salsa class and perfect your moves. Then, take a walk with your loved one through the lively streets of Old Havana.
It is soon time for daiquiris and mojitos. Just off Parque Central, head up to the terrace at the Gran Hotel Manzana, the first five-star hotel in Havana. Raise a glass and drink to your marriage in front of the spectacular infinity pool. The warm night slowly envelops the city. Snuggle up together in a coco-taxi, a motorised tricycle with a yellow cab, and head off to La Guarida. This former Baroque palace with its delightfully old-fashioned air is home to one of the best restaurants in town. Photos of celebrities who have dined there cover the walls. In a quirky room with mood lighting, a lobster meal for two creates an evening full of romance and typical Cuban charm.
Between Belascoain and Gervasio
Casa del Son
+53 7 8616179
Gran Hotel Manzana
+53 7 8699100
+53 7 8669047
Magical, eternal India
From Delhi, an Ambassador, the iconic Indian car with its retro looks, will take you to Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan, three hours to the south. On the edge of Bishangarh village, you are overcome with wonderment at the sight of the Alila Fort Bishangarh, straight out of an eastern dream. This former military fort perches magnificently on top of a granite hill. India has the gift of amazing its visitors with historic residences transformed into “heritage hotels”. This palace with its low-key elegance offers a timeless, majestic break. You will relish the comfort of your suite decorated with frescos on the walls, hand-printed fabrics and age-old doors. At the foot of the hill, take time out to relax by the pool with the arid mountain landscape as its backdrop.
Next day, you leave this magical place behind and continue to Jaipur. At the heart of the Pink City, the City Palace will overwhelm you with its beautiful marriage of Mughal and Rajput architecture, vast courtyards and gardens. It is then time to visit Agra, a city in Uttar Pradesh and home to the Taj Mahal. Nothing is too beautiful when you are on your honeymoon, so do not hold back, book into the Oberoi Amarvilas. This sumptuous hotel is surrounded by exquisitely designed gardens. The private terrace of your suite looks out over the famous white marble mausoleum. This masterpiece of Mughal architecture reveals all of its splendour at sunrise. Built in the 17th century by Emperor Shah Jahan in homage to his beloved wife, this dazzling monument will mesmerise you with its outrageous beauty. A beauty that inspired the poet Rabindranath Tagore to describe the Taj Mahal as “a solitary teardrop on the cheek of time”.
Alila Fort Bishangarh
Off the NH-8 at Manoharpur
+91 1422 276 500
Taj East Gate Road
Uttar Pradesh 282001
+91 562 223 1515
An immersion for two in the traditions of Quebec
Setting off from Montreal, your seaplane flies over a huge expanse of woodland before landing, an hour later, on the waters of a wide river. Welcome to La Seigneurie du Triton, an outfitter or complex for outdoor pursuits, tucked away in the heart of the wilderness. You are about to spend the next few days deep in the forests of Haute-Mauricie in Quebec province.
Annie Tremblay and her husband Nicolas warmly welcome you to an inn steeped in history. The President's Suite, with its chic trapper style and private balcony, is a must to celebrate your honeymoon. Before opening its doors to visitors from around the world, the former Triton Fish and Game Club was the most prestigious hunting and fishing club in Quebec. Founded in 1886, it had its golden age in the first half of the 20th century. Back then, distinguished guests such as Roosevelt, Churchill and Rockefeller felt right at home in this exclusive club. Feel the old British spirit that still lingers in the wood-panelled lounge with its trophy-laden walls. At La Seigneurie du Triton, you spend your days in time with nature over an area of 50 km2, dotted with a dozen or so lakes.
In the dawn mists, a nature guide will escort you through the undergrowth to watch the Canadian elk, a large ruminant common in these parts. You can take a trip up the river by motor boat and admire the poetic landscape of coniferous forests. Ride up close to the beaver dams; these cute animals will always show their faces sooner or later if you are patient enough to wait. You then head back to the inn where everyone tells of their day's adventures over a glass or two. A toast with a glass of champagne – in moderation – is followed by dinner in the elegant, wood-panelled dining room. The evening then continues by the fireside, listening to the fascinating tales of a young trapper.
La Seigneurie du Triton
1893 Chemin du Triton
Lac-Édouard (QC) G0X 3N0
Designer delights by the Aegean Sea
So, you dream of celebrating your marriage on an unspoilt island surrounded by the blue waters of the Mediterranean. Just half an hour by plane from Athens, Skiathos emerges out of the crystal-clear Aegean Sea. The air there is heavy with the bewitching scent of pine trees. This Greek island in the Sporades archipelago is home to some of the country's most beautiful beaches. A heavenly escape awaits you when you spend your honeymoon at the Bourtzi Boutique Hotel. Couples will immediately fall for this unpretentious establishment with its clean lines and contemporary style, and will appreciate its impeccable service.
A few kilometres from your hotel, you take the road to fantastic Koukounaries beach. Have a paddle in the turquoise waters, then make your way to Lake Strofilia, which provides shelter to thousands of migratory birds. Pause for a minute as you take in this idyllic landscape. Later, head back to the hotel where you have a date at the pool and a romantic dip for two. Happiness is guaranteed.
Bourtzi Boutique Hotel
+30 24270 21304