Top Destinations For A Royal Honeymoon In 2018 By The Luxury Channel

As Prince Harry and Meghan Markle prepare to tie the knot this spring, speculation is already rippling about where the couple of the year might be spending their honeymoon. With that in mind, we bring you a round-up of some of the world’s most romantic spots for a newlywed escape, sure to rival any royal holiday! Whether your dream is to live like north African nobility at the spectacular Royal Mansour in Marrakech – itself owned by King Mohammed VI of Morocco – or to recreate Harry and Meghan’s first African adventures or even to just enjoy a stay in the most romantic city in the world, our selection of options offers something for every couple….

Rustic Romance In An Alpine Cabin

Rustic, cosy and incomparably peaceful, Gstaad Palace’s Shepherd’s or ‘Walig’ Hut – built in 1783 and changed little since – can be hired for an exclusive overnight stay, warmed by candlelight and log burning stoves and complete with a mouth-watering three-course dinner complimented by Swiss wine. With the building sitting proudly at 1,700m above tFionahe Gsteig region, couples can enjoy an inimitably romantic evening gazing over Gstaad and the Saanenland. Pair with a luxurious stay at the fairy-tale Gstaad Palace itself, which offers a dedicated ‘Time For Romance’ experience in the main hotel, in the form of a two-night stay in a specially decorated room, including a bottle of champagne and a two-hour Hammam experience with a massage for two. Guests can also enjoy half board and full access to the hotel spa.

The ‘Alpine Night’ at Walig Hut is available from 1,600CHF (approx. £1,220) in Summer season only. The ‘Time For Romance’ package is on offer on select dates subject to availability, from 1,973CHF (approx. £1,505). Contact info@palace.ch, call +41 33 748 50 00 or visit www.palace.ch.

Ski Across Colorado

Ski stylishly into married life together by exploring the stunning scenery over Aspen, Aspen Highlands, Buttermilk and Snowmass with two free daily ski passes for every night at the luxurious mountain haven of The Little Nell (based on a minimum three-night stay). The Little Nell is Colorado’s only 5-star ski-in, ski-out hotel and one of the world’s most iconic ski lodges. Located at the base of Aspen Mountain, its location in the heart of downtown makes it perfect for exploring the exclusive shopping, dining, nightlife and galleries that Aspen has to offer. The Little Nell’s 52 guest rooms and suites all feature a contemporary ‘Aspen Aesthetic’ design, some offering breath-taking mountain views. With two restaurants on site – Elements 47 and Ajax Tavern – plus exclusive ski programmes which enable guests to access of Aspen Mountain before the gondola opens and customised adventure programs including fly fishing, snowcat skiing, jeep tours, complimentary bikes and weekly yoga atop Aspen Mountain, The Little Nell caters to every desire for a 5-star mountain break.

The ‘Ski Free’ package is available from $585 (approx. £421) per night, based on a three-night stay in a Town Side Guest Room. To book, visit www.thelittlenell.com and quote promotional code ‘NSKIF.’

Desert Island Romance In The Maldives

Opening in the last quarter of 2018, the sublime new JOALI Maldives, on Muravandhoo Island in Raas Atoll, is a sophisticated and artistic luxury retreat. Celebrating the joy of life, JOALI is a honeymoon hideaway that represents the ultimate romantic desert island dream; with a focus on sustainability, creativity and individual flair, it couldn’t be further from the feeling of a chain resort. Explore the island on bicycles, inspire the imagination with a library of books in each of the 73 elegant beach and water villas, spend time learning to paint in the Art Studio, watch the reef below while enjoying a couples’ massage at JOALI Spa by ESPA or see the sun set over your own private candlelit dinner on a secluded sandbank.

For bookings and further information, visit www.joali.com.

Princess Perfection In Marrakech

The exquisite Royal Mansour in Marrakech – one of the world’s most discreet hotels and owned by King Mohammed VI of Morocco – is designed to regal standards, fit for any princess. This really is the case, as the hotel attracts royalty and dignitaries from around the world. Secret tunnels that have been built beneath the hotel ensure guests have the utmost privacy, with a service that is unrivalled, intuitive and discreet. The rooms are set in 53 individual Riads with exquisite craftsmanship throughout, and the hotel is just a stone’s throw from the medina and a short distance from the recently opened Yves Saint Laurent Museum. It has an exceptional spa which – amongst its myriad relaxing treatments – offers one of the best hammam experiences in the world. Cuisine at Royal Mansour is led by Michelin starred Yannick Alléno, who creates delectable cuisine throughout the hotel across its four restaurants, from the sophisticated La Grande Table Marocaine which serves more-ish Moroccan flavours in its sumptuous setting, to new poolside open-air restaurant Le Jardin whose menu includes light grilled dishes and sublime sushi in relaxed and atmospheric surroundings. Newlyweds looking for a honeymoon fit for royalty will delight in Royal Mansour’s ‘Romance’ package as this includes 3 nights in a Superior 1-bedroom Riad (with a romantic set-up), an upgrade to a Premier 1-bedroom Riad dependent on availability, daily gourmet breakfast at La Table or on the rooftop terrace of their Riad, a romantic dinner at La Grande Table Marocaine, spa treatments in a Private Spa Suite (one hammam experience, followed by a massage per person), fast track service upon arrival & departure at Marrakech Airport, and private airport transfers.

The ‘Romance’ package starts from 3,300 Euros (approx. £2,903) and is based on two people sharing a Riad. Valid until 27 December 2018. To book, visit www.royalmansour.com or call +212 529 808080.

Pampering In Paris

After a day taking in all that the City of Love has to offer, couples can enjoy some romantic R&R time in their own Private Spa Suite at the world-famous Peninsula Paris hotel in France. The three-hour break (which can be extended subject to availability) includes full use of the sumptuous suite – consisting of a double bath, shower and private bathroom – with a two-hour treatment each and time to explore the spa’s full range of facilities. Perfectly situated at 19 Avenue Kléber, just steps from the Arc de Triomphe, The Peninsula sits in the heart of Paris within walking distance of some of the world’s most famous monuments, museums and luxury shopping districts. The gorgeous hotel houses 200 luxurious rooms, including 86 suites. Inspired by Haute Couture, the theme suites at The Peninsula Paris hotel – some of the French capital’s most spacious and the world’s most highly customised – are veritable showcases of French heritage and savoir-faire.

The ‘Spa Experience For Two’ package is available from 880 Euros (approx. £777) based on a three-hour stay. Rooms are available at The Peninsula Person from 765 Euros (approx. £675) per night. For the spa package, contact spappr@peninsula.com for further information, or visit www.paris.peninsula.com.

African Romance In Rwanda

Echo Prince Harry and Meghan’s passion for Africa and sustainable, mindful travel at Volcanoes Safaris in Rwanda, where the pioneers of ecotourism are inviting newlyweds to experience a truly memorable honeymoon with a safari adventure complimented by a host of special traditional treats. Watch the sun rise over the staggering African vistas, spend your day tracking gorillas and chimpanzees in their natural home, and wind down with a special couple’s massage and private meals on request. Enjoy special treatment from staff at your eco-luxury lodge, which will be furnished on arrival with the gorgeous gift of a Rwandan woven basket loaded with two celebrated Kitenge bathrobes, a bottle of sparkling wine, a gorilla ornament carved by local craftspeople, traditional ceremonial marriage ties to wear on your wrists, and a selection of tea, coffee, honey and soap, provided by the group’s VSPT sustainable projects programme.

Rooms are available at Volcanoes Safaris from $210 (approx. £151) per night based on two people sharing a Mount Gahinga Lodge. To book, contact enquiries@volcanoessafaris.com or visit www.volcanoessafaris.com.

Supreme Safari In South Africa

It’s a poignant time for all visitors to South Africa this year, as the country marks the 100th anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s birth – and nowhere is it more so than at The Saxon Hotel, Villas & Spa in Johannesburg where the acclaimed political revolutionary sojourned to write some of the final words of his autobiography, Long Walk To Freedom. Add some history to your honeymoon by immersing yourself in local centenary events while enjoying the natural and wildlife highlights of these renowned retreats. Nestled in a peaceful tree-lined corner of Johannesburg’s Sandhurst neighbourhood, The Saxon Hotel, Villas and Spa is set in 10 acres of lush landscaped grounds that once formed a historic private home. Its prize facilities include six swimming pools, three luxurious dining venues – including the recently launched Luke Dale Roberts X at The Saxon – two bars, and the tranquil Saxon Spa, which blends modern understanding with ancient techniques to balance energies and restore wellbeing. Meanwhile, The Saxon’s sister property, Shambala Private Game Reserve, promises an unforgettably authentic African bushveld experience, boasting 12,000 hectares of wilderness in the Limpopo Province, home to the ‘Big Five’ and set against the backdrop beautiful Waterberg mountain range. Couples staying at its eight luxurious lodges – each constructed in traditional Zulu materials – are invited to forego television and enjoy exclusively organised game drives, guided bush walks, star-gazing, fishing, sundowner cruises and bush picnics, as well as unwinding at the intimate Shambala Spa. Also set in the grounds of Shambala is the historic Nelson Mandela Villa, built especially for the former President as his personal retreat.

Rooms at The Saxon Villas and Spa start from R7,400 (approx. £440) based on two people sharing a luxury suite including breakfast, while stays at Zulu Camp at Shambala Private Game Reserve start from R11,750 (approx. £699) based on two people sharing a chalet, including all meals, sunset cruise, game drives and bush walks. Exclusive hire of The Nelson Mandela Villa starts from R75,000 (approx. £4,443) including all meals, sunset cruise, game drives and bush walks. To book, visit www.saxon.co.za and www.shambalaprivategamereserve.co.za.

La Dolce Vita In Southern Italy

Immerse yourself in Italian authenticity this spring, as Masseria Trapanà in Lecce is welcoming guests to indulge in its brand new wellness space, transforming a former olive pressing room into a fabulous spa, offering restorative treatments using local ingredients. As well as three treatment rooms, couples can make full use of a plunge pool, relaxation area and small cinema room, or take in the hotel’s gorgeous gardens with outdoor yoga classes. Set in sixty hectares of olive groves and with only nine individually designed suites, Masseria Trapanà offers the ultimate peace and seclusion for honeymooners, whether you want to lounge in a pool-side hammock, or stroll around the hotel’s six fragrant gardens, brimming with nineteen varieties of fruit and nut trees.

Rooms are available from 250 Euors (approx. £219) per night, based on a Courtyard Room including breakfast. To book, contact info@trapana.com, call: + 39 0832 1832101 or visit www.trapana.com.

Simply Bliss In Sri Lanka

Celebrate your wedding in storybook style with a four-night stay at Owl And The Pussycat in Galle, Sri Lanka – a sun-drenched, exotic boutique gem. As well as one complimentary night’s stay in an ocean-view suite, this dreamy offer includes one candle-lit dinner for two at the hotel’s poetically themed The Runcible Spoon restaurant, and a sundown cocktail on an evening of your choice. Arrive to an in-room welcome of fresh flowers and a tropical fruit basket, wake up to a delicious and nutritious daily breakfast, and round off each day with a special honeymoon turn-down service. Owl And The Pussycat also offers an alternative three-night romantic getaway package, including a couples full-body massage on the water’s edge, as well as one three-course candle-lit dinner – complete with a bottle of bubbles and chocolates – on an evening of your choice. Sitting on the water’s edge on the south coast of Sri Lanka in the village of Thalpe, near Galle, Owl And The Pussycat boasts contemporary design alongside beautiful craftsmanship from local artisans, with a laid-back atmosphere. Guests can enjoy light, fresh food including Sri Lankan specialties, sip delicately-spiced cocktails at the bar next to the waves, take a dip in the sea-front 17-metre pool and stretch out on the yoga platform. The hotel is also well-located for jungle adventures and cycles through the rice fields.

Stays at Owl And The Pussycat are available from $260 (approx. £187). The ‘Romantic Getaway’ offer can be booked on select dates subject to availability. Contact bookings@otphotel.com, call +94 7772 40077 or visit www.otphotel.com.

Honeymoon Bliss In Venice

Settled on its own private island – called Isola delle Rose – JW Marriott Venice Resort & Spa offers a full package of romantic treats for newlyweds. The Honeymoon Bliss package includes a champagne and chocolate-covered-strawberries welcome on arrival and a 50-minute massage for two in the privacy of a GOCO Spa Venice Spa Suite, as well as a free upgrade upon availability and late check-out. Guests can also enjoy a 15% discount on all other spa treatments, as well as daily breakfast served either in room or at the Cucina restaurant. JW Marriott’s flagship complex will open for the 2018 season on 16th March, offering visitors to Venice a peaceful respite just a short boat ride away from the crowded hustle and bustle of the main city. This spring, it will play host for the first time to the Venice Food & Wine Festival, welcoming some of the world’s most esteemed chefs and artisan food producers to the resort. The resort is also home to the Sapori Cooking Academy, where guests can learn to prepare traditional Italian dishes from master chefs, and the Dopolavoro rooftop restaurant, where locals and hotel guests can enjoy a Michelin-star meal while gazing over the Venice skyline.

The ‘Honeymoon Bliss’ package is available from 599 Euros (approx. £530) per night. To book, visit www.jwvenice.com or call +39 041 852 1300 and quote the promotional code ‘HON.’