25 Wednesday November, 2015
1. Hoshinoya, Kyoto, Japan
Whatever month you go, Hoshinoya will envelop you in the season. Enjoy the romance of the cherry blossoms in springtime, the lushness of the summer greenery, the heart shaped maple leaves of autumn and the dreamlike serenity of winter – nowhere will calm the senses quite like Hoshinoya. You will be challenged not to become infatuated with the unparalleled indulgence of this luxuriant hotel as you slip into a raw-silk robe on arrival and spend the rest of your moments sipping Sencha and savouring the environment and company of your loved one.
2. Ahilya Fort, Maheshwar, North India
Make Ahilya Fort your destination of choice for a honeymoon experience like no other. Its ramparts reach into the Narmada, one of India’s holiest rivers, said to have been formed from a drop of sweat from Shiva’s forehead. Recline on your pillow, sip chai and watch the Indian day come to life on the river outside your window. Ensconce yourself with history on a private picnic at the secluded lakes and monuments nearby or take a boat to Baneshwar, a tiny island that is said to sit on the axis connecting the centre of the earth to the North Star. Ahilya Fort will ensure you remember your honeymoon forever – elegant and dreamy, it distils everything there is to love about India.
3. Hoi An Full Moon Lantern Festival, Vietnam
Experience the ancient wonder of Hoi An’s sparkling lantern festival, when the skies above the city’s old town and UNESCO World Heritage Site are brought to life in atmospheric romance. Said to bring happiness, luck and love a magical array of twinkling lanterns are floated down Hoi An’s Thu Bon River to coincide with the full moon. Honeymooners can take a cruise to delight in the festival and submerge themselves in the historic and beautiful old quarter of Hoi An which becomes bathed in candlelight. The indigenous Moon Cakes, which are only available at this special time, symbolise completeness and unity – thus the sharing of the Moon Cakes with your new spouse is sure to see you travel into your new life together as one.
4. The Mewar Terrace, Lake Palace, Udaipur, North India
Savour one of the Lake Palace’s signature martinis as you float on Udaipur’s Lake Pichola from the comfort of the opulent Mewar Terrace. However honeymooners will have to compete for their spouse’s attention, as you are sure to be utterly captivated by the unrivalled views of the shimmering lake and the regal Palaces of Udaipur. The atmosphere sitting on the Mewar Terrace is truly sublime, and we cannot think of a more perfect spot to toast your future with one another.
5. The Taj Mahal at sunset, Agra, North India
It cannot get more romantic than witnessing the sun setting over the world’s ultimate monument to love – the Taj Mahal. The silhouettes of the Palace appears to float over the Yamuna River as the colours transition from virginal white to rose pink and finally to a soothing grey as dusk falls and the stars take over the sky. To house the remains of his cherished wife, Shah Jahan commissioned the erection of the Taj Mahal in 1632. A labour of love, the monument took 17 years to build and is inlaid with semi-precious stones. Admiring the Taj Mahal at sunset with the person you will spend the rest of your life with really is an experience in a million.
6. The spa at Como Shambhala, Ubud, Indonesia
A firm Ampersand favourite, the spa at Como Shambhala is something to behold. Nestled in Ubud’s lush hills with a background heartbeat of the nearby waterfalls, you can make the most of the intuitive and skilled service that the hotel’s spa offers. Why not join your other half with a holistic Indonesian Massage on arrival? Using traditional Javanese essential oils to relax your body you will emerge on the other side a renewed couple, free of any lingering wedding stress and ready to indulge in the pampering treatments, exquisite surroundings and delectable food.
7. The Alexa, Komodo Islands, Indonesia
The Alexa is known to combine pure romance, unique adventure and absolute excellence. Want heaven on earth for your honeymoon? Then this luxury sailing yacht is where you should be. Any more than two of you is a crowd on this 31 metre vessel that features just one guest cabin and round the clock pampering. You will truly be ensconced in your own private wonderland aboard The Alexa, and you cannot fail to fall more deeply in love with one another as you dine on lobster plucked from the ocean and gaze out onto the shores of the alluring white beaches.
8. The Aureum Palace Private Temple View Dining, Bagan, Burma
Bagan is one of the world’s greatest archaeological sites in Southeast Asia’s most enigmatic destinations. The Aureum Palace offers a unique and exclusive chance to spend the evening dining al-fresco, with the temples of Bagan illustrating your private meal. The opportunity to dine on your own in this sublime position, amidst the transcendental temples, is one that only a handful in the world have experienced.
9. The Taj Falaknuma Palace, Hyderabad, South India
A jewel in the crown of the “City of Pearls”, the Taj Faluknuma Palace can only be defined as a lavish masterpiece. Fit for a king and queen – literally – honeymooners will be awed by this palatial property. As it was intended by the Nizams of Hyderabad, luxury oozes from every marbled surface. A symbol of love and romance, jasmine flowers are scattered around the Palace and your private butler will obligingly cater to your every whim as you recline in your bedchamber decked in a silk dressing gown. Honeymoons should be about extravagance and you will be suitably indulged at the Falaknuma Palace, one of Ampersand’s most coveted romantic retreats.
10. Breakfast at The Oriental, Bangkok, Thailand
Breakfasting on the banks of the Chao Phraya River at Bangkok’s iconic Oriental is the most relaxing way to spend a morning on your honeymoon. Emerge from under your blankets to sample a Peach Romance smoothie from the vast offering of breakfast options at The Verandah. Your tropical fruit platter will be perfectly accompanied with a view of the water’s never-ending ballet and you won’t have to think of a thing as the service at the Mandarin Oriental is second to none, providing you with the perfect way to begin a day as newlyweds.
11. Kumana National Park and Mobile Tented Camp, Sri Lanka
Become Tarzan and Jane in the depths of the Kumana National Park at the Kumana Mobile Tented Camp. If you’ve dreamt of removing yourself from the outside world on your honeymoon then this hidden gem is one of the best experiences of nature in Sri Lanka. The camp is run on a completely private basis, however expect to be joined by the vast array of birds, reptiles and mammals of the Kumana jungle. Glimpse a leopard, elephant or an elusive sloth bear and return to the camp to enjoy a fresh water shower and a tantalizing meal – the food is beyond expectations! This is an ideal location for honeymooners to get back to nature and submerge themselves in the sounds of this mystical national park.
12. Cycling at Ceylon Tea Trails, Sri Lanka
In the heart of tea country, the bungalows of Ceylon Tea Trails are a true delight. Discover the whimsically named Bogawantalawa Valley on two wheels, by taking a honeymooner’s cycle around the unspoiled beauty of the surrounding hills and lake. Allow the ever considerate cooks at the properties to pack you up a gourmet picnic and find a romantic and secluded spot to take a break and soak in the luscious greens of the tea plantations. Adventures are what honeymoons are about!
13. Pulau Joyo Resort, Indonesia
Pulau Joyo is the Treasure Island that honeymooners dream of. A short hop from Singapore, you will be castaway at this eco-luxe resort and immediately be consumed by the dazzling beaches and sparkling azure of the ocean waves. Feast on food plucked fresh from the waters and indulge in a traditional Javanese massage. It is easy to make the oasis of Pulau Joyo your home for the duration of your honeymoon. Serenity, sunsets and undisturbed peace, Pulau Joyo is the ultimate in barefoot sophistication.
14. Wedding ceremony at Song Saa Private Island Resort, Cambodia
Tucked away in an untouched corner of the Cambodian coast, in the secluded cerulean waters of the Gulf of Thailand, Song Saa Private Island Resort sits between unspoilt rainforests, tropical reefs and powder-white sand beaches. Ultra-stylish and beautifully designed, Song Saa Private Island Resort is Cambodia’s sexiest beach break holiday and the most romantic location for a private wedding ceremony. Couples can exchange their vows in any number of spectacular and intimate locations around the twinned islands, and after the ceremony the resort’s exquisite overwater restaurant and lounge is a stunning setting to raise a celebratory glass of champagne. The ideal place for you to lose yourself without any intrusions, it’s unimaginable to think of a more romantic start to married life together.
15. Chimi Lhakhang Temple, Punakha, Bhutan
Open your mind to some of Bhutan’s slightly more unusual rituals at the Chimi Lhakhang Temple, or the Temple of Fertility. The temple was built by the Buddhist saint Lam Drukpa Kuenley (readily known as the Divine Madman) and is perched on top of a hillock which Lam Drukpa Kuenley likened to the breast of a woman. True to ancient folklore and modern traditions, pilgrims and foreigners alike travel to the temple to be blessed with a ten inch wooden or ivory phallus seeking the temple’s infamous fertility powers. Surrounded by soaring mountains, fluttering prayer flags, thick blankets of evergreen forests and glacial rivers slicing through the valleys, this magical Himalayan Kingdom is amorous enough though and this is the perfect alternative honeymoon escape.~
16. Valentine’s dinner at M on the Bund, Shanghai, China
Spend the most romantic day of the year at M on the Bund, overlooking the best view in Shanghai. Indulge yourselves with M’s luscious five-course feast of love, starting with flirtatious ‘love bites’ and bubbles, and ending with a rich and sensual grand dessert, with a number of sensual aphrodisiacs in between. The pure seduction of the twinkling skyline underneath a moon of romance, this passionate dinner for two is sure to be the most romantic and sexy way to spend Valentine’s Day.
17. The Mergui Archipelago, Burma
Scattered like gems in the glittering Andaman Sea lies the Mergui Archipelago, a collection of 800 uninhabited, remote and sparsely populated islands and the best way to see them is by luxury sailing yacht. The classic and chic yacht Meta IV offers a unique experience for honeymooners wanting to discover this stunning part of Burma. Whether you choose to relax on deck, dive into the surrounding azure waters or fuel your passion for sailing, there’s one thing for sure; you can sail for days without meeting another soul.
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