The Ampersand Team's Dream Honeymoons
With Valentine’s Day around the corner, here at Ampersand we’ve been arranging a number of romantic trips for our clients. Without giving anything away, let’s just say there are going to be a few romantic holiday surprises in the coming weeks!
We absolutely love putting together romantic journeys of all kinds, especially honeymoons – it is a huge honour to be tasked with such an important experience. We’ve been discussing what would be our own perfect honeymoon so we thought we would share them with you. Here’s a little insight into what makes us tick in the travel and romance department!
I think that there is nothing more romantic than being out in the middle of nowhere, under a huge sky glittering with stars, around a warm bonfire, with the person you love. North India has the most amazing selection of tented camps – and unlike an African safari experience, Rajasthan offers so much culture, food and history alongside the beautiful landscapes and wildlife. For a trip of about 14 days my ideal combination would be Sher Bagh, a 1920s style tented camp in Ranthambore National Park, Lakshman Sagar, a collection of quaint cottages set around a lake (and the hotel in India where I ate my favourite Indian meal of all time), The Serai, a majestic property out in the Jaisalamer desert and Samode Palace, a regal and crumbling palace. On a recent trip we were served cocktails and canapés around the swimming pool – which was all lit up by candles – it really took my breath away.
My perfect Japan honeymoon would include temples and tiny hot spring spots on misty mountain roads, and the big city and pampering. We’d have to have at least one night at the Mandarin Oriental Tokyo with a his’n’hers spa (using traditional Japanese essences and shiatsu technique), and dinner at one of the amazing-but-not-bank-breaking sushi bars. Then we would enjoy the ‘romantic road’ which leads from the fantastic Chinese-influenced temples and shrines of Nikko, past stunning Chuzenji Lake and through some tiny onsen towns. Next, we’d drop the car at Karuizawa for a night at its fantastic Hoshinoya property, then hop on the Hokuriku bullet train over the Alps and down to Kanazawa on the north coast. Kenrokuen garden and also Nomura house are very romantic spots. Then whizz down to Kyoto for dining on Pontocho Street before circling back to Tokyo with a night at the Park Hyatt in Shinjuku where all the best clubs and bars are.
I’m a mountain man and it would have to be somewhere high, heavenly and hard to get to. The Himalayas are the obvious answer and I love the idea of a rustic and removed lodge somewhere in Nepal. Simple but delicious meals, hiking to die for (not from), spine-tinglingly expansive panoramas, warm sunny days and chilly nights perfect for cuddling up. Either the simple solitude of the Himalaya Lodge in Gandruk or the exciting mountaineering buzz of the Yeti Lodge in Namche Bazaar would suit me down to the steeply-inclined ground.
My preferred style of travel is fast-paced – even when I’m relaxing at a beach resort, two nights at each spot is my limit before I want to start wandering again (call it an occupational hazard). Vietnam would be my ideal honeymoon destination because there is so much variety – you’ve got blazing white beaches and far-flung islands; sleepy Mekong river life and drop-dead gorgeous Halong Bay cruises; frenetic cities like Saigon and Hanoi, and charming little port towns like UNESCO-protected Hoi An…. there are few things more romantic than strolling along its lantern-lit riverbank at dusk! Oh, and did I mention the food?
I am such a sun worshipper that I would have to head off to Indonesia for my honeymoon. Give me a pool, the sun and a cocktail in hand and I am happy! I would love to start my trip at the wonderfully deserted Jeeva Beloam Beach Camp on Lombok where I could enjoy the serenity of the location and enjoy a spot of diving before taking a boat back to Bali to travel up into the foothills of Ubud. I would then stay at Como Shambhala Estate and indulge in lots of couples therapies and then retreat off for the rest of the day to our private pool villa. My last stay would have to be Amanjiwo in Borobodur, Java. I have so many fond memories of climbing Mount Bromo that I would want to relive and share those memories with someone else. Amanjiwo is also an insanely luxurious way to end a romantic trip!
I am a massive tea fanatic so where else would I like to spend my honeymoon other than Sri Lanka? Sri Lanka is by far my favourite country in the world – the people are all so friendly, the landscape is incredibly beautiful and the food (and tea) is to die for! There is such a huge variety of things to do from whale watching in Kalpitiya and spotting leopards in Yala National Park to climbing Sigirya rock and visiting the ancient cities of Dambulla, Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa. To end my honeymoon I would have to stay at Amangalla in Galle and completely relax in the spa and have a private dinner by the pool.
I am a huge Anglophile and I would spend my honeymoon exploring the rugged and wild Cornish coast. We would start by lounging to live jazz in the gorgeously romantic Scarfes Bar at the Rosewood Hotel in London for some seriously luxe cocktails. We’d then hot-foot it down to Cornwall and stay at the fabulous Scarlet Hotel, a luxury eco-hotel on the north coast that boasts an outside Jacuzzi tub and humbling sea views. We’d have some adrenaline-pumping watersports lessons before dining at Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen or Rick Stein’s Padstow haunt, and indulge in delicious spa treatments. Hiking is a favourite pastime of mine, and the coastal walks in Cornwall are difficult to beat. I love visiting untouched fishing villages and seeing seaweed-clad creels of fresh lobsters being pulled out of the sea, ready to feast upon straight away at luxury hotels and cosy real-ale pubs!
To view more luxury honeymoon ideas click here. Get in touch to start planning your own romantic journey: +44 (0) 20 7819 977 / firstname.lastname@example.org