Ampersand Loves: 10 Honeymoon Hotels To Discover
By Cosmo Brockway
We are at the height of wedding season, from the recent Royal Wedding to Princess Eugenie’s upcoming nuptials, every weekend seems to feature showers of confetti and champagne...of course, honeymoons follow and we love nothing more than creating a memorable and fabulous experiences around the globe for couples. With this in mind, we have gone through our favourite places from Botswana to Ireland and selected some utterly indulgent and romantic hotels for the perfect getaway…..
A tranquil collection of rose-pink pavilions and villas set deep in the Rajasthan countryside, Amanbagh is, simply, Aman-exquisite. Everything here is done with an understated style and touch of luxury that makes for the perfect honeymoon. The private villas with their arching bedrooms and plunge pools are heavenly and candlelit dinners à deux are arranged in discreet spots with personal musicians, flower decorations and flawless cuisine. Unwind with the couples signature massages, The Maharaja and Maharani - truly royal!
Ashford Castle, Co. Mayo
The news that the new Duke and Duchess of Sussex spent part of their honeymoon in Cong, Co. Mayo did not surprise us at all - the wild western coast of Ireland has a splendid, rugged romance that we can imagine appealing to the couple. Enjoy a similar experience at the grand Ashford Castle on the shores of Lough Corrib. The medieval castle (where my own great-grandparents were engaged when it belonged to the Guinness family) with Victorian flourishes has glorious traditional bedrooms and is set on a 350 acre estate - perfect for long walks and picnics in the wild. Don’t miss the resident Irish Wolfhounds!
Jalakara, Andaman Islands
We cannot get enough of this island hideaway perched in the rainforest on remote Havelock Island, perched on the Andaman & Nicobar Islands range. A short flight from Delhi or Calcutta, this tropical paradise abounds with both adventure and the joy of doing nothing. Every suite and villa at Jalakara is divinely and uniquely designed for privacy and comfort. Sunset here is the most romantic in the world framed by date palms and the view of the silvery waters beyond.
Uma Punakha, Bhutan
Travel to this dramatic mountain kingdom for the most unique honeymoon and indulge at the COMO Uma Punakha. An intimate riverside lodge with majestic views and set in rice paddies, this is an Ampersand favourite. Take to the skies with your loved one with the in-house heli-adventure and return to signature therapies at the fabulous COMO Shambhala spa retreat. Nearby sights include Punakha Dzong and Divine Madman’s Temple.
Ahilya By The Sea, Goa
A trio of balinese-style eco villas perched on the Arabian Sea in the lush state of Goa, Ahilya By The Sea is a gem. Family-owned and fun, this relaxed but sophisticated retreat boasts eclectic interiors, a beach-chic atmosphere and roman-style plunge pools for midnight swims. Days can be filled with leisurely seafood lunches, exploring local villages by motorbike and beach-hopping. The service is five-star and don’t miss the bijou spa on Arjun’s tree tower.
Cape View Clifton, South Africa
Views for days over Cape Town's coastline - Cape View Clifton is perfectly located to sample this spectacular city. Choose from one of seven beautifully designed suites and wake up at dawn and watch the changing colours of Table Mountain before a champagne breakfast and a dip in your private bubbling Jacuzzi. Staff are warmly welcoming and nothing is too much trouble at this stylish boutique haven. The buzzing cafes and shopping of Camp’s Bay is close by. We recommend combining a stay here with an exhilarating night experiencing our ‘Wake up on Table Mountain’ tour. Hike up to the summit of Table Mountain with a private guide and stay in a comfortable stone cottage with spectacular views over the Cape Flats to False Bay. Enjoy a hot shower and a traditional braai followed by a continental breakfast at dawn.
Victoria Falls Hotel, Zimbabwe & Camp Okavango, Botswana
What could be more Out Of Africa romantic than sitting together drinking Earl Grey tea serenaded by the roar of Victoria Falls? Stay at this old world hotel, with its private path to the falls and air of colonial decadence. We love the colonnaded pool and the big Edwardian bathtubs in the suites. Outdoor adventures include sunset cruises, canoeing, white water rafting, jet boat safaris, and swimming in Devil’s Pool. Continue the adventure and set off for the pristine wilderness of Camp Okavango in the Botswana water paradise of the Okavango Delta, the world’s largest. Arrive by light aircraft transfer to Kasane International airport. Eleven secluded and spacious thatched suites offer canopies beds and teak furniture. Enjoy superb safaris, water jaunts by traditional canoe and birdwatching. Dine under the stars on traditional cuisine with an international flavour and forge memories to last a lifetime.
COMO Cocoa Island, Maldives
The Maldives offer an unparalleled choice for honeymooners and we have several favourites including the wonderfully named COMO Cocoa Island. A private island resort with 33 overwater suites and villas inspired by dhoni boats—the curving wooden vessels used by local fishermen and sporting private terraces allowing for direct dips into the azure waters and surrounding coral reef. Dining is a fusion of Mediterranean and South India with the signature COMO Shambhala concept that incorporates organic ingredients rich in living enzymes, vitamins and sea minerals. Dreamy, dreamy!
Ulagalla Resort, Sri Lanka
Does the idea of 58 acres of private natural jungle appeal for honeymoon frolics? Then head to Sri Lanka’s 5-star Ulagalla Resort , the best eco-resort on the island. Twenty light filled chalets gaze out on emerald paddy fields and serene lakes through floor to ceiling windows and private terraces. Pad down to the frangipani scented swimming pool and explore the organic garden where produce can be chosen with an in-house chef. The magic is in the signature dining experiences here - set up your own candle lit tableau in the middle of a chirruping paddy field, on the shores of the lake or, our blissed out favourite, under the enveloping canopy of an ancient Banyan tree while feasting on the finest Sri Lankan and Indian cuisine. Days can be filled with village tours, joyous cookery classes, horse-riding and even archery! The cultural sights of Anuradhapura and Mihintale await, a mere 30 kms away and well worth a day trip. Sri Lanka in style.
Four Seasons Koh Samui, Thailand
Surrounded by tropical greenery, Four Seasons Koh Samui, one of our favourite ever beach hotels, is located on the island's northwestern tip, a gorgeous oasis on Laem Yai Bay. The stylish villas offer deep comfort and luxury with views to die for across the Gulf of Siam and infinity pools. The Secret Garden Spa is inspired by a ‘back-to-nature’ focus on freshness, clarity and simplicity - qualities that make for the perfect honeymoon rejuvenation. We love the unique rum library tasting and the unforgettable overnight charter to Angthong National Marine Park with its stops at rainforest islands for private picnics and coral-reef snorkelling. Heaven is found here.
For more information or to start planning your tailor-made holiday to any of these destinations, please contact us:
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