Get luxe for less at Qatar Airways' favourite destinations
If every day started with a dive into the pool from the private balcony of our Laguna Poolside Room, we’d never be late for anything again. Not that there’s a schedule to keep at the barefoot-luxe Angsana Laguna Phuket, where you’ll linger over breakfast at the exotic Market Place restaurant before an afternoon of indulgence at the famous Angsana Spa, or a stroll to the 18-hole championship course at Laguna Phuket Golf Club. The place to be as the stars come out is the laidback-cool Beach Club, where you’ll sip fresh and fruity cocktails with an ear on the live music and DJs.
Save on Your Stay Words by Samantha Birch
There’s a reason they call it the Vertigo Grill & Moon Bar at Banyan Tree Bangkok, but it’s worth braving the 61 storeys for the twinkling city-vista view from the top – one of the highest restaurants and bars in the Thai capital. Descend 40 floors, and you’ll find a less dizzying deck with scenic views of its own, like the nutrifying Juice Bar, and the 20x6-metre outdoor swimming pool. If you could do with a lie down after all that excitement, there are few better places to lay your head than the Hotel’s celebrated urban Banyan Tree Spa, where many of the authentic traditional treatments have been handed down for generations.
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Legs that have danced your reception away will thank you for the extra room on your Qatar Airways flight to warmer climes – whichever class you choose, expect some of the widest seats you’ve flown in, as well as award-worthy service. As for post-party skin, a hot or cold towel is a welcome refresher before you kick back with more than 900 entertainment options – think films, TV, games and music. If you could do with 40 winks before you hit your honeymoon running, we’d go Business Class: you’ll stretch out on fully flat beds while the in-built massager chills you out – and you get a Molton Brown amenity kit you’ll still be loving long after touchdown.
Qatar Airways flies to over 100 destinations. Find the best prices for your honeymoon flights on their interactive trip planner.
Lazing by candlelight on the daybed beside your Pool Villa’s private pool, it’s tempting just to wander over to your very own sala – open-air pavilion – for your herbal footbath, pineapple and coconut scrub and two-therapist harmony massage. But it’s worth the hand-in-hand meander through the grounds of Banyan Tree Phuket to one of the most renowned – and first – tropical garden spas in Thailand for indulgence amid nature. A little further from your decadent accommodation at this all-villa resort – whichever you choose, you’ll find mental-note elegant interiors and more space than you know what to do with – it’s just a short wander to the 18-hole championship golf course and Andaman Sea beach.
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It’s impossible not to squeeze your husband’s hand and rush out an excited whisper as your personal chauffeur pulls up to drive you to and from your plane – all part and parcel of the service when you fly Business or First Class from Doha International Airport with Qatar Airways. There’s no struggling with your bags through the Premium Terminal either – your personal bell-host has got you covered. And as if that wasn’t enough to make you feel like an A-lister, there’s gourmet dining, a Jacuzzi and sauna, a First-class exclusive spa, and privacy rooms if you’ve got some sleep to catch up on.View Qatar Airways latest offers
Piling onto a bus with an overexcited tour guide this is not: after touchdown at Dubai International Airport, UAE, you're taken the 45-minutes to the hotel and then by boat connection to the Banyan Tree Al Wadi Beach Resort. Leave your bags by the sofa in your Beachfront Pool Villa and give your full attention to walking into your bedroom: all draped, rose-petal-sprinkled four-poster, it’s your private romantic sanctuary. When you finally emerge, it’ll be to slink into your personal pool, onto the day bed or sun lounger in your beach cabana, or a few footsteps across the sand into the sea – or to recharge with dinner from the beach grill at Sands bar and restaurant.Save on Your Stay
It’s all about the dining at Banyan Tree Bintan, just 45 minutes’ ferry ride from Singapore. At a table laid among dramatic rocks lapped by the sea, in the shadow of a traditional fisherman’s boat on the sand, or on a private platform over the pool that’s fringed with billowing drapes, you’ll find yourself picturing dinner before you’ve even thought of breakfast. There’s plenty to look forward to during the day too, whether it’s a leisurely swim in the private pool that most accommodation at the all-villa resort includes, a hot-stone massage with sesame oil on the beach, or an escape out into the nearby villages. The island is also a great stopover for honeymooners going on to Australia and Southeast Asia.
If the taste of the best cake you’ve ever been snapped slicing has set the culinary standard for your honeymoon, foodies will spot that even Economy fare on Qatar Airways flights is influenced by the latest gastro-trends – and that there’s plenty of it, since you get two meals in a six-hour flight. It’s worth doing the once-in-a-lifetime thing and treating yourselves to Business or First Class if you’ve got seriously adventurous taste buds, since the likes of grilled balloon fish, caviar baguettes and azuki and green tea ice creams have been known to show up on the in-flight menu – and the premium classes get to order breakfast, snacks or dinner anytime.View Qatar Airways latest offers
You couldn’t make up the inspiration for your villa at Banyan Tree Seychelles: this is where Peter Sellers and George Harrison built their holiday homes in the Seventies. It’s easy to see why they did when you walk onto the beach at Intendance Bay: the blue-green Indian Ocean, pale, soft sand and your villa peeking out among the palm trees make this the shoreline you always imagined sauntering along with the love of your life. But Mahé Island’s isn’t the only beach you’ll get to see: climb aboard the resort’s 47-foot catamaran and go island-hopping on the trail of the rare coco de mer palm, found only in the Seychelles.
Much as we love roasting marshmallows on an open fire, it’s got nothing on eating out Bedouin-style, over a campfire among the dunes under the clear desert sky. That’s if you can put down your camera as you explore the nature reserve surrounding Banyan Tree Al Wadi Desert Resort, Ras Al Khaimah – with its pinch-yourself views of the Al Hajjar Mountains and Arabian Gulf, and the chance to spot wild gazelles, oryx and birds of prey. Even the hydrotherapy spa, The Rainforest, is set among colourful natural beauty: the spa is complete with soothing hammam and magical blue-lit vitality pool. Your own infinity pool and ample lounging space await at whichever villa you drift back to – our pick is the Al Sahari Tented Pool Villa (pictured), with its glamorous décor and personal sundeck.
The breathtaking Great Ocean Road with its access to the 12 Apostles (pictured), the Melbourne Cricket Ground and Southbank restaurants facing the Yarra River with its surfeit of European-style bars, restaurants, events and boutiques are reason enough to visit Melbourne. Whatever tempts you to go, get there faster on a Qatar Airways flight, with one of the quickest connection times to Victoria’s capital. From 2nd July 2012, Qatar Airways will also be flying to Perth. While there, take a Swan Valley wineries wine tour, enjoy fish and chips at Fisherman's Wharf in Fremantle and watch the sunset over the Indian Ocean at Cottesloe Beach – simply breathtaking.View Qatar Airways latest offers
The first story you’ll tell everyone when you get home is about the dolphin that swam by you while you were snorkelling off the South Nilandhe Atoll, Maldives. The coral island comes into view from your seaplane before you touch down among the turquoise water, which is also home to turtles and rays. If wildlife is your thing, the island’s biologist will help you leave your mark by replanting the reef. But if it’s total timeout you’re after, head to the Angsana Velavaru’s eponymous spa for soothing, tailored treatments – then sink into the tub at your InOcean Villa and watch the tranquil waters while you soak. As night falls, stretch your legs en route to a sunset cruise, or dinner on a deserted island in the moonlight.
Win your stay!If the unspoilt beauty of Angsana Velavaru and the South Nilandhe Atoll is your idea of honeymoon paradise, enter our competition to win a seven-night stay for two, flying Business Class.