Honeymoon Luxe for Less
Jane Anderson, editor of 101honeymoons.co.uk, gives you her top places from her new site on how to get the honeymoon of your dreams on a budget.
Pictured: Rayavadee, Thailand
For an island that doesn’t really do boutique hideaways, Veranda Paul et Virginie on Mauritius is an affordable find. Named after the young couple immortalised by the French author Bernardin de St Pierre in his novel, this classy three-star-plus is all about kicking back in your hammock and chilling out at the spa. Heaven!
How much? Seven nights from £1049 per person all-inclusive with flights and transfers.
One of the most underrated Caribbean islands, the Dominican Republic is bursting with rainforest, culture and beautiful beaches, but has long had the association of a downmarket charter island. New British Airways flights to Punta Cana in the east, with its impressive new array of sophisticated resorts, are a sign of the high quality you can expect. Secrets Sanctuary Cap Cana offers gold standards at silver prices in Spanish colonial style.
How much? Seven nights from £1089 per person all-inclusive with flights and transfers.
Thailand, known as the Land of Smiles, is renowned the world over for its hospitality. Add to this the fact that Thailand offers fantastic value for money, and you have a match made in heaven. Check out Best At Thailand Holidays’ honeymoons at five-star resorts like Rayavadee on Krabi, and you could be paying for seven nights and receiving three additional nights free with breakfast, plus a romantic dinner for two at Krua Phranang Restaurant and a 60-minute massage at the dreamy Rayavadee Spa.
How much? Seven nights from £1450 per person with breakfast plus a free massage and sparkling wine, flights and transfers.
If you feel like the Seychelles are just for footballers’ (new) wives and loaded celebs, don’t despair. These incredible tropical islands are home to charming small hotels and great-value four-stars that offer a genuine local flavour. Island hopping is more affordable than you may think too, so you can mix and match.
On Mahé, the main island, the new four-star deluxe Constance Ephélia Resort is perfect for newlyweds. It offers a wealth of facilities including no less than five restaurants, the largest spa in the Indian Ocean plus water sports galore.
On a smaller scale, Coco de Mer and Black Parrot Suites on Praslin Island both offer seclusion in a lovely atmosphere.
How much? Seven nights at the Constance Ephelia from £1349 per person half board with flights and transfers.
Meeru Island Resort is textbook Maldives: all powder-white sands and turquoise lagoons. Except here you get four-star quality at three-star prices. Bag the all-inclusive option and look out for complimentary room upgrades. Newlyweds should aim for the Jacuzzi water villas or the honeymoon suites, a short dhoni-boat ride away.
How much? Seven nights from £1133 per person all-inclusive with flights and transfers.
Alila Villas in the Maldives is a great five-star honeymoon choice, but if you’re on a budget and in the know, take a look at the great value sister brand, ‘by Alila’ and the stunning 3 Nagas by Alila in Luang Prabang, the ancient former capital of Laos and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site
The hotel is a perfect marriage of contemporary design and Lao heritage, featuring exotic-wood floors, traditional ‘torchis’ walls and clay tile roofs. There is a sense of intimacy here too, with just 15 rooms and suites located in two separate houses.
Because of its compact size, Luang Prabang is easily explored on foot, by bicycle or boat. Visit the many temples and the Royal Palace Museum within the town itself, or take a trip to nearby sights such as the stunning Kuang Si waterfall and park just half an hour’s drive away. Adventurous honeymooners can try a hill-tribe and mountain trek, kayaking and eco-tours.
How much? Double rooms from $125 per night (about £78.18) with breakfast.