Just about the last thing you need to round off your big day is a dingy, drab, hotel to spend your honeymoon in. Here are a few suggestions for a great honeymoon hotel experience. Take your pick (they’re not in any particular order of marvellousness, although they are all marvellous).
The InterContinental, Honk Kong
Honk Kong might not have struck you as a honeymoon destination, but a room overlooking the fabulous Victoria Harbour will literally take your breath away. The Harbour not only lights up at night, it entertains you with an incandescent, 13-minute light show every evening. Neon-lit skyscrapers seem to dance with spectacular laser beams, lighting up the deep blue-black of the night sky. The most fantastic views are probably to be had in the Presidential Suite, which faces the glittering city below and has walls of glass rather than windows (you can shut it all whenever you want to). And you’ll have an infinity pool as well as a 230-foot terrace all to yourselves.
Sri Panwa, Phuket, Thailand
If you’re looking for a more tranquil landscape and you want some tropical heat to go with it, you’ll love the aquamarine lagoons and graceful palm trees surrounding Sri Panwa. It’s not strictly a hotel, but it is fabulously appealing. Overlooking Cape Panwa, this sumptuous villa complex is set in 30 acres of lush forest and boasts a private stretch of coastline for its guests. The sand is talcum powder white and the crystal clear waters a glorious blue. The views are stunning not simply because of the location, but because your room will have huge stretches of glass on all sides. And you’ll get your own infinity pool, sun deck, al fresco Jacuzzi, and a home cinema system and superbly equipped kitchenette. You can charter a boat from the private fleet and go water-skiing or cruising if you want to, but with views and facilities like this, you’ll probably want to stay in and sip champagne on the sun deck.
The Cotton House, Mustique, Caribbean
Made of coral stone, this regal beauty is laden with French West Indies colonial-style furniture. The Cotton Hill residence yields magnificent hill-top views of the Caribbean on one side and the azure Atlantic on the other. It shimmers with aristocratic elegance and you’ll have the benefit of butler service, delectable French cuisine, private beaches and exquisitely manicured grounds. Take one of the teak sun loungers and soak up some rays, or go for a soothing dip in your private pool. And if you fancy a day out, Cotton House will whisk you to the gorgeous Tobago Cays in a speedboat and ply you with chilled Krug and caviar as you sit beneath the palm trees.
The Millhouse, County Meath, Ireland
If you needed proof that a setting doesn’t have to be exotic in order to be romantic, County Meath’s splendid Millhouse Hotel is it. A country club hotel, the interior décor is stunning, with ostentatiously gorgeous swathes of linen draped across the four-poster beds, luxuriously plump velvet cushions and enchanting French and Gustavian vintage-style furniture. Situated on the banks of the beautiful River Boyne, this honeymoon location combines soothing tranquillity with lavish comfort. The Snowdrift Suite boasts a majestic four-poster bed in white, regally draped in swathes of white linen. From your window, you’ll take in views of the lush green landscape and glittering silver of the nearby Boyne. And if you’re feeling adventurous, you can take an awesome hot air balloon ride above the ruins of Trim Castle.
Oberoi Amarvilas, India
Imagine spending your honeymoon overlooking the jaw-dropping grandeur of the Taj Mahal and you’ll have a fair idea of what awaits you if you were to check in to the Oberoi Amarvilas. You’ll feel like royalty here, with rooms awash with gold, marble and timber. The grounds are spellbinding, full of reflecting pools, gently gurgling fountains, romantic pavilions and perfectly manicured terraced lawns. Try the fifth floor Kohinoor Suite if you can – you’ll see the Taj Mahal from every room.
Hayman Island Resort, Australia
How about honeymooning whilst overlooking the magnificent Great Barrier Reef? This is what you’ll get if you book in to the gorgeous Hayman Island Resort in Australia. It’s dreamily idyllic and surrounded by fabulous beaches with sands flecked with coral. A superb vantage point is afforded by the Beach Villa in the Beach Wing; you’ll gaze straight out at white sands and crystal-clear cerulean sea.
Away from the sea, how would you like to look out over a sweeping vista of untouched African plains and dunes, as far as the eye can see, all from the vantage point of ultra modern, luxury accommodation? Set in the NamibRand Nature Reserve and surrounded by the Nubib mountains, each of the accommodation suites in the camp is separated from the nearest neighbour by 1,000 hectares of land. It’s indescribably spacious. If you opt for the Mountain View Suite, you’ll look out at stunning views of the mountains in the distance.
Residenze Napoloeone III, Rome
If you feel like honeymooning like a royal couple, you could do little better than check in to the majestic Residenze Napoloeone III in Rome, Italy. It’s a stunningly aristocratic and splendidly romantic apartment set in an historic wing of the grand Palazzo Ruspoli. The walls are studded with oil paintings and fine art – a huge oil painting even acts as a bedhead, whilst another is a concealed door to the bathroom. And you’ll be able to stroll through one of the most romantic cities in the world – Rome.
Chateau de Bagnols, France
Staying with that aristocratic theme, another magnificent setting for a honeymoon takes the form of this fairytale castle in France – the Chateau de Bagnols. Standing proudly in the Beaujolais region, it is dreamily, majestically romantic, surrounded with exquisite gardens. Room 6 has a gorgeous primrose yellow damask canopy bed and Room 8 is a converted century chapel, sumptuously adorned with a gilded four-poster bed and a beautiful array of 18th century frescoes. And the Château has a Michelin-rated restaurant, too.
The Commune, China
You could spend your honeymoon gazing out at one of the greatest man-made structures ever built. A room at the magnificent Commune, a set of villas designed by no less than twelve Asian architects, offers spectacular views of the Great Wall of China, as it meanders and twists into the mountains. The Deluxe Suite in particular affords the most spellbinding views of the Wall and the mountains.