Amanda Statham reveals the hottest destinations for honeymoons and weddings abroad this year
The Island: Jumby Bay, Antigua
The fact that you can only reach Jumby Bay, one of the Caribbean’s most luxurious properties, by boat has ensured this 300-acre paradise island near Antigua has stayed super-exclusive. Recently reopened after a $26 million refurbishment, which included a new beachfront restaurant and a spa inspired by the island’s sugar mill, the focus here is romance. Forty suites and villas come with four-poster beds, while candle-lit dining takes place in a 18th-century plantation house. From £905 per night, including all meals and some drinks. Visit www.oetkercollection.com for more information.
The City: Singapore
Booking.com recently looked at 165 million reviews where “honeymoon” was mentioned to compile a list of the most desirable destinations for 2019. The top city? Singapore. With a mix of Indian Ocean beaches, skyscraper skylines, temples, shopping and incredible restaurants, it’s no surprise. Plus it’s a great stop-off for places such as Bali and Australia. Stay at the Marina Bay Sands, a luxurious hotel with the world’s largest rooftop infinity pool and 20 dining options. From £240 per night.
The Safari: Olare Motorogi Conservancy, Kenya
Mahali Mzuri is Swahili for “beautiful place”, which is an apt description of Sir Richard Branson’s luxury 12-tent escape in Kenya’s Olare Motorogi Conservancy. When you’re not on game drives – Mahali is a choice spot to witness the seasonal Great Migration, which sees more than a million wildebeest head south – you can spot wildlife from your private deck, take infinity-pool dips, indulge in a massage, try a walking safari, or hot-air balloon ride above the Maasai Mara. From £867 per night. Visit www.virginlimitededition.com for more information.
The Wedding Package: Elegant Hotels
Luxury Caribbean brand Elegant Hotels has joined forces with celeb wedding planner Emma Corrie to create four new design concepts for 2019. Timeless is as chic as it sounds, with a white, silver and crystal theme; Starfish is pure Caribbean, with pearls, sand and seashell hues; Barefoot Elegance has a rustic beach vibe with driftwood and white flowers; and Island Style uses coconuts, tropical flowers and palm leaves. Packages start at £556 per couple.
The Extras: Sandals Emerald Bay, Bahamas
There are honeymoon treats and then there’s Sandals. The couples only, all-inclusive Caribbean chain’s Bahamas property has just launched its new ‘extras’ service, which includes amazing experiences such as swimming with pigs and starfish in Exuma or sightseeing on Segways along Nassau waterfront during a stay at Sandals Emerald Bay in the Bahamas. Everything can be booked online, meaning newlyweds can customise their honeymoon in just a few clicks – you can even add lounge access at the airport for a fabulous start to your dream getaway. Go there: Seven nights at Sandals Emerald Bay from £2,345 per person, all-inclusive and return fights and transfers.
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