Come fly with us to this year’s trending destinations for destination weddings or heading off on honeymoon
‘Wow’ is all we have to say about this pic, looking out to Bagan, an ancient city in Myanmar. Here, the landscape is littered with more than 2,000 Buddhist monuments and, for a different perspective, you can hop on a hot-air balloon and take in the view from above.
Book through Rickshaw Travel, which can send you on a three-day bite-size trip to Myanmar for around £188pp, which includes accommodation, airport transfers and bike hire, which you then need to supplement with two or more other experiences to create a full itinerary.
The island went through a sort of renaissance last year, revealing its softer side. While it can never untangle itself altogether from its infamous clubbing culture (and nor would we want it to), this year is about finding a balance between both worlds. We’re convinced that middle ground is Aiyanna Ibiza.
The wellness-orientated restaurant, conceived by former international DJ David Piccioni, is as much about the organic cuisine as it is about the laid-back Balearic beats. You can hire the restaurant exclusively and throw a legendary bash for up to 100. Wedding packages start at around £210pp.
Launching in June, the Savoy Palace is gearing up to be a game-changer for the island of Madeira (named by the World Travel Awards as the Best European Island for five years running, FYI). The artist’s impressions hint at a cutting-edge hotel over multiple levels, with a photogenic infinity pool, rooftop lounge and panoramic vistas.
There’ll also be 352 bedrooms, dreamt up by Madeira’s premier interior designer, Nini Andrade Silva, a luxe spa and terraced gardens. Watch this space.
Meghan and Harry haven’t breathed a word, but, according to our sources, it seems the pair may have honeymooned in Namibia. If it’s true, we can certainly see why – it’s off the beaten track, wildly beautiful and baking hot. Want to follow suit? Eight years in the making, The Nest at Sossus, based in the Namib-Naukluft National Park, finally opened its doors in February.
Ideal for a buddy-moon, you can lounge around the three-bedroom private villa’s blissful pool before venturing out to take in the seascapes of the Skeleton Coast and salt pans of the Etosha National Park. From £7,547pp based on six sharing.
Hong Kong and Fiji
With a buzzing foodie scene, vibrant nightlife and theme parks (if I were here, I’d be dragging my other half to the resident Disneyland) to sink your teeth into, Hong Kong is well worth sticking on your shortlist.
Barrhead Travel can hook you up with a tempting four-night stay to explore the city (tip: head up Victoria Peak for the best views), before flying on to Robinson Crusoe Island in Fiji, where you’ll share beach bonfires and a Fijian Lovo dinner experience, from £2,197pp.
Well, nobody’s bothering you here. Leave the dregs of wedmin and dress dry-cleaning bills behind and zone in on the two of you at the Al Jabal Al Akhdar Resort in Oman. After a rendezvous at this epic dining location, if you’ve still got a head for heights, the resort has upgraded its mountain climbing programme, and has installed the first set of mountain zip lines to grace this magical Middle Eastern nation. Nightly rates start
South Africa and Mauritius
Why stick to one holiday when you could have two? We Travel To arranges thoughtful, once-in-a-lifetime itineraries, either for weddings or honeymoons, and we’re feverishly excited at the thought of this combination.
Split ten nights between the four-star St Lucia Ecolodge and five-star haven Le Touessrok Resort & Spa by Shangri-La, enjoying safaris near Lake Bhangazi and whale-watching on the eastern shores of South Africa, followed by leisurely days on the beach in Mauritius. Prices start at £3,799.
Blazing sunsets over pretty red teja de barro tiles come as standard at Puerto Vallarta on Mexico’s Pacific coast. Check into beachfront boutique hotel Villa Premiere, an adults-only getaway which delivers traditional Mexican hospitality with a contemporary edge.
In practice, this means marble-clad suites, three gourmet restaurants serving up evolved Mexican dishes and international delicacies, in-room aromatherapy, a butler service (with ‘support for luggage unpacking and packing’) and a pillow menu. Is this heaven?
Asia is where it’s at generally in 2019, but if you really want to stay ahead of the curve, you need to find yourself an island and preferably one others haven’t already thought of. Our suggestion: Borneo.
Deep within the protected Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park, Gaya Island Resort perches on a hillside, giving it a crystal clear view of Mount Kinabalu. The resort is dedicated to eco-friendly practices and has its own Marine Centre, intent on conserving the local area. From £270 per night.
Destinations come in and out of fashion, but Barbados is forever. Friendly locals, scrumptious food and endless blue skies cement its classic status, and Port Ferdinand on the north-west coast has all of this and more.
Wedding photography is usually staged at the marina (above), because, let’s face it, it’s like a Hollywood movie set, and receptions rage on at the new Nikki Beach Club nearby. Packages start at £1,747, and you can rent a one-bedroom home right on the marina for £5,715 for the week.
How we wish we could just dive right into the Blue Water Hotel and Spa’s serene pool! The resort occupies an idyllic stretch of Sri Lanka’s west coast and it’s a full-on Utopia, with coconut plantations, Buddhist temples and quaint fishing villages all within easy reach.
The beach is undoubtedly the main attraction, but the spa comes a close second: its holistic approach draws upon the country’s cultural heritage and the signature Ayurvedic therapies are wonderfully rejuvenating for body and soul. From £1,055pp for five nights, including flights with Kuoni.
Continuing with the Africa love, we foresee a few ‘Kenya 2019’ albums popping up on Facebook soon enough. The cool kids are staying at independently owned Speke’s Camp, based in the Maasai Mara.
The close-knit team are experts on the surrounding area and can whisk you off on a private safari game drive. Choose from eight spacious tents, all with large en-suite bathrooms and fully stocked bar. Prices per night start at £344.
Summery Cyprus is bursting with history and gastronomic delights. Where better for a destination wedding? Travel to Paphos and transfer to Cap St Georges, a chilled, oceanfront resort with immaculate interiors and unsurpassed views. “We have a new ceremony spot available for 2019, the Sky Terrace,” explains events co-ordinator Samantha Cockburn.
“It’s completely private and overlooks the Mediterranean. We can fit around 40 guests in the patio area, which is perfect for an intimate service.” Take over the Sky Terrace for around £700 – the price covers chair and basic gazebo hire too.
While it’s unlikely you’ll need any encouragement to jet off to the pristine white sands and turquoise waters of the Seychelles, we’re about to give you some anyway. We hear the Four Seasons has opened a new outpost on Desroches Island, the only resort to set up camp on this picture-perfect coral island.
“It offers a nice island-hopping option, as couples can stay at the sister hotel on the island of Mahé first and then travel onto Desroches,” suggests the tourist office’s Eloise Vidot.
Italy is delightful, of course, but those in the know are heading a little further south in 2019 – to Malta. Unpack at Cugo Gran Macina Grand Harbour, a boutique hotel and historical landmark in the trendy enclave of Senglea.
The venue can cater to 100 guests inside, if you’re interested in getting hitched here, or you can make your way up to the roof terrace and invite everyone you know for a 1,000-strong party. Prices start at £11,961 for a two-night exclusive-use booking.
After Blue Planet shocked us to the core, we’re more aware than ever of our impact on the natural world. Fancy giving back? Vivid Travel organises visits to elephant sanctuaries and rescue centres where the majestic creatures are treated like royalty.
Stay overnight in a traditional bungalow at the Elephant Conservation Centre in Sayaboury, Laos, and watch the animals’ cheeky antics at bath time. Trips to Laos start from £4,695 per person for 19 days, including flights and accommodation.