Mr & Mrs Smith was dreamt up after co-founders James Lohan and Tamara Heber-Percy booked a romantic weekend only to find their room far less amour-inspiring than expected. Launched as a guidebook publisher 10 years ago, Smith’s now an online booking service with a curated collection of more than 900 hotels – from low-cost boutique stays, to top-of-the-range retreats, all with stand-out attention to detail – and a team of travel experts dedicated to ensuring honeymoons will never disappoint…
Charlie Craig, executive travel consultant and honeymoon expert at Mr & Mrs Smith has tried and tested romantic getaways around the globe. We asked her to share her favourite destinations for out-of-season sun and luxe love nests with us. Charlie is on the blog between 9am and 1pm today answering all of your honeymoon questions or holiday questions, so please use our comment box to ask Charlie anything you like about planning a winter honeymoon or romantic break. Over to Charlie:
Vietnam & Cambodia
If you want action-packed adventure and cultural insights – with a spot of day-bed dozing on a beach in between – these far-Eastern hotspots are ideal. Start in Cambodia, arriving in Siem Reap (temperatures are at their most hospitable from December to April). The Shinta Mani Club hotel is the place to be; it has a great location on the river, central, but quiet, and the Temple of Angkor Wat is just a 10-minute drive away. From there head into Vietnam, to An Lam Saigon River hotel in Ho Chi Minh city. This warm and welcoming hotel with just 15 rooms in tranquil garden villas was once a private home, so it feels intimate and secluded. From there I’d definitely recommend Six Senses Con Dao, which has the whole honeymoon package: one of the world’s best beaches, ocean-front pool villas, jawdropping scenery to ogle… If you’ve got your heart set on a private island but can’t stretch to the Maldives, this is the next best thing; it’s definitely worth the 40-minute connecting flight from Ho Chi Minh.
We get lots of requests for twin-stop destinations, but many couples want to unpack their suitcase and settle in one spot for a laid-back honeymoon. The Riviera Maya on Mexico’s Caribbean coast has pristine beaches and turquoise waters; it’s a place where you can summon a cocktail and totally relax, while gazing out at a view to remember – visit anytime from November to March for just-right weather. You can fly direct from the UK to Cancun, before heading on to the Riviera Maya. My favourite stay is ultra-luxe beachside hotel Viceroy Riviera Maya, which has a locally-inspired spa and huge beautifully outfitted villas with private pools. You could easily spend 10 days here and not get bored: if you tire of total relaxation, there are day-trips to nearby Coba – home to vertiginous ziggurats – and Tulum – where temple-topped cliffs tower over the beach – and water-based activities like snorkelling and diving in cenotes (foliage-trimmed sinkholes). Many five-star stays are set nearby (but the area doesn’t feel crowded), so you can try a different top-flight restaurant each night. Esencia is another favourite for its white-sand beaches and heady tequila cocktails…
Caribbean Island Hopping (Grenada & Barbados)
Your honeymoon is the perfect excuse for an island-hopping trip to the Caribbean. Start in Grenada at blissfully adults-only La Luna; here Balinese-style pool villas have the crystal-clear waters of the Caribbean almost on their doorstep. My colleague Marianna is a fan of the soft, sugar-fine sands and the spa’s genius masseuses! The whole island is small and friendly, with luxuriant rainforest greenery by the shore – you’ll definitely spend a while photographing the scenery. Stay there for five nights before heading to Barbados and checking in to magnificent Bajan stay Little Good Harbour, which offers luxury in down-to-earth fashion. The hotel is on the quieter west coast of the island; three nights here tucking in to super-fresh seafood and kicking back in a white-washed cottage is the perfect tonic. Finish up at secluded eight-room stay The Atlantis Hotel, one of the east coast’s most stylish spots, where the scenery is wild and rugged. Mosquito-net-swathed four-posters look straight out to sea, and the restaurant’s local specialities – conch patties, pepperpot stew and breadfruit cheesecake – are delicious. It’s as close as you can get to honeymoon heaven!
Charlie is around checking the blog all morning so if you’d like to ask her a question please do so in the comments box below.
Alternatively you can email queries direct to Charlie at email@example.com or submit a honeymoon enquiry to Charlie or another of Mr & Mrs Smith’s honeymoon experts by answering these quick and easy questions.
Finally, You can reach the team on 0330 100 3180.
Happy sun seeking!