By Hermoine Macura-Noble
Special to The Times Kuwait
Due to the pandemic, you had to delay your wedding and honeymoon or even cancel both. However, with flights and destinations opening up, it is time to tick off that unique honeymoon destination on your bucket list. Here are our top five from across the globe.
The Ice Hotel, Sweden.
1) Every year when the pristine water of the Torne River slows down its flow and freezes into ice, the Ice Hotel opens its doors to hundreds of visitors looking for a unique winter escape. Today the Ice Hotel is a Swedish landmark for travelers from across the globe, looking to combine sleeping ‘on ice’ with various winter activities and adventures, including husky sledding, ice sculpting, snowmobiling, reindeer sleigh rides, guided Northern Lights photography, and sauna rituals. Conceived by Yngve Bergqvist, the Ice Hotel also offers a small igloo that allows visitors to stay in the village of Jukkasjärvi during the winter months, enjoying new activities such as snowshoeing.
2) Shangri-La Hotel, Qaryat Al Beri, Abu Dhabi, UAE.
With a modern Arabic style infused with stunning sunsets and sea views, the Shangri-La Hotel, Qaryat Al Beri in the UAE’s capital, features luxurious rooms and suites with balconies, all furnished to the highest standards. The complex also includes six spectacular villas, each consisting of private pools and four bedrooms. Located between the Al Maqta and Mussafah bridges leading into Abu Dhabi, the hotel sits along a one-kilometer stretch of picturesque beachfront.
The hotel’s highlights include the shopping district, which can be reached via the walkways or traditional abras which transport guests along the waterways of the hotel. Honeymooners will also love the treatment suites of the CHI Spa, which are among the most spacious in the world, offering each guest their own changing, shower, and toilet areas, in addition to heat treatment, bathing, and relaxation spaces. The spa is built around traditional Chinese philosophy, where the chi is the universal life force that governs well-being and personal vitality. For people to maintain good health, it is believed that chi must flow freely within the body, otherwise, disease and illness follow. According to the CHI spa philosophy, movement is a key element in releasing these forces, along with body massage, stretching and hydrotherapy to assist the body’s natural renewal process.
3) Under Canvas, Montana, US.
The ultimate glamping vacation, Under Canvas, creates an immersive escape that connects travel and nature and encourages being outside together. Each luxury campsite comprises safari-inspired canvas lodging tents, furnished with plush mattresses, luxe linens, and a wood-burning stove. Guests can fall asleep under the stars, wake up to the sounds of nature and enjoy a day of endless activities amongst incredible views of America’s most iconic national parks and monuments. Perfect for those who love the outdoors — return back to your luxury campsite after a day of unparalleled adventures, including white water rafting in Yellowstone, llama trekking through Glacier, fly fishing in the Great Smoky Mountains, and so much more. Finish your exciting days with gourmet food as you unwind by the romantic campfire in style.
4) Avani+ Mai Khao Phuket Resort, Thailand.
Located 15 minutes from the airport, Avani+ Mai Khao Phuket Resort offers honeymooners sunny, tropical pool villas with pizzazz. Guests can relax by the resort pool or hide away in a love nest for two, so fully equipped, you never have to emerge. With its iconic limestone karsts and caves just waiting to be explored, honeymooners can pack a picnic and snorkel kit and prepare for a lover’s adventure. Guests can enjoy the extensive facilities, with access to Anantara Mai Khao Phuket Villas and Turtle Village, charter a speedboat, or join one of the many cruises across the beautiful Phang Nga Bay. Adventure lovers will be glad to know that the best winds for kitesurfing are on the hotel’s side of the island, and dive sites like the Similans are to the west, easily reached by dayboat.
5) Giraffe Manor, Nairobi, Kenya.
As one of the most popular hotels in Africa, Giraffe Manor does not disappoint. The iconic boutique hotel is set in the leafy Nairobi suburb of Langata and is home to a charming herd of resident giraffes who frequently pop their heads into the hotel to welcome visitors. Featuring twelve individually decorated rooms, offering first-class comfort and the feeling of staying in an elegant family home. The charming herd of resident Rothchild’s giraffes roam the surrounding sanctuary and give guests unique, once-in-a-lifetime encounters over breakfast and afternoon tea when they can be fed by hand. The retreat at Giraffe Manor, found on the same property, gives guests access to a stunning pool and wellness facilities. Guests can also add a safari as Wilson Airport, where many tourists fly in and out on safari, is close by. Nearby places also worth a visit are the David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage, Karen Blixen Museum, and Nairobi National Park, along with the many restaurants and shops in Nairobi’s fancy suburbs of Langata and Karen.
The first Australian English speaking News Anchor in the Middle East. She is also the Author of Faces of the Middle East and Founder of US-based 501c3 charity – The House of Rest which helps to ease the suffering of victims of war. For more from our Contributing Editor, you can follow her on Instagram, here.