The ultimate luxury honeymoon

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Sarah Garrod | 22 Dec, 2014

Choosing where to honeymoon is not a decision to be taken lightly…after all, it’s a very special kind of holiday which you’ll only experience once and that will start your marriage in style. 

The Caribbean, Maldives, Mauritius, Seychelles and Greece are all popular destinations chosen by British couples for their post-nuptial travels with ITC. But, having recently journeyed myself to what is deemed ‘the most romantic island in the world’, I wanted to throw another suggestion into the mix when picking your honeymoon destination; a twin-centre escape to west-coast USA and French Polynesia. 

So, granted, it’s a long flight. But I genuinely believe the experiences you’ll have on this kind of luxury honeymoon outweigh the miles, and, let’s face it, it’s no further than choosing Bali, Australia or Fiji; all of which are also worthy and popular destinations. 

I’d recommend you start with a direct flight from Heathrow to Los Angeles. We flew with Air New Zealand and the journey was comfortable and punctual and the staff were truly excellent…the pilot even announcing the results of the Autumn Internationals, much to my partner’s delight! 

We started our trip travelling around some of the many highlights of this region, including watching an LA Lakers basketball game, wandering around Palm Springs, climbing and taking photos in the Joshua Tree National Park, spending a night in Las Vegas gambling at the Bellagio and experiencing the incredible Skywalk at the Grand Canyon. All in all, we ticked numerous items from our bucket list and there was still more to come. 

Following our whistle-stop tour, we ventured into Los Angeles for three days. We spent the first driving along the coast in our rented red Mustang, enjoying brunch in Malibu (at the gorgeous Geoffrey’s restaurant) and then down to Santa Monica. Here we explored the pier and rented a tandem which we cycled along the front past Muscle Beach and down to Venice Beach.

The next morning we headed up to the Getty Centre; one of LA’s landmarks and certainly an experience I would recommend to visitors. The centre is free to enter, and offers a number of art, photography and sculpture exhibitions as well as manicured gardens and spectacular views of the city. The restaurant here proved an excellent choice for a healthy lunch. From there we ventured back into the city to our hotel for the next two nights; the Beverly Wilshire, A Four Seasons Resort.

This iconic hotel is perfectly placed for enjoying the best of the city. We dined at Frank Sinatra’s old haunt Musso & Franks on Hollywood Boulevard, explored the favoured hotspots of celebrities on an open-top bus tour and browsed the luxurious shops of Rodeo Drive. 

After this superb week of city living and sight-seeing, it was then off for a week of relaxation in French Polynesia. First was two nights in Tahiti at the Intercontinental, a few minutes drive from Papeete airport and with an excellent infinity pool boasting stunning sunsets. The swim-up bar was superb for an ice cold beer while watching the sun melt into the Pacific. 

We only had one day on Tahiti so we rented a car and drove around the island to explore the tropical culture. Tahiti really is everything you would expect; warm weather, friendly people, fascinating flora and fauna, fantastic food and diverse landscape. As most visitors will have a connecting flight here before Bora Bora (or will visit via ship if on a Paul Gauguin cruise) I’d certainly recommend spending a day on the island to experience its many colourful offerings.

Bora Bora ‘the most romantic island in the world’ - according to numerous surveys - is an idyllic spot for a luxury honeymoon. We were greeted at the airport with flower leis, our suitcases whisked away, and then we were taken on board the Four Seasons catamaran for a sail across the lagoon to our home for the next five days. 

Apart from the obvious romance of the sensational location, there’s also a real aura of love around the place; which is a favourite honeymoon destination for US couples. Here you can have a champagne dinner on your own private island, enjoy a cocktail while watching the sun set in your own private pool, or even celebrate the start of married life with a photo shoot.

At the Inspiring Travel Company the options for an exceptional honeymoon are endless. But for me, if you like the idea of combining activities, adventure and sight-seeing with relaxation and indulgence, then there’s no better combination than a week on west coast USA followed by seven days of heaven in French Polynesia.