Travel diary: blissful retreats

Travel diary: blissful retreats
Travel diary hot pick: Sandals' Royal Caribbean resort, Montego Bay is unveiling dreamy overwater bungalows in 2017

From expertly curated guides for planning your honeymoon to dreamy over-water accommodation in Montego Bay, here is our travel diary for the months ahead to inspire your own blissful retreat

Travel diary: blissful retreats
Destinology has put together curated guides to help you pick your dream honeymoon spot

Destination romance

What’s your idea of a romantic holiday à deux? The answer is very possibly going to include dreamy accommodation, poolside lounging and perhaps a deserted beach with your own table for two. But recognising that every honeymoon couple has an individual wishlist for the ultimate trip, Destinology has put together some fabulous and informative inspiration guides – everything from how to safari in the Born Free style to a calendar of must-visit festival events happening in 2017. The team offer luxury trips around the globe – from Indian Ocean and South Pacific islands and Australasia to gems in Europe and the Far East. They can also help you organise a destination wedding. We love Destinology’s honeymoon and weddings gift service – your wellwishers can top up your dream-trip fund by post, phone or online. Now that’s a romantic proposition!


Travel diary: blissful retreats
Trou au Biches in Mauritius, one of the hot picks for a destination wedding from Beachcomber

Weddings made simple

Destination weddings are becoming more popular, and little wonder since you can combine the trip of a lifetime with the holiday of a lifetime. Mauritius remains a top destination to tie the knot – stunning beaches, welcoming locals and relatively little red tape are among the reasons for its popularity. Mauritius specialist Beachcomber offers two dedicated packages for weddings, and each of its luxury resorts on the island has a dedicated wedding planner to ensure all goes to plan. The team guarantee just one wedding a day at each resort, which ensures you feel every inch the star on your day. While you can choose to stay put after the wedding, Beachcomber is also a specialist in holidays to Dubai and Abu Dhabi, so you could extend your stay. And if Mauritius isn’t your first choice, do check out its Seychelles wedding packages.


Travel diary: blissful retreats
Sandals offers the perfect watery retreat at Royal Caribbean Montego Bay, where new overwater bungalows with butler service will offer luxury and privacy

Your own private waterworld

Sandals Royal Caribbean resort at Montego Bay is already the last word in all-inclusive luxe, but from this March it’s set to extend its over-the-water accommodation, with luxury bungalows joining its existing villas (pictured). Bungalow isn’t really the best word, since these new suites are more in the Tahitian tropical style – think palm roofs and capacious wood decking. They feature see-through glass floors, an over-the-water hammock built for two, private infinity pool and capacious bath tubs to give you private spa time with a view. You won’t feel too cut off as there’s a personal butler service and private boat transfers to and from the resort itself. The first of their kind in the Caribbean, we think they sound spot on for honeymooners who want blissful seclusion in watery surroundings.


Travel diary: blissful retreats
ESPA luxury and a glamorous pool facing sea and mountains make Slieve Donard one for our travel diary in 2017

Spa time pick

You don’t have to travel too far for a superb immersion in luxury and spa living and minimooners and pre-wedding R&R trips are often best kept relatively local. One of our top picks is Slieve Donard in Northern Ireland. This stately Victorian hotel within the Hastings Hotels group offers access to a glorious beach, the lofty Mountains of Mourne and Tollymore Forest Park. But you may not want to leave the hotel as it also has excellent food, a great golf course and one of the finest spas you’ll find, in association with ESPA. The views from the 20-metre pool and vitality pool are more than enough to put this into our travel diary ‘must visit’ list for 2017.