Travel Diary: Magical retreats

Travel Diary: Magical retreats
A remote and romantic kingdom on top of the world, Bhutan has become a new luxury destination for honeymooners

A remote kingdom on top of the world, luxury skiing in a winter wonderland, your own private islands and a brand new hotel in Game of Thrones country – here’s your travel diary of magical honeymoon retreats

Travel Diary: Magical retreats
Niyama is a one-of-a-kind Maldives experience, with twin private islands to explore

Love islands

With twin islands – known as Play and Chill – Niyama Private Islands is a one-of-a-kind Maldives experience. There are 134 studios, suites and pavilions, with some extending right over the lagoon. The islands are perfect for surfing, with conditions to suit beginners up to skilled surfers and specialist tuition if you would like to master the waves on your trip. Fly in à deux on a seaplane and, when you’ve tired of the fabulous treetop playground and endless expanse of white beach and ocean, you can hunker down in the underwater lounge to watch the marine life swim by.

Travel Diary: Magical retreats
Le Massif Courmayeur is a superb luxury ski resort close to Mont Blanc in the Italian Alps

Winter wonderland

A new five-star ski hotel has opened in the heart of the chic Italian resort of Courmayeur. A member of the Italian Hospitality Collection and Leading Hotels of the World, Le Massif Courmayeur has luxurious accommodation in 80 rooms and suites. The swish hotel includes a spa, in-house ski concierge, two restaurants and two bars. Hotel guests also have priority access and a private area within the fabulous slope-side chalet restaurant and club at Checrouit, La Loge du Massif, which offers cosy Italian food and stunning views to Mont Blanc from its huge terrace.

Travel Diary: Magical retreats
Grand Central is a new destination hotel for Belfast – the perfect base for a tour of Game of Thrones country

Belfast in style

A top contender on Lonely Planet’s must-visit list for 2018 and increasingly popular for pre-wedding trips and minimoons thanks to its rich culture and amazing nightlife, Belfast also has more visitors than hotel rooms. So it’s great news for travellers that it now has a £53m flagship hotel, the Grand Central. Part of the Hastings Hotels group, and located right in the heart of the city, it offers luxurious contemporary bedrooms, including 10 suites with spectacular views over the city. The 23rd-floor Observatory offers the best view of all, from the top of the tallest building in all Ireland, so definitely the place to head for cocktails after visiting the stunning Titanic Museum, the Causeway Coast and other magical Game of Thrones landscapes around the city.


Travel Diary: Magical retreats
The Six Senses’ lodges give visitors an opportunity to explore Bhutan’s most picturesque valleys

Magical kingdom

Bhutan is definitely a bucket list destination, visited by relatively few and renowned for its magical landscapes on the roof of the world. Now Six Senses is introducing a collection of five lodges in the western and central valleys, each with its own unique character. Located in Thimphu, Punakha, Paro,  Gangtey and Bumthang, the lodges give guests the opportunity to embark on a ‘Six Senses Journey’ across the key valleys of Bhutan. All locations have incredible views and architecturally they blend local design styles with luxurious facilities. Décor is inspired by Bhutan’s reputation as the happiest place on earth – which sounds exactly what every honeymoon couple deserve. The first lodges opened last November, with the remainder set to complete in spring 2019. 


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