Life in the 1500s was what you may classify as ‘interesting’ for the English. When it came to marrying your sweetheart, your best bet was to wed in June. You would’ve had your annual bath in May, you see, and so if you were lucky you might still be smelling rather sweet. Unfortunate brides who were a little on the odorous side carried a bouquet of flowers to hide their body odour. Now isn’t that a tradition in need of a little spin-doctoring?
Not only that, but the Brits weren’t too hopeful regarding the institution of marriage, either. They coined the phrase, ‘honeymoon’ in reference to the belief that love inevitably wanes over time, similar to that of the phases of the moon and it began as a bridal tour of sorts where the newly married couple would visit guests unable to attend the nuptials.
Thankfully now, the honeymoon carries far more positive connotations. That being of an extended break with your loved one to celebrate the beginnings of marriage in comfort and seclusion. Naturally, every couple has their own idea of what consists of the perfect honeymoon destination, whether that be cocktails and cabanas, intrepid trekking through forests and jungles or flying high amongst city skylines.
Here at the Waterfront Function Centre, we have gathered our favourite honeymoon destinations for every type of couple. You’ll be so inspired, we’re betting you’ll forgo tossing that bouquet in favour of making a speedy dash straight for the airport!
The ‘nothing but cocktails and swimming’ escape ($$)
Fiji. It’s a hop, skip and a jump away from Australia’s east coast yet offers year-round beach weather regardless of the time of year. The Shangri La Fijian Resort and Spa occupies its own private island, Yanuca. Visit in peak times such as school holidays and you’ll see the odd family or two (it’s very family friendly) but the upside is that there are designated adults only pools and restaurants.
- Visit a local Fijian primary school. The local children are warm, inviting and proud of their heritage
- Book the Takali Cabana for a private dinner for two. You will be treated to a three course meal complete with a bottle of champagne, uninterrupted sunset view and your very own waiter and chef. Absolute bliss
- Watch a Fijian fire dancing ceremony. As the sun goes down, the dancers come out and entertain before sharing in a traditional feast. Enjoy a buffet style dinner with an endless array of freshly cooked Fijian fare whilst meeting friendly locals and holiday makers
The ‘shop, surf and sunbake’ sojourn ($$$)
The aqua shores of Hawaii’s Waikiki Beach attract hundreds of thousands of visitors each year, and with good reason. Half way between here and the United States mainland, Hawaii is the perfect destination to soak up the relaxed holiday vibe whilst still remaining active. The water sports scene has undergone a transformation as has the quality of cafes, bars and restaurants. And the shopping, well…just try to resist the allure of the endless American brands at your fingertips!
- Visit Pearl Harbour Memorial. No visit to Honolulu is complete without paying your respects to this incredible moment in history. It is a moving experience and the centre often hosts meet and greet sessions with survivors from the bombing Ala Moana Shopping Centre and Waikele Outlets. Both are easily accessible by bus or taxi, just ask at your hotel. You will lose a whole day ensconced in the bargains to be had! You’ve been warned…
- Climb Diamond Head. This dormant volcanic crater sits at one end of Waikiki Beach and gives visitors a panoramic view of all of Honolulu. A tough workout but the reward at the end is well worth it
The ‘city that never sleeps’ celebration ($$$$)
New York City, The Big Apple…it’s on the wish lists of many couples wanting an action-filled escape. Thanks to endless television shows and movies placing us in the lives of New Yorkers, most of us feel as though we’d know the city inside out. It’s not until you set foot on the streets of Manhattan that you truly realise just how diverse the city really is. If there was ever a honeymoon destination to lose yourself in, this is the one! A stay at The Plaza-if only for a night- must feature on your to-do list.
Must dos (this doesn’t even scratch the surface)
- Make like a local and visit a Harlem Baptist Church. Yes, you’ll have to briefly step out of holiday mode and set the alarm for an early wake up call, but you can thank us later. The voices, the passion and the emotion cannot be matched. Go along, even if you are not a believer, the experience is overwhelming. Follow the locals after the service for some southern style food; think fried chicken and grits. You’ll think you’ve died and gone to heaven!
- Blow your entire day’s calorie intake at Shake Shack. This NYC institution is famous (or should that be infamous?) for their incredibly tasty fries, burgers and shakes. Sit in the park and devour with your love…it’s even better after coming straight from a New York Knicks game at nearby Madison Square Park
- Hop on the L train to Brooklyn. Manhattan’s cool little sister just keeps getting cooler. Picture a hipster vibe and you’ve summed up Brooklyn all over. Brimming with fantastic small bars, restaurants and one-off shops, this is the place to ‘see and be seen’
The ‘let’s go exploring’ adventure ($)
Cambodia is fast becoming one of the most popular South East Asian destinations to visit, yet it’s beauty remains largely unspoiled. Stunning beaches, untamed jungles and bustling cities make the Cambodian experience one that will delight you while giving you unique experiences that may take you a little out of your comfort zone.
- The Angkor Temples and Khmer Kingdom. Touristy, yes, but the history lesson you will receive will far outweigh any of your gimmicky or cliched reservations
- Walk the dusty streets of Kratie Town. What this little town lacks in size, it makes up for with charm. Irrawaddy dolphin watching is the premier attraction where you can view these shy mammals in their Mekong playground. Also spot the many concrete animals (deer, rhinos, elephants). They are a sad reminder of the wealth of creatures that once roamed freely in the local area.
- Koh Kong jungle. It’s a relatively untouched province of Cambodia and if you’re patient enough to wait around until nightfall, you’ll be rewarded with seeing fireflies amongst the mangroves