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August 2013

Four Tropical Resorts For A Memorable Honeymoon

If sun, sea, and sand sound like your kind of honeymoon paradise, you won’t want to miss our four tropical resort picks for a memorable honeymoon.

When the hustle and bustle of your wedding is finally over, chances are that you newlyweds just want to relax and romance each other. Well, there is no better place to do this than at an all-inclusive tropical resort. SingaporeBrides picks out four worthy choices for a stress-free and oh-so-satisfying honeymoon.

1. DOMAINE DE BEL OMBRE, MAURITIUS

Just off the coast of South Africa, Mauritius is known for her luxury resorts, beautiful beaches and breathtaking landscapes. On this little slice of tropical paradise, you can dip your toes in turquoise waters, sunbathe on a deckchair or go bird watching in the Black River Gorges National Park. The more adventurous can even engage in a myriad of outdoor activities, like trekking and quad biking.

Consider staying at the Domaine De Bel Ombre, a sprawling sugar estate in the southwest of Mauritius. On the 2,500 hectares of land, there are two resorts to choose from – Heritage Le Telfair and Heritage Awali. The former is a done up French colonial-style with Creole architectural highlights, while the latter is African-themed with a more relaxed ambience.

Four Tropical Resorts For A Memorable Honeymoon

Must-dos:

  • Enjoy a couple spa session at the Seven Colours Spa & Cosmetics: The spa boasts a unique Seven Colours concept that’s based on the essential link between light and life. Go for “The Couple Spa Suite Experience” (120min, Rs9,000) under the Millesime Collection, which underpins the resort’s highest spa category.
  • Do water sports at C Beach Club: Situated a short walk away from Heritage Awali, C Beach Club is where you can go swimming, snorkeling and kite-surfing. Don’t leave without a meal at the Coast poolside restaurant – best enjoyed barefoot in the sand.
  • Play golf: First, tee-off on the 180-hole championship course. After that, enjoy a meal of refined yet authentic Mauritian cuisine at the Golf du Chateau. The Indian-influenced dishes, like steamed basmati rice, seafood vindaloo and lentil curry, will be familiar and comforting to the Singaporean soul.
  • Go trekking: At the Frederica Nature Reserve, you can look out for a treasure trove of Mauritian wildlife, from rare birds to roaming deers. En-route to the nature reserve, you can also admire fields of sugarcane. If you’re lucky, you can catch colourfully dressed local women harvesting the sugarcane or clearing the land.

2. THE BANJARAN HOTSPRINGS RETREAT, IPOH, MALAYSIA

If you think that Ipoh is not a worthy destination, think again. Just about an hour’s flight away from Singapore, the city actually boasts many historic architecture and attractions, such as Birch Memorial Clock Tower, Kellie’s Castle and cave temples. Ipoh is also perfect for foodies, since it offers the authentic Ipoh White Coffee and hawker delights like curry mee.

But of course, it’s your honeymoon and you need to crank up the romance factor a notch. So, stay at The Banjaran Hotspring Retreat, an award-winning luxury resort that is situated about a 15-minute drive from town. Built near ancient towering limestone hills, this is a natural wellness and spa haven that is more reminiscent of island sanctuary than a luxury accommodation in Malaysia. There are 25 luxury villas with private plunge pools, so newlyweds can soak in solitude.

Four Tropical Resorts For A Memorable Honeymoon

Must-dos:

  • Soak in the natural hotsprings: The geothermal wonders of The Banjaran are its biggest selling point. There are a number of hotsprings around the resort, as well as a heated swimming pool in case you want to swim.
  • Dine at the Jeff’s Cellar: Named after Tan Sri Dato Seri Dr Jeffrey Cheah, founder and chairman of the Sunway Group, this fine dining restaurant is set in an awesome limestone cave. You will get enjoy dinner against a backdrop of visually spectacular stalagmites and stalactites, with limestone terraces of ice-cold pools.
  • Enjoy a uniquely Malaysian couple spa: At The Banjaran, you can experience an all-in-one massage that is inspired by the rich tapestry of Malaysian culture – an Indian-style Ayurvedic head massage, a Malay Urut body massage and a Chinese pressure point foot therapy.

3. KOMANEKA RESORTS, BALI, INDONESIA

When it comes to romantic getaways, nothing beats Bali for its sandy beaches and world-class water sports activities, lush rice terraces and tranquil hillside retreats, cultural classes and delicious Balinese cuisine. The fact that Bali is only a short flight away from Singapore makes it an even more attractive destination.

Our favourite choice for a luxurious villa honeymoon on this tropical paradise has to be Komaneka Resorts in Ubud, Central Bali. Two hours from the airport, Ubud is far removed from boisterous beaches of Kuta and perfect for honeymooners who yearn for intimacy and romance. Choose from four properties in Ubud – at Monkey Forest, Tanggayuda, Bisma and Rasa Sayang – and ask for the Komaneka Honeymoon Package. We can also attest to the consummate hospitality of the Komaneka staff.

Four Tropical Resorts For A Memorable Honeymoon

Must-dos:

  • Cook a Balinese meal together: At Komaneka, you get to learn how to cook authentic Balinese dishes in a traditional outdoor kitchen known as the “paon”. Besides being able to keep the recipes, you get two aprons with your names stitched on them – perfect for when you move into your new home together!
  • Take a uniquely Balinese craft class: Spend time as a couple at any of the in-house classes offered by the resort, from coconut leaves weaving to wood carving to Balinese dancing. Most classes are complimentary for guests.
  • Dress up in Balinese wedding costume: If you’ve always wanted a destination wedding, have fun dressing up in traditional Balinese bridal garb and have a wedding photo taken against a lovely backdrop.

4. INTERCONTINENTAL SAMUI BAAN TALING NGAM RESORT, KOH SAMUI, THAILAND

Part of an archipelago of more than 60 islands off Thailand’s east coast, Koh Samui is a beach lover’s dream come true. The island – only a 50-minute flight away from Singapore – boasts white sandy beaches, swaying coconut trees and gleaming green waters. A honeymoon in this idyllic destination should include plenty of water sports like snorkeling, diving and kayaking.

Do all these in luxury at the award-winning Intercontinental Samui Baan Taling Ngam Resort, situated in the exclusive enclave of Taling Ngam on the west coast. Built on a beautiful cliff, there are 79 guest residences to choose from, each offering beautiful views. The Ang Thong National Marine Park, with its stunning limestone cliffs, virgin rainforests and offshore coral reefs, are visible from every room.

Four Tropical Resorts For A Memorable Honeymoon

Must-dos:

  • Dive or snorkel at the nearby Koh Tao “Turtle Island”: Only 40 minutes from Koh Samui, this is one of the best diving sites in Thailand. Loaded with marine life and colourful corals, the waters here are some of the most vibrant and diverse in the world. Other activities there include climbing, bouldering, sailing or Muay Thai fighting.
  • Swim in the infinity pool: At Intercontinental Samui Baan Taling Ngam Resort, there are seven swimming pools (five of them have different colours!). But the standout pool has to be the infinity pool that’s perched on the cliff and overlooks the sea.
  • Enjoy a couple spa session at the Baan Thai Spa: Surrounded by a tropical forest and stylised as a traditional Thai home, this holistic sanctuary was recognised as one of the “Top 5 Asian Spas” by Conde Nast Traveler 2012. Go for a signature package, like the “Island Inspired Sand Jewels” (165 minutes, plus 20 minutes of refreshments, tea and relaxation, THB13,500 for two). A richly aromatic experience, this involves a coconut body exfoliation, coconut clay body wrap and a tension relief massage.
  • Cook an organic Thai meal at Amber Restaurant: The resort’s executive chef, Luke MacLeod, runs a Tuk Tuk Organic Market Tour where he guides guests on a personal visit to some of Koh Samui’s leading organic purveyors. After picking up fresh local ingredients, you can try your hand at cooking a Thai meal at the open-plan Amber Restaurant.

Credits: All images provided by Domaine De Bel Ombre, The Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat, Komaneka Resorts, and Intercontinental Samui Baan Taling Ngam Resort respectively. First image provided by Intercontinental Samui Baan Taling Ngam Resort.