TOPHOTELNEWS Influencer: My top 5 honeymoon hotels worldwide – Mary Gostelow
From oyster farm to table: The oyster dining experience at Saffire Freycinet in Tasmania, Australia
Mary Gostelow, global ambassador for International Luxury Travel Markets, shares her top 5 hotel picks for the world’s best honeymoon getaways
As a perennial traveller, on the road over 300 days a year, I know hotels from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, and many in between. Why am I criss-crossing the globe? Sometimes, the goal is to check on what is new – the image of me in my faithful gold-coloured travel coat, which easily packs into the matching Rimowa wheelie, is by the pool at the first internationally-branded hotel in the capital of Botswana, the sensational and fun three month-old Hilton Garden Inn Gaborone, conveniently just along from the world’s diamond centre, DTC.
Ah, diamonds — a girl’s best friend, and especially so at engagement and wedding times. After those two momentous events comes the honeymoon. Here, below, are five suggestions for honeymoon hotels that really will be memories of a lifetime. All offer unique views, and privacy, and service – and food and drink whenever you want it, is taken for granted.
Fairmont Mayakoba, Riviera Maya, Mexico
Fairmont Mayakoba, Riviera Maya, is one of Mexico’s most relaxed resorts, with style (I love getting on a bike, here, and cycling, seemingly forever, along narrow tarmac paths flanked by mangroves). There are three Presidential Suites but I would recommend something like #904, a 110 sqm Ocean Front Deluxe Casita Suite: you are literally right on the beach, with your own private 32 sqm pool.
You have no idea that there is anyone else on this enormous resort (it does have 401 rooms but you need never see anyone else). Take an electric boat along the waterways, bird-watching and just relaxing – if you must, there is Greg Norman golf. Hotel GM Robert-Jan Woltering.
The Dolder Grand, Switzerland
The Dolder Grand, high above Lake Zurich, offers one of Switzerland’s best hotel rooms: the two-floor Maestro Suite, named for a past habitué of the 400 sqm suite, conductor Herbert von Karajan. You are in the main tower of the 1899 original building, now joined by Norman Foster wings either side.
Venture out of your honeymoon haven to the hotel’s justly-renowned spa (many, including me, love its curvilinear indoor pool). You may also want to enhance your art appreciation. The priceless collection includes originals by such names as Dali, Dubuffet, Miro and Warhol. You will, of course, want to try Heiko Nieder’s Michelin two-star menu at The Restaurant. Hotel MD is Mark Jacob.
Anantara Al Jabal al Akhdar, Oman
Anantara Al Jabal al Akhdar is 300 metres above sea level in the Oman mountains, a two-hour drive from Muscat. Arrive to find another world, of strategic honey-coloured mountains, and blue skies above. You are in a 115-room fort-like resort, history with latest technology, and gorgeous gardens. Rather than the premium 700 sqm Royal Mountain Villa, I recommend the more-intimate 188 sqm Villa 4, with its all-wall window looking straight down the mountainside.
Venture out, to hike the area, swim in the lovely pool, and take selfies at Diana’s Point, a platform cantilevered over the valley below and named for Princess Diana, who particularly loved this view. Hotel GM is Dagmar Symes.
Amanemu Resort, Japan
Amanemu in Japan’s Shima-shi province is a 15-minute drive from Kashikojima station, a Kintetsu train ride from Kyoto, Nagoya or Osaka. Owned by Mitsui, this is an onsen resort – all 24 rooms, which are 99 sqm, have their own private onsens, and there are shared at the spa as well as massive communal onsens, heated to 38 degrees and 41 degrees, in the enormous grounds.
This is a honeymoon destination for those seeking Japanese peace, local food, and boat trips into Ago Bay to see the pearl divers, who are all female (and you will certainly have unusual honeymoon photos to show, afterwards). Hotel GM is Hisayo Shimizu – she was once an ANA flight attendant.
Saffire Freycinet, Australia
In Australia, reserve far ahead for one of the 20 identical villas at Saffire Freycinet, in Tasmania’s Freycinet National Park (since it is honeymoon time, avoid the four-hour drive by renting a Par-Avion helicopter). Saffire Freycinet is all-inclusive at its ultimate, with stunning food and anytime wines and more, and choose from 14 free experiences.
Do not miss the oyster session, which progresses from wearing shoulder-high waders to inspect the beds through to standing at a high linen-covered table, in the water, to splurge on just-shucked Pacific Oysters and chilled Sauvignon Blanc. All villas have all-glass end walls, to look across the beach and water to the Hazards Mountains: choose a 140 sqm villa, say #4, with private pool. Hotel GM is Ross Boobyer.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Global Ambassador, International Luxury Travel Markets
Mary Gostelow is global ambassador for International Luxury Travel Markets (ILTM). She produces a daily travelogue, www.girlahead.com, and a monthly market intelligence newsletter, Gostelow Report, that is the bible for the world’s top hoteliers. She also writes twice weekly for HOTELS magazine, out of Chicago; once a week for LATTE, in Sydney.
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