Tag Archives: honeymoon

Sustainability in The Seychelles with Hilton Seychelles Northolme Resort & Spa

I was lucky enough to have a flying visit to the adults-only, sister property to Labriz Resort & Spa on my trip to the Seychelles late last year. Hilton Northolme Resort & Spa is vastly different to Labriz (which is located on an island off the mainland) as it is found on Mahé, just a 30 minute drive from the airport and a stone’s throw from the famous Beau-Vallon Beach.

The capital, Victoria, is a short drive away where you will find local markets, a Natural History Museum, a Hindu temple and a cathedral. You could also pay a visit to the Botanical Gardens where you can see the famous coco de mer, a rare species of palm tree native to the Seychelles. If you want to get more of a feel of ‘real life’ in the Seychelles, Hilton Northolme would be a great place to stay – and fun fact, it’s also where Ian Fleming was staying when he was inspired to write For Your Eyes Only – and when you see the incredible panoramic views, I’m sure you’ll understand why!

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Sustainability in The Seychelles with Hilton Seychelles Labriz Resort & Spa

Have you ever wanted to be transported to Jumanji? Do you fantasise about visiting Jurassic Park? Would you like to have a wedding or honeymoon where it’s postcard-perfect beautiful but there’s also so much to see and do?

If you want to go further afield for your honeymoon but still do your bit for the planet, one way is to stay in resorts that are doing everything they can to help the local environment and wildlife, and operate as sustainably as possible. Hilton is doing some truly incredible work in the Seychelles.

Hilton Seychelles Labriz Resort & Spa is the only resort located on Silhouette Island, a 40-minute boat ride (operated by the resort) from the main island of Mahé. The resort is ideally situated for guests to both observe local wildlife in their natural habitat as Silhouette Island is made up of 93% National Park and is surrounded by the largest National Marine Park in the country.

While, of course, there’s the hyper-luxurious villas, the incredible spa, the beautiful pools, gorgeous beaches and eight restaurants serving all type of fresh, delicious, food for you to enjoy; what is so magical about this place is the natural beauty of the island itself, and this is something Hilton are working hard to protect.

The resort boasts an impressive portfolio of eco-activities including guided hikes across the island to discover secluded beaches (some of which are nesting grounds for Hawksbill and Green Turtles), rare endemic flora or to visit the island’s own Giant Tortoises (the oldest of which is 120 years old!)

Just look at that face!!

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Honeymoon Travel Guide: Lti Maafushivaru, The Maldives

With its sparkling white sand beaches, snorkel-worthy crystal-clear waters and perfect weather the Maldives, in our humble opinion, has got to be most beautiful destination in the world for your honeymoon or once in a lifetime vacation.

The Maldives is a really unique country, an island nation made up of nearly 1200 islands, approximately 120 of which have resorts on them. If you’re dreaming of a relaxing post-wedding get away with unadulterated seclusion then this is the spot for you. The Maldives is one of the few places in the world where the reality will outlive your expectations. No picture can quite do justice to the colour of the sea, the beauty of the lush tropical greenery and the softness of the sand.

GETTING THERE

You can expect a 10-hour direct or 12-plus hour indirect flight from the UK followed by a speedboat (15-30 mins), seaplane (20-40 mins) or internal flight (30 mins – 2 hours) transfer depending on your chosen resort. We stayed at lti Maafushivaru, a quick 25-minute sea plane transfer from Malé; and don’t worry, the resort sorts it all out for you when you book! Transfers are an additional cost though, so do check the prices in advance.

COVID-19

At the time of writing the Maldivian government guidelines are that all guests entering the country (regardless of vaccination status) are required to take a PCR test 72 hours prior to departure. Your negative test will form part of the Traveller Health Declaration form (which can be found at imuga.immigration.gov.mv) which must be filled in within 24 hours of your arrival to the country. You must fill out this form before you return home too.

Guidelines related to Covid-19 can change without warning, so please visit gov.uk/browse/abroad/travel-abroad for the most up to date information before you travel.

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Honeymoon Travel Guide: The Maldives Part 2 – Faarufushi

After our time at Kurumba I wasn’t sure how the next resort would be able to top it but MY GOODNESS were we in for the shock of our lives. Faarufushi is the newest five-star resort in the Maldives and is located in the less developed and wonderfully remote part of the Raa Atoll. To get there it was a 35-minute internal flight from Malé (to the smallest airport I’ve ever seen!) and then a 15-minute speedboat over to the small coral island of Faarufushi itself.

We arrived and were immediately speechless. I have stayed in some pretty nice places in my time but I don’t think anything comes close to what we were greeted with. From the service, the staff, the food and the surroundings, it was just beyond anything I ever thought I’d get to experience. As we stepped off the speedboat and onto the jetty, we literally gasped a what we saw. The island smells of beach gardenias and there’s also wild ginger, Ficus Benghalensis (locally know as ‘Nika’ which is the name of the Faarufushi spa!) and of course, an abundance of picture-perfect coconut palms.

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Honeymoon Travel Guide: The Maldives Part 1- Kurumba

I’ve been sat, staring at a blank Word document for a good half hour or so wondering how I can put into words the experience of our recent adventure in the Maldives. Writer’s block is REAL when you have so much to say but you’re not quite sure how to adequately put such an incredible experience into words… The Maldives has been on my vision board for years so actually being able to go there… I mean wow, how did we get so damn lucky!? The whole trip was so magical, so perfect, and so relaxing that it almost feels like it was a goddamn wonderful dream.

Gareth and I were invited by Universal Resorts to experience two of their locations, Kurumba and Faarufushi. Completely different from each other but both equally amazing, Kurumba was actually the very first resort to open in the Maldives (47 years ago!) and Faarufushi opened just a month ago, so we really did get to have two very different experiences.

This holiday was a real once in a lifetime experience for us (although I really hope we get to experience something like it again!) The Maldives is the PERFECT place to escape to after you’ve had a busy or stressful time, making it the ideal honeymoon spot for those of you who just want to kick back and relax… in the most stunningly beautiful and luxurious surroundings!

Today I’m going to start by sharing Kurumba with you. Later, I’ll be covering Faarufushi and after that I’ll be doing a more general post about the Maldives to answer all the questions I’ve received during this trip – things such as transport and transfers, food, activities/things to do, and of course, the big one everyone wanted to know – the cost!

We arrived at Male airport after a long journey from the UK (seven hours to Dubai then four down to Male) and were greeted by a Kurumba team member at the airport. Other than being told “They’ll arrange everything for you” we really didn’t know exactly what the transfers between resorts would entail, but I’m pleased to report everything was smooth sailing! The great thing about Kurumba is that it’s just a ten-minute speed boat ride from Male airport, which is perfect if you’re exhausted from your long-haul journey. The idea of getting on yet another flight as soon as we arrived was not something I would have been too thrilled about! The location also makes it great for anyone travelling with kids. If, like us, you’d like to visit a couple of different resorts on your trip, Kurumba really is the ideal place to start due to its location and the fact that so much is included for you, so you really don’t have to think about or organise anything before you arrive (more on this below). We were greeted with coconut sorbet and cold flannels at check in, and after a short lounge by the pool while we waited for our room to be ready, we were golf-buggied to our villa.

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Win a Luxury Honeymoon Experience at Dar Jaguar in Marrakech!

If you’ve been following me for a while then you’ll probably already know that Marrakech is one of my favourite cities. The colour, the people, culture, the shopping… it’s just heaven. The medina is crazy busy and, at times, a little overwhelming, but there is also much more to do here than just shop. There are beautiful, colourful gardens all over the city, rooftop terraces with spectacular views and hammams to get the scrub down of your life in! You will come home with a suitcase full of spices and colourful homewares, hands covered in henna and hearts full with all the joy of Morocco!

Yes, the culture is very different to the UK and it can be slightly unnerving on your first visit, but if you throw yourself into it wholeheartedly, I know you’ll fall in love with it too. And with flights from the UK costing as little as £100 and the flight time less than 3 hours, it’s the perfect honeymoon spot for Rock n Roll brides.

In fact, I love Marrakech so much I’ve been four times in as many years, and yes, I do plan to go back later this year too. You can’t keep me away!

On two of my four trips I’ve stayed at Dar Jaguar, owned by British designer Lucia Silver, and it’s fast become one of my highlights of each visit. The riad is decorated in Lucia’s eclectic style and includes a leopard print entrance-way, four poster beds and enormous locally-made chandeliers. Each room has its own theme and the honeymoon suite, The State of Grace, features ebony walls, hand-carved details, a romantic balcony overlooking the courtyard, an open fireplace and a golden bathtub!

There’s a bubbling fountain in the middle of the courtyard which has multi-coloured rose petals floating in it 24/7. And the plunge pool, complete with yet another chandelier hanging above it, is the perfect spot for cooling down after a long day wandering in the medina or riding camels!

The staff, Fatiha, Khalid and Fatima, are also some of the kindest, loveliest people I’ve ever met. Nothing is too much trouble (Khalid actually once helped us try to order a pizza when it was all we wanted to eat and Fatiha helped me RUSH through the medina when I was late for my flight home!!) Plus the food they make is some of the most delicious I’ve ever eaten.

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