Tag Archives: honeymoon

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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Win a Seychelles Honeymoon with Hilton Hotels!

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Last November, Gareth and I were lucky enough to be invited by Hilton Seychelles Hotels to experience three of their incredible resorts in the Seychelles: DoubleTree By Hilton Seychelles Allamanda Resort & Spa, Hilton Seychelles Labriz Resort & Spa and Hilton Seychelles Northolme Resort & Spa. It was a trip of a lifetime and one neither of us will ever forget.

So when they asked if I’d like to host a contest for one of my readers to win their honeymoon at Hilton Seychelles Northolme I, of course, jumped at the chance to let one of you have the same magical experience that we did!

This incredible prize includes:

A three-night bed and breakfast stay in a Hillside villa at Hilton Northolme.
A honeymoon package including a romantic bath experience and honeymoon amenities.
Transfers to and from the airport in the Seychelles.

To enter all you have to do is:

1. Follow @HiltonNortholme on Instagram.

2. Share the photo at the top of this post on Instagram (or regram from my account, here)

3. In the caption include the hashtag #HiltonNortholme and tag @HiltonNortholme and the person you’d like to take on trip with you.

Please note, your Instagram account must be public for your entry to be seen and counted.

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Why Buy Our Honeymoon Are Your Best Option If You Want a Honeymoon Gift List

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There are plenty of non-traditional gift registries around these days enabling you to add lots of different items from various stores and online retailers as well as experiences, days out, cash contributions and even charity donations. However if you just want to use your gift list as a way of funding your honeymoon then you have to use Buy Our Honeymoon. Why? Because they do exactly what it says on the tin – help your guests buy your honeymoon! Simple and easy!

If you need a bit more convincing, then here are seven reasons why I think you should be using them.

It’s super flexible

You can include everything and anything you might want related to your honeymoon on your list. From flights to hotels, experiences to meals, even taxi rides and cocktails! You can also break things down however you want to really engage your guests in your plans. You can either list items in full (for example, £20 for sushi) or you can add a larger item such as your flights and open it to contributions so your guests can add as much as they’d like to the pot.

It’s really easy to use

No, really. I set up my own dummy account to put them to the test. Without reading any guidelines or directions I was quickly able to set my account up, update my profile and start to add items to my fantasy list!

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List designs that are personal and ad-free

There’s nothing worse than downloading an app or signing up to a service to be spammed with adverts at every click! Buy Our Honeymoon has no adverts anywhere and you can design your list however you like. You can choose the layout and design, write your own introductory text, and you even have complete control over how your items are sorted and categorised.

The money goes directly to you!

Buy Our Honeymoon offer a variety of different payment systems (Stripe, GoCardless and PayPal) so you can set up gift payments in a really flexible way. This is especially great if you’ve got international guests. While each of these systems may take a small percentage (these fees are unavoidable) Buy Our Honeymoon do not.

Whatever your guests contribute gets paid to you as soon as it clears. Buy Our Honeymoon don’t hold on to your money until after your wedding or take an extra percentage commission from it (they have a simple one-off joining fee instead).

It’s easy for your guests to use

All you need to do is let them know the link to your gift list (here’s the sample one I set up!) and at they just need to click on the item they want to buy or contribute to, and follow the simple instructions. Alternatively, they can suggest something they’d like to buy for you instead or simply contribute some cash.

As an aside, if you’d like to change the automatically generated URL to something more personal (such as ourdreamhoneymoon.com/katandgareth) just email them and they can do that for you, no problem!

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Honeymoon Travel Guide: Hilton Seychelles Northolme Resort & Spa

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Our third and final stop on our dream vacation with Hilton Hotels was a visit to Northolme Resort & Spa. It was very different to Allamanda and Labriz and if the idea of somewhere quiet, child-free and with lots of places to explore appeals to you then I think you’re gonna like it!

Ian Fleming was staying in this very hotel when he wrote For Your Eyes Only, and once you see the view you’ll quickly realise why it inspired him so much. Unlike the other two resorts, Northolme is set up in the hillside, rather than right down on the beach. There are beachy areas just below, which you can walk down to through the villas, but the higher vantage point means it boasts the most spectacular panoramic view of the ocean. Plus, being located on the North West of Mahé it means that you can experience some of THE MOST incredible sunsets (see above!)

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Northolme felt like a secret and secluded hideaway nestled among the hills. Only a 25 minute transfer from the Seychelles International Airport, it’s surrounded by lush tropical gardens, crystal clear waters and a sheltered white-sanded beach.

I think he likes it – ha!

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