2013’s Most Romantic Honeymoon Destinations

You’ve spent months planning every detail of your dream wedding. You’ve stressed over seating charts. Lost sleep over place settings. And now the Big Day has come and gone, the vows have been exchanged, the wedding rings slipped perfectly into place, and, finally, your chance to relax has arrived: It’s honeymoon time! Whether your idea of a romantic interlude involves lying together in the lap of beach front luxury, diving hand-in-hand into an action-filled adventure or soaking in some of history’s most extraordinary moments, we’ve highlighted 2013’s most romantic honeymoon destinations.

The Maldives

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The Maldives are quite possibly the most romantic archipelago on earth, with perfectly placed, palm tree-cloaked islands, pearly white beaches — surrounded by crystal-clear, warm turquoise waters, no less — along with private, overwater bungalows strung over the sea. Many of the Maldives tiny islands have been converted into luxury resorts, where your every whim is met, and where romance seems to blaze out from each tiki torch that lines the beach.

While it’s difficult to find a resort in the Maldives that isn’t exceptional, seek out an adults-only accommodation, such as Komandoo Maldives Island Resort, and thank us later when your daily swims aren’t interrupted by screaming, splashing children. Upon arriving on the island via float plane, you’ll be greeted by the entire staff singing a traditional welcome song, and given a delightful cup of coconut ice cream as you wait for your paperwork and room key to be assigned. Be sure to ditch your shoes — you’ll never wear them — grab a bikini, and head for your own private bungalow, set behind your private strip of beach (unless of course, you’ve chosen one of the overwater bungalows), then dip into the ocean straight from your private porch.

For the ultimate romantic evening in the Maldives, plan a private, beachside, candlelit dinner, designing the menu with the resort’s executive chef. Then relax as you sip cocktails with your spouse while looking upon a blazing pink and orange sunset in barefooted bliss, recalling the extraordinary snorkeling trip you took together earlier that afternoon.

Maui, Hawaii

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Newlyweds seeking romance and adventure will have their fantasies fulfilled on a honeymoon trip to Maui. The island’s magnificent natural setting — complete with rainforests, one of Hawaii’s grandest volcanoes and picturesque, palm-fringed beaches — inspire both. Drive the famed Road to Hana, stopping to admire crashing waterfalls and enjoying a secluded picnic lunch alongside a stunning seascape of crashing waves. Or take a horseback ride along the spine of Haleakala Volcano, enjoying the sweeping vistas of jungles, waterfalls and mist-covered mountainsides. Be sure to explore the island’s secluded, “secret” beaches, where you can share an amorous moment, possibly even alone on the sand: Secret Cove (between Makena Beach and Ahihi Bay) and Paia’s Secret Beach both fit the bill.

Plan a honeymoon stay at one of the island’s most luxe accommodations, the Grand Wailea. This sprawling Waldorf Astoria resort features a 45,000-square-foot adults-only pool, private poolside massage cabanas, a swim-up grotto bar and a 50,000-square-foot spa. Book the “Romance Me Maui” package, which includes 4 nights stay, 2 120-minute spa-pampering treatments, turndown service with rose petals on the bed and in the bathroom tub, and a 4-course meal with wine pairing at the resort’s signature, overwater restaurant Humuhumunukunukuapua’a.

Fiji

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With 322 pristine islands, Fiji offers as much (or as little) to do as you desire. Enjoy an afternoon of scuba diving or snorkeling; get your adrenaline pumping whitewater rafting or windsurfing, or simply hike along rugged cliffs or explore a native village and watch a traditional fire-walking ceremony.

At night, check into of the Fiji’s premier resorts — trust us, you can hardly go wrong at any of the islands’ luxurious resorts, and will be delighted to discover a true paradise on earth near bursting with sun-soaked silken sands, surrounded by sapphire and cerulean waters, and covered with lush palm trees, plus the occasional set of jagged cliffs to lend to the postcard-worthy setting. Among the must-stay places is the Royal Davui Island Resort, an adults-only island resort with a mission of making your romantic dreams come true. The resort offers the utmost in privacy; a mere 16 villas dot the 10-acre island tucked into Beqa Lagoon.

Enjoy intimate moments in your villa’s private outdoor plunge pools, or seek solace in an in-room couples’ spa massage. The resort offers a series of honeymoon packages, including the “Romance Honeymoon,” complete with his and hers sarongs, private beach picnics and a 1-hour couples’ massage; the “Adventure Honeymoon,” featuring a scuba course, zip-line adventure and private beach picnic; and the “Indulgence Honeymoon,” where each day you’re treated to an indulgence such as a 60-minute massage, 30-minute facial or body scrub.

Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands

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The Caribbean is often a convenient destination for US-based couples. Wander farther afield from the oft-crowded US Virgin Islands and seek solace on the shores of one of the British Virgin Islands, such as Virgin Gorda. A mere 8.5 square miles, the island makes for an intimate destination in the midst of stunning environs: unspoiled and secluded beaches, like Savannah Bay, Devil’s Bay and Maho Bay, as well as national parks including The Baths, a wondrous spot where granite boulders create mysterious grottos, caves and saltwater pools, perfect for exploring and snorkeling. The island, which happens to be the third largest of the BVIs, also offers diverse cultural attractions, such as the Spanish ruins at Little Fort National Park.

Lay your newly married heads down at one of the island’s luxe resorts, like Rosewood Little Dix Bay, set amid a picturesque, crescent-shaped stretch of sand and featuring a selection of high-end rooms, suites, beach houses and villa accommodations. While its own beach is a delight, the hotel also lies in proximity to a number of other spectacular beaches accessible only by sea; the hotel’s “Beach Drops” program shuttles guests by boat to these various shores. Honeymooners can book the resort’s “Romance 7-Night Package for 2,” which includes full breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, welcome champagne, a torch-lit beach dinner for 2, a day trip to a secluded beach with picnic, and a selection of spa treatments.

Italy

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Few places in the world blend history and culture with romance like Italy. Couples may find themselves meandering the streets of Rome and tossing coins over their shoulders into the Trevi Fountain, being serenaded on a gondola ride along Venice’s canals, snapping photos overlooking Florence’s Arno River, or simply taking pause to tuck into a sweet gelato and sipping a steaming espresso. History and arts lovers will want to explore the ruins of Rome’s ancient Forum and Colosseum, ogle some of the world’s finest art and sculpture in the halls of Florence’s extraordinary museums or discover wonders of the ancient world so perfectly preserved by volcanic eruption at Pompeii. And for honeymooners seeking the chance to unwind by the sea, the sunny shores of the Amalfi Coast provide respite from these larger, bustling cities.

Whether you stay in cities, villages or along the coast, you both will suffer no shortage of romantic accommodations in bella Italia. You’ll feel every bit like Audrey Hepburn on Roman holiday at the Inn at the Spanish Steps, located in Rome’s city center at — you guessed it — the Spanish Steps. Guests can stay in rooms with views of the famed stairs, and will be steps away from one of Rome’s most luxe shopping streets, Via del Babuino. Head to the rooftop terrace to enjoy an apertivo at sunset, and embrace the City of Love. Or if you’re in Florence, book a stay at the ultra-mod Hotel Continentale. The hotel offers guests a honeymoon special that includes 2 nights’ accommodations, a cocktail at the Sky Lounge Bar overlooking the Ponte Vecchio and Arno River, a 3-course dinner at one of the hotel’s restaurants, and a massage treatment at the hotel’s new White Iris Spa.

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SriLankan Airlines thrives at the World Travel Awards in Maldives

In recognition of its services to South Asia’s tourism and hospitality industry, SriLankan Airlines, the national carrier of Sri Lanka, received a special “Award of Appreciation” at the World Travel Awards 2013 Indian Ocean ceremony, held at the Paradise Island Resort & Spa in the Maldives, recently.

Dubbed as the “The Oscars of the Travel Industry,” the World Travel Awards celebrated its 20th anniversary this year and is acknowledged across the globe as the ultimate travel accolade, celebrating those brands that are pushing the boundaries of industry excellence in product and service.

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(From L-R: Dave Falcon of World Travel Awards, President of the Maldives Mohammed Waheed Hassan and SriLankan Airlines, Regional Manager- Sri Lanka and the Maldives, Saminda Perera with the award)

SriLankan Airlines, one of the most prominent carriers in South Asia with a global route map of 64 destinations in 34 countries, flies to Maldives 36 times a week, facilitating both business and leisure travel sectors.

SriLankan Airlines, Regional Manager- Sri Lanka and Maldives, Saminda Perera said, “We consider it a great privilege to be recognized as a pioneer in South Asia’s Travel and Hospitality industry. As an Airline it is our duty to provide our passengers with convenient connections across the globe and an award of this nature is evidence that we have surpassed expectations and made a significant contribution to tourism in the Maldives. This will certainly serve as an inspiration to expand our connectivity and role in time to come.”

Graham E Cooke, President and Founder, World Travel Awards said: “The Indian Ocean continues to serve as an example of a responsible eco-tourism region whilst offering the most unique hospitality products and services. It strives to set the highest possible bar to raise the standards of excellence in travel and tourism and it has been an honour to hold the first ever Indian Ocean World Travel Awards here.”

Currently SriLankan Airlines flies to seven Indian destinations, operating 28 flights a week to Chennai, double daily flights to Trichy and Cochi and daily flights to Trivandrum, Mumbai, Bangalore and Delhi. It also operates seven flights a week to Karachi and codeshares with its sister airline, Mihin Lanka to facilitate the passengers bound to Bodh Gaya, Varanasi and Dhaka. SriLankan Airlines was nominated for the award by the Ministry of Tourism of the Maldives and The Maldives Marketing and PR Corporation.

Source of the news : http://www.colombopage.com/archive_13B/Jul17_1374063857CH.php

Live Aboards – Pro Dive Cairns – 3 Day and 2 Night

Catering for the certified dive market and snorkellers, Pro Dive Cairns have 3 fully equipped, purpose built multi-million dollar dive vessels – ScubaPro, ScubaPro II and the newly launched Scubapro III. This is certainly one of the very best outer reef liveaboard experiences out of Cairns.

The 3 day dive adventure visits up to four easterly Outer Great Barrier Reef locations. The various sites were selected for their extravagance of marine life and excellent visibility and are rarely visited by other vessels. The trip is suited to all levels of diver training, from novice – experienced divers and gives passengers the opportunity to view magnificent hard & soft corals, giant clams, turtles, stingrays and the largest variety of tropical fish both large & small.

A small difference that sets Pro Dive apart from other outer reef liveaboard vessels is that their vessels are not permanently moored on the reef and they do not use day vessels to transfer different people on and off each day.

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Egypt: is it safe to go on holiday?

An Egyptian diver participates in an underwater protest off Sharm el-Sheikh

An Egyptian diver participates in an underwater protest off Sharm el-Sheikh against Mohamed Mursi Photograph: Stringer/Reuters

As Egypt braces itself for more possible clashes in the wake of this week’s military coup, it’s business as usual in the country’s most popular holiday resorts.

While some tour operators have cancelled flights to Luxor and Cairo and rerouted cruises following Foreign Office (FCO) advice against all but essential travel to most of the country, travel to resorts on the Red Sea, including Sharm el-Sheikh, Taba, Nuweiba, Dahab and Marsa Alam remains unaffected.

Approximately 20,000 British holidaymakers are currently in the country, around 90% of whom will be staying in Red Sea resorts, according to theAssociation of British Travel Agents (Abta).

Britain’s two biggest tour operators, Thomson and First Choice, currently have 9,000 clients in Egypt, 8,500 of whom are in Sharm el-Sheikh and “continuing to enjoy their holidays as normal”… Read Full Story at Source of the News

Welcoming You to Coco Privé Kuda Hithi Island – Indian Ocean’s Leading New Resort 2013

The recipient of this year’s Indian Ocean Leading New Resort award at World Travel Awards this year was Coco Privé Kuda Hithi Island, by locally owned hotel chain Coco Collection.

Regarded by many as one of the finest private getaways, Kuda Hithi Resort offers an absolute escape from the anxieties of daily life. The North Male’ Atoll island presents unmatched luxury  alongside innovative and modern design by prominent architect Guz Wilkinson, making the island the perfect natural haven for privacy-seeking visitors.

The island embraces a unique blend of five luxury villas complementing a grand Master Residence, thus accommodating up to 12 guests. Guests can be ensured the pleasure of magnificently built accommodation, offering a perfect balance of natural ambience and spacious tactile brilliance. The Master Residence comprises of two levels;… Read more

Fantastic news for food lovers who look for the right ambiance in Maldives

Fantastic news for food lovers who look for the right ambiance, Kurumba Maldives has completed the construction of its much awaited Hamkaze restaurant. Relocated to add a new overwater dining experience, this restaurant provides an addition to its already impressive range of culinary outlets.Kurumba Island Resort The improved restaurant can also seat up to 24 guests at a time… Read More

Maamigili Island Airport has opened its runways to private jets

The recently opened Maamigili Island Airport has opened its runways to private jets.  Just a short 20 minutes away from the luxury resort, guests travelling to Conrad now can save time and hassle by jetting straight to Maamigili and by passing the much more  crowded Ibrahim Nasir International Airport.

Conrad Rangali Maldives General Manager; Peter Nilsson commented that due to the close proximity of Maamigili Island Airport, it has become a very convenient alternative for guests rather than flying into Male’. “Now that the runway is open to private jet aircraft, anyone can fly directly in to South Ari Atoll and be sunning themselves on our beaches in under an hour”… Click Here to read the Full News

Jumeirah Maldives launches “Low Miles” Menu

Jumeirah Vittaveli and Jumeirah Dhevanafushi have started a special “low miles menu” in their respective restaurants. Unveiled in their luxurious restaurants of Azara and Samsara, this menu is designed to lessen the carbon footprint of the hotel while providing quality service.

In accordance to the brands on-going commitment to lessen its impact on the environment, the menu’s which were created by Jumeirah Maldives chefs are designed to provide a culinary experience with a conscience. Highlighting the impacts a restaurant could have on the environment, the chefs at the renowned restaurants created low miles menu out of genuine concern for its surrounding environment… Read More