As for actual destinations, she advises that Mexico, the
Caribbean and the South Pacific still rule the wedding universe.
She is seeing smaller weddings in Italy, Santorini and Thailand
and she does see change on the horizon for destination weddings. “I believe we’ll see more destination weddings on river
cruises and in Europe,” she tells us.
Leah Kirgis, manager of leisure travel for host agency
Cadence, reports that Montenegro has popped up over the last
year or so for honeymoons. “Although it’s not the easiest destination to get to, the unspoiled beaches, beautiful scenery, luxurious properties with amazing spas, and the fact that Montenegro
is a UNESCO Heritage Town crosses off many of the honeymoon wish list points for travelers,” she tells us.
For a honeymoon hotel, she recommends Aman Sveti
Stefan in Montenegro. “It has only 58 accommodations along
with an unbelievable spa,” she says.
Cadence clients are seeking a more immersive cultural experience for their honeymoons, says Kirgis.
“They’re seeking more ‘off-the-beaten path’ destinations, and
even holistic lifestyle resorts,” she reports. “The overwater bun-
galow experience will always remain as a honeymoon staple but
it’s refreshing to see these new trends for honeymoons.”
Another favorite new property? “The luxury treehouse at
Punta Mita at Imanta is a truly unique experience for the nature
loving, adventurous couples,” says Kirgis.
Sue Michailidis, a leisure travel consultant with Connoisseur
Travel, sells a lot of honeymoon travel to the South Pacific,
Southeast Asia and Europe. She says that clients are no longer
doing the traditional week-long beach vacation immediately
following their wedding. Instead, they’re carving out a chunk of
time that accommodates their work schedule, so that they can go
on a longer, two or three week immersive trips.
“ They often want to include a beach experience within their
trip, but it’s no longer the focus of their entire vacation,” says
Carving out more time allows couples to visit multiple destinations within Southeast Asia. Tahiti and New Zealand is
another combination she’s seeing.
Michailidis is in love with Le Taha’a Island Resort &
Spa, a private island property off the island of Taha’a for
“Bora Bora can feel a bit congested with all of the overwa-
ter bungalows sharing the same lagoon but just a stone’s throw
away is Le Taha’a where you’ll feel like you’ve truly ‘gotten away
from it all,’” says Michailidis. “As a Relais and Chateaux prop-
erty, they pride themselves in having some of the best food in
Tahiti. The staff is warm, as are all locals. In Taha’a they are still
teaching the Tahitian language in the elementary schools—not
the case on the more-traveled islands of Tahiti.”
Her honeymooners are seeking active and cultural experi-
ences and tours that enable that are way up, she says.
“Lounging on the beach works for a few days, but that’s it,”
Jim Augerinos, president and luxury travel consultant for
Perfect Honeymoons, says that 45 percent of his couples are
combining two or even three countries for their honeymoon.
Pairings that he is seeing include Tanzania and the
Seychelles, Dubai and the Maldives, Thailand and Cambodia,
Australia and New Zealand, Costa Rica and Panama, Greece
and Italy, Chile and Argentina, and South Africa and Botswana.
His honeymooners are also seeking active vacations, rather
than laying on the beach for two weeks, he says. “Hands down,
they are seeking adventure mixed with culture and capped off
with good authentic local food experiences,” says Augerinos, who
recently planned honeymoons that included sky diving over the
Great Barrier Reef, bungee jumping over Victoria Falls, shark
cage diving in South Africa, and heli-skiing in New Zealand.
Couples also want to be more independent with their sightseeing, he adds. That means going out with a private local guide
or exploring a city on their own as opposed to a large organized
tour with a lot of people.
“I’ve also been doing cooking classes for pretty much every
destination; couples are visiting the market with the chef and
then coming back to his or her home or restaurant to prepare
the meal rather than a formal cooking school / classroom type
of scenario,” Augerinos tells us.
As for destinations, he is getting requests for perennial favorites as well as some new places, such as The Azores, Sardinia,
Japan, Montenegro, Panama, and Namibia.
Continued from page 3
Chad Morse of Travel Edge in La Jolla says couples are still seeking standard destinations such as the Maldives,
Tahiti, Fiji and Mexico, but almost all of them want to pair
that with cultural destinations and world capitals such as
Dubai, Rome, Venice, Paris, Sydney and Greece. His top
hotel picks for newlyweds are , ,
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Athénée in Paris.