Back to Top
PolkaDotBride - Australia's number 1 Bridal Blog, Wedding Directory and Advice for Brides
Log In

The Polkadot Travel Lounge – Honeymoon Travel Advice with Sally from HomeAway.com.au

by | Destinations, Honeymoons

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ms Herringbone
0
COMMENTS

sally homeaway header The Polkadot Travel Lounge Honeymoon Travel Advice with Sally from HomeAway.com.au

Honeymoon plans can often fall by the wayside when preparing for your big day, with  last minute bookings and frantic searches for the perfect location to unwind and relax.  We’ve been asking the experts to join us in the Polka Dot Travel Lounge and share their hot tips and preferred destinations to ensure your honeymoon is a trip to remember, and today we’re pleased to welcome Sally from HomeAway.com.au!

HomeAway.com.au is one of Australia’s leading holiday home rental sites with the the largest and most diverse selection of holiday homes around the world (more than 570,000 properties across 139 countries!). A holiday home rental can be a great alternative to hotel stays (increased privacy, space, more economical, experiential etc). Sally shares her top picks for honeymooners heading around the world – so jealous!

What is your favourite region?

For honeymooners, it’s hard to beat the laid back vibe of South East Asia. While you’re there, immerse yourself in a different culture, sample some amazing cuisines, discover age-old temples or just relax on some of the best beaches in the world.

Where to stay:

Villa Nol, Seminyak

Sleeping 2, this intimate villa has a spacious bedroom with its own bathroom and study area, a private swimming pool and kitchen. The use of different quality and natural materials, such as ‘Ulin’ wood, lava stone, solid teck floors, plants and flower walls, gives a peaceful and intimate atmosphere. Wifi, LCD TV, movies, series and cartoons, bikes to be borrowed.

 The Polkadot Travel Lounge Honeymoon Travel Advice with Sally from HomeAway.com.au

Surin Beach Holiday Villa, Phuket

Located in the Ultra desirable Surin Beach enclave on the West Coast of Phuket, this modern Villa boasts stunning views over Surin Beach, Bang Tao, and the West coast of Phuket. The house stands high above the bay, facing North West with stunning sun sets out over the Indian Ocean.

The villa has its own pool as well as its own modern Western kitchen facilities. Large plasma screen TV and DVD player, WIFI, laundry on site complete the package. An ideal destination for Honeymooners, this Villa has everything for a romantic tropical getaway.

 The Polkadot Travel Lounge Honeymoon Travel Advice with Sally from HomeAway.com.au

Top Resort Recommendation?

While HomeAway doesn’t offer traditional style resort accommodation, many properties on the site offer personal chefs and food services. This South African property comes with its own private butler and chef, personal ranger and tracker, game vehicle, private game drives & bush walks!

Morukuru Farm House, Cape Town

 The Polkadot Travel Lounge Honeymoon Travel Advice with Sally from HomeAway.com.au

This Morukuru villa, is a completely redesigned vintage farm house. Morukuru Farm House offers green eco furnishings, modern design and spacious rooms. The garden leads you either to the heated swimming pool, or to one of the patios to enjoy a specially made cocktail by your personal butler.

What to do while you’re there?

South Africa is the adventure capital of the world! There’s plenty to see and do; climb Table Mountain, surf some of the world’s best waves, tour Robben Island or experience breathtaking scenery along the Garden route.

One of our top recommendations is to visit the Madikwe game reserve, where the Morukuru Farm House is situated. At 75,000 hectares it’s one of the largest game reserves in South Africa.

Madikwe has 66 mammal species including the Big Five (lion, African elephant, Cape buffalo, leopard, and rhinoceros) and approximately 300 resident and migrant bird species. Marvel at the vast plains of the open woodlands and grasslands, and the rugged Rant van Tweedepoort, and Dwarsberg Mountains in the background.

Suggestions for great honeymoon activities.

For those that want an active and relaxing honeymoon rolled into one, we recommend the Queenstown region of New Zealand. There is something for everyone; whether it’s skiing, bungee jumping, white water rafting, hiking or just taking in the breathtaking scenery that takes your fancy, you can cap it all off by toasting your marriage with one of the many fantastic local wines.

Where to stay:

Tenby Apartments, Wanaka

Tenby Apartments have been finished to a very high standard with wonderful art and tasteful decor. The large windows and glass walls capture the gorgeous mountain vistas of Wanaka. Each apartment has private balconies and decking, along with landscaped gardens to enjoy the long summer days. There is undercover garaging, full laundry facilities and dedicated ski drying rooms for your convenience.

 The Polkadot Travel Lounge Honeymoon Travel Advice with Sally from HomeAway.com.au

The ideal location for a proposal?

For a proposal like no other, why not surprise your loved one with a trip to Tuscany? Walk hand in hand along the mountain paths; stop to enjoy simple yet delicious cuisine and the famous local Chianti.

Wonder at the dusty green hills, brick-red earth, blue skies and golden sunlight while hearing the beautifully romantic Italian language being spoken around you.

Where to stay?

Podere La Caggia, Tuscany

 The Polkadot Travel Lounge Honeymoon Travel Advice with Sally from HomeAway.com.au

‘Podere Le Caggia’ is an enchanting country villa set in the tranquility and peacefulness of the Tuscan countryside. The villa has a total of 5 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms, a large fully-equipped kitchen, a dining room with a fireplace and two big living rooms. The impressive garden complete with a private swimming pool and a hot tub allows you to enjoy a relaxing holiday and is perfect for taking time out and lounging about while sipping on a glass of local wine.

Best kept secret honeymoon location?

If you’re looking for a honeymoon destination that’s a little bit off the beaten path, we think Belize is the ideal location. As well as submerging yourself in the country’s rich and ancient culture, there’s plenty to see and do like discovering exotic plants and animals in the lush local jungles, swimming, snorkeling and diving in the Caribbean sea with its attractive reefs, and no trip to Belize is complete without a visit to the ancient Mayan ruins.

After spending a day filled with adventure and exploration, retreat back to the seclusion and privacy of Casa Olita.

Casa Olita will charm you with its sophistication and seclusion.

After you gaze at exquisite Caribbean vistas from your private dock, take a dip in your personal splash pool or cool off in the alfresco showers. It’s your choice. Toast to your honeymoon or simply embrace your loved one in the enchanting walled garden.

 The Polkadot Travel Lounge Honeymoon Travel Advice with Sally from HomeAway.com.au

A big thanks to Sally for her fantastic tips, and if you’ve spotted a destination that you’d love to learn more about, head to the HomeAway.com.au website for more info!

Swirl divider The Polkadot Travel Lounge Honeymoon Travel Advice with Sally from HomeAway.com.au

The Eternal City: Rome

by | Destinations, Honeymoons

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ms Chevron
1
COMMENT

In my quest to plan the perfect overseas trip, I solicited advice from those who had gone before me. I had heard a mixed bag about Rome… some loved it, some hated it. I can say that after our short stay, my husband and I both fell into the former category and were crushing on Rome big time. The simple magnitude of everything is what blew my mind away. Sure, Australia has history, but nothing to the scale of what Rome has. The monuments are, well, monumental! Take the National Monument to Victor Emmanuel II (below) nicknamed ‘The Wedding Cake’ – it is the largest monument in white marble ever created.

Rome Wedding Cake 550x365 The Eternal City: Rome

But, I am getting ahead of myself. Firstly, after getting our luggage we took a bus from the airport to Roma Termini, and then caught a cab with our non-existent Italian to our accommodation (note: have a few key phrases written down so that even if you get the pronunciation wrong, you can show them the text). We checked in, showered (the best part of getting off a long-haul flight) and walked to Campo de Fiori – a cool hub of activity. We ate at Mercato’s, sharing bruschetta, a margherita pizza, and four-cheese gnocchi with local wine and live music in the square.

 The Eternal City: Rome

Rome Love Tree 550x827 The Eternal City: Rome

Since we were only staying in Rome for 3 nights, we decided a 2-Day Hop On Hop Off pass would be ideal. We did a lap of the city first to get our bearings, and then joined a walking tour of the Colosseum, skipping the queues and learning so much we didn’t know. The Colosseum was much larger than I anticipated and interesting even for a non-history buff such as myself. We saw a stretch hummer with pink bow and a newlywed couple stopping to take advantage of the backdrop for their photos!

Rome Wedding 550x366 The Eternal City: Rome

 The Eternal City: Rome

Being a massive rom-com fan and lover of all things, well, love-related, I was excited that Trevi Fountain was our next stop. I was mesmerised by that beautiful fountain with clear water and flecks of gold thanks to the countless tourists throwing a coin over their shoulder to ensure their return to Rome. We went back later that night and witnessed a guy getting down on bended knee to propose – so sweet and the crowd was cheering!

Rome Trevi 550x827 The Eternal City: Rome

 The Eternal City: Rome

The next day brought 90% chance of rain, but thankfully it only had one downpour. Our first stop was the Pantheon – enormous outside and elaborate inside – with a group of architecture students sitting sketching on the steps. Imagine having that type of learning environment in your backyard!

 The Eternal City: Rome

 The Eternal City: Rome

With limited knowledge of the Vatican and Sistine Chapel, we again opted to join a tour. The patterned and painted ceilings throughout the Vatican were by far my favourite, and 4 hours later we headed for the Spanish Steps for more gelato. Goodbye diet!

 The Eternal City: Rome

 The Eternal City: Rome

Overall, I was a little in awe of Rome. It was a fantastic place to start our trip, and we honestly could have spent a lot longer there. Rome would be a great destination for those wanting to sight-see and get a taste of Italy on their honeymoon.

Images by Mr + Ms Chevron

Swirl divider The Eternal City: Rome

The Polka Dot Travel Lounge – Honeymoon Travel Advice with Judy from Trivago

by | Destinations, Honeymoons

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ms Herringbone
0
COMMENTS

Judt Trivago header The Polka Dot Travel Lounge Honeymoon Travel Advice with Judy from Trivago

Today we are lucky to be joined by the lovely Judy from Trivago, one of the world’s largest online hotel search site, where you can compare  rates from over 700,000 hotels on over 200 booking sites worldwide. Phew! Now that’s quite the selection! Judy has been kind enough to share her personal favourite destinations and the hottest spots to ensure your honeymoon is a trip to remember!

Judy is also a self-confessed travel addict, so it’s no wonder she has some fantastic tips to share!

What is your favourite region?

It is difficult for me to select just one region as the world has an endless number of unbelievable places, and I have an extreme case of wanderlust.  I will narrow it down to two places which are unrivaled in their natural beauty, but more importantly, these places have left permanent marks on my heart.

1)         Koh Phangan, Thailand:  In 2012, I was travelling the world with my best friend, and we decided to meet some friends on the southeast island of Koh Phangan.  Picture glittery, white sand beaches, turquoise waters, vibrant sunsets, and a laid-back vibe…Koh Phangan is pretty much paradise.  If there ever were to be a perfect setting to fall in love, this island would be it.  I did end up falling in love — with the handsome friend that my friends had brought to the island.  Fast forward two years – my husband (yes, the “handsome friend”) and I returned to Koh Phangan.  It’s every bit as beautiful as we had left it

2)          Lake Como, Italy:  My husband is German, and I am American with Taiwanese roots, so it was a challenge to find a wedding location that was both universally appealing AND logistically easy for our family and friends from all across the world.  Lake Como came as a suggestion from an Italian friend, and it turned out to be the perfect spot for our wedding.  When my husband and I visited for the first time, we were blown away by the dramatic backdrop of the Alps and the tranquil lake.  We found an intimate, romantic, waterfront villa (Hotel Villa Giulia) in the town of Lecco, which is located on the southeastern tip of Lake Como and easily accessible from Milan.  One of the reasons I love travelling in Italy is the amazing Italian food, gelato, and coffee.  Lake Como definitely does not disappoint with its abundance of cute cafes and restaurants alongside the waterfront.  We were quite fortunate that our wedding villa had a Michelin restaurant.  I think it is safe to say that all of our wedding guests enjoyed the traditional Italian feast we selected (quite notable given all of the different nationalities in attendance!).  If I haven’t sold you on Lake Como as the ultimate place for a wedding, consider this — Italians have a natural talent for pulling together all the little details that make your wedding day even more special.

gallery92 550x343 The Polka Dot Travel Lounge Honeymoon Travel Advice with Judy from Trivago

Image courtesy Discover Como

Top resort recommendation?

I am a fan of intimate luxury boutique hotels, especially for special occasions such as honeymoons.  My husband and I stayed at two exceptionally unique and special hotels, Colona Castle and 52 De Wet when we honeymooned in Cape Town, South Africa. Colona Castle is a charming villa located on a hillside with panoramic views of Table Mountain and the Atlantic Ocean.  The spacious room we stayed in was carefully decorated with antiques and unique art pieces.  52 De Wet on the other hand, is a sleek, contemporary private house-turned-hotel set high on a hill.  The lounge is extremely spacious, and the terrace offers amazing views of Cape Town and the Atlantic Ocean.  I highly recommend both of these boutique hotels because the impeccable and attentive staff and incredibly talented chefs on-site set them apart from other hotels.

Screen Shot 2014 02 26 at 8.43.12 am 550x415 The Polka Dot Travel Lounge Honeymoon Travel Advice with Judy from TrivagoColona Castle

Deluxe Room Ocean facing Balcony 550x366 The Polka Dot Travel Lounge Honeymoon Travel Advice with Judy from Trivago52 De Wet

Suggestions for great honeymoon activities?

My husband and I love the outdoors and like to stay active, so Africa was a perfect honeymoon destination for us.  We first visited the famous Kruger National Park in South Africa and did a self-driving safari tour.  Nothing beats the thrill and excitement of spotting all of the Big Five (lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo, and rhino) together.  Then we flew to Botswana for a more natural safari experience. The land is surprisingly undeveloped, and the wildlife is plentiful.  My husband surprised me with a private sunset boat ride on the Chobe River, complete with wine and snacks, which I thought was pretty romantic.  We drove over to Zimbabwe and took a helicopter ride to view the magnificent Victoria Falls.  Cape Town was our last stop, and we spent the last days of our honeymoon relaxing on the beautiful beaches in Cape Town, hiking at Cape Point, enjoying the view from the top of Table Mountain, and shark cage diving in Hermanus.

Screen Shot 2014 02 26 at 8.49.41 am 550x364 The Polka Dot Travel Lounge Honeymoon Travel Advice with Judy from Trivago

Table Mountain

The ideal location for a proposal?

The ideal location for a proposal would be somewhere wildly romantic with spectacular scenery. But really, any place that holds special meaning to both is the ideal place!

Best kept secret honeymoon location?

Cape Town, South Africa is a perfect honeymoon location.  Of course I am biased, as my husband and I chose Cape Town for our honeymoon!  There are so many reasons Cape Town is perfect for a honeymoon:  it is relatively easy to travel, the land is so incredibly beautiful and diverse, and the cuisine and accommodations are top notch and affordable, and there are an abundance of outdoor and indoor activities to please everyone.  To top it all off, the locals are incredibly friendly.  Before I visited, I had heard positive reviews from several people, but really, I did not expect Cape Town to exceed all my expectations!
Screen Shot 2014 02 26 at 8.57.17 am 550x366 The Polka Dot Travel Lounge Honeymoon Travel Advice with Judy from Trivago
Thanks so much to Judy for her wonderful insight into some destinations I now must add to my wishlist! For more info on any of the hotels mentioned, or to lose yourself browsing – head to the Trivago website!

swirl large2 The Polka Dot Travel Lounge Honeymoon Travel Advice with Judy from Trivago

Back to Top