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Post Wedding Bliss At Pier One Sydney

by | Honeymoons, Location Australia, Reviews

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Lisa Perkovic
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COMMENTS

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Image via Expedia

If you’re getting married in Sydney you’ll know all about Pier One Sydney Harbour. Not because of its chic event spaces, which coincidentally are booked out almost every weekend of the year, or even because of its fabulous suites that have a bath tub and a view just crying out for a special occasion, but because of its location. Pier One sits right in front of one of the city’s most coveted wedding photo opportunities. In a city as photogenic as Sydney, that’s saying something.

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Image via Expedia

On any given Saturday you’ll find the line of bridal parties outside the hotels sometimes three or four deep, all waiting for their turn to pose on the small wharf at Ives Steps jutting out over the harbour at Dawes Point, almost right under the Harbour Bridge, and right next to the hotel. It’s a backdrop money can’t buy, literally, it’s one of the few locations around the harbour where you don’t need to pay for a permit to take photos.

The day after this bride’s wedding, safely ensconced in one of the Harbour View Suites, was spent looking down at the newlyweds waiting to be snapped. The voyeuristic lure of watching other brides on their big day, the day after my own big day was surprisingly strong. I spent about an hour checking out everything from dress and makeup to flowers and bridal cars (Hummer limos seemed to be the vehicle of choice at the time) and demolished half a block of chocolate at the same time (no more bride diet!) The last wedding car drove off just as the sun was setting.

Pier One Sydney View

Pier One is the perfect Expedia hotel to make you feel as if you’re in a little bubble of happiness – deep, egg shaped bath tubs, beds softer than clouds, fridges you can fit a bottle of champagne in and staff with an understanding that bridal bouquets need their own ice buckets.

 

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Ms Chinoiserie Says: Location, location, location! The perfect hotel for post wedding bliss – and amazing photo opportunities!

About Lisa Perkovic: I am the Expedia Australia blog editor and have spent the past decade getting out there, discovering the world and sharing my experiences. I make sure Expedia’s blog is always stocked with the best and most up to date travel stories, tips and news from our team of travel experts!

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Honeymoons A-Z: Maldives

by | Honeymoons, Honeymoons A-Z, Location Indian Ocean & Maldives

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Naomi Neilson
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Beauty of MaldivesImage via Maldives

The beautiful islands of the Maldives are a stunning paradise like nowhere else! Expect to enjoy your honeymoon underneath the year-long warmth of the sun, surrounded by iridescent clear, turquoise waters. The beaches along the island are always picture-perfect, as are the above-water suites and restaurants, the shopping and dining districts, and, as always, the world beneath the surface. There is nothing quite like the Maldives—and almost nothing as romantic!

Centara Ras Fushi Resort & Spa MaldivesImage via Maldives

5 Places to Stay

In the Maldives, almost all honeymoon suites and villas are secluded in your own private sanctuary above the breathtaking turquoise lagoons. Stay in any of our favourite villas and enjoy the comfort and relaxation, the exquisite dining options, and, of course, the romance.

Niyama Maldives

This stunning resort mixes together contemporary comfort with private luxury. Lounge in your private villa and don’t be surprised when you start sinking into absolute relaxation among the soft colours of blues, greens, and white. In this resort, enjoy your own slice of paradise; and when you’re ready to escape, boat out to the over-water restaurant and the world’s only underwater bar.

Niyama MaldivesImage via Niyama Maldives

COMO Cocoa Island

This stunning boutique resort is a completely unique, incredibly beautiful, and gorgeously romantic choice for your honeymoon. Not only does this resort offer a world-renowned spa service, but you can also expect to enjoy long, romantic nights dining under the stars before retreating back into a private suite.

COMO Cocoa Island ResortImage via COMO Cocoa Island

Gili Lankanfushi Maldives

Located in an aqua lagoon, this resort allows guests to find comfort and romance in their own above-water villa. All your needs and wants are easily met by your own guide and the exceptional service of the staff. The friendly vibe and the natural beauty makes this resort the perfect island escape.

Gili LankanfushiImage via Gili Lankanfushi Maldives

Shangri La Villingili Resort and Spa

In this beautifully contemporary resort, honeymoon goers are treated to a pick of three gorgeous lagoons, a golf course and island playground, white sandy beaches, and spaciously luxurious comfort. The resort is located conveniently close to the Maldives restaurants, shops, and activities.

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Shangri LaImages via Shangri La Villingili Resort and Spa
W Retreat

The W Retreat has the “Whatever Whenever” philosophy—that is, expect to find yourself with all you could possibly want or need at this vibrant resort. The retreat has three unique restaurants, resort pools, and is surrounded by clear turquoise waters that are home to above-water spas, activities, and marine life. It’s the ideal location for couples looking for a private, calm escape.

W RetreatImage via W Retreat

5 Places to Visit

There are so many places to visit in the Maldives—so make sure you start with the city and work your way up to the extraordinary natural wonders! Head out into the islands and take the time to explore the beauty!

Male

Male is the capital of the Maldives and home to a range of activities to keep you busy. Consider taking in the culture by visiting the Islamic Centre, the Friday Mosque, Sultan Park or the Medhu Ziyaarai Shrine. There’s never enough time to see everything, so opt to walk along the water’s edge and stop in at the places that best suit you—all the while admiring the Maldives beauty.

Male CityImage via Visit Maldives

Mulee-Aage Palace

The Mulee-Aage Palace was the official residence of the President of the Maldives and is now open to the public. It’s definitely one of the most important places to stop in during your visit! Not only is its architecture simply spectacular, the building is steeped in some of the most incredible history of the Maldives!

Atolls

The 25 natural atolls in the Maldives are all incredibly extraordinary. The vibrant natural wonders makes the water of the Maldives look like a complex explosion of colour and it’s very possible to immerse yourself in this beauty. Organise the trip out to the lagoon with your resort and be sure to pack a camera!

AtollsImage via Visit Maldives

Maldives Beaches

No matter where you are in the Maldives, you’re sure to come across an abundance of beaches – all of which are incredibly beautiful! Take your pick and relax into the tranquillity of the white sand, the turquoise waters, and the natural perfection of the tropical environment. The serenity of the beaches is unlike any other, so be sure to bask in the sun for hours.

Maldives Resort Museum

The Loama Resort is now open to the public as a museum that’s home to the art, culture, and heritage of the Maldives. The museum showcases a collection of ancient artefacts from key periods of history, and it’s still building up its extensive collection. While you’re in the Maldives exploring the history and culture, it will be worth making a brief stopover to the resort’s museum.

MuseumImage via Maldives

5 Things to Do

With the many, many islands that make up the Maldives, there is so much to do. It is almost too difficult to narrow it down to just five of the best – so be sure to test out the following on your honeymoon and then go out exploring for more! Be spontaneous and be adventurous – and enjoy every moment!

Scuba Diving

It’s always the way with islands to expect that the marine life below the surface is just as beautiful as it is above. And in all cases, it is. That is especially true for Maldives, islands blessed with hundreds of popular dive sites. If you haven’t already, consider learning to scuba dive with professionals like PADI. Or go solo and rent the equipment, head out into the water, and enjoy the world below.

Scuba DivingImage via Visit Maldives

Water Sports

The Maldives is one of the leading water sports destinations in the world so don’t be shy to test out your skills above the water before taking the dive to explore below. Some of the many activities available include canoeing, water skiing, windsurfing, and jet ski tours. Have a go at one of the many options available, and, if you need that little bit of help, check out Water Sports Maldives.

Island Exploring

The Maldives consists of 1190 coral islands and each one houses a new and exciting hidden gem worth exploring. Take the time to explore the islands that are home to natives, the islands dedicated to industrial and resort locations for visitors, and, most importantly, the inhabited islands. Make the most of your stay by visiting as much of the Maldives as possible! To make things easier for you and your significant other, consider hiring a boat with Dream Yacht Charter.

Maldives Island ExploringImage via Maldives

Maldives Shopping

Although most of the boutique resorts house shops within, it’s always a good idea to explore the rest of the island and the shopping districts available to visitors. Not only does it give you and your other half the chance to explore more of the island at your own pace, but you’re also sure to pick up a souvenir or two to take back home with you. There are an abundance of shops on the resort islands, but we highly recommend that you go on an excursion with Kuramathi out to the inhabited islands to pick up a souvenir from the natives.

Sunset Cruises

The Maldives is known for having year-long sunshine so it’s no surprise that the island lights up at sunset and sunrise. There really is no better way to take in the beauty of the island then out on the water, watching as the sun sets on the horizon. There are many options for this adventure, but we recommend Kuredu for the job. With them you’re sure to have a breathtaking experience. If you’re lucky, say hi to the pods of dolphins!

Maldives SunsetImage via Kuredu

The Maldives is an incredibly vibrant set of islands home to a world of hidden gems. Enjoy the ultimate relaxation in any number of the resorts, enjoy the activities both below and above the surface, and just enjoy being a part of the magic in this sun-filled honeymoon destination!

 

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Ms Chinoiserie Says: Perfect white beaches and stunning luxury makes the Maldives a honeymoon of a lifetime!

Honeymoon Finances With Your Fiancé: Top Budgeting Tips

by | Honeymoon Essentials, Honeymoons

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Anika Reynolds
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Resort style

When organising your honeymoon, discussing budget breakdowns with your love might not exactly sound romantic, but it’s definitely recommended to ensure smooth planning and no nasty financial surprises. From initial honeymoon dreaming to destination dining, here are our top fiscal tips for planning the perfect romantic getaway.

Pre-planning

Start a savings plan: Ideally, this will be done early on, so that you have the maximum time to plan and save for your romantic getaway. Be sure to properly research your dream destinations, talk about your budget expectations and agree on your budget with your partner before you start booking.

Consider surprise costs: Don’t forget to include extras like travel insurance and day-to-day transport when drawing up your budget. Even little things like buying bottled water several times a day can really add up!

Create a honeymoon fund: If you and your partner already have a love-nest, maybe a traditional registry isn’t for you. Instead you could consider a honeymoon fund, where guests can contribute to your dream honeymoon, by gifting money or specific activities like a sunset sail or cocktails!

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Flights

Taking several long haul flights, flying on popular dates or to destinations with limited available carriers can be expensive, so if you have your heart set on a faraway locale, be sure to research the flights first.

If island-hopping or visiting several destinations is on the agenda, also consider the price of internal flights, as taking a few short flights during your adventure can quickly add up. Plus, keep an eye out for flash flight sales and travel expo offers, try opting for mid-week flights, or choose to jet off during shoulder or off-peak seasons.

Food

Depending on your honeymoon destination, your daily food expenses could be vastly different to what you might spend dining out when at home, due to economic, locational and seasonal factors.

Of course, if your honeymoon dining wish list includes Michelin-star meals, poolside cocktails, luxe resort buffets or celebrity chef restaurants, it’s even more important to factor these expenses in when considering your overall budget.

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Tipping and taxes: In many popular honeymoon destinations, including the United States and parts of Europe, extra costs are part of everyday wining and dining. So, it’s important to remember to budget for unfavourable exchange rates, tipping for each drink or meal, taxes or service charges. This is also important to remember while perusing the menu once on-location since the price quoted might be without these extra costs. So that ‘$25’ main might be a little pricier than you first thought!

Fine dining: Is a luxurious epicurean experience on your honeymoon agenda? Many upscale eateries offer set menus at lunchtime for a more easily digestible price than evening dining. So, why not save those pennies and enjoy daytime fine dining instead! Plus, don’t forget to let them know you’re on your honeymoon – hello complementary champagne!

Resort rates: If you’re dreaming of a remote hideaway, such as a secluded island resort, it’s a good idea to check out the accommodation restaurant menus before you book. In particularly isolated locations, such as a small skiing village, luxe safari park or tropical island, there may not be many, or any, restaurants or cafes nearby so you may have to dine entirely at your accommodation, which can be particularly pricey. For example, even a simple sandwich could be exorbitant once you factor in resort charges and extra costs.

Hawaii markets1

Mix it up: Eating on the go and combining simple snacks with gourmet experiences is a great spend-savvy option for honeymooners. If an indulgent buffet breakfast is already included, you can probably stock up at breakfast and forgo a super lavish lunch. Plus, simple meals and snack stops can be some of the best parts of travelling. You and your love could peruse a local market, stop by cute food trucks or take fresh ingredients to a scenic spot – a DIY honeymoon picnic perhaps?

Bora Bora1

Accommodation

Got your eye on some Instagram worthy accommodation, with a hefty price tag? Having a budget in place doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a little luxury! Simply opt to shorten your stay, or compromise during your trip. For example, splurge on a few highlight hotels to enjoy for a few days, before moving on to a cute guesthouse or unique Airbnb residence for the next part of the trip and so on.

Beverly Hills Hotel

Sometimes a package or travel expo offer can provide a competitive price, as can contacting the hotel directly. And, if it’s part of a hotel chain, why not sign up for their rewards program? You might be upgraded, receive complementary spa vouchers or earn points towards a special anniversary trip!

Austrian village

Shopping

A little sartorial spending may take your fancy, but again consider taxes and exchange rates when shopping overseas. For major brands, it’s likely you can get the same item at home, and it might not end up being cheaper once you factor the extra costs in. Consider saving your shopping for sentimental, or unusual purchases that will remind you of your honeymoon, such as a special piece of jewellery or homewares that you will treasure for a lifetime.

All images by Anika Reynolds

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Ms Chinoiserie Says: Such practical advice – knowing what to plan ahead for certainly helps to avoid those nasty financial surprises. 

About Anika: I’m a freelance writer with a love of weddings and creatively styled events. I have a penchant for pretty stationery and perfectly put together cheese plates, and a never-ending sense of wanderlust!

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