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Honeymoons In Paradise - Where To Go In February

Image via Parque Nacional

A honeymoon in the month of Saint Valentine deserves to be an extra special one! Travelling in February has its own benefit: the crowds from school holidays have largely gone and you can reap the benefits of cheaper air fares and explore the destinations at the your own pace.

1. Marrakech, Morocco
Late February counts among one of the best times to visit Marrakech, with spring bringing a fresh burst of colour to the Red City. There’s lots of sunshine but not too warm, making it ideal conditions for exploration.

Where to Stay
Dar Seven in Marrakech feels like a chic and elegant home for royalty. Huge blond antique doors and a dining table in the open-air courtyard looks like the set of a glamorous interiors’ shoot. The rooms are exquisitely decorated in a soft and relaxing colour scheme with cream-coloured linen, contrasted against dark brown wooden furniture.

Image by Dar Seven Morocco

For couples looking to indulge in the rich traditional culture of Morocco, Riad 72 is laid out in traditional riad style, with a big rectangular central courtyard. The colour palette is earthy and rich, complete with banana leaves in the courtyard. Unwind after a day of exploring the city with a massage and hammam, the traditional Turkish bath.

What to Do
The minaret of the Koutoubia Mosque is Marrakech’s most famous symbol, making it a must-visit site for tourists. Built in a traditional Almohad style and topped with four copper globes, the magnificent Mosque is visible from near and far. After that, wander around the seemingly endless maze of markets and souks in Medina. The fibrous network of souks showcase alleyway upon alleyway of tiny retail cubicles selling trinkets, clothing, carpets, spices and even magic supplies.

2. Alexandria, Egypt
One of the best times to visit Egypt is no doubt in February, when the temperatures are at their most pleasant and the crowds from the holiday season have died down. This is the time when iconic sites like the Pyramids of Giza are less crowded too.

Where to Stay
At the very edge of the Mediterranean Bay in Alexandria stands the Four Seasons Alexandria, the glamorous but intimate enclave within the stately Grand Plaza shopping. The guest rooms are elegantly decorated and terraced restaurants provide the perfect setting for alfresco dining.

Image via Four Seasons Alexandria

What to Do
The Pyramids of Giza are a must-see for the most obvious reasons. But the old capital of Egypt also offers many fascinating sights. The Pillar of Pompey and the Sphinx are located close to each other and could easily make up for a half-day trip. If you are feeling adventurous, visit Cleopatra’s Palace, which is now underwater due to an earthquake more than 1,400 years ago.

3. Mactan Island, Philippines
Located in Cebu, Philippines, February is the best time to soak up the sun due to the dry season. The weather is relatively moderate albeit tropical, but the dry season ensures that you get to enjoy the sun, sea and the best of Cebu.

Where to Stay
The little island of Mactan, just off the coast of Cebu, is unbeatable as Philippine’s best diving, snorkelling, sailing and cultural adventures. The beach-side Crimson Resort and Spa Mactan is the place to be for a tropical island escape. Guest rooms have balconies overlooking manicured gardens, while the exclusive villas boast four-poster beds and outdoor private plunge pools.

Image via Crimson Resort and Spa Mactan

For honeymooners looking to splurge, Abaca Resort is the exclusive tropical hideaway with its private deluxe suites set in a lush tropical oceanfront surrounds. The resort also has a full luxury spa and restaurant so you will not have to leave the premises at all!

What to Do
Simply unwind and enjoy each other’s company in magical post-wedding bliss, with the glorious scenery that Mactan Island has to offer. There are plenty of water sports to enjoy for the adventurous. For couples looking to explore the town, the Mactan Shrine and Magellan monument consists of an obelisk to commemorate the Battle of Mactan.

4. Patagonia, Chile
February is the best time to enjoy Patagonia: the weather is mild and there are simply fewer crowds. The fierce Chilean winds are year-round, so pack layers and a sturdy windbreaker for the trip.

Where to Stay
The Singular Patagonia is a restoration of an old cattle processing plant that takes the idea of industrial chic to dizzying new heights, though none are more impactful than the guest rooms’ enormous floor-to-ceiling windows. Feast your eyes on Patagonia’s rugged landscape. If you are in need of some physical comforts, the rooms first-rate fixtures and furnishings should do the trick. But don’t miss out on the 3,000 square-foot spa complex.

The Explora Patagonia is a boxy modernist lodge just a stone’s throw away from the Salto Chico waterfall, with the peaks of the Paine massif looming just behind. The rugged landscape can feel a bit barren, so the fifty rooms and suites are simply cozy and inviting.

Image via Explora Patagonia

What to Do
The rugged beauty of the Torres del Paine National Park is guaranteed to leave you in awe. Known for its soaring mountains and bright blue icebergs, hiking through the national park is definitely an experience not to be missed. Explore Patagonia’s Atlantic coast where lucky visitors are sometimes treated to the sight of the gigantic southern right whale off the coast.

5. Miami, USA
While the rest of America shivers in chilly wintry weather, Miami is warming up, but not too much. The gorgeous spring weather settles in making ideal conditions for vacation.

Where to Stay
The Betsy on South Beach is one of the last Georgian-style hotels to be built on Ocean Drive, although it is by no means old-fashioned. The interiors are contemporary but still classic, with golden yellow and soft lavender contrasting with the ever-present Miami white.

One the other end of the scale, there is the Como Metropolitan where the reconstructed hotel from the 1930’s has kept much of its Art Deco bones. Acres of white space make the most out of plentiful Miami sunlight, but pastel tones and metallic surfaces make the Metropolitan a set out of Miami Vice.

Image via Como Metropolitan

What to Do
A trip to Miami is incomplete without a stroll down Ocean Drive. One of the most famous boulevards in the city, Ocean Drive is characterised by its distinct art deco buildings, glittering hotel and club fronts. Spend the day enjoying the sun at South Beach. The popular Miami hang-out spot welcomes anyone looking for pristine sand and amazing food. Get pampered at an opulent spa or simply stroll along the boardwalk.

 

Ms Chinoiserie Says: The rich diversity of Morocco and Chile have always fascinated me; February is the perfect time to visit!

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6 Things To Love About Hobart

Image via Discover Tasmania

Hobart, an old style city, is one for the ages. Breath taking views of the surrounding mountains and bush lands and the fresh crisp air create a cosy backdrop for a honeymoon. Here are six things to love about this city fringed by wilderness.

1. Oysters. Tasmania is home to some of the world’s freshest, tastiest oysters, and it’s no accident. Their cold, clean waters, temperate climate and largely unspoiled natural environment result in some of the best seafood on the market. Enjoy these seafood delights freshly shucked from the water or pair them with a tangy dressing on top. Check out the Barilla Bay Oyster Farm for a taste of our favourite treats – don’t forget  glass of bubbles too!

Image via You Only Live Once

2. Cruise Hobart. What better way to explore all of Hobart than to sail around it; perfectly romantic for you love birds to get a bit of one on one time abroad Hobart’s natural serenity. The Full Day Sailing experience cruises along Hobart’s Derwent River, where you will be able to take in the views of historic landmark buildings and stunning coastal scenery from the water. Dare to get behind the wheel and steer the yacht, laze on the large sunny deck, swim off the side and indulge in a fresh local produce lunch. Keep your eye out for dolphins and whales all in a day’s sail.

Image via Hobart Yachts

3. Boutique Hideaway. When you and your new husband are booking your honeymoon, there are usually three main things on your checklist when organising it. Good food and drinks, gorgeous views and luxury accommodation! So why not stay at Tasmania’s most awarded boutique hotel, Islington. The serene and relaxing luxury boutique apartments gaze directly up to the mountains through rhododendron and cherry gardens.

Image via Islington 

4. Artistic Afternoon. The truly enlightening museum, MONA, is a ferry ride from Hobart’s harbour front. The Museum of Old & New Art (MONA) is an innovative and truly world-class institution. Created by David Walsh, he describes it as a Disneyland for adults. So why not go and explore the three levels of spectacular underground galleries, which showcase more than 400 pieces of work.

Image via About Australia

5. Brunching. A great place to satisfy those breakfast cravings in Hobart, that is super cute and trendy is Pilgrim Coffee. With exposed brick walls, timber beams and the smell of coffee brewing this place is Hobart’s hippest cafe. From Pilgrim Breakfast to Cocoa Waffles, Pilgrim Coffee is sure to have something you love with a bit of a twist…and of course coffee.

Image via Pilgrim Coffee

6. Market Envy. If you two newlyweds want to cook up a storm one night then be sure to get to the Farm Gate Market before you do. Overflowing with fresh fruit, veg, honey, wine, baked goods, beer and smoked meats you are more than 100 per-cent likely to find some fresh local Tassie produce to indulge in. Situated on the corner of Elizabeth Street and Melville Street, Hobart, this market has been a huge success for years and is held every Sunday. So grab a few bags between you and taste and smell your way through the market frenzy.

Image via Australian Traveller

Ms Chinoiserie Says: With its captivating history, culture – and gourmet adventures – it’s no wonder Hobart is on our list of top places to visit!

Polka Dot Travel Lounge welcomes Annette, a serial adventurer who is the author of the book Bucket List Adventures. She’s a social media influencer, and creator of the award winning travel blog, Bucket List Journey, a site that encourages readers to step out of their box in order to live their dreams. We were lucky enough to have a chat with Annette about some of the top spots for your romantic honeymoon. Prepare yourself for your next trip, these recommendations sound amazing!

What is your favourite region?

I have been fortunate to travel to some pretty incredible places around the world. Some of my favourites are the Galapagos Islands for the unique wildlife, Switzerland for the green rolling hills and the serenity of Jordan’s Wadi Rum desert.

But, there is one place that I can never get enough of because of the endless exploration opportunities. Tokyo can not ever get boring. While there I ate beef that was creatively shaped like a brain, served to me inside of my private jail cell by women dressed in pink nurses’ outfits. I drank my coffee next to a dozen felines at a quirky cat café, confirming my preference for dogs. And I found out exactly what all the buttons on the Japanese toilet do (enjoying some outcomes much more than others).

There are not many places that would provide such peculiar and unexpected forms of entertainment, but Tokyo is a city of many colourful facets; a mix of avant-garde and traditional. It is a town where the illuminated skyscrapers cohabitate with historic temples, unusual anime shops and cherry blossom lined streets. It is a destination where you can attend a lively tuna auction hours before daybreak, eat skewers of yakitori in the seedy Piss Alley or scramble across one of the biggest intersections in the world with hundreds of others. In other words, Tokyo is just fabulous.

Top resort recommendation?

Not considered your conventional romantic destination, the Santa Teresita Resort & Spa in Guatemala is an underrated destination for couples. You can spend an afternoon sipping on fresh fruit smoothies and soaking in their four outdoor thermals pools that are meant to improve circulation and relieve stress.

Evenings are meant to be enjoying dinner at the modern Las Mengalas restaurant, while looking out of the floor to ceiling windows. Dine on traditional dishes that are reinvented using local products. As if that’s not enough, then you will go to your room. Their trendy Kawilal Hotel is a leader in the sustainability movement practicing efficiency in energy use, water use and material selections. Even the rooms’ roofs are built with gardens, keeping the inside temperature comfortable without the use of an air conditioner. When you open the sliding glass doors, the lines between indoors and outdoors will be blurred.

Suggestions for great honeymoon activities?

My perfect honeymoon activities would be the perfect mix of romance and adventure, all the while creating unforgettable memories as a newlywed couple. A very special bonding experience to share would be conquering a fear together. Try zip lining through the Costa Rican rain forest or taking a helicopter ride over a Hawaiian volcano. For a little romance, set up a wine-pairing dinner at a Michelin starred restaurant or take a hot air balloon ride over Cappadocia. A simple activity, and one of my favourites with my husband was hiking through the California redwoods, then setting up a hammock between two giants trees and lounging there listening to the sound of nature.

The ideal location for a proposal.

I think the ideal location for a proposal would have to be a place meaningful to you both, like a location where you had a memorable experience early on in your relationship, a destination that you’ve always wanted to travel to or while doing an adventure on your bucket list.

If my husband of almost 20 years were to propose to me again (how sweet would that be?) I would want it to either be at an Irish castle fit for a princess (like Dromoland in Clare!) or after hiking to the top of a Glacier Point in Yosemite where there was a champagne picnic waiting. These are two places that would have a personal meaning to us.

Best kept secret honeymoon location.

On a budget, staying near (or in) a national park is the best-kept secret. A place like Yosemite Valley, which is the centrepiece of Yosemite National Park in California, has grand waterfalls, flowing creeks, picturesque hiking and monumental granite cliffs. During the winter months it is a pure white wonderland for travellers who want to snowshoe, cross-country ski, make snowmen or simply sit in a lodge by a cosy fireplace. In the summer, take some waterfall hikes or a scenic drive and stay in a charming nearby B&B (we loved Tin Lizzie Inn). National parks are a chance to connect with nature and disconnect from technology.

For a more luxurious experience, take a road trip through the South of France. Plan overnight stays at all the quaint cities — don’t miss St-Remy-de-Provence, Arles, Perouges and Les Baux! There’s nothing that says romance more than strolling through cobbled streets line with cute shops and stopping at a tiny bistro along the way for a glass of Bordeaux.

Ms Chinoiserie Says: What amazing adventures – and stunning images. I think I may need to visit more national parks – Yosemite looks so dreamy!