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.
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.
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.
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!
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!