We were lucky enough to spend our honeymoon in one of the most romantic destinations on earth, the Maldives. The picture perfect tropical nation in the Indian Ocean is made up of 26 ring-shaped atolls and more than 1,000 coral islands.
We flew into the island nation’s capital of Male via Singapore. The mood on the plane when flying from Singapore to Male was noticeably more jovial and energetic than on your average flight. Most of us on board were flying towards the holiday of a lifetime. The closer we got to Male, the more excited we became, especially as we began to catch glimpses of the famous luminous blue water and coral reefs out the window.

Upon touching down in Male we were met by a representative from LUX* Resorts where we would be staying and were taken straight outside and across to where the boats were docked.
We jumped on board a luxury speedboat where we set off for a quick, smooth one hour journey to LUX* North Male.
The exciting thing about LUX* North Male is that it had only opened its doors to guests just a few months before we arrived. It is LUX* Resorts second property in the Maldives and it is truly unique.
You won’t find any traditional thatched roof villas here. Nope, this resort is home to 67 over-sized double-storey, penthouse residences each with private pool. Their design is said to be inspired by the curves and lines of a luxury boat and its sails! Sexy or what?
I’d been seduced by the images of this resort, but actually approaching it via speed boat for the first time felt totally surreal. You have to do a double take to really believe your own eyes at how stunning this place is.
Once we docked at the resort we were greeted by none other than our own island host. Yes, all guests get their own host here who caters to your every need throughout your stay.
We jumped straight on the back of his buggy for a tour of the six-hectare island fringed by powder soft beaches. We were in awe but this feeling was only elevated further when we arrived at our very own overwater villa.
When our island host guided us inside we were both astounded at just how luxurious it was. This place is what the sweetest honeymoon dreams are made of. Neither of us were sure where to look first, desperate to drink it all in.
I spotted a giant terrace with a huge private infinity pool overlooking the turquoise lagoon, a spacious and stylish open plan bathroom with a huge egg-shaped freestanding bath which looked out on tropical plants and our very own outdoor shower. There was just so much space and it was all for us!

Our island host did an in-villa check in with us and the moment he zipped away on his buggy we both just giggled and screamed and wondered aloud how somewhere this perfect could exist. We let no time slip away before we popped our first bottle of champagne and slid into our private pool.
Shortly after we ventured up our own outdoor stairs where we discovered that we had our OWN private rooftop terrace and planned a star gazing session come nightfall. We were only at LUX* North Male for a few nights but we sure made the most of every moment.
I started each day with a morning yoga session, I never managed to convince hubby to join me unfortunately – but he was happy to have his morning workout at the gym instead. We are both early risers so after our morning exercise we’d opt for an awesome, barista made coffee at Cafe LUX* before wandering over to breakfast at Glow Bar. This was definitely a daily ritual I could keep up.

Another ritual we enjoyed at LUX* North Male were our visits to the day spa. The over-lagoon spa’s treatment rooms are positioned right over the water. There’s even a glass floor at eye level on the massage tables so that you can see the colourful marine life passing by during your treatment. Unwinding here was just too easy.
A really cool option at the spa was the aromatherapy bath full of floating flower petals (and yep, you can get all romantic and share this treatment with your significant other). As the treatment rooms are encased in glass windows we also got to take in the gorgeous views of the bright blue lagoon at the same time.
Our favourite meal during our time at LUX* North Male was at INTI, the resort’s Peruvian-Japanese fusion restaurant with an open sushi bar in the centre. We are seafood lovers and our meal choices leant heavily towards the ceviche (a classic peruvian dish of raw fish cured in citrus juices). The seafood is just so fresh, and the all the ingredients work so beautifully together. This place is seriously fine dining! We truly didn’t want to leave LUX* North Male, but luckily for us it wasn’t the end of our honeymoon, next stop LUX* South Ari Atoll!

LUX* South Ari Atoll
To get to LUX*’s original Maldives’ resort, we took the speed boat back to Male Airport and boarded a Transmaldivian seaplane for a very scenic half hour ride. Taking off from the water was an unforgettable experience. A were both super excited to experience the seaplane ride. The pilots were so relaxed and even fly bare foot. They seemed so at home behind the controls in these tiny planes that it definitely made me feel comfortable.
The views were incredible: stunning reefs, bright blue water and a glimpse of other islands and resorts.
As we came in to land at LUX* South Ari, we were greeted by several smiling staff, waving in unison, welcoming us to their beautiful island. This island is bigger than LUX* North Male at around four kilometres. It’s all powder soft white sand beaches and luminous blue water dotted with LUX*’s trademark “playful luxury” daybeds and overwater swings and hammocks.

The entire island felt like something I’d dream up but would never truly get to see in real life. We felt so lucky to be spending the second half of our honeymoon there. We stayed in the aptly named Romantic Overwater Pool Villa suspended over a sparkling turquoise lagoon.
Our favourite place was the villa’s front terrace with an oversized daybed-style swing, an infinity pool overlooking the water and steps leading straight down to lagoon. We were able to hire snorkelling gear for our stay, which meant we had the freedom to snorkel straight off our front deck. We didn’t have to swim far to find a colourful assortment of fish and coral.
South Ari Atoll is the prime spot to snorkel with whale sharks (no these aren’t the scary kind of shark – they are giant, friendly fish) all year round. We did take a boat trip from the island to look for whale sharks, but unfortunately we didn’t get to see any. We did, however, get to snorkel with dolphins and turtles which was breathtaking.
The water was a giant playground for us during our stay. One day we tried parasailing. Surprisingly it wasn’t too scary. Hubby and I got to go up together. It was such a romantic experience being gently suspended into the sky, floating up high behind a speedboat, looking down on our island paradise. Another day we hired paddle boards. The water was so clear we could see fish swimming around our boards.

We also hired push bikes for our stay, which made getting around the entire island a breeze. It kind of reminded me of summer holidays as a kid where you’d zoom about on your bike. Again we were following our routine of rise and shining early to cycle the island and enjoy an early coffee at the cafe LUX* (can you tell we’re obsessed with coffee yet?). They even roast their own coffee beans here which is certainly a gourmet touch.
One morning we had an outrageously luxury experience for breakfast – a FLOATING CHAMPAGNE BREAKFAST in our own pool!

I’d seen the phenomenon on Instagram, but I could hardly believe we were truly experiencing it. The kind LUX* staff set up our breakfast of fruits, pancakes, eggs and of course bubbly on a floating tray in our pool. Full disclosure I did take about 100 photos of the stunning floating breakfast before we dug in. Hubby wasn’t particularly impressed, he was keen to get started on the feast! It was definitely one of those mornings where you had to pinch yourself to believe it was real. Especially when it was followed up by massages at the spa and a private cooking class.
A blissful way to end the day at LUX* South Ari is with a cocktail in hand watching the sunset. It was hard to pick between our two favourite bars.. Beach Rouge or East Bar. At Beach Rouge a house DJ plays tunes and Instagram sunset shots are in full swing along the picture-perfect beach, filled with day beds and a colourful assortment scattered cushions. There was a definitely a party vibe there.
Over the other side of the island on East Bar, which is closer to our accommodation, there was a more chilled out vibe with live acoustic music and we laid on suspended nets over the lagoon, sipping Pina Coladas. What a place to celebrate love! One night we also did a wine tasting there and were so impressed but LUX*’s house ScruCap and PopCap ranges.
Another major highlight of our trip was Teppanyaki at the Japanese restaurant UMAMI. Our teppanyaki chef Allen was such a character. We were in stitches the whole evening with his jokes and tricks and yes, we attempted to catch food in our mouths, and failed miserably at the task! The food itself was absolutely stunning – especially the moist and juicy Tooth Fish which we have pretty much talked about every day since!
We settled into life at LUX* South Ari way too easily, which made leaving heartbreaking. “I don’t want to go, I don’t want to go” I kept saying as we sipped one final coconut iced coffee while waiting for our seaplane. I certainly hope we can return to LUX* Resorts or at least the Maldives again one day. Perhaps for a wedding anniversary? Is our first one too soon?

Ms Zebra Says: WOW! What a honeymoon!! Congratulations to Nathalie and Ben – and thank you for sharing your incredible Maldivian honeymoon with us. 

Polka Dot Honeymoons Directory Mid Banner

I’m sure you’ve heard a lot about México – picturesque ancient ruins, tequila fuelled parties and Day of the Dead. However, what you may not know is that Mexico is a dream honeymoon destination for any food lover, or that the food – incredible, mouth-watering food – can be found throughout the entire country.

And I’m not talking about Tex Mex, but rather real Mexican food from traditional Mexican soups, to street tacos, to modern food markets offering local and foreign cuisine. Honeymooners travelling through México can be guaranteed one thing- you may return with a little extra love weight, but you will have eaten some of the best food in your life and will have zero regrets.

Destination 1: Cancún, Quintana Roo
We begin our trip in Cancún, the infamous city well known for its pristine beaches and exhilarating nightlife. Cancún is the perfect place to begin your honeymoon, whether you want to party together or relax poolside with bottomless margaritas. Like most coastal cities, the seafood in Cancún is incredible, and the biggest reason to make this a stop on your honeymoon.

Top of the menu is Ceviche – a refreshing dish of fish cured in citrus juice. Although it originated in Peru, Ceviche is popular in México, where they have perfected their own variation of the dish. It is tangy and light, and best enjoyed by the water with your new husband/wife and some chilled Coronas. You can find Ceviche all over Cancún, but you will want the best Ceviche. In a city full of tourists, your best bet? Go where the locals go.

Destination 2: Tequila, Jalisco
Yes that’s right, Tequila. Not the drink, but the town it comes from. While tequila distilleries are a huge reason for visiting this area, the local eateries are equally as inviting. Offering regional and traditional Mexican soups and stews such as Pozole and Birria, Tequila is the perfect town for a late lunch – particularly after a morning of distillery taste testing.

La Fonda Cholula serves both Pozole and Birria, plus many other dishes made of agave, the native local plant used to make tequila. Their food is hearty, rich in flavour and almost nostalgic, like they’re family recipes made with love by your great grandma.

To make La Fonda Cholula even better, they serve what may just be the best guacamole in México. A waiter will bring an excessively large mortar & pestle to your table and smash the avocados right in front of you. Plus, you’ll get personalise your guac by choosing from a delectable assortment of mix ins. For an unexpected twist try adding mango, you’ll both love it.

Destination 3: Mérida, Yucatán
While Mérida isn’t one of the most well known cities in México, it should be. It has some of the most impressive architecture in all of México and is just a short drive from numerous stunning Cenotes. After a long day of honeymooning, you’ll both need a good bite to eat. So what happens if you and your new husband/wife can’t decide what kind of food you want?

A romantic walk through the charming streets of Mérida will lead you to Mercardo 60, a modern outdoor food market made up of 18 mini restaurants like Poncho & Chel’s and EL Diez Millo. The market offers all sorts of cuisine, from Japanese to modern Mexican, Italian to hamburgers and BBQ, satisfying all appetites and removing any need for compromise. You’ll only need to decide whether you’ll be sharing dessert or having one each.

Destination 4: Guanajuato City, Guanajuato
No honeymoon feast is complete without drinks, and there is no better way to celebrate being newlyweds than with a shot of mezcal – a Mexican spirit also made from agave. After a day spent creating memories in the dreamy rainbow streets of Guanajuato, head to the cosy underground bar Mezcalito.

Here you can both sample countless different flavour infusions of mezcal. And since mezcal is typically drunk straight and not mixed, just a handful of flavours and you’ll be ready to salsa dance together for the rest of the night. However pay close attention to mezcal bottle, if your shot is the last in the bottle, you may find yourself eating a scorpion.

Destination 5: México City, México
Finally we end our trip in México City. Like any other capital, México City does not disappoint. A honeymooner’s dream city, it offers experiences suitable for any couple. Whether it be exploring Aztec ruins in the Templo Mayor, learning art history in Frida Kahlo’s House or chilling out with a cerveza and your own private mariachi on a floating boat at Xochimilco. No matter what’s in your itinerary, sampling street food is a México City must do.

Street vendors selling tacos, tortas and elotes are scattered through every corner of the city – meaning good food is always in sight. For the newlyweds looking to slow things down a little, a walk through Chapultepec Park is just what you need. The park is idyllic, with impressive monuments and lush gardens. Chapultepec Park also happens to have the best tacos al pastor in México city. Tasty pork loaded with the freshest chilli and onion, these tacos are everything you’d want them to be – simple, fresh and heavenly. Simply pick a taquería and ask for “tacos al pastor, por favor.”

Ms Zebra Says: Mexico is a great place and very interesting – not to mention the incredible food! Thanks for the recommendations!

Hannah is a writer and traveler based in New South Wales. She began as a poetry and prose writer, and has since expanded into travel writing to combine both passions. In her spare time, you’ll find her hiking and soaking up the sun in the south coast, or binging the latest award worthy television and film.

Omelette bars, pancake stations, carveries, pastries – these are the stuff of average hotel buffets. Let me tell you, not all buffets are created equal. If you’re after something extra special, after your extra special day, here are five hotels where the buffet puts on a real show.

Atlantis The Palm, Dubai
Doughnut walls, yes, doughnut walls. Everything at Atlantis, Dubai’s famous pink palace is big and bold. From the towering hand-blown glass sculpture at reception to the enormous aquarium sprawling through the lobby corridors, this underwater-themed hotel doesn’t hold back. The same goes for the two buffet restaurants – Kaleidoscope and Saffron Restaurant.

There is every conceivable type of food on offer – but it’s the middle eastern treats that really tickle my fancy. Start the day with za’atar croissants and hummus, dukkha dusted Labne and the piece de resistance, a date palm tree made completely of dates. Pluck one, two, or three to go with dessert. Even at breakfast there’s lolly stations, cupcake walls and a chocolate fountain.

Image via The Langham Sydney

Image via The Langham Sydney

The Langham Sydney, Australia
Kitchens on Kent is the newly reimagined restaurant at our favourite Sydney hotel, The Langham Sydney. A series of ‘kitchens’, the restaurant is transformed every breakfast, lunch and dinner. Make a beeline for the evening buffet, where there’s a serious seafood offering (think Balmain bugs, oysters, prawns and crab claws), a naan bread oven (with curries to match), pasta bar, stir fry station, rotisserie grill and enormous dessert table.

Image via The Langham Sydney

When it comes to dessert, the built in ice cream bar is a winner. Then there’s the ruby chocolate fountain (Langham pink!), whole cakes, big blocks of chocolate bark, mini macarons and plenty of petit fours.

Prospect House, Richmond, Tasmania
Big isn’t always better and at this beautiful historic Georgian style manor, 15 minutes drive from Hobart, the breakfast buffet is boutique and beautiful. With just 12 rooms, Prospect House is the perfect blend of old world charm and modern mod cons – settle into a wing back armchair by the fire with the latest Mona collection coffee table book.

Image via Prospect House

Breakfasts take place in the actual kitchen – a beautiful sunny room with a farm style wooden table for guests and a big kitchen island full of continental homemade goodies. There’s also a huge stove, where the chef stands by cooking hot breakfasts. Simply point out what you’d like (sausage, bacon, eggs, tomatoes etc) and your own private chef whips it up for you. Now we’re talking! Don’t miss the homemade salted caramel – goes down a treat on the freshly made sourdough.

The Mulia, Bali
Go hungry or go home should be the motto at The Mulia’s buffet – The Café is a misleading name for this sprawling smorgasbord of dishes from around the globe. Chinese BBQ pork and freshly made pastas, rows and rows of salads, stir fries and sandwiches, are just the beginning. And then there’s the dessert room – chefs make ice cream on the spot with steaming bowls of liquid nitrogen and your favourite toppings, with rows and rows of desserts in every shape and flavour.

It’s outrageously OTT, but still manages to stay chic, with a lovely dining room and excellent service. If that’s not enough, there’s also the Sunday brunch in Soleil, another decadent, delicious affair onsite. This is Bali dining like you haven’t seen it before.

Ms Zebra Says: Aren’t buffets one of the best things about being on holiday? What a collection of fabulous buffets – and hotels, to try! Thanks Lisa for the recommendations!

About Lisa Perkovic: Lisa has spent the past decade travelling the world writing for Australia’s leading newspapers, magazines and blogs about all things travel. Her own honeymoon was her pièce de résistance – an epic journey to the Maldives and South Africa. Now she loves nothing more than sharing destinations and tips to help other newlyweds work out how to have the honeymoon of their dreams.