Luxury Honeymoons Trips on The Wild Side
Alila Jabal Akhdar, Oman
Basking in splendid isolation and enveloped by spectacular canyons, gorges and rock formations, this off-the-radar refuge is paradise for hikers and nature-lovers.
Sculpted from local ophiolite rock, the resort has a romantic fortress-like feel and its cliff-hugging pool has views one can never tire of. Omani touches abound, from the rattan-clad ceilings in the bedrooms to the curling pale-grey perfume of frankincense burning in the lobby, and each of the villas (of which there are 78) comes with a large private terrace overlooking a vast rocky abyss. Out of this world.
Honeymoon high: Each May, 7.000 damask rose shrubs turn the valleys a vivid shade of pink. Take a scenic hike to one of the ancient hill farms and load up on rosewater.
Dotted with yucca, agave and paloverde trees plus endless varieties of cacti, the Sonoran Desert is one of the greenest in the world, and this quiet retreat provides the perfect bouncing-off point.
Particularly magical in the evenings, when the desert sun casts a blushing-orange glow across the 12-million-year-old boulders in its backyard. Boulders’ scenery is hard to beat. Hikes, moonlit bicycle tours, hot-air balloon rides and horse-riding are just a few of the high jinks on offer for active types, and agave wraps and facials await lounge-lovers in the spa. Promise Rock is the place to go to watch the sunset: time it right and a butler will appear out of nowhere with dinner for two.
Room key: Opt for a private casita – they come with mesquite wood-tire burners.
Le Chalet Zannier, Megeve
Nothing beats the romance of the Alps: majestic Mont Blanc looming in the distance and ‘champagne’ air so clean it gives you a high.
With just 12 rooms spread across two charming stone-clad chalets, this bijou hotel is as cosy as it gets (Uggs are provided in all the rooms). Interiors are raw and refined (stone, aged wood and smart organic linens) and with La Ferme de Mon Pere – one of the hottest restaurants in town – under your roof, you needn’t stray far. Not to worry if you’re not keen skiers, everything from horse-and-carriage rides to husky excursions can be arranged.
Mufasa, Lake Malawi
Sail up Lake Malawi and you’ll be leaving the modern world behind you completely – you’ll be lucky to even get a phone signal.
Mufasa, your home for the duration, is a 38-foot catamaran and the lake’s only live-aboard vessel. Days are spent snorkelling in crystal-clear, skin-softening waters, squeaking along white-sand beaches and stopping off at fishing villages that have never seen tourists. The lake’s shores throw up the occasional wildly luxurious eco-lodge, of which Kaya Mawa and Nkwichi Lodge are worth dropping anchor for, however sleeping on board is just as romantic, thanks to the gentle rock of the boat and the wondrous glow of the Milky Way above.
Loisaba Tented Camp, Kenya
This small camp comprising six tents opened last May and sits on one of Kenya’s most important elephant corridors.
Game viewing is off the charts (giraffe, zebra and wild dogs), and in between bush drives and gin and tonics, there’s fishing, village trips and horse-riding to enjoy. Want to extend your trip? The camp is part of a new ‘sky safari’ circuit allowing travellers to visit Loisaba as part of a wider itinerary including Meru National Park and the Masai Mara – all by private plane.
Honeymoon high: Loisaba’s bar clings to the edge of a 600ft escarpment with views all the way to Mount Kenya.
Room key: Honeymoon tent (number 12) comes with its own pool.