A heavenly honeymoon
A very popular destination for honeymoons, Tahiti and its surrounding islands attract many couples looking for a romantic holiday.
Polynesia is a unique place where dream and reality are one.
Fans of romance will take the first major step in their life together, whether by marriage or just a union, in this wonderful setting: a traditional Tahitian wedding ceremony is definitely one of the most beautiful gifts for future couples or newlyweds, on their honeymoon, to re-confirm their vows or to simply celebrate an anniversary.
A new law which recently passed in France has made it easier for foreigners to get married in French Polynesia: couples can now get married legally without having to live in the territory for one month before the wedding.
The hotels welcoming the newlyweds are generally made up of luxurious, traditional thatched-roof bungalows built with all the amenities of a first- class hotel room and perched above the turquoise lagoon waters. These‘islet-hotels’ are completely integrated into the landscape without being confined to one space, and provide a discreet service, meaning each couple can enjoy this paradise in privacy.
In addition to their legendary hospitality, these unique hotels now also offer such classic services as water therapy and wellness services, based around the legendary Monoi oil. This fragrant oil is produced using Tiare flowers, and has been known for its health bene- fits for over 2000 years and is found in many body and soul treatments.
Activities include swimming and world-class snorkelling in the safe crystal-clear lagoons that are scatte- red around this romantic getaway.
Flippers, a mask and a snorkel are all that’s needed to locate and observe the natural treasures only two or three metres deep. For you gentlemen, a visit to a farm of pearl oysters is essential to give your sweetheart a unique souvenir.
By heading to New Caledonia, honeymooners can experience not only beautiful beaches, but also a certain novelty. For example travellers can select a more nomadic holiday as tour operators offer journeys around the ‘satellite islands’ of Grande Terre. Landing in Nouméa, the beflowered and joyful capital, you’ll soon head towards the nearby Ile des Pins. This island, where pine trees take over from coconut trees, is scattered with luxuriously exotic hotels.
The Islands of Lifou and Maré are a little bit wilder, but abound with solitary and immaculate beaches, perfect for a romantic one-to-one. The Caledonian spirit is a wise mix between French Pacific, rural, Melanesian and island cultures. These paradise islands are where you can encounter tribes open to the world but close to their customary roots and keen to share their traditions. It’s also a bushcountry, rich in history, with long expanses of land and breathtaking landscapes.
With its distinctive traits, vocabulary, cuisine and culture, New Caledonia offers its visitors the opportunity to discover an authentic universe, far from clichés and mass tourism.
The French West Indies
Going to the French West Indies, Guadeloupe, Martinique and St. Martin means deciding on a shorter journey, but one that is every bit as original; rent a small, typically Creole villa, and spend traditional and festive evenings to the rhythm of the sensual‘biguine’ whilst sampling delicious local dishes.
There are various ways in which sweethearts can share a special moment. Chartered yachts, cruising yachts (with or without a crew), and even luxury cruise ships can all be booked easily.
Furthermore, the quality of accommo- dation on the islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique has increased greatly, making it perfect for lovers to find theirideal getaway.
In Guadeloupe: La Créole Beach & Spa 4*; Toubana & Spa 4*; Plantation Resort Golf & Spa 4*; Club Med 4*; Fort Royal 3*; The Tendacayou Home & Spa.
In Martinique: la Suite Villa; Cap Macabou; Plein Soleil; and le Cap Est Lagoon Resort & Spa has been awarded a fifth star.
The French West Indies are also known as a well-being destination. Do not miss the hot springs supplied with hot water from the Soufrière volcano in Guadeloupe like the ‘Source de Thomas’ in Bouillant; the hot baths of Matouba; the yellow baths of Saint- Claude; the sulfurous Baths of Sofaïa; and the Hot Springs of Dolé.
The mud baths of Babin beach in Vieux- Bourg, Guadeloupe, have been known to treat rheumatism, and will leave the skin of couples soft and smooth.
In St. Martin, enjoy the spa facilities and well-being centres of the island such as the Radisson St. Martin Resort, Marina & Spa and La Samanna, or at the Marquis Hotel Resort & Spa.