5 VINTAGE HONEYMOON DESTINATIONS
Swoon: Paris’s reputation for romance precedes it. Intricate streetscapes, manicured parks and boulangeries have created a Disneyland for lovers.
Stroll: Hold hands through the Parc des Buttes Chaumont, a spot often overlooked by tourists in the 19th arrondisement. This park has a dome atop a rocky outcrop, with lovers’ graffiti etched into the banisters.
Stare: At the Eiffel Tower at night, on the hour, every hour after dark. The tourists have left and the city’s monument dazzles with a five minute light show up and down its length and breadth.
Sleep: Opt for classical opulence and stay at Hotel Plaza Athenee with its iconic green walled courtyard.
Swoon: This is a vintage honeymoon destination by mere virtue of its being in a time warp since 1959 when Fidel Castro staged a communist coup. It’s the perfect backdrop for a retro honeymoon.
Stroll: Havana is the most vibrant city in the Caribbean. Gaudy in a good way, the colours can’t help but make you smile. Add that to the bright 1950s Chevrolets that patrol the streets and you’ll have one happy honeymoon.
Stare: Escape to the beach for many a tete-a-tete over coconuts and cocktails. Most trips to Cuba are a pairing of city and coast, and the best regions are Caya Largo and Caya Coco.
Sleep: Stay at the imposing colonial hotel Saratoga. French doors open onto cast-iron balconies that overlook the effervescent Havana. It was good enough for Beyonce and JayZ to spend their wedding anniversary there, so follow their lead.
Swoon: Vintage Kenya was a land of khaki-coloured colonialism and a brave choice of honeymoon for the more adventurous lovers out there. Today, it is a place for safari, luxury lodges and star gazing.
Stroll: To get the heart pumping, leave the security of the vehicle and embark on a walking safari. Expert trackers will lead you on an exhilarating hunt through the bush to find the Big Five.
Stare: At the stars. Whether you are staying at a lodge or a campsite, the celestial sphere is brightest in the African night. Most dinners are served outside by firelight, and your guides will point out the constellations if you ask.
Sleep: Karen Blixen Camp in the Masai Mara, which is decked out in the 1920s style of the woman renowned for writing what became the film and love story Out of Africa. Beachcomber has a three-night flying safari itinerary that stays here called Wings over the Masai Mara.
Swoon: The hometown of literary ladykiller Casanova is no stranger to love. Narrow alleys, gondola singers and beautiful buildings combine to make all visitors fall in love, whether they want to or not.
Stroll: Anywhere, as long as it is without a map. You won’t be able to find your way regardless of the tools you employ. Walk with no intention and be swept away by the intrigue of churches, bridges and canals.
Stare: Once you’ve strolled through the labyrinth of alleyways, it’s time to take to the waterways that make Venice famous. If a gondola ride is too clich√©d, take a vaporetto, or water taxi, around the islands. Moving at a brisk pace, it feels like the height of glamour.
Sleep: Aman Canal Grande Venice is a gloriously restored palace that is as intimate as it is extravagant. And if you need a celebrity endorsement, the venue has just hosted George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin’s nuptials.
Swoon: The height of retro honeymoon glamour, the South of France is a hotbed of Mediterranean panache. Cannes and St Tropez are the coastal towns with a long history of allure.
Stroll: The Promenade de la Croisette is lined with high-end boutiques for just-married gifts and edged by the glossy beachside that put Cannes on the map.
Stare: Hire a car to explore the Cote d’Azur. You will find charming hilltop villages in Gourdon as well as Grasse, the birthplace of perfume. There’s also Port Grimaud, which is this region’s answer to Venice.
Sleep: Hotel Majestic Barriere is located in the heart of Cannes, and plays a vital role during the annual film festival. Freestyle Holidays offers this hotel in its The Collection product range.