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Destination… honeymoon!


Honeymoon memories are never unpacked when it’s time to come home. Those blissful moments in time are a forever investment worth planning for.

 

 

 

We asked Mel Hubber, co-owner of House of Travel Ferrymead, for advice on some of the hottest honeymoon picks for 2020.

 

Tahiti for two
Bora Bora and its glistening azure seas is synonymous with romance. Mel recommends staying at Bora Bora’s Hilton, Four Seasons, St Regis or Conrad, or perhaps sail away with your spouse on a Windstar cruise and see more of the islands.

Bali for brides and grooms
Head for the laidback Gili Islands, Mel says – Gili Meno or Gili Air are romantically quiet, or for slightly more action, stay at Pondok Santi on Gili Trawangan. There’s white sands, clear waters, no cars, biking, sunsets and snorkelling with turtles. Pledge your love forever in an infinity pool in Ubud, where peaceful resorts perch high above terraced rice paddies. Indulge in spa treatments for two at a wellness retreat.

A villa in Sicily
For romantic rustic charm, live like a local and walk hand-in-hand among the local markets of Southern Italy. Mel loves the area of Cefalu for beachside bliss.

New York, New York
From October next year, Air New Zealand flies direct to the ultra-romantic city of New York with its iconic landmarks for honeymoon photos, exquisite shopping and dining, and Broadway. Mel recommends the old-school luxury of the Four Seasons, or the decadent difference of the Mercer, or Ian Schragers’s Public Hotel for fabulous views of The Big Apple’s skyline.

Cruisy Greek Isles
With its white-washed villages upon azure waters, Greece is the perfect place to gaze into your loved one’s eyes over a Mediterranean meal. It’s paradise on a platter. Mel says there’s a perfect cruise for every pair, from the likes of MSC Cruises, Azamara, Windstar or Celestyal.

Hawaii happiness
Hawaii has the Aloha spirit. Mel suggests staying at Westin Moana Surfrider for old world grandeur, and for romantic moments, sip Mai Tais outside the Royal Hawaiian hotel. Newlyweds will love the outer islands of Maui or Kauai.

Local for lovers
No need to fly internationally to find a romantic getaway! Waiheke Island is a short ferry ride from Auckland with its many world-class beaches and wineries – a destination to rival the south of France. Stay even closer at an ultra-romantic Banks Peninsula destination. This includes sleeping in something different – a double-glazed pod at Te Wepu. Couples can also escape to the coastal farm retreat of Annandale.

Get cosy in Aussie
Cheap flights are perfect for those short on time. Consider a long weekend lover’s break in Sydney with beaches, shows and style, Melbourne for fashion and culture, or Brisbane to dine and shop. Couples can even add on a cruise with the likes of P&O, Princess, Carnival or Royal Caribbean. Further up north, Mel’s hot tip is to honeymoon at Hamilton Island’s Qualia Resort – a luxurious world of its own.

 

 


 

Where travel dreams lie: House of Travel Ferrymead


Anticipating a longed-for adventure should be a significant part of the joy of travel. So committed to this concept are Mel Hubber (nee Lowen) and Kim Beswick, co-owners and consultants of House of Travel Ferrymead, that they have redesigned the store around their clients’ comfort and relaxation.

 

 

“We have come up with a layout that is interactive, relaxed and private,” Mel says. “We found traditional set-ups could be intimidating – rows of desks and wondering which one to pitch up to, particularly if you are in the early stages of realising your dream and just have questions or would like to pick up a brochure,” Kim says.

A relaxed ambience fills the store: a living wall, natural oil diffuser and coffee made from compostable pods help clients to leave the world behind and start thinking holidays. Conversations about travel dreams happen at café-style tables over coffee. “We have moved on from transactional conversations over the top of a PC. We distil the details to create the exact trip that their heart desires. We find clients open up more in this environment,” Mel says.

“We nurture the relationship with the client, discuss what inspires them and where their travel dreams lie,” Kim adds. The seven consultants are experienced travellers, committed to the life-enhancing role of travel.

Their central tenet of duty of care is prized by clients. “We take great pride that we will personally answer the emergency phone number and do whatever it takes on a 24/7 basis.” All this, plus ample free parking at the door.