The five best getaways for a royal honeymoon
The Seychelles island nation off the coast of Africa. (BBC Television News)
The press has already begun its guessing game of where Prince William and his soon-to-be bride, Kate Middleton, will spend their honeymoon after tying the royal knot on April 29.
One of the original speculations was Kenya, the country that set the scene for William's proposal on a luxury safari. More recently it seems Scilly is the front runner. Rumours that the couple will honeymoon in the Isles of Scilly, located on the Cornish peninsula of Great Britain, has already piqued interest in tourism there. The BBC reports that Scilly's official tourism website, Simply Scilly, is receiving thousands of extra hits from curious tourists.
If the couple decides to defy conventional wisdom, anything is game, as long as it is fit for a future king and queen. The five retreats we suggest are the definition of luxury. Set in some of the most beautiful places in the world, our royal honeymoon suggestions are dream holidays in their own right.
1) Your own private island (Belize or the Seychelles)
For couples with money to spend, the options are many and the amenities amazing. Cayo Espanto is a private island off the coast of Belize, said to be a favourite of such celebrities as Tiger Woods and Leonardo DiCaprio. Its beautiful beachfront villas, complete with butlers and gourmet meals, have graced several magazine covers.
Alternatively, Cousine Island on Africa's Seychelles, is a secluded nature preserve surrounded by the topaz-blue waters of the Indian Ocean. You and your new lifelong partner will be joined by endangered sea turtles, giant tortoises and exotic birds. Honeymoon packages include access to the quiet island's four villas, spa treatments and Jacuzzi relaxation.
While renting an island may seem like an option only available to the rich and famous, there are some rentals available for as low as $120 a week, like Pandan Island in the Philippines.
2) Under the sea (Turks and Caicos)
A list of royal honeymoon hotspots would be incomplete without a Caribbean recommendation. The Turks and Caicos islands are one of the few places yet to be completely overrun by tourism. With one of the longest reefs in the world, this is the place for a relatively secluded scuba or snorkelling vacation. Rent a peaceful, private villa at the Amanyara resort, which comes with a 24-hour chef and a butler.
3) Cool down and warm up (Tierra del Fuego)
If it is cool mountain breeze you crave, plan your honeymoon at the ends of the earth in Tierra del Fuego. Literally translating to "Land of Fire", this southernmost tip of the Americas has something for everyone. Skiing couples like William and Kate can hit the slopes in Ushuaia, and there are opportunities for other adventurous winter sports including ice climbing, ice fishing, dog sledding, skijoring (dog-pulled skiing) and snowmobiling. After a day of winter wonderland, relax your muscles at Los Cauquenes Spa. Warm up in a hot tub or soak in the outdoor or indoor section of the resort's heated "hydro-massage" pool. Both overlook a breathtaking mountain landscape that is one of the best views in the world.
4) Eat your heart out (Southern France)
Spend your honeymoon indulging in delicious food and wine in the south of France. Tour groups like Epiculinary and Michelin Food and Travel will take you on a cycling and cooking tour of Provence or a foie gras and truffles tour of Perigord, while French Wine Explorers will help you plan a customized wine tour through such vineyard destinations as Bordeaux. After eating and drinking your way around the countryside, kick back at Chateau Grand Barrail, a 19th century chateau and spa surrounded by a lush park.
5) The real Club Med (Sardina)
On Sardinia, the second largest island in the Mediterranean, royal couples will find a hotel suite that is not only one of the most expensive in the world but also one of the most architecturally stunning. The presidential suite in Costa Smeralda's Hotel Cala di Volpe, includes a a pristine private swimming pool, wine cellar, fitness space, steam room, solarium, two living rooms, three bedrooms, three Jacuzzi-fitted bathrooms and, of course, multiple balconies. Rates start at $34,000 a night. Cala di Volpe hotel's architect Jacques Couelle has sculpted a contemporary take on the ancient Mediterranean fishing village. His style is reminiscent of Antonin Gaudí's, resembling the famous Casa Millá in Barcelona. If you do venture outside of this den of blissful comfort, Costa Smeralda offers a variety of activities: snorkelling in the clearest of waters, renting a yacht, playing golf, kayaking, water skiing and taking a walking tour of the colourful buildings in the resort town of Porto Cervo, arm-in-arm with your newlywed.