|Konstantinos Bastas of Protravel International has plenty of clients seeking a more “back to the classics” style trip to places such as the French Polynesian resort, The Brando.|
We recently asked agents from Protravel International and Tzell to share some insight on the latest travel trends they’re seeing throughout the luxury sector — particularly regarding honeymoon travel. Here’s what they had to say.
Konstantinos (Kostas) Bastas, a luxury travel agent with Protravel International specializing in Greece and honeymoons, says he’s noticed a strong preference among couples looking to charter boats and yachts in the region, noting that many of his clients prefer the opportunity to create their own itineraries in specific destinations. Options such as sunbathing on a private beach where a crew can cater to specific needs, access to secluded destinations and bespoke accommodations are key selling points. However, Bastas says he also has plenty of clients seeking a more “back to the classics” style trip to locations like Bora Bora and Tahiti.
“For both destinations, I recommend a stopover in Los Angeles for two nights in one of the iconic luxury properties, such as the Peninsula,” Bastas says. “In Bora Bora and Tahiti, the St. Regis and the newly opened Brando offer luxury accommodations, as well as [an opportunity for] exploring the waters by Polynesian outrigger canoe, kayak, or paddleboard; snorkeling; relaxation, spa and wellness; and great fine dining.”
Josh Alexander, also with Protravel, says he’s observed a definite increase in the number of luxury honeymoons to Australia and New Zealand, particularly within the last two years.
“I recommend at least a two-week stay in order to be able to experience some of the amazing luxury properties, as well as the destination itself,” Alexander says. “An additional perk is the strength of the U.S. dollar compared to both the Australian dollar and the New Zealand dollar, which offers travelers an incredible value.”
For newlyweds, Alexander also suggests a stay at One&Only Wolgan Valley in the Blue Mountains, located just two hours outside of Sydney. The property offers an “Australian Safari” type experience with private villa accommodations, a spa and fitness facility and a chance to experience a 4x4 nature tour with views of Australian wildlife.
|For couples visiting Asia, particularly Japan, Protravel’s Josh Alexander recommends staying at the Aman Tokyo.|
For couples visiting Asia, particularly Japan, Alexander recommends staying at the Aman Tokyo, which opened just last year.
“My clients want to stay in Tokyo and Kyoto, but also have an interest in staying at a traditional ryokan and exploring the Japanese countryside,” he says. “This year, the Aman group is opening its first onsen [Japanese hot spring] resort Amanemu. It’s an exclusive ryokan-style retreat on the shores of the Bay of Pearls, on the Shima Peninsula southwest of Tokyo. Blending modern and classic design, Amanemu provides honeymoon couples with the perfect destination to explore the sacred Shinto shrines and the Kumano Kodo ancient pilgrimage routes.”
The takeaway? Alexander says this year, in particular, he has seen high demand for travel to destinations in Southeast Asia, specifically Thailand and Vietnam and Japan.
Shay Harrington of Tzell says the majority of her clientele are looking to take as much time off from their busy schedules and go “as far and as exotic as possible.” Thailand is on her radar as well.
|For a unique experience, Tzell’s Shay Harrington suggests an elephant camp in Chiang Rai, Thailand, specifically the Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle.|
“For a very unique experience in Thailand, I suggest an elephant camp in Chiang Rai area,” says Harrington. “The Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle is located in the Golden Triangle, where Thailand, Burma and Laos meet. Rooms are custom-designed deluxe tents. The resort has a team of elephants on-site and their packages offer the opportunity for a guest to be a ‘mahout’ and guide an elephant.”
|Table Bay, Cape Town: South Africa has been a trending honeymoon destination this year, says Tzell’s Kara Bebell.|
Other popular honeymoon destinations Harrington has been selling recently include trips to Greece, Bali, Italy, Hawaii, Tahiti, California, Africa, Argentina, Maldives, Australia, and a combination of New Zealand and Fiji.
Also at Tzell, Kara Bebell says the agency is seeing more and more couples choosing not to commit to a single destination for their honeymoon.
“There could be offbeat pairings like starting in Dubai, going to Bali and ending up in Venice,” Bebell says. “Honeymooners are trying to fit so much into their itineraries these days that we have to remind them to leave room for a little romance, too. South Africa for example has been a trending destination this year, which requires a lot of moving around [and can be very tiring] from a safari to the beach and exploring Cape Town.”
In an effort to balance these adventurous itineraries, Bebell says she likes to send couples to rejuvenate for a few days in the wine region, or organize a romantic stay at properties such as La Residence or Mont Rochelle.