Honeymoon: Bright Lights, Big City
Chic, cosmopolitan locales for lovers who love the urban landscape
You were thinking about a deserted island for your honeymoon. Until you weren’t. Because suddenly it sounded really boring to be stuck by yourselves on a romantic beach. You had to have a conversation then, and you asked yourselves, “Are we crazy? Why don’t we want to sleep in a suite on stilts above a cobalt sea?” You knew the answer. And, once you admitted it to one another, you felt infinitely more in tune. You knew you were meant to be together. Why? Because you are city slickers. What you crave in a getaway is a noisy urbanscape, a sprawling city rife with hustle, bustle, horns, museums, skyscrapers, crowds, famous restaurants, monuments, theaters, concrete, history — and possibilities. That’s why we’ve rounded up some of the world’s most people-thronged metropolises and a coddling, cosmopolitan hotel that embodies each destination. Here’s to urbanity!
It’s almost an urban cliché. But, you really will want to wake up (early) in this city that never sleeps to start exploring. If you haven’t been before, you’ll have a must-see list that should include Central Park, Ellis Island, a Broadway show or two, a hard-to-wrangle reservation at a celebrity chef’s restaurant and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Some romantic dates around town must include: a ramble on the High line, a walk over the Brooklyn Bridge at dusk and drinks at a rooftop bar — there’s a plethora of them. Stay at The Lowell, a member of Leading Hotels of the World, and recharge in your classy Garden Suite. Its two private terraces, ideal for languid private brunches, and its wood burning fireplace, perfect for cuddling, may lure you to stay off the streets. lhw.com/hotel/The-Lowell-New-York-NY
In cosmopolitan Istanbul, take the ultimate Instagram selfie as you stand on two continents — Europe and Asia — at once. But, that’ s after you’ve sailed on the Bosphorus, dickered for rugs at the Grand Bazaar and toured the Blue Mosque. An extravagant, millennium-old, treasure trove of a city, Istanbul will make an impression. Arrive in style on Turkish Airlines, which flies direct from nine U.S. gateways. Acclaimed for their in-flight food service and business class lounge, the airline has a white glove, limo transfer service for all business class travelers to and from the airport. Honeymoon like nobility at Çırağan Palace Kempinski Istanbul, the only Ottoman imperial palace hotel on the Bosphorus, reachable by yacht, helicopter and limousine. Take the Sultan Suite, a splurge with 24-hour butler service. kempinski.com/en/istanbul/ciragan-palace
Berets, escargot, book stalls along the Seine, baguettes, gilded statues, the Eiffel Tower, flutes of champagne sipped at a sidewalk cafe — that’s Paris in a sexy moue. With some of the world’s best art museums, parks where you can play chess or sail toy boats on flower-rimmed lakes, sinfully glamorous boutiques and tempting bistros, this fashionable metropolis will make your jaws drop in awe. Some romantic moments to achieve? Take your photo at the Wall of Love, cruise the Seine at sunset, and picnic in Luxembourg Gardens.
Tuck into Right Bank-style chic at Plaza Athenee, a grand dame-style hotel which has rooms that sport views of the Eiffel Tower. (Don’t miss its lights at night.) Be regal in the Haute Couture Suite, which exudes the splendor of a palace with mouldings, silver-leaf detail and an immense marble bathroom. dorchestercollection.com/en/paris/hotel-plaza-athenee/
As much of a symphony of flavors as a plate of Pad Thai, Bangkok smacks of largesse and layers. Orange-robed Buddhist monks, chanting voices and ornate temples contrast with polluting traffic, speeding motorcycles, tuk-tuks and the cacophony of millions of people haggling at once in various, warrenlike food markets. Graceful and chaotic, contemporary and ancient, friendly Bangkok invites those willing to tread into the exotic. Find your solace from urbanity’s frenzy at the Banyan Tree Bangkok in a Spa Sanctuary Suite, which offers the benefit of unlimited massages. For honeymooners, staff will create flower filled, aromatic baths, candle-lit dinners and lantern ceremonies. banyantree.com/en/thailand/bangkok
A nucleus of classy chic, whose fast-paced, artistic cool, and urbane accoutrements are emphasized by the unparalleled nature that wraps around it on all sides, Cape Town is worth the long flight to arrive. A melange of cultures, the city, once a hot spot on the spice route, embodies influences from indigenous people, European settlers and bygone Malay slaves. Find its melded largesse in the food, the art, the creative fearlessness and the upbeat attitude. Spend time further afield in the winelands — or take a post city trek on a safari in famed Krueger National Park. Indulge at The Silo, located at the V&A Waterfront, atop the Zeitz MOCAA, a temple of contemporary art. Nab the one-bedroom penthouse for its views. Cure what ails you with the Rooftop Rendezvous, a massage, seductively enhanced with oysters and champagne for two. theroyalportfolio.com/the-silo
Head to Canada’s most populous city to partake of lively entertainment districts and an adventurous multi-cultural culinary scene. Known as the Hollywood of the North for its edgy film industry, this hip urban space by the sea has an island park accessible by ferry, the Distillery District (its name says it all), food markets galore and a new Museum of Contemporary Art that’s garnering rave reviews. Romance seekers can lock in their love at Humber Bay Arch Bridge, take photos beneath the Distillery District heart statue and whisper sweet nothings atop the CN Tower. Check into Hotel X by Library Hotel Collection. You’ll swoon over the bi-level penthouse suite and ministrations organized by the Romance Concierge — such as surprise rose petals strewn on the bed or a private dinner with violin serenade. hotelxtoronto.com
Glamorous, intellectual, artistic and historic, Mexico City evokes a kind of silver screen heyday glam even as it strides boldly into its contemporary renaissance version of a hip megalopolis. Sprawling, the city feels most welcoming at its core, where ancient Aztec ruins pair with gleaming skyscrapers and old school cantinas stand side-by-side swanky mezcal bars. Start your honeymoon with some Spanish lessons sure to take you to the next level. Fluenz Spanish Immersion holds customized, one-on-one, week long sessions in leafy Polanco, a must-visit neighborhood. The all-inclusive program includes many meals and your lodging in a stunning villa setting. You’ll study hard during the day, then take part in free time activities together to practice — or join the school for VIP after-hours tours of museums and top local restaurants. fluenz.com/spanish-immersion