Romantic Switzerland
6 of Switzerland’s most romantic stays
From fairytale towns to vertiginous heights, these just might be the most romantic destinations in not just Switzerland but all of Europe. 1. An igloo stay One of the most romantic forms of accommodation in a country with an abundance of grand hotels is an igloo stay. What could be cosier than snuggling up with your significant other in a room made entirely from ice and situated in a winter wonderland of white?   There are various Igloo Villages scattered around the country, including in the resort town of Gstaad and in Engelberg, near Trübsee Lake at the foot of the mighty Titlis.   Book the Romantic Igloo, which features unique snow art, two-person sleeping bag, and thick sheep skin rugs. 2. Restaurant Schloss Bottmingen Located 15 minutes from Basel, the Restaurant Schloss Bottmingen is the ultimate candlelit-dinner location. It’s a 13th-century castle surrounded by a moat and rambling gardens where you dine on the finest French cuisine. [caption id="attachment_28154" align="alignleft" width="1000"] Entrance to Restaurant Schloss Bottmingen, it's a 13th-century castle in Switzerland that serves French cuisine.[/caption] It is after dark that the castle really sets hearts aflutter, when intricately draped fairy lights sparkle and reflect off the still waters of the castle moat. 3. Wildflowers spotting Each year from mid-June to mid-August the spectacular Bernese Oberland erupts in a blanket of colour and fragrance. [caption id="attachment_28156" align="alignleft" width="1000"] Blanket of fragrant and pretty wildflowers in Bernese Oberland, Switzerland.[/caption] To really indulge in the beauty of it all, base yourself in the lovely town of Grindelwald and hike to surrounding towns like Meiringen and Adelboden. 4. Stiftsbibliothek St. Gallen Book-lovers will swoon at the sight of the Abbey Library at St. Gallen. [caption id="attachment_28155" align="alignleft" width="1000"] Majestic ceiling and soaring book shelves of Switzerland's Abbey Library at St. Gallen.[/caption] While the Abbey itself dates back to the eighth century, the sublime Rococo library was constructed between 1758–67. It is widely considered one of the best in the world, with burnished woodwork and delightful ceiling frescoes.   Among its roughly 170,000 priceless pieces are illuminated texts, prayer books and biographies of the saints dating from the ninth century.   The Abbey precinct, including the library, is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 5. Mount Pilatus Mount Pilatus is regularly listed as one of the best places to propose in all of Europe. It certainly makes for a memorable experience: the peak is traversed via the steepest cog railway track in the world (or you can take a gondola). [caption id="attachment_28152" align="alignleft" width="1000"] View of a romantic sunset from Mount Pilatus over the Lake Lucerne.[/caption] Once at the top, the panoramic view, which has been marveled at by the likes of Richard Wagner and Queen Victoria, takes in 73 peaks and stretches on forever.   True romance requires Champagne: book a table at Hotel Pilatus-Kulm’s outdoor terrace for lunch. 6. Water Castles Water castles, as the name implies, are moated castles; what isn’t hinted at from the name is how evocative and ethereal they are.   Chillon Castle, located on a rock on the banks of Lake Geneva near Montreux, is the most visited historic building in the country but, for a less crowded experience, try Hallwyl Castle near Seengen. [caption id="attachment_28151" align="alignleft" width="1000"] Ethereal Hallwyl Castle in Seengen, Switzerland.[/caption] Easily accessible from Zurich, every three years an opera is held here on the grounds, with the floodlit castle as a spectacular backdrop.   Meanwhile Castle Hagenwil in Amriswil, another impeccably preserved castle, has an à la carte restaurant for dinners à deux and its annual festival in August has a roster of theatre and events in the delightful castle courtyard.
Manarola, Cinque Terre
Five of the most romantic travel experiences
Fall head over heels all over again with these partner-perfect experiences. 1. Sunset cruising Nā Pali Coast, Kaua‘i, Hawai‘i It may be a cliché, but sailing away into the sunset with one’s true love is still at the top of many a bucket-list.   Especially somewhere as beautiful as Hawai‘i’s Nā Pali Coast, located on the north shore of Kaua‘i.   This natural wonderland is a unique landscape of rugged terrain and sheer cliffs that drop straight into the aqua-blue water of the Pacific Ocean.   It’s pretty remote, so if you want to discover it you need to hike the 18-kilometre trail or – more pleasantly – hop on a cruise (champagne and loved one in hand).   There are several operating in the area, particularly at sunset, when the afternoon light plays off the turquoise waters. 2. Romance on rails Rovos Rail, Africa A journey by train is surely one of the most evocative forms of travel, and Africa’s Rovos Rail exudes the luxury and charm of a bygone era.   Its fleet of trains carry an intimate 72 guests and boast wood-panelled, Edwardian-style carriages with spacious suites (plus comfortable double beds) and elegant lounge and observation cars.   The food is impeccable and impeccably served on fine china, silver and crisp white linen (read: dress to the nines for dinner).   But the best bit is the view as you head through South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Tanzania – the scenery is constantly evolving and endlessly breathtaking. 3. Hot air ballooning Angkor Wat, Siem Reap, Cambodia The best way to escape the maddening crowds at the temples of Cambodia’s national treasure Angkor and have a quiet moment to yourself is by floating serenely above it all in your own love nest…or hot air balloon.   It’s incredible to see the vastness of the Angkor complex from an aerial perspective, its hundreds of temples spread over some 400 square-kilometres.   Sunrise is our favourite time of day for this amazing experience – the orange glow of the sun breaking on the horizon at the crack of dawn signifying the final moments of quiet before Siem Reap awakens and is alive and bustling again. 4. Walk the path of love Cinque Terre, Italy The Cinque Terre is one of the world’s most dramatic coastlines, consisting of five medieval-era fishing villages built into steep cliffs.   Until the end of the 19th century, when a railway was eventually built, the towns were extremely isolated from each other.   A pathway between Riomaggiore and Manarola was built for the use of railway workers during construction of the tunnel, which became a meeting point for lovers from the two towns. The pathway was coined the Via dell’Amore – the ‘Path of Love’.   Visitors can walk the route as part of the spectacular 12-kilometre clifftop journey between the five pretty villages. 5. Skinny dipping Turtle Island, Fiji This has to be the ultimate spot for cheeky love birds. Turtle Island’s 500-acre privately owned island was the idyllic location for the 1980 film The Blue Lagoon and is one of Fiji’s most beautiful resorts.   It accommodates just 14 couples in its exotic bures (AKA love shacks), each with its own private white, powdery beach with impossibly blue water.   Beach picnics of champagne and lobster, long private walks, and snorkelling excursions (there’s an abundant of colourful sea life) can all be arranged.   The ultimate romantic stay is in the Vonu Point villa, with panoramic views of the island’s pristine landscape.
Emerald Lake aqua Yukon
48 long, hot summer hours in Whitehorse
If you’re thinking of heading off on that grand Yukon road trip straight after you land in Whitehorse, Steve Madgwick has one word of advice for you: don’t. 
Mica Lodge in Revelstoke, British Columbia
The seven most gorgeous winter lodges in Canada
When comfort is key, Robert Upe says these Canadian lodgings rule the roost for a winter stay. Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge [caption id="attachment_23727" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge in Jasper, Alberta:[/caption] Jasper, Alberta   This lodge, near Marmot Basin ski area, is a winter holiday destination unto itself, with a 100-year history that has included guests such as Marilyn Monroe and Bing Crosby.   Set on 300 hectares where elk roam beside a lake, this newly-renovated property maintains its retro 1950s ambience, which still makes you feel like you could walk around a corner and bump into Marilyn.   It is a place of warm log fires, sessions in the day spa and strolling through the woods. Snowshoeing, ice-skating, an indoor/outdoor heated pool and nine restaurants are also on the agenda.   The heritage Canadian log cabins are the pick of the 446 rooms, including Outlook Cabin, where queens and kings have stayed.   From $C470 per night for a basic room for two adults in January 2017. Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel Banff, Alberta   Originally built in 1888, this hotel is in the style of a Scottish baronial castle.   There are stories of ghosts in the corridors, but all we find is superlative service and warmth in interiors that include sweeping staircases, chandeliers, grand sitting rooms, archways and antique furniture.   There are many and varied restaurant choices at this five-star hotel – Bavarian and Japanese included – but the plates that stand out are found at the fashionable 1888 Chop House.   Here, everything is made in-house, and much of the produce is sourced in Alberta and grilled on cherry wood.   Diners are wowed with plates of bison tenderloin, elk rib-eye, beef wagyu and East Coast lobster.   From $C479 per night for a basic room for two adults in January 2017. Mica Lodge Revelstoke, British Columbia   One of the best winter experiences in Canada is heliskiing, and Mica Lodge is ensuring you’ll get the best of everything else, too.   Arrival to this remote boutique lodge is by helicopter only – although there is a snow cat to get around on those rare no-fly days.   The main building houses 12 guest suites, while private heliski groups bunk in the log chalet next door.   The lodge has a rooftop hot tub for you to soak in the silent surrounds, and both lodge and chalet offer private massage quarters.   When it’s time to hit the snow, there are three helicopters for the maximum 20 guests at Mica, to tackle the dizzying 1295 square kilometres of terrain on offer.   The lodge’s Rocky Mountain cuisine features organic meat, alongside a first-class wine list and an enviable array of single-malt whiskies.   Various packages are available, including the four-day ‘Classic Program’ for two. Island Lake Lodge [caption id="attachment_23726" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Island Lake Lodge in Fernie, British Columbia:[/caption] Fernie, British Columbia   Instead of a helicopter, guests staying here access backcountry terrain in heated oversnow vehicles.   Island Lake Lodge is one of Canada’s most highly rated catskiing operations. Powder aside, part of the experience is the lodge life.   Pampering – in the form of massages, a day spa and hot tubs – is on offer and there’s a social log-cabin ambience.   You’ll also appreciate a 3000-bottle wine cellar and fine dining, based on French-inspired Rocky Mountain cuisine. If you like it you can even buy the cookbook!   From about $C3000 for three days of skiing in the Lizard Mountains (average 12 runs per day) in January 2017. Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise [caption id="attachment_23724" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise in Banff, Alberta:[/caption] Banff, Alberta   You’ll feel like you are in a fairytale when you look out the window of the lakeview rooms.   There, on the frozen-over lake, people are ice-skating and enjoying sleigh rides with a backdrop of snowcapped mountains and the Victoria Glacier in this spectacular part of Banff National Park.   Inside, it’s all about cosiness, with a traditional afternoon tea of pastries and finger sandwiches as you enjoy the view view of the chilly outdoors. There are 550 rooms, multiple restaurants and a day spa.   Lake Louise ski resort is a 15-minute drive away, and Banff town 45 minutes.   From $C359 per night for a basic room for two adults in January 2017. Fairmont Chateau Whistler [caption id="attachment_23725" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Fairmont Chateau Whistler in Whistler, British Columbia.[/caption] Whistler, British Columbia   With the swish of a sabre sword, the top of a champagne bottle is decapitated and the bubbly flows, in celebration of a good day at Whistler.   This technique of opening champagne, called sabrage, is just one of the indulgences at this exquisite, landmark ski-in/ski-out property.   Aside from the usual winter comforts – open fires, day spa, piano bar – the hotel has ski valets to help you put on ski boots, as well as be there on the snow’s edge to carry your skis or snowboard back to the locker, and to hand you a hot chocolate.   From $C599 per night for a basic room for two adults in January 2017. Bighorn [caption id="attachment_23723" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Bighorn in Revelstoke, British Columbia:[/caption] Revelstoke, British Columbia   There’s a roaring log fire and a 15-metre high window in the triple-height ‘great room’ of this indulgent timber ski chalet.   The chalet holds eight suites for 16 guests, and has its own helicopter pad, high-tech cinema room, wellness area with gym and pool, a snooker table, hot tubs, a sophisticated bar area and an elegant dining room. The food is at gourmet level.   The lodge has been voted the best ski chalet at the World Ski Awards for the past three years.   As for the skiing, the daily choice is to go heliskiing or tackle the slopes of Revelstoke. Decisions, decisions.   From $C90,000 for seven days’ exclusive use of the chalet (get a group together) in January 2017, with seven staff on hand.     var axel = Math.random() + """"; var a = axel * 10000000000000; document.write('');
food culture Chefchaouen Morocco blue city god power
The treasures of Morocco’s ethereal blue gem
Morocco is a treasure trove to explore, but it pays to get off the beaten track to discover one of its most precious jewels, Chefchaouen. Hidden away in Morocco’s Rif Mountains is a sleepy, storybook town. Chefchaouen (pronounced shef-sha-wen) cascades down the rugged mountainside to nestle between the dramatic peaks.   But it’s not scenery, the rich cultural tapestry, the romance of a faraway place, or even the beguiling history of this walled city that first captivates those who visit. It’s the colour: an arresting, luminous palette of powdery blues. Travellers are instantly enchanted as they gaze upon the cobbled lanes, terracotta roofs, white facades brightened with splashes of brilliant blue paint, and intricately tiled doorways framed by bougainvillea.   If the ‘Blue City’ were a jewel, it would of course be a sapphire, that sparkles various shades depending on the light – from Majorelle to azure, and a harsh Arctic blue in the midday sun. It’s a fantastical sight to encounter as my partner and I round the final bend of a winding four-hour drive from Fez. I breathe in the crisp mountain air and feel a world away from the mayhem of the Imperial cities (Fez, Marrakech, Meknes and Rabat) and the sweltering North African heat.   Set along what was once an old caravan route between Tangier and Fez, Chefchaouen (or Chaouen as it is sometimes called) is one of Morocco’s hidden gems. Many travellers overlook northern Morocco in favour of the well-worn tourist trail of the south: ‘the capital of cool’ Marrakech, beachy-chic Essaouira and the Sahara.   The steep, colourful labyrinth of alleyways is traversed by Berber tribespeople, Islamic locals, and dreadlocked hippies. The offbeat enclave has a slow pace that has held an allure for bohemians since the 1960s – and the haze of that era hangs in the air, as kif (cannabis) is still grown in the surrounding countryside. Getting there Arrange for an accredited private driver to Chefchaouen from Tangiers (two and a half hours) or Fez (four hours). Staying there There are more than 200 small hostels and boutique hotels. Book somewhere in the old medina, as the newer part of town is not as charming. Riad Cherifa This recently opened guesthouse's four suites and eight rooms all include eclectic furnishings and antiques. There’s a small pool, Hamman and rooftop terrace, and a simple breakfast is included. Eating there Restaurant Beldi bab Ssour This family-run restaurant is a challenge to find but it's worth the effort. The neighbourly atmosphere and full-flavoured fare means it’s likely you’ll become a ‘regular’ during your stay. Auberge Dardara Restaurant This hotel-restaurant is a short drive out of town, but remains a firm favourite for travellers looking for a memorable meal made from garden-fresh ingredients. The owner makes his own bread, olive oil and goat’s cheese. Try the speciality: a thick fava bean soup called bessara. Drinking there For Islamic religious reasons alcohol is hard to come by. To drink like the locals, head to a sidewalk cafe and order the ubiquitous sweet mint tea (the cornerstone of Moroccan hospitality). Handy language tips Due to the lasting effects of colonisation, Spanish is widely spoken. Locals also speak Arabic, Berber and French, but it’s easy to get by with English too. What to be aware of The Rif region is one of the world’s foremost cannabis producers. Touts typically target tourists but are best avoided. Although it’s readily available, smoking kif is illegal. You’ll soon master the art of a polite but firm 'no'. What to do Our taxi drops us off at Bab Souk, a gateway to the pedestrian-only maze of the medina. We venture inside, as if through a portal into the past; in a tradition that began over five hundred years ago, most of the gorgeous Andalusian architecture in the old town is painted in the characteristic colour. It is said that Jewish exiles from Spain blue-washed the buildings to reflect the cloudless Moroccan sky, serving as a reminder of God’s power. The resulting effect is one of the prettiest medinas in North Africa. [caption id="attachment_36891" align="alignleft" width="1500"] Blue upon blue upon blue (photo: Edwina Hart).[/caption] The picturesque streetscapes of Chefchaouen have become very fashionable of late. Comparable in beauty to the likes of Santorini, Jodhpur or Positano, social media ‘influencers’ have deemed Chefchaouen as infinitely Instagrammable.   Although Chefchaouen is welcoming to visitors today, it wasn’t always the case. The city was founded by Moulay Ali ben Rachid in 1471, built as a strategic base camp to launch attacks against the Portuguese stronghold in Ceuta. It soon became a refuge for Muslim and Jewish exiles from Spain fleeing the Spanish Inquisition. [caption id="attachment_36889" align="alignleft" width="1500"] The incredible palette of blue that typifies the streets of Chefchaouen (photo: Edwina Hart).[/caption] The increasingly isolationist city was closed to all foreigners until Spanish occupation in the 1920s. Only three westerners had managed to visit: a French explorer disguised as a rabbi, a British journalist, and an American missionary who met a grisly fate upon discovery. Although Morocco gained independence in 1956, Spanish is still widely spoken here.   A Berber boy meets us at Bab Souk to wheel our luggage over the cobblestones and guide us to the newly opened Riad Cherifa guesthouse, originally a traditional home with an interior courtyard or, in this case, a lofty atrium. Our afternoon is spent basking in the sunshine on the rooftop patio with a plate of sticky pastries and a glass of ‘Berber whisky’, an affectionate name for Moroccan tea, which is a supremely sweet, amber-coloured brew made from fragrant spearmint leaves. [caption id="attachment_36892" align="alignleft" width="667"] A patch of white breaks up the sea of blue (photo: Edwina Hart).[/caption] Wandering around the ‘Blue City’ feels like stepping back in time. There is a communal wood-fired oven where loaves of bread are prepared daily, farmers sell fresh produce at a weekly market, women in flowing Islamic veils walk children to school, townspeople wash laundry in a nearby waterfall and the mesmerising call to prayer vibrates within the ancient city walls. [caption id="attachment_36896" align="alignleft" width="1500"] Chaouen is an exercise in overstimulation of the senses (photo: Edwina Hart).[/caption] We work up an appetite traipsing through the spice-scented lanes, browsing a string of shopfronts and soaking up the atmosphere at alfresco cafes around Plaza Uta el-Hammam. As evening falls we dine at Restaurant Beldi Bab Ssour, which serves homespun fare in a rustic dining room. Our table is shared with a family who glance up from their meal with welcoming smiles before continuing a conversation in the Berber tongue.   The following day, I awake at first light to explore the surreal setting as the soft blanket of dawn amplifies the otherworldly atmosphere. I steal away from the riad and weave my way through the quiet, narrow lanes. It’s empty – save for a few stray cats and a glimpse of a man wearing a traditional hooded cloak (djellaba) before he disappears into the shadows. [caption id="attachment_36893" align="alignleft" width="667"] A typical tiled doorway (photo: Edwina Hart).[/caption] Chefchaouen is ethereal in the morning mist, the streets cast with an eerie hue before the warm tones of the sun begin to creep over the mountains. It is a scene that will leave me spellbound for a long time to come, and which, when combined with its other myriad allures, confirms Chefchaouen as a true gem.   Check out the 6 must do's when you're in Morocco's blue city: - 6 must-do’s in Morocco’s Blue City
Zoo abu dhabi osais fort Al Ain desert middle east
The Abu Dhabi itinerary that proves it’s not just a stopover
There is just too much on offer in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), to relegate it to just a stop-over destination. There are ample day (and night) trips that will keep you enthralled; here, we visit the evocative oasis city of Al Ain, and spot a few of the UAE’s four-legged inhabitants along the way, writes Leigh-Ann Pow.
romantic getaways party vote yes gay marriage travel honeymoons
Seven sensational same-sex honeymoon destinations
The people have spoken and they have said, yes, Australia wants marriage equality. About time, right? OK, so gay marriage is not yet fait accompli yet – it’s up to us to ensure that our elected members follow the will of the people to pass the law. But it got us thinking; with the tide of LGBTI nuptials set to be unleashed, so will there be a demand for drool-worthy honeymoons to boot. Here’s our pick of amazing LGBTI-friendly destinations worthy of your upcoming special day, writes Steve Madgwick. 1. Thailand: Bangkok and beyond Long before the same-sex marriage juggernaut’s journey around the free-thinking countries of the world, Thailand was quietly and consistently stocking up on its gay-friendly credentials, thanks in part to Thai Buddhism’s tolerant nature.   Naturally, many gravitate towards one of southern Thailand’s Ko paradises: Samui, Pha Ngan et al or the lesser-travelled west coast islands, but ensure you schedule in some Bangkok time; it’s LGBTI scene is mercurial.   To get yourself primed for the celebration, check out: Bangkok’s best rooftop bars.   Alternatively: The Philippines has one of the highest acceptance rates of homosexuality in Asia and a tonne of honeymoon delights to match. Check out: Secret travel gems of Philippines. 2. Balearic Islands, Spain: The other side of Ibiza Surprisingly, Spain is on par with The Netherlands for its liberal attitude towards same-sex relationships (legalised in 2005), offering plenty of long-established and sunny LGBTI hotspots to spend your first weeks together in bliss. Forty kilometres south-west of Barcelona, Sitges is one of the most buoyant and long-lasting gay scenes in all of Europe, with plenty of breezy beachside bars and clubs to ease you into matrimony.   Across the Balearic Sea, Ibiza has been an open-minded sanctuary since at least the ’90s. It needn’t be a 24-hour party though; book into a chic stay like ‘designer farmhouse’ Granja Ibiza, reasonably isolated yet close enough if you feel like dipping into the action.   Time to go to Spain? Check out: Retreat from party central to Ibiza’s designer farmhouse 3. Iceland: The Nordic alternative As a same-sex marriage honeymoon destination, Iceland is a heady mix of tolerance (it was the first country with an openly gay head of government) and adventure. With filmic waterfalls and dramatic volcanoes that will grace your digital photo frame for decades to come, Iceland’s supernova popularity seems like it will never fade.   Capital Reykjavik is energetic, progressive, inclusive and just plain fun, so long as you pack your stamina. There’s plenty of queer celebrations to align your honeymoon with, such as Gay Pride (August) and Bears on Ice (September).   Time to go Inside Iceland? Check out: Inside Ieland   Add a stop-over: Super-hip Copenhagen sports Europe's oldest openly gay bar, Centralhjørnet (1950s), plus a micro-world of LGBTI-friendly boutique stays and businesses. Check out: Uber cool Copenhagen 4. Mykonos: King of the Greek Islands Statistically, Greece isn’t quite up with other progressive European powerhouses for accommodating LGBTI travel, but there are spectacular acceptations, many of which, thankfully, lie in the Greek Islands. The star is Mykonos, a hub for gay men in particular since the mid-70s, which now boasts a slew of specialist gay stays such as The Elysium Hotel.   The Greek Island trimmings are irresistible for any new couple, from archetypal whitewashed cottages to the romance-stoking clear waters of the Aegean, and you can easily avoid the island’s party scene by booking into the pared-back chic of stays like the San Giorgio Hotel.   Time to go to Greece? Check out: Mediterranean paradise: San Giorgio Hotel. 5. New Zealand: Land of the Long Pink Cloud The Land of the Long White Cloud has been a popular destination for LGBTI Australians since the country trumped us by changing gay marriage laws way back in 2013. N-Zed certainly got a huge head-start: there are already plenty of gay-friendly homestays on both islands plus destinations events, such as Gay Ski Week in stunning Queenstown.   It’s not just proximity and economy that makes Kiwiland a bounty for honeymooners, with refined, world-class high-end accommodation options such as Huka Lodge, perfect for your once-in-a-lifetime festivity.   Time to go to New Zealand? Check out: Huka Lodge: A Royal Retreat   Alternatively: If it’s lush green landscapes with progressive cities that have their own pride parades you’re after, you could just as easily consider Canada and same-sex marriage newcomer Ireland.  6. Paris: a city for all lovers Paris is unquestionably the universal city of love, which was enshrined into French law back in 2013. Classic Paris attractions need little introduction, but the city boasts an incredibly vigorous LGBTI community, which you’ll find out if you spend an evening wandering the inner arrondissements.   For a classic romantic night out with a view, head to 58 Tour Eiffel restaurant and then follow your noses through the vibrant culture of Le Marais.   Add a stopover: It’s hard to find a more pulsating gay scene (dating back to the 1920s) than Berlin’s with a world of subcultures to explore. Head to Kreuzberg, Prenzlauerberg and Schoneberg if you’re looking to celebrate your nuptials all night long. Check out 5 of Berlin’s best.  7. Outside Trump’s America: Island’s in the stream Judging by recent political momentum, the Land of the Free is not so free anymore, but don’t write off the whole of the USA as your honeymoon destination option just because of a bad egg or two. Of course, there’s the obvious first-stops; San Francisco and New York, both the scene of many an LGBTI civil rights victory, and all that goes with that.   But push on further to the ’50s flair of Palm Springs (160 kilometres from Los Angeles), which opens its arms wider than most North American cities with plenty of single sex stays (some clothing optional) for freedom and sunseekers.   There are plenty of other surprise pockets elsewhere, too, such as Providence (Rhode Island), which takes off over summer during the Rhode Island PrideFest (June).   Happy honeymooning!    
Hawaii is the leader when it comes to romance
How to make a destination wedding dream come true
With its glorious beaches and spectacular sunsets, Hawaii is the leader when it comes to romance.