Africa

In Africa Romance Never Ends

written by | Posted on June 1st, 2010

amboseli serena safari lodge Set against the backdrop of majestic Mount Kilimanjaro in Kenya, the Amboseli Serena Safari Lodge is nestled in the heart of the world-famous Amboseli National Park, looking out over the savannah plains near a series of emerald-green swamps, the only source of water in the park which attracts huge numbers of elephants, hippos, buffalo and plains game. At the center of Maasailand, the lodge’s decor reflects the iconic legacy of these legendary warriors and each room reflects a Maasai manyatta theme, each with its own hand-painted wall frescos. The central dining area is reached by a timbered bridge over a stream and activities include daily game drives in custom-built traditional safari vehicles, sundowners on Observation Hill, bush breakfasts, bush dinners, Maasai dance performances, visits to Maasai villages and tree-planting programs. Needless to say, however, the honeymoon experience in Amboseli is unforgettable with its luxurious Ol Donyo Oibor Honeymoon Suite that enjoys a fabulous view of Mount Kilimanjaro and its own private rooftop terrace. It will be supplied with tropical fruit, chilled champagne and the couple’s own personal “honeymoon cake,” as well as the opportunity to take their honeymoon breakfast in bed, on a private verandah, rooftop terrace, or on Observation Hill against the magnificent backdrop of Kilimanjaro. They’ll also enjoy their own exclusive game drives, have a safari lunch in the bush, take cocktails watching the sun go down over Mount Kilimanjaro and end their day with a romantic dinner for two. A 2-night Flying Safari is available for $500 pp that includes transfers, four game drives, meals and accommodations.

egypt with oberoi The beginning of married life together is definitely a very special time and accordingly, can be an even more special experience when it’s spent in a very special place like the Mena House Oberoi, perched in the magical shadow of one of the Great Pyramids at Giza. There are no words to describe the breathtakingly awesome experience of opening your window to the moonlit magic of these timeless treasures towering over the landscape. Add to that 40 acres of jasmine-scented gardens, exquisitely crafted interiors with filigree fretwork and intricately carved paneling, fine murals, gilding, inlaid mother-of-pearl and handcrafted mosaic tiles throughout. Originally built as a hunting lodge for a former king of Egypt, it was converted to a hotel in 1869 and has been accommodating royalty and celebrities ever since. Make sure you book clients into one of the 140 garden rooms that offer views of the pyramids with room rates at about $275; suites run about $687 dbl. You can make it an even more special experience for your honeymoon clients if you combine a 2- or 3-night stay at the Mena House, with a 7-night Nile cruise aboard Oberoi’s luxury cruise vessel the Zahra, with spa, onboard Egyptologists, private tours in luxury vans or cars, on-deck telescopes for starry night viewing, gourmet dining and gym. Itineraries run from Luxor to Aswan or return with special visits to temples along the way. Shoulder season rates run from about $760 pp in a double luxury cabin.

riad fes With the gentrification and upscaling of Marrakech into a more western vacation destination, honeymooning couples can still find the kind of exotic magic they’re looking for in the still traditional medinas of Fez, Morocco’s—and maybe even the world’s—most medieval city. Ancient streets still house more than 30,000 craftsman in this city of one million and couples can still get lost in time as they walk the maze of medinas and age-old neighborhoods amongst city dwellers in traditional garb. And headquarter central here should be the Riad Fes—a Relais & Chateaux property that offers a subtle blend of Moroccan and Andalusian splendor in a luxurious setting that guarantees an authentic experience of traditional Moorish architecture. There’s a traditional hammam, lounges, pools and fountains—everything geared toward relaxation and satisfaction in the traditional way, but at the same time, offering all the contemporary comforts. Rooms are spacious, elegant and most look out over three different-styled patios, while three dining venues offer gourmet Moroccan fare by the pool, inside or rooftop. There’s also plenty to see and do with guided historical visits of Fez souks and sights; the imperial city of Meknes; the Roman Volubilis and the picturesque town of Moulay Idriss; the cave homes and pre-Islamic culture of Bahlil; as well as the Middle Atlas Mountains’ cedar forests, waterfalls and lakes. There’s also golf nearby and couples can elect to try a number of activities, from horseback riding to kayaking and canoeing. Rates run from about $235 for a luxury room, to about $352 for a jr. suite.