The honeymoon is just as important as the wedding, maybe even more important. The first few days of being husband and wife are crucial, making the honeymoon one of the most important major event of any marriage. I delve into what life is really like on a honeymoon for Hong Kong newlyweds.
First off, the destination is everything, and according to a new survey conducted by Censuswide for Mr & Mrs Smith, a boutique hotel booking service, 57% of newlyweds want to head to Japan for their honeymoon. The survey interviewed 500 people in Hong Kong who have been on a honeymoon. Coming in second place, 19% of newlyweds chose India, followed by 7% to Argentina, 5% to Sri Lanka, and 5% to Nicaragua.
“Choosing a honeymoon destination really reflects on what the couple is looking for in their new beginning. Many of these couples choose Japan,” says Andrea Oschetti, Founder and CEO of Blueflower Travel Company. “It is a place that people associate with being able to enjoy the good things in life, it is a destination that have a deep sense of aesthetic and beauty with very deep roots and it’s historical.”
Italy and Namibia are also becoming popular honeymoon destinations for newlyweds who look for more adventure on their honeymoon. “Many choose Italy as it offers simple pleasures in life such as authentic cuisines, great wine and of course the history, while Namibia is for couples who want to do something bold and adventurous, similar to getting married – which can be a bold decision for some,” says Oschetti.
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But these days, one destination isn’t enough for Hong Kong newlyweds, as couples now tend to become more well-travelled, fueling their hunger for longer and more exotic honeymoon trips. Couples are letting go of the notion that a honeymoon means sitting on the beach and doing nothing, they want more action and to explore more places as they embark on their new life adventure together.
As a response to this this trend, hotels and resorts such as The Datai Langkawi, a luxury destination resort overseeing the Datai Bay, market the adventurous aspect of their honeymoon packages rather than the relaxing beach holiday side of the package.
Their “Datai Romance” package includes a 150 minute spa session among other relaxing activities, but emphasis is placed on a guided morning or evening nature walk in a 10 million year old rainforest guided by their resident Naturalist.
Hotels and resorts understand that honeymooners want more than a honeymoon where they do nothing. “We encourage our honeymooners to connect and engage not only each other but with themselves, the nature, and wildlife,” says Kiranjeet Kaur Hans, Marketing and Communications Manager at The Datai Langkawi. The resort’s honeymooners that come from Hong Kong usually spend around $1,500 to $2,000 U.S. dollars for their honeymoon.
The Censuswide survey found that 82% of couples planned a ‘combo-moon,’ or a honeymoon made up of a couple of different destinations.
“Mulitcentre destinations work well for honeymooners to get the best of both worlds. Whether that’s the adventure of Sri Lanka with the pristine azure waters of the Maldives, an Indochina combination or an African safari with Seychelles,” says Lucy Jackson Walsh, Co-founder and director of Lightfoot Travel. “With the longer length of holidays that honeymoons often afford, plus the bigger budgets for that ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ trip means that more often than not we find our clients combining more off the beaten track destinations with that outstanding luxury level.”
And this isn’t just a Hong Kong phenomenon, it’s global. 70% of couples in a survey by StudyLogic for Westin Hotels & Resorts in North America, have visited more than one destination on their honeymoon. This number has increased from 35% in the last five years.
“Statistically, people are getting married later in life and, more often, have the flexibility to travel as a couple before before the ‘big day,’” says Bob Jacobs, Vice President of Brand Management for Westin Hotels & Resorts in a press release, “so what couples are looking for in a honeymoon has changed dramatically – from travel dates and ideal destinations to their desire to keep their wellness routine intact.”
Indeed, newlyweds also want to be more active, says the survey. 44% of newlyweds interviewed said that if they had the opportunity to re-do their honeymoon, 44% would prefer to be even more active.
In 2015, Westin saw a 16% increase in requests for the brand’s Gear Lending partnership with New Balance, giving guests access to workout gear without the hassle of packing it. The StudyLogic survey also shows that couples want to maintain that ‘wedding body’ after the big day, as four out of five couples say that they have increase their approach to active well-being and healthy food choices whole on their honeymoon.
Likewise, in Hong Kong, 19% said they were looking for more of an activity-fuelled adventure and 60% said they were more interested in exploring than being locked in their suites the whole time.
“What I see in my clients is that they are challenging the notion of a romantic holiday, and some even feel that an adventurous holiday is more important than romance,” says Oschetti. “People are getting married later in life and have travelled more, honeymoons used to be the first trip for couples but in this generation, a lot of couples have travelled to many destinations that are very exotic.”
“In tandem with the general global trend that today individuals are getting married later in life, honeymooners tend to have more disposable income to invest in their celebration of marriage,” says Jann Hess, General Manager of Amandari, a luxury hideaway hotel in Bali. “Newlyweds are increasingly pursuing short breaks imminently after their wedding and waiting until later in the year to take a longer, full-blown honeymoon. We are adapting to cater to those who are visiting for both of these honeymoon experiences.”
The desire for more adventure and less ‘alone time’ leads to another interesting finding: Not all Hong Kong newlyweds like to go on the honeymoon by themselves. This new ‘buddymoon’ trend of traveling with friends or families is also kicking off, with over half of couples reporting that they traveled with friends for all or part of their honeymoon.
Last but not least, the survey also asked about adventures elsewhere, with almost two our of three newlyweds reporting that they were caught in a ‘compromising position,’ of which 32% were interrupted in the bedroom, 23% were caught at the beach, 17% got busy at the poolside, 9% were interrupted in the bathroom, and 2% got started on the plane before even touching down.
This leads to the last finding: 70% of newlyweds conceive on their honeymoon.