GIVEN the furore surrounding the Royal Wedding, there has been surprisingly little speculation as to where Prince William and his new wife Kate will go for their honeymoon, even though it’s just three months away.
Recognizing the tough times we are all facing and keen to show his understanding I believe that His Royal Highness will opt for a destination that is neither ostentatious nor likely to compromise their security, but certainly remote and reflective of their love of all things outdoors and sporty.
I am going on the assumption that – being as clever at PR as they are – the couple will shun the glitz and glamour of Bali or Las Vegas, not least because of fears of a double-dip recession. Here are my five picks for the most likely top honeymoon spots and naturally they are all in the very best of taste.
Almuña, Gaucin, Spain
Set on a hillside farm in 500 acres with views across the Straights deep into North Africa, Almuña is a stunning jasmine clad seven bedroom family home in the heart of Andalucía near Gaucin in Spain. It offers William and Kate the greatest privacy in what is a madly romantic setting. They can ride, ramble, swim, mountain bike, golf, kite surf and enjoy home-cooked Spanish food far out of reach from the prying paparazzi and, if they so desire, go on exquisitely planned several-days riding trips. The home of the deeply British Arbuthnot family who would host their stay, Almuña ticks all the right boxes. And should the lure of the bright lights prove overwhelming, Sotogrande is but a short drive away. www.arbuthnottholidays.com
Hell Bay, Scilly Isles
Owned by The Duchy of Cornwall (Will’s Dad) Bryher in the Scilly Isles sends out all the right signals. It is an understated and discreet hideaway and can only be reached by boat at one landing jetty. Unspoiled island a mile by half a mile with palms, white sandy beaches, overlooking the Atlantic, Hell Bay Hotel is idyllic and very romantic. Lovely suites, with extensive decks and sea views, honest English food and a whole host of outdoor activities – from yoga to yachting, birding to cycling to diving. “New England meets the Caribbean meets Cornwall” – what’s not to love? Certainly it sends the right patriotic signals. www.hellbay.co.uk
Crillon le Brave, Provence
Atop the tiny village of Crillon le Brave in Provence, Hotel Crillon le Brave is 25 miles from Avignon at the foot of the 6,000ft Mont Ventoux. The Vineyards of Chateauneuf du Pape and Cote du Rhone are 30 minutes away. Here William and Kate can escape, enjoying swimming and cycling, tennis and riding, a spa, visits to the local wine makers and even a little cultural and historic sightseeing, knowing that they will be able to stroll incognito through the many small and beautiful local villages of Provence. There are also big brownie points to be had from going to a destination reachable by train rather than car or plane. (Eurostar goes straight to Avignon). www.crillonlebrave.com
In Kenya (a country for which William has a real love), Hemingways is but a 90 minute flight from Lewa Down where he asked Kate for her hand. This hotel is far from ostentatious, a handsome hotel overlooking the Indian Ocean with three miles of white sandy beaches. It is seldom written about, jealously guarding the privacy of its guests. Here their Royal Highnesses can swim in the sea, enjoy sailing, tennis, windsurfing and fishing, picnics on 100-year-old dhows, explore the stunning local Marine Park, watch the sunset over cocktails and dance until dawn to the sounds of the local band that are unlikely to make The X Factor. www.hemingways.co.ke
Los Potreros, Argentina
To guarantee total privacy William and Kate couldn’t go wrong with Estancia Los Potreros, in the foothills of the Sierra Chicas mountains, near Cordoba. Set over 6,000 acres of rolling hills and valleys, the happy couple could hire the estancia exclusively and enjoy their honeymoon riding up to the waterfalls for a midnight dip, relaxing on the honeysuckle veranda with a glass of malbec, or Kate would learn to play the game her husband adores, polo, on the estancia’s own grounds. Owned by an Anglo-argentine family, the charming Beggs, Los Potreros is perfect escapism with a quintessentially English twist.