Next Stop: The Newlyweds
Honeymoons have evolved from simple beach vacations, and these days, couples can choose a trip as unique as they are. In this series, Katie Goldstein from Travelingpanties and Smartypanties. is breaking down the best honeymoon destinations, one at a time, to help you narrow down the dizzying array of options so you can choose the one that reflects your interests, budget and style. Up today? London.
Destination: London, England
You'll love it if: You are looking for endless cultural and historical pursuits in one of the most charming cities in the world.
International flights are plentiful and arrive at Heathrow (LHR), Gatwick (LGW) and Stansted (STN) airports. International trains to St. Pancras Station (like the Eurostar) are plentiful, too, and often a very economical option.
To get around London, we do not recommend renting a car, as city streets are clogged with traffic and parking prices are through the roof. The most popular method of transportation is the Underground, also known as the "Tube." Tourists also find sitting on the second level of the double-decker buses to be jolly good fun! Taxis are also abundant and can be hailed on nearly every street corner.
Who hasn’t dreamed of being whisked away to live amongst royalty in Buckingham Palace? Well, we can’t promise exactly that, but honeymooning in London can get you pretty close! London is the energetic heart of Great Britain and is a unique honeymoon destination for culture-seekers. London can provide a wonderful adventure that can serve as the perfect way to start a life together. Even after nearly two millennia, London (one of the world’s oldest cities) is still a thriving, urban playground, bursting with life and inspiring pop culture for decades. The city of London offers honeymooners world-class restaurants, theaters and museums. Plus, some of the most stunning, pastoral landscapes are only a quick trip away.
When to go
Well, everybody knows, you don’t go to London for its weather. However, it’s not nearly as bad as its reputation leads people to believe. London’s weather is at its best during its peak travel season, which is from June through September. However, tourists should note that airfare and hotel prices unsurprisingly increase during these months as well. Couples looking to save money should look to travel from January through March, when tourist crowds die down. Prepare to bundle up, though, as it gets chilly! A bonus of visiting London during the winter months? This is London’s prime time to visit the theater!
Where to stay
Although London may not have the reputation of Paris, the English capital also offers honeymooners an abundance of over-the-top luxury accommodations that are sure to quicken your pulse.
We checked in with Tim Krenzien from Paul Klein Travel, a Virtuoso Member Agency specializing in luxury. Mr. Krenzien recommended several of his favorite luxury properties for honeymooners. First up, The Dorchester. Located in the stylish Mayfair area of London, this contemporary hotel features stunning views of Hyde Park and a critically-acclaimed Wolfgang Puck restaurant. The hotel’s extreme attention to detail and high-quality service has been impressing guests for years.
Next, Mr. Krenzien recommends The Connaught for his discerning clients looking for the ultimate in luxury. The Connaught is also conveniently located in Mayfair, just a short walk away from the best shops along Bond and Regent Streets. This hotel offers extreme elegance and some of the city’s best tea!
Finally, Mr. Krenzien suggests that guests looking for extravagance should check out The Savoy. Celebrities including Winston Churchill, Frank Sinatra and Claude Monet have all called this hotel home and you can, too. Enjoy incredible views along the River Thames and exceptional dining at its many restaurants. The Wall Street Journal has said, "The Savoy is in a class of its own and should be." Need we say more?
Although London has an endless offering of luxury hotels, couples looking to share a truly authentic experience in London may wish to rent a luxury apartment. Renting an apartment provides a more affordable way to experience luxury that won’t break the bank. Contemporary travelers have been opting in favor of apartment rentals recently to bypass the predictability of the hotel experience and explore the city like a local. Although you do give up some amenities like a daily maid and room-service, visitors are afforded more privacy, space and an authentic city experience.
We recommend booking through Avenue Story, a respected broker with an impressive portfolio of properties. The Avenue Story team will work with you to choose an apartment that offers the perfect location and price range you’re looking for. The Avenue Story website offers genuine photographs of each apartment for you to peruse so you can rest assured that the apartment you choose is every bit as luxurious as a hotel.
What to do
It might sound cheesy, but if you’re in London, the best way to kick-off your trip is with a double-decker tour bus ride around the city. You can experience the magical sites of the city comfortably aboard an open-air, hop-on-hop-off bus tour. We recommend the Original Tour. They offer tours for every taste and include many free walking tours, like “Changing of the Guards” and “Rock and Roll” themed tours, with the price of your ticket. Once you’ve gotten a good overview of the city, here is what we recommend you do!
For history buffs
For those looking for romance
Where to eat and drink
What to watch out for
Pickpocketing was invented in London but as long as you’re careful, it shouldn’t be an issue. Also to note, tipping in London is typically 10 percent, but many restaurants now automatically include it in the bill, so double-check before you tip twice!
More honeymoon advice