Like a wedding needs a dress, it also needs a honeymoon. The word ‘honeymoon’ has been repurposed in our cultural parlance. It is often used today to refer to the first few months of a relationship where you are completely obsessed with your other half and are glowing and smiling all day. This has something to do with the increased levels of dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin, vasopressin, testosterone and oestrogen, that permits a relentless daily sexual schedule that is best gotten out of the system when you are on a lengthy holiday.
So traditionally the few weeks after marriage would be the period where newlyweds first got to spend real alone time together, when the aforementioned chemical releases would have taken place in a society where premarital sex is no longer considered some gross indecency that has you living in sin. Whilst this understanding is archaic, it is no less important for a couple to kick-start their marriage with an equally fulsome bang.
Now with regards to my own nuptials, the honeymoon was my job to arrange. Partly because Debretts’ brilliant wedding guide says it is up to the man to organise it, but the other part because it was the one thing I felt I could keep under my hat.
Well bless them but British Airways totally cocked that side of things up for me. Take my advice; get your betrothed to delete her BA app and perhaps even the loyalty scheme if you want to surprise her. As having booked flights and hotels to Mauritius, and spent 12 months telling people who had never and will never meet my now wife that I couldn’t tell them where I was going, “because one way or another it will get back to her,” BA sent her a nice notification about her impending flights and ruined my surprise. My wife rather deliciously mustered all her gumption and informed the CEO of BA about this mishap. But beware future honeymooners, they have no plans in the future to give a shit and help you out.
I am pleased to report however that my woes ended there. As it is fair to say that I found myself in one of the greatest hotels on the planet for two weeks. Le Touessrok is an institution of Mauritius and a benchmark of world hotels. It has recently undergone a refurbishment having been bought by the Shangri-La group.
"Should glasses with umbrellas and sunbeds - interrupted only by the occasional dip in the ocean - fit your fancy, then Le Touessrok is everything you will need it to be."
For those in search of a “city-break” honeymoon you really could not have chosen a worse destination than Mauritius. For anything else, it cannot be beaten. That transparent turquoise water that everyone is after is reason enough to go. But in an island that understands why people go there, it has been engineered for people to wind down from more hectic lifestyles. There are those who see an activity based holiday, with treks, golf and the like representing the perfect itinerary for a holiday like this, and the waterfalls, marine life, topographical relief and endless sugar cane fields means the island still works for that. And should glasses with umbrellas and sunbeds - interrupted only by the occasional dip in the ocean - fit your fancy, then Le Touessrok is everything you will need it to be.
By far the best bits are the hotel’s own islands, Ile aux Cerfs and Ilot Mangenie. Ile aux Cerfs is for the more active, with a golf course and kayaks etc. Ilot Mangenie is perfectly set up for a dollop of peace and quiet. Both require very short trips from the hotel jetty to the islands, which leave every half hour.
The food and the staff tie everything up in a pretty bow. Every member of staff is extremely friendly and are as adept as a Claridge’s Maître d’ at remembering your name and your preferences. The food is fantastic, especially the Indian restaurant and the pizza on Illot Mangenie.
As a planner of a honeymoon, what you really want to have happen is to leave without feeling like you could have done better. Mauritius is made to alleviate that stress. I thoroughly recommend a honeymoon, get it over and done with straight after the wedding if possible, and don’t take it for granted, ride that wave of sympathy my friends, God knows work is keen for you to get on with things without a wedding hanging over you, the stress of which needs two weeks to recover from. Make it fun, make it relaxing and if you want to make it a surprise, don’t rely on BA.