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Relationship expert: the 9 holidays that will bring back the ‘honeymoon’ phase

March 29, 2017 OTA News No Comments Email Email

Are holiday breaks with your partner enhancing your relationship? It might be time to give it some thought according to a popular relationship expert, because who wouldn’t want holidays with their partner if they can bring back the honeymoon phase of their relationship all over again?

Relationship expert and best-selling author Marina J (Marina Jacoby-Leonard) has teamed with leading hotel price comparison platform HotelsCombined to share the top nine holiday experiences that are sure to bring the fun and romance back into a relationship. HotelsCombined is a program sponsor of Nine’s Married at First Sight.

Marina says: “The responsibilities of our workloads and mundanity of our routines can make us feel ‘sucked dry’ in life and, in turn, have a negative impact on our relationship. Holidays are meant to put a pause on daily life, to reinvigorate us and help get clarity on our relationships and other important life factors. Problem is, most couples don’t give the details of their holiday much thought outside of choosing the destination.”

On the eve of the school holidays, Marina and HotelsCombined have brought together the best couple holiday experiences and accommodation options that will positively impact a relationship.

  1. Choose a destination that’s vastly different to your home life
    The more the destination differs from the travellers’ home life, the bigger the pause on daily responsibilities and routine. Specifically, Marina recommends travellers look for differences in the culture, environment, pace of life and climate. HotelsCombined recommends destinations such as the Pacific Islands or South-East Asia. The Hard Rock Hotel in Thailand (Pattaya) and the Sofitel Bora Bora Private Island in the French Polynesia.
  2. Take off two weeks minimum
    The first part of any holiday is ‘the fallout’, where busy holidayers often feel unwell as they adjust to the sudden change of pace and wind down. This is why Marina says two-week holidays are the sweet spot, and recommends holidayers help the wind-down process by relaxing at the accommodation’s pool or by visiting the hotel spa. HotelsCombined data shows that Bali still tops the destination list, and its top pick for a hotel that can help make the first day of a couple’s holiday extremely relaxing is Hansar Samui Resort & Spa on the island of Koh Samui in Thailand.
  3. Travel for no more than 9 hours
    International travel offers excitement, and is far enough from home so that holidayers are less likely to think about their responsibilities and routines. However, Marina suggests travellers book getaways that are two weeks long with stress recovery as a priority to avoid battling jet lag. HotelsCombined’s recommendation for an international destination is The Laguna A Luxury Collection Resort & Spa in Bali, with its seven swimming pools to choose from.
  4. Book the holiday together
    Marina says the holiday feeling begins at the moment of booking. “Booking your trip with your partner, maybe over a glass of wine with nibbles to make it fun, will help you outline your expectations with each other. Together, have a clear idea of your destination, budget and hotel type. Finding the best price across multiple sites can be daunting, so be smart about your search,” she says. HotelsCombined compares prices from all the top booking sites and lets you refine your search across multiple filters such as hotel stars, prices, features and theme.
  5. Ditch the to-do list
    When couples are escaping stress, sightseeing will feel like another chore, so Marina advises they forget to-do lists and start a ‘pleasure list’ – such as a beachfront dinner, or a book they’ve been wanting to read. “Start the sightseeing when you’re feeling well rested,” she says. Noosa might be the best place to balance romance with things to do, with HotelsCombined recommending the RACV Resort Noosa.
  6. Limit technology to two hours a day
    “It will feel counterintuitive to put your phone away, but it will help you recover and reconnect with your partner,” Marina says. Why two hours a day? This is the maximum time holidayers need daily to explore their destination, make necessary calls, and make further bookings. “Technology kills intimacy, especially at the dinner table, so give your partner eye contact and really listen to them. If you’re serious about reigniting your relationship, book a remote destination that forces you to switch off,” she says. Heron Island at the Great Barrier Reef has no mobile phone coverage and HotelsCombined recommends the Heron Island Resort as a beautiful place to stay.
  7. Try a new experience every day
    New experiences will give couples childlike fun, bringing them closer together. It could be something as simple as staying at a new place, or trying a new food. Both might love Bali but in the spirit of trying new things, why not choose to stay at the InterContinental Hanoi Westlake in Vietnam? HotelsCombined data reveals that romantic accommodation bookings in Vietnam have grown by 71 per cent year on year.
  8. Fun is a must
    Why? Fun is the ingredient that has brought most couples together in the first place. But fun doesn’t need to be tiring. Private wildlife tours, outdoor movies, live music, cooking classes, golf, sailing, acro-yoga, diving, winery visits, and salsa dancing could be fun depending on the holidayers’ preferences and personalities. HotelsCombined recommends a destination that is perched on the doorstep of a fun adventure spot, such as Fiji with its reef (choose the Hilton Fiji Beach Resort on Denarau Island) or Hawaii, which combines cosmopolitan Honolulu with natural surrounds (choose the Hilton Waikoloa Village in Hawaii’s Waikoloa Village).
  9. Cater for the kids
    A couple might have no choice but to bring the kids on holiday with them. In this case, it’s still important they escape from routine. For small kids, it’s best to choose child-friendly accommodation with a two-room apartment, crèche services and kids’ playgrounds. New parents should look for especially comfortable beds, pillow options and bassinets to help kids sleep. Those with teen kids can consider letting them invite a friend for company. HotelsCombined recommends Daydream Island on the Whitsundays for those who have little kids, and Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast for those who have teen kids. Choose the Reef View Hotel at Hamilton Island and Hilton Surfers Paradise Residences.

Top romantic destinations according to HotelsCombined

5 most-booked destinations for couples – domestic
Destination Rank (total bookings) % Growth (YoY)
Surfers Paradise 1 20%
Sydney 2 22%
Melbourne 3 21%
Brisbane 4 31%
Noosa 5 40%


5 most-booked destinations for couples – international
Destination Rank (total bookings) % Growth (YoY)
Bali 1 3%
Las Vegas 2 41%
Hawaii 3 24%
Thailand 4 11%
Vietnam 5 71%

NOTE: The data is solely from hotels that have been assigned the “romantic theme” on HotelsCombined

HotelsCombined’s accommodation recommendations to help reignite the romance

(These hotels are available during April at the following estimated rates through HotelsCombined for a one-bedroom).

  1. Hard Rock Hotel (Pattaya, Thailand), $115 per night
  2. Sofitel Bora Bora Private Island (French Polynesia), $913 per night
  3. Hansar Samui Resort & Spa (Thailand), $293 per night
  4. The Laguna A Luxury Collection Resort & Spa (Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia), $254 per night
  5. RACV Resort Noosa (Noosa Heads), $445 per night
  6. Heron Island Resort (Heron Island), $276 per night
  7. InterContinental Hanoi Westlake (Hanoi, Vietnam), $186 per night
  8. Hilton Fiji Beach Resort (Denarau Island, Fiji), $209 per night
  9. Hilton Waikoloa Village (Waikiki Beach), $360 per night
  10. Reef View Hotel (Hamilton Island), $390 per night
  11. Hilton Surfers Paradise Residences (Surfers Paradise), $279 per night

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