Naman and Poulomi, Thailand, Malaysia and New Zealand
From falling in love with the beautiful lakes of New Zealand to enjoying a luxury stay in Thailand, Naman and Poulomi found true bliss on their honeymoon.
A little bit of Down Under, a little bit of South East Asia and Naman and Poulomi may have stumbled on the secret to the perfect honeymoon.
The couple share highlights from their 18-day romantic sojourn.
They were looking not just for natural beauty, but a destination with some history and a sense of the undiscovered. Poulomi says, “Most couples who get married in December don’t have much choice in terms of a honeymoon destination. Europe is too cold. Greece is off-season and a lot of the islands are inaccessible then. South Africa and Seychelles didn’t have much history. Brazil is rainy in December.”
Naman continues, “Our parents suggested Australia and once we began to research, we found testimonials of travelers to New Zealand. We began looking the country up and fell in love virtually. Good weather, self-drive options, gorgeous natural scenery and varied demographics meant we could enjoy pristine beaches and snow-capped mountains all in one trip!”
So what they decided to do was take a journey in three parts. “First we went to Thailand and Malaysia. We stayed at the Radisson Blu in Bangkok and Villa Samadhi in Kuala Lumpur. Villa Samadhi is a paradise! There are jacuzzis inside the rooms and direct access from the rooms to the swimming pool.”
The second part of their trip took them to New Zealand where they decided to experiment with a budget style accommodation and realized that it put them in the heart of each city. Poulomi says, “We stayed at The Shakespeare Hotel and Tavern – one of the oldest properties in Auckland during our stay in Auckland, with a Tavern on the ground floor which is quite popular and a restaurant on the first floor, followed by three floors of motel rooms. It had the cutest rooms, each named after a Shakespearean character. We stayed in the Romeo room, which had a small fire escape balcony that opened out to the Auckland skyline. It was very close to the sky tower, so we were in the best part of the city!”
In Auckland, the couple did some local sightseeing which included beaches, the sky tower and an organized day tour to Hobbiton Village, where the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movies were shot. “It’s a beautiful place,” Naman said.
From Auckland, the couple flew to Rotorua, famous for its natural hot water springs and volcanic lakes. There they visited the volcanic lakes and the famous Polynesian spa, followed by an evening in the local Tamaki Maori Village, a tourist village maintained and developed to showcase the ancient Maori culture of New Zealand.
Poulomi says, “In Rotorua, we checked into the quaint little Rotorua Motor motel. The little jacuzzi inside our room was heavenly. We stayed at the Amross Court Motel in Christchurch, which was in the middle of the city, making it very easy for us to explore. In Village Tekapo, we visited Lake Pukaki, the Church of Good Shepherd, and also took a helicopter ride to the Tasman Glacier, which was a surreal experience. We also went did the Earth and Sky Tour held at the St. John Laboratory. We stayed in the Lake Tekapo Village motel, a beautiful property with an amazing view of the milky blue Tekapo Lake.
In Christchurch, we spent a lot of time exploring the local markets and beaches, and in Queenstown (the best city of the lot), we took a day tour to Milford Sound, which was so beautiful that words fall short. We also explored Lake Wanaka and went river rafting on the Kumaru. We stayed in an AirBnb in Christchurch, overlooking the lake. It was beautifully done up, and our host was extremely hospitable.
The last lap of our journey was the luxury stretch. We went back to Thailand – to Krabi and Koh Samui this time – and we stayed at the Phra Nang Inn and Nora Buri Resort.”
Best meal of the trip
“At Jervois Steak House in Queenstown, we had the best mushroom gnocchi of our lives. The steaks were delectable and the service was excellent. We also thought the traditional Maori dinner spread at the Tamaki Maori Village was pretty good.”
Most Romantic Moment
“Our most romantic moment would be when we decided to take the day to explore Lake Tekapo and the area around. We were just sitting and an artist came by and started playing the flute. The music was so soulful, and everything around was so beautiful, and then it dawned on us that we are here, we are married, and this is it. It was just one of those moments when everything around slows down and it was just the two of us who mattered.”
Advice for couples
The couple strongly suggests not taking a pre-decided itinerary based tour, “It may take a little more time to plan, but the best of New Zealand reveals itself to you on its roads; unimaginably scenic drives, wonderful places to eat, and warm, friendly people. You tend to miss out on these things in a conducted tour. Also, on your honeymoon, you should be able to keep things a little unpredictable and exciting. We extended our stays at places we loved, we bypassed things we did not feel interested in. The ability to be that flexible with our itinerary made our vacation much more memorable.”
“A Maori Village tour, the adventure sports in Queenstown, the serenity of Lake Tekapo and the glacial hike.”
“Avoid carrying a lot of luggage. Most accommodation in New Zealand is old style construction without elevators and the best rooms are the ones with a view, on the second or the third floor. We used to dread checking in and checking out as we had to carry all our luggage up or down every single time.”
Hotels we stayed at:
Radisson Blu Plaza Bangkok
Villa Samadhi Kuala Lumpur
The Shakespeare Hotel and Tavern, Auckland
BK’s Rotorua Motor Lodge, Rotorua
Amross Court Motor Lodge, Christchurch
Lake Tekapo Village Motel
Phra Nang Inn Hotel, Krabi
Nora Buri Resort and Spa, Koh Samui