The official blog for Harlow Garland Weddings and Events. To search for posts or view all posts, head over to our library which is searchable and categorised! 

Honeymoon venue: The River House, Sri Lanka


When considering an overseas honeymoon, the venue selection can be rather harrowing with an entire world to consider. In this post, we've profiled a truly amazing location to inspire your wanderlust.

This week’s venue is a boutique hotel, The River House, which is tucked away along the banks of the Madhu Ganga, Sri Lanka. The River House’s magnificent beauty is a place that will make you treasure the scenery and indulge in the seclusion. This honeymoon location lies in between the coastline and the Randombe Lake.

The luxurious suites, each named after surrounding rivers, Menik, Gin, Kirinda, Kala and Walawe, each boast their own unique style offering a sanctuary to yourself. The beauty of this boutique stay is that each element of the accommodation, whether it be the suites, dining or the location in its entirety, nature is heightened.

Imagine having a champagne breakfast laid out by the peaceful river or a romantic dinner for two served underneath a native Kumbak tree. The River House aims to keep your stay in with the culture of Sri Lanka. The menus offer rare native vegetables and fresh seafood from the nearby coast.

An inviting element to the accommodation is its dipping pool, engulfed by cashew nut trees, the pool will whisk you away. A mid-afternoon dip coupled with cocktails can be perfect wind down from a day of adventures, and you may even be treated to the entertainment of purple-faced langur monkeys.

Dubbed one of the most romantic honeymoon locations in Sri Lanka, it’s hard to find a fault at this luxurious accommodation. The complex lies along the Madhu Ganga riverside. Its swift waterways and immaculate forest, recognised by Ramsar - wetlands of International importance, are home to many native species. Guests can take the offer of a morning boat ride to visit the nearby temple, or take the adventurous option and spend the day kayaking.

The River House is only a 15 minute drive to the ‘workaday’ town of Ambalangoda. The town is uniquely known as a place to discover the magical meaning of the ‘devil’ masks, and dances which drive out spirits causing illness. The town is also known for being overshadowed by nearby Hikkaduwa as the tourist destination. It’s the perfect location for a day trip away from the secluded oasis at the River House. Top activities include the the Sri Lanka Camo Tours. Rated the second top activities for honeymoon couples to do, the tours give tourists the inner secrets to finding the best local food, beaches and immerse in the scenery. After the tour, why not stop by the Sea Turtle Hatchery and get up close to baby turtles.

The secluded River House accommodation oozes with elegance and romantic surroundings making it an ideal getaway in a country that boasts beautiful scenery. It’s handy location offers the chance to explore more of the coastal area too.

Honeymoon Venue: Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort And Spa, French Polynesia

When considering an overseas honeymoon (or even a destination wedding), the venue selection can be rather harrowing with an entire world to consider. As part of our #honeymoonhumpday series, we're going to be bringing you a variety of venue profiles, honeymoon styles and tips every Wednesday to help you narrow your options down to somewhere truly amazing.

This weeks honeymoon venue is the truly idyllic Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort and Spa, situated in the beautiful French Polynesia. With a stunning mountain backdrop, sandy white beach and crystal clear lagoon, Hilton Moorea is the perfect setting for your post wedding unwinding and relaxing.

When staying at Hilton Moorea, choose from an array of contemporary suites and infamous overwater bungalows. The expansive suites are designed in a traditional Polynesian style, while still exceptionally modern and luxurious.

You will be provided with your own private terrace and pool with spectacular views overlooking the gardens and picturesque beach. For the true Moorea experience, opt for an overwater bungalow with endless lagoon views. Perched over the lagoon, these overwater bungalows connect with a winding, wooden stilt walkway. Enjoy the sun from your private deck with longue chairs and direct access to the lagoon and relish as exotic marine life passes by your glass floor viewing panel.

When it comes to dining, Hilton Moorea has a wide range of options available ready to cater especially to you. For dinner with entertainment, opt for Arii Vahine Restaurant and enjoy the islands cuisine while watching a traditional Polynesian fire dance show. Eimeo Bar is perfect if you are after cocktails and exotic snacks made from fresh and local ingredients while watching Moorea’s stunning sunset. Built overwater, unwind at Toatea Crêperie and Bar and enjoy picturesque views and the intimate atmosphere. If you are looking for a truly romantic dining option, experience beach dining under the stars, illuminated by candles and with views of the breath-taking lagoon.

While in Moorea there are always many activities to take part in. While at the hotel, take advantage of the fitness centre and tennis courts or try renting a bicycle to explore the island further. For something more adventurous, try jet skiing or windsurfing in the pristine waters. Or, snorkel around your own overwater bungalow and explore the tropical marine life. With all these amenities and more available from Hilton Moorea, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

To pamper yourself after a long day in the Polynesian sun, head to Moorea Lagoon Spa. Here you will find a range of treatments available inspired by the lushness of Polynesia, to relax, heal and energize your mind, body and soul.

Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort and Spa is a truly tranquil and infamous destination for your honeymoon. The exquisite setting and beautiful resort allows you to unwind from your wedding in ultimate style and luxury.

Honeymoon Venue: ION Luxury Adventure Hotel, Iceland

When considering an overseas honeymoon (or even a destination wedding), the venue selection can be rather harrowing with an entire world to consider. As part of our #honeymoonhumpday series, we're going to be bringing you a variety of venue profiles, honeymoon styles and tips every Wednesday to help you narrow your options down to somewhere truly amazing.

This weeks honeymoon venue is ION Luxury Adventure Hotel, just a 45 minute drive from the heart of the beautiful Reykjavik. Located against the magnificent backdrop of the rugged lava fields, ION is a truly remarkable experience for your honeymoon.

ION is made up of 45 lavish rooms, which have all been designed and decorated in unique Icelandic style with touches of nature, creating an earthy ambience. As ION heavily leans on sustainable practises, each room is provided with fair trade organic linens and towel, and Icelandic soaps and lotions from Sóley Organics. The expansive floor to ceiling windows allow guests to completely appreciate the picturesque views of the lava fields and Thingvellir National Park.

ION’s Silfra Restaurant and view-heavy, award winning, Northern lights Bar guarantee that guests have a true Icelandic experience before they even step outside. Enjoy traditional dishes with contemporary flare crafted from fresh and local ingredients, capturing the flavour and spirit of Iceland. Complement your dining experience and choose from a wide selection of beers, liqueurs and spirits sourced from Iceland’s microbreweries.

For the best chance and optimal viewing of seeing the infamous lights from the Northern Lights Bar, it is recommended to visit between September and April.

After soaking in the heated outdoor pool or warming in the sauna, take a visit to the ION Spa. The Icelandic treatments ranging from herbal massages to glowing facials are known to leaving you feeling tranquil and pure, helping to increase your personal energy and create a stimulated experience at ION.

If you are after something more adventurous, opt for one of ION’s many tour adventures. Embark on a 25 kilometre horseback riding expedition through the black sand south coast beach and admire the scenery of the undisturbed land. Or, take an ECO Super Jeep Tour of Iceland’s Golden Circle. Start at the geological wonder that is Þingvellir National Park, followed by Geyser and its 30 metre spouting hot spring, ending at the graceful Gullfoss waterfall.

With ION located just a 45 minute drive from central Reykjavik, take a day to explore the city. With easy access to Laugarvegur and Skolavordustigur, there are many exciting places for you and your partner to explore. The colourful streets are lined with endless restaurants, stores, museums, cafes, art galleries and boutiques all ready to provide you with quality and unique experiences.

The luxurious rooms, impeccable restaurant, award-winning Northern Lights Bar, relaxing spa and outstanding views make ION Luxury Adventure Hotel a remarkable venue for your honeymoon.

Honeymoon Venue: The Westin Resort and Spa, Whistler, Canada

When considering an overseas honeymoon (or even a destination wedding), the venue selection can be rather harrowing with an entire world to consider. As part of our #honeymoonhumpday series, we're going to be bringing you a variety of venue profiles, honeymoon styles and tips every Wednesday to help you narrow your options down to somewhere truly amazing.

When it comes to Canadian ski resorts, look no further than the Westin Resort and Spa for a romantic and adventurous honeymoon getaway. Conveniently located at the base of the beautiful Whistler Mountain, the resort is just 50 metres away from the ski lifts. The Westin is an incredible resort all year round, being voted the Number One Ski Resort in North America by SKI Magazine (2016) and was also the host resort for the downhill events at the 2010 Winter Olympics.

The Westin is made up of 400 impeccably designed suites which all put emphasis on comfort and convenience. Guests are provided with roaring fireplaces, private spas, expansive windows overlooking the remarkable mountains as well as being provided with the Westins trademark “Heavenly Bed”, designed to restore your body and mind after a long day on the picturesque Whistler slopes.

The skiing at Whistler is exceptional, with over 200 marked runs, 16 alpine bowls and three glaciers, there is something for all levels of adrenaline. The Westin has a rental store on the first level of the resort for everything skiing and snowboarding, should you need it. For the ultimate Whistler experience, try heliskiing, snow tubing, dog sledding or a thrilling zipline tour of the flawless surroundings. We recommend taking the 4.4 kilometre, peak to peak gondola ride from Whistler to Blackcomb Mountains – the spectacular views of the Whistler village and the alpine valley are not to be missed.

When you’re not out enjoying the Whistler Mountains, The Westin has an array of outstanding on site facilities available. After a long day skiing, check into the resorts own spa, The Avello. Considered one of the most comprehensive spas in Canada, choose from a selection of more than 75 relaxing treatments, ranging from facials and body wraps to hot stone massages. Or, if skiing wasn’t enough for you, opt for the well-equipped fitness centre or the indoor and outdoor pools.

Dining options are also an equally important aspect of The Westin, that is why it is home to the Grill and Wine restaurant, one of the Top 10 restaurants in Canada by Where magazine. FireRock Lounge is also the perfect option for some cosy après drinks and tapas. If you wish to venture from the resort to explore the beauty of Whistler more, a short walk will bring you into the heart of Whistler village, where you can find a widespread variety of unique shops, restaurants and bars.

The Westin Resort and Spa has an exceedingly professional team ready to help you any time of day or night during your stay, resulting in an array of well-deserved awards. The Westin is the perfect honeymoon destination for any adventurous newlyweds.

Honeymoon Venue: Chewton Glen Country House

When considering an overseas honeymoon (or even a destination wedding), the venue selection can be rather harrowing with an entire world to consider. As part of our #honeymoonhumpday series, we're going to be bringing you a variety of venue profiles, honeymoon styles and tips every Wednesday to help you narrow your options down to somewhere truly amazing.

Today's venue is Chewton Glen Country House & Spa - a quintessentially English escape.

As the only privately owned five star hotel in the UK and only a two hour drive from central London, Chewton Glen is the perfect weekend getaway to include in your English honeymoon. On arrival, guests are escorted to their choice of suite with their own private golf cart, situated upon 130 acres of exquisite countryside. Whether you are after something traditional or more contemporary, there are rooms and suites to suit everyone, all with an emphasis on comfort.

What makes Chewton Glen truly unique though, are its treehouse suites, nestled ten metres above ground and offering impeccable panoramic views. Focusing on the finer details, the treehouse suites provide everything you’ll need so you never have to venture out. Every morning, a breakfast hamper is delivered through a secret hatch and treats you with everything from pancakes to salmon and cream cheese bagels. An outdoor hot tub on your private terrace, a bespoke walk-in shower, hot chocolate buttons and mini marshmallows (or a bottle of Pinot), complete the offering and make for superior comfort. Located within the rustic woodlands and tree canopies, these treehouse suites are an eccentric hideaway.

The hotel is situated between the New Forest National Park and the seaside, meaning there are countless activities to enjoy, should you decide to venture out of your couple cave. Whether you stay on-site and enjoy a game of croquet or archery, take a private tour of the New Forest by horseback, enjoy a short drive to one of England’s many coastline towns, or unwind with a break at the spa, the quiet English hamlet has something to offer any couple’s style, not to mention its crystal steam rooms and grand Roman-themed pool.

If you decide you want to explore further, take the opportunity to discover the magnificent attractions that surround Chewton, the likes of Stonehenge, the Exbury Gardens, the Isle of Wight and Winchester Cathedralall within close proximity.

Back at the hotel, guests are provided with a full range of dining options for any hour of the day. The Dining Room is where James Martin and Jean Christophe-Novelli, some of Britain’s most well-known chefs, learned their craft, offering everything from the typically English to the more contemporary cuisine.The Pool Bar provides guests with lighter and more delicate options.

Enjoy the great English tradition of afternoon tea served between 3pm and 4pm on the terrace, or, of course, opt for the 24 hour room service. An array of seasonal fruits, vegetables, herbs and edible flowers are even harvested from their very own nursery as part of their commitment to ethical sustainability. Guests can pair any dish with their personal selection of over sixteen hundred individual wines from Chewton Glen’s multi-award winning wine list.

Its luxurious aspects, unique, finer qualities and unexpected details are what have earned Chewton Glen an array of prestigious awards, ranging from Best Large Hotel in the United Kingdom (2016) to Countryside Hotel of the Year (2016).

You will not be disappointed in Chewton Glen Country House and Spa for your honeymoon or for a relaxing British escape.