Where to travel for a 10th anniversary trip? A TravelSort client is planning a special 10th wedding anniversary trip for his wife and him: “My wife is undecided on a beach destination (Bora Bora) versus Paris / London or Tokyo / Kyoto at the moment. I need to help her decide on a spot, and I can then let you work your magic.”
While I'm sure my client and his wife will enjoy deciding this on their own, I do receive similar queries from clients, and thought it would be interesting for other couples who may be planning special anniversary trips or honeymoons to contrast these destinations, as well as my recommendations for hotels in each.
Why Go: If you enjoy beautiful sea views, overwater bungalows, and powdery white sand, you probably don't need much convincing to go to Bora Bora. And even if you aren't the type to relax at the beach much of the time, there's plenty to tempt adrenalin seekers, from scuba diving to kite boarding to parasailing to jet boating to helicopter scenic flights.
Getting There in Style: One of the few downsides of going to Bora Bora is that so far there are no flat bed business class products that fly to Bora Bora (see Flat Bed Business Class to Tahiti and Bora Bora?) Your best bet is either Air France or Air Tahiti Nui angled flat business class, for the ~8 hour flight from Los Angeles LAX to PPT, then a short hop over to Bora Bora. Of course, if you're flying from Auckland, New Zealand, it's less than a 5 hour flight to Papeete, which makes Bora Bora a good option to combine with a trip to New Zealand (see 6 Reasons I Love New Zealand).
Recommended Luxury Hotels: My top recommendation is the Four Seasons Bora Bora, reserved with these Four Seasons Preferred Partner benefits:
- Daily full American breakfast for two people per bedroom, served through In-Room Dining or in the hotel restaurant (including buffets)
- Spa credit of USD100 once during stay (not applicable to products)
- Upgrade of one category, based on availability at time of check-in (excluding signature suites and villas)
- Complimentary basic Internet in all guest rooms, complimentary premium Internet in all suites.
- 4pm late check-out based on availability and guaranteed 4pm late check-out on all over-water suites and villas for reservations of 7 or more nights
Plus, the hotel does sometimes have a 4th night free offer available, combinable with all FSPP benefits, and also able to be booked back to back. So if you stay for 8 nights, the 4th and 8th nights would be complimentary, which is significant savings, where a luxury Bora Bora resort is concerned.
Paris and London
Why Go: There are many reasons to visit Paris and London, but a few that spring to mind are:
- Food and wine
- Chocolate and pastries (Paris)
- Art, museums and culture
- Beautiful gardens, in spring and summer
- City walks, either as a small group or with a private guide
- London day trips: Stonehenge, Bath, Oxford, Cotswolds
- Paris day trips: Versailles, Chartres, Fontainebleau, Giverny
Getting There in Style: These are my favorite ways to get to London or Paris in business or first class:
- Singapore Suites on the A380 or Singapore Business Class NYC JFK to Frankfurt, then intra-Europe flight to London or Paris
- Lufthansa First Class via Frankfurt (to experience the First Class Terminal) then intra-Europe flight
- Singapore First Class Houston to Moscow, then British Airways to London
- British Airways First Class to London
- Air France New Business Class to Paris
- SWISS Business Class via Zurich, then intra-Europe flight
- airberlin Business Class to Berlin then intra-Europe flight
Recommended Luxury Hotels: Paris is one of the best European capitals when it comes to 5 star luxury hotels, although expect rates in the ~1000 EUR per night range for this kind of pampering. My current favorite Paris luxury hotels are:
- Four Seasons George V Paris, for elegant and very Parisian style, booked with Four Seasons Preferred Partner benefits
- Mandarin Oriental Paris, reserved with FAN Club or Virtuoso benefits
- The Peninsula Paris, reserved with Virtuoso and PenClub benefits
London also has a number of luxury hotels, although in my experience the quality usually doesn't quite reach the level of the top Paris luxury hotels. My favorites are:
- Rosewood London, reserved with Virtuoso or Rosewood Elite benefits
- Taj 51 Buckingham Gate Suites, reserved with Virtuoso benefits
- Corinthia Hotel London, reserved with Virtuoso benefits
- Brown's Hotel (Rocco Forte) reserved with Virtuoso benefits
Tokyo and Kyoto
Why Go: If as a couple you enjoy exploring a new culture and either speak Japanese or aren't fazed by visiting Asian cities where you don't speak the language, Tokyo and Kyoto are a great introduction to Japan. One of the loveliest times to go is during cherry blossom season, typically mid-March to early April, though it depends on the city and varies from year to year. Autumn is another great season to visit, during the foliage, and before it gets too cold.
Getting There in Style: My favorite ways to get to Japan in first class or business class are:
- Singapore Suites on the A380 from LAX to Tokyo
- JAL First Class or JAL Sky Suite Business Class
- ANA First Class or Business Class
- Asiana A380 First Class Suite via Seoul, the flight to Tokyo
Recommended Luxury Hotels: My current favorite Tokyo luxury hotels are:
- Aman Tokyo, reserved with Virtuoso benefits
- The Peninsula Tokyo, reserved with Virtuoso and PenClub benefits
- Four Seasons Tokyo, reserved with Four Seasons Preferred Partner benefits
- Mandarin Oriental Tokyo, reserved with Virtuoso or FAN Club benefits
Kyoto doesn't have much in the luxury hotel segment, apart from the quite new Ritz-Carlton Kyoto.
If you were deciding among Bora Bora, London/Paris and Tokyo/Kyoto for a 10th anniversary trip, where would you go?
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