City-based equity firm owner Varun Behl (name changed on request) could have seen a new continent in his mammoth honeymoon budget.
But the 40-year-old, who is getting married next month, bought himself a king-style holiday spanning just four cities between Thailand and Bali.
The two-week holiday worth more than Rs. 14 lakh comprises a stay in the most expensive villas, top-notch dining and luxury spa experiences. “We wanted to unwind and spend quality time with each other since both of us have hectic jobs. Secondly, the occasion is extremely special,” said Behl.
With the wedding season spanning from November to February, several city couples getting married this year are opting for super luxury honeymoons, said tour operators. “The trips have become shorter compared to last year but the budgets are about 30 % higher,” said Jay Bhatia, western region chairman of the Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI).
Behls’ rented villa will be equipped with an aerobic centre, fitness centre, tennis court and water sports facilities. The package also comprises king size breakfast cooked exclusively for the couple and a local spa ritual for two hours.
Couples are approaching travel agencies with self-created itineraries. Parul Joshi, a fashion designer, for instance, has requested a Rolls Royce pick up from the Beijing airport, which will be the starting point of her opulent honeymoon next month. After a stay at a luxury suite in the Mandarin Hotel, Joshi and her husband will head to Shenzhen, which houses a Chinese folk culture village.
“Customers know exactly the kind of rooms they want in a particular hotel,” said Subhash Motwani, director, Compact Travels. Honeymoon bookings for the forthcoming season indicate high demand for South East Asian destinations such as Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia owing to the variety of low cost options. But tour operators said that even budget travellers are generous on honeymoons this year. “Usually budget travellers go for all inclusive packages with stay in three-star hotels. But this year, the demand for plush resorts is high,” said Anup Kanuga, owner Bathija Travels.