As you plough your way through the never-ending things-to-do lists and tackle that seating plan, allow yourself the time to relax and dream of your green honeymoon. To help you chose where, we have pulled together a small selection of romantic hideaways, near and far
• Eco-exotic: If you want to be ensconced in a nature-lovers’ paradise for your honeymoon, then look no further than Hotel Moka, just an hour outside of Havana in the north-west of Cuba.
Cuba has a surprisingly strong eco-ethic, and this is never more apparent than in the lovingly created eco-destination of Las Terazzas in the Sierra Rosario Biosphere reserve. The three-star Moka is the primary hotel in the area, and lies nestled in sustainably developed tropical forest, overlooking a lake, and next to a self-sufficient co-operative village.
This is an idyllic hideaway, whether you’re a keen ornithologist (there more than 70 types of birds) or just looking for the perfect place to relax and unwind after your big day.
And as honeymooners, you’ll find complementary flowers and a card in your room on arrival. You’ll receive a free bottle of wine in the restaurant and a band will play a special selection of songs for you.
The hotel also offers 15% off the price of the room in low season and 35% off in high season.
Romance among the trees
The hotel itself is barely visible from the village below, camouflaged as it is by the thick forest. There are even trees puncturing their way through the entire building; most impressive is the ancient lime tree that shoots up through the centre of the lobby.
There are 26 simple, but immaculately turned out rooms, all of which are air-conditioned and provide unsurpassed views of the forest. Patio doors open on to a balcony where you can sip a Mojito in the company of humming birds and fireflies, depending on the time of day.
The marble bathroom has a floor-to-ceiling view of the jungle – but conveniently placed foliage in a large window box outside protects your modesty from all but the birds.
The staff, who mostly come from the village, offer friendly Cuban hospitality, and the hotel restaurant does a good line in simple Cuban food at a reasonable price (meal for two with wine is around 33 CUC/£18). The vegetarian restaurant at the foot of the hotel, El Romero, is also well worth sampling as the food is all grown locally, (meal for two is around £15).
If you’re feeling adventurous, there’s a canopy tour across the forest, which is basically a giant rope slide (£8) but with magnificent views across the top of the reserve.
Get back to nature
There are also a variety of walking tours – the bird-watching hike is particularly worthwhile (£9). There’s also a pool and tennis court in the hotel, and you can do daytrips to Havana or Vinales easily if you hire a car.
Hotel Moka offers a romantic, get-back-to-nature break and the opportunity to see a different side to Cuba away from the huge all-all-inclusive beach resorts and the bustle of the cities.
Hotel Moka, Las Terrazas, Autopista
Hotel cost: From $90 (£46) per night in low
season for a double room with breakfast.
Flight: From around £378.90 return per person
with Virgin Atlantic (www.virgin-atlantic.com).
Carbon offsetting: £46.60, according to
• Originally published in GreenerLiving magazine in May 2007