Hip minimoons in larger-than-life cities

Hip minimoons in larger-than-life cities

You may not have much time, but why scrimp on style? Kate Weir, one of Mr & Mrs Smith's editors, selects some personality-packed cities perfect for a short-hop honeymoon

The boutique hotel experts at Mr & Mrs Smith have released an extract of their new guide to the hippest honeymoons - exclusively for Unique Honeymoon Ideas! We're chuffed. The mini-booklet, entitled The Little White Book of Honeymoons, is packed full of insider tips and advice on how to plan your dream holiday, whether you're after a Californian road trip, Greek island-hopping adventure, or luxe Caribbean hideaway: everything you need to fuel your post-wedding travel dreams. Read on for our select snippet…

Istanbul

This Byzantine beauty has wedding-cake-shaped mosques and minarets, fragrant souks and side-street shishas along the Bosphorus. Head to Ottoman-era Topkapi Palace, a treasure trove of Moorish relics and a remarkably romantic abode. If the opulent interiors inspire you to bedeck your love nest with Turkish trinkets, haggle over delicate lanterns and intricately-detailed rugs in the Arasta and Grand bazaars.

Where to stay? The A'jia Hotel is a former pasha's mansion - a white neo-classical charmer cresting out of the Bosphorus' cobalt waters. Its grand exterior conceals minimalist river-view bedrooms, sleek statement pieces, tryst-worthy bath tubs and a ridiculously romantic outdoor deck. Rooms from £184.29pn.

Budapest

In the Hungarian capital, the Danube River waltzes past World Heritage sights, and medieval spires mingle with character-filled 'ruin' bars and Art Nouveau eateries. At the Széchenyi thermal baths you can soak among splendour: the sunken pools - kept toasty by thermal springs - are flanked by lemon-hued neoclassical architecture.

Where to stay? Brody House is an art gallery with beds. Whimsical vintage trappings, colourful cutting-edge paintings and a handy honesty bar make this magical Magyar hideout a memorable place to stay. Rooms from £57.70pn.

Berlin

With sybaritic nightlife, re-imagined imperial architecture, a vibrant café culture and a dizzying art scene - this handsome and historic city has no pause button. Work by more than 100 artists plasters the remnants of the city's most infamous landmark at the Berlin Wall East Side Gallery. It's true that Berlin is teeming with must-visit art sites, but few are as emotive as this. Lichtblick Kino (in German) in Prenzlauer Berg is a delightfully dishevelled cinema with unconventional billings - both old and new - to thrill any cineaste couples. Make a date for the weekly midnight showing ofCasablanca on Saturday.

Where to stay? Das Stue is neighbours with Berlin Zoo, which inspired the feathered and clawed paintings and sculptures throughout this quirky boutique hotel. Guests are encouraged to unleash their animal instincts, with a hedonistic 20-course menu in the restaurant, an Alpine-inspired spa and Patricia Urquiola-designed bedrooms. Rooms from £165.05pn.

Marrakech

Myth and modernity are as intricately interwoven as a Berber rug in this charmingly chaotic city. Winding streets give way to the madcap medina and serene riads, and mosques and Moorish palaces are silhouetted against the Atlas Mountains. Get up close and personal with the dramatic valleys and Berber villages in this rugged mountain range: your hotel concierge can organise guided walks, or a hot-air balloon trip. Once you've stocked up on earthy-hued spices in the souks and fine-tuned your taste for Moroccan fare, head to Faim D'Epices' cooking school to learn how to whip up a top-notch tagine, preserve lemons and perfect couscous.

Where to stay? Winston Churchill stayed at La Mamounia, and it's easy to see why: spectacularly-dressed suites, a colonial-chic bar and Michelin-starred restaurant scream old-school glamour. The hotel's recent makeover by Jacques Garcia is seriously impressive. Rooms from £367.45pn.

Paris

A clichéd destination for a romantic clinch? Maybe, but this grand dame of a city still has the charisma to woo. There's no denying the allure of balcony-frilled Haussmannian architecture, gracious green spaces and the serpentine Seine.

Want to avoid the crowds? An after-dark visit to the Louvre is far less queue-bothered than by day. Flit by the most famous pieces and head for the Richelieu Wing, where the French collection resides. Open late, Wednesdays and Fridays, entry is €12 (£9.80) for the permanent collections. For Gallic-style sauce at its best, head to risqué cabaret Le Crazy Horse, where kittenish coquettes model little more than an avant-garde light show.

Where to stay? Hot pink and powder puff hues prevail at La Belle Juliette, a confection of a bolthole where rooms have ravishing roll-top tubs and begging-to-be-bounced-on beds. There's also a spoiling spa, a bar with a baby grand piano and bespoke cocktails here in splendid St Germain. Rooms from £164.87pn.

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Like what you see? The Little White Book of Honeymoons also includes a code to qualify for free GoldSmith membership worth £400 too (GoldSmith is Mr & Mrs Smith's top tier membership, giving you access to upgrades at every hotel, and an around-the-clock concierge). Just drop your details here to receive a free copy of the booklet through your letterbox.

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