A Self Tan Honeymoon

by Elizabeth Cowley

This story is part of our 'Funniest hotel experiences' series, featuring tales from luxury hotel guests which were sent in for our recent travel writing competition. Photo by Crystalwood Naturals.


We had saved up hard to afford a honeymoon, in a decent hotel. Money was tight as we had just bought our first house, and were getting married. We booked 2 weeks in Turkey at the resort of Gumbet and we were getting really excited about the whole event.

The big day arrived and after literally praying for nice weather – we got a scorcher. We had the best day of our lives and a day to remember. Now we had our honeymoon to look forward to.

The flight took four and a half hours and we had another 4 hour transfer to the hotel. The winding roads seemed never ending but the scenery was fantastic. We were shattered when we finally got there!! The sun was cracking the flags, and we dumped our cases in our room, changed and, never mind having an early night, we were going to explore and relax in the sun!

The hotel was right on the beach and it was lovely. The décor was gorgeous with cool, marble floors and lavish surroundings. We soon perched ourselves on sun beds complete with an umbrella, provided by the hotel. I hunted out the suntan lotion (we always took precautions) and carefully applied it to the exposed bits! My new husband went to the hotel beach bar and after a hectic start to the day; we relaxed in the sun with a nice, cool beer. This was the life!

After a couple of hours we decided to head off back to our room to shower and get ready for an exciting evening out to explore the hotel , it’s surroundings and the resort.

Morning broke and the sun was shining bright – our first full day on our honeymoon and we were going to make the most of it. I got up first and headed for the bathroom for a refreshing shower. As I went into the bathroom I noticed my hands were, well brown – very brown. Now, this would have been fine if I tanned, but as I was fair skinned and normally burnt, I thought “what the heck?” My arms were brown too and when I looked in the mirror my face was a “streaky brown” “MICHAEL”, I screamed and he rushed into the bathroom. Oh dear! He had a streaky face, legs, in fact a full, streaky, tanned body. You’ve guessed it – I had bought Self-tanning lotion instead of normal sun tan lotion. In all the excitement I had not even realised it, which was not like me at all.

We frantically scrubbed at ourselves, but could we get the tan off – No. We had to wait a couple of days until it really faded and we felt “Normal again”. The looks from the other guests said it all and every time I wanted to look at my new, gold wedding band, I had thick, brown marks between my fingers.

Laugh? Yes we still laugh about it now – 17 years later!!

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