Once the cake has been cut and the bouquet has been tossed, you may feel bittersweet thinking the excitement is over, but really, it’s just beginning. Your honeymoon destination is where you will start your journey as a married couple, and where better to do that than at an over-the-top romantic escape. From mountainside hideaways to oceanfront oases, here are our top picks.
A true sea-view hotel, this intimate, boutique property provides the ultimate setting for you to unwind and discover true romance. In addition to warm hospitality and modern accommodations, the hotel also offers a bespoke spa experience and luxurious Mediterranean dining options, both of which will make you feel like VIPs.
Romantic experience you don’t want to miss: Hold hands as you make your way through quaint, local streets and dip into a local taverna for a candlelit bite as the town’s nightlife buzzes around you.
A scenic flight and private boat ride bring you to this piece of paradise nestled on a white beach and emerald lagoon. Soak up the privacy in an over-water villa where you can snorkel with tropical fish in the barrier reef from a.m. to p.m. And once the sun goes down, head to the Polynesian-inspired beach bar to indulge in island cuisine and live entertainment.
Romantic experience you don’t want to miss: For some one-on-one time with your love, take a five-minute boat trip to the resort’s private islet of Motu Tapu (the most photographed isle in the South Pacific) where you can enjoy a personalized picnic or romantic dinner al fresco under the stars.
Situated on the rolling Tuscan countryside surrounded by lush gardens, this restored 15th century villa oozes authentic Italian charm. Overlooking the city of Florence, honeymooners can get pampered at La Spa by day and then sip local Tuscan wine on the dimly lit terrace by night.
Romantic experience you don’t want to miss: Il Saviatino’s serenade: Sip on bellinis in the privacy of your own room while an operatic tenor serenades the two of you with Italian love songs.
Located half an hour from Cancun International Airport, The Viceroy Riviera Maya features 41 private villas surrounded by lush jungle, white sand beaches and turquoise sea. Whether you spend your days snorkeling, relaxing by the water on a day bed or sampling Mexican cuisine, this serene sanctuary offers the total package.
Romantic experience you don’t want to miss: At your request, the resort’s concierge will arrange what’s called the Plunge Pool Romantic Turndown, which involves your villa’s private plunge pool and patio being transformed to set the mood for a sensual evening under the stars. Featuring aromatherapy, floating candles, flower petals, music, lite bites and cocktails, this intimate “turndown” experience is personalized for each couple’s unique preferences.
A perfect European getaway for romance and relaxation, the Dolder Grand features a 40,000-square foot spa that offers newlyweds total tranquility after the hustle-bustle of a wedding. In the winter, come in from the cold and enjoy a therapeutic soak in a Japanese-inspired tub called a Sunaburo, and in the summer, cool down in the Snow Paradise room or enjoy the outdoor terrace with three whirlpools overlooking the city of Zurich and the Alps.
Romantic experience you don’t want to miss: The Couple’s Celebration spa treatment: An exclusive, side-by-side pampering session that starts with a mudbath or steambath and is followed by an hour-long massage or facial of your choice to leave you feeling completely renewed. Afterward, when the two of you are feeling totally de-stressed, you will be served champagne alongside a selection of tapas to enjoy.
A smaller, more intimate resort that steers clear of kids programs and water slides, this idyllic property was rated the number-one most romantic hotel in the U.S. by TripAdvisor in 2012. Island-inspired décor, an acclaimed restaurant and a sun-drenched beach will leave you basking in honeymoon bliss.
Romantic experience you don’t want to miss: The luxury of an oceanfront room. Ko’a Kea was originally reconstructed using the former footprint of the Poipu Beach Hotel, which was built in the ’60s just steps from the sand and ocean. Couples in oceanfront rooms are only a few feet from the beach and have a prime view of the Pacific sunset each evening, during which they can order drinks and appetizers to their balcony.
A secluded cluster of luxury, thatched-roof villas set amidst 15 acres of tropical gardens on Seminyak Beach, this oceanside haven reflects the beautiful romance of Bali. Spend an afternoon riding horseback through rice fields or enjoying a Balinese dance performance at the authentic, open-air amphitheater.
Romantic experience you don’t want to miss: The three-hour Full Moon Celebration at the hotel’s temple gives couples the opportunity to experience a traditional Balinese blessing ceremony conducted by a Hindu Priest who will bless you with prosperity, happiness, health and a harmonious life. Dressed in a Sarong and sash, the two of you will take part in the ritual with fruit and flower offerings and recitals in the ancient Sanskrit language accompanied by musicians playing rindik music from bamboo instruments. After the ceremony, enjoy a moonlit dinner on the beach, complete with Balinese decorations.
Located on the shores of Lake Louise in the heart of Banff National Park, this picturesque resort is a sight to see at any time of year. A plethora of outdoor experiences coupled with limitless opportunities to share quiet, romantic moments, this grand chateau may be the perfect place to begin your new chapter together.
Romantic experience you don’t want to miss: In the summertime, couples can paddle a canoe on the still morning water of the lake at the base of breathtaking mountain peaks or enjoy a picnic with scenic views of the palatial Victoria Glacier. In the winter, get warm and cozy under a big blanket as you take a moonlit sleigh ride to the end of the lake.
A Caribbean haven inspired by nature, this timeless resort has been a honeymoon favorite for decades. The expansive property becomes one with its surrounding landscape and pristine beach, giving couples the ideal setting to unwind and explore while wandering off into hidden coves and turquoise waters.
Romantic experience you don’t want to miss: When you aren’t being pampered head-to-toe in the award-winning spa, revel in the resort’s “beach drops”—seven secluded beaches located close to the bay that are only accessible by boat. You will be provided with everything you need—snorkeling gear, an umbrella, towels, an even a personal picnic lunch at your request—to make the most of your special time together.
Situated on the sun-soaked Wailea Beach in Maui, Hawaii’s second largest island, this top-rated resort is the perfect place to relax and capture spectacular views of the ocean and surrounding mountains. With a staff that anticipates your every need and an endless list of activities for couples, it’s no wonder why this property is such a popular honeymoon destination.
Romantic experience you don’t want to miss: If you are planning to honeymoon in the fall, be sure to ask about the resort’s “Couples Season” specials, which include activities such as water sports, mixology classes, cooking demos, spa services and more, many of which are complimentary. Visiting in winter or spring? This is the time of year when humpback whales migrate to the Hawaiian Islands. Ask your concierge for more details on whalewatching boat rides offered in the area—an adventure you won’t forget.
Photo credit for all images used: Courtesy of Four Seasons Resort Maui
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