You thought weddings are expensive? Wait till you see these honeymoon destinations. Be prepared to save no expense if you want desert islands with pristine beaches all for yourself and that special someone you’ve just said “yes” to, champagne breakfast, beds scattered with rose petals, all-inclusive packages that will make your tropical fantasy come true. For most couples, the perfect honeymoon can be translated into a place where they can be alone together. This usually means calling room service for a bottle of champagne at midnight, because leaving your room simply isn’t worth the bother. Newlyweds can choose between an extravagant spot or a luxury hideaway, idyllic beaches or a safari lodge, a cottage all for yourselves in the middle of nowhere or a Venetian palace. If it’s an oceanfront view balcony or a rooftop terrace overlooking their favorite city lights at night, it’s worth every nickel and dime.
The honeymoon is the most important holiday you will take as a couple, celebrating the first days of marriage and enjoying each others’ company before you both face reality. After all the hustle and bustle of making your dream wedding flawless, you need a place to recuperate from all the stress of planning, smiling cheerfully at strangers, and dancing with your in laws. Now, a pampering exotic holiday might sound like a great opportunity, but it can become a headache on its own. For some of us, the honeymoon is a once in a lifetime thing, and it must be perfect from all points of view. But where to go? That is the big question.
10. One With Nature: Elephant Hills Rainforest Camp, Thailand
Home to some of the most popular island getaways in the world, Thailand is the ideal destination for couples in search of a wide range of activities from city breaks to mountain hiking, boat rides, beach time, and elephant rides. Khao Sok National Park is home to a 160 million year old rainforest that shelters elephants and rare flowers, like the rafflesia, the world’s largest flower. The national park is also home to Thailand’s first floating hotel and luxury tented camp. In a remote corner of Cheow Larn Lake, Elephant Hills Rainforest Camp has ten luxury tents on pontoons. You can roll out of bed and slip straight into the water. Plus, the resort offers numerous outdoor activities like kayaking along the forest edge, trekking the rainforest, spotting gibbons, interacting with and feeding elephants, guaranteeing you’ll become one with nature.
9. Wild Beauty: Loisaba Wilderness, Kenya
Perched on top of a rocky escarpment, Loisaba Wilderness is a 60,000 acre private reserve in Kenya, one of the wildest destinations on Earth. The safari lodge offers numerous luxury amenities, such as four-poster beds and timbered decks overlooking Mount Kenya, catering to your mind, body, and soul. Guests are offered the unique opportunity to design the African adventure of their dreams. For a truly memorable night, you can opt for a Koija star bed, a handcrafted elevated bed perched on an open-air platform for a good night’s sleep under the stars. Couples are also offered evening safaris during which they can spot Africa’s impressive wildlife. Afterward, they can relax in an al fresco champagne bath for two in the African bushes. Prices start at $2,200 for a five-night stay.
8. Jungle Luxury: Amankila, Bali
The most recognizable of all the islands that make up the Indonesian archipelago, Bali is the land of pirates and dragons. All those couples that wish to get closer to a fascinating spiritual culture and immerse themselves in outdoor activities have found their destination. Aman resorts were invented in Bali and offer the ultimate pampering experience. There are three such resorts on the island, and one of them is Amankila on the east coast, perched on a cliff at whose foothills a private beach and beach club welcome guests. Its 34 suites connected by raised walkways offer in-room spa treatments. The resort is designed like a traditional Balinese village, with thatched-roof suites, each with own private walled garden, its centerpiece being a three-tiered infinity pool on the cliff edge.
7. Essence of Romance: Monastero Santa Rosa, Amalfi Coast
The vertiginous mountain roads on Italy’s Amalfi coast lead from one luxury resort to the other. Before you arrive at the hotel, before you taste that glass of wine and delicious cuisine, there’s something about the place that makes you fall in love with it on the spot. Perhaps it’s the winding road along that breathtaking scenery that makes you feel as if in you were starring in a 1960’s movie, with the wind blowing in your hair, and your scarf loosening from your neck and eventually getting lost in the air. Perched on a clifftop overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea, Monastero Santa Rosa is the very essence of romance. The lavish boutique hotel offers 20 rooms inside a 17th century monastery from which the nuns were evicted in the 19th century. Sexy beds with the finest linens, gardens and terraces, and a cliff-edge infinity pool that seems to slip straight into the sparkling blue sea can all be had for $700 per night.
6. Castaway Fantasy: The Wakaya Club & Spa, Fiji
One of the islands of the South Seas, Fiji is virtually in the middle of nowhere, thousands of miles from civilization, with numerous deserted beaches and amazing jungles with loud waterfalls splashing into emerald lagoons. To get a sense of what it looks and feels like, you should know that Blue Lagoon and Cast Away were filmed here. The Wakaya Club & Spa is one of Fiji’s best private island resorts. Bill and Melinda Gates honeymooned here. It offers a limited amount of Eco-friendly lodging, as there are only 10 cottages, traditionally called bures, in which you can stay. Don’t judge just yet. Cottage is a term that doesn’t do them justice. Each comes with its own 16 acres of private land for complete privacy. Yachts are not allowed to drop anchor on Wakaya Island. However, if you do get shipwrecked here, you can be sure to find welcoming locals and the ultimate pampering experience. Prices start at $2,200 per night.
5. Homeland of Romance: Ca Maria Adele, Venice
It shouldn’t be a problem finding a romantic place to stay in Venice, one of the most picturesque cities in the world. With so many palaces turned luxury hotels, it can actually become hard to take your pick. To make it easier for you, I present you Ca Maria Adele, which has been acknowledged as the most romantic hotel not just in Venice, but in all of Italy and all of Europe. A lovely bridge over a canal in Dorsoduro, the contemporary art neighborhood, leads guests to the entrance of a 16th century palace and its 12 bedrooms, each unique, richly decorated and atmospherically lit. The delightful décor boasts damaschi fabrics, African wood furniture, fur wallpaper, marble fireplaces, Swarovski crystals, Murano chandeliers, and the list goes on. Although nothing can be compared with the view from your balcony, as you are having breakfast while gazing at the boats gently gliding down the Grand Canal in central Venice.
4. Adventure Redefined: Constance Le Prince Maurice, Mauritius
In the heart of the Indian Ocean, Mauritius offers amazing national parks for all of you adventure lovers out there, with tropical forests sheltering intriguing wildlife for an off-the-beaten-path experience, and that’s not all. If you dream of lazing on the porch of your private oceanfront cabana while being handed cocktails by the hour, then this is the place for you. Constance Le Prince Maurice is considered the most luxurious romantic hotel on the archipelago, offering spacious rooms and sophisticated designs, with darkwood furniture and polished floorboards. Its pride and joy is the Princely Suite, the one you must hunt down for your honeymoon. It comes with private terraces for dining and lounging, gardens, two pools, and even its own stretch of beach, all just for you and your other half to enjoy uninterrupted.
3. All-Inclusive Luxury: Viceroy Resort on St. Lucia, Caribbean
The Caribbean islands are among the first choices when it comes to planning your honeymoon, offering some of the best sunsets and beaches. Between the islands of Martinique and Barbados, St. Lucia is the jewel of the southern Caribbean, with its majestic Piton Mountains covered in rainforests and lovely palm-fringed beaches. You can spend your afternoons hiking in the mountains, kayaking, or horseback riding, then return to the refined all-inclusive Viceroy beach resort, with its 59 gorgeous villas wonderfully set at the foothills of the Pitons which rise like sentinels on each side of the golden half-moon shaped beach. You can spend your days laying back on the large terrace in front of your private villa, and you can ask your butler to prepare a delicious dinner and serve it on the beach at midnight, and then take a dip into the warm sea. Prices start at $4,300 for a seven-night stay.
2. Desert Island Paradise: Banyan Tree Madivaru, Maldives
On the first spots in newlyweds’ holiday picks, the Maldives are one of those places on Earth you must definitely visit in a lifetime. They are a great destination for couples dreaming of Martinis served on the boat, lazing in hammocks all day, and candlelit dinners by the beach. However, if it’s extreme luxury you are looking for, Banyan Tree Madivaru is the perfect getaway, hidden away from the world in the corner of a deserted island. Camouflaged by the dense evergreen jungle, there are only six luxury suites, each offering the most decadent amenities: large tented rooms, private pool, living and dining area, and spacious bedroom. You’ll be sitting on your very own stretch of beach from where you can slip right into the unbelievably clear waters. Privacy is at its best here, as the suites are positioned in such a way that you’ll barely catch a glimpse of another soul, with prices starting at $2,300 per night.
1. Barefoot Glamor: Fregate Island Private, Seychelles
The ultimate barefoot paradise for your castaway island fantasy, the Seychelles archipelago in the Indian Ocean offers pristine white sand beaches opening to turquoise waters, and is home to a rich wildlife sheltered by virgin forests and coral reefs. If money is no object, it is the number one pick for a perfect honeymoon. Fregate Island Private is an outrageous all-inclusive resort that puts a whole new meaning to luxury, attracting numerous A-listers from Brad Pitt to Princess Anne. There are a total of 16 private teak villas, each with its own butler, pool, terrace with jacuzzi, and dining pavilion. Gourmet meals are served in the Fregate House and the Plantation House. Fregate Island Private is the best place to have that romantic dinner by the beach you’ve always been dreaming of. Not just on the beach, but anywhere you like; on the terrace, by the pool or jacuzzi, and even on top of a tree. For a memorable romantic experience, you’ll be lifted all the way to the upper branches of a banyan tree where a romantic dinner will be served 30 feet above the ground. The 300-hectare private island resort boasts seven private beaches that are home to rare giant turtles, exotic birds, and yacht clubs, with prices per villa starting at $3,700 per night, the perfect recipe for a glamorous desert island experience.