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|Hayley Matthews • 9/24/15|
Choosing a honeymoon destination can sometimes be equally as difficult as handling the actual wedding. There are so many factors to consider — from you and your SO’s personal preferences all the way to what is financially feasible to do as a new couple.
Once the anxiety, overbearing extended family and wedding gifts can be put aside, it is time to submerge into pure post-ceremony bliss in the perfect place. Sometimes it seems like every tropical island is the same and all the amenities and adventures become indistinguishable, but we are here to provide guidance for you, along with the best place to stay.
Rather than the typical trip, this list of the 17 Most Beautiful Honeymoon Destinations in the World will provide you with rare options that ensure an adventurous, romantic and exotic honeymoon. Take a risk in an uncharted territory — you’ll find much more than just love.
There is one word for this honeymoon destination: stargazing. The night skies in the Atacama desert are spectacularly clear, a reason why the international space station ALMA is here, which adds a whole new element of romance. In addition to the night sky, the various landscapes created by the desert surrounding the Tierra Atacama make it an unforgettable destination.
With interior design and gardens designed by some of Chile‘s leading creative talent, Tierra Atacama is a collection of 12 villa rooms, an indoor and outdoor spa that offers yoga and simple areas for relaxation and enjoying nature. There is even a honeymooner’s surprise, but you will have to visit to find out what it is.
With a year-round tropical climate and miles of serene beaches, Kerala is where India slows to a lazier pace. Situated on the southwestern coast an originally built in 1755, the Malabar House is only steps from the area’s famous Chinese fishing nets that lay on the waterfront. This hotel is all about natural appreciation, artistic design and a genuine respect for customs and traditions.
Because it was transformed from an early 20th century bungalow at Fort Cochin, there is a rich sense of culture and old-fashioned style. The hotel has a private houseboat you can take to Lake Vembanad and day-cruise through a network of waterways, or you can relax at one of the spas and do yoga. Unlike any other place in India, Kerala and its beauty will be forever ingrained in your memory.
Known for brilliant sunsets, romance and rich Greek food, Santorini is ideal for newlyweds. The Canaves Oia Hotel embodies the elegance and harmony of this destination, with its designer-chic luxury suites and its placement nestled into the cliff side by the Aegean Sea. Volcanic activity makes this adventure even more exciting, where you can sunbathe at the molten-dyed beaches or bathe in the hot springs surrounding Kameni, the Santorini volcano.
This dreamy five-star hideaway also boasts gorgeous panoramic views, an infinity pool bar for private dining, sailing excursions and ceremonial wine tasting that all add up to the ideal romantic retreat.
The gracious, family-owned Buccaneer Hotel has been around for more than 60 years, making it the Caribbean’s longest running resort. With a blend of modern and historic twists, the resort embodies elegance and friendliness. Featured on ABC’s “The Bachelor,” The Buccaneer is a hub for romance, water sports and intimate vacations.
Situated on the largest of the U.S. Virgin Islands, underwater explorers can get their fix in the crystal clear water by seeing more than 500 species of fish and 40 types of coral. Visit nearby uninhabited Buck Island, explore St. Croix‘s historic monuments and towns or even dance with moko jumbie stiltwalkers. This honeymoon is a great option for a historical yet modern retreat.
Whether you are seeking a quiet, intimate getaway or something more exciting, this tiny Caribbean hideaway between St. Vincent and the Grenadines in the West Indies has the perfect private island feel for your honeymoon. The seventeen bedroom boutique that is Cotton House provides access to your own suite and plunge pool, or you can even rent an exclusive villa where you have privacy and a full staff to help you.
Wherever you stay, you can choose to explore the island offshore with sailing, scuba diving and swimming with the turtles at nearby Tobago Cays, or you can stay onshore to ride horses and indulge in a pampering spa session. You will be so charmed b this blissful island that you won’t ever want to leave.
Cayo Espanto, located in gorgeous Belize and ranked third in the 2013 world’s best private islands by Islands Magazine, provides the perfect combination of luxury and paradise. Located three miles from San Pedro in the Western Caribbean waters, the view from your private villa will be unforgettable. With a mantra of discovering the tropical islands and enjoying the water, you can either relax in privacy or venture out and explore by land and sea.
Cayo Espanto has fly fishing tours, scuba diving charters, private snorkeling sessions and even Mayan ruin tours. Don’t forget about the Jaguar reserve and island spa services. This private island, which simply consists of a sandy path that winds through a forest of palms down a 4-acre island, is one of a kind.
Lounge on comfy rattan chaise lounges at Moorish-inspired Cap Juluca, a beautiful resort located on the small island of Anguilla in the northern Caribbean. Overlooking the mountains of St. Marteen only seven miles away and providing a signature design that contrasts with the aqua blue waters, the serene and secluded treasure has become known for its expansive coral reefs, ultimate privacy and beautiful white sand beaches.
Ranking as the #1 hotel in Anguilla by the U.S. News & World Report this year, Anguilla is nothing short of spectacular as a honeymoon destination. From beach lounging on Maundays Bay to snorkeling and windsurfing, Cap Juluca will provide you with a balance of relaxation and adventure.
Perfectly situated for active, adrenaline-seeking couples, this beachfront and rainforest resort overlooks the Pacific and has access to two white sand beaches. Within walking distance of Manuel Antonio National Park, you have the opportunity to go on a guided hike through the national park to look for any and all creatures of nature. You can even go on a zipline tour above the rain-forest canopy.
Located on the Central Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, you are guaranteed to enjoy spectacular sunsets, wildlife photo ops and eat delicious local cuisine. Take a break from the exhausting adventures of Arenas del Mar with a massage at Las Brisas Spa or a few drinks at the El Mirador Bar.
This intimate Tanzanian beachside retreat of only 15 villa-like accommodations, located on the northwest coast of Zanzibar and adjacent to the Indian Ocean, provides both impeccable scenery and service. Spanning more than 50 acres of tropical garden and white sand beachfront, Kilindi Zanzibar is also historically significant as the capital city of Zanzibar, Stone Town, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site because it was a hub of both the spice and slave trades.
Kilinzi Zanzibar provides the perfect combination of Scandinavian minimalism and Middle Eastern heritage through its architecture while maintaining a natural simplicity that creates a lover’s paradise. Enjoy a safari adventure in the Mara region of Tanzania, or lay on the beach enjoying the hotel’s unique cuisine that is the melting pot of Zanzibar, because either way you will remember Kilindi for a lifetime.
Dubbed “the adventure capital of the world,” Queenstown is the place for an action-packed honeymoon. An alpine lakeside vacation at Matakauri Lodge provides breathtaking views of Lake Wakatipu and the mountain panorama from suites that offer a private porch, an open fireplace and walk-in closets. The lodge has a range of facilities that are designed for relaxation, such as the spa which is located on the edge of a pine forest, and an outdoor infinity pool and jacuzzi.
Fore more of a thrill, you can go tandem bungee jumping off the Kawarau Bridge or glide through canyons on a high-speed jet boat. There is even helicopter rides over the Milford Sound and Doubtful Sound, or golf and fly fishing. The views and opportunities here are priceless.
For an unforgettable romantic getaway, visit the world-class luxury Qualia resort on Hamilton Island. It is only right that Qualia translates to “a collection of deeper sensory experiences” in Latin because it is situated on the secluded northern-most tip of the island where you get spectacular views of the Great Barrier Reef in Australia.
With a mesmerizing calmness and architecture that creates a sense of space, openness and harmony with nature, each pavilion makes for an elegant and romantic stay. You can experience soothing treatments at Spa Qualia or even venture out with a beach drop where you’ll be dropped off at a private beach with a picnic and some bubbly. Talk about a honeymoon.
Recently awarded as the 2015 IAGTO Golf Resort of the Year, Casa de Campo, located in the Dominican Republic, is the ideal honeymoon destination for a couple ready for adventure, sports and other exciting activities. With 90 holes of gold created by designer Pete Dye, three polo fields, 13 tennis courts and a shooting facility, you can expect to work up a sweat while also enjoying a beautiful view.
The renowned Altos de Chavón set a perfect backdrop, and couples love the scenery from the oceanfront villas that inhabit Casa de Campo. You can sail from the private Minitas Beach or even relax at the marina’s yacht club. Whatever you do, this is where the games of your life begin.
Voted as one of the top 25 luxury hotels in the United States by TripAdvisor, the Four Seasons Hualalai is a showpiece oceanfront luxury resort that embodies the authenticity, tradition and design of Hawaiian culture. With intimate two-story bungalows and first-floor rooms that have private outdoor showers, this hotel is sure to make for a steamy tropical getaway.
Whether you spend your days by the adults-only Palm Grove Pool or want to explore the oceanside Jack Nicklaus golf course, you will never run out of things to do with a view. There is even an Ultimate Honeymoon Package, where you are set up with a rental car, daily breakfast and a private dinner on the beach. Don’t count Kailua out when you honeymoon in Hawaii.
Just upstream of Victoria Falls and on the banks of the Zambezi River, the Tongabezi Lodge is the ultimate location for romance and love. A privately owned and run romantic hideaway with beautifully styled houses and cottages, this lodge embodies the legendary warmth and hospitality that is Zambia. Guests even have the option to stay on the private island, Sidabezi, for those who want an even more intimate setting.
Offering a range of activities like thrilling boat trips to Livingstone Island and helicopter rides over Victoria Falls to Indian head massages and guided bush walks, there is something for every taste here. You can expect the delightfully unexpected the minute you wake up here, with stunning sunrises, baby rhinos, bubble baths and more.
It’s no surprise that Amankila means “peaceful hill,” because the secluded seaside resort tucked away on the island of Bali in Indonesia is nothing short of intimate and serene. Overlooking the Lombok Strait, the resort offers a gorgeous three-tiered pool, access to a beach club and easy access to untouched rural countryside and the region’s royal past.
With a dramatic backdrop provided by Mount Agung and raised walkways that connect the resort’s facilities, there is a special feeling of seclusion and romance. You can even book the Deluxe Pool Suite to have your own private pool. As a member of Condé Nast Traveler’s Gold List in 2013 and 2014, Amankila is not a place to be neglected.
Skip the trouble of traveling to Europe because there is nothing but world-class French cuisine, gorgeous wineries and renowned spas in Napa Valley. The chic boutique hotel Bardessono, which embodies contemporary luxury and wine country living, has beautiful rooms that are each designed for private in-room spa services where you have access to a spa butler and couples massages.
Wine tasting within walking distance, Napa Valley bike tours and yoga are just a few of the many amenities that the Bardessono hotel offers its guests. The hotel also has a distinct dedication to the environment, using local farm-fresh ingredients, carbon fiber bicycles and general green building and operating practices. Prepare to be drunk in love the entire time.
If you want to warm up with your new spouse by the fire after a romantic sleigh ride, The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise is the place for you. Strategically located on the edge of the glacier-fed Lake Louise in Canada, surrounded by mountain peaks and a glistening emerald lake, this hotel is a gorgeous honeymoon destination in every season. Originally created as a base for outdoor enthusiasts over 100 years ago, The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise offers a variety of fun activities like guided mountain tours, skiing, a luxury spa and horseback riding.
Located in Alberta’s Banff National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this hotel embodies environmental stewardship and adventure. It is honeymoon haven for all of your outdoor desires.
Photo sources: VisaSignatureHotels.com, EveryonesAnOriginal.com, EALuxe.com, KiwiCollection.com, Bardessono.com, Tongabezi.com, MyBeautifulBelize.com, CapJuluca.com, CasaDeCampo.com, Expedia.com, Blog.LuxuryAdventures.co.nz, MyBoutiqueTravel.com, ElewanaCollection.com, KiwiCollection.com, Qualia.com.au, MalabarHouse.com, CottonHouse.net