After you’ve organised, planned, and first-danced your way through the ceremony, it’s time for arguably the best part of tying the knot…AKA the absolutely bomb honeymoon that will give you a bank of seriously sweet Instagram #tbt’s to pull from for the rest of eternity. Yay! But the last thing you need in the midst of wedding planning and picking out your perfect color scheme (which, let’s be honest, is difficult enough) is to spend months stressing over the details of what’s supposed to be the relaxing part. And that all starts with one very, very important question…where should you go?!
It’s one of the first major decisions you’ll make together as a couple, and it should be a fun one. (Along with, you know, how you’ll pay for it.) And sure, you could go the route of taking the same trip every single one of your married friends has taken…orrr you could branch out a little bit with a getaway that’s uniquely ‘you’ as a couple. Is that something adventurous and off the beaten path? Somewhere you can chill and unplug? Or maybe somewhere close to home?
Here are our picks for the dreamiest romantic getaway destinations that’ll fit your vibe, whether you’re looking to sip something boozy on a beach or feast on ~fancy~ French food.
Sleep in a Treehouse in Kenya, Africa
Ol Malo in northern Kenya specialises in creating the authentic ‘Out of Africa’ moments you’ve been dreaming about. After you get wild with a private helicopter safari taking you into the Great Rift Valley to spot Big Game, take a leisurely soak in the outdoor heart-shaped bathtub on the private guest room terrace as the sounds of elephants and zebra drift up from the valley below. Newlyweds can spend a night under the African sky in the picturesque Ol Malo Treehouse, climbing up a spiral wooden staircase hung with old-fashioned lanterns to a table adorned with champagne and a three-course meal.
Climb a Mountain in Cape Town, South Africa
The ultra-luxe One&Only Cape Town is ideally located to experience our thriving capital city. Conquer Table Mountain, Cape Town’s 3,560-foot summit, on a personalised expedition guided by a personal trainer, taking in wildlife like indigenous antelope. The resort chef will prepare you a bespoke picnic to enjoy at the top of the mountain, as you take in the views from above the city. You can even book an unforgettable mountain-top yoga class with one of their trainers!
SCUBA dive in Bonaire
The island of Bonaire is a Dutch municipality famous for its world-class SCUBA diving and snorkeling in warm, turquoise waters. Another plus: Bonaire is less commercial than many other Caribbean Islands, providing a tranquil escape with 80+ dive sites. Courtyard Bonaire Dive Resort offers SCUBA-loving honeymooners the convenience of their onsite diving centre, Dive Friends, and a Stay and Dive package with unlimited shore diving. They even offer a totally surreal underwater proposal package that may make your SO wish for a do-over.
Step Back in Bhutan
Venture to one of the most remote places in the world: The Gangtey (Phobjikha) Valley in Bhutan. Gangtey Lodges’ 12 luxury suites offer stunning views and an opportunity to explore the rich culture of the rural community. Relax with a hot stone bathhouse experience, a Bhutanese tradition where you and your partner can submerge yourselves in the boiling-hot mineral water swirling with Ayurvedic herbs from the surrounding forests.
Surf Nicaragua’s Emerald Coast
Nicaragua’s Emerald Coast is dotted with spectacular undisturbed beaches and unique geographical features like volcanoes and natural springs to explore. Rancho Santana is a massive 2,700 acre resort with five spectacular beaches, which you can often find deserted due to the property’s massive size. Activities include surfing lessons on some of Nicaragua’s most coveted surf breaks, sandboarding, and sunset horseback rides along the beach. The property also boasts a host of wildlife forward activities including monkey spotting and sea-turtle conservation.
Fly over Victoria Falls in Africa
Victoria Falls, on the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe, is considered to be the largest waterfall in the world. Experience the falls by cruising the Zambezi River or take it up a notch with a helicopter ride up above. In Zambia, stay at the Royal Livingstone Hotel with its fairy-tale honeymoon setting and lush gardens lining the Zambezi River. It’s the kind of place where your romantic candlelit dinner is accompanied by zebras grazing in the moonlight. High teas and luxurious spa treatments are part of the allure, as is the bubbly you can sip poolside.
Heli-hike in Alberta, Canada
The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise in Alberta’s Banff National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is surrounded by soaring mountain peaks, the majestic Victoria Glacier, and a glistening emerald lake. During the winter, take a fairy-tale ride on a horse-drawn sleigh or dog sled, snuggled up together under a warm blanket. Soak sore muscles and unwind together at one of the luxurious spas or hot springs in town. Take a trip of a lifetime by heli-hiking in the glorious alpine of Banff National Park. While you’re gone the guides will set up a secluded champagne picnic.
Soak in Volcanic Hot Springs in Costa Rica
Located at the base of the majestic Arenal Volcano, Tabacón Thermal Resort & Spa is a steamy paradise in Costa Rica. The property is set on more than 900 acres of lush tropical reserve, home to Costa Rica’s largest network of naturally flowing hot springs. One absolute must: Soaking in the cascading thermal waterfalls of the Tabacón Hot Springs. Explore the numerous river pools, with their varying temperatures and water flows, and end up at Tabacón’s Shangri-La Gardens, the resorts adults only hideaway, for some private time.
Spectacular Sunsets in Motu To’opua, Bora Bora
Bora Bora offers a perfect Insta backdrop thanks to its crystal clear waters in countless shades of blue, pristine white-sand beaches, and overwater bungalows. Kick back and relax with lazy days by the beach and Tahitian spa treatments, or explore the island on a four-wheeler or an outrigger canoe. Located in a private cove on the island of Motu To’opua on the longest stretch of white sand beach in Bora Bora, Conrad Bora Bora Nui is home to the destination’s only two-story overwater bungalows, perfect if you want to splurge on the trip of a lifetime. Indulge in a romantic private dinner on the resort’s very own private island, Motu Tapu, just a five-minute boat ride from the resort, where a personal waiter will tend to your every need on the otherwise uninhabited island.
Standup Paddleboard in Anguilla
Malliouhana in Anguilla sets the standard for modern day island glamour, set atop a bluff that rolls down to pristine white sands and azure blue sea. A cascading infinity pool seems to drop off into the sea below while the beach bar offers toes-in-the-sand relaxation. The resort boasts over-the-top Villas featuring personalised service right on the sands of Meads Bay, including a private villa manager, butler, chef, and VIP resort access. Take advantage of the perfect sea conditions and explore secluded beaches and hidden lagoons by standup paddleboard, watching schools of colourful tropical fish or the occasional sea turtle swimming by.
Recharge in Bali
After all that stress leading up to the wedding, find some zen at The Mulia Villas in Bali, Indonesia. Located on the majestic coastline of Nusa Dua, The Mulia Villas offer breathtaking views of the Indian Ocean and 108 villas that range from a one bedroom all the way up to the six-bedroom, two-story Mulia Mansion. Each villa is inspired by traditional Balinese house layouts with expansive indoor-outdoor areas that offer total privacy with a seamless flow between the indoors and out. Honeymooners can take part in The Mulia’s new Baliscovery Experience, complete with a sunrise hike to Mount Batur, a celebratory breakfast on the summit, and a meeting with a traditional Balinese healer in which couples can receive a traditional blessing of good fortune for a happy, fulfilling marriage.
Sunset Cruise in St. Bart’s
The romantic island of St. Bart’s in the French West Indies offers cascading white-sand beaches, beautiful turquoise waters, and an internationally-acclaimed dining scene. Nestled on a quiet bay, set back from the island buzz, Le Barthélemy Hotel & Spa, offers elegantly appointed design, a La Mer spa, open-air vibes, and couture service (which is why Ashley Graham spent her recent anniversary and babymoon there). Stay in one of Le Barthelemy’s oceanfront suites with private plunge pool, Hermes amenities, and rain shower, plus a team of expert staff available to help you create a fabulous honeymoon. Set sail on a private sunset catamaran cruise around the island, and end the evening sipping on inventive cocktails and stargazing
Sleep Under the Sea in Rangali Island, Maldives
THE MURAKA at Conrad Maldives Rangali Island is a first-of-its-kind two-level residence that features seamless living both above and below the ocean in the beautiful Maldives. 16 feet below the surface, you will discover an incredible undersea master bedroom within an 180-degree curved dome, making you feel as if you were sleeping in an aquarium. Above the water, you’ve got another bedroom, living room, dining space, and entertainment space, along with an outdoor deck with an infinity pool. THE MURAKA also offers 24 hour butler service and a private chef, along with a private seaplane arrival.
Live Like Royalty in the Loire Valley
An hour away from Paris, the Loire Valley was once the former playground of France’s aristocratic elite, kings, queens, dukes, and nobles. Hotel Château du Grand-Lucé was built in 1760 by a French nobleman and continues to host discerning travellers now as an intimate and highly luxurious 17-room chateau. 80 acres of meadows and magnificent gardens is unapologetically opulent and its interiors pay tribute to the historical luxury of the French royalty.
Yacht in the Maldives
Tucked away between lush rainforest and white-sand beaches on a private island, The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort is a secluded oasis set amongst the tranquil waves of the Indian Ocean. Perfect for an intimate romantic escape and honeymoon, the exquisite beach getaway offers overwater villas like the John Jacob Astor Estate with luxuries that include a private infinity pool, formal dining room, home theatre, and staff quarters. Celebrate your nuptials aboard the resort’s custom Azimut Flybridge 66-Yacht, Norma, with a champagne toast and caviar tasting as the mesmerising sunset lights up the horizon.
Feel Like a Celebrity in Aruba
Aruba’s consistently sunny, 27 degree weather and location outside the hurricane belt guarantee that you won’t need to worry about inclement weather getting in the way of your beach days. The adults-only Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort on Eagle Beach offers a VIP ‘Honeymoon like a Celebrity’ experience for couples who want to feel like A-. This includes a romance concierge to help coordinate the trip itinerary ahead of time, access to an exclusive airport lounge and pick-up upon arrival in a black car complete with a ‘Just Married’ decoration, plus a personal assistant for the whole trip.
Roam around Rome
Rome is one of the most romantic cities in the world, brimming with old-world charm. Walking up the Spanish Steps, sharing a refreshing scoop of gelato, and throwing coins into the Trevi fountain together have all become rites of passage for paramours visiting the Italian capital. The 10-story Hotel Mediterraneo is the tallest hotel in the walled city of Rome; it stands on Esquilino, the highest of Rome’s seven hills. The top floor is the Roof Garden Restaurant and Bar, which has a retractable roof that opens in the summer. From its terrace, there is a nearly 360-degree view of Rome, from St. Peter’s to St. Mary Major to the Apennine Mountains. The Hotel Mediterraneo is within walking distance from the Colosseum, Opera House, Forum, Trevi Fountain, and Spanish Steps.
Wear Kimonos in Kyoto
A peaceful sanctuary in the cultural heart of Japan, The Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto offers a far-flung, unforgettable honeymoon adventure. Indulge side-by-side in the hotel’s signature Ryokucha Serenity Ritual spa treatment, which incorporates antioxidant-rich green tea leaves from the city’s Uji region in its body, foot and scalp massage. From there, book the Kimono tour of Kyoto by rickshaw and dress in customised kimono with the help of a local expert before sharing an intimate rickshaw ride through the beautiful old streets of the city. For dinner, newlyweds can reserve seats at the hotel’s Michelin-starred Mizuki Tempura restaurant to try the traditional tempura Kappo-style.
Pucker Up in Paris
The City of Lights is full of charm, history and romance. The Hôtel du Louvre is practically a monument in Paris, located in the centre of the city and steps away from some of its most iconic institutions. You’ll be within a one-minute walk to the Louvre and a quick 15-minute ride to the Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triomphe. Visit the Parc des Buttes-Chaumont, a Napoleon III-era 61-acre expanse full of grottos, waterfalls, temples, suspension bridges designed by Gustave Eiffel himself.
Take in the Architecture in Barcelona
Explore Barcelona’s famous landmarks like the historic Sagrada Familia and Magic Fountain of Montjuïc. Art lovers should stop by colourful Park Güell, created by famed architect Antonti Gaudí as a part of the city’s new art movement, or check out the extensive artwork collection at Museu Picasso. Visitors can also stroll down the enchanting Gothic Quarter which features a traditional cathedral, pop into one of many cocktail lounges, or shop at the local bustling market, La Boqueria. Smooch in front of the mural ‘The World Begins with Every Kiss’ – made up of over 4,000 tiles with photos printed onto them of couples embracing in a kiss. To stay, Hotel Arts Barcelona offers elevated penthouses and suites with fabulous views of the cityscape, Olympic Marina and Barceloneta beach and an outdoor infinity pool overlooking the sea.
Gallery Hop in Johannesburg
With so many neighbourhoods to explore, Johannesburg can keep you moving on your honeymoon. Head to the Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens in Roodeport for a leisurely afternoon picnic with a backdrop of waterfalls, cliffs, and amazing flora and fauna. Parkwood is one of the best places for art lovers as it is home to galleries such as the Goodman Art Gallery, which features everything from photographs to conceptual art. Stay at the secluded Saxon Hotel, Villas and Spa, in the tranquil, tree-lined suburb of Sandhurst.
Explore Michelangelo in Italy
Nestled in the heart of the winemaking region of Chianti Classico, Villa Mangiacane is a former Machiavelli Family villa that is rumoured to have been inspired by Renaissance master, Michelangelo. Located just 12 kilometres south of Florence, Mangiacane offers twenty-eight individually designed rooms and suites and is set within 600 acres of flourishing vineyards and olive groves. The private estate produces three award winning wines and a distinctive olive oil which you can taste and enjoy during your stay. The classic beauty of Mangiacane combined with its history, art, and idyllic countryside setting create a beautiful backdrop for a Tuscan honeymoon. Luxurious facilities complement Villa Mangiacane, including two swimming pools, unique sculpture gardens and breathtaking Tuscan views of the Duomo in Florence.
Visit Ancient Archaeological Sites in Maupita
You might not think culture when you think of a Tahitian honeymoon, but the island of Maupiti offers a chance to explore traditional temples (Maraes) and pre-European archaeological sites. You’ll find petroglyphs carved on huge rocks in the Haranae Valley and in the Vaitia Valley, you’ll find the legendary outrigger canoe of the demigod Hiro. As one of the smallest and most secluded of The Islands of Tahiti, you won’t find brand name resorts. Look instead to the charming, family-run Tahitian Guesthouses for an intimate local experience.
Trendset in Tel Aviv
Located on the Mediterranean coastline, bursting with energy and creativity, Tel Aviv is super trendy right now. Stay at The Drisco Hotel, a landmark heritage property housed between two restored Ottoman-style buildings with hand-printed murals. The classical architectural wonder once housed famous explorers Thomas Cook and Mark Twain and has since transformed into a luxury hotel befitting the modern-day traveler. You’ll only be a short walk from all of the city’s must-see spots, including the renowned Carmel, Levinsky, Flea and Greek markets of Tel Aviv and Jaffa, the stunning beach promenade and nearby parks, Jaffa’s ancient port dating back 4,500 years, the HaTachana Old Train Station fashion and dining complex, Neve Tzedek’s quaint shopping streets, and the Suzanne Dellal Centre for Dance and Theatre.
Sip Bubbles in Champagne, France
Champagne is a quiet region that epitomises the effervescence of its eponymous wine. It is home to seas of vineyards, quaint villages, and historic champagne houses such as Veuve Clicquot, Moet et Chandon, Taittinger, and more. Royal Champagne Hotel & Spa is the region’s luxury wellness property, where you can spend your days sipping in the warm French sun, exploring miles of UNESCO-certified vineyards and fine dining at the hotel’s newly Michelin-starred restaurant, Le Royal. Indulge in Le Royal’s multi-course tasting menu with wines paired by sommelier Daniel Pires. Newlyweds can steal quiet moments on their private terraces from one of the hotel’s 47 rooms, each overlooking the surrounding vineyards and villages, or venture out in a hot air balloon or boat ride down the Marne river. The Perching Bar in Verzy, some 12 miles outside of Reims, is a lofty Champagne bar up in the trees, well worth the detour.
Get Gourmet Cuisine in the Bay of Many Coves, New Zealand
The Marlborough Delight offers a gourmet escape at the Bay of Many Coves, where you can spend your honeymoon sipping on Sauvignon Blanc and indulging in award-winning cuisine. The honeymoon package includes three-night accommodations in a luxury one-bedroom apartment, daily gourmet breakfast, elegant three-course dinner for two evenings and a seven-course degustation dinner on the last evening matched with six locally-produced wines. You’ll also get to go on a special cruise to Motuara Island, an uninhabited conservation island focused on providing safe breeding grounds for Little Blue Penguins, as well as a private wine tour of the Marlborough wineries
Dine in a Love Nest in Cabo, Mexico
Viceroy Los Cabos is located in the heart of San José del Cabo on the coast of Baja California. The 192-room beachfront property faces the Sea of Cortez and showcases stunning design by Miguel Angel Aragonés. The Nido Love Nest romance package lets you create your own love nest for the evening in the resort’s nest-like structured restaurant, Nido. Complete with a ‘love nest concierge,’ a romantic dinner for two, and a photographer to capture the special moment, it will be a meal you won’t soon forget.
Vinotherapy in Mendoza, Argentina
If you visit Mendoza, one of the largest wine regions, you can enjoy some of the best Malbec in the world and still have time for some adventure, like horseback riding along the Andes. The 24-room Entre Cielos is situated on 20 acres (including eight acres of Malbec vines) in the Mendoza countryside. For wine aficionados wishing to fully immerse themselves in the terroir, the unique Vineyard Lofts are situated right among the Malbec vines overlooking the vast landscape. The Small Luxury Hotels of the World member also boasts a spa offering a variety of vinotherapy treatments, including a grape seed body exfoliation, a wine bath of grape extracts, and a body treatment and nourishing grape extract facial mask.