July 14, 2021
You’ve made it official–and now it’s time to unwind. Whether you’re the type of couple that wants to explore a once-in-a-lifetime destination, experience otherworldly food and architecture, or simply veg out on one of the world’s most beautiful beaches, we’ve got you covered.
Wedding planning, while exciting, can be a major source of stress–and your honeymoon is likely going to be your first real chance to enjoy some quality time with your spouse. The trip should be relaxing while also suiting your wants, needs, and style as a couple. With that said, incorporating all of your favorite things into one trip can overwhelm, or take away from your time spent simply enjoying one another’s company. When curating your honeymoon, consider your bucket list (a honeymoon is the ultimate excuse to invest in a trip you’d otherwise never splurge on), your getaway goals (lounging poolside? Days at the spa? Hiking? Indulging in local cuisine?) and the best times to visit your dream destinations. Keep in mind that while off-season travel can save you money, it can also be unpredictable. Decide whether you’re the type of couple who can handle making the most out of your plans being derailed; the last thing you’d ever want is to spend the majority of your trip in inclement weather, or discover that most of a location’s must-visits are only open in high season.
We’ve considered the world’s most romantic, untapped, exciting and visually stunning destinations when crafting this list to give you all the reasons you’ll need to visit, and where and when to plan your stay. Here, the ultimate honeymoons to have on your short list.
There are many reasons the Amalfi Coast continues to be at the top of honeymooners’ bucket lists. It’s hard to picture more classically romantic a scene than Positano’s steep village streets, Moorish architecture, azure water and colorful loungers and umbrellas lining the dark sandy beaches. Glamour comes easy, especially at the five-star Le Sirenuse, where the formula for a sexy, sophisticated getaway is tried and true.
Visit Antigua and Barbuda, where we’ve got the sun, the sea and plenty of much-needed space.
Antigua’s shoreline is washed almost exclusively by the Caribbean Sea and is hugged by 95 miles of superb coastline. Her sister Barbuda, is surrounded by protective reefs, and features a large lagoon and Frigate Bird sanctuary. The islands are best known for their friendly and welcoming people, pink and white-sandy beaches, crystal clear waters and the most satisfying and enjoyable climate in the world.
The debate between Sydney and Melbourne is like the one between LA and New York—but there are so many other parts of this great island nation, too. In the former stay at the QT Bondi to work on your golden tan, or the newish Old Clare Hotel for an urban adventure. After checking out foodie mecca Melbourne’s divine restaurant scene and mural-filled laneways, hit the artsy Jackalope Hotel for wine-country immersion on the Mornington Peninsula. Western Australia has a lot to offer, with buzzy Perth giving honeymooners bang for their buck, Rottnest Island offering up adorable quokkas and Chris Hemsworth–approved glamping at Discovery Rottnest Island, and outback and ocean adventures in the Kimberley and Ningaloo Reef. And it’s hard to find more idyllic beaches than those in the Whitsundays, of course.
For West Coasters, especially, there’s no simpler honeymoon destination than Baja California, the peninsula representing some of the best of Mexico. There you’ll find all the hallmarks of an authentic Mexican village in San Jose del Cabo, paired with dozens of pristine beaches for above and underwater activities, and divine resorts such as elegantly minimalist favorite Las Ventanas al Paraíso, shiny new Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal or Viceroy Los Cabos, and rooftop-studded The Cape. The less-traveled East Cape, with somehow even more spectacular seascapes and a major escapist vibe, is now home to the just-debuted Four Seasons Resort Los Cabos at Costa Palmas and Zadún, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve. Just over the border in bougainvillea-laden Valle de Guadalupe is some of the best wine and food imaginable, not to mention cool accommodations (see Cabañas Cuatro Cuartos and El Cielo Winery & Resort), with very reasonable price tags.
A honeymoon in Bali is pure magic. The Indonesian island—the only one in the huge country that’s Hindu—is a perfect place for passion. With a bit more of an exotic feel than the tropical islands closer to the US, Bali doesn’t only offer unspoiled beaches, surfing, snorkeling and massages, it’s full of culture, art, music, rice terraces and temples, many, many temples. Nature is celebrated here, and it’s easy to get into the spirit at unbelievably lush properties such as Four Seasons Bali at Sayan and Mandapa, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve for jungle vibes, and Uluwatu Surf Villas or Mulia Villas for coastal bliss.
If off-the-beaten-path is your couple style, this South Asian gem is the way to go. Sandwiched between India and China, it’s a magical country with its own identity and topography, although anyone who’s been to one of those spots knows natural beauty is a sure thing. The miniature kingdom in the Himalayas is epic for trekking and has retained quite a sense of culture thanks to its remoteness and subtle Western influence. Explore Buddhist monasteries, jaw-dropping panoramas, and fortresses as you make your way from one valley to the next.
Hurricane Irma is being avenged by a collection of spectacularly gorgeous Caribbean islands that have come back to life, a glorious rebirth. On Virgin Gorda, super-luxe Valley Trunk began welcoming guests to its pristine beach again in December 2019, showing off refreshed interiors, cinema, gardens infinity-edge pool. Meanwhile, on Tortola, the reggae-infused Quito’s Inn is a new 21-room option in Cane Garden Bay, and the truly virgin island of Anegada, Anegada Beach Club is a place for beach bums to sleep in elevated tents just atop the sugary sand.
If you venture to Argentina for your honeymoon, prepare to do the super sensual tango. The nightlife in the capital city is famously fabulous, and people come from all around the world to dance. Enjoy all the vibrant culture, local grill-focused cuisine and vivid, photogenic surroundings from a bicycle—bike lanes cover most of the city—or your temporary home in a sexy, well-designed place like Faena Hotel Buenos Aires or deluxe Four Seasons Hotel Buenos Aires.
With the US dollar stronger than the South African rand, your dollars stretch a bit farther in this city at the southernmost point of Africa. Beautiful hotels and intimate guesthouses—some of the most epic include design-forward The Siloand resort-y One&Only Cape Town—provide impeccable service and serve as home base for exploring Cape Town’s gorgeous peaks and mountains, coastline and wildlife, from penguins to baboons. If you’re into history, there’s plenty to be had, along with fantastic wine (hit La Residence in Franschhoek) and adrenaline-pumping adventure (cage diving with great whites!), to name just a few draws.