Our all-time favourite romantic destinations in the world, and where to stay when you get there, from romantic hotels to dreamy (and affordable!) little hideaways for two.
DUBAI & THE MALDIVES
The Maldives have inched up to the top honeymoon spot for 2019! With probably the silkiest sand, most brilliant water and a host of uber-luxe resorts all set out on their own private island, it’s no wonder. The overwater bungalows in the Maldives are what honeymoons are made of. We highly recommend One & Only Reethi Rah, ideal for those who want seclusion with some buzz and bling sprinkled in. For those seeking the utmost privacy, the over-the-top Cheval Blanc Randheli, owned by LVMH, with just 45 oversized accommodations and the most sumptuous décor. It’s the ideal hideaway for you and your loved one; where you’ll feel like you have your own private island even when they are booked solid.
If you are seeking total privacy with a bit more activity, then head over the Velaa Private Island, embodying the very best of this unique archipelago, bathed in the aquamarine waters of the Indian Ocean. Designed by Czech architect Petr Kolar, the overall design concept is contemporary, yet intimate, with Maldivian nuances. Velaa shares its name and its home with the generations of sea turtles that have inhabited the island for countless years. The colours and patterns of a turtle shell inspire subtle nuances in the design, while from a broader aerial view, Velaa’s exclusive over-water villas resemble the head of a turtle with the island forming the body.
If you feeling adventurous, from the Maldives, head to Dubai (just 4 hours away) where you can get a contrasting experience in this ostentatious bustling city with endless nightlife and shopping – not to mention the privilege of flying on Emirates Airlines’ private sky suites.
Don’t miss: Snorkeling or diving on one of the pristine reefs surrounding most of the islands.
Best time to go: December – May
SOUTH AFRICA & MOZAMBIQUE
South Africa has leapt to second place in terms of honeymoon popularity in part because it offers something for everyone and delivers an extraordinary value with the strength of the dollar there. Decompress by the majestic winelands outside of Cape Town in the fabulous La Residence, followed by 3-5 days of adventure in the glorious seaside city of Cape Town, where we love the design-centric Silo Hotel (with the buzziest rooftop) or One & Only Cape Town, an urban resort in the middle of it all. All this sets the stage for a journey of a lifetime on a luxury safari that is sure to blow anyone away, especially if you stay at Singita or Royal Malewane, consistently rated one of the top 5 resorts in the world. End it all off at the private island resort of Azura in Mozambique, just a 1-hour flight away.
Don’t miss: Paragliding and rappelling down Table Mountain
Best time to go: All year round!
While several islands remain closed following a string of hurricanes, most have been unaffected and continue to welcome honeymooners with incredible flair. One of our favourites for romantics is Jumby Bay Resort in Antigua, where beachfront bungalows have their own private pools just off the sand. For those looking to be transported to the exotic lawns of Asia, Amanyara in Turks and Caicos offers sensual spaces with complete privacy.
For something over the top, head to Sandy Lane in Barbados, which pairs perfectly with Pink Sand Canouan, a private island resort just 40 minutes by private plane.
Don’t miss: A private beach picnic on Iguana Island in Turks and Caicos.
Best time to go: November – June
For honeymooners looking for a more cosmopolitan experience, Italy is always number one. Its people, passion, topography and food are a favourite, especially when by the shores of the Amalfi Coast and Capri for a little Dolce Vita. Up north, Lake Como and Lake Garda weave romance into every lakefront crevice while cities like Venice and Florence never seem to lack romantic alleys and adorable trattorias where magical micro moments are created.
Don’t miss: A private tour of Rome’s Colosseum when it is closed to the public.
When to go: May – September.
Greece has taken centre stage this year with a host of new romantic resorts, amazing food and fabulous nightlife. Santorini offers romantic sunsets, especially from the perch of the uber-private Canaves Resort’s private pool suites. For more action, Mykonos is a favourite with resorts like Santa Marina and the Mykonos Blu offering luxury suites and access to some of the hottest DJs in the world. For a more casual resort atmosphere, Amarines and Blue Palace both have private pool villas at incredible values all set on the beautiful bays of Crete.
Don’t miss: Sunset in Oia in Santorini.
When to go: May – September
Culture and beach buffs love the unique encounters of Southeast Asia. Whether it is the adventurous beaches on Bali or the silky white sandy shores of Thailand’s Phuket or Vietnam’s famed China Beach, Southeast Asia offers a perfect blend of adventure, romantic beach resorts and exciting cities.
We love Amansara as a base to explore the mystical Angkor Wat, while the Four Seasons Nam Hai offers endless roman in Vietnam. The Metropole will take you back in time in Asia’s most charming city of Hanoi while the luxury tented camps of the Four Seasons Golden Triangle gives you up close encounters with local tribes as you trek atop elephants through the jungle.
Don’t Miss: A tour of the bunker at Hanoi’s Metropole Hotel.
When to go: All year (depending on the areas you want to focus on)
For a memorable adventure, Australia and New Zealand offer some of the most iconic scenery and pristine adventures in the world. Start out in Australia in the fabulous city of Sydney
followed by a few days on Kangaroo Island at Southern Ocean Lodge. Queenstown, on the south island of New Zealand, in contrast is set on spectacular mountainscape and dubbed the adventure capital of the world where Makuti Lodge offers the perfect balance of city and rural basecamp.
End it all off in the world’s most sumptuous (and most expensive) private island resort, Laucala, in Fiji for the ultimate indulgence.
Don’t miss: Having breakfast with the kangaroos.