We’re back at it again this year, dishing on the latest and greatest in honeymoon-worthy hotels. From dirt cheap digs in ridiculously stunning places to once-in-a-lifetime luxe splurges, we’ve searched high and low (and across oceans and continents, oh my!) for the 10 most romantic destinations on the planet. We know that your honeymoon is the most special trip of a lifetime, so here are five splurge and five steal options to help start your life together.
Where is it: Waya Island, Yasawa Islands, Fiji
Romantic reason to book: Two words: Fiji sunsets. Likuliku Bay was voted one of the Top 10 Beaches in the World by Condé Nast Traveler. Accomodations, from multi-bed dormitory-style rooms to private beachfront bures (a Fijian word for a wood-and-straw hut)are meticulously clean, serviced daily and stocked with tropical flowers. Open air showers and private verandas add to the romantic vibe at this intimate resort. The vibe is laid decidedly island – from the sandy floored restaurant and a laid-back lounge to snorkeling and diving within stumbling distance (this resort is all about the beach and relaxing). Compared to other Fiji properties, the prices at Octopus Resort cannot be beat for budget-minded couples. Book five nights or more and save an additional 10% off accomodations.
Rooms start at $84 for a private bungalow.
Where is it: Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii
Romantic reason to book: Love it or hate it, Waikiki Beach has served as Hawaii’s gateway to world since the 1950’s, its iconic curve of sand embodying aloha in movies, TV show and postcards too numerous to count. Sitting pretty just half a block from the sandy white landmark, this 72-room boutique property is one of Oahu’s best-kept value secrets. Its end-of-the-strip location attracts a hip clientele of beach going honeymooners who want comfort and style without steep smack-dab-on-the-sand prices. Gracious staffers, luxurious beds and eclectic amenities like Jiun Ho linens and FACE Stockholm bath products more than make up for the smallish bathrooms and lack of onsite amenities like a pool or spa. Nightlife-loving couples will love the easy access to Honolulu’s bar-hopping — he’ll love the 160+ beer selections at Bar35, while she’ll love the sake cocktails and people watching at Doraku Sushi.
Rooms start at $140.
Where is it: Islamorada, Florida
Romantic reason to book: Sure, South Beach is a top contender for a high energy Florida honeymoon getaway, but for something more subdued, stray 90-miles from Miami to the six islands that make up Islamorada. Although fishing is the preferred outdoor activity of choice on the islands, couples can opt for a weekend of pure pampering at the 16-suite Casa Morada. Rooms are kitted with Mexican antiques and modern accents and come equipped with all the necessary elements for lovin’: private outdoor spaces and al fresco Jacuzzis, panoramic sunset views, and massage services on the terrace. Ready to stray from the cosseting of your luxury digs for a bit? Try snorkeling the Keys reef, taking a scenic boat to the Florida Everglades, a calming yoga class or just cozy up in a hammock with your sweetie.
Rooms start at $299.
The Tides Zihuatanejo
Where is it: Ixtapa, Mexico
Romantic reason to book: This hideaway just outside of the quiet south-coast town of Ixtapa has 35 rooms and 35 suites housed in adobe-inspired casitas tucked among lush tropical gardens. No two accommodations are exactly alike, but all terra-cotta-tiled rooms feature a private terrace, while suites include an outdoor infinity pool. Decor is clean and modern, with wide-open spaces. Star-studded guests have included Steve Martin, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Betsey Johnson, who loved the area so much that she snatched up a three-room hotel nearby, added a fourth bedroom and named it “Betseyville.” The private, palm-studded beach is not to be missed; the mere raise of a flag will beckon white-linen table service straight to your palapa faster than you can request no salt on your margarita. He will like onsite pitch-and-putt golf, while she will like the small, but perfectly equipped spa. The aromatherapy full-body massage in the beachfront palapa is a great way to shake off any jet lag. For a taste of local culture, couples flock to the town’s Mercado Municipal, a winding bazaar of fresh fruits, meats and crafts like Mexican candies, handmade huarache sandals and amulets that attract lovers or ward off enemies.
Rooms start at $180.
Live Aqua Cancun
Where is it: Cancun, Mexico
Romantic reason to book: Cancun gets a bad rap for resorts filled with raucous spring breakers and screaming kids, but this Mexican-owned Grupo Posadas property defies such notions. Despite its ZonaTurística, or Tourist Zone address, calm, privacy and panoramic blue skies prevail at this tony resort. Expect soothing hues, large airy rooms, and and in-house resident DJ mixing a soundtrack to perfect the vibe. The clientele is civilized – mostly luxury-minded thirty-something sun-worshippers and newly hitched couples. Service is personable –“In Lakech” (or “Your wish – my wish”) is AQUA’s mantra. Splurge for a suite; they come equipped with freestanding circular Jacuzzi tubs and Aqua Lounge access.
Rooms start at $484 (all-inclusive).
Four Seasons Maui at Wailea
Where is it: Maui, Hawaii
Romantic reason to book: The chic boutiques, hotels and dining boîtes of Wailea provide endless pampering touches to its well-heeled visitors (think Britney, Paris, Lindsay and Nicole). But it’s the intimate beach, open-air hale hau couples massages and new $9 million adult-only Serenity Pool that make Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea stand
above the swank crowd. It’s the perfect beginning to a multi-isle adventure when you honeymoon at one of FS’s three other Hawaii resorts, one on the Big Island and two on Lanai.
Rooms start at: $485.
Where is it: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Romantic reason to book: Every sexy capital requires a suitably sophisticated hotel – Algodon Mansion, in the city’s chic Recoleta district is Buenos Aires newest haute hideaway. The brainchild of the team behind Algodon Wine Estates, the building was built in 1912 and renovated in grand Belle Époque design. Décor is decadent – 10 sprawling suites are lavished with B&B and Cappellini furniture, Italian marble, hand-carved stone, original artwork, and feature private views of a four-story waterfall and hanging garden. Need another sexy reason to honeymoon in Buenos Aires? It’s internationally known as the birthplace of tango, one of the most romantic types of dance ever created. Similar to walking, one foot moves on one musical note, while the other follows on the next note; the woman seduces, her male partner leads. Places where people dance Tango are called “Milonga” and some of the best known are Bien Porteño (classes for all levels), Confitería Ideal (a classic housed in a historic building, attracts all ages and nationalities), and La Viruta Tango (informal setting, for young and old Argentine dancers).
Rooms start at $450.
Cap Maison Resort & Spa
Where is it: St. Lucia, Lesser Antilles
Romantic reason to book: Saint Lucia was recently awarded the “World’s Leading Honeymoon Destination” at the World Travel Awards, which is recognized worldwide as the “Oscars of the Travel Industry.” Cap Maison is set above the beautiful Smugglers Cove beach in St. Lucia’s Cap Estate. A former sugar plantation, the estate sprawls through 1,500 acres of rolling hills at the northern tip of the island, enveloped by the Caribbean Sea on one side and the Atlantic Ocean on the other. Private and secluded, 49 guestrooms, including 34 suites and villa suites are designed in an elegant Spanish Caribbean style. For the ultimate in luxury, book an Oceanview Villa Suite plus Pool & Roof Terrace. These 3,000 square feet split-level villa suites feature a separate sitting area and dining room, fully equipped kitchen, a luxurious bath, roof terrace with minibar, a private pool with swim-up counter and panoramic sea views. Honeymooners can have spa treatments taken in their suite or room, terrace, on Rock Maison, or under a gazebo in the garden.
Rooms start at $493.
W Retreat & Spa – Maldives
Where is it: Fesdu Island, North Ari Atoll, Maldives
Romantic reason to book: This chic and modern property is all about pure indulgence and relaxation. Think soft, white and supple sand and water bluer than AdrienGrenier’s eyes. Opt for villas on the beach or luxurious overwater bungalows reachable only by boat (how very honeymoon-worthy?!) Couples can relax on their very private, spacious deck in the infinity pool, or grill an informal dinner on the BBQ before diving into the omnipresent warm, crystal blue water. Service is spot on (as we’ve grown to love and expect from W Hotels and Resorts), and this island property is nothing short of five star paradise.
Rooms start at $1,206.
Where is it: San Pedro de Atacama, Chile
Romantic reason to book: The magical Atacama desert region is best explored from the home base of luxury lodge, Alto Atacama. Thirty-two rooms are enveloped by the Cordillera de la Sal (Salt mountain range) and rates are inclusive of food, drink and full or half day excursions. Stargazing at Alto Atacama’s open-air observatory will make new couples swoon. Free use of mountain bikes, access to the spa (sauna, steam room, indoor whirlpool bath, etc.), use of outdoor pools and whirlpool bath and complimentary transfer service between the hotel and San Pedro de Atacama are also included. Alto Atacama also features comprehensive spa services, Yoga fields, hot springs, wooden decks with 6 swimming pools, an international bar and a cozy common room with a snuggle-worthy fireplace. Half and full-day excursions include trekking the route of the Llaretas, a visit to the Tatio Geysers, and soaking up an über-romantic sunset in Valley of the Moon.
Rooms start at $702 (all-inclusive).