From far flung exotic locales like Sri Lanka, Marrakesh and Maldives to beautiful beaches and budget-friendly options, there is something for any and every type of honeymoon.
Most Romantic Honeymoon Destinations
Most Romantic: Bora Bora, French Polynesia
WHY GO: It’s what honeymoon fantasies are made of: crystal-clear waters, picturesque mountains and a coral reef swirling with colorful fish. No wonder it was recently voted one of the best islands in the world by US News and World Report.
WHERE TO STAY: The Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora (from $919) is located on a coral reef that encloses a turquoise lagoon.
WHAT TO DO: Charter a helicopter to take you around towering Mount Otemanu, then touch down on a neighboring island for a tour of a black pearl or vanilla bean farm.
Most Romantic: Bali, Indonesia
WHY GO: There’s a reason its nickname is the “Isle of the Gods.” Even before the hit book and movie Eat, Pray, Love, the island had been a magnet for romance seekers for its mist-shrouded temples, beautiful mountain vistas and vivid arts scene.
WHERE TO STAY: A recent filming locale for ABC’s The Bachelor, The Mulia, Mulia Resort & Villas (from $380) fronts Nusa Dua coastline, which is famous for white-sand beaches and calm blue waters.
WHAT TO DO: Arrange a trip to Pura Luhur Uluwatu temple. Located atop a cliff rising 200 feet above the Indian Ocean, it has one of the most unforgettable sunset views in the world. Then, stay for the mesmerizing nightly kecak dance performance.
Most Romantic: Sonoma, California
WHY GO: World-class wine, delicious food and unsurpassed scenery—what’s not to love about this pretty locale?
WHERE TO STAY: Forestville’s Farmhouse Inn (from $595) just added cozy-chic barn rooms to its wooded grove. For the “In-Room Somm” program a sommelier will customize a wine tasting that will be brought right to your room. Cheers!
WHAT TO DO: Guests at Farmhouse Inn get exclusive access to wineries not normally open to the public, such as Kistler and Kosta Browne. You’ll also want to indulge in the local fare—these California chefs were doing farm-to-table long before it was a trend.
Most Romantic: Paris, France
WHY GO: Paris is synonymous with romance. It’s a combination of the architecture, the food and the art that makes this city so special.
WHERE TO STAY: When you stay at the elegant Hotel Plaza Athéneé (from $819), splurge on a three-night Suite Life package and you’ll be greeted at the airport, escorted through customs and then chauffeured to the hotel. Does the place look familiar? The property was the backdrop for Carrie and Big’s reunion in the last season of Sex and the City.
WHAT TO DO: The travel guides will talk about going to the Musée d’Orsay, the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower—all definitely worth your time. But this is your honeymoon, so you also have to tie a ribbon (locks are discouraged now) on the Pont des Art bridge, which symbolizes your committed love to one another.
Most Romantic: Orkney, Scotland
WHY GO: Indulge in all your Downton Abbey daydreams at this northern archipelago off the coast of Scotland with green-topped islands and sandstone cliffs.
WHERE TO STAY: The family-run Kirkwall Hotel (from $143) is located in a storybook-perfect Victorian building that overlooks Kirkwall’s historic harbor and is steps from shopping.
WHAT TO DO: Take a day trip and stand in awe at the Neolithic Ring of Brodgar, an ancient and eerie ring of standing stones, northeast of Stromness. Experts still don’t know how the stones were brought here or what the circle means. With the weather moving in and the water lapping at the shore, it makes for a supernatural sight.
Most Romantic: Venice, Italy
WHERE TO STAY: The just-opened, stylish and modern JW Marriott Venice (from $437) is located on a private island with stunning vistas of Piazza San Marco. Pretend you’re Hollywood royalty (like Amal Alamuddin and George Clooney) as you take the complimentary 15-minute ferry ride to Venice.
WHAT TO DO: Take a romantic, leisurely stroll around Piazza San Marco to feel the true scale of the enormous domes of the Basilica di San Marco or the beautiful and ornate details of Palazzo Ducale. Then, escape the sights and sounds of the city with a dreamy boat ride to one of the unspoiled islands nearby.
Most Romantic: Harbour Island, Bahamas
WHY GO: Chances are you’ve never seen anything like this pink-sand paradise. Plus, it’s loved by names like designer Diane von Furstenberg, Mick Jagger, Bill Gates and supermodel Elle Macpherson, so it must be amazing!
WHERE TO STAY: Tingum Village Hotel has just 19 airy one-bedroom suites (from $140). Each room opens to an outdoor patio or balcony, perfect for early-morning (or late-night) lounging.
WHAT TO DO: Visit postcard-perfect Pink Sands Beach and settle in among the three-mile stretch of sand and turquoise waters. Above the beach, join the jet-set for an open-air lunch at Sip Sip (the fresh menu changes daily). Then shop for a flowy caftan or other souvenirs at India Hicks’s Sugar Mill Trading Co. shop.
Most Romantic: Cape Town, South Africa
WHY GO: Can’t decide on what kind of honeymoon to take? Cape Town has you covered: glamorous beaches, big-city buzz, wild landscapes, and easy access to wine country and some of the world’s best safaris.
WHERE TO STAY: The Über-stylish and secluded Atlantic House (from $137) is set in trendy Camps Bay and has only five en-suite rooms for the ultimate privacy and romance. Throw open the doors to your elevated wood deck for an “Is this real life?” view.
WHAT TO DO: Go to the ends of the earth with your honey and take a 90-minute drive to Cape of Good Hope and Cape Agulhas, located in the most southern parts of the African continent. On the way back, stop at Boulders Beach to visit the famed colony of warm-weather penguins.
Most Romantic: Savannah, Georgia
WHY GO: Get lost in the city’s slow-paced serenity—it’s the perfect antidote to any lingering wedding planning stress. Cozy inns and local restaurants flourish around the tree-shaded historic district.
WHERE TO STAY: The Mansion on Forsyth Park (from $189) offers a top-notch art collection, a cooking school, spa, an outdoor relaxation pool and a popular restaurant on-site. You’ll be forgiven if you have honeymoon withdrawal when you leave.
WHAT TO DO: Take a charming horse-drawn carriage tour around the squares. Or drive 30 minutes to kayak among dolphins off Tybee Island.
Most Romantic: Santorini, Greece
WHY GO: This small volcanic island is known for its seriously gorgeous sunsets and pristine whitewashed villas.
WHERE TO STAY: Reserve the Perivolas hotel’s Perivolas Suite (from $465)—its cliffside terrace provides an Instagram-worthy view of the Aegean Sea.
WHAT TO DO: Even couples who get antsy after an hour of beach time will find lots to explore. Take a scooter to the red- and black-sand beaches, check out ancient sites—like the newly reopened Bronze Age settlement of Akrotíri (oftentimes called “Minoan Pompeii”)—visit wineries, go hiking and stop in the many boutiques.
Best Honeymoon Beaches
Best Beaches: Koh Tao, Thailand
WHY GO: Why settle for one breathtaking beach when you can experience a dozen? Rent a motorbike and search for your favorite with your partner.
WHERE TO STAY: The adults-only resort Koh Tao Bamboo Huts (from $212) features 19 huts perched on rocks at the edge of the sea. All look out on the water, plus have an indoor and outdoor balcony and pavilion. You can also book one with a private swimming pool and Jacuzzi fit for two.
WHAT TO DO: Relax on the property’s serene private beach, or get certified in scuba diving at the nearby dive center and take your new skills for a test-drive.
Best Beaches: Aruba
WHY GO: Nicknamed “One Happy Island” for its prime location outside the hurricane belt and average temperature of 82 degrees year-round, this country clocks the most sunny days in all of the Caribbean.
WHERE TO STAY: Each room at the recently opened Ritz-Carlton Aruba (from $399) has a private balcony. Book one overlooking the Caribbean Sea for truly beautiful vistas.
WHAT TO DO: Although this hotel and most others are located on Palm Beach—Aruba’s most famous—venture out one day to Arashi Beach for pure white sand and unforgettable snorkeling. Then, try your luck at the resort’s 15,000-square-foot casino.
Best Beaches: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
WHY GO: The beachgoers here are so “tall and tan and young and lovely” that Rio became immortalized in the song “The Girl From Ipanema.” Stepping out onto the city’s iconic beaches—ringed by jagged mountains, with the buzz of vendors and foot-volley players and the sight of itsy-bitsy bikinis—will have you humming.
WHERE TO STAY: The majestic Belmond Copacabana Palace (from $497) has been the go-to hotel for the rich and famous for more than 90 years.
WHAT TO DO: Guests of the hotel may arrange for a private sunrise picnic at the iconic Christ the Redeemer statue—before the usual hordes of sightseers arrive.
Best Beaches: Florida Keys, Florida
WHY GO: The Florida Keys contain more than 1,000 islands stretched over 100 miles. The most famous is Key West, the favorite vacation spot of the kings of Spain and literary types like Ernest Hemingway (who had a home there) and Tennessee Williams.
WHERE TO STAY: The Marker Waterfront Resort (from $279) just opened last winter and is the first new hotel built in Key West’s historic Old Town in 20 years (and it’s a luxe one at that!).
WHAT TO DO: Rent bikes and pedal around Old Town, filled with 19th-century architecture. Head to Mallory Square around dusk to witness the nightly sunset celebration and watch street performers as the sky turns a pretty, fiery hue.
Best Beaches: Fiji
WHY GO: The islands that make up Fiji are surrounded by coral reefs resulting in warm lagoons and beautiful coral beaches.
WHERE TO STAY: Likuliku Lagoon Resort Fiji (all-inclusive from $875) on Malolo Island is the only resort in Fiji with overwater thatched-roof bungalows that are built in traditional Fijian style with local materials.
WHAT TO DO: Stroll along quiet nature trails that lead to spectacular views of the Mamanuca Islands. Visit the nearby village and immerse yourself in the rich culture and explore ancient sites.
Best Beaches: Little Cayman, Cayman Islands