It’s said that among life’s most stressful events – such as a divorce, death of a loved one, or loss of a job – a wedding ranks surprisingly high. And it’s no wonder. After months spent worrying about everything from seating arrangements and dress fittings to keeping the peace among family members, many couples understandably look forward to the honeymoon with heightened anticipation.
When budget isn’t a concern, the possibilities for a truly spectacular honeymoon are endless. Beach or city? Exotic or familiar? Party or privacy? We’ve pulled together 7 honeymoon destinations and hotels from around the world, any of which would make for a truly unforgettable honeymoon. Which one’s your ideal destination?
Angsana Velavaru – South Nilandhe Atoll, Maldives (Rates from $644)
(Photo credit: Angsana Velavaru)
Picture this: turquoise waters that stretch on endlessly under a bungalow that makes you feel as though you’re floating, a gentle breeze just grazing your skin while you sip on a mini-umbrella topped coconut drink…it’s all a reality at Angsana Velavaru, a luxury resort in the Maldives. This tiny island (“Velavaru” meaning “turtle island” in Dhivehi) offers the utmost in secluded relaxation. From night snorkeling to water polo, and decadent couples spa treatments to fine dining, Angsana Velavaru offers it all as an incredible honeymoon destination for sun-loving couples.
Meadowood Napa Valley – St. Helena, California USA (Rates from $900)
(Photo credit: Meadowood Napa Valley)
Tucked away in the heart of wine country is perhaps its best kept secret: Meadowood Napa Valley. It’s the type of place where those in the know are understandably a bit reluctant to let the secret out. Elegant and cozy cottages make for a wonderfully serene retreat for honeymooners who wish to revel in a bit of privacy. On the beautifully manicured grounds, a croquet lawn (complete with a resident croquet instructor), 9-hole golf course, hiking trails, tennis courts, a spa and a pool ensure that couples have plenty of activities to enjoy – without even leaving the property. Of course, a stay here wouldn’t be complete without an exquisite meal at the three Michelin-starred Restaurant at Meadowood – a true culinary destination in and of itself. (Meadowood’s sister property in St. Helena is the Southbridge Napa Valley).
Atlantis, The Palm - Dubai, UAE (Rates from $569)
(Photo credit: Atlantis The Palm)
Built on top of a man-made island, the Palm Jumeirah – a true feat of modern engineering, the five-star resort Atlantis The Palm is remarkable in its own right. If the iconic peach-tone buildings joined by a sky bridge looks familiar, you’ve probably seen its doppelganger: the Atlantis Paradise Island in the Bahamas. For honeymooners looking to experience resort activities in an exotic locale, Atlantis The Palm is the perfect choice. There are plenty of activities to partake in, such as diving excursions and cruises and playing with dolphins in Dolphin Bay. Off-site, a visit to the gold souks or sand duning in the middle of a desert are just some of the ways you to enjoy what Dubai has to offer. Top off your stay with a helicopter ride, which can be arranged by the hotel, which is the perfect way to really appreciate the feat that is the Palm Jumeirah.
Huka Lodge – Taupo, New Zealand (Rates from $1464)
(Photo credit: Huka Lodge)
If it’s good enough for Queen Elizabeth, it’s good enough for you. The Huka Lodge is an iconic retreat in Taupo, on the shores of majestic Lake Taupo. This luxury lodge – with just 25 suites and cottages – is nestled among 17 acres bordering the Wairakei Park Reserve; it’s the perfect escape for nature lovers. Active honeymooners can enjoy everything from fly fishing to horseback riding, to the more unusual excursion into a working dairy and sheep farm to learn about New Zealand farming practices. The Huka Lodge offers unparalleled serenity and tranquility in one of New Zealand’s most scenic areas.
The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong – Hong Kong (Rates from $515)
(Photo credit: The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong)
For honeymooners looking to enjoy a cultural excursion, Hong Kong presents itself as a compelling option. And though luxury hotels abound in this city, The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong is truly special, laying claim to a record as the world’s tallest hotel. It goes without saying that magnificent views of the iconic harbor abound from every floor, all the way up to floor 118; being perched up so high makes The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong a true retreat in the clouds. There’s no better way to indulge in ultimate relaxation than with a private couple’s suite at the on-site spa; complete with a steam shower, a generous soaking tub and million-dollar views, it’s sure to be an unforgettable experience.
Dolphin Island, Fiji - Dolphin Island, Fiji (Rates from $3000)
(Photo credit: Dolphin Island)
To escape from it all, you can go to a regular island…or you can go to an exclusive, private island – like Dolphin Island in Fiji. Allowing just eight guests at a time, it’s the ultimate in honeymoon luxury (scratch that – luxury, period). And it just doesn’t get anymore romantic than the rustic yet elegant hilltop sleep-out bure (translation: open-air bedroom) that’s something straight out of a Nicholas Sparks novel. Water activities like sailing and snorkeling encourage exploration of the island’s gorgeous surroundings, though the hosts can arrange for excursions out to other islands for different activities. But let’s get real: you come to a place like Dolphin Island to escape it all, no?
Hilton Molino Stucky – Venice, Italy (Rates from $382)
(Photo credit: Hilton Molino Stucky)
Venice, with its picturesque bridges and canals, is just about as romantic as it gets. And it may not get any more romantic than the Hilton Molino Stucky, a luxury hotel accessible via boat from famed Piazza San Marco (is there any other way to arrive, cara mia?). This gorgeous hotel – housed in what was once a flour mill – offers dazzling views of Venice, day and night, from its vantage point on Giudecca. Classically elegant rooms ooze old world charm, while the waters of the canal beckon for a gondola ride.
Don’t forget about our “Dream Honeymoon Photo Contest” going on right now, until May 18. Just submit your best photo of yourselves as a couple and tell us why you deserve a fabulous honeymoon. You may just be the lucky winner of our grand prize: hotel + air to any destination in the world!Google+