While most of my childhood friends fantasized about their perfect weddings, I constantly daydreamed about the (best) part that comes afterwards. “Do I want a honeymoon in one of Hawaii’s paradises or a cozy getaway in the snowy Swiss Alps?” my 10-year-old conscience would ask. Although at age 27 this question remains unanswered, the list of possible destinations has grown dramatically. These diverse places accurately reflect the plethora of options at hand, especially during the winter season. But don’t worry, whether your desire is to immerse yourself into a winter wonderland or escape it, there is always a luxurious resort waiting for you and your boo.
For those of you who haven’t renewed their passports in years, but still want to travel somewhere exotic, then Hawaii is the perfect honeymoon destination close to home (the US). Kauai in particular is a magical island known as the “Garden Island” for its luscious green landscapes made up of tropical rainforest and dramatic cliffs. From snorkeling in the crystal-clear and turquoise waters to hiking along trails leading to waterfalls and stunning ocean views, Kauai’s activities are endless for any adventure couple. Hotels and resorts are also plentiful, but the one that meets the definition of luxurious lifestyle is Princeville Resort Kauai. Perched above Hanalei Bay, this impressive establishment offers 251 guest rooms and suites featuring stunning views of Kauai’s North Shore. One of its fine amenities serves as the Princeville Makai Golf Club, which according to the hotel website was named one of the “Top 5 Great Golf Settings” in America by National Geographic Traveler. Other highlights include direct beach access, an infinity pool overlooking the North Shore, and a full-service spa with Hawaiian healing rituals.
Another place that will erase your winter blues and warm your souls with sun and romance is this unique country made up of approximately 17,500 islands—Indonesia. Of course not all of them are inhabited, but the most popular island is undoubtedly Bali. The combination of friendly locals, tasty dishes like gado gado and nature’s scenery of towering volcanoes over rice paddies and light blue seas give this place 360 degree-beauty. Different parts of the island provide various activities like surfing, scuba diving, kayaking, and volcano expeditions. To unwind and have some romantic one on one time after a day filled with excursions, stay at Jamahal Private Resort & Spa. Located on Bali’s trendy south coast, Jamahal is composed of just 13 private villas set among a tropical garden complete with a cascading waterfall and lagoon pool. The rooms are stylishly decorated with classy bohemian decor and some of the villas feature outdoor bathrooms and beds, and a private pool. Newlyweds can also treat themselves to a couple’s massage followed by a traditional Balinese honeymoon cleansing ritual at the spa. This little oasis will leave you in complete serenity, for the rest of your lives together.
Koh Samui — this gem of an island is also located in Southeast Asia and it attracts honeymooners for its beautiful beaches and peaceful environment. The Banyan Tree Samui is a reason itself why couples should make the long but worthy trip out to Thailand. This luxury all-pool villa resort overlooks the Gulf of Thailand, tucked away in the jungle of a private bay in Lamai. It features a honeymoon package that includes a private marine excursion, blissful spa treatments, a Thai cooking class and even one one how to make specialty cocktails. There’s a fitness center, yoga center, and library to make it feel like you are actually temporarily living in paradise. Enjoy an intimate candlelit dinner on the private beach underneath a dreamy white canopy or pay a visit to The Rainforest, a holistic hydrotherapy wellness experience designed to relax you to your bones.
Just northwest of Tahiti lies the French Polynesian island of Bora Bora, the South Pacific’s most postcard-famous piece of land. It’s hard to come across an accommodation that doesn’t offer gorgeous villas surrounded by endless ocean, but the five-star Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora is probably one of the brand’s most scenic and luxurious locations in the world. Guests are spoiled with spacious overwater bungalows, views of the Bora Bora mountains and ocean, infinity pools, an open-air fitness center and a waterfront spa, among other awesome amenities. The Four Seasons couples’ itinerary offers incredible activities like swimming with gentle rays and feeding local reef sharks. A breakfast meal is delivered to you in a ceremonial Ploynesian canoe in which you can enjoy a little ride while service sets up your dining area. Other romantic indulgences include sunset cruises, photo services, and couples massages in the private Kahaia spa suite.
If you’ve always pictured your honeymoon to be like the inside of a snow globe, then Gstaad,Switzerland is the ideal destination to embrace those little wonders of winter. Gstaad is a small and yet immaculate village dotted with chalet-style buildings. Located in the majestic Swiss Alps, it’s a resort town for ski lovers and frequent celebrities. The most scenic way to arrive here is by train, approximately three hours from the cities of Zurich or Geneva. In terms of accommodation, things can get a little pricey, but the Gstaad Palace is well worth the splurge. This prestigious hotel truly resembles a fairytale castle, complete with Venetian chandeliers, lavishly carpeted corridors, and suites decorated with Victorian prints and embroidered cushions. If the interior decor doesn’t make you feel like royalty, wait until someone from the small army of uniformed staff responds with elegance and grace to your service needs. After a day of snowboarding and winter fun, warm up by the grand fireplace with a hot chocolate or spend the evening in the Hammam spa.
This Nordic country is not your typical island filled with palm trees and coconuts, but it certainly has its own charm. In fact, Iceland is best to visit in the winter for a chance to see the Aurora Borealis among the snow-capped mountains. Besides a romantic night gazing at the Northern Lights, honeymooners can soak in one of the many hot springs, like the Blue Lagoon, a geothermal spa composed of rich minerals and baby blue water. Partake in winter sports activities like snowboarding and snowmobiling or take a shot at ice climbing the Vatnajökull glacier. The capital city of Reykjavik is fun for nights out and is also recommended for accommodations, like Hotel Borg located downtown. As the city’s first luxury hotel built in the 1930s, Hotel Borg still maintains its elegance with its Art Deco style and modern amenities throughout its 99 rooms and suites. Its central location is ideal for couples who want to get their culture on as this boutique hotel is super close to specialty shops, art galleries, restaurants and nightlife. Make sure to get a suite with a balcony overlooking the town square for dreamy sunset views.