Do Not Disturb
YOU’VE SAID YOUR VOWS AND EATEN YOUR WEDDING CAKE. NOW CHECK IN AT ONE OF THESE ROMANTIC HAVENS FOR A LITTLE ALONE TIME WITH YOUR SIGNIFICANT OTHER.
Skip the big resorts of Bora Bora or Morea when you’re headed to Tahiti and instead take a 20-minute flight onwards to a more secluded paradise, Tetiaroa, in the Society Islands, a former holiday spot of Tahitian royalty best known as being the private recluse of American actor Marlon Brando. The one and only resort on the island, today The Brado features 35 deluxe villas, each of which boasts its own little slice of powder sand heaven. If you can tear yourself away from the creature comforts, explore the spectacular lagoon by traditional Polynesian outrigger canoe, or join a guided walking tour to discover the atoll’s indigenous plants and tropical seabirds, including the majestic frigate. http://thebrando.com
If you’re after something more classically romantic, you can’t go wrong with Paris, with its iconic Pont des Arts Bridge and spectacular Eiffel Tower captivating lovers worldwide. Bed down in the historic, palatial Ritz Paris – one of the favourite sojourns of Coco Chanel and Audrey Hepburn – which recently re-opened after a four-year, US$450 million restoration. Guest rooms and suites at this acclaimed hotel have been reimagined to suit today’s romantic traveller, complete with cutting edge technology, subtle silks, and imperial-inspired furnishings. Be sure to reserve a table at L’Espadon, which serves haute cuisine by Michelin-starred chef Nicolas Sale, and head over to the new Chanel au Ritz Paris spa for an indulgent treatment. www.ritzparis.com
Designed for newly-weds looking for the ultimate in privacy, single-occupancy Dolphin Island, which lies off-shore of Fiji’s largest island, Viti Levu, accommodates up to eight guests across four luxurious guest bure suites, although we don’t blame you for wanting this little paradise all to yourselves. Each suite is lavishly decked out with bespoke furnishings, luxurious linens and polished timber floors. Whether you want to treat the love of your life to a traditional Fijian massage on the beach, or surprise them with a candle-lit dinner of Indo-Fijian cuisine, the island host, Dawn Simpson, and her experienced team, are on hand to fulfil your wishes. They can even help you arrange a tailor-made tour to the local village, where you can learn the ancient art of tapa cloth making.
Its laid-back atmosphere and idyllic, tropical landscapes have made Bali the perfect destination at which to tie the knot or kick off a honeymoon vacation. Wreathed by verdant rice paddies, gently rolling hills and the soothing Ayung River, the 60-key Mandapa, A Ritz-Carlton Reserve in Ubud provides a serene setting for embracing love and marriage. After a day of temple visits and nature encounters, curl up with your significant other in a private cocoon at Kubu bamboo restaurant, which serves delicious Mediterranean cuisine, before enjoying a traditional healing therapy in the spa’s couple’s treatment room. www.ritzcarlton.com
One of the most beautiful stretches of Southern Italy, the Amalfi Coast is frequented by artists, musicians and writers looking for inspiration, as well as newlyweds who want to mark their nuptials in style. Set on a cliff in the enchanting village of Ravello, Belmond Hotel Caruso – a former 11th century palace – provides the perfect spot from which to soak in the history and stunning vistas of this most romantic of coastlines. The hotel’s 50 rooms and suites reflect the Neapolitan era, and boast regal interiors, marble bathrooms and private patios. Leave time for authentic Mediterranean cuisine at the Belvedere restaurant, or capture the sunset from aboard the hotel’s traditional wooden boat, Ercole. www.belmond.com
For lovers looking for adventure in a far-off locale, Medjumbe Island, situated in the Quirimbas Archipelago, off the northern coast of Mozambique, couldn’t be more beautiful, or exotic. With only 12 thatched Beach Pool Villas offered at the luxurious Anantara Medjumbe Island Resort, which has just emerged from an unparalleled makeover, the one kilometre long island is a destination to die for, for beach bunnies and sun worshippers alike. The new Robinson Crusoe-style star bed experience allows couples the chance to cuddle up on a king-sized, four-poster bed underneath the mesmerising African skies, while the new 90-minute dhow sailing lesson is a fun bonding experience that any couple can share. www.anantara.com
With so many romantic movies set in New York, it should come as no surprise that many newlyweds add this cosmopolitan city to the first chapter of their married life. Begin your story at The Mark, a luxurious hotel created by acclaimed French designer Jacques Grange. In addition to a wide selection of elegant rooms and suites, each with fine Italian linens and bedding by Quagliotti, the five-star hotel also features a range of unique experiences, ranging from chauffeured rides in The Mark pedicabs, to picnicking in Central Park, with delicacies prepared by celebrated chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten. www.themarkhotel.com
Surrounded by turquoise water and talcum-powder beaches, the Maldives has long been a popular honeymoon destination in the Indian Ocean. Watch out for the newly-opened St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort, with 77 nature-inspired villas spread across a nine-hectare island in the Dhaalu Atoll. While innovative dining experiences, ranging from Asian to Italian and Mediterranean, promise to spoil your palate, a variety of water sports, like surfing, parasailing, and jet skiing is available to inject some adventure into your once-in-a-life-time holiday. If it’s still not romantic enough, charter a yacht for an exclusive sunset cruise. www.starwoodhotels.com/stregis
For adrenaline junkies, the Hawaiian island of Kauai, known locally as the ‘Garden Isle’, offers a raft of exciting outdoor activities that are perfect for making that honeymoon vacation a visit to remember. Popular for snorkelling, kayaking and surfing, Poipu Beach, on the south shore, is home to the Ko`a Kea Hotel & Resort, which features 121 beautifully-appointed, sea-inspired guest rooms, some with captivating views of the surfline. After an active day exploring the island, whet your appetite at Red Salt restaurant, which serves fresh seafood and produce indigenous to Hawaii, before heading to The Spa for its signature Adventure Lovers Massage, which focuses on the muscles you’ve worked during your day.
Seeing the Northern lights should be on the bucket list of every loving duo, and one of the best places to capture this natural wonder is Iceland, a fascinating land of active volcanoes, geysers, glimmering lakes, and picturesque hamlets. Only 50km from the capital, and set against a backdrop of lava fields, ION Adventure Hotel is a truly unique hideaway that features 45 rooms decked out with locally salvaged driftwood and volcanic rock. Ideally suited for active couples, the hotel offers guided hikes across this otherworldly landscape, exceptional fly fishing, and of course, some of the best Northern Lights viewing in the country. After a feast of modern Nordic cuisine at Silfra restaurant, rejuvenate at Lava Spa, which uses herbal products made from mineral-rich volcanic ash, before taking a soak in the outdoor heated plunge pool, or wrapping up for a rather romantic stargazing session. www.ioniceland.is