10 honeymoon resorts for paradise seekers
The rustling fronds of a lone palm, the gentle fizzing of waves breaking on an idyllic beach, and a backing track of exotic bird calls.
Welcome to paradise...
Keyonna Beach, Antigua
The dreamy caribbean island of antigua is one of the easiest to get to, with plenty of direct flights from the UK. Keyonna Beach is a delightfully laid-back couples-only hideaway on the south west coast near Johnson’s Point and Jolly Harbour, just 30mins from the airport. With charming shabby-chic beachfront cottages, petal-strewn beds and a bar serving rum-infused cocktails from dawn ‘til dusk, there’s little to distract from the peace and quiet.
Whether you prefer combing the beach
for shells or re-reading your favourite
novel on a Balinese daybed, rest assured, the only noise you’ll hear, is a member
of staff asking if you’d like another drink...
Insider tip: Book a diving trip to Cades Reef and you might come face-to-face with barracuda, moray eels and reef sharks.
Local tip: On Sunday nights, there’s a weekly BBQ at Shirley Heights. Cue steel bands, stunning sunsets and plenty of rum being sloshed around.
Palm Island Resort, The Grenadines
Now we are talking. This tiny speck of a private island accessible via Barbados, is as secluded and intimate as it gets. With a circumference of just 1.5 miles, you could actually run rings around it on your morning jog! As well as running trails, there are cycle paths and an array of watersports on offer, but our advice is to while away the day in a hammock listening to the gentle sway of coconut trees. Each of the hotel’s 43 rooms combine simplicity with Caribbean flair (think rattan armchairs, zesty lime throws
and wooden ceiling fans). But best of all, with only a scattering of private homes on the island, you really can pretend it’s your own private hideaway.
Insider tip: Have your camera at the ready, the 10-minute boat transfer from Union Island to Palm Island is prime Instagram fodder.
Mahamaya, Gili Meno, Indonesia
Hip, minimalist and overflowing
with personality, Mahamaya offers top-notch service with a strong undercurrent of eco-awareness. It may be a bit of schlep to get to (a two-hour road transfer from Lombok then a 15-minute boat transfer) but the journey is worth it. The island of Gili Meno is gloriously understated and quiet – what the brochures call ‘a real hidden gem’. At the heart of the hotel lies a stylish Asian-fusion restaurant serving up fresh uncomplicated fare – all organic where possible – and the kitchen is open-plan so you can pick up tips while chef rustles up your dinner. Of the nine rooms, the pool suites set around the swimming pool are airy and luxurious, but for total undisturbed quiet, book one of the hotel’s elegant villas on the beach. And relax...
Insider tip: Look closely at the pictures on the wall at the hotel’s seafront bar and you’ll spot some words of advice from Marilyn Monroe.
Layana Resort & Spa, Koh Lanta Tai, Thailand
Situated on one of Thailand’s least spoilt and quietest islands, this adults-only, 51-room resort will quench every bride’s thirst for exotic downtime. Boasting a pinch-yourself-it’s-so-beaut beach and acres of perfectly manicured lawns, there’s no danger of stumbling upon a full moon party here. The hotel prides itself on its peaceful atmosphere and the chilled-out philosophy extends to the beach where long tail boats and motorised watersports are strictly forbidden. Shhh, hushed voices and
soft-soled shoes all round please.
Insider tip: Be sure to book a session in the spa’s new Salt Room, where salt and mineral-infused oxygen combine to ease away any stresses and worries.
Local tip: Take a 5 minute tuk-tuk ride to Saladan, the local town, which has a small night market.
Roving Bushtops, Tanzania
Roving Bushtops in the Serengeti is as wild and liberating as it gets. Emulating the pioneering spirit of early explorers, the camp is unfenced and semi-permanent, allowing it to change locations according to wildlife migratory patterns. Each of its six smart canvas tents come with butler service, so there’s always someone on hand to run you a bath and bring you a gin and tonic, which is well-deserved after a long day stalking the Big Five. Best of all, you are assigned your own 4x4 (with driver and guide) so you can forget 5am wake-up calls and do things entirely at your own pace – and, crucially without other people bickering over binoculars when you’re straining your ears for the call of the wild... Now that’s luxury.
Local tip: Want to push the boat out? Book a private hot-air balloon ride over the plains – it comes with champagne and a bush breakfast, natch.
Lion Sands Game Reserve, Sabi Sands, South Africa
Yearn to hear the roar of a lioness protecting her cubs or the triumphant trumpeting of an elephant? At Lion Sands Game Reserve, you’re in for a treat. Located in one of Africa’s most game-rich areas, Kruger National Park, you can even go to sleep with the sound of animals purring all around you by spending a night in Chalkley Treehouse. More open-air suite than traditional treehouse, a four-poster bed and dining table is set up on a deck within the branches of an ancient tree overlooking the plains. Completely open to the elements (no walls or windows), it’s not for the faint-hearted but it’s definitely a once-in-a-lifetime experience. With daily bush walks, game drives and hippo tours on offer, as well as some of Africa’s best guides on hand to answer all your questions, this is luxury at its most elemental.
Insider tip: Make sure you try a spa treatment – the Africology products used at Lion Sands are 100 per cent natural and chemical free.
Desroches Island, Desroches, Seychelles
Located 230km south-west of Mahé
(an hour by small plane in the direction of Madagascar) the private island of Desroches is the most far-flung resort in the Seychelles. An untouched nature sanctuary, home to coco du mer and giant tortoises, this is as undiluted as tropical paradise gets. No wonder it’s a favourite with The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. At lunchtime, safari chairs and tables are set up in the shade of a giant rubber tree and staff take orders in stylish sarongs. Meal times are fixed, which lends a social feel to dining, although there’s no obligation to speak to anyone of course. For snorkellers/divers, there’s a fantastic spot called the Aquarium, swimming distance from the shore. Amidst this sandy, coral-encrusted oasis, you can get up close to fan coral, spiny lobsters and barracuda.
And if luck is on your side you might even be able to swim back to shore with a turtle
Insider tip: Desroches offers some of the best cave diving in the Indian Ocean.
Local tip: Nothing can prepare you for the incredible sight of the stars at night. There's hardly any light pollution & it's just spectacular. Remember to look up!
Diamonds Athuruga, Maldives
As dazzling as its name suggests, this sparkling resort in the South Ari Atoll has gorgeous white-washed overwater villas that wouldn’t look out of place within the pages of a White Company brochure. Choosing from a sunset vista or a sunrise view is as taxing as it gets here and if you’re looking for an all-inclusive honeymoon – which definitely makes sense in the Maldives – this one certainly fits the bill. For active types, the watersports centre offers windsurfing, canoeing, laser boats and hobie cat sailing, but with beaches like these, you’ll probably just want to down-towels and inhale the serenity. Our advice? Book a water villa, (these have been added more recently) they come with free wifi and iMacs.
Insider tip: For a brand new perspective on the Maldives, sign up for a ‘photo flight’ during which you snap your villa from on high.
Le Cardinal, Mauritius
Unlike many of the ‘grande dame’ style
hotels on Mauritius, which can feel quite grandiose and dated, this small boutique hotel on the island’s north west coast really breaks the mould. Friendly staff and a laid-back atmosphere pervade but just because it’s petite and unpretentious, that doesn’t mean Le Cardinal skimps on five-star finesse. No, no, you still get all the trimmings such as petit fours and amuses bouches. Most of the rooms are housed within a two-storey building overlooking the bay of Trou-aux-Biches but for added glamour, you can opt for a penthouse – these come with indoor Jacuzzis and private plunge pools.
Insider tip: Spa goddesses will love the hotel’s small pampering ‘nest’ on the rooftop – the views are heart-stopping.
Kandolhu Island, Maldives
This splendid Indian Ocean retreat is a member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World – and for good reason. Twenty-five minutes in a seaplane from Malé, transports you into another world – a world before concrete and noise and stress. A pinprick of a desert island measuring just 150m by 200m, surrounded by a marine-rich house reef, paradise doesn’t come more prettily packaged. The resort has just 30 elegant nautically-inspired villas, yet impressively, it has four restaurants so you’ll never tire of the menus.
We love Kandolhu Island for its generous all-inclusive packages, which include access to all of its restaurants, each of which is à la carte, plus drinks and a minibar (with a well-stacked wine chiller). Banzai, the Japanese restaurant is particularly good, so make sure you book a table in advance – it only seats six.
Insider tip: Spa treatments are by Voya (an organic hand-harvested seaweed product). Eat your heart out Gwyneth Paltrow.
Kuoni Travel Secret: Honeymooners will receive a complimentary 30 minute massage, candlelit dinner on the beach with a bottle of champagne & a 10% discount off spa treatments.
Looking for your own slice of paradise? From intimate and romantic resorts to thrilling cities and adventure safaris, Kuoni has a honeymoon to suit you. If you're inspired and wish to find out more, speak to one of our Personal Travel Experts.