Top romantic retreats for couples
If you’re in need inspiration to find your dream honeymoon hideaway, let us help. We’ve scooped together a few of our favourite couples hotels, lodges and boutique boltholes that are perfect for celebrating your happy ever after.
Best for laidback luxury
Nowhere symbolises a honeymoon more than a tropical island cast adrift in the Indian Ocean, and Kandolhu Maldives is one of our tiniest treasures. Wow-factors here include a spectacular house reef, swish villas and five à la carte restaurants, plus an in-villa wine chiller with over 30 types of wine.
If you’re looking for a more unusual honeymoon destination, just off the coast of Tanzania lies Pemba Island, a clove-perfumed haven with beautiful beaches and some of the best diving in East Africa. Stay at Fundu Lagoon, a bohemian-style resort with just 18 tented-style rooms, a fusion spa and an al fresco restaurant serving up fresh Zanzibari fare.
A little closer to home, Italy’s Amalfi Coast is one of our most sought-after honeymoon hotspots. You’ll get the royal treatment at Caruso, A Belmond Hotel, housed in an exquisite former palace set above the picturesque town of Ravello. Alternatively, through our sister company, Kirker Holidays, we can arrange a stay at the eclectic Maison la Minervetta in Sorrento, a popular pick for honeymooners. We adore the maritime-chic décor, dramatic clifftop location and swoon-worthy ocean views from every room.
Best for sheer opulence
Bali is a destination that always ranks high on honeymooner’s wish lists, and those who visit have an enviable Instagram feed of petal-strewn baths, infinity pools that ‘drop’ into emerald rainforests and ultra-luxurious pool villas. The Viceroy Bali is a hit with newlyweds; the views, villas and service are nothing short of spectacular.
As home to one of the world’s most romantic buildings, The Taj Mahal, it’s no surprise that India is a destination that is alluring to starry-eyed couples. Our experts can create your own Indian love story on a private car and driver adventure, and we can tailor in a few nights at the Taj Lake Palace in Udaipur. This iconic, ‘floating’ hotel, set on pretty Lake Pichola, has round-the-clock butler service and fairy-tale dining experiences. Don’t miss dinner on board the royal barge, complete with grandly-dressed rowers, dance performers and a private chef.
Of course, many honeymooners have their hearts set on an exotic beach escape, and the Eden-esque islands of the Seychelles are a top choice. Through our trusted travel partner, Carrier, we can take you to Anantara Maia Seychelles Villas, a five-star sanctuary with a collection of pool-villa cocoons designed by the prestigious architect Bill Bensley. Don’t leave without trying a few of the blissful spa treatments; we especially love the ‘twenty dancing fingers’ massage, where you’ll be pampered by two masseurs.
Best for wildlife encounters
If you want to start your married life with a once-in-a-lifetime adventure, a safari holiday in Kenya doesn’t disappoint. You can live out the African dream with thrilling game drives to spot the Big Five, float over the golden savannah in a hot air balloon and clink G&T’s around a crackling fire as scarlet-clad Maasai warriors regale you with tales of life in the bush. You can’t get much closer to the action than at Little Governors’, an intimate safari camp in the Maasai Mara, where elephants often wander through camp and you’ll likely hear hippos shuffling by your tent at night.
Tanzania is another great choice for a wild honeymoon. We highly recommend staying a few nights at Lemala Mpingo Ridge, a luxury lodge elevated above the spectacular scenery of Tarangire National Park. The guest tents here are more like super-chic cabins and a shining highlight is the outdoor bathtub with a view. We also love the sunken lounge that converts to an afternoon siesta bed – the perfect spot for a post-safari snooze.
Best for Wellness
Getting married is an exciting time, but it can leave you feeling exhausted. Opting for a retreat with an emphasis on wellbeing is the ultimate way to unwind after your whirlwind of celebrations.
At Hurawalhi Island Resort in the Maldives, you can indulge in award-winning couples’ spa experiences such as the Full Moon Magic massage, guaranteed to relieve any knots from…well… tying the knot. Alongside the incredible spa, the island is bursting with romance, from trips to Dream Island to being wined and dined in the world’s largest all-glass undersea restaurant.
The scenery of St Lucia alone is sure to melt away any post-wedding blues, and at Ladera Resort, you can take in panoramic Piton views from the exquisite open-air suites. Start your day with sunrise yoga sessions, enjoy farm-to-table dining and soak up the natural beauty of the rainforest on a thrilling nature hike.
You don’t have to travel far to find a slice of honeymoon heaven, and La Residencia, A Belmond Hotel is regarded as one of the finest hotels in Mallorca. This peaceful oasis, nestled in the foothills of the Tramuntana Mountains, has one of the best spas we’ve seen, as well as a range of unique experiences. We love the ‘Mallorcagram’ tour; guaranteed to leave your social media followers green with envy.
Best for epicurean delights
Woodfired pizza, melt-in-your-mouth gelato, wine fresh from a Chianti vineyard; Tuscany is foodie heaven. At Castel Monastero, a restored medieval monastery surrounded by olive groves, dining experiences include authentic cooking classes with an esteemed chef, truffle hunting and wine-tasting tours. Plus, there’s the chance to take your love to new heights on an exhilarating hot air balloon ride over the Tuscan countryside.
Greece is another European destination that’s big on the culinary scene. For the best in bespoke dining, check out Grace Mykonos, where you can start the day in style with a Champagne breakfast, enjoy a butler-served picnic by a lighthouse and go wine-tasting at a Mykonian vineyard. End the day with a signature Grace cocktail on the terrace before retiring to your suite; we recommend the VIP suite, accessed by an exclusive lift.
If you’d like a taste of the Far East on your honeymoon, head to The Sarojin in Thailand for private dining with a difference. You can book a table for two in a range of extraordinary locations, including shipwrecked-style on a remote sand isle and a magical setting by a candle-lit waterfall.
Best for intimate moments
A honeymoon is all about stolen moments for just the two of you, and at Paradise Cove in Mauritius, an adults-only enclave hidden away on a secluded peninsula, the concept is on uninterrupted couple’s time. Soak up the rays on the ‘love nest’ twin sunbeds, sail out on a sunset cruise and enjoy an enchanting evening stargazing on the lantern-lit pier.
Over in the Caribbean, one of our favourite couples’ hideouts is Keyonna Beach in Antigua. Tucked away on a 305-metre long beach, this charmingly rustic hotel has just 27 bijou rooms and a laid-back vibe. For optimal seclusion, splash out on a Beachfront Pool Cottage, which has a plunge pool, ‘his and hers’ outdoor rain showers and gorgeous sea views.
Santorini is utterly seductive. From wandering hand-in-hand down pink flower-filled alleyways to dining under twinkling lights on the edge of a volcanic caldera, this iconic island truly is a honeymoon fantasy. Stay at one of Carrier’s most exclusive hotels, Carpe Diem, for jaw-dropping panoramic views from each private pool suite and hyper-personalised service; with a staff-to-guest ratio of 1:1, you’re guaranteed the VIP treatment.
‘Minimoons’ are a growing trend, and where else would we suggest for a short and sweet escape than the ‘City of Love’? Enjoy moonlit strolls on the banks of the Seine, picnics in palace gardens and hideaway at Pavillon de la Reine, one of the most romantic hotels that Kirker Holidays feature in Paris.