Top 10 most phenomenal luxury hotels for a honeymoon

Monday newsletters always feature top 10 travel lists to inspire.

Today (May 20, 2019): Top 10 best honeymoon hotels in the world.

A honeymoon is a once-in-a-lifetime experience (for most couples) and one of the most anticipated and indulgent holidays you’ll ever take. Not only is it the best way to start your married life together, but it’s also the perfect excuse to splurge on that expensive bucket list trip you’ve always wanted to take.  Naturally, expectations for a honeymoon are always high, but what makes a hotel honeymoon-worthy differs from couple to couple. For some, it’s far-flung solitude, pristine beaches and breathtaking views (count me in). For others, it’s all about unrivaled luxury, endless pampering and being served as a royal. From posh overwater villas to secluded rooms with private plunge pools, from spectacular outdoor suites to your very own Italian palazzo, here is my list of the 10 most romantic and idyllic honeymoon hotels in the world.

There is more information (with reviews & Youtube clips) below the slideshow. What is your favorite hotel in the world for a honeymoon? Leave a comment or take my poll below.

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10. THE OBEROI AMARVILAS, INDIA

Situated less than 2000 feet (600 meters) from the Taj Mahal – the world’s most exquisite testimony to undying love – it is easy to rekindle romance at The Oberoi Amarvilas. The property stands amidst nine acres of beautifully landscaped gardens, minarets, pavilions, fountains, reflection pools and terraced lawns inspired by traditional Mughal designs. The resort has 102 exquisitely appointed rooms and suites, each with uninterrupted view of the Taj Mahal and complemented by Oberoi’s warm, personalized hospitality. Many rooms of this elegant five-story building have private terraces. The fine dining restaurants serve pan-international and authentic Mughlai cuisine. Couples can experience candlelit dining on their private balcony, beside the silhouette of the Taj Mahal, or relax with a spa treatment in a couples’ therapy suite with Taj Mahal views.

  • Hotel website: Oberoi Amarvilas
  • Other accolades: The Oberoi Amarvilas also features in my top 10 list of the best luxury hotels in India.
  • Travel tip: get complimentary VIP perks when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. room upgrade, daily breakfast, early check-in, late check-out, and one complimentary lunch for two).
  • Review: read my review of The Oberoi Amarvilas here.


9. BELMOND HOTEL CARUSO, ITALY

Situated in the most spectacular location on Italy’s Amalfi Coast, almost suspended between sea and sky, Belmond Hotel Caruso occupies a former medieval palace at the highest, quietest point of Ravello, overlooking the rocks and cliffs of Italy’s Amalfi Coast and the Mediterranean (or, more correctly, Tyrrhenian) Sea. With frescoed salons, arched stone vaults and just 50 highly individual rooms and suites occupying every shape and corner of the ancient palace’s architecture, it is an intimate retreat with an intriguing sense of history. But above all, with its rose arbor leading to one of the world’s most spectacular infinity pools, with sunlit or candlelit dining in the Belvedere Restaurant, and with a rich sense of its past as a retreat for presidents, writers and film stars, the hotel is almost impossibly romantic and the perfect decor for an unforgettable honeymoon.


8. SONG SAA PRIVATE ISLAND, CAMBODIA

Song Saa Private Island is a honeymoon heaven nestled in the undiscovered beauty of Cambodia’s Koh Rong Archipelago. With unique, world-class cuisine, stunning sunset views, and an array of spa and wellness treatments, Song Saa offers the ultimate indulgence for mind, body and soul. Harmony, sustainability and world-class luxury are the core principles that underpin the design of Song Saa which includes energy efficient thatched roofing, recycled timber from disused fishing boats, furniture made from driftwood collected from local beaches and coves, and floors made from timber salvaged from old factories, warehouses and demolition yards around Cambodia and Thailand. With 9 overwater villas in addition to 18 Garden and Beach Villas, this resorts represents 5-star-plus luxury and a level of romance that you might not expect in Cambodia.

SONG SAA PRIVATE ISLAND, CAMBODIA


7. JADE MOUNTAIN, ST LUCIA

A honeymoon destination in its own, Jade Mountain is St. Lucia’s only resort property with the iconic view of both the Piti and Gros Piton mountains floating upon the Caribbean Sea. The location of the property is unsurpassed, rising majestically above the private estate of Anse Chastanet with 600 lush tropical acres bordering two soft, sand Caribbean beaches with pristine coral reefs just off shore. Its impressive design, with individual bridges leading to exceptional infinity pool suites and rugged stoned-faced columns reaching towards the sky, makes Jade Mountain one of the Caribbean’s most mesmerizing resort experiences. With the fourth wall entirely absent, Jade Mountain’s 29 suites (called “sanctuaries”) are stage-like settings from which to embrace the full glory of  St Lucia’s twin peaks, the Pitons World Heritage Site, and the eternal Caribbean Sea.

JADE MOUNTAIN, ST LUCIA


6. GRACE SANTORINI, GREECE

Grace Santorini is an exclusive boutique hotel in Santorini, perched 363 meters (1190 ft) above Santorini’s world-famous caldera, offering breathtaking views. Crisp, minimalist and simply marvelous, the hotel skips the ornamentation for vast swatches of pristine white and sea views that stretch to infinity. The 21 innovatively refurbished rooms and suites showcase a contemporary style, combining cutting edge, bespoke design alongside traditional handcrafted pieces whilst the luxurious bathrooms offer double vanity units with marble carved basins and spacious rain showers with mosaic feature walls. Most of the rooms feature outdoor plunge pools while the 400 square meters (4.300 square feet) villa offers a private heated pool and spa. The hotel’s pool is truly spectacular and one of the most photographed swimming pools in the world.


5. THE BRANDO, FRENCH POLYNESIA

The Brando is a unique luxury resort on French Polynesia’s breathtakingly beautiful private island of Tetiaroa – an atoll composed of a dozen small islands surrounding a sparkling lagoon 30 miles (50 km) northeast of Tahiti. The Brando offers carefree luxury in the midst of pristine nature and is only accessible by a 20-minute private plane flight from Tahiti. The resort’s 35 villas sit on white-sand beaches frequented by sea turtles, manta rays and exotic birds. This Polynesian style resort also offers two restaurants showcasing Polynesian-inspired dishes, East/West fusion and classic French cuisine, as well as a luxurious spa and wellness center. It was in this natural wonderland that the legendary actor Marlon Brando settled down, and finally found his home. Room rates start at 3300 euro per night for the cheapest room category (one bedroom villa), inclusive of food & beverages.

THE BRANDO, FRENCH POLYNESIA


4. AMAN VENICE, ITALY

As sumptuous and romantic as the city itself, Aman Venice is set in the 16th-century Palazzo Papadopolion, one of the eight monumental palazzos on the Grand Canal. The great 18th-century painter Tiepolo once lived here, and his frescoes adorn the walls of many of the 24 rooms and suites. In the 19th century, the presiding Papadopoli family turned adjoining buildings into two gardens that, today, are among the city’s rarest private green spaces. When Aman Venice was renovated in 2014, its sensitive incorporation of modern comforts won the palazzo a heritage award for Italy’s best restoration. While the hotel’s opulent interiors sate appetites for grandeur, they invoke balance and harmony too. Rococo works of art are offset by the contemporary restraint of Jean-Michel Gathy interiors; private gardens and year-round wellness encourage calming introspection. Combining a reverence to the past and an appreciation of the present, local experts curate authentic, cultural and ultra-romantic encounters away from the crowds, reaching the heart of Venetian passions.


3. IVORY LODGE LION SANDS, SOUTH AFRICA

The award-winning Lion Sands Private Game Reserve is located in the finest territory of the world famous Sabi Sand Game Reserve, stretching for miles along the perennial Sabie River which forms its natural boundary with the Kruger National Park. The land, which has been owned and managed by the More Family for four generations, is a place of rarity and carries with it a passion which can only be instilled by a great family history. Lion Sands has three different lodges, with Lion Sands Ivory Lodge being the most upscale option. Each of the six suites is surrounded by untamed African Bush and is operated as a private villa. All villas have a private rim flow pool, exquisitely appointed bedroom and lounge, and simply more of everything. For a once in a lifetime romantic experience and the ultimate African bush experience, you may consider a stay at one of the treehouses operated by the same management in the Sabi Sand wildlife reserve.


2. NORTH ISLAND, SEYCHELLES

North Island is the world’s most exclusive hideaway and the best hotel I have ever been to. The insanely beautiful island has only 11 opulent hand-crafted villas overlooking the pristine, powder-white sands and turquoise waters of the Ile Du Nord eco-reserve. Raised off the ground to catch the cooling Indian Ocean breezes, all villas open up onto your private garden and the beach. Plunge pools and outdoor showers provide the finishing touches to your private sanctuary. The island’s lounge and dining areas, scenically located health spa and gym, library and dive centre, and a rim-flow swimming pool are all built into a granitic outcrop. Keep an eye out for Brutus, the island’s 160-year-old tortoise. The resort was the decor for honeymoon of Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge in 2011, and for Hollywood actor George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin in 2014.


1. SONEVA JANI, MALDIVES

Located on an uninhabited five-island cluster in the Noonu Atoll, the Maldives’ most exclusive resort is surrounded by a 5.6 km (3,4 mi) lagoon of crystal clear waters with uninterrupted Indian Ocean views. Each one of the 24 water villas has a private lap pool and opens to its own stretch of lagoon, with some villas featuring slides going directly from the top deck into the lagoon below. The highlight of the villas is the retractable roof in the master bedroom, which slides back at the touch of a button so that guests can lie in bed and stargaze. The culinary experiences at Soneva Jani are as diverse as they are memorable: in addition to the delightful dining venues, you can indulge in culinary adventures such as private dining around the lagoon, a Robinson Crusoe-style castaway picnic, organic garden lunches and cooking classes. It doesn’t get more romantic then here.

Contact me to get a resort credit and two complimentary Soneva experiences at Soneva Jani.


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3 Comments

  1. Laucala Island is not there… Royal Mansour… Hermitage Bay… Banyan Tree Mayakoba… I feel like you could have put those.

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