Honeymoons are a once-in-a-lifetime experience, says Rowena Carr-Allinson. Make the most of yours, blow the budget and escape to a picture-perfect island hideaway: the stuff dream brochures are made of!
Lovely Little Palm, Florida, USA
For a really private hideaway check into the ultra exclusive Little Palm Island Resort & Spa: accessible only by boat or seaplane. A million miles away from the rest of the world, the resort is a tranquil honeymoon hotspot where elegance and casual cool rule. There’s everything you’d expect: palm fringed beaches, attentive staff, gourmet cuisine and oversized four-poster beds swathed in mosquito netting. Lie by the pool, on the beach or in a hammock, or get close to nature kayaking the mangroves. Prefer a little more speed? Borrow a motor boat to visit the surrounding uninhabited islands.
Sexy Southern Cross, Little Cayman, Caribbean
Blazing sunshine, white sandy beaches and pristine aquamarine waters… Hide out on honeymoon at Southern Cross, a beach resort with 14 rooms set in colourful beach chalets, and a very laid back attitude. Forget TVs and phones, this is about barefoot romance. It’s the place for divers and snorkelers, said to be in the world’s top 3 diving spots by Jacques Cousteau, but there’s plenty to do if you prefer not to go underwater. Take a kayak trip to uninhabited Owen Island, visit the local iguanas, take a picnic to Point of Sands beach or simply watch the stunning turquoise sea from the comfort of your hack.
Cool Koh Samui, Thailand
A long-time favourite with backpackers, Samui also has some stunning luxury resorts. In Maenam, the Napasai run by the Orient Express hotels group is a perfect ‘get away from it all’ honeymoon retreat. Luxury, relaxation and super-friendly staff are all part of the deal. Thai style individual villas with sea views are spread over 17 acres where coconut palms, cashew, jack fruit and mango trees abound. A true tropical oasis! Spend the day lazing by the infinity pool overlooking Ban Tai beach and the Gulf of Thailand, head to the spa for a spot of pampering or sample the amazing Thai food which looks more like art than food.
Beautiful Bali, Indonesia
Bali is another honeymooners paradise! Jet off to the Indonesian island to discover the rainforests, beaches and incredible culture. To stay somewhere sexy try the 59-room beachfront Anantara Resort Seminyak – the place for the hip and stylish who want a sleek, designer atmosphere. Bedrooms have the ‘wow factor’ with balconies featuring an outdoor Jacuzzi and huge windows overlooking the sea! The Anantara is all about contemporary design, with a zen Bali influence with dark woods, fluffy carpets, marble stone-based bed and huge flat screen TV and DVD player! In the evening the best spot is the SOS lounge on the rooftop: the place to catch the sunset armed with cocktails.
Parrot Cay, Turks & Caicos
Head to Parrot Cay where the celebs like to take time out. The island has fantastic private villas belonging to the likes of Christie Brinkley, Bruce Willis and Donna Karan so you never know who you might bump into! Bruce Willis got married there, as did Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner, while Sandra Bullock, Robert De Niro and Penelope Cruz have all been seen relaxing there too! Rumour has it Julia Roberts honeymooned there so if it’s good enough for Pretty Woman…
Magic Maui, Hawaii, USA
Maui is an idyllic island packed with adventure, all about the sea, the sun and the surf. Dive off Black Rock with turtles and sharks, take surf lessons or get up before dawn to catch the spectacular sunrise at the summit of the Haleakala volcano and whizz down the 10,000 feet on a mountain bike. Hole up at the Hana Maui where quaint cottages overlook the wild pacific coastline. A genuine welcome, cosy rooms with natural air-con (trade winds coming through) and luxurious extras like the lava rock pool, spa and cosy bar make it worth the drive!