Consider these fresh destinations for your first ever trip as Mr. and Mrs.
Our editors scoured the globe to find ten honeymoon gems—all still relatively well-kept secrets. Hand picked for their allure and romance, these stunning getaways also keep accessibility in mind (and by that we mean your quickly-dwindling wedding budget). It’s a win-win: you’ll feel pampered as you travel to one of these swank locales, exotic for not picking a run-of-the-mill honeymoon, and smart for keeping an eye on that bottom line.
The Cotswolds, Barnsley House
One of the most charming areas in England, the Cotswolds region offer a taste of the English countryside, while remaining an accessible two hours outside London (which is an easy airport hub, too). The Barnsley House, a charming but grande country hotel nestled in the Cotswolds, is a fitting honeymoon retreat, with its tastefully appointed rooms, lovely spa and on-site dining. The Potager restaurant, known for its freshly-baked breads and home-grown produce, is charming and intimate. (Perfect for starry-eyed couples as it remains adults only for breakfast and dinner). For those inclined to explore, the quaint cobbled streets of Bath, iconic Stonehenge, idyllic Oxford and Shakespeare’s home of Stratford-upon-Avon, are all possible day trips.
Vieques, Puerto Rico, W Hotel
Vieques is a small, relatively undeveloped island off the coast of Puerto Rico and it is an optimal choice for honeymooners seeking a tropical holiday without the hassle of getting a passport. Upon arriving in Vieques (an easy 20-minute flight from San Juan) the W Retreat and Spa woos couples as soon as you step off the plane with its W Airport Lounge. (The lounge is decorated by Spanish designer Patricia Urquiola‘s chic interiors, and offers complimentary refreshments, and Wifi). From there, it’s just a breezy five-minute transfer to the resort, where you can soak up the sun and fun to your heart’s content with secluded sandy beaches, pristine pools, chic common areas and an on-site spa.
Willamette Valley, Oregon, Allison Inn
Love a good glass of vino? California isn’t the only place to go. The Willamette Valley, put on the map by its award winning Pinot Noir, is a lesser known wine region that rewards honeymooners with its stunning scenery, biking, hiking and hundreds of friendly wineries. Couples will bask in the chance to relax, taste and even get to know some of the vintners. The Allison Inn is the area’s top choice for its amenities, locale and service—and Portland is a quick 45 minutes away, giving newlyweds the chance to play both country and city mice. At its peak from May–June and September–October, the Willamette Valley sees a lot of weddings ceremonies, but the perfect weather works just as well for some post-wedding unwinding.
Raja Ampat, Indonesia, Misool Eco Resort
The journey to this destination is not for the faint of heart, but this truly once-in-a-lifetime spot comes at a fraction of the cost of a resort in Bali, with equally stunning landscapes. Misool Eco and Dive Resort will wow couples with its drool-worthy private water cottages that start at an unbelievable $2,800 for the entire week (during peak January–April timeframe, less at other times), which includes four meals a day, tea, snorkeling, Sorong airport transfer and porter, and a one night stay plus breakfast in Sorong. Friendly warning—once you get there, you may never want to leave.
Bellagio, Italy, The Belvedere
Italians have long flocked to dazzling Lake Como for its gorgeous, tranquil waterfront setting amidst mountain beauty. A little more than an hour outside Milan, the Bellagio area will delight honeymooners with its luxe vibe. The Belvedere hotel, located at the water’s edge above downtown Bellagio, is a favorite for its lake views, personalized service, and complementary spa use. Staying in Bellagio allows lovebirds the chance to explore other towns around the lake and return back to paradise long after the day tourists have gone. And the hotel itself has a well-maintained charm: founded in 1880 by a woman dreaming of the perfect lake retreat, the hotel has since been passed down through five generations of mothers and daughters, all with the purpose of continuing to make that dream become a reality for their guests.
Sayulita, Mexico, Villa Amor
This Boho-chic surfer town is a mere 24 miles from the Puerto Vallarta airport and splendid for honeymooners, as it is off the primary tourist path (and its rates reflect that). Guests at Villa Amor rave about its well appointed, oceanfront rooms, stunning private villas, and staff vested in making stays truly memorable. Enjoy a bevvy of water sport options, an infinity pool, complimentary exercise classes or simply relax with your new mate on the beach and savor drinks at sunset. (Booking last minute? Currently the hotel is offering 30% off for June stays.)
Paradise Valley, Arizona, Hermosa Inn
Nestled against the Camelback Mountains and in between Scottsdale and Phoenix, Paradise Valley lives up to its name for honeymooners. Boasting an average 294 days of sunshine per year, Paradise Valley’s desert oasis is a mecca for hiking enthusiasts, runners, golfers and those looking to simply relax and recharge. Boutique Hermosa Inn lures newlyweds with its hacienda-style accommodations (including large, luxurious casidas with walk-in showers) and lush desert setting. Plus, the hotel has arrangements with many of the world-class championship golf courses in the area.
Asheville, Grand Bohemian
Asheville has all of the makings of a top-drawer honeymoon—an adorable town, art galleries, breweries, a buzzing restaurant scene and live music—with the benefit of a pint-sized price tag (note—in the Fall, the changing of the leaves means an uptick in local splendor and pricing). Locals are friendly and the famed Biltmore House will lure couples with its grounds, ripe for a romantic picnic. The hunting lodge vibe of the Grand Bohemian makes for a cozy retreat and honeymooners will enjoy the dramatic décor (lots of deep reds and bold but tastefully done animal print touches), the Poseidon spa, attentive staff and complimentary shuttle service when going out to dinner.
Eastern Townships, Quebec, Manoir Hovey
An hour east of Montreal lie the quaint Eastern Townships of Quebec. A fitting destination for a taste of Europe without leaving North America, this land was originally granted to Loyalists fleeing the United States after the American Revolution. The region makes for an attractive and decidedly different (since it is predominantly French-speaking) all-season honeymoon destination, and offers downhill and cross-country skiing, ice-fishing, tubing and skating in winter and cycling, hiking, golf, tennis and sailing in summer. Couples will enjoy exploring the area’s 31 postcard towns and Quebec’s Wine Route known for its ice wines and rosés. Consider Relais & Chateaux property Manoir Hovey in North Hatley, which oozes old-world charm and is know for its high levels of service and attention to detail. And if a suite is out of your price range, check out the hotel’s luxury rooms overlooking the water with private balconies. While not as large, they are still positively dreamy, and cost $100 less per night.
Vienna, Sans Souci Wien
If a city destination is on your list, look no further than indulgent Vienna—home to chocolate cake and sparkling wine—and there are many direct and reasonable flights from the U.S. This Medieval and Baroque city will charm couples with its musical history and wedding cake like architecture. Sans Souci Wien, with a facade lit by a romantic lilac colored glow at night, is an enchanting and ideally located love nest, complete with boutique hotel amenities and focus on art and design. Spring and fall are peak times to enjoy The City of Dreams, but if your wedding falls in winter, don’t let that stop you. You’ll lap up the ambiance as the Christmas Markets cast a magical spell over the city.
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