Planning to tie the knot anytime soon? If so, you may be thinking about where to take your honeymoon (in our minds, the best part of the whole planning — besides shopping for the dress of course) because unlike any other vacation you’ve probably taken, this one is going to be the ultimate. Choosing our top 8 honeymoon destinations for 2012 wasn’t easy. We wanted to include a variety of places to suit every couple — from the adventurous to the laid-back — and ended up with a list we think covers it all. Read on to find out what’s going to be hot for 2012.
A tropical paradise in the Indian Ocean, royal newlyweds Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge jetted off to the Seychelles for their honeymoon about a week after they said “I do.” While the couple reportedly bought out an entire island for their 10-day stay, we think the next best thing to that is staying in an Ocean Front Villa at the Maia Luxury Resort & Spa. It’s laid-back living here on the island of Mahe, where you can indulge in spa treatments, practice yoga, explore the island or just sit with a book on the beach and relax.
Located on what is considered one of Italy’s most beautiful lakes, Villa d’Este on Lake Como was once a playground for royalty, eventually transforming into a luxury hotel in 1873. Set on 25 acres of lush gardens, this resort is not only full of art and history, but delectable cuisine, top-notch service and gorgeous views at every turn. Plus there’s an onsite spa, fitness centre, golf course and plenty of water activities to enjoy — like waterskiing, sailing and canoeing. With traditionally-styled rooms decorated with oil paintings, period furniture and brocade linens, you’ll really feel like you’ve stepped back in time the moment you arrive. Don’t worry, they’ve included modern amenities like satellite TV and Wi-Fi. And only 1 hour drive to Milan, you can get your shopping fix before you hop on the plane home.
Napa Valley is really the perfect destination to turn things down a notch and enjoy the good things in life — especially good food and wine. Nature lovers too, will appreciate the lush landscape and abundance of outdoor activities. When choosing where to settle in, Calistoga Ranch in Upper Napa Valley offers all of the essentials any honeymooning couple could want. They offer 48 free-standing lodges, perfectly styled in a rustic, yet modern fashion with floor-to-ceiling windows, fireplace, private outdoor garden shower, over-sized bath and outdoor deck. The resort also offers a spa, nestled into the woods, a gourmet restaurant overlooking the lake, yoga classes, an outdoor heated pool and 140 acres of land to explore.
A round-up of honeymoon destinations isn’t complete without including a Caribbean island. Anguilla is on our list thanks to the gorgeous white sand beaches, turquoise waters, laid-back attitude and stylish hotels. It’s no surprise this is a getaway that’s seen the likes of celebrities like Beyonce, Sandra Bullock and Brad Pitt. Our choice for the perfect retreat is the uber-stylish Viceroy Anguilla. On 35 acres and plenty of beachfront, the interiors have been designed by Kelly Wearstler and the accommodations feel totally private. The ultimate has to be the One Bedroom Blufftop Villa complete with private pool, outdoor shower and butler service. And don’t forget to visit the two-story spa — pure indulgence!
For those seeking something out-of-the-ordinary, Japan is one of those honeymoon destinations that is truly memorable. While there’s nothing quite like the bright lights and busy streets of Tokyo, but taking a trip into the more remote areas of Japan, like the Hoshinoya Karuizawa resort in the Kitasaku District is the ultimate escape. Wait until the sun sets and you can watch the floating lanterns on the river outside your bedroom window. The Mizunami villa is ideal if you want to be beside the water and is styled with traditional Japanese furnishings. A perfect day would include an eco tour, relaxation time in the hot springs and dinner at the authentic Japanese restaurant.
If your idea of romance consists of cozying up by a fire, sipping a hot cocoa and gazing out the windows at snow-capped mountains, then you’ll love Switzerland. It’s one of those destinations that are really more beautiful than in pictures. While this country is beautiful year-round, the winter months are practically designed for honeymooners. Consider the glamorous destination of St. Moritz and stay at its most legendary hotels — Bardutt’s Palace. Ski the Alps, have a romantic dinner at Le Restaurant and relax at the spa.
Off the coast of Indian, the Maldives are a country made up of coral islands, meaning there are plenty of sandy beaches, clear ocean water and palm trees to discover. For a honeymoon that is pure luxury we suggest the One & Only Maldives, set on one of Maldives largest islands North Malé Atoll. You can stay in a Water Villa perched above the ocean — perfect for sunning in a hammock by day and stargazing by night. Book a luxurious treatment pour deux in a villa overlooking the ocean at the award-winning Spa by ESPA, then finish the day with dinner at the low-key Reethi Restaurant for light Mediterranean cuisine. After all of the activities from snorkeling to sailing at your fingertips, you’ll want to slow things down.
NEW YORK CITY
There’s nothing like a trip to the Big Apple and if you’re hoping for great shopping, dining and world-class culture then this city is for you. While it’s easy to get worn down from all of that walking around, book yourself into a cozy hotel, like the luxurious Crosby Street Hotel in SoHo. The neighbourhood has cobblestone streets, upscale boutiques, cafes and galleries at every turn. Some of our favourite features of this hotel is the art gallery-style lobby filled with striking objects, the private screening room and the daily afternoon tea. Plus let’s not forget the spacious and chic guestrooms.