The typical honeymoon locales are still worthy of travel, but there are a handful of destinations that are brimming with excitement, romance and luxury—all the things a great honeymoon should include. From European capitals to off-the-beaten path Caribbean islands, we’ve curated a list of destinations and resorts that offer something bold and something new. Read on for Forbes Travel Guide’s editors’ picks for the hottest honeymoon destinations for 2014 and beyond.
It’s one of the most romantic cities in the world, so there’s hardly a better place to celebrate wedded bliss than the City of Light. This month, the first guests checked into the Peninsula Paris and experienced the Hong Kong-based brand’s unique blend of style and service. Situated steps from the Arc de Triomphe and just off the Champs-Élysées, the much-buzzed-about hotel puts you in the heart of Paris. The hotel’s rooftop bar is an Instagram-ready spot for sipping champagne, and its rooms are among the city’s most tech-forward, with digital tablets pre-programmed in 11 languages to control everything from the room’s temperature to its lighting. Paris is undergoing a hotel renaissance, with some of the city’s most iconic spots experiencing extensive renovations (the Ritz Paris and Hôtel de Crillon are currently closed). The sleek and contemporary Mandarin Oriental, Paris opened in 2011, and in 2012, Four Seasons Hotel George V, Paris freshened up its rooms and added a beautiful penthouse that feels like a private a Parisian residence (picture marble mosaic floors, gold silk walls, Baccarat crystal glassware and terraces flaunting unrivaled vistas). You’re also able to stay in the new-and-improved Hôtel Plaza Athénée, which reopened on Aug. 1.
The only private beach resort in Los Cabos happens to be one of the most luxurious in the area. Esperanza, An Auberge Resort has just about everything you could possibly want in a honeymoon hotspot. It’s adults-only; you can stay fit with complimentary yoga and fitness classes every day; and the culinary emphasis allows you and your new spouse to team up in the kitchen in one of the themed cooking courses or take in a romantic clifftop dinner at Cocina del Mar. All of the rooms have beautiful terraces, many of which feature infinity-edge hot tubs. For a more modern honeymoon, check into Hotel El Ganzo in the somewhat undeveloped Puerto Los Cabos, open for just two years and already the recipient of plenty of praise. It’s hard to beat lounging by the rooftop infinity pool and feeling as if you own the place as you relax in your cabana. If you’re looking for exclusivity, book a beachfront suite at Capella Pedregal, accessible via the only privately-owned tunnel in Mexico. You’ll be treated to complimentary margaritas upon arrival, 35 feet of your own personal beach (complete with a beachfront attendant to cater to your every need) and a private plunge pool, among many other perks.
One of the Caribbean’s most charming islands, the British outpost of Anguilla remains a top choice for those looking for seclusion and privacy. The island’s white sand beaches are typically uncrowded (especially compared to neighboring St. Martin, where throngs of cruise ship travelers disembark every day to crowd the beaches, shops and restaurants), and there are an unexpected supply of upscale dining and lodging choices for an island of its size. Check into Cap Juluca, with its distinctive Moorish design and prime location on the island’s prettiest stretch of sand, Maunday Bay. The oversized villas are just steps from the beach, with a simple but attractive Moroccan design and large windows designed to take in the views of the white sand and turquoise water. Service is friendly and personalized—expect to find your beach chaise ready and waiting when you make your way to that stunning beach each day, with attendants situated every few feet at several small beach bars that serve made-to-order rum punches and lunch options such as grilled shrimp and avocado salad. Dine at Cap Juluca’s Pimms restaurant (sip a perfectly-made British Pimms Cup and tuck into the Anguillan lobster bisque) while listening to live performances by local musicians. On some nights, you may catch a performance by former West Indies cricketer Omari Banks, whose father, reggae legend Bankie Banx’s owns the local late-night haunt The Dune Preserve, itself an Anguilla must-visit.
The longtime honeymoon hotspot is experiencing a revival since the June opening of Montage Kapalua Bay. The 50-suite property is set within the 22,000-acre Kapalua Resort—the same one that’s home to Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua—so guests have access to two championship golf courses, along with the other swanky amenities at Montage Kapalua Bay. All of the spacious rooms (they range from one to four bedrooms) have private lanais. If lounging on the beach or by the Sunset Pool isn’t for you, borrow one of the custom-made Panama Jack beach cruisers and explore the lush grounds. Make sure to treat yourselves to some time in the 30,000-square-foot Spa Montage. Elsewhere on the island, the Five-Star Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea recently invested more than $3 million in renovating its two top guest suites, and introduced the Complete Suite Experience for all oceanfront suite guests, introducing perks such as double round-trip transfers with pick-ups at your home courtesy of an Uber black car and in Hawaii by hotel house car, daily breakfast and an in-suite private dinner, and unlimited laundry service.