When we envision romantic travel, a particular set of imagery springs to mind. The setting is often tropical or beachy, perhaps a secluded villa on an island hugged by sugar-fine sand. Other times, it’s the intimacy of a forested cabin warmed by a radiant fireplace. Lovers will remember the fixtures and amenities—oversize tubs, canopy beds and tandem massages—but the real joy of romantic travel is the opportunity to reacquaint with your partner. Far from the mundane routines of settled life, travel coaxes moments of spontaneity and excitement, reminding us of our younger, dating selves; a time when we were seduced by newness. Whether you’ve just recited your nuptials or are celebrating a milestone anniversary, our top selections for most romantic honeymoon destinations in the world are a tonic for love. Here are 10 of the most romantic honeymoon destinations.
Six Senses Zil Pasyon, Seychelles
Seated a thousand miles off the Kenyan coast, the far-flung Seychelles archipelago is a secluded destination that calls to lovers. Imagine: untouched, coral-fringed beaches and secretive coves painted in shades of turquoise. Romantic resorts are plentiful, but our top pick is Six Senses Zil Pasyon, set on the private island of Félicité. There are 28 one-bedroom pool villas boasting sultry features like private infinity pools, outdoor showers, canopy beds draped in gauzy netting, freestanding tubs for two, a loveseat-style swing, and butler service. Choose from villas that offer water views or a hideaway suite set back from the beach, tucked into the tight-knit privacy of a tropical garden. Guests craving ultra-exclusivity and even more seclusion might book one of three private Residences—secretive, architecturally stunning villas set upon granite ledges—truly one of the most romantic destinations in Africa. At the Six Senses Spa, embark on a two-and-a-half-hour Couples Journey that incorporates African philosophies and traditions. Guided meditation, a private hammam experience, aphrodisiac oils and massage all feature in this sensuality-provoking treatment.
Carrisa Villa at Ol Lentille, Lakapia, Kenya
With just four gorgeous villas nested within a private conservancy on the Laikipia Plateau, Ol Lentille is an intimate East Africa safari getaway. Service is personalized, meaning lovebirds won’t be woken to rise for a 5 a.m. game drive. Your stay marches to the rhythm of your heartbeat—so dictate your day, as you please. Each Ol Lentille villa offers couples a reclusive escape, but the Carissa Suite sets the scene for romance. Hidden atop a rocky outcrop on a secluded corner of the property and shrouded by carissa trees, privacy is at a premium and views are 280-degrees. The curved bedroom walls and floor-to-ceiling windows create the feeling of sleeping in an eyrie. Romantic, yes but have you seen the outdoor, lantern-lit sunken bathtub framed by sweeping valley views? Swoon. On cooler nights, cozy up to the fireplace. When it’s time to dine, take meals on Carissa’s wraparound terrace or in a secretive spot in the bush where plates are served in the glow of candlelight. Before departing, nip into the spa where experienced therapists perform couples massages steeped in tranquility. This spot is the epitome of romantic safari experiences.
Dar Ahlam, Ouarzazate, Morocco
Housed in a two-hundred-year-old kasbah, Dar Ahlam oozes Morocco’s enchanting brand of desert magic. Hugged by palm groves, this intimate hideaway counts just nine suites and three private villas. Trace scented corridors dotted with alcoves and archways to arrive at your suite. Inside, you’ll find a private terrace, adobe fireplace, and windows dressed in silk curtains that billow on a breeze. When you’re ready to dine, imbibe organic meals wherever they lead you: unfurled as a picnic in the garden or atop the kasbah at a table backlit by 100 flickering candles. Once nourished, it’s time to feed the senses. Luxuriate next to the palm-shaded, emerald-tinted pool; feel tension evaporate with a massage beneath a canopy of olive trees; sweat it out in the hammam. Beyond Dar Ahlam’s walls, the romance of the desert beckons. Venture out to Nomad Camp to sleep amid honey-hued dunes in a tent layered with Berber textiles. Watch daylight fade from atop an erg, aperitif in-hand, then dream beneath a sky awash in stars.
Singita Kwitonda Lodge, Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda
Enveloped by high-altitude forests and graced with views of volcanic peaks, Singita’s Kwitonda Lodge breathes peace and tranquility into its guests. Here, on the precipice of Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park, contemplative, cozy and nurturing spaces settle the soul. Think: warm fires, soft lighting, freestanding bathtubs with steamy volcano views, slow meditation and guided yoga. Comforted, nurtured, and rejuvenated, it’s the perfect place for lovers to revive the senses and reacquaint and an alternative romantic safari experience. And when it’s time, set out on foot together for a life changing gorilla trekking experience. Kwitonda Lodge offers eight self-contained suites connected to the main lodge via stone pathways, each outfitted with sumptuous indoor and outdoor showers, a crackling fireplace, an oversize tub, covered veranda, in-room massage nook, and a private, heated plunge pool. The 178-acre property also features an exclusive-use, four-bedroom villa.
Casa San Agustin, Cartagena, Colombia
We love sending couples to Cartagena, an impeccably well-preserved city with romance deep in its DNA. Seated on the salty Caribbean coast and hugged by centuries-old stone walls, walking the historic center’s maze of cobblestone streets feels like wandering the set of a telenova. By day, Spanish colonial churches radiate charm and the balconies of Crayola-colored homes spill over with vines of magenta bougainvillea. When night falls, hips swing to salsa beats that pulse through the city. Nested in the historic center amid the hubbub is Casa San Augustin, Extraordinary Journey’s top lodging for a romantic visit to Cartagena, Colombia. Reimagined to maintain its colonial heritage, the hotel spreads out across three white-washed homes connected by a 17th-century aqueduct. Choose from 20 luxuriously appointed guest rooms or 11 suites, all framed and ribbed with handsome timber beams and outfitted with unbearably soft Frette linens. (If you know, you know.) May we recommend a Jacuzzi suite? Once you’ve danced a night away, put your feet up next to Casa San Agustin’s turquoise-tinted, L-shaped swimming pool or bury your toes in the sand of Acasí, the hotel’s private white sand beach on the island of Barú.
Awasi Patagonia, Torres del Paine, Chile
The wind that whips across Torres del Paine National Park’s high-altitude steppe is a far cry from a honeymoon beach, but there’s a special type of romance distilled in the rain and thunder. On a private reserve 21 miles from the park boundary, Awasi Patagonia’s 14 eco-villas and main lodge are subtly tucked into a landscape sheltered by lenga and nirre trees. The romantic appeal of each minimalist cabin is decidedly hygge. We’re talking evenings lounging in the radiating warmth of a wood-burning stove; long nights drinking in the expansive views of the Milky Way; and soaking in a cedar barrel plunge pool with a Chilean red in-hand. Each villa is discreet, oriented for maximum privacy and adequately distanced from others. Postcard-perfect picture views look upon the “torres,” Lake Sarmiento or the Patagonian Steppe. Each villa is allocated a private guide and 4×4, meaning couples can self-direct their excursions, not limited to hiking, mountain biking, fishing and horseback riding. Awasi Patagonia is Relais & Châteaux-associated and joyfully carbon neutral.
The Lindis, Ahuriri Valley, South Island, New Zealand
In the remote Ahuriri Valley of New Zealand’s South Island The Lindis shrinks in the grandeur of the surrounding Southern Alps. Built into a bed of glacial moraine and crowned with a contoured grid shell roof, the luxury lodge is tucked harmoniously into the landscape. This architectural marvel counts just five suites (two Master Suites and three Lodge Suites) finished with handsome spotted gum wood paneling. Double-sided fireplaces, freestanding tubs and plush textiles create lounge spaces. Reclusive couples might opt to stay in one of the three Lindis pods—luxurious eco-cabins with double-glazed mirrored glass on three sides that offer a frameless portrait of the pristine valley. A handful of signature experiences beckon guests into the outdoors. Cast a line in the glacial Ahuriri River, travel through the rugged landscape on horseback or board a helicopter for a chef-prepared picnic in a secretive location in the mountains.
Saffire Freycinet, Tasmania, Australia
Seated on the sandy lip of Tasmania’s Great Oyster Bay and blessed with jarring views of the Hazards Mountains, the ultra-luxe Saffire Freycinet offers couples a secluded, salty escape. Though the internationally awarded property counts 20 suites, each is discreetly positioned away from its neighbors. Lovers celebrating a milestone event might splurge on a Private Pavilion to savor chef-cooked meals prepared in-suite and revel in the enclosed courtyard’s plunge pool. (There is no communal pool on the property.) Gourmands will be impressed while dining at Palate, where seafood pulled fresh from cold saline waters produces plump, sumptuous shellfish. Excursions to places like Wineglass Bay and Honeymoon Bay practically beg lovers to visit. Don’t miss an opportunity to rejuvenate at the spa where a “For the Love of Two” treatment starts with a therapeutic soak in a mineral-enriched bath and closes with a relaxation massage.
Forest Lodge, Grootbos Private Nature Reserve, South Africa
Enclosed by a tangled canopy of branches glowing with string lights, Grootbos Forest Lodge’s forest boma is an irresistible setting for a romantic dinner. Wander back to your luxurious suite (one of 16) to draw a bath in a freestanding tub framed by a picture window looking upon Walker Bay. Joyfully, it’s a panoramic view you’ll enjoy from the net-draped bed, too. Located snug in an untouched ancient Milkwood forest and graced with fragrant fynbos, Grootbos Forest Lodge offers couples seclusion and tranquility to reconnect without distraction. Excursions include tracing the coast on horseback, unpacking a gourmet picnic on a pristine beach, and breathtaking scenic flights—a highlight that’s pure magic at the height of whale season. At the buchu-scented lodge spa, healing hands release tension from your muscles. Enjoy treatments in the comfort of a private room or al fresco in the verdant embrace of the milkwood forest.
Bumi Hills Safari Lodge, Zimbabwe
The sun dips below the horizon framing Zimbabwe’s Bumi Hills Safari Lodge, painting the sky fuchsia before slinking into dusk. It’s an elaborate display of romantic mood lighting painted by the hand of mother nature. At the first hint of twilight, staff illuminate lanterns strewn across the timber decks overlooking Lake Kariba, and along the infinity pool’s edge. Featuring just ten suites and a two-bedroom villa, Bumi Hills is an intimate property complete with doting butlers. Sumptuous meals are served open-air on the dining terrace, but we recommend asking that a table for two be set up in a reclusive corner or at the water’s edge, backlit by glowing lanterns. Rooms feature outdoor showers and a concave standalone tub for two. Balconies that open up to expansive lake views are just the type of place to post up for conversations that last long into the night. Honeymoon safari anyone?