Dream Honeymoons: Get Thee to an Island
When travel returns and you feel safe — craft your own honeymoon fairytale with a stay at these far flung island escapes. Whether you wish to rekindle the flame, woo the crush or ask for her hand, these seaside hideaways will fuel the rapture. From lovey-dovey dining locales on the beach to starry-eyed suites with sunset views, luxury isle retreats inspire poetry. Read on to take a gambol “a deux.”
Dazzle with a stay in Qatar’s first-ever villas to hover over the water. Ideal for active couples, the facilities at opulent Banana Island — a 25-minute ferry ride from Doha — beg to be enjoyed. Learn to scuba dive in a practice pool, and then take your newfound talents into the turquoise depths of the Arabian Sea. Strut your stuff atop a stand-up paddleboard, surf in the two-lane surfing pool where waves are adapted to your skill level, bowl, smash some balls across the tennis net or tee off on the 9-hole golf course. A dedicated wellness center, the first of its kind in the Middle East, offers yoga and fitness advice and a top-level spa has his and her hammans—among other delights. But, maybe all you’ll really want is to dream languorously on your deck, sipping tea, as the waves plunk a tune that signifies pure relaxation? With Arabian touches — wooden filigree, ornate lamps, plush fabrics and canopied beds — the resort draws from the glamorous spirit of the region. Don’t miss a private dinner on the stargazing platform, where the night sky competes with the glimmer of Doha’s distinctive, futuristic skyline.
Yes, paradise exists and, its name is Bora Bora. The most extolled and stunning island (arguably) in the world, Bora Bora comprises a series of motus that surround Mount Otemanu, an otherworldly volcano that pierces the center of a pellucid lagoon. Occupying its own small isle, the all-suite, newly renovated Four Seasons’ reigns with over-the-water- bungalows connected to undulating pontoons. Book one of the four “Otemanu Overwater Bungalows” which cap the piers and have direct views of the majestic volcano. From your room, dive into water as vivid with blues as Van Gogh’s palette; or, gaze at it from your private pool or indoor bathtub, overlooking the vista. Paramours will relish the resort’s romance offerings, which include such things as a private island dinner, a romance Paparazzo to photograph you, a flower filled bath, and a couples’ massage that utilizes the famed Tahitian monoi oil.
Marry (or renew vows) in a Tahitian ceremony beneath the tiki torches, where beating drums and fire dancers leave indelible memories. Follow with breakfast in bed, delivered by canoe.
Afloat in the Indian Ocean, 1,250 miles east of Africa, Mauritius is a collage of dramatic scenery and a fusion of cultures. Thick with promise, it emanates the exotic. Delve into that at the Oberoi, which spreads across 20-acres on the isle’s northwestern coast. Opt for a Royal Villa, low-lying, rust-colored and topped with a sugar-cane roof. You may never leave your room’s private, garden enclave, which boasts a personal pool and a gazebo for secluded dining. Expect to find frangipani blossoms everywhere — in your sunken bathtub (filled with just the right temperature of warm, scented water), atop your pillows, even in heart-shaped designs on the floor. Spend afternoons swimming in Turtle Bay or taking advantage of the Oberoi’s “touching senses” complimentary programs, which range from cooking classes to guided hikes among the garden-like property. The spa offers classic Ayurvedic treatments, such as shirodara, as well as indigenously inspired ones — like the Creole coffee-mint wrap, created from local ingredients.
Caviar munched in a gauzy pool-side cabana. A massage bed floating in the sea. Beach-side suites which offer the sound of crashing waves as your personal symphony. Dinner with pressed-linen tablecloths, crystal and silver amid a leafy rainforest. Vistas of the Coral Sea, the water gleaming in hues of lapis lazuli. You’ll get all of the above at the newly refurbished InterContinental Hayman Island, a barefoot sophisticate’s port of call. Off the coast of Queensland, as the northernmost point of the Whitsunday Archipelago, this public island has just one hotel. Stay here and you may feel like he who lords over the bounty of the Great Barrier Reef. Using all-natural Amala’s high potency, organic beauty products in the spa, sourcing culinary ingredients as locally as possible, and participating in a breeding program for the endangered Proserpine Rock Wallaby, the resort takes its eco-friendly moniker seriously. Cuddle as you gaze at the transforming canvas of the sea from their arrival helicopter, hold hands while snorkeling Blue Pearl Bay, and snuggle as you race through the waves on the resort’s complimentary catamaran.
Bulgari Resort, Bali
Indian and Arab traders left their legacy in Bali, a mystical island province in distant Indonesia. With emerald-green rice paddies, verdant jungles and ethereal volcanic peaks at the island’s heart, Bali is framed by crescents of sugary sand, raucous cobalt-colored waves and jagged, black lava promontories. Temples and monkeys abound. Be coddled with Bali’s infinite charms at the Bulgari Resort, situated atop a cliff on territories that once served as the Balinese royal family’s hunting grounds. An idyllic setting for an exclusive wedding, the resort is walled with white coral and manifests classic Balinese exteriors with coconut thatched, sloped rooftops, carved-wood and hand-cut local stone. Inside, each suite channels sleek, urbane Milan — thanks to the property’s Italian-based designers. Flirt as you dip your feet in your private plunge pool and swoon over the panorama. Both an Italian and Indonesian Restaurant tempt —according to mood. An ESPA provides muscle melting treatments on site. Staff can arrange visits to Ubud, of Eat, Pray, Love fame — and the social hotbed of Jimbaran Bay is just 20 minutes to the north.