When you hear the word “honeymoon,” what is the first thing that comes to mind? Let me rephrase that (for those of you with your head in the gutter- don’t worry, no judgment). What is the first destination that comes to mind when you think about planning a honeymoon? We’ll bet your booze budget that you thought of Hawaii, the Bahamas, Mexico, Greece, or Italy. While all of those are absolutely wonderful locales, we’re going to challenge you to think a little bit outside the box. Here are some of our favorite honeymoon locations that you haven’t considered, but should.
If You’re on a Budget…
Mahaweli Reach in Kandy, Sri Lanka
This hotel offers custom-made honeymoon packages including activities like romantic morning boat rides and secluded candle-lit dinners. For the price of one night in a standard room in a comparable hotel in Maui, you can spend almost an entire week here in a river-view suite. Kandy is truly an undiscovered treasure. And you can ride elephants (suck it Maui)!
Fierro Hotel in Palermo, Buenos Aires, Argentina
This is perfect for the artsy, maybe even a little bit edgy couple. You’ll find plenty of art tours, gardens, and authentic restaurants right nearby your hotel. The hotel also features a rooftop pool consistently named one of Buenos Aires’ best (yes, apparently they make top ten lists for pools). If you really want to immerse yourself in the culture, book a tango lesson. Who knows? You could be good at it and become even more sexy.
Nira Caledonia in Edinburgh, Scotland
Even if you don’t find bagpipes and haggis (yuck) romantic, Scotland still has incredible honeymoon potential. Located right in Old Town, Nira Caledonia makes it easy to visit many of Edinburgh’s most beautiful cultural landmarks. Think romantic strolls down streets lined with pubs (for when you’re thirsty), wool shops (for when you’re cold), and historical monuments (for when you want to all highbrow). Plus, believe it or not, this luxurious little boutique hotel won’t break the bank.
If You’re Willing to Splurge Just a Little…
Hotel Rangá in South Iceland
So many typical honeymoon locations are all about the sand and sun, but we recognize the fact that not everyone is beach person (plus, take it from us, sex on the beach is just a bad idea in and of itself). If you’re leaning towards a more wintry honeymoon, this alternative offers the amazing opportunity to see the Northern Lights in action. The hotel even has a specialized wake up call so that (if you want) they’ll let you know if the lights are out regardless of the time. In the daytime you can stay in bed (*ahem*) or go dog-sledding and explore caves. Win either way, right?
Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, Michigan
Mackinac Island is the charming hidden gem of Michigan’s Great Lakes. This small island in Lake Huron features beautiful scenery, a rich history (if you’re in the mood for something intellectual), and a quiet, private atmosphere. At Grand Hotel, you can book a honeymoon package, which includes accommodations, meals, champagne, and a romantic carriage ride. It’s a great escape right here in the USA. Also, keep in mind that you’ll save money by skipping the overseas airfare.
Hyatt Regency Kyoto in Kyoto, Japan
If you are planning a honeymoon at any time from mid-March to mid-April, make sure to look into traveling to Kyoto for cherry blossom season. The Hyatt offers Western comforts if you’re not down for tatami mats (if you’re adventurous, go for it), and it’s located close to some of the best places to view the cherry blossoms. We suggest heading over to Philosopher’s Path right after sunset, when the majority of crowds have filtered back home, for the loveliest stroll of your life. It’s romantic. It’s gorgeous. Toast your love with some sparkling sake on a private boat ride down the Okazaki Canal.
If You Use $100 Bills as Tissues…
Song Saa Private Island in Sihanoukville, Cambodia
If you want paradise, this place has no match. Think luxurious. Think intimate. Think private infinity swimming pools on the ocean and spa sanctuaries in the rainforest (if you’re not excited about this, trust us, she will be). You can’t beat perfect.
Victoria Falls Safari Suites in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
For the couple that loves adventure, nature, and wildlife, an African safari honeymoon is the perfect fit. Your secluded suite will have easy access to an abundance of National Parks, which are home to an amazing assortment of animals. You can book once-in-a-lifetime experiences (including lion walks and elephant back safaris) easily through the hotel. You can also go zip lining, bungee jumping, and white-water rafting. After adrenalin packed days, head to the spa for a relaxing couple’s massage before dozing off in your romantic canopy bed (every girl loves a canopy bed- she’ll be very impressed).
Burj Al Arab Jumeirah in Dubai, United Arab Emirates
With eight staff members per suite at your beck and call twenty-four hours a day, this might just be the most luxurious hotel in the entire world. Touted as “the dream,” this sleek sail shaped hotel boasts ridiculously opulent interior, absolute privacy, and all-around royal treatment. Saying that you and your bride will feel like royalty isn’t enough. You will be King and Queen.
Still not sure? Check out our guide to choosing a honeymoon destination.
Need more help with the honeymoon planning process? We’ve got you covered.
We even have a great tool to help you keep track of your honeymoon budget.
Written by Ariel Guterman