Like all couples, you want your honeymoon to be the best, the ultimate, the most memorable trip of your life. But you’ve already climbed the Eiffel Tower, camped in the Grand Canyon and explored the Pyramids. So there’s nothing left, right? Wrong. We crisscrossed the globe in search of the hottest—and coolest—newest and most unspoiled places. Whether you prefer spending your days wandering among city marketplaces or swimming with the dolphins, we found six amazing and unusual honeymoon destinations.
As if crystal-blue water, sprawling coral reefs and gorgeous sunsets aren’t enough of a draw, this destination offers endless beaches that you’ll have all to yourselves and lagoons where you’ll be the only swimmers (well, except for the friendly dolphins and turtles you’re apt to encounter). This is The Republic of Maldives, an island group located just below the tip of India.
Where to Stay: Just minutes from the main island of Male, on the quiet isle of Kurumba, is the Kurumba Maldives, the archipelago’s oldest resort. The hotel boasts 180 airy bungalows stretched across 48 acres of talcum-white sand. Stay in one of the six private villas and enjoy an open-air shower and a very large patio. After a day of lounging by one of two pools or partaking in watersports, head to the resort’s spa for a holistic body scrub, which features seaweed to detoxify, and ginger and lime to promote tranquillity. Then take a private sunset cruise, followed by an intimate candlelit dinner on the beach. For the ultimate splurge, ask about a romantic picnic for two on a nearby deserted island. The day package includes transportation on a yacht and butler service and a chef, who will create haute canapés and native delights as you sip champagne. The resort also has nine restaurants, and multiple bars, including one dedicated to karaoke (kurumba.com).
By Day: The Maldives are made for water sports; the region is famous for its diving. Regal Dive offers packages at most beaches for beginners and diehard aficionados, complete with equipment. Opt for a daylong boat dive, and you’ll explore undersea walls, colorful butterfly fish and more than 70 species of coral. Most hotels offer complimentary snorkeling equipment, so you can enjoy spectacular underwater shows on your own. Serious surfers: Pack your boards (rentals are hard to come by), and head to the most popular breaks in the area on the north shore of Male. Or ask your hotel concierge about guided surf tours to some of the outer islands (regal-diving.co.uk; sailingmaldives.com).
At Night: Catch a picture-perfect sunset from the Fung Bar in Kuramathi Village. The bar, which features live jazz music, is actually a large, traditional Maldivian boat made of local wood. Overhead are a thatched roof and a canopy of sweet-smelling tropical flowers. Then take a stroll along the beach before turning in; you’ll want to take an early morning yoga class on the beach.
Where to Eat: Ithaa, an aquarium-style, glass-enclosed undersea restaurant at the Hilton Maldives Resort and Spa Rangali Island, sits 16 feet below the ocean’s surface and offers unbeatable 270-degree views of the Indian Ocean. As you dine, you get an up-close and personal view through the glass of colorful fish swimming just inches away from you. Meanwhile, you’ll be lingering over menu favorites such as scallop and reef fish carpaccio, served with island passion fruit, followed by Maldivian lobster with a lime and red-pepper sauce (hilton.com). —Meredith Franco Meyers
Photography: (from top) Courtesy of Universal Resort; Hilton Maldives.