Photo courtesy of Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts
A honeymoon marks the end of one status and the beginning of another — you put a ring on it! — and what better way to celebrate starting life off together than with a stay at one these eight new fantasy resorts? Savor delicious days and nights, relax in pampered luxury and revel in the sophisticated glamour in some of the world’s most romantic settings, from the gemlike beauty of Italian lake country to the crystal-blue lagoons of the Indian Ocean. Your Snapchat game will be stronger than ever.
Four Seasons Resort O'ahu at Ko OlIna, Oahu, HawaII
“Ko Olina” translates to “the fulfillment of joy” — a fitting description of this idyllic resort, which opened in June 2016 on Oahu’s sunset western coast. The 371-room property is surrounded by the Waianae mountain range with wide, green valleys on one side and four white-sand beaches on the other. During the day, enjoy waterfall hikes, strolls around the North Shore’s Haleiwa (home to famous surfing beaches) or just lazing around the adults-only pool. As the sun goes down, take a sunset reef tour and snorkeling cruise — during which you might get to swim alongside sea turtles — or indulge in the resort’s private dinner experiences, which include a five-course meal with wine pairings. You can even follow dinner with fireworks for an extra-special touch. Room rates start at $695 a night.
Photo courtesy of Four Seasons Resort O'ahu at Ko Olina
Las Alcobas, A Luxury CollectIon Hotel, St. Helena, CalifornIa
Following the success of its award-winning first hotel in Mexico City, the Las Alcobas name made its way north to California for its second, recently opened outpost. Located on historic Main Street in the charming town of Saint Helena, a short drive from dozens of top wineries and vineyards, Las Alcobas Napa Valley is a prime base for exploring wine country and a relaxing sanctuary. Renowned interior designer Yabu Pushelberg created a serene atmosphere in the 68 rooms and suites, and all but two have terraces with outdoor fireplaces. The pool is ringed with private cabanas and the Atrio Spa has a couple’s suite where you can indulge in botanical-based therapies. The signature Acacia House restaurant is set in the Inn’s original 1907 house and is helmed by noted chef Chris Cosentino, whose menus focus on seasonal California ingredients. gourmet picnic baskets are available for vineyard day trips too. Room rates start at $495 a night.
Photo courtesy of Visit Napa Valley
El Dorado Maroma, Riviera Maya, Mexico
This adults-only beachfront getaway launched a “resort-within-a-resort” in late 2016 featuring Mexico’s first overwater bungalows. Typically you have to travel to the Maldives or French Polynesia to find these stunning accommodations (which perch on stilts over the water), but now honeymooners don’t have to venture so far to enjoy that floating feeling. Built near the white sand Maroma beach, each of the 30 Palafitos overwater bunaglows features a glass-bottom floor, private infinity pool, outdoor shower, indoor Jacuzzi and — obviously — direct access to the ocean. Guests of these suites also enjoy the new Náay Spa over the ocean and a new overwater grill and wine bar, as well as perks like dedicated beach beds, customized picnic baskets and butler service — along with all the facilities and restaurants at the mainland resort. Room rates start at $1,300 per person, per night.
Il Sereno Lago Di Como, Lake Como, Italy
This much-anticipated hotel — the first to open in the area in decades — arrived on Lake Como’s glittering shores near the village of Torno in 2016. Milan architect and designer Patricia Urquiola created a clean and contemporary design for the 30 oversized suites, each with furnished terraces and stunning lake and mountain views, and public areas in a palette dominated by greens, blues and walnut. Two vertical gardens and a “green sculpture” by French botanist Patrick Blanc help add to the elemental vibe. Dine at the signature lakefront restaurant from Michelin-starred chef Andrea Berton or explore the lake and set sail in style from the private dock on three custom-built boats specially commissioned by the hotel. Open March to November. Room rates start at $825 a night.
Photo courtesy of Sereno Hotels
Domes Noruz ChanIa, Autograph CollectIon, Crete, Greece
Crete’s scenic northwest coast is thoroughly romantic. Wander hand-in-hand through the cobblestoned old town in Chania, the island’s second-largest city, with its beautiful harbor, ottoman architecture, Venetian castle and historic lighthouse, or relax on the golden sand of one of the region’s glorious beaches. This chic adults-only resort opened in summer 2016 with 83 rooms and suites, many with sea views and private outdoor tubs or plunge pools. The intimate atmosphere continues in the serene spa and the sleek rooftop raw bar that serves local Greek wine and the freshest mussels and oysters. Ask the hotel concierge to arrange an outing to hidden sandy coves or the breathtakingly deep gorge of Samaria, or sample the cafés and nightlife in the center of Chania, just over a mile away. Room rates start at $363 a night.
Shangri-la Hambantota, Sri Lanka
A former coconut plantation on Sri Lanka’s pristine southern coast is home to the 300-room Shangri-la Hambantota resort, taking the island nation’s hospitality game to the next level. Set on 145 tropical acres, the in-resort artisan village features local weavers, painters, and craftspeople working their magic, and guests can take in live music and dance performances in the evenings. If you’re feeling active, you’ll find Sri Lanka’s first 18-hole resort golf course or try your hand on the trapeze or trampoline or go hiking in the nearby national parks. Fortunately, the wide beach is perfect for lazing, as are the two pools, and don’t miss a couples’ spa service in one of the breezy open-air treatment rooms. Room rates start at $425 a night.
The St. Regis Maldives VommulI Resort, Maldives
A 40-minute seaplane flight from the Maldives’ international airport brings you to this private island sanctuary, set on its own 22 tropical acres on the Dhaalu Atoll. Opened in November 2016, the resort has 77 private villas, all with a contemporary, island-inspired design, rainfall showers, and some have St. Regis’s signature 24-hour butler service. Ringed by untouched beaches and secluded lagoons, the resort also features a spa and yoga deck, main infinity pool, a diving and activity center and several dining and drinking options — including cargo, which serves an ever-changing menu of street food from around the world. Room rates start at $1,770 a night.
Katamama Seminyak, Bali
Contemporary style meets time-honed traditions at this beachside boutique resort in Bali’s Seminyak district. The public spaces and 58 suites were designed in a modern style by noted Indonesian architect Andra Martin, and executed by a roster of local artists and craftspeople using Balinese brick and Javanese tile, all of which is counterpointed by original mid-century furnishings from the owners’ own collection. It truly stands out from the tropical-trendy motif found in most Balinese hotels. The cool vibe continues with the on-site facilities — from the Akademi lobby bar to the outdoor bijou pool and bar — as well as the perks, which include VIP access to the neighboring potato head beach club and its long, curved bar and sparkling pool, one of the hottest spots in town, day or night — if you even want to leave your room, that is. Each suite is equipped with a private terrace with daybed, custom amenities and a “maxi-bar” set-up with artisan coffee, barware and cocktail recipes, plus mixologist-made bitters and syrups. Room rates start at $270 a night.