The Top 10 Hotels and Resorts for Honeymoons

These retreats are the top places in the world for a honeymoon getaway.

One&Only Palmilla has one of Cabo's rare swimmable beaches.

One&Only Palmilla has one of Cabo’s rare swimmable beaches.

Courtesy of One&Only Palmilla

When you’re dreaming up the perfect honeymoon, the most important decision you’ll make is where to stay. Your hotel will play a key role in helping you make memories with your new life partner and will shape the way you experience your destination. As part of AFAR’s Hotels We Love series, we’ve scoured the globe to deliver you the to 10 best hotels and resorts around the world for honeymoons, listed in no particular order—whether you’re aspiring to go on safari, escape to a sandy oceanfront retreat, or go off the grid in the mountains.

1. One&Only Palmilla

  • Location: San José del Cabo, Mexico
  • Why we love it: Swimmable beaches and sprawling accommodations
  • Book now

At the edge of the Baja Peninsula, One&Only Palmilla was originally built in 1956 as a 15-room hideaway for Don Abelardo Rodriguez, son of the then-president of Mexico. Today, it’s one of the region’s most luxurious resorts, composed of 174 oceanfront rooms and suites and two villas decorated in neutral hues and splashes of red; many have infinity pools and patios that face the Sea of Cortez.

One&Only Palmilla has one of the area’s few swimmable beaches, plus three private rocky coves complete with floating beds, lounge chairs, and dedicated butlers. Activities include snorkeling, surfing, parasailing, and golfing the award-winning 27-hole course designed by Jack Nicklaus. The massive spa’s wellness garden features a juice bar and 13 treatment villas; several have private plunge pools, rain showers, and swinging daybeds.

One&Only Palmilla is a member of EarthCheck, a scientific benchmarking certification program, for its sustainability efforts, which include a state-of-the-art water purification system that produces and bottles filtered water on site. The resort works with the Red Committee for the Protection of the Sea Turtle by helping with daily patrols of nearby nests, an activity guests can join. From $1,280.

Related: See AFAR’s full list of top resorts in Mexico.

2. Post Ranch Inn

The Post Ranch Inn with floor-to-ceiling windows on a cliff overlooking the hazy Pacific Ocean at sunset

The Post Ranch Inn sits on a cliff 1,200 feet above the Pacific Ocean.

Courtesy of Post Ranch Inn

  • Location: Big Sur, California
  • Why we love it: Uninterrupted Pacific Ocean views from well-appointed rooms
  • Loyalty program: I Prefer (Preferred Hotels & Resorts)
  • Book now

    For more than 30 years, the Post Ranch Inn, which sits along a cliff 1,200 feet above the Pacific Ocean, has been a go-to retreat for devotees who believe well-being starts with a place that honors its natural environment—and treads lightly on it, too. Big Sur architect Mickey Muennig designed the 40 guest rooms that rely on solar power; all were fashioned out of recycled wood, and the structures blend in with the Santa Lucia Mountains. Views through enormous windows face either the Pacific Ocean or the mountains. Wellness plays a role in every experience on offer, whether it’s a reflexology treatment, a shaman healing session, a doctor-led sleep program, or a private guided hike or meditation session in the nearby ancient forests. From $1,460.

    Related: See AFAR’s full list of top wellness hotels and resorts.

    3. Jade Mountain

    A view of a shallow hotel pool overlooking St. Lucia's iconic pitons

    Jade Mountain has views of St. Lucia’s iconic pitons.

    Courtesy of Jade Mountain

    • Location: St. Lucia
    • Why we love it: A resort that embraces nature with three walls
    • Book now

    A few decades ago, architect Nick Troubetzkoy and his entrepreneurial wife, Karolin, began their journey in St. Lucia, buying Anse Chastanet resort and transforming it into a Caribbean mainstay. In 2007, they opened a sister property, the 29-room Jade Mountain: a one-of-a-kind resort with open-air rooms overlooking the island’s legendary twin Pitons.

    Jade Mountain calls its 24 accommodations “sanctuaries”—and they are. With a seamless blend of bedroom, living area, and a private infinity pool, these guest rooms seem to float into nature, thanks to the absence of a fourth wall. The five Sky suites average 1,650 square feet each; instead of private pools, they have a chromatherapy bathtub large enough for two.

    Sustainability and social responsibility are at the core of Jade Mountain. The resort recently appointed a Reef Life and Renewal Ambassador to help look after the surrounding waters (guests can help plant coral in new nurseries). And a million-dollar refurbishment introduced a line of furniture crafted by the in-house carpentry masters using tropical hardwoods sourced with responsible forest management. From $1,455.

    Related: See AFAR’s full list of top hotels and resorts in the Caribbean.

    4. La Réserve Paris

    This deluxe suite at La Réserve Paris features large wingback chairs, white carpets, and floor-to-ceiling drapes.

    A deluxe suite at La Réserve Paris

    Courtesy of La Réserve Paris

    • Location: Champs-Elysées, Paris
    • Why we love it: A residential-feeling stay with standout dining
    • Loyalty program: Leaders Club (Leading Hotels of the World)
    • Book now

      Privacy and discretion reign supreme behind the iconic red door of this Jacques Garcia–styled hideaway between the Place de la Concorde and the Champs-Elysées. The smallest of the capital’s Palace hotels, La Réserve Paris is set up in a former mansion that belonged to the Duc of Morny (Napoleon III’s half-brother). The hotel maintains the feel of a private home, thanks to a mix of Second Empire decorative touches, including parquet floors, crown moldings, cordovan leather paneling, and velvet drapery. It’s easy to linger in the public areas, including the library packed with 3,000 books reserved for guests during the day, the fumoir that looks out onto a leafy courtyard, and salons with plush banquettes and club chairs.

      The 40 rooms and suites have soaring ceilings, damascene brocade and taffeta, and a variety of antique furnishings; linens are monogrammed with guest initials. But more importantly, they are incredibly spacious: 430 square feet minimum, a rarity in Paris. The USB sockets are equipped with cords for charging cell phones and tablets of all brands. The oversize minibar stocks 40 kinds of soft drinks, beers, champagne, and wine. Another plus: The courtesy car is available for all guests to use. It’s chauffeur-driven in the evening and can take you to dinner or pick you up from wherever you may be. There is plenty to do right on property, including the 52-foot swimming pool, the small spa with its hammam, and the two-Michelin-star Le Gabriel, where chef Jérôme Banctel serves reimagined French classics. From $1,830.

      Related: See AFAR’s full list of the best hotels in Paris.

      5. Forestis Dolomites

      This suite at Forestis in Italy's Dolomites region features a private balcony with mountain views.

      A suite at Forestis in Italy’s Dolomites region

      Courtesty of Forestis

      • Location: Südtirol, Dolomites, Italy
      • Why we love it: A modern-feeling hideaway with a wellness focus
      • Loyalty program: Invited (Small Luxury Hotels of the World)
      • Book now

      This former tuberculosis sanatorium designed for Austrian royalty opened in Italy’s German-speaking Südtirol in July 2020. The ski-in, ski-out Forestis Dolomites’ 62 wood-lined suites sit atop Mount Plose’s Palmschoss chairlift and overlook numerous slopes where 26 miles of piste twist and turn under the watch of the jagged, honey-colored Dolomites.

      At the property’s heart is a 21,528-square-foot spa made of mountain pine, spruce, larch, and stone pine. It uses the Celtic Tree astrology system and Celtic-based holistic treatments, which includes silent rooms for Wyda (Celtic yoga), saunas, and thermal baths. Snowshoeing, off-piste adventures, and sledding can also be arranged. From $620.

      Related: See AFAR’s full list of top ski lodges and resorts to book for a winter retreat.

      6. Origins Lodge

      The porch of a lodge with a fireplace, small pool, wooden chairs, and sofa overlooking the jungle

      Origins Lodge in Costa Rica has six one-bedroom lodges and a three-bedroom lodge.

      Courtesy of Origins Lodge

        • Location: Bijagua, Costa Rica
        • Why we love it: An off-the-grid rain forest estate
        • Book now

        Visitors are drawn to the quiet town of Bijagua for access to Tenorio National Park, home to the active Tenorio volcano, the Rio Celeste waterfall, and resident wildlife, including tapirs, howler monkeys, and sloths. Here, the Origins Lodge, which sits along a hill in an adjacent 111-acre rain forest estate, offers a stay that is both luxurious and eco-conscious. The resort, reachable via private heliport or a roughly two-hour drive past small villages, consists of six circular one-bedroom luxury lodges and one three-bedroom treetop lodge. Accommodations blend into the landscape, thanks to green roofs and natural materials like wood, bamboo, adobe, and stone. Each lodge has its own private hot tub, canopy bed, and an indoor-outdoor shower.

        Guests will notice other eco-friendly initiatives: You won’t find single-use plastic anywhere, and the large on-site organic garden and 25 beehives supply ingredients to the spa and restaurant. Meanwhile, fragrant organic bath products are made with wild ylang-ylang growing on the property. Behind the scenes, the hotel operates its own composting stations, solar water tanks, and a treatment plant for soapy water that’s reused for watering plants. One of the highlights of a stay here is a naturalist-led walk on the wildlife-rich property—keep your eyes peeled for tree frogs and toucans. From $1,175.

        Related: See AFAR’s full list of top resorts in Costa Rica.

        7. Nihi Sumba

        A treehouse with a grass roof, a small pool on the ground, and green foliage everywhere

        The Mamole Treehouse at Nihi Sumba is composed of three separate conjoined villas.

        Courtesy of NIHI Sumba

        • Location: Sumba Island, Indonesia
        • Why we love it: A wild and lavish retreat on a less-visited Indonesian island
        • Loyalty program: Leaders Club (Leading Hotels of the World)
        • Book now

        What began as a petite surf lodge next to idyllic waves is now a resort that sprawls across 667 acres in southwest Sumba. Nihi Sumba’s team has grown to more than 430 individuals, more than 90 percent of whom are Sumbanese. Each of the 28 expansive indoor-outdoor villas comes with its own butler and features a unique design, down to the shapes of the private swimming pools, the palettes (sea blues in one, jungle greens in another), and one-of-a-kind decor that’s been handwoven or carved on the island.

        Every day, the handlers at the resort’s stable open the gates to allow the 26 resident horses to make their midday run down to the beach below. The Nio Beach Club, with its wood-fired oven and infinity pool, is a prime lunchtime spot for watching the salty-maned horses frolic on the sand or even swim with guests. Breakfast and dinner, meanwhile, are served at Ombak, the sand-floored restaurant that underwent a renovation this year; guests gather for drinks at sunset and canapés at Boathouse Bar, where the last of the day’s surfers on the renowned Occy’s Left wave—capped at 10 slots per day—often put on a show.

        The resort hosts a weekly barbecue dinner featuring a short film about the inspiring medical, educational, and clean-water programming and infrastructural work of the resort’s NGO partner, Sumba Foundation. Other popular experiences include visits to local markets, ikat-weaving lessons, trips to the resort’s permaculture farm, stand-up paddleboarding on the river, and the trademarked Spa Safari, which involves unlimited, all-natural spa treatments from a perch above the ocean. From $1,231/night, full board (excluding alcohol).

        Related: Read AFAR’s full list of top luxury resorts in Bali and the Indonesian islands.

        8. Joali Being Maldives

        A biophilic-designed lodge with a triangle roof and patio, a pool in the foreground

        Joali Being Maldives has a biophilic design that reflects the natural colors of the surrounding landscape.

        Courtesy of Joali Being

        • Location: Bodufushi, Maldives
        • Why we love it: An ultra-luxe sandy getaway focused on wellness and sustainability
        • Book now

        Joali Being isn’t a wellness retreat that deprives partakers of pleasure. It sets you on a transformative path of personal renewal, but ensures that you have a lovely time while doing it. The resort’s philosophy is based on four pillars—mind, skin, microbiome, and energy—and everything is connected to one of them, including the delicious food created by chefs who understand nutrition. Days are filled with sound therapy, physical therapy sessions, and herbology tailored to guests’ needs. Sprawling villas hew to biophilic design principles that blend into the surroundings, with a color palette of sand and pistachio. But it’s also the simple things here that bring a calming sense of joy, whether you’re in the sound garden with instruments that vibrate at a cellular level, on the cycling route that winds beneath palm trees, or floating in the warm, clear waters. From $3,551.

        Related: See AFAR’s full list of top wellness hotels and resorts.

        9. andBeyond Phinda Forest Lodge

        A room with wooden walls and floors, plus two chairs and side tables facing an open view of a grass field and trees

        andBeyond Phinda Forest Lodge reopened in December 2023 following a complete renovation.

        Courtesy of andBeyond

        • Location: KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
        • Why we love it: Hands-on conservation activities from a stylish base on a groundbreaking private reserve
        • Book now

        When it first opened with a clutch of light-footprint, glass-walled hideaways, andBeyond Phinda Forest Lodge was considered revolutionary in its design. It also drew attention to a tract of critically endangered ancient sand forest within the reserve, home to two rare antelope, the suni and red duiker. Currently undergoing a reinvention, the new-look Forest Lodge has bigger, airier suites, including a new family suite, and modern safari must-haves like a state-of-the-art gym. Highlights of guided drives and walks, led by graduates of the renowned on-site ranger training school, include reliable cheetah and rhino sightings along with large elephant and buffalo herds migrating across the reserve.

        Few reserves in Africa have the biodiversity and habitat diversity Phinda Private Game Reserve offers or its long list of conservation successes and commitment to working closely with neighboring communities through the Africa Foundation. A bold restoration project on community-owned land in the heart of Zululand, this is where andBeyond’s visionary “care of the land, wildlife and people” impact model was born. Some 74,000 acres of farming land have been reclaimed for wildlife, including endangered black and white rhinos, elephants, cheetahs, lions, and elusive creatures like Temminck’s pangolins. Guests can sponsor and experience conservation in action, from rhino notching to elephant collaring, or visit a Zulu village for an immersive cultural experience. From $840.

        Related: See AFAR’s full list of top African safari camps.

        10. The Brando

        A shallow rectangular pool, the jungle to the left and a wooden lodge with lounge chairs and umbrellas to the right

        The Brando was the world’s first resort to achieve LEED Platinum certification.

        Courtesy of the Brando

        • Location: Tetiaroa, French Polynesia
        • Why we love it: A castaway setting with impressive sustainability initiatives
        • Book now

        Encompassing 35 private villas on the Motu Onetahi coast of Marlon Brando’s very own French Polynesian island, Tetiaroa, the Brando is one of the most luxurious places to stay in the South Pacific. It also has some serious sustainability cred: The LEED Platinum–certified resort—the world’s first—is carbon neutral, thanks to such efforts as an air-conditioning system that draws from cool ocean water, on-site composting, and a desalination plant that produces fresh water for the resort. The design is equally thoughtful, with a reliance on local, recycled, or renewable materials, including wood from the invasive aito (ironwood) tree and abundant pandanus leaves to cover the roofs.

        A partnership with nonprofit group Tetiaroa Society connects guests to naturalists and researchers who lead snorkeling and scuba outings and guided nature walks. Travelers with an interest in Polynesian culture may also want to test the resort’s traditional outrigger canoe on a trip out to one of the surrounding private islets that share an atoll with the Brando. All villas at this all-inclusive resort have their own private pools and direct beach access; the spa offers a range of healing modalities, including a traditional Polynesian taurumi massage. From $3,670.

        Related: Read AFAR’s full list of top hotels for architecture and design.

        Jennifer Flowers is an award-winning journalist and the senior deputy editor of Afar.
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