You just had the winter wedding you always dreamed of. Now it’s time to getaway and celebrate the start of your new life together in a warm and romantic place. The world is full of beautiful gems fit for honeymoon bliss. But with so many options, deciding on where to go can be difficult. Start by considering what kind of vacation you as a couple really want. Do you want to spend your days relaxing on the beach sipping umbrella cocktails from a coconut? Or would you rather discover a new place by taking in its local culture, traditions, and cuisine? To help the couple planning their post-nuptial holiday, we reached out to some of NYC’s favorite luxury travel specialists for their expert advice on the best warm honeymoon destinations for 2018.
Irina Vishnevskaya, Founder of allé travel
For Couples Who Want A Relaxing Beach Honeymoon
Zanzibar. Sounds romantic and alluring but you have no idea where it is? You’re not the only one. Zanzibar is an island located just 22 miles off the coast of Tanzania, Africa. This group of islands is world-famous for picture perfect beach scenes, deep-sea fishing and spectacular coral reefs. Here you can swim, snorkel or just lounge the hours away, while shoals of luminous fish graze over nearby coral gardens and pods of dolphins frolic offshore. It’s also called “spice island” because there are many amazing spice plantations to visit and check out cloves, cardamom, ginger and nutmeg being grown. Additionally, there are action filled markets and some great surfing too. It’s a destination high on beauty and relaxation with plenty of opportunity to mix it up with some other great activities. In the island’s capital, Zanzibar Town, sits the historic quarter of Stone Town, with a mesmerizing mix of influences from Africa, Arabia, India and Europe.
When To Go
December through March is summer on the island, meaning the days are hot and sunny with often not a cloud in the sky. Extra bonus: the ultra-clear night skies offer perfect opportunities for star-gazing or romantic evenings on the beach.
For Couples Who Want to Experience It All On Their Honeymoon
We at allé are obsessed with Sri Lanka these days. This enigmatic island nation in south Asia basically has it all: fantastic beaches, natural wonders, centuries old ruins, majestic temples, wildlife, and thrilling adventures. Often referred to as India-lite, Sri Lanka offers all the benefits of a culture and tradition-rich honeymoon, along with accommodations and experiences that pamper and make it feel like a really special trip- as it should, it’s your honeymoon, after all! Here you can experience the unique Sri Lankan cuisine in a range of street stalls and high end restaurants, visit spice gardens, trek through tea plantations and meditate in 2,000 year old cave temples. Best of all, you can mix all this with a bit of beach-bumming – the beaches here are the secluded, romantic type. And that’s not all — you can also hang out with elephants in humane elephant sanctuaries and go on safaris to see leopards and monkeys.
When To Go
Strangely, Sri Lanka is affected by two different monsoon seasons, which strike different parts of the island at different times. Though it sounds complicated, this also means that it’s always a good time to visit the island; our favorite time to go to the island is the winter months (December- March), that’s when the inland areas and south and west coast are the driest.
Ashley Lancer, Senior Leisure Advisor at Valerie Wilson Travel
For Couples Who Want A Relaxing Beach Honeymoon
Mexico’s Riviera Maya, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, and Jamaica are going to be your best options – they offer the best flight lifts and all-inclusive hotel packages. However, if you want crystal clear water and powder white sandy beaches, then I suggest Turks & Caicos, Grand Cayman, Barbados, and the Virgin Islands. This is the general consensus because most of our clients are based on the East Coast. If you are leaving from the West Coast, Hawaii and Cabo are great options.
Where To Stay:
My top honeymoon resort suggestions are Nizuc, Viceroy, Hotel Escencia, and Thompson Playa del Carmen in Riviera Maya, Mexico. Amanera in Dominican Republic is wonderful. We love the St. Regis and Ritz Dorado Reserve in Puerto Rico, and the Grace Bay Cub, Shore Club, Gansevort, and Beach House in Turks & Caicos. The Ritz and Seafire in Grand Cayman, and the Fairmont in Barbados never disappoint.
For Couples Who Want To Experience It All On Their Honeymoon
St. Lucia doesn’t necessarily have local culture and and traditions, but it does offer a lot of opportunities for honeymooners who want to explore and seek out adventure. Central America is a great destination for anyone who wants to experience local culture and hike breathtaking natural landscapes. Costa Rica is very hot right now, but Nicaragua and Belize are becoming more popular.
Do You Have Any Travel Advice For Winter Honeymooners?
With great weather all year round, French Polynesia is a warm weather destination that offers the chance to stay in tranquil overwater bungalows. Maldives is also popular, but not as accessible to US travelers. Europe is amazing, but don’t expect warm weather. If you are interested in this experience, a good time to go is during the holiday markets. Any place south of the equator is going to be in opposite season, thus have warm weather. A favorite destination for honeymooners is South Africa, which I call the Trifecta. It has great food, culture, and city vibes in Cape Town. After, you can spend a few days in wine country outside of Cape Town, venture over to Krugar for a three to four day safari, and then end on the beach in Mauritius or Mozambique.
And now we have a serious case of wanderlust! A big thank you to our contributors Irina and Ashley for sharing their travel wisdom with our readers! With this guide, planning a romantic and unforgettable honeymoon someplace warm will be smooth sailing.