Gundari, Folegandros, Greece
A Greek island makes for an ever-romantic escape à deux, but, while Santorini is one of the most Instagrammed honeymoon destinations, there are wilder, less crowded Cyclades islands to explore. The small and unspoiled Folegandros is a nearby neighbor, with a few charming villages and a ruggedly beautiful landscape. Gundari is a new boutique all-suite hotel on the island, set on the cliffs overlooking the Aegean. Each of the 25 suites has its own infinity pool, while the hotel also has a cliff-side pool with swim-up cocktail bar, and an organic farm with an atmospheric wine bar and farm-to-plate restaurant.
Kamalaya, Koh Samui, Thailand
If a tranquil, rejuvenating start to wedded bliss appeals, Kamalaya is a serene wellness-focused sanctuary on the southern coast of Koh Samui (which, incidentally, is the rumored location for The White Lotus season three). The accommodation options here are soothing, understatedly luxurious rooms, suites and villas, opening out onto the stunning natural surroundings of rocky cliffs, a private beach and lush hills. But the most important elements of a stay at Kamalaya are the wellness programs, curated by consultants and spa therapists with an ethos of ancient Eastern healing, combined with modern medical research and the restorative powers of nature.
The Homestead, South Africa
For those hooked on the thought of a safari honeymoon, The Homestead is a glorious new opening offering a once-in-a-lifetime adventure. Situated on the dramatic Nambiti Private Game Reserve, in the KwaZulu-Natal region of South Africa, the area is one of the few places where there are opportunities to get close to the Big Five, as well as over 50 protected mammal and 300 bird species. The accommodation consists of 12 thoughtfully designed suites, with a joyfully vivid aesthetic and sweeping views of the majestic landscape from the private decks and infinity pools. Designed to meld into the natural environment, the lodge is built from local ironstone and the roof is planted with indigenous grasses. It is also committed to conservation and sustainability efforts that include breeding and preservation programs for endangered species, as well as the use of a fleet of upcycled, all-electric SUVs as the resort’s safari vehicles. Beyond game drives, The Homestead will also offer experiences such as photography classes, hiking through the Drakensberg, stargazing, cooking lessons, and camping high up in the mountains.
Vestige Son Vell, Menorca, Spain
On the beautiful and laid-back Balearic island of Menorca – quieter sister to Ibiza and Mallorca – Vestige Son Vell is one of the recent openings causing a buzz about the island. Dating back to the 18th century, the magnificent manor house and its 180-hectare estate have undergone a meticulous, four-year reimagination at the hands of historians, designers, craftspeople and artists. Now fit for a fairy tale, it stands amid a dreamy oasis of citrus and olive groves, with verdant gardens and a stunning pool. There are also two restaurants serving Menorcan cuisine, using ingredients that are sourced from the hotel’s farmland. Long, sun-kissed days can turn into long, starry evenings, with activities spanning everything from pétanque and cookery classes to wine tastings, live music and alfresco cinema screenings.
Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, a Belmond Train, Europe
A decadently iconic way to travel, the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express is the most glamorous and romantic way to take in some of Europe’s most sensational sights. Journey between cities including Verona, Rome, Florence, Amsterdam, Paris, Geneva and Budapest, as well as magical mountain views on the winter Alpine routes. Once on board, you can immerse yourself in the Golden Age of train travel, while taking in the glorious scenery as it glides past the windows, drinking and dining in the 1920s dining carriages and sipping champagne in the legendary bar car, 3674. The plush, recently unveiled suites, adorned in art deco designs, feature ensuite marble bathrooms and luxurious beds that convert into a lounge area by day.
Our Habitas Atacama, Chile
If thrilling exploration is on the cards for the post-nuptial plan, then one of Habitas’ cool new openings is located in Chile’s San Pedro de Atacama. An impeccably designed desert refuge, where the rooms are decked out with local textiles and furnishings, Our Habitas Atacama is the perfect spot from which to explore the ethereal, otherworldly landscape that stretches across salt flats and arid desert to volcanoes, geysers and hot springs. The hotel’s highlights are the pool, restaurant and bar, which serve seasonal ingredients, including herbs that honor the tastes of the desert. Adventurous pursuits include hiking, biking, mountaineering and paragliding, but the most romantic of all the opportunities here is stargazing under the astonishing spectacle of the Chilean night sky.