SER CASASANDRA, Holbox Island, Mexico
If your idea of romantic relaxation is to kick off your shoes and pad around in a sarong all day, then Ser Casasandra is your boho beach paradise: think gauze-draped four posters (where staff leave you a Frederico García Lorca poem on your pillow at turn-down), veranda hammocks and sunset mojitos at the bar. With only 18 rooms, one luxury villa and 1.5km of beach to play with, it has an intimate vibe and an easy-breezy ethos; help yourself to bikes and the electric carts or glass kayaks to explore the tiny car-free island and marine biosphere.
IL PELLICANO, Tuscany, Italy
Since 1965, this icon of elegance and luxury on the wild rugged promontory of the Argentario has hosted summer family vacations, honeymoons and romantic assignations. While it has been constantly updated – the youngest family member, Marie-Louise Sciò, is now at the helm – the atmosphere remains defiantly old-school; all Tuscan terracotta, chintz and heirloom walnut antiques. Days are spent playing tennis or lounging beside the large pool or on the private bathing platform above the Tyrrhenian Sea, where you can enjoy lingering lunches – in the heat of the summer, a fine water spray cools diners as they eat.
LIME WOOD LAKE CABIN, New Forest, UK
This wooden cube, cantilevered over a lake, is the perfect love shack in the New Forest. It’s the latest addition to the sprawling Lime Wood mansion, with sliding glass walls on all sides to allow sunlight and views to flood in. Clad in reclaimed timber inside and out, the style is cozy rusticity. The silvered claw-foot alfresco bathtub, wood-burning stove on the terrace, a little bridge to a perfect picnic spot on a small island in the lake, the old-fashioned pushbikes left at the front door… Romantic possibilities abound.
NOBU RYOKAN MALIBU, California
This new 16-bedroom Japanese beach house, the first hotel offshoot of the legendary Nobu kitchen, is the perfect relaxation retreat in Malibu. Designed like a Japanese ryokan, the minimalist interiors and the boom of the surf encourage instant decompression. Steps lead down from the property to Carbon Beach, where you can walk for miles in either direction; to Nobu restaurant itself next door, or to trek the many canyons that branch off the coast. Guests mostly tend to hole up for days in their sensational ocean-facing suites, ordering Nobu on room service and eating beside the hearth on chilly nights.
GRAND HOTEL TREMEZZO Lake Como, Italy
Enjoying a peerless vantage point over Lake Como, the Grand Hotel Tremezzo is the honeymoon retreat of dreams with its most romantic suite, the ‘Maria’, enjoying top-floor views over the lake, complete with a Juliet balcony, a red porphyry bathtub and billowy four-poster. New this season, the fabulous baroque 16th century Villa Sola Cabiati in the hotel grounds offers not just an incredible wedding venue, but the possibility of a rarefied honeymoon escape with outdoor heated pool, full staff – including a boatman, boat and private dock (not to mention a restored riva) – plus the possibility of a vintage Alfa Romeo to explore the region’s high roads.
ALEXA Indonesian Archipelago
The all-white, pared-down aesthetic of this traditional phinisi with its crew of eight (including a masseur and wine master) and one huge guest suite (made for just two), makes it the ultimate love boat. Sailing the protected waters of the islands around Flores, which lies just beyond Bali, the crew of the Alexa will set up picnics on remote pink sand beaches, or make up your bed for you on the upper deck beneath the rigging and the shooting stars. When the sails are up, it’s like floating on a cloud.
MORGAN’S ROCK Nicaragua
If an immaculate, deserted beach constitutes your idea of blissful relaxation, then Morgan’s Rock Hacienda & Ecolodge on a remote sandy bay on the Pacific coast of Nicaragua, at the edge of a vast 4,000-acre rainforest reserve, is a paradise. Nesting turtles come to lay their eggs in season, and there is horse riding along the sandy shoreline, kayaking and birdwatching in the adjoining riverine lagoon, or paddle boarding at low tide, all of which can be booked via Dominic Allan of Real Latin America. Massages are available in open-sided huts on the water’s edge, and all the villas and cottages have hanging daybeds strung onto their private decks to make the best of the ocean views.
DEPLAR FARM AND THE BLUE LAGOON Iceland
The haunting beauty of Iceland makes for an unforgettable experience. Deplar Farm is a hideaway on the remote Troll Peninsula, where you can experience every kind of outdoor adventure, luxuriate in the midnight sun and enjoy the extreme comfort of the lodge. The new Retreat at the Blue Lagoon offers a sanctuary to unwind from wedding stress surrounded by private, health-giving geothermal pools, and yoga and hiking on tap. Travel specialist Blue Marble Private can tailor-make a journey that links these highlights of Iceland to its neighbor, Greenland, by private jet for the ultimate adventure honeymoon.
EROSANTORINI Santorini, Greece
It’s all about the view here, and the newly opened Erosantorini, built 1,000-ft above the wine-dark seas of the caldera on the highest part of the island, offers the most mind-expanding panorama of the surrounding Aegean. On this two-acre estate, there is enough space and privacy to escape the selfie-wielding crowds that surge through the narrow cobbled streets of Oia and Fira. With bespoke menus, a large infinity pool cascading over three levels with underwater music, an outdoor cinema, floating fireplaces and a private yacht, this is real luxury.