Where couples are honeymooning now
Best bargain: Mérida, Mexico
Why go: You’ll be lured by the sumptuous pink-sand beaches, storybook architecture and charming English influences.
Where to stay: Part of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, the 98-room Elbow Beach, Bermuda epitomizes modern, sophisticated luxury (from $595, MandarinOriental.com/bermuda).
What to do: Rent a moped to cruise the island. Close to Elbow Beach’s shores, explore the underwater wreckage of The Pollockshields, a 1915 cargo steamer.
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By: Nancy Rones
Best beaches: Kauai, Hawaii
Why go: On Kauai, you can scope out towering waterfalls, rugged cliffs, traditional towns and 50 miles of stellar beaches.
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Where to stay: No worries if you’re not great at sharing your patch of sand: The Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa is the only property on a 50-acre-wide beach. Play in the ocean or float around in the sand-bottom, saltwater lagoon; honeymooners get a waterside cabana comped for a day (from $440, Kauai.Hyatt.com).
What to do: Witness the monumental cliffs jutting off the Na Pali Coast on a boat tour. Trot past secluded beaches on horseback.
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Most adventurous: Queenstown, New Zealand
Why go: Do as the hobbits did in this country: Go on an action-packed journey (minus the goblins). Your bull’s-eye is the alpine city of Queenstown, dubbed “the adventure capital of the world.”
Where to stay: After your exciting outings, the upscale Matakauri Lodge is the ideal place to zone out. The serene setting on mountain-lined Lake Wakatipu seems too lovely to be real (from about $502, including breakfast and dinner, Matakauri.co.nz).
What to do: Careen through canyons on a high-speed jet boat. Go tandem bungee jumping off the Kawarau Bridge.
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Most adventurous: St. Lucia
Why go: Soothe your restless spirits with a landscape that includes a drive-in volcano, lively coral reefs and the epic twin Pitons that soar from the aqua sea.
Where to stay: At Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort, the chic, plantation-style Luxury Villas—done up in crisp whites with hardwood floors—look as if they’ve jumped off the pages of a design magazine. Another cool element on the property: tree-house treatment gazebos at the Rainforest Spa (Luxury Villas from $715, SugarBeachViceroy.com).
What to do: Climb to the peak of Gros Piton (you’ll have a lot to brag about later). Sign up at the resort’s Dive Center to explore the National Marine Reserve at the foot of Petit Piton.
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Most exotic: Bangkok, Thailand
Why go: Witness perfect harmony: Depending on where you’re standing in this bustling city, you’ll either see a contemporary metropolis with first-class hotels and upscale shopping, or an old-world mecca with gilded Buddhist temples and folks following traditional ways of life.
Where to stay: Commanding the top floors of a modern Bangkok building, the Tower Club at lebua is an all-suite retreat with velvet-rope-type appeal. Guests have access to the Tower Club Lounge for apps and drinks, plus priority reservations at The Dome, a collection of exclusive restaurants above the hotel (from $559, lebua.com/en/tower-club/).
What to do: Go old-school: Visit the Grand Palace, the giant reclining Buddha of Wat Pho and a floating market. Then go the polar opposite: Touch the stars at swanky Sirocco, the world’s highest alfresco restaurant, on the 63rd floor in The Dome.
Most romantic: Bora Bora, French Polynesia
Why go: We’re not sure even Crayola could pump out the brilliant blues and greens of Bora Bora’s stunning lagoons and coconut forests. One word that describes this destination: magical. It’s no wonder this is a honeymooner’s dream—and truly worth the ultra-long travel time.
Where to stay: Fringing a crystal-clear lagoon on a six-mile islet, Le Méridien Bora Bora provides VIP views of the famous Otemanu Mountain. Sleep in a secluded bungalow on the beach or in an overwater bungalow—some have large glass floors for prime sea-life spying (from $745, LeMeridien-BoraBora.com).
What to do: Sail along the lagoon in a traditional Polynesian pirogue (a flatbottomed boat). Sink your toes into the sand over a lovey-dovey lunch at Te Ava, the resort’s beachfront restaurant.
Most romantic: Charleston, South Carolina
Why go: Southern hospitality is very much alive in this vibrant city that delightfully struts its historical past (think: antebellum mansions, plantations and culinary institutions).
Where to stay: Low-Country charm is off the charts at the elegant Planters Inn. The four-poster beds, nightly turndowns (with chocolate), free coffee and tea service in the parlor and super-gracious staff are all proof (from $339, PlantersInn.com).
What to do: Take a private horse and carriage ride around the historic district. Tour Boone Hall Plantation (where Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds wed); snap a photo by the amazing live oaks dripping with Spanish moss (BooneHallPlantation.com).
Most romantic: Puglia, Italy
Why go: Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel had the right idea getting hitched along the Adriatic in the “heel” of boot-shaped Italy. The food (the Altamura bread is to die for), the wine and the scenery will fire up your amore.
Where to stay: Follow the lead of the A-list couple and celebrate your love at Borgo Egnazia seaside resort. Privacy-loving couples can seek refuge in the Mediterranean-style La Corte rooms. It’s also the perfect setting for a destination wedding (La Corte rooms from about $298, BorgoEgnazia.com).
What to do: Plunge into the sea at the resort’s Cala Masciola beach club, where you can dine on fresh grilled fish on a rugged rock outcropping. Discover the nearby picturesque towns, including Ostuni, Martina Franca and Brindisi.
Most exotic: Agra, India
Why go: This city is filled with historical wonders, including the world’s most significant monument of love, the Taj Mahal.
Where to stay: All guests of The Oberoi Amarvilas score a priceless view of the opulent Taj Mahal (from about $772, OberoiHotels.com/oberoi_amarvilas).
What to do: Take a hotel buggy to see the Taj Mahal up close. (Timing tip: The monument is only open for night viewing five evenings per month around the full moon.) Participate in a Hindu Blessing Ceremony at The Oberoi for good luck and happiness.
Best bargain: Budapest, Hungary
Why go: Since the fall of Communism, this cultural jewel in Eastern Europe has hung on to some old ways, but it’s definitely made moves toward modernization. See the contrast before the city’s prices catch up with the spendy Western European cities.
Where to stay: The boutique Lánchíd 19 Design Hotel is über-chic and has a dramatic interactive facade featuring changing images. Equally dramatic is the hotel’s venerable location along the Danube and near the Chain Bridge that takes you to Pest (from about $125, Lanchid19Hotel.hu).
What to do: You won’t want to miss the Buda Castle and the Matthias Church. Soak in the local culture at the Costco-size bathhouse Széchenyi.