25 of the world’s best honeymoon hotels

CNN  — 

What makes a hotel honeymoon-worthy? For some couples, it’s far-flung solitude and breathtaking views. For others, it’s all about luxury and the royal treatment as you travel. And then, of course, there’s the growing number of newlyweds that seek action, adventure and excitement over pampering, rest and relaxation.

Whatever your preference for where you stay, we have you covered. Whether you’re after a low-key Caribbean island escape or an African safari adventure – or something else entirely – we’ve rounded up 25 of the best honeymoon hotels in the world.

1. The Resort at Pedregal (Cabo San Lucas, Mexico)

Some of the suites at The Resort at Pedregal open right onto the water.

Set on a long sweep of beach at the base of towering mountains, this dreamy resort on the Baja Peninsula of Mexico is as romantic as it gets.

Each of its 118 rooms features a roomy terrace outfitted with private hot tub overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Select casitas open directly onto the ocean – you’ll feel like you’re practically floating in open waters. And they boast private plunge pools and fire pits. The cliffside restaurant El Farallón, with its divine sunset views, makes for an unforgettable date night.

The Resort at Pedregal, Camino del Mar 1, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

From $1753 per night
Rates provided by Booking.com

2. Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru (Maldives)

Though the Four Seasons has several breathtaking properties in the Maldives – including the newly opened Voavah private island – the resort at Landaa Giraavaru is the top pick for newlyweds. Each of its 103 thatched-roof, standalone bungalows features private water access, offering the ultimate seclusion and privacy for couples.

Romantic offerings include candlelight dinners on a private sandbank, tantric couples massages and sunset champagne cruises around the surrounding UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve.

Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru, Baa Atoll, Maldives

3. Shangri-La Hotel, Paris (Paris)

There are countless honeymoon-worthy hotels in the city of love, but the Shangri-La might be the most romantic of them all. Behind its picturesque wedding-cake facade, you’ll find impossibly lush landscaped gardens, two Michelin-starred restaurants and 101 opulent, antique-filled rooms. But what sets the Shangri-La apart from the others?

Its unparalleled views of the Eiffel Tower directly across the river – it’s so close, it feels like you can reach out and touch it from your own balcony.

Shangri-La Hotel, Paris, 10 avenue d’Iéna, Paris

From $2086 per night
Rates provided by Booking.com

4. Cap Juluca (Anguilla)

Private candlelit dinners can be arranged at Cap Juluca.

Set upon the powder-white sand and turquoise-blue water of Maundays Bay, this intimate boutique hotel is one of the island’s most popular honeymoon (and wedding) destinations.

And it’s no wonder: everything about the resort feels intimate and magical, from its domed, Moorish villas to its ocean-facing Blue restaurant, situated mere steps from the ocean. Romantic activities include horseback rides along the beach at sunset and private candlelit dinners under the stars.

Cap Juluca, Anguilla; Maundays Bay, AI-2640, Anguilla

From $1425 per night
Rates provided by Booking.com

5. &Beyond Kichwa Tembo (Kenya)

If there was a safari lodge made especially for honeymooners, this would be it. With its sprawling, three-part swimming pool and chic, open-air restaurant, you could almost mistake it for a sexy Palm Springs resort – if it weren’t for the jaw-dropping views of the Masai Mara from every angle.

Its 40 revamped tents are minimalist but luxurious, decked out with plush oversized beds and roomy ensuite bathrooms. Romantic offerings include safari by hot-air balloon and sunset cocktails at Oloololo, which overlooks the expansive wilderness.

&Beyond Kichwa Tembo Tented Camp, Masai Mara, Kenya

6. Gritti Palace (Venice)

Gritti Palace rooms are furnished with Venetian antiques, exquisite original art and rich brocade silks.

Built in 1475, this stunning palazzo is one of the most luxurious and romantic hotels in La Serenissima. It occupies the loveliest spot on the Grand Canal, looking across to the magnificent Santa Maria della Salute church and the Palazzo Venier dei Leoni, home to the Guggenheim Museum.

Rooms are downright decadent, furnished with Venetian antiques, exquisite original art and rich brocade silks. Its intimate, fresco-adorned restaurant, Club del Doge, is one of the most beautiful restaurants in Venice (if not all of Italy).

Gritti Palace, Campo Santa Maria del Giglio, Venice

7. Wildflower Hall Shimla (Shimla, India)

This Oberoi property is worth visiting for the extraordinary views alone: it sits atop a mountain, 8,250 feet above sea level, and is surrounded thickly by cedar forests and wildflower fields. Its rooms are just as stunning, furnished with exquisite Colonial furniture, colorful hand-woven Indian carpets and original watercolor paintings.

Though the hotel’s main draw is its stillness and tranquility, there are still lots of low-key activities on offer for couples. Highlights include scenic guided nature hikes, mountaintop picnics and private dining inside a forest gazebo.

Wildflower Hall, Shimla Kufri Highway, Chharabra, Shimla

From $451 per night
Rates provided by Booking.com

8. Royal Mansour (Marrakech)

The elegant Royal Mansour is layered with intricate patterns.

Commissioned by King Mohammed VI, the Royal Mansour is an oasis of 53 elegant private residences, or riads, quiet courtyards and intimate restaurants just five minutes from the Jemaa el-Fnaa.

The riads are as extravagant as they come, strewn with suede and silk carpets, velvet brocade sofas and Baccarat crystal – guests will feel as if they’re living in their own private palace. Riads aside, honeymooners will love the hotel’s sumptuous private spa suites, each decked out with their own hammam, plunge pool and terrace.

Royal Mansour, Rue Abou Abbas El Sebti, Marrakech

9. Soneva Kiri (Koh Kood, Thailand)

Wedged between the jungle and the ocean on the lush, under-the-radar island of Koh Kood, Soneva Kiri makes for the perfect romantic escape. It has just 36 thatched villas, each with its own private infinity pool, sundeck and a lavish indoor-outdoor bathroom.

The resort’s pièce de résistance is its jungle-enshrouded Cinema Paradiso, an open-air movie theater set above a lagoon (date night will never be the same again).

Soneva Kiri, 110 Moo 4, Koh Kood Sub-District, Koh Kood District

From $983 per night
Rates provided by Booking.com

10. Amangiri (Utah, USA)

When it comes to desert escapes, it doesn’t get much more luxurious than Amangiri. Its 34 sleek suites are perfect for newlyweds, boasting private courtyards with show-stopping desert views, and in some cases, private pools.

Property highlights include a Navajo-inspired spa with a desert-facing water pavilion and a stunning main pool, wrapped dramatically around an enormous natural sandstone butte.

Amangiri, 1 Kayenta Road, Canyon Point, Utah

11. Helena Bay Lodge (New Zealand)

Helena Bay Lodge is located in the northeast corner of New Zealand's North Island.

With no more than 10 guests on the property at a time, this North Island hotel offers couples the utmost privacy.

Its five villas – set upon nearly two miles of windswept coastline – are cozy but luxurious, outfitted with real log-burning fireplaces and terraces overlooking Helena Bay. Property highlights include a fine-dining Italian restaurant with a 1,000-bottle wine cellar and a spa inspired by a traditional Russian banya (bath house).

Helena Bay, 1948 Russell Road, Helena Bay, New Zealand

12. Four Seasons Maui at Wailea (Hawaii, USA)

Fresh off an extensive makeover leaving guest rooms and suites plusher than ever, the Four Seasons on Wailea Beach continues its reign as Maui’s most luxurious resort.

There are even more couples’ experiences on offer now, from the adventurous (helicopter rides to neighboring Big Island) to the relaxing (couples’ instructional massages by the beach). But the most romantic experience of all is the candlelit oceanfront dinner by the famous adults-only Serenity Pool – it comes with exclusive nighttime use of the pool.

Four Seasons Maui at Wailea, 3900 Wailea Alanui Drive, Wailea, Maui, Hawaii

From $1615 per night
Rates provided by Booking.com

13. Belmond La Samanna (St. Martin)

Editor’s note: As of mid-April 2018, this resort was closed for hurricane repairs with a reopening target date by the end of 2018.

Built upon the unspoiled shores of Baie Longue, Belmond La Samanna makes for a low-key but luxurious honeymoon destination. The resort has something for every couple, whether it’s a champagne sunset cruise, an art exhibition or a jet-skiing excursion on the Dutch side of the island.

Though every room and suite at La Samanna is a dream, its eight Mediterranean-style villas –perched atop a cliff overlooking the beach – offer the most privacy (and best views).

Belmond La Samanna, Saint-Martin Cedex, French West Indies

14. Ponta dos Ganchos (Santa Catarina, Brazil)

Ponta dos Ganchos has 25 ocean-facing bungalows.

If it’s peace and relaxation you’re after, skip the glitzy resorts on Ipanema and head straight for Ponta dos Ganchos, a romantic hideaway on the picturesque Emerald Coast Brazil.

Its 25 ocean-facing bungalows are hidden blissfully inside a rainforest and are luxurious to boot – think infinity plunge pools, deep-soaking hot tubs and even private saunas. Added bonus: It’s adults-only, making it that much more tranquil.

Ponta dos Ganchos, Rua Eupídeo Alves do Nascimento, 104, Gov. Celso Ramos, Santa Catarina, Brazil

From $633 per night
Rates provided by Booking.com

15. The Beverly Hilton Hotel (Los Angeles, California)

Though it’s best known for being home to the Golden Globes – historically held in its ballroom every year – this historic Beverly Hills hotel is as romantic as it is glamorous. Everything about the property feels understated but sexy, from the retro, dimly lit Circa 55 restaurant to the classic Hollywood-style pool, heated to 75 degrees year-round and open 24/7 in case you fancy a midnight dip.

Cabana suites are breezy and tropically inspired and open directly onto the pool deck, but the most romantic rooms are in the Wilshire tower: they’re bright and airy, with wraparound terraces and heart-stopping views over Beverly Hills and the glittering Los Angeles skyline.

The Beverly Hilton, 9876 Wilshire Boulevard, Beverly Hills, California

From $408 per night
Rates provided by Booking.com

16. La Bastide de Gordes (Gordes, France)

Perched on a cliff next to a 12th-century castle in the picturesque Luberon village of Gordes, La Bastide is romantic by default. Its fresco-adorned rooms and suites, decorated thoughtfully with Louis XV antiques and plush Provencal fabrics, further add to its rustic charm.

And after a 20 million euro revamp in 2015, it’s more luxurious than ever with a new Sisley spa, four swimming pools and a second restaurant by Michelin-starred chef Pierre Gagnaire.

La Bastide de Gordes, Rue de la Combe, Gordes, France

17. Conrad Bora Bora Nui (Bora Bora)

The Conrad Bora Bora Nui's bathrooms leave little to be desired.

Though you’d be hard-pressed to find a resort that’s not honeymoon-worthy in Bora Bora, this resort is one of the most impressive the destination has to offer.

For starters, it has two-story overwater bungalows, offering extra space (over 3,000 square feet) and added privacy. There’s also a hilltop spa, a white-sand beach, an infinity pool with a swim-up bar and a sunset lounge with a glass floor that offers a glimpse into the coral reefs below.

Conrad Bora Bora Nui, BP 502 Vaitape, Bora Bora

From $2569 per night
Rates provided by Booking.com

18. Southern Ocean Lodge (Australia)

Built atop scrub-covered bluffs on the southwest tip of far-flung Kangaroo Island, this isn’t your typical romantic retreat. The landscape here is wild and rugged rather than breezy and tropical, but that just makes it all the more special.

Each of its 21 glass-fronted suites are cantilevered to ensure jaw-dropping panoramas over windswept Hanson Bay. And though the resort is eco-friendly and built entirely from sustainable materials, it’s also incredibly luxurious: each suite has a private terrace, sunken lounge and a deep-soak tub with a view.

Southern Ocean Lodge, Hanson Bay Road, Kingscote SA, Australia

19. Four Seasons Resort Serengeti (Tanzania)

Reclining is an adventure in the Serengeti.

When it comes to romance, the Four Seasons seems to get it right every time – even in the middle of the wilderness. Its magnificent Serengeti property offers a vast menu of couples’ offerings, from floating sunset dinners atop the desert-facing pool to burudika spa treatments using local plants and healing minerals.

Its 77 rooms are luxurious yet blend seamlessly into the environment with their thatched-grass roofs and neutral, earthy color palettes. All have open-air sundecks and several even offer private infinity-edge pools that face directly out onto the watering hole.

Four Seasons Serengeti, Central Serengeti, Serengeti National Park, Arusha, Tanzania

20. InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort (Danang, Vietnam)

Just looking at this resort on Vietnam’s Son Tra peninsula is enough to inspire romance: its whitewashed villas cascade dramatically down a green mountainside into the ocean.

Its 200 rooms and suites are just as heavenly, outfitted with sprawling terraces and spa-like bathrooms with ocean-facing tubs. Its signature restaurant, Citron, takes date nights to whole new heights, quite literally: couples can dine in a cone suspended over the mountain. But perhaps most romantic of all is the resort’s adults-only infinity pool, which overlooks the pristine white sand beach below.

InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort, Bai Bac, Son Tra Peninsula, Danang, Vietnam

From $667 per night
Rates provided by Booking.com

21. Marquis Los Cabos Resort & Spa (San José del Cabo, Mexico)

Infinity pools seem to flow right into the sea at the Marquis Los Cabos.

There’s something for every couple at this all-inclusive, adults-only resort, built along a picturesque stretch of coastline on the emerald-blue Sea of Cortez. Its never-ending menu of couples-friendly diversions includes dance lessons, tequila tastings and his-and-hers massages at the 13,000-square-foot Spa Marquis.

There are three oceanfront infinity pools and a pristine beach to enjoy, as well, with water activities to boot. Of course, that’s only if you can drag yourself from your ocean-facing casita – rooms here are so colorful, charming and luxurious that you might never want to leave.

Marquis Los Cabos Resort & Spa, Carretera Transpeninsular KM 21.5, Fracc. Cabo Real, San Jose del Cabo, Mexico

22. The Caves (Negril, Jamaica)

With its breezy, bohemian vibe and dramatic cliffside setting, the adults-only Caves hotel is considered one of Jamaica’s most romantic escapes. Its 11 colorful cottages and suites are built along lush, foliage-lined paths and dramatic seaside cliffs carved with stairways leading down into the ocean.

Property highlights include a lovely Aveda mini-spa perched above the water, a romantic bar built inside of a grotto and dining in the al fresco gazebo. But what you’re here for is the famous cave dinner – a private, five-course dinner set inside a cave that’s lit up with dozens of flickering candles.

The Caves, 144 One Love Drive, Negril, Jamaica

23. Halekulani (Honolulu, Hawaii)

There are certainly newer and flashier hotels in Honolulu but the iconic Halekulani, built in 1883, remains the top choice for a romantic getaway. It’s luxurious but low-key, elegant but understated, and remains miraculously Zen-like despite its prime beachfront location.

Its oceanfront freshwater pool – laid with 1.2 million pieces of blue glass in the shape of an orchid – is easily the most luxurious on Waikiki. And there’s no more romantic way to spend an evening than listening to live ukulele ballads under the stars at House Without a Key, Halekulani’s signature restaurant.

Halekulani, 2199 Kalia Road. Honolulu, Hawaii

From $665 per night
Rates provided by Booking.com

24. Il Sireno Hotel (Lake Como, Italy)

Unlike the lavish, over-the-top palazzos strewn along the shores of Lake Como, the Il Sereno is refreshingly minimalist, sleek and ultramodern. In fact, it feels more like an urban boutique hotel than your typical Italian lakeside retreat – and that’s precisely what makes it so intriguing.

This decidedly noncliché Como getaway has just 30 wood-and-stone suites that allow its spectacular lakeside setting to steal the show. Romantic offerings include couples’ cooking classes and Riva boat tours of the lake, but let’s face it – those Como views alone will be enough to get you in the mood for a little amore.

Il Sireno Hotel, Via Torrazza 10, 22020 Torno CO, Italy

25. Secret Bay (Dominica)

With just eight bungalows hidden amid thick, jungle-like foliage on the face of a cliff looking over the ocean, Secret Bay feels as if it were built specifically for honeymooners.

Bungalows are equipped with so many luxurious features – hammocks, plunge pools, sundecks, personal libraries, chef’s kitchens – there’s not a single reason for you to leave. But you must, if only to watch the sun set over the Caribbean Ocean from the gorgeous Vetiver Sunset Deck.

Secret Bay, Ross Blvd, Dominica

Krisanne Fordham has written for Conde Nast Traveler, Fodor’s Travel, Departures and Travel + Leisure. She grew up in Sydney and now splits time between Umbria, Italy and New York.