It’s fair to assume that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will have privacy and perhaps a touch of adventure on their 2018 honeymoon must-have list. For the rest of us, will it be a staycation or long-haul, budget or blow the budget…?
Whatever type of honeymoon you’re looking for, there’s a romantic escape to suit – and with some luxurious new openings next year, here’s my pick of the hottest new honeymoons for 2018 from tropical idylls to wintry wonderlands.
1. Castle-hopping in Scotland
What’s more memorable than staying in a castle on your honeymoon? Staying in two castles… Perfect if you’re planning a minimoon or prefer to honeymoon at home, this Scottish break from McKinlay Kidd visits two locations on the west coast of Scotland, the Isle of Eriska and Fonab Castle in Perthshire.
Along with dramatic scenery, delicious food and pampering spa treatments, you can also opt for a luxurious Tesla Model S electric car to transport you between the two.
2. Northern Lights chic
Watching the Northern Lights swirl and dazzle across the sky is always a breath-taking experience – but standing around in the cold for hours waiting for them to appear will take your breath away for another reason.
Instead, add some honeymoon style with a stay at the Boutique Wilderness Hotel Nangu, new for 2018 from The Aurora Zone. Set in a remote spot by unspoiled Lake Inari, this adult-only gem looks out across the snow and icy water with its expanse of dark sky above, perfect for spying the Aurora Borealis before days husky sledding, snow shoeing and spotting reindeer.
3. All-in-one Cambodia
Cambodia features on more than a few bucket lists and two new properties opening in 2018 make a honeymoon here even more tempting. Six Senses Krabey Island is set on a small island off the south coast with 40 private villas and an indulgent spa for a chance to relax on the beach in style.
Luxury tented camp Shinta Mani Wild is opening in the nearby Cardamom Mountains later in the year. Start at sister property Shinta Mani Angkor in Siem Reap, itself adding 10 stylish new villas, for a boutique base to see Angkor Wat, finishing with a stop at Raffles le Royal in Phnom Penh. It’s the perfect mix of temples, city, rainforest and beach in one trip! Book with Selective Asia.
4. Chile is hot
Named Lonely Planet’s top destination for 2018, take inspiration from the experts as it’s perfect for a honeymoon. With beautiful lakes, dramatic volcanoes, desert, mountains, wildlife, cities and vineyards, it’s easy to find culture and adventure.
With tailormade trips, Chilean honeymoon ideas from Exsus include the country’s spectacular scenery if you’re outdoorsy in the Volcanoes, Glaciers and Deserts itinerary, or a gentler introduction with the Classic Experience. For first timers, the Country of Contrasts tour has a little of everything, not to mention luxurious hotels, plus you could add Easter Island to see the famously mysterious Moai statues too.
5. Escape to love island
The Greek islands were once home to the goddess of love, according to legend, so it’s hard to go wrong by picking one for a romantic honeymoon – especially at the newest addition to the Ikos Resorts group on Corfu.
Opening in May, Ikos Dassia is the first luxury all-inclusive hotel on the island with seven pools, Michelin-starred chefs behind some of the eight restaurants and 10 bars, plus the Dine-Out offering to let you discover a taste of the island at local restaurants without losing the ease of all-inclusive. If you’re honeymooning with your kids, there are fantastic facilities for children – and adult-only areas if you’re not.
6. Intimate Indian escape
If barefoot luxury is more your style, a romantic retreat that’s under the radar equals the perfect intimate honeymoon. The Cape Goa in India opened just months ago so it’s still something of an insider secret. Set above a quiet cove in less-developed southern Goa, just four luxe thatched cottages enjoy both their own restaurant and some spectacular sunsets.
Designed to blend in with the palm trees, the simple cottages are secretly hugely indulgent with sea view Jacuzzis on sun decks, indoor-outdoor bathrooms and huge beds. Book Ayurvedic massages on your deck and enjoy the bargain price tag which means you can check in for twice as long. Book with i-escape.
7. The best of the Caribbean
There’s a reason that the Caribbean tops so many honeymoon wishlists – the chance to chill out and discover each island’s unique culture is as tempting as the white sand and turquoise seas. And Calabash Luxury Boutique Hotel & Spa in Grenada, named TripAdvisor’s top hotel in the Caribbean for 2017 has just been made a member of the prestigious Relais & Chateau group after a renovation.
With honeymooners getting a complimentary couples massage, room upgrade, Prosecco on arrival and a romantic candlelit dinner for two on the beach, you can start each day with breakfast on your private balcony while some suites have private pools too. Book with Classic Collection.
8. White Isle style
A few years ago, a honeymoon in Ibiza might have raised eyebrows – but the White Isle has been steadily adding more luxurious offerings to its traditional boho and clubbing temptations. And one of the most recent, the Nobu Hotel Ibiza Bay near Unesco listed Ibiza Town, is set to be one of the island’s hottest spots for 2018.
With its own Nobu restaurant, a laid-back beach club vibe and direct access to Talamanca Bay, the rooms have mini cocktail bars while the private terraces of the Presidential and Royal Suites feel more like seafront villas. Book with Sovereign Luxury Travel.
9. Adults-only Mauritius
For those in the know, the west coast of Mauritius has always been the place to check in if you want sunset views over the Indian Ocean. And the Victoria Beachcomber Resort has been tempting honeymooners for years thanks to its great location for exploring the island as well.
Ready for 2018, the hotel is opening a new adults-only wing with the first swim-up pool rooms on Mauritius, along with a new restaurant and adults-only pool. Around half the rooms will look out over the lagoon as well. Surely enough to convince anyone?
10. Island hopping in Thailand
One of the hardest decisions about a honeymoon in Thailand is which of the beautiful islands to visit – so a new island-hopping honeymoon from Audley Travel solves that dilemma. Start on Koh Samui at the Anantara Bo Phut Resort, a short walk from the restaurants of Fisherman’s Village and home to a superb spa.
The second stop is Koh Phangan for some low-key luxury at Anantara Rasananda Koh Phangan Villas where all the suites and villas have their own pool, along with a chic restaurant on the beach. Angthong National Marine park is a short boat ride away for sublime snorkelling and diving too.
For more romantic ideas visit 101 Honeymoons