10 unique honeymoon destinations for the trip of a lifetime
Out of this world
Hands up if you're tired of the same old honeymoon destinations — snorkelling in the Maldives, sneaking a kiss on a gondola in Venice, or enjoying a sunset tipple in Santorini. Been there, done that. In fact, there's no greater mood killer than flight attendants bring out mini celebratory cakes to about 30 couples before touching down. You might as well be part of a mass wedding ceremony.
To help us decipher the best new hotspots to travel to, we enlisted the help of luxury travel operator Scott Dunn. These 10 places are certain to incite envy amongst all.
If you're a couple with a passion for the outdoors, good food and culture, but looking for something a little different for your honeymoon, this one is right up your alley. A trip to one of Europe's most stunning ski regions in Italy — the Dolomites — is spectacular in both summer and winter seasons. One of our favourite hotels there is the timelessly elegant, Rosa Alpina Hotel & Spa, a luxury five-star hotel with magnificent views over San Cassiano and its surrounding mountains. This family-run hotel is famous for their warm Italian hospitality, as well as their two-Michelin star restaurant. Continue your Italian adventure with a romantic escape to the eternally beautiful city of Venice. Being an UNESCO World Heritage Site, there is no other place in the world that can compete with its 117 islands, 150 canals, 400 bridges, and myriad of winding streets, where you can lose yourself for hours. Stay at the sumptuous Bauer Il Palazzo, a stunning boutique hotel in the heart of Venice on the Grand Canal, just a few steps away from Piazza San Marco.
Insider tip: Plan and book your trip in advance to overlap with the Venice Carnival for an unforgettable experience.
Start married life with an action-packed, adventure-filled and decidedly romantic honeymoon in one of the most beautiful countries on this planet. With its striking landscapes, vibrant forests, incredible wildlife and great, moderate climate, New Zealand provides the perfect backdrop for an unforgettable, well-balanced honeymoon. Highlights include Heli-hiking on Mount Cook, whale-watching at Kaikoura, sampling fine wines in the Marlborough wine region and kayaking the Sounds. Discover New Zealand in style by staying at the famous and exclusive 'Super Lodges', which includes Kauri Cliffs, Huka Lodge, The Farm at Cape Kidnappers, Otahuna Lodge and Blanket Bay.
Insider tip: Request a private dinner at Huka Lodge, either by the bend on the river before the Owner's Cottage or by the fire pits in the orchard garden to experience their gorgeous surprise dining areas.
Oman, also known as one of the Arabian Peninsula's lesser-known gems, is the perfect destination for honeymooners looking for a holiday with a difference. From Muscat's bustling souks to the endless open sands of the ever-shifting desert, the jagged mountains and serene turquoise coast, this is an all-encompassing destination for those looking to balance adventure with culture and indulgence. Our favourite hotels include The Chedi Muscat, an elegant minimalist hotel occupying a prime beachfront location that you will never want to leave, as well as Anantara al Jabal Al Akhdar, a resort nestled within the Green Mountains that combine luxury and style with outstanding panoramic views of these fabled mountains. We also adore Canvas Club for being a seriously glamourous "glamping" option in Oman, that offers an exciting way to get off the beaten track without having to compromise on comfort.
Insider tip: Book through Scott Dunn and request local Omani, Qais, as your guide. With 12 years of experience in guiding, his passion and love for his country will certainly make your stay in Oman unforgettable.
Being a land of jaw-dropping natural beauty, Alaska conjures up images of snow-capped mountains, mystical fjord-land, crystal-cut glaciers and vast areas of dense green forest. Not only do its wildlife-rich national parks attract visitors who are on the lookout for bears, caribou and moose, they are also a photographer's paradise with dramatic landscapes and unforgettable experiences like glacier hiking, salmon fishing, rafting, sledding and more. An absolute must is a stay at Ultima Thule, a remote and luxurious lodge in the heart of Wrangell St. Elias National Park, for a mind-blowing experience that has to be seen to be believed.
Insider tip: If Alaska ticks all the boxes, visit between May and September to experience a honeymoon of a lifetime.
Destination of the moment, Iceland is a magical wilderness known for its thrilling adventures and jaw-dropping scenery. From the black sand beaches in the south to the fjords of the north, the stark beauty of the west to the elusive Northern Lights, Iceland makes for a simply breath-taking honeymoon. Get off the beaten track to discover once-in-a-lifetime experiences such as snorkelling with puffins, horse riding in Snaefellsnes, bathing in the Blue Lagoon and snowmobiling on Eyjafjallajökull for the ultimate Iceland adventure.
Insider tip: One of Southern Iceland's most iconic hotels, Hotel Ion, boasts a majestic backdrop of mystical lava fields. Request a lake view room and wake up to a phenomenal lunar like landscape.
British Columbia conjures up images of epic mountain roads, glacial scenery, and bears swiping salmon from streams. Spot whales breaching along the Pacific coastline, ski in some of the country's best resorts, try surfing or journey into the Great Bear Rainforest for an abundance of wildlife adventures. British Columbia also has a cosmopolitan culture with world class exhibitions, shopping and fabulous dining options for honeymooners looking to balance out time spent in the great outdoors. The one must is a stay at Nimmo Bay. Only accessible by helicopter or seaplane, the exclusive tiny resort offers just nine cosy cabins ensuring that every guest is individually looked after and given every opportunity to have the time of their life.
Insider tip: For the best bear viewing, visit during the salmon run in autumn to capture a sight to behold, where bears gather around streams and waterfalls to hunt for their prey, making it one of the most memorable experience of any Canadian honeymoon.
There's no place quite like Japan with its blend of skyscrapers, samurai, and sake. Delve into Japanese culture on a remarkable journey, mixing the bright lights of cutting edge, modern cities with graceful temples, Shinto shrines and heritage villages. To add to the romance of this intoxicating country, visit in the Spring to see the fabled cherry blossoms in full bloom or in the Winter to visit Niseko's spellbinding white snow. Formerly known as rest stops for weary travellers and samurai warriors, ryokans retain their place in Japanese culture as a sanctuary from the outside world. These Japanese guesthouses are a wonderful addition to a honeymoon itinerary, particularly Gora Kadan, which provides the perfect place to indulge in traditional customs while unwinding.
Insider tip: If you are a fan of skiing, make sure to fly from Tokyo to Niseko for the ultimate powder experience.
Bhutan is one of the last truly unspoilt countries on earth, making it high on the list of top places to retreat to with a significant other. From lush-green rice paddies running alongside fast-flowing glacial rivers, to endless forested-mountains and the snow-capped peaks beyond, Bhutan is a Himalayan Kingdom with superb natural beauty. Lose yourself in the spirituality and wonder of ancient Bhutanese culture experiencing all the must-see highlights such as trekking to Tiger's Nest Monastery, as well as trying your hand at Archery, Bhutan's national sport and lastly visiting a local festival which will definitely make your jaw drop. The Amankora lodges offer unparalleled access for couples wishing to discover Bhutan, leaving no stone unturned with stunning properties in Thimphu, Gangtey, Punakha and Paro.
Insider tip: Blend the mountains and mysteries of Bhutan with the golden beaches of the Andaman Islands or Thailand for the perfect mix of adventure and beach time.
From sand dunes and a wild coastline, to lush river-fed plains and dramatic mountains, Namibia is a country of extraordinary and contrasting landscapes. If you are looking for an adventurous and active honeymoon, look no further. Trek to the top of a rust red sand dune at Sossusvlei, watch wildlife congregate at Etosha's waterholes, explore Damaraland's arid plains and craggy mountains and watch powerful Atlantic swells sweep along the Skeleton Coast where the desert meets the ocean. Sorris Sorris is one of four new luxury lodges in Namibia, offering a truly opulent base for exploring Damaraland's rugged desert scenery and searching for desert-adapted elephants.
Insider tip: For a truly unique experience, embark on a flying safari and experience the most hauntingly beautiful and unspoilt places in the world.
Italy's luscious countryside consists of undulating hills and agricultural valleys as well as plum and cherry orchards and best of all, vineyards. Hire a vintage car and hit the road to make the most of everything the countryside has to offer by stopping to explore castles, quaint local villages, Michelin-starred restaurants and the limestone coastline with long sandy beaches. Set within 20 hectares along the Puglian coast of Southern Italy, Borgo Egnazia is one of the Mediterranean's most luxurious hotels, while the historic 12th Century Palazzo Avino overlooks the azure water of the Amalfi in the pretty village of Ravello offers luxurious rooms, an indulgent spa and Michelin star dining.
Insider tip: Make sure to make a reservation for two at Rossellini's for the best food in Ravello and a view beyond compare.
For more information or to book a unique honeymoon, visit Scott Dunn.