Travel Inspiration

8 Unexpected Honeymoon Destinations

Advisor - Slaveiko Savov

Travel Advisor

Slaveiko Savov

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Image courtesy of Rosewood Luang Prabang

If all of your searches for an unforgettable honeymoon experience keep coming up with the same short list of traditional places (Hawai'i, Paris, Mexico), I feel you. You want your honeymoon to be different, unique and interesting. These are a few unexpected places that still give you the opportunity to kick back, relax and be surrounded by luxury.

Check out the below list for some favorite picks of unique honeymoon destinations around the world, including one nestled right in the continental US.


Image courtesy of Calabash

A top unique honeymoon destination is Grenada, a tiny set of islands nestled in the south of the Caribbean, which can easily be overlooked by more popular honeymoon cousins like St. Lucia and Jamaica. But trust me — it’s worthy of its own Caribbean vacation. Known as the “Spice Isle” for its plethora of nutmeg farms, Grenada is peppered with brightly colored houses, chocolate factories, rum distilleries and more than 30 scuba diving sites, including the world’s first underwater sculpture park.

Book your stay at Calabash, a luxe five-star resort right on the ocean that even offers all-inclusive packages for those of us wanting to not make a single decision while in honeymoon mode. If you manage to leave the property (trust me — you won’t), you can create your own chocolate bar at Tri Island Chocolate or bring home your own spices from Laura’s Spice & Herb Garden.

Fora Perks at Calabash Luxury Boutique Hotel:

  • $100 food / beverage credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.


Zapatilla Island, Bastimentos Island, Panama

Some may think of Panama as a frequent layover spot between the US and South American destinations, but the country has much to offer on its own. Whether you’re looking for the vibrant city life of Panama City (which also happens to be a UNESCO creative city for Gastronomy) or the feeling of having a quiet Caribbean island all to yourself, this small S-shaped country manages to fit all of it in (not to mention rainforests, sandy beaches and yes, even a desert).

If a trip to Bali is on the mind, but a 24+ hour flight to Indonesia doesn’t strike your fancy, how about snorkeling straight out of your own overwater villa at Nayara Bocas del Toro? The Bali-inspired luxury resort situated on its own private island features rich Balinese undertones, stunning al fresco design and a commitment to sustainability.

If you want to kick that romance up a notch, don’t miss Isla Secas, a series of private villas crafted to make your stay wildly romantic, with excursions ranging from a sunset tour of the islands in a 50-foot Maverick yacht (complete with cheese and bubbles, of course), to your own private five-course meal in front of a bonfire, to a night of stargazing with a cooler of drinks and your own telescope. Staying here is akin to being in a fairytale. Who said honeymoon planning was hard?

Fora Perks at Islas Secas:

  • $100 hotel / resort credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.


Image courtesy of The Datai Langkawi

Looking for extreme luxury on a tighter budget? Beaches, rainforests, world-class food and iconic architecture await in Malaysia. And, for the American dollar, even the most luxurious of hospitality experiences will only run you about $300 per night. If you have airline points, this is your opportunity to use them and relish in a day in the life of a billionaire.

Rated one of the top resorts in Asia by Condé Nast, Pangkor Laut Resort features beautifully appointed villas situated in lush mountain retreats or over water on stilts. With its PURE excursions, guests can go jungle trekking, island hopping with a picnic lunch or participate in a variety of water sports. Book a couple’s spa experience, rooted in ancient Malay wedding traditions. Or make the most of your experience and just host the wedding there, too — the resort offers a variety of event packages, including destination weddings.

If you’re looking for eco-based touring with a focus on sustainability and wildlife, look no further than The Datai Langkawi, a resort with 121 rooms, suites and villas, all surrounded by lush tropical rainforest. Sign up for a cooking class, where you’ll be guided by Datai’s Malay, Thai and Indian resident chefs who will work side-by-side with you to cook an amazing meal, even taking you to the garden to pick your own herbs. If you’re a nature lover and want to experience the area’s natural beauty, you’ll appreciate the thoughtfully curated nature walks designed by Datai’s in-house team of naturalists and marine biologists, from a butterfly walk to a trek through the mangroves, and more.

Fora Perks at Pangkor Laut Resort:

  • $50 hotel / resort credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

Fora Perks at The Datai Langkawi:

  • Complimentary 50-minute massage for two.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.


Image courtesy of Rosewood Luang Prabang

Southeast Asia’s only landlocked country, Laos is the place to go if you’re looking for stunning mountain views all around. And it makes for one of the best honeymoon destinations. It’s filled with a mix of French-influenced architecture and Buddhist monasteries, which is exactly what you’ll experience when you stay at the Rosewood Luang Prabang, an absolutely breathtaking property that takes its cue from French-Lao architecture. Browse its series of waterfall villas, stunning riverside rooms with a design that reflects the influences of Laos’ ancient temples, plus a private pool and views of the natural stream that flows through the property. Or if you’re more adventurous, stay in a luxury hilltop tent with unbeatable 180-degree mountain views.

Fora Perks at Rosewood Luang Prabang:

  • $125 hotel / resort credit.

  • Complimentary welcome amenities.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.


Image courtesy of Kayotei

You might not instantly think of Japan when considering honeymoon destinations, but that’s where you’re about to be seriously impressed. With thousands of years of deep commitment to hospitality embedded into Japanese culture, you can prepare for an entirely different experience of luxury.

To start, consider staying in a ryokan, or a traditional Japanese inn, like Kayotei, located in the small hot springs village of Yamanaka in the Ishikawa prefecture. The entire property is meant to feel like the home of a friend, with traditional tatami mats and the property’s 10 suite rooms arranged in the traditional sukiya style of a tea ceremony pavilion. 

If you’re looking for more of an ocean vibe, check out Sankara Resort on Yakushima Island, which focuses on true relaxation, simplicity and serenity between ocean and rainforest. Its in-house restaurants feature locally caught seafood, and every stay at Sankara begins with a consultation with a butler about your stay to make sure you’re getting the very best of what your visit has to offer. It’s perfect for newlyweds.

Looking to get even more out of your travel to Japan? Also check out our guide to where to stay in Tokyo.

Santa Barbara, California

Santa Barbara County, California

Want to stay in the continental US? There’s no reason why you can’t have an amazing and unexpected honeymoon experience right at home. Skip Napa and travel to Santa Barbara, California for gorgeous wine country, and use the budget saved from your flight to treat yourself to a stay at The Ritz-Carlton Bacara, which takes over 78 acres of beachfront property with two beaches, three infinity pools, a 42,000-square-foot spa and, of course, easy access to Santa Barbara wine country. You can also bring Santa Barbara’s amazing wine right to you in one of its six on-site restaurants. The property is big enough you could spend your entire honeymoon right there and never leave (which is probably their intention). And, if you want to extend your California vacation, check out this guide to the best hotels in LA.

Fora Perks at The Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara:

  • $100 hotel / resort credit.

  • $80 daily breakfast credit.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.


Benguerra Island, Mozambique

Mozambique isn’t the first place that comes to mind when you envision your romantic luxury honeymoon getaway, but take one look at the Azura Benguerra Island and you’ll be convinced otherwise. Located on an island in Mozambique's Bazaruto Marine National Park, Azura features 20 luxe, “eco-chic” villas, each with its own infinity pool. You’ll be greeted by your personal butler and offered a completely bespoke itinerary, from a private beach picnic, to snorkeling in crystal-clear waters and visiting turtle hatchling populations. The best part? If you’re located on the US east coast, you can benefit from direct overnight flights from Boston Logan Airport.


Treasure Beach, Jamaica

Looking for a unique beach honeymoon? Rather than one singular resort, imagine GoldenEye as a series of lagoon cottages, breezy beach huts and private standalone villas surrounded by verdant gardens. This is no cookie-cutter honeymoon, but a thoughtfully designed, true-to-its-roots journey to some of Jamaica’s richest traditions with a thoughtful eye toward cultural and ecological sustainability. GoldenEye’s on-site restaurants serve fresh, authentic Jamaican cuisine (you can even order yours in the form of private dining at the end of the peninsula). 

Make a donation to the Oracabessa Foundation, which works with the town of Oracabessa on sustainable, local development, and you’ll be able to plant your own tree on the property, making your mark long-term on the preservation of this stunning destination for years to come.

Fora Perks at GoldenEye:

  • $100 food / beverage credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

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