From the proposal to the final toast, weddings are the best kind of whirlwind: exciting, romantic, and — let’s be honest — crazily intense. If you’re about to get hitched — Valentine's Day nuptials, perhaps? — there’s a good chance you’ve been facing a lot of decisions lately. (Yes, a luxury hotel and a centuries-old manse both make killer venues.) Take the guesswork out of the honeymoon part, at least, by ogling these over-the-top luxurious, deeply romantic properties from around the world. There’s a dream escape here for every kind of couple.
Have you heard of the “buddy-moon?” It’s basically a honeymoon with friends in tow (Alicia Keyes did it.) If you need a plush place to stay, with some extra space for your bridesmaids and best man, check out the dreamy Medluxe Villa Ornos. Tucked into a hilltop just outside of Myknos, the complex has four luxury villas. Its largest, the Polymnia, offers six bedrooms, a private pool, and an outdoor lounge that offers direct views of the Aegean Sea and the sunset. Surprise your sweetie (and your squad) by having chilled champagne delivered as the sun goes down.
The French add extra style to everything, from scarves to pastries, and — yes — honeymoons. The City of Light has beaucoup de fabulous hotels, but newly married couples deserve a stay at the storied Ritz Paris. The gilded property has a shine of newness itself, having just emerged from a massive renovation. All the rooms and suites are filled with delicate pastel hues and Empire-Style decor, but spring for the Suite Imperiale to mark your sweet milestone. With soaring ceilings, antique paintings, and gilded chandeliers, the room has a gloriously palatial feel. Beauty tip: Book a facial at the on-site spa, where only Chanel products are used.
3. Bora Bora
If you’re craving powder-white sands, turquoise lagoons, and a private snorkeling session, head to the Four Seasons Bora Bora right after your last dance. (You can rest down there.) Room service is delivered by canoe at the magical-feeling property, which caters to lovebirds with sunset cruises, private spa treatments, and champagne dinners on a private island. For a room with a private plunge pool and lagoon views, reserve the Otemanu Over-Water Bungalow Suite stat.
Top Chef superstar Stephanie Izard wed her beau in 2013. Naturally, the reception featured mounds of delicious eats — including a cake frosted in bacon-flavored buttercream. But the real icing on top: the couple’s honeymoon at Francis Ford Coppola’s Turtle Inn in Belize. Surrounded by mountains, a lagoon, and the rushing Monkey River, the exotic property has two-bedroom villas along the seashore. Decked in Balinese decor, the villas open onto private gardens with outdoor showers. After lounging on the beach and on sipping champagne on the private porch, dine like a foodie in love at the onsite Mare Restaurant. The resto serves just-caught fish and vegetables plucked from an organic garden.
5. The Amalfi Coast
There’s a magical place where you can eat bowls of pasta, sample six kinds of pizza, and never gain weight. Dubbed “the vertical city,” Positano is all hills dotted with lemon trees, candy-colored architecture, and glittering ocean views — and you’ll climb lots and lots of stairs as you drink it all in. Take a breather (and grab a strawberry Bellini) on the plush, flower-strewn terrace of Le Sireneuse. The luxury hotel — favored by the likes of Gwyneth Paltrow and Diane Lane — offers deeply tranquil accommodations in its Junior Suite Superior Sea View. Be sure to book a dinner at La Sponda restaurant before you go. The Michelin-starred spot looks like a fairytale garden, glows with the light of 400 candles each night, and books up far in advance.
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