Looking for a romantic holiday destination? Jane Anderson, Editor of 101 Honeymoons, takes you on a worldwide tour of the best 10 new romantic hotels.
Belle Mont Farm, St Kitts
OPEN December 2014
This new chic cottage hotel looks set to put the Caribbean island of St Kitts firmly on the honeymoon map. Built by a team of local craftsmen, it aims to bring sustainable tourism to the island whilst losing none of its style and romance – think roll-top baths on verandahs and rum cocktails by the infinity pool.
Meals served at the hotel’s two restaurants will feature local ingredients such as passion fruit and strawberries from surrounding farms. The spa – due to open in 2015 – is planned around a forest of ancient mango trees.
Further developments include a marketplace café, wine cellar, rum shop and open-air cinema.
Baha Mar, Bahamas
OPEN December 2014
If you like your honeymoon destination big on glitz, check out Baha Mar on a vast white sand beach on Nassau in the Bahamas.
The resort will feature an elite collection of hotel brands with gaming, entertainment, private residences and shopping, not to mention a private island.
The Baha Mar Casino & Hotel with 1,000 rooms is the centrepiece of the resort, and includes a vast Las Vegas-style casino. There will also be a 700-room Grand Hyatt, a 300-room Mondrian, a 200-room Rosewood Hotel & Resorts and a 694-room Melia.
OPEN January 2015
Following a costly facelift, the former Couples Barbados will re-emerge in January as Sandals Barbados. As well as the addition of a Club Sandals lounge, departure lounge and an expanded Red Lane Spa, the new-look resort will also feature a wedding garden, swim-up pool bar, beachfront whirlpool and eleven restaurants.
Alternatively, look out for a touch of Indian Ocean style in the Caribbean as Sandals Royal Caribbean Spa Resort & Private Island Resort in Jamaica opens five overwater suites to its private island.
The Ritz-Carlton Rancho Mirage, Palm Springs, California
OPENED May 2014
Perched on a 650ft-high bluff, this new desert resort has been designed in homage to the Southern Californian open-air lifestyle with 244 spacious guests rooms. Each has a large patio and terrace, some with their own fire pit and dramatic mountain views.
An immense spa lies at the heart of the resort. Honeymooners should try out the signature Hammock Massage and the black diamond dust Rat Pack Facial for gentlemen.
Adler Mountain Lodge, Dolomites, Italy
OPEN July 2014
Already a contender for ‘best swimming pool with a view’ for its wrap-around infinity pool with panoramic vistas, the Adler Mountain Lodge in the heart of the Dolomites has a gorgeous central wooden lodge and an arc of 12 small chalets modelled on Tyrolean mountain huts.
A ‘Love Poem’ package includes a spa treatment for two, sparkling wine with fresh fruit and a sleigh ride (in winter) or horse-drawn carriage ride (in summer) through the mountains.
Alila Jabal Akhdar, Oman
OPEN May 2014
Alila Jabal Akhdar (meaning the Green Mountain) is set in the Al Hajar mountain region about 150km from Muscat. Reached by four-wheel drive, the area is known for its blankets of roses that cover the highlands in spring, as well as pomegranates, dates and peaches.
Honeymoon experiences range from tailored treks 10,000ft above sea level to locally-inspired spa treatments for two. For the ultimate indulgence, splash out on the Royal Omani Villa with two bedrooms, its own pool, Jacuzzi and steam room.
Roving Bushtops, Serengeti, Kenya
OPEN January 2015
Having pioneered the idea of ‘wild luxury’ at Mara Bushtops, then extended it to Serengeti Bushtops, this third outpost is in the Central Serengeti, not far from the Moru Kopjes.
As a luxury camp on wheels, it has glamorous five star features and the ability to follow the best game viewing. Honeymooners stay in one of six tents with king-size beds, en-suite bathrooms and 24-hour butler service.
Zanzibar White Sand Luxury Villas & Spa
OPEN June 2014
Located on the pristine white sands of Paje beach, Zanzibar White Sand has 11 villas, each with a private swimming pool, outdoor bathroom and beach views.
The intimate restaurant serves freshly-caught fish, tropical juices and local Zanzibari dishes. The White Sand Spa is set in the gardens and includes two massage rooms, a steam room, sauna and tropical seating area where you can relax by a soothing waterfall. There’s also a cool Kitesurf club.
Alma Courtyard Hoi An, Vietnam
OPEN August 2014
Located in the heart of the ancient port town of Hoi An, the four-star Alma Courtyard Hoi An reflects the rich culture of its location in its architecture and design.
With 144 rooms set in tropical courtyard gardens, couples will enjoy an inclusive daily My Chi “wellness journey” aimed at balancing the body’s vital energy. The restaurant promises four interactive demonstration kitchens.
Point Yamu by COMO, Phuket, Thailand
OPEN September 2014
Phuket’s emergence as a luxury travel destination is further confirmed with the arrival of Point Yamu by COMO. A new property by Mulberry founder Christina Ong’s COMO Hotels & Resort, the new resort’s features include a vast spa, 100m infinity pool, two restaurants (Thai and Italian) and, in the absence of a beach, access to a neighbouring beach club.
Unlike most luxury resorts on Phuket, Point Yamu is located on the island’s eastern side – peaceful and empty, a truly romantic retreat. The seas are more tranquil than on the western coast, too, making them better for diving.