Editor’s Note: Some of the information below may be out-of-date. The Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico were heavily impacted by Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria. Please visit caribbeantravelupdate.com for updates.
Looking for the best honeymoon destinations for 2017? We’ve rounded up 25 romantic destinations across the globe, each boasting something new to offer newlyweds. (Hint: they’re also perfect spots for romantic getaways, you know, once the honeymoon is over.)
Everything is new again at Four Seasons Resort Lanai, which celebrated its grand reopening February 2016. The 217 sleek guest rooms now come with teakwood finishes, iPad Airs and room-key wristbands. Park it at the adults-only Retreat pool, with waterfalls, lava-rock grottos and views of spinner dolphins splashing in Hulopoe Bay. For a little action, get off the beaten path on a guided Polaris UTV cultural tour.
As of November 2016, snap your sunbathing selfie while lounging on the deck of an overwater bungalow at Sandals Royal Caribbean. The first suites of their kind in the Caribbean, these Montego Bay hideaways are equipped with a floating hammock for two, a private infinity pool and a Jacuzzi with an outdoor shower. Interiors are just as luxe, with a cozy king bed and a soaking tub with sublime views.
Riviera Maya, Mexico
After an $80 million renovation at the Barcelo Maya Grand Resort complex, which comprises five separate all-inclusives, you can look forward to two new restaurants (one that offers specialty Japanese cuisine) and the Maya Mall entertainment center featuring a bowling alley and a water park with a surf pool — not to mention a selection of brand-new swim-up suites. Meanwhile, the spa saw its own $6 million expansion. Don’t miss a couples flotation-therapy treatment in Mexico’s largest flotation tank.
In the Piedmont region — hailed by Food & Wine as Italy’s new food capital — clink bubbly-filled flutes at 33-room Villa Sparina Resort, a winery with a spa, a Michelin-starred restaurant, an olive orchard and daybeds in the gardens. Wine geeks can tour the 57 acres of vines and 10,000 olive trees at Toscana Resort Castelfalfi. Premiering March 2017 in an 800-year-old medieval Tuscan village, it’s the region’s first new-build luxury hotel in 25 years.
Bora Bora, Tahiti
Not only did Tahiti perfect romantic travel, it practically invented it — at least where rooms are concerned. 2017 marks the 50th anniversary of the birth of the iconic overwater bungalow. Set to open April 2017, Conrad Bora Bora Nui will be the first new luxury resort on the island in nearly a decade. Book one of the two Presidential Suites — the only two-story overwater bungalows in all of French Polynesia. The resort will also offer a full-service spa (complete with an outdoor deck overlooking the lagoon), a swim-up pool bar, and even a private motu (islet) for picnics and candlelit dinners à deux.
The Ritz-Carlton brand has a new reason to brag in Hawaii. The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Waikiki Beach launched summer 2016; rent a cabana at the eighth-floor infinity pool — the highest in Waikiki. Dine like royalty at Roy’s Beach House by Roy Yamaguchi, which premiered August 2016 at Turtle Bay Resort. Or sample two Masaharu Morimoto concepts at the former Pacific Beach Hotel, which will transform into Alohilani Resort at Waikiki Beach in fall 2017: Get dolled up for dinner at Morimoto Asia, or keep it casual with ramen in the beer garden of Momosan Waikiki.
No new hotels have opened on Grand Cayman in over a decade, but that’s about to change: Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa is opening winter 2016 and Margaritaville Beach Resort Grand Cayman is scheduled to open in early 2017.
Marco Island, Florida
A slice of the South Pacific in South Florida, the Marco Island Marriott Beach Resort is getting a revamp and will re-emerge in January 2017 as the first beachfront JW Marriott Resort in the continental U.S. Clink tropical drinks at the new Kane Tiki Bar, opened spring 2016.
Leave your passports at home, but pack your mettle for the longest and tallest zip-line in the world, El Monstruo, opened in 2016. Part of Toro Verde Adventure Park in Orocovis, it measures 7,590 feet long and 1,200 feet tall.
Catalina Island, California
In 2016, Catalina Island was the getaway of choice for America Ferrera and her husband, who hiked and hit the beach. Check into the Pavilion Hotel, which serves gratis breakfast and daily wine-and-cheese tastings.
Back on their feet after Hurricane Odile, Cabo’s best luxury resorts, including Esperanza, Las Ventanas and One&Only Palmilla, are now fully operational. Stay tuned for Grand Velas Los Cabos, opening November 2016 where the Sea of Cortez meets the Pacific.
The world’s first wine museum — La Cité du Vin, launched June 2016 in Bordeaux — houses a wine bar, gardens, a farm-to-table eatery (offering 500 wines) and 360-degree views from 114 feet.
There’s more to the Caribbean’s most-visited island than Punta Cana. Steal away to the town of Barahona in the southwest, where 29-room Casa Bonita debuted 17 new Ocean View Pool Suites in August 2016.
Rita Hayworth, Tennessee Williams and President Gerald Ford all visited Pontchartrain Hotel in its heyday. Now, with the hotel’s celebrated June 2016 reopening, you can drink Doriginac 75 cocktails in the Bayou Bar, where Frank Sinatra and Truman Capote caroused.
From the rainforest to the reef, soak in the beauty of Belize with adventure-travel pioneer Mountain Travel Sobek, which just announced its 2017 tours. Or drop anchor at 75-acre Harvest Caye, Norwegian Cruise Line’s exclusive island resort, which opens to passengers in winter 2016.
Make music together at the 883-room Hard Rock Hotel Tenerife, opened fall 2016 in the Canary Islands with private terraces, a rooftop lounge and three pools.
Turks and Caicos
TCI’s white-sand beaches are so sexy that Sports Illustrated chose Providenciales and Middle Caicos as the backdrops for its 2016 Swimsuit issue. Stage your own suggestive shoot at The Shore Club, a luxury hotel set to open December 2016 on Long Bay.
The average Vegas visitor spends $579 on gambling; try your luck at Wynn’s new poker room, opened May 2016. Or skip the tables and work up a sweat in the resort’s new Intrigue Nightclub, launched in spring.
Agave isn’t only for tequila. Reap its powerful health benefits when you book an ix chel facial or a teometel after-sun treatment, both part of newly introduced agave-centric spa experiences at Grand Miramar.
Eight-hundred-year-old Ashford Castle in County Mayo has perfected countryside chic with its $75 million reno in 2015 that unveiled 82 refreshed rooms and a brand-new cinema and spa.
Atlantis has a new neighbor: The adults-only, all-inclusive Warwick Hotel debuted on Paradise Island in October 2016. Plus, getting here is easier than ever — in summer 2016, JetBlue Airlines expanded its nonstop service from Fort Lauderdale to Nassau from three to five flights per day.
Experience cosmic love on August 21, 2017 — the date of the next total solar eclipse, beginning just north of Depoe Bay in Oregon. Get the best view in Salem, Corvallis, Madras or Baker City, where the Geiser Grand Hotel dates to 1889.
Since the June 2016 Brexit vote, the pound sterling has sunk to an all-time low. Take your savings to Moat Cottage at Wilderness Reserve, opened summer 2016 in Sussex. A moat surrounds the six-bedroom Tudor farmhouse.