Top 5 Thursday: Honey (Let’s Get Over The) Moon.
When you’re planning a wedding, there are tons of little decisions (or so I am told): the flowers, the cake, the first dance… and then there’s one big decision. Where will you spend the first few days — or weeks — together as husband and wife? You could opt to stretch out on a deserted beach and completely relax. Or you could hop in a 4x4 and spot lions in South Africa. Then there’s wining and dining in Napa. No matter how the two of you love birds want to celebrate, we’ve got options across the globes that were made for post-nuptial romance. To all my suitors out there, don’t get any ideas…
Alila Manggis Resort, Bali.
Serious hotel lovers across Asia think of this intimate refuge, in the shadow of holy Mount Agung, as a kind of secret handshake. Once you go, you’re in the know, and most guests return to the black sand beachfront on Bali’s less developed eastern shore every year. Designed by Kerry Hill of Aman Resorts fame, two thatch-roofed Balinese wantilans (meeting hall–style buildings) house 55 sleek but homey guestrooms, all with bijou balconies or patios overlooking coconut groves and the Indian Ocean.
Ladera, St. Lucia.
Perched on a hillside 1,100 feet above the Caribbean Sea, Ladera offers guests the chance to escape and unplug in luxurious two-story treehouse-style villas and suites. While the accommodations lack TVs, telephones and air conditioning, they do come equipped with private plunge pools, open-air showers and breathtaking views of the sea and St. Lucia’s famous Piton Mountains. Popular with honeymooners and couples, Ladera is a place to settle into a comfy lounge chair with a book, take a nap, sip rum punch, have a dip in the pool — and repeat.
Vuyani Lodge, South Africa.
Part elegant boutique hotel, part wildlife safari, the Vuyani Lodge is a posh but comfortable base for exploring the South African bush. The lodge’s designer chalets and suites are clustered in the shadow of the Drakensberg Mountains on the 36,000-acre Moditlo Game Reserve. Mingle with hippos and elephants over your coffee on an early-morning safari or take a hot-air balloon ride over Kruger National Park, adjacent to the reserve, before turning in for a private, candlelit dinner on your room’s open-air deck.
Solage Calistoga, California.
Situated on 22 acres in the heart of Northern California, Solage Calistoga offers contemporary design with a youthful air in the loft-inspired rooms. The Spa’s Mud Bar & Bathhouse feature coed hot spring–fed pools. Solage is eco-friendly, with complimentary cruiser bicycles to explore the town and wineries, local and organic in-room amenities and biodynamic wines.
Paresa Resort, Phuket.
In Sanskrit, Paresa means heaven of all heavens. It sure feels that way, when you arrive and settle into these villas perched high on the Kamala cliffs, on the west side of Phuket. Lying on a daybed on your private balcony (there are two daybeds, so stretch on out) it’s not hard to imagine being a sea eagle floating above it all, looking out at the gorgeous blue Andaman Sea and green rainforest below.