The Caribbean has long been known for romance, but when it comes to honeymoons, these resorts take love to the next level.
la concha A lot of resorts around the world claim to have “South Beach” appeal—that blend of sleek, modern design and a wacky, colorful aesthetic that characterizes many of the properties that line Miami Beach’s shores. But trust us when we say that San Juan, Puerto Rico’s La Concha is the real thing. This historic but newly renovated property ranks among the hippest on the Condado strip. A cascading pool deck surrounded by chic dining options leads into the lobby bar, which at night transforms into a see-and-be-seen lounge for the city’s elite. Two more, smaller pools overlook a wide and wonderful beach and provide more intimate, VIP-style hangout spots for guests. And all of it entertains the eyes, from the captivating art in the lobby, to the soothing sea tones in the rooms and suites.
Those suites, by the way, are brand new, containing kitchens with microwaves and countertop stoves, as well as large bathrooms and private balconies. They’re perfect for honeymooners who want just as many romantic mornings with breakfast in bed as they want exciting nights out on the town. And speaking of exciting nighttime activities, any honeymoon here should include at least one dinner at Perla, La Concha’s iconic restaurant. The food here is great, and it’s only enhanced by the setting—diners sit beneath a shell-shaped canopy, surrounded by a shallow lagoon and lined with windows that look out to the sea. With its retro design and modern menu, it’s the epitome of old-meets-new chic. Rates start at $199.
Contact: (888) 236-2427; laconcharesort.com
hotel le toiny Privacy and exclusivity are the key ingredients to any upscale honeymoon. They’re also at the foundation of Hotel Le Toiny in St. Barths. On this rich and famous isle, Hotel Le Toiny has a habit of catering to celebrities—not that you’ll spot them in this property comprising 15 villa suites, each with its own private entrance with a flag indicating “Do Not Disturb.” Resembling the early plantation homes of the French Caribbean, the villa suites are honeymooners’ home away from home. Each has its own swimming pool, surrounded by a sunny patio. And that’s further surrounded by romantic views: blue skies, hills lush with tropical plants, and a shimmering sea and island lagoon.
At the Serenity Spa Cottage, couples can immerse themselves in those tropical surroundings. Treatments here use Ligne de St. Barth products that draw on the healing and relaxing powers of pineapple, mango, melon and other island ingredients. Men can prepare themselves for a romantic in-villa dinner or night out with a traditional wet shave, complete with badger brush-applied shaving cream and straight blade shave. If they’re looking for a more rugged experience, guests can explore the nature path, populated with salamanders and iguanas, that connects to the hotel, or take another path for a 40-minute hike to Pointe de Toiny, an outlook with ocean views. There’s also a private beach, where settlers as far back as the 1600s once lived, and the remains of their cottages remain to this day. Rates start at $781 per night.
Contact: (800) 680-0832; letoiny.com
kamalame cay When it comes to private island getaways, clients have never had as many choices in the Caribbean as they do today. But Kamalame Cay near Andros Island in The Bahamas sets itself apart with its blend of romance, comfort and relaxation. The term “barefoot chic” could have been coined here, with rustic cottages featuring verandahs that let clients step out onto the sand on the way to their hammocks. Villas here range up to four bedrooms, but for honeymoon purposes, Pigeon Plum villa is perfect—a 1-bedroom, 1,200-sq.-ft. space with charming stone walls, 17-ft. ceilings and a wraparound verandah that looks out to the sea.
The ocean-centered romance continues with private seaside dinners, complete with flowers, candles and torches. By day, honeymooners can take a boat or seaplane to an even more private islet for an afternoon picnic in complete seclusion. Even the KamalameSpa offers couples’ pampering with a 2-person massage that starts with tea and a foot bath and ends with reflexology.