Mesmerizing Retreats

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Banyan Tree Maldives at Vabbinfuru










Asia and the eternally appealing far-flung islands below the equator have an atmosphere unmatched on earth. As a matter of fact, someone memorably said that the task of picking a heavenly honeymoon spot isn’t difficult: all you have to do is throw a dart at a map of Asia and the South Pacific to score a bull’s eye. We feel our aim is pretty good…

banyan tree maldives at vabbinfaruIf money and time are no object, one would be remiss at not considering the Maldives—the archipelago that symbolizes romance and secluded hideaways in the middle of the Indian Ocean—as a honeymoon haven. This is where you come to spend special moments on remote private islands to cement the genesis of a long-lasting relationship. Vabbinfaru Island is a green spot that should please and delight, and the Banyan Tree Maldives at Vabbinfaru may be the premier honeymoon destination in Asia.

Its luxury stuns. Its seclusion is soporific and the staff goes the extra mile to ensure its guests have left all worries behind, from the moment they are greeted by guides at Male Airport who whisk them through immigration and customs formalities in a display of efficiency. The sense of having arrived at a special spot is further reinforced during a 20-minute speedboat crossing to Vabbinfaru. While being pampered in the glow of luxury, guests have many options: private romantic dinners in their villa, equally private and secluded outdoor jet pools, massages for two in the resort’s opulent spa. Outings throughout the island are also available for a minimal cost.

Banyan Tree has a wide selection of packages designed for honeymooners. Rates begin at around $950 per night dbl for a Deluxe Oceanview Villa and stretch to about $1,400 for a Vabbinfaru Villa. The honeymoon package includes complimentary spa treatments, dinners, wine and even sunset catamaran cruises. Couples booking 45 days in advance are given a 10 percent discount in this resort that epitomizes the words “romantic” and “secluded.”

Contact: (800) 591-0439;

pangkor laut If isolated foreign destinations float among the stars in the eyes of newlyweds, then Pangkor Laut, Malaysia, fits the bill. This is a privately owned island rising from the sapphire waters of the Straits of Malacca. Pangkor Laut is the only resort on the island, which is a tiny landmass full of deserted bays and white sandy beaches. The exquisite resort is reached by ferry from Pangkor Island, accessible from Kuala Lumpur by Malaysian Airlines’ multiple daily flights. The property consists of 126 air-conditioned villas and is an amalgam of world-class luxury and personalized service amidst astonishing natural surroundings. This is where serenity holds hands with romance, making it a flawless honeymoon retreat set on a tropical island of sandy beaches fringed by a feral rainforest. Pangkor Laut’s spa is one of the top spas in Asia and its privacy and non-traditional treatments will make honeymooners feel like they’ve sampled paradise.

Beginning at $999 per couple (2-night minimum stay), Pangkor Laut’s honeymoon package includes daily breakfast, complimentary champagne, spa treatments for two, guided jungle walks, ferry transfers and dinner at any of its sumptuous restaurants.


likuliku lagoon resort fiji When all that remains of the wedding festivity is shredded confetti on the floor and a couple embarks on a trip to celebrate the future, few places are as conducive to romance as the South Pacific. Newlyweds planning such a trip should consider Fiji, effortlessly accessible from the U.S. west coast by Air New Zealand, Qantas and Pacific (Virgin) Blue. LikuLiku Lagoon Resort Fiji looks like a movie set, and is sure to keep honeymoon memories filed away in a mental folder labeled “pleasant dreams.” From the water, it looks like a traditional Fijian village built on stilts over extraordinary blue waters, a throwback to the days when only ancient seafarers, who became inexorably mesmerized by Fiji, knew of the wonders within the island nation. Indeed, the focal point of the resort is an island canoe house that looks like a South Pacific island chief’s retreat. Ten of its 45 bures (bungalows) are built over water (“likuliku” means “calm waters”). A night there has been likened to sleeping over a living aquarium. Yes, the water is that clear, the fish that plentiful.