For your honeymoon, anniversary, couple’s trip or any romantic getaway, these are the island resorts that offer the ultimate in romance, from special dinners, beautiful views, romantic suites and more.
North Island, Seychelles
Of his stay here at this private island resort in the Seychelles, Islands contributing editor Bob Morris writes, “My wife and I were out for two hours, hiking with a naturalist from North Island. This was the honeymoon outpost for Great Britain’s Prince William and Kate. At this resort, the staff of 130 looks after a maximum of just 44 guests.”
Only here: Giant seeds (coco de mers) grow to resemble the human buttocks.
When to go: May to November, when cooling trade winds kick in.
Mandarin Oriental Sanya, Hainan, China
Hainan Island is known as the Hawaii of China. From the skyline of Sanya to the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Hainan taps a Chinese migration to hit the beach and grab a board as more and more people come here to surf. That is, if you can pull yourself away from this ultra-romantic infinity pool.
Only here: In a nation where “we” always trumps “me,” locals are embracing the solo, rather self-indulgent sport of surfing.
When to go: November through April offer dry air and mild temps. Avoid September, the rainy season’s peak.
Amangalla, Sri Lanka
Of his recent stay here, Islands contributing editor Nathan Myers wrote, “I wake up in the 17th century. Antique bed. Claw-foot bathtub. My room at the Amangalla Hotel in Galle may be only 100 years old, but the Dutch colonial fort just outside dates back much farther. One step out the door and I’m part of a living museum. Uncaptioned and inescapable.”
Only here: Elephants walk Sri Lanka’s sidewalks; stilt fishermen balance over the surf.
When to go: November through April is the dry season for southwest Sri Lanka, where Amangalla resort is located.
Le Meridien, Bora Bora, Islands of Tahiti
Romance is waking up in a dream. You’re there, in Tahiti, in one of its signature enclaves hovering above the lagoon of Bora Bora. Pronounce it quickly like the locals — podapoda. You don’t want to waste any time here.
Only here: Snorkelling with dozens turtles is a given. The resort’s lagoon is a turtle-rehabilitation habitat, unique to Le Meridien.
When to go: May through October is the region’s dry season and peak season. Deals are rare in Tahiti, but the first week of January is a good bet, though there’s a greater chance of rain.
Huvafen Fushi, Maldives
Arrive by luxury speedboat to find glass-floored overwater bungalows and your own personal butler. The island is home to the first underwater spa and what’s said to be the largest wine collection in the Maldives. A-lister Kate Moss is a frequent guest. Actually, anyone who stays here is on the A-list, if only for a few days.
Only here: The spa is more aquarium than therapy room. A treatment’s challenge is closing your eyes.
When to go: May through November offers great deals, fewer neighbours and fantastic snorkelling.
Kamalame Cay, Bahamas
Of his stay here, Islands contributing editor Jad Davenport wrote, “We check in at Kamalame Cay, a private island off the east coast of Andros, and I lapse into sweet lethargy. At the open-air beach bar, I enjoy a rum punch as ‘youth’ drapes over me like an ermine cloak. Karin and I get massages in an overwater spa. We sleep with the doors and windows of our villa open so the curtains dance in the sea breeze.”
Only here: The resort is surrounded by three miles of empty beaches, as if its private island location wasn’t insular enough.
When to go: The deals happen in Kamalame Cay’s off season (May to August). It’s also the region’s rainy season, though the Bahamas see more than 300 sunny days a year.
Hapuku Lodge, New Zealand
Here, inside the Hapuku Lodge Tree Houses on New Zealand’s South Island, guests don’t wake up in the trees. They wake up on the trees. These suites are built 30 feet off the ground on steel supports among native manuka trees.
Only here: Each tree house suite features a wood-burning fireplace. This may spark concern. A rain fountain shower on the top deck offers relief.
When to go: For sightseeing, spring (September-November) and fall (March-May) are best. Resort rates jump in the summer (December-February).