Picking a honeymoon destination can be almost as much of a challenge as deciding on a wedding venue. There’s just so much choice, with so many desirable hotspots around the world, each offering its own unique attractions. And when you’re in the middle of wedding planning, it’s just one more thing you don’t want to have to think about.
The first thing to decide is the type of honeymoon you want – do you want it to be jam-packed with activities or just a chance to indulge in some serious rest and relaxation? Are you history/culture buffs or is pretty scenery all you need. A good idea is to decide on the general kind of honeymoon you want and then whittle it down after that. Pick your ideal destinations (which could include places you’ve always wanted to tick off your ‘bucket list’) and then research each one in detail – making sure each one comes in on budget. To help you out, we’ve picked the top honeymoon destinations that are set to be big for 2020.
Honeymoon in Jordan
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Jordan has been put on the honeymoon map thanks to a 17-square mile luxury resort with a world-class marina, built around a series of man-made turquoise lagoons in Aqaba. With two of Jordan’s five UNESCO World Heritage Sites nearby – the ancient town of Petra (one of the Seven New Wonders of the World) and the spectacular Wadi Rum Protected Area – there’s plenty for an adventure less ordinary.
Honeymoon in Belize
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Forget Mexico’s now-mainstream Tulum, often-overlooked Belize is where it’s at. Formerly the favourite of backpackers, the country is welcoming a roster of slick new offerings including rustic boutique It’zana. And once Leonardo DiCaprio’s much-anticipated eco-resort, Blackadore Caye, opens in 2020, it will lure legions of A-listers – and honeymooner’s – to its shores.
Honeymoon in Japan
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Hosting 2020’s big sporting spectacle – the Olympic games – Japan seems to be on everyone’s to-visit list – with good reason. A land of magic and mystery, it’s welcoming a slow glug of new honeymoon-perfect hotels across the country – especially in Kyoto. Among them are Hotel Fauchon, the second hotel from the Parisian delicatessen, and Aman Kyoto, situated in a once-forgotten secret garden nestled at the foothills of Hidari Daimonji.
Honeymoon in Lapland
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Honeymoons aren’t all sea and sand. Swedish Lapland should now be on your honeymoon hit list, thanks to the opening of the Arctic Bath hotel. With just six private floating cabins, it’s aimed at couples and will be open year-round – floating freely in the summer and frozen into the Lule River in winter. A natural spa retreat with a big focus on health and wellness, could there be a better way to float into married life together?
Honeymoon in Jamaica
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There will be a spotlight on this Caribbean island once the new James Bond movie, No Time to Die (much of it shot in Jamaica), comes out in April. Bond fans will also know Ian Fleming penned all his Bond stories at his beachside house on the island – GoldenEye – and a collection of private villas, cottages and beach huts have been built around it. Add to that impossibly beautiful beaches and bath-like seas and it’s clear why Jamaica should be on your honeymoon shortlist.
Honeymoon in Iceland
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The land of fire and ice (Game of Thrones fans will know what we’re talking about) is home to epic glaciers, erupting geysers and thundering waterfalls. Most people drive round Iceland’s well-trodden Golden Circle, but if you want to experience the road less travelled, the new Arctic Coast Way has just opened. Joining a number of scenic routes in the north, it’s completely coastal, so you can explore previously inaccessible parts of Iceland together.
Honeymoon in The Philippines
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Turn the dial to island idyll with a honeymoon on this pristine island of Siargao in the south-east of the Philippines. Competing with Bali for the top Indonesian honeymoon hotspot, with its milk-white beaches and swaying palm trees, the island feels the way Bali did 30 years ago. With recent openings the idyllic Bulan Villas in General Luna and the secluded boutique resort of Nay Palad Hideaway, there could hardly be a better time to go.
Honeymoon on Kangaroo Island, Australia
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Seventy miles off mainland Australia, Kangaroo Island is a far-flung wildlife haven, home to native species including the island’s own sub-species of kangaroo (hence the name). A smattering of new green openings mean tourism is gathering pace here. Check into Ecopia Retreat for easy access to the Seal Bay sea lion colony or the luxurious beach houses from Hamilton & Dune in Emu Bay for views across the penguin-dotted coastline. Kangaroo Island won’t stay low-key for long, so pack your honeymoon suitcase now.
Honeymoon in Cape Town
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Perfectly positioned between the ocean and the mountain, there is nowhere quite like Cape Town. And now you’ll find fashionable boutique hotels Gorgeous George and Labotessa, which make perfect bases for your honeymoon. As a notable foodie city, it’s just welcomed Fyn restaurant, a South African take on Japanese fine dining, and with safari tours available on day trips from the city, it will tick all the boxes.
Honeymoon in Rajasthan, India
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The jewel in India’s crown, Rajasthan, a land of palaces and tigers, will always kick your wanderlust into overdrive. But with Six Senses Fort Barwara opening early next year, retaining its talent for creating a luxury hideaway without disturbing the original beauty of where it sits, you can be the first to stretch out in the former 14th-century fort.
So you’ve picked the destination – what about your honeymoon wardrobe? We’ve listed everything you need to pack here.