While weddings are wonderful, there’s no question they involve a lot of stress and anxiety — just ask any bride who’s had to deal with last-minute dress alterations or a broken heel on the big day. After non-stop planning and prepping for the big “I Do”, most couples can’t wait for their honeymoon as a time to finally relax, shake off the stress, and spend some quality time alone after a whirlwind weekend surrounded by family and friends.
For the perfect place to unwind amidst gorgeous surrounds, we’ve scouted out three luxurious honeymoon spots to help you kick off your happily ever, accompanied by some of the most breathtaking backdrops in Asia.
Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa, Maldives
Gorgeous beach? Check. Clear blue water? Check. Excellent accommodations and delicious island cuisine? Check. The Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa, located on its own private island in the remote South Asia island nation, has it all — it’s one of the most pristine settings we’ve ever laid eyes on, and well-deserving of its reputation as one of the most beautiful and secluded resorts in the world.
With a clear blue sky stretching as far as the eye can see, a pure white sand beach — untouched except for the tiny white crabs that flit across the surface — and electric-blue sea teeming with colourful ocean wildlife, this little slice of paradise is what dreams are made of.
After a long journey to get here, you’ll want to cool off and take a dip in the large pool, surrounded by luscious palms and the beautiful beach beckoning in the distance. This is also where breakfast is served daily from the resort’s main restaurant The Dining Room, with tables arranged along the patio so guests can soak in sun and sky while feasting on unique Maldivian fare (think tuna curry with roshi bread, chilli eggs with tomato relish, and coconut and quinoa porridge with Maldivian pine nuts). Across the way is The Bar, serving up cocktails all day long, with cushy lounge seating and a private pathway leading out to the beach.
Jutting out into the lagoon are the 14 Water Villas, overwater bungalows each with a private sundeck and direct access to the reef (most popular with honeymooners). Back on land, 36 Park Villas are arranged in a half-circle around the island’s perimeter, with the furthest villa not more than a 5-7 minute walk from the lobby (golf buggies are also available to transport you around the island). Rooms are beautiful, outfitted with a king-sized bed, double sinks including an outdoor shower/bath area, and sliding glass doors leading out to your own secluded stretch of beach.
Grab a set of snorkelling gear and dive straight into the crystal clear waters; not more than a few paddles in, you’ll encounter the vast coral reef with its diverse marine life, from sea turtles to tropical fish and the occasional (non-threatening) shark.
Or perhaps you prefer to take a glass-bottomed canoe (available from the Dive & Activity Centre) further out to sea: the best time to go is at the crack of dawn, when the sun is just starting to spill its rays across the horizon and the fish are energetically darting across the ocean floor in search of their morning bite. Keep your eyes peeled for any splashes on the surface of the water; if you’re lucky, you’ll be able to attract a few dolphins curious enough to swim alongside your canoe — a magical moment to spot them in their natural habitats. Other water excursions include fishing, scuba diving, and visits to surrounding islands to experience the local way of life.
When the sun sets, wind down with a cocktail at the bar before enjoying dinner at The Dining Room, a beachside BBQ at The Island Grill, or a private dining experience. There’s nothing more romantic than having a long, drawn-out meal on the beach, just the two of you under the stars with fine food and wine, twinkling stars overhead, and the feel of cool sand beneath your feet. The only hard part? Saying goodbye to it all when your honeymoon draws to an end.
Getting there: Cathay Pacific offers roundtrip non-stop flights from Hong Kong to Malé (6-hour flight time). From there, it’s a 1-hour domestic flight transfer on Maldivian Airlines to Kooddoo Domestic Airport, followed by a 30-minute speedboat journey to Hadahaa Island (domestic flight and speedboat are arranged by the resort).
Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa, North Huvadhoo, Gaafu Alifu Atoll, Republic of Maldives, +960 682 1234
Burj Al Arab Jumeirah, Dubai
For an exotic, splurge-worthy honeymoon destination, look no further than the Burj Al Arab Jumeirah in Dubai. With a reputation of being the playground for the rich and the famous, Dubai is all about opulence and luxury — and nothing embodies that more than this iconic hotel. With its distinct sail-shipped silhouette, the Burj Al Arab Jumeirah is the third tallest hotel in the world and the only 6-star property in the area (some have even anointed it with 7-star status). It’s undeniably stunning, and often referred to as one of the world’s most luxurious properties.
The VIP experience begins as soon as you arrive at the airpot, where you’re swept up by a chauffeur-driven Rolls Royce which takes you across a bridge to the man-made island where the hotel sits (constructed on sand, it’s tethered by 250 concrete columns that reach 45 meters under the sea). As soon as you step on the property, prepare to be treated like royalty with a private reception and a host of butlers on every floor to cater to your every need.
First things first — check-in to your oversize suite and take a dip in the jacuzzi, surrounded by marble columns and brilliant gold mosaic walls. One bath will be enough to wash away any trace of travel fatigue, and once you’re wrapped up in the luxurious bathrobes and plopped down on the bed’s Egyptian cotton sheets, it might be a few days before you even leave the room (you are on your honeymoon, after all).
When you’re ready to explore the rest of the hotel, your options are endless. Stop by the award-winning Talise Spa for a beauty treatment, dine at one of nine restaurants and bars, or spend a lazy day on The Terrace, where a restaurant, pool, beach and cabana combine to create the ultimate 10,000-square-metre outdoor luxury leisure space — specially built offshore in Finland and transported to Dubai by sea.
A magnet for honeymoons, the resort pulls out all the stops when it comes to dialling up the romance. You can book out the infinity pool for an intimate moonlight swim complete with Champagne and rose petals; take a helicopter ride for breathtaking birds-eye views over the city; or charter a private yacht for quiet relaxation out at sea.
And that’s only the tip of the iceberg. Spend the rest of your days exploring the magnificent sights and sounds of Dubai, from hunting for gold jewellery and colourful hand-woven fabrics in the colourful souks and alleyways of the city; to traversing the red sand dunes on a camel desert safari. Choose your own Arabian adventure, and get ready for the honeymoon of a lifetime.
Burj Al Arab Jumeirah, Jumeirah Beach Road, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, +971 4 301 7777
On the border between Europe and Asia, Turkey’s dramatic and magnificent landscape is one of those places that should be on everyone’s travel bucket list. Of all the sights to see in Turkey, the fairy chimneys of Cappadocia are high at the top of the list, offering the perfect place to kick off your honeymoon if you’re looking for a bit of peace and quiet after a whirlwind wedding.
Inside the maze of hidden tunnels, sculpted houses and caves that form Cappadocia lies Argos, a small boutique hotel that’s gaining popularity as one of the best honeymoon spots in the region. Resembling an ancient medieval village, this 51-room fairytale hotel was constructed in 2010 and continues to be an ongoing restoration of the old village buildings in the area, steeped in history yet offering the modern comforts of a high-end property.
Bunker down in your chic cave dwelling outfitted in antique carpets, cobblestone walls and comfy wood-burning fireplaces. While the rooms look straight out of a medieval times movie set, the room is wired for comfort, with reader-friendly intuitive lighting, spacious bathrooms, plush furniture and sun terraces with valley or courtyard views.
For one of the best vantage points from the resort, head to the modern SEKI restaurant to taste some of the unique foods and wines of the region, paired with gorgeous views over the “moonscape” terrain. The juxtaposition of world-class contemporary cuisine surrounded by a primordial landscape is a prime example of what makes Cappadocia such a fascinating place to visit, one that will take you several days, or even weeks, to explore.
Plan to spend the first few days getting lost amongst the hundreds of caves, pinnacles and valleys that dip, dive and meander around the region, discovering everything from old monasteries to thriving vineyards (despite its stark appearance, Cappadocia is actually rooted in mineral-rich soil that’s excellent for grape-growing). Visit some of the best restaurants in the region including Elai and Seten, where you can dine on traditional Turkish dishes such as rice wrapped in vine leaves and Göreme-style stuffed squash blossoms in a beautiful open-air arched courtyard. At night, head back to the hotel for drinks at SEKI Lounge, with a crackling fire to warm your toes and the splendid Güvercinlik Valley stretching out beneath your feet.
Finally, don’t miss out on booking a hot air balloon ride, one of the most popular activities in the region. Floating 3,000 metres above the ground, it’s hard not to feel like the only two people in the world, with the sun just beginning to peek across the horizon, and the only sound the occasional roar of burners from the colourful balloons floating lazily across the honeycombed hills.
Getting there: Turkish Airlines offers direct flights from Hong Kong to Istanbul. From there, it’s a short 1-hour domestic flight to Cappadocia.
Argos, Uçhisar 50240 Nevşehir, Türkiye, +90 384 219 31 30