Lust-worthy, fly-and-flop beach escapes
Como Parrot Cay Hotel, Turks & Caicos
Entirely self-sufficient (the island produces its own electricity and water), it’s perfectly acceptable to waft about like castaways here.
You’ll soon find your rhythm: rising late, downing towels on one of the island’s bone-white beaches and wading out into the shallows to keep cool. When the midday sun gets too much, there’s the heavenly spa to retreat to. Food is a highlight thanks to Como Shambhala’s super-healthy rainbow- coloured plates, or for something a bit different, the hotel will arrange a tiki-hut dinner on the beach.
Honeymoon high: When there’s a full moon, book a candlelit spa treatment under the stars.
Room key: One-bedroom beach house.
Sugar Beach, St Lucia
Delivering colonial Caribbean luxe with a strong dash of daring. Sugar Beach is a modern-day Romancing the Stone-esque retreat. Whitewashed plantation-style villas are dotted around the hills, surrounded by ficus trees, red cedars and flowering heliconias. and the resort is home to one of the best treetop spas in the world. To cap things off.
St Lucia’s extraordinary pitons rise from the sea seemingly book-ending the resort. This year sees Glenconner. a second white-sand beach added, providing further mileage for that barefoot post-dinner stroll…
Honeymoon high: Sailing around the pitons aboard Sugar Beach’s 42ft yacht. Manatee.
Cobblers Cove, Barbados
Candy-cane striped umbrellas, wooden ceiling fans and palm-tree prints are just a few of the things that make this hotel so iconic. Expect classy colonial architecture, rum cocktails adorned with absurdly large flowers and warm smiles at every turn. Complimentary afternoon tea (scones and Wedgwood china) is served every day and has been for the last 25 years – well worth dragging yourselves off the beach for – and that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Cobblers Cove’s charming old-fashioned ways.
Honeymoon high: A trip to Bridgetown Market with chef Leo to pick up ingredients for a dinner a deux.
Room key: The Camelol suite on the top floor of the hotel’s main plantation house comes with a rooftop terrace and plunge pool.
Soneva Jani, Maldives
This year sees the first full year of operation for this hotly anticipated Indian Ocean escape. Tucked away in the lesser-visited Noonu Atoll, it has 25 chic villas sprinkled across five palm-strewn islands (so masses of space), but what really sets the resort apart is the technology and imagination that’s gone into the place. Villa roots retract at the press of a button allowing the spectacular night skies in, and there are two-storey over-water villas with slides from the top deck straight into an Evian-dear lagoon.
Honeymoon high: Scanning the starry skies in the Maldives’ first over-water observatory
Gili Lankanfushi, Maldives
So many Maldivian resorts, so little time… This one, in the North Male Atoll, was the first ever all over-water villa resort and is as good as it gets. Not too large (44 villas), it has sound eco credentials and strong spa game (reiki, meditation and Tibetan singing bowls). Ride around barefoot on bicycles, snorkel with mantas and give in to your every desire at meal times – there’s nothing they can’t whip up here. Sleeping under the stars for a night, dining on a deserted island and watching movies with your toes in the sand are just a few of the things in store for honeymooners.
Honeymoon high: Dinner in Lagoon Champa, a tiny thatched hut on stilts with glass floors. Located offshore, boat required.
Room key: A Crusoe Residence.
As far as all-indusives go, Sandals Royal Caribbean Montego Bay practically wrote the rulebook. Occupying the largest stretch of powder-soft sand in northern Jamaica, this was Sandals’ very first opening, and remains brilliantly geared towards couples to this day. Last December saw the resort up the ante with a handful of splendid thatched over-water villas just like in the Maldives. Each one comes with butler service.
Honeymoon high: Sailing down the Martha Brae River on a bamboo raft.
Grand Velas Los Cabos, Mexico
You could be among the first to christen this magnificent, all-inclusive resort located in hip Los Cabos. With 304 sleek suites, it’s a sprawler. but with size comes splendour – and serenity, if you have kids in to, thanks to a brilliant kids club and separate hangout for teens. Expect luxury on tap (L’Occitane goodies in the bathroom), a handful of ravishing restaurants and a spa with a long list of soothing agave-based treatments. All this just 35 minutes from the airport
Honeymoon high: Whale watching around the Baja California peninsula.
Room key: Presidential Suite.
Blue Waters, Antigua
What started as a 16-room hotel more than 50 years ago, is now one of the jazziest hotels on Antigua spanning 17 acres of prime coastline. Relaxation is the name of the game here. Really, the only decision you need to make is pool, hot tub or sea. But while it’s highly tempting to keep to yourselves 24 hours a day, the Pelican Bar’s steel band is worth emerging for as is the manager’s weekly cocktail party.
Honeymoon high: A boat trip to Prickly Pear Island, a pinprick just off the coast measuring only 100 yards across.
Room key: Rock Cottage, a grand beach house set on the headland has epic ocean views, and comes with its own pool, staff and the option of a private chef.