2016 BRIDES Best Honeymoons: The Top 10 Resorts in Africa and the Middle East

Honeymoons & Destination Weddings
Best Africa Honeymoon Hotels

Photo: Courtesy of Singita Resorts

Picking the perfect honeymoon location is no easy feat—countless destinations, endless hotel options, and finding the ideal spot to suit both you and your new spouse's needs... how do you choose? Well, we've got you covered. Whether you're looking for inexpensive honeymoon ideas, ultra-romantic getaway locales, the trip of a lifetime or a combination of all three, you've come to the right spot. BRIDES teamed up with the A-list agents at Virtuouso, a network of more than 11,000 luxury-travel specialists, to find the most romantic, luxe hot spots in the world. Presenting our 2016 Honeymoon Awards—dive in to see our favorite resorts in Africa and the Middle East!

One and Only Cape Town Honeymoon

Photo: Courtesy of One&Only Resorts

1. One&Only Cape Town, South Africa
Although it's set on the touristy Victoria and Alfred Waterfront, this property feels like a private retreat, with views of iconic Table Mountain, a spa on its own island, and the only Nobu restaurant in Africa. Expect to work up an appetite shopping, surfing, and cage diving with great whites. Doubles from $689; oneandonlyresorts.com

Royal Malewane South Africa Honeymoon

Photo: Courtesy of Royal Malewane

2. Royal Malewane, Kruger National Park, South Africa
The key to an epic safari honeymoon? Good planning and a lot of luck. For the best chance at amazing wildlife sightings, book a top-notch lodge—preferably one in a private reserve that allows both morning and nighttime game drives, giving you around-the-clock access to lions, elephants, leopards, wildebeest, antelope, and more. Royal Malewane—located in Thornybush Private Game Reserve on the western border of South Africa's Kruger National Park—is one such ultra-exclusive resort, with just 20 guests (in six Luxury Rooms, two two-bedroom suites, and one six-bedroom villa). The lodge blends a remote African-bush experience with cosmopolitan-style spa amenities and fine dining (expect three-course lunches)—perfect for a honeymoon that's equal parts adventure and relaxation. All-inclusive doubles from $2,752 per person; royalmalewane.com.

Singita Sabi Sand Africa Honeymoon

Photo: Courtesy of Singita

3. Singita Sabi Sand, Kruger National Park, South Africa
Set in a privately owned 45,000-acre game reserve adjacent to Kruger National Park, Singita Sabi Sand's three lodges are renowned for high concentrations of big game. Ebony Lodge—Singita's first property, which opened in 1993—has stunning decor (think khaki tents, four-poster canopy beds, rattan rugs, and hand-woven baskets), while Boulders Lodge takes its design cues from the surrounding natural landscape (indoor-outdoor living is a central element, allowing guests to take in the tranquil sounds of a nearby river). Castleton, meanwhile, has a traditional African-farmhouse feel, with sprawling grounds that include a swimming pool, tennis courts, six cottages, a country-style kitchen, and in-room accents like leather-topped trunks and watercolor paintings. All-inclusive doubles from $2,450 per person; singita.com.

Singita Kruger Africa Honeymoon

Photo: Courtesy of Singita

4. Singita Kruger National Park, South Africa All-inclusive
Lebombo and Sweni Lodges are two more ultra-luxe Singita properties, set on 33,000 acres of private concession in a remote section of Kruger National Park near the Mozambique border. The area features pristine wilderness and rivers teeming with wildlife (expect animal sightings from your private suite). At Sweni Lodge, honeymooners can sleep under the stars on an elevated deck, surrounded by a dense canopy of trees. At Lebombo, expect to be perched even higher—the 15 loft-style suites are set on a hillside amid densely covered bush. All-inclusive doubles from $2,580 per person; singita.com.

Royal Mirage Dubai Honeymoon

Photo: Courtesy of One&Only Resorts

5. One&Only Royal Mirage, Dubai, UAE
One&Only specializes in five-star resorts, even in the Middle East's biggest city-slash-playground. Set on 65 acres of lush gardens and private beach overlooking Palm Island Bay, expect to spend days sailing, kayaking, windsurfing, water-skiing, and fishing—when not putting a dent on your credit card at the famed Dubai Mall, of course. Doubles from $536; oneandonlyresorts.com.

Sabi Sabi Africa Honeymoon

Photo: Getty Images

6. Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve, South Africa
Looking for a traditional colonial-style lodge? Try Selati Camp. If your vibe is more one-with-Mother-Nature, there's none better than Earth Lodge. And for those in the market for purist Africa, take your pick between Bush Lodge and Little Bush Camp. The four hallmark properties within Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve have their own specialty, but no matter where you post up, expect unbelievable game sightings on four-hour drives and delicious African barbecue for dinner. All-inclusive doubles from $575 per person; sabisabi.com.

Singita Grumeti Africa Honeymoon

Photo: Courtesy of Singita

7. Singita Grumeti, Serengeti National Park, Tanzania
Whether dining under stars and sleeping under tented canvas, Singita Grumeti's four Tanzanian lodges are all about being one with nature—which is exactly the point, since they're located smack-dab in the heart of the Serengeti, home to Africa's Great Migration. Choose among Serengeti House, Faru Faru Lodge, Sabora Tented Camp, or Sasakwa Lodge, each of which has its own unique (and sleek) aesthetic, but all of which are the stuff honeymoon dreams are made of. All-inclusive doubles from $1,210 per person; singita.com.

Amanjena Morocco Honeymoon

Photo: Courtesy of Amanjena Resort

8. Amanjena, Marrakech, Morocco
Few places are as romantic as Northern Africa, with its desert landscapes, bustling markets, mouth-watering cuisine (the tagines are not to be missed), and over-the-top luxury resorts. The best among them: Amanjena. Like all Aman resorts, Amanjena is a quiet slice of paradise. Each corner of the resort is planned with meticulous precision (founder Adrian Zecha has an eye for detail like none other), starting with the marble-filled entryway's traditional Arab bassin, a giant pool-like structure that was historically used by indigenous cultures to collect mountain runoff. Spend your days haggling with street vendors in the city's Djemaa el Fna square, or hang at the resort, relaxing by the pool or taking a hand-held walk through the stunning oasis, filled with date palms and olive trees once owned by a royal family. Doubles from $638; aman.com.

Burj Al Arab Honeymoon

Photo: Courtesy of Burj Al Arab

9. Burj al Arab Jumeirah, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
You'd be hard pressed to find a more over-the-top honeymoon destination than Dubai. And the Burj al Arab Jumeirah—set on a man-made island in the Arabian Gulf, with 202 rooms—is definitely the most insane (the 25th-floor Royal Suite starts at $8,900 per night). Picture a place covered in chandeliers, 24K-gold leaf, thirty different types of marble, and custom-made carpets from South Africa and India. And that's just the interior design. In terms of amenities, guests can expect a new floating pool complex, nine restaurants and bars, a spa and fitness center, a private beach—oh, and a helipad—if you really want to arrive in style! Doubles from $2,700; jumeirah.com.

Londolozi Game Reserve Africa Honeymoon

Photo: Courtesy of Londolozi Game Reserve via Facebook

10. Londolozi Game Reserve, Kruger National Park, South Africa
Family-run for more than 80 years, this five-lodge reserve helped pioneer responsible ecotourism on the Continent. With nearly 35,000 acres of protected bushland within Kruger National Park, expect accommodations that include modern, earth-toned suites (decorated with a Ralph Lauren-esque hand); expansive wooden decks (on which you can take your picture-perfect sundowner), and plunge pools (for a midday cool down from the steamy African heat). All-inclusive doubles from $699 per person; londolozi.com.

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