Punta Caracol Acqua-Lodge, Isla Colón, Panama
No roads lead to this discreet retreat, tucked away in Panama's famously pristine Bocas del Toro archipelago. Honeymooners must first fly into the town of Bocas on Isla Colón, then travel to the overwater lodge via a 15-minute motorboat ride. But the difficulty of getting there is balanced by the ease of life in your private two-story cabin, one of six solar-powered beauties that sit on stilts above a mile-long stretch of exquisite coral reef. Each thatched-roof cabana has its own snorkeling equipment, sunbathing terrace, and swimming platform—but no TVs or newspapers, leaving the two of you free to focus on the delicious rhythms of ocean-top life. The Caribbean's warm, inviting waters beckon daily. Go for a scuba excursion or a boat trip to Isla Bastimentos National Marine Park, a protected reserve teeming with crab, grouper, snapper, moray eels, and butterfly fish. Back at the resort, traditional wooden canoes are ready upon request, so you can paddle along the surrounding coastline and explore the island's tangle of mangrove forests, exotically populated by howler monkeys, tropical birds, and sloths. The experience will be almost as spectacular as your nightly trip to the overwater restaurant, where you'll dine on lobster caught that morning and sip cocktails under a canopy of stars. (Doubles from $325, including breakfast, afternoon tea, and dinner, December through May and July through August; 07-612-1088, puntacaracol.com.pa)
The Palms Cliff House Inn, Big Island, Hawaii
Pity the poor honeymooners who come all the way to Hawaii's Big Island, only to miss out on its lush, undiscovered eastern coast. Our favorite windward hideout? The Palms Cliff House Inn, a Victorian-style manse that stands 100 feet above Pohakumanu Bay, 13 miles north of Hilo. The inn was restored by John and Michele Gamble, who relocated here from Colorado to chase their dream of opening a B & B. And what a dream it turned out to be—emerald grass, manicured gardens, gurgling fountains, and views of breeching whales during winter. The Gambles' gleaming kitchen looks like foodie-mag fodder, and guests who sign up for cooking classes with local chefs can savor the spoils during a private dinner on the ocean-view lanai. Of course, culinary erudiction may not sound quite as appealing once you've seen your sprawling suite, loaded with satellite TV, a DVD collection, and a mountain of embroidered Italian linens gracing a hand-carved four-poster bed. The nearest beach may be a 15-minute drive away, but at prices like these—room rates are a third of similarly styled digs by the sea—what's a few minutes behind the wheel? (Doubles from $175, including breakfast, year-round; 808-963-6076, palmscliffhouse.com)
Habitation Chabert, Dominca
Its Caribbean coastline is ringed with black-sand beaches, yet the island of Dominica is more celebrated for its skyscraper-high waterfalls, multitude of rivers, and mystery-shrouded lakes. (One is allegedly inhabited by a mermaid; another used to boil with volcanic gusto.) When Spanish settlers first arrived, they found the velvety green mountains, unpredictable terrain, and endless variety of blooms and birds so bewildering, they never worked up the will to tame the place; it remains home to one of the few remaining Carib Indian settlements in the West Indies. But now that a divine inn has made its debut on the northeast coast, Dominica's deepest secrets are about to be spilled. Occupying a 17th-century stone mansion on an old sugarcane plantation, Habitation Chabert lays claim to sprawling grounds, with inviting nooks and hiding places perfect for furtive nuzzling. The five rooms—be sure to request the two-story tower—are a colonial fantasy filtered through a Ralph Lauren sensibility, complete with wooden louvered doors and windows, Georgian-style furniture, sleeping alcoves swagged in netting, and a bounty of thick embroidered towels in fancifully tiled baths. But instead of the standard botanical prints, you'll find the sculptures and watercolors of French artist Josie Thoreau, whose work is scattered throughout the property. You're never far from nature wherever you wander, from the main sitting room, open to the breezes below a peaked, gingerbread-trimmed roof, to the pool, shaded by towering traveler's palms at the edge of the Pagua River. Stroll the beach, tour the cascades, or scout for spouts in one of the prime whale-watching regions in the world. At night, dine by candlelight on inventive French-Creole dishes like tuna tartare with green-banana salad and sweet-potato fries, then drift off to the sounds of the murmuring river. Doubles from $175, including breakfast, year-round; 767-445-7218, habitationchabert.com.
The Inn on the Twenty, Jordan, Ontario
A pair of newlyweds are motoring through Canada's Niagara Peninsula, MapQuest printout in hand, trying to find the Inn on the Twenty. Before they can say "Great White North," they realize they've passed it. That's fairly common for first-time visitors to this hideaway, snuggled in the tiny town of Jordan, on the area's renowned wine route. It's not that the inn is out of the way—it's located just 30 minutes from Niagara Falls. But it is decidedly under the radar, known only to savvy Statesiders who come for the luxurious digs with sitting areas, whirlpools, gas fireplaces, and marble hearths; the dazzling dishes, such as Québécois foie gras, paired with unusual vintages (the inn's owners also manage Cave Spring Cellars winery); and the too-good-to-be-true spa treatments, like the Wine Country Wrap, which includes—what else?—a grape-seed exfoliation.
Housed in a converted brick warehouse, the 24-room inn mixes chintz and heirloom furniture with modern overstuffed sofas and beds, a blending of styles that, like the two of you, mesh together in perfect harmony. Doubles from $207, May through October; 800-701-8074, innonthetwenty.com.
Inn on the Blue Horizon, Vieques, Puerto Rico
Ten years ago, when owner James Weis opened this chic outpost on the edge of an Atlantic bluff, tourists rarely visited Vieques, a sleepy isle just eight miles off the Puerto Rican "mainland." Now that the U.S. Navy has departed, lovely hotels and resorts are beginning to crop up on the island—but none straddles the line between homey and honeymoony better than the Inn on the Blue Horizon. Be prepared: This isn't the kind of place where you'll find luggage carts whizzing by or Muzak piped in around the pool. Instead, you're asked to take the phrase "mi casa es su casa" literally, helping yourselves to the bottles of rum and tequila lined up behind the beach bar, and browsing the assortment of Weis family heirlooms strewn among the flowy draperies and soft cotton bedclothes in your room. Equally welcoming is the hotel's atrium, an alfresco living room in the middle of a former plantation great house, which practically begs you to plop down in one of its cushy chintz chairs, prop up your feet on a coffee table, and read the latest Harry Potter to your holiday heart's content. Rather lounge on the beach? The inn is located on a hillside that overlooks the southern coast, and is a quick walk away from a remarkable swathe of sugar-soft sand that hasn't seen a footprint for days. Sure, you'll do more shelling than clubbing. But after you get used to living the low-profile life that's the hallmark of this secluded jewel, you'll want to stay here forever. Doubles from $160, December through April; 787-741-3318, innonthebluehorizon.com.
The Old Wailuku Inn at Ulupono, Wailuku, Maui
Two kinds of romance exist on Maui's shores. The first, and most familiar, is the kind that blooms on the island's wave-kissed coastline, a sunny side of paradise that's ruled by celeb-frequented resorts, miles of golf greens, and a sea of bronzing honeymooners. And then there's the kind that islanders covet, the kind that lived here in the 1920s and 1930s, when a lanai was more than just a tiny patio: Maui's gardens inspired poets and artists from around the world, and every particle of air was steeped in aloha. The Old Wailuku Inn, tucked behind a garden gate and a mere five-minute drive from Iao Valley State Park, makes a fitting getaway for hikers, photographers, and anyone looking for a taste of pre-touristy Maui. Carved out of a renovated home from the 1920s, the locally owned inn aims to give honeymooners a taste of that era, even theming the rooms after the works of former Hawaii poet laureate Don Blanding. For extra privacy, reserve a space in the Vagabond's House, where the spa-style showers are large enough to fit a bridal party and rooms are draped in fabrics from hip aloha-wear designer Sig Zane. The inn doesn't serve dinner or lunch, but you'll never go hungry: Simply slip into town to nosh on saimin noodles at local favorite Sam Sato's. Come morning, you'll have to go only as far as the hotel's enclosed lanai for a breakfast of banana-macadamia nut pancakes, French toast stuffed with ricotta and fruit, and warm, sugar-dusted malasadas—a Portuguese doughnut that's so deliciously decadent it should be outlawed. Doubles from $125, including breakfast, year-round; 800-305-4899, mauiinn.com.
Amuleto, Zihuatanejo, Mexico
Most people who visit this Pacific coast fishing village don't even know Amuleto is here. Too bad for them: Newlyweds who have stumbled across this gem, ensconced in a quiet neighborhood high above the fabled sands of Playa la Ropa, have discovered a honeymoon oasis of fantasy proportions. The resort has only five suites, so even when every boudoir under the high-peaked thatched roofs is booked, you might not see another soul from check-in to check-out—especially since most of the fabulous, earth-toned rooms have their very own plunge pool, and every meal can be eaten in your suite. You'll relish each bite in digs replete with touches like a handwoven hammock, a bathroom adorned with river stones and Mexican tiles, a four-poster king-size bed, and a terrace bigger than your bedroom back home. But make a point of leaving your quarters at least once for dinner at the inn's open-air restaurant, regarded by Zihua's residents as one of the best in town. Doubles from $300, November through April; 213-280-1037, amuleto.net.