What could be more romantic than just you, your new spouse, and too many secluded beaches to count? There's literally no better way to celebrate your nuptials than by checking into a remote private-island resort designed to indulge all of your castaway fantasies.
This bucket-list honeymoon is ideal for a number of reasons. First, you can be as lazy as you want without the slightest hint of FOMO, since every activity is planned at your leisure. Second, there's no stress from trying to decide where to go to dinner or how to navigate a new destination—each island is self-contained and often comes with butler service to take all the pressure off your plate. Third, most private-island resorts offer a Robinson Crusoe-style escape, like a day trip to an uninhabited islet, where you're dropped with nothing more than a picnic lunch, snorkel gear, and each other for company. We guarantee you'll remember the romantic, totally secluded vibes long after the honeymoon is over (tear!).
Depending on how isolated it is, getting to a private isle may not be easy (or cheap), but once there, most offer an all-inclusive price structure for meals (since there's no where else to drink and eat) and loads of activities, from horseback riding to sunset sails. If you're worried that you and your groom might get bored, pack some games and books to keep busy. Or get PADI certified and explore a new world underwater! No matter how remote the resort is, you won't be completely cut off from the world; every place has internet access, so you can still check in once a day and know that everything is okay back home. (But avoid sitting on your iPad all day—your honeymoon only happens once!)
Ready to find your own private-island oasis? Scroll through for some of our favorite retreats around the world!
Soneva Jani, Maldives
It’s hard to get more remote than the Maldives, a 1,000-island paradise in the middle of the Indian Ocean. And remoteness is the main attraction at Soneva Jani, a resort where almost all of the 25 villas are over water and surrounded by a mind-bendingly blue lagoon. But you’ll hardly be bored: Have your butler arrange a sunrise breakfast on a secluded stretch of sand; shoot down a 62-foot slide off the main building (or your villa, many of which have similar chutes); or plan a “castaway” outing, where you’re dropped on an even tinier uninhabited islet with lounge chairs, a picnic lunch, and snorkel gear. At night, take in the constellations during a stargazing dinner—or just order room service and view them through the retractable roof...over your bed.
North Island, Seychelles
If you're looking for ultimate privacy, North Island is as good as it gets. (No wonder Will and Kate chose it for their honeymoon.) There are only 11 villas, each of which is a whopping 5,000 square feet (seriously, you could go all day without seeing one another), complete with a plunge pool, dining pavilion, outdoor deck, and golf cart (a.k.a. "buggy") to explore the island. You can also get around by bike—all the better to spot Aldabra Giant Tortoises and hear Seychelles White-Eyes singing from the treetops. Stop for cocktails at West Beach Bar or order a bottle from the top-notch wine cellar. But before you go, enroll in a scuba-diving certification course so you can learn a new skill and choose from 20 different dive sites for a new underwater adventure each day.
Kamalame Cay, Bahamas
This retreat is one of the best-kept secrets in the Bahamas: The 20-year-old resort is fresh off a multimillion-dollar renovation and remains under the radar—unless you’re an actor or model. (Karolina Kurkova and Anne V recently stayed for a photo shoot.) Take your pick from the 16 new villas, secluded along the north side of the island. Each is outfitted with an outdoor shower and gauzy linens that sway in the ocean breeze. Hang out on your private veranda, covered in blooming bougainvillea, and snack on fresh-baked cookies delivered hot from the kitchen. Sure, you can get around by golf cart, but wouldn’t a watercraft make more sense? Grab paddle boards or sea kayaks—or borrow snorkeling gear and explore the Andros Great Barrier Reef, the third largest in the world. But really, there’s no rush; slowing down and relaxing is the whole point of Kamalame Cay, which is why there are no TVs or (stay strong!) WiFi in the rooms. So stay in bed—coffee and a fruit and pastry basket are brought to your room each morning—until you’re beckoned away by the sea. Or the tiki bar. Or the over-water spa.
Six Senses Zil Pasyon, Seychelles
Félicité Island seems like an endless summer heaven designed by the gods. (It sits just beyond the Indian Ocean’s cyclone belt.) You’ll want to hole up in one of the 30 super-secluded villas of Six Senses Zil Pasyon, as Ashley Graham and her hubby recently did. But you should definitely venture out too; how many chances do you get to island-hop by kayak, snorkel gear in tow? Or walk through a near-virgin palm forest (in Coco de Mer Valley)? You’ll never forget the night you two dined in a wine vault alone with a personal sommelier. Or the time you screened a classic film outdoors, seated on a cargo net suspended over the sea.
Conrad Bora Bora Nui, French Polynesia
Conrad Bora Bora Nui, a dreamy 114-room resort, is the only one on reef-ringed Bora Bora that occupies its own little island, Motu To’opua. Race each other around on Jet Skis and go for a toes-in-the-sand lunch of red-tuna ceviche at Tamure Beach Grill. Book a massage in the cliffside couples’ treatment room before your adrenaline-rush swim with (friendly!) sharks and stingrays. Then relive the magic (again) with a traditional Polynesian wedding ceremony, dressed in white sarongs. Just be sure to tuck the tiare flower behind your left ear now that you’re married.
This brand-new resort packs the exotic lushness of Bali into a place roughly the length of 24 football fields. Just 50 nautical miles from Singapore and surrounded by the turquoise waters of the South China Sea, this micro island is all about communing with nature: The 20 two-story villas are made from bamboo and local lava-stone tiles, and they’re veiled by thick jungle foliage. The spa is eco-chic too; don’t miss the honey-sesame body scrub. And the chefs take their jobs very seriously, serving three courses at every meal—including breakfast—using seasonal ingredients from the markets on neighboring islands. (Be sure to try the tuna naniura, marinated in andaliman, a local spice similar to Sichuan pepper.) The drinks are just as good—provided you’re brave enough to walk across a bamboo bridge to Dodo Bar, which hovers above the ocean. But trust us, the Nicobar’s Delights (gin and spiced pineapple juice)—and epic sunset—are worth it.
Aman Sveti Stefan, Montenegro
You might not have dreamed of honeymooning in Montenegro, but step on to the tiny isle that is Aman Sveti Stefan, and you'll quickly change your mind. The island was previously a 15th-century fishermen's village, and that sense of history has been masterfully preserved and modernized with restaurants, a spa, three pools, and a yoga pavilion. Go for a morning walk through the nearby towns, drive 10 minutes north for a delicious lunch at Restaurant Konoba Langust, then post up on the private pink-sand beach that connects the resort to the mainland, with shaded lounge chairs and warm, crystal-clear waters.
The Brando, French Polynesia
It’s not about the 1,000-square-foot villas (each with its own plunge pool and dining pavilion). Or the island's famous original owner (actor Marlon Brando). Or the airy, candlelit restaurant by two-Michelin-starred French chef Guy Martin (where you can expect fresh sea bream and unlimited Provencal rosé). No, the main draw of The Brando, a private-island resort, is total, unconditional seclusion: You’re miles away from the tourist hotbeds (in your own atoll, to be exact), and there are no more than 84 guests at a time. Whether you choose to pass an entire day in the privacy of your villa (Johnny Depp and the Obamas have done just that) or venture out for drinks under the stars at Te Manu Bar (order the Dirty Old Bob, named for Brando's right-hand man) and grilled meats at the new Teppanyaki table, the only company you’ll keep will be the one who put that ring on your finger.
For couples looking to experience the exotic jungle vibes of Southeast Asia, there’s none better than Amanwana, a luxury tented resort tucked beneath a tropical forest canopy on Moyo Island (east of Bali). Not only do you get the Insta-worthy backdrop of a glamping retreat (hike to nearby waterfalls by day), but also the top-notch amenities and service of an Aman hotel (request a private barbecue dinner on the beach). The island is also surrounded by some of the world's best coral reefs, so make time for daily scuba dives or snorkeling trips—and don't forget an underwater camera!
Royal Davui Island Resort, Fiji
Royal Davui Island Resort, a private-island retreat, rises out of the crystal waters of Beqa Lagoon like the most romantic mirage ever. It's covered by palms, ringed with sand, and encircled by a reef with some of the world's best snorkeling. Dense foliage separates each thatch-roofed vale (Fijian for "house"), providing plenty of privacy for couples taking a dip in their individual plunge pools. After the sun sinks into the sea, head to the restaurant to cheer on a hermit-crab race or participate in a traditional kava ceremony.
Guana Island, British Virgin Islands
Guana Island is perhaps the most private of the BVIs: No more than 40 guests can stay on the islet’s 850 lush, untamed acres. Spend each day on a different beach; seven fringe the rugged Atlantic to the north and the calm Caribbean Sea elsewhere. If we had to pick a favorite, it would be White Bay, with its #nofilter blue water and confectioner’s-sugar sand. Most of the island is actually a nature preserve with dozens of hiking trails. Just don’t expect to see another soul on the scenic 90-minute climb over Sugarloaf Mountain. Guests do convene, however, for dinner: The Zuma- and Nobu-trained chef hosts torchlit buffets in the orchard and on the beach, serving seared pancetta with a tamarind glaze alongside Anegada lobsters and corn pie (both BVI specialties).
Fregate Island Private, Seychelles
Travel 35 miles off the coast of Mahé, the largest of the Seychelles, and you'll find Fregate Island Private, a year-round paradise just 4 degrees south of the equator. The 16 villas, surrounded by dense flora and fauna, are made from local balau wood and each has a giant pool, Jacuzzi, and private dining pavilion. Take your golf cart and scoot to different secluded beaches—just watch out for the 1,200 giant Aldabra tortoises that roam around. The island is also home to exotic birds and nesting Hawksbill turtles, which you can learn more about from the resident conservationists. Before you check out, ask to plant a tree or adopt a tortoise to contribute to the resort's sustained conservation efforts—and create a lasting memory of what was surely the best trip of your lives.
JW Marriott Venice Resort & Spa
Pulling up to Isola delle Rose by private speedboat feels like a scene out of a James Bond movie. Though it’s just 20 minutes from St. Mark’s Square, this 40-acre resort—with 250 rooms and suites—is a quiet hideout away from the pedestrian throngs of Venice. After a morning touring the city’s famed canals and Ca’ d’Oro palace, hop a water taxi across the lagoon and lounge by the resort’s adults-only pool. (If you want a beach, plan a side trip to the Lido.) Or just stay put at the resort: Learn the art of Venetian cicchetti (snacks); bike to the olive groves, which produce oil for the Michelin-rated Dopolavoro restaurant and for treatments at the spa; then sip vino at the Sagra rooftop bar, with 360 degree views of the Floating City.
Jumby Bay Island, Antigua
Set on a 300-acre islet 10 minutes by boat from the northeast coast of Antigua, Jumby Bay is where you come to soak up the rays and sink your toes into powdery sand. Take your pick among the pristine cottages and villas (many with spacious terraces, outdoor showers, or plunge pools fronting the beach), four restaurants and bars, and two pools. You can also expect top-notch service and guides to assist in a bevvy of land and sea adventures—all-inclusive rates mean activities like water-skiing, windsurfing, paddle boarding, kayaking and snorkeling are all complimentary, so take the opportunity to learn a new skill together!
This ultra-chic lodge located on Nosy Ankao island, off the northeast of Madagascar, is bringing a new level of luxury to an otherwise undiscovered destination. Expect incredible diving, whale-watching excursions, helicopter tours of the island, and treks to spot super cute lemurs. In between activities, chill out in your room/house, done up in local woods with pops of blue that mirror the Indian Ocean waters just outside your door.
Song Saa, Cambodia
Set on two islands known collectively as Song Saa (translation: "the sweethearts"), this private-island resort has the only overwater bungalows in Southeast Asia. Consider it a sweet escape after spending a few days exploring the ruins of Angkor Wat, as most couples do. Throw your shoes in a bag and prepare for some much-needed alone time in your room. You'll enjoy a private pool and crazy-beautiful views of the Gulf of Thailand (not to mention some of the best food in all of Cambodia, delivered right to your door).
COMO Parrot Cay, Turks & Caicos
Don't be surprised if you spy a celeb or five at the beach bar—famous names like Bruce Willis and Keith Richards own villas here at Parrot Cay. That's because this 1,000-acre Asian-inflected retreat a half-hour boat ride from Providenciales pampers couples with top-notch service (most of the staff is trained in Bali), a serene spa (think Japanese baths and yoga pavilions), and a jaw-dropping setting (hello, two-mile beach!).
It's just you two and 14 other guests on the private island of Bedarra, flung out in the outer Great Barrier Reef. You can snorkel, swing on your hammock, sneak kisses on your private sundeck, or head far out beyond the reef for deep-sea fishing in the open water. Unlike most other private islands, Bedarra is dense with tropical rain forest, so along with all the usual beachy activities, you can walk alone through the jungle and listen to the sweet song of yellow-bellied sun birds.
Petit St. Vincent, Grenadines
Prepare for a glorious week of digital detox: The 115-acre isle's 22 luxe sea-view cottages—half of which hover high on the bluffs, the other half on the white-sand beach—have no phones, no TVs, and no Wi-Fi. Instead, guests communicate by hoisting flags outside their rooms (yellow for service, red for privacy). For true isolation, arrange for a picnic on a deserted islet, with only a thatched palapa and your new husband for company.