The fantasy of the South Pacific lies in its essential nature as a collection of remote tropical islands ringed with white-sand beaches and surrounded by warm fish-filled lagoons. In French Polynesia, honeymooners flock to resorts with overwater bungalows (they were invented here); some have glass bottoms that serve as a window into the underwater world, while others come with daily breakfast delivered via outrigger canoe. The food is influenced by France, but also by the local ingredients. Fresh fish is a staple and is often served poisson cru style, which means cured in a mixture of coconut cream and lime juice. Other dishes, such as yams and taro, are wrapped in taro leaves and roasted, and French food found here includes baguettes and crepes. It's all served with local Hibino beer.
In Fiji, the bungalows are thatch roofed and often sitting in front of the surf, marking the stretch of coast in their front yard as unofficially theirs. When you're not sunning on your beach (that sounds nice, right?), you can dive the teeming reefs or take in a local tradition: fire-walking ceremonies performed by descendants of ancient tribal warriors.
As for the Cook Islands, this barefoot paradise is still undiscovered territory for most Americans, making it the perfect spot to go if you're looking for a romantic destination that feels uniquely yours. (Hello, honeymoon bragging rights!) Ready to find your paradise? Let's go!
The "2015 Brides Best Honeymoons" top-resort lists were based on the quality of TripAdvisor reviews of properties with more than 30 reviews and a significant percentage of honeymoon reviews.
Likuliku Lagoon Resort in Fiji
Between the overwater bungalows (among the only ones in Fiji) and the sea-view spa (try the coconut body glow), this thatch-roofed retreat is made for couples. When you're not blissing out above a blue lagoon, jet ski to floating bar Cloud 9 or take a picnic to Honeymoon Island; Likuliku Lagoon Resort
St. Regis Bora Bora Resort in Bora Bora, French Polynesia
This is why newlyweds fly so far to honeymoon in Bora Bora: clear turquoise waters, white sand, and overwater bungalows. These are especially large and built on Y-shaped piers that give them a view of water and scenery rather than one another; St. Regis Bora Bora Resort
Etu Moana in Aitutaki, Cook Islands
This dreamy resort is romantic and environmentally and socially responsible, with traditional Nikau-style roofs and with a staff made up of locals, traditional Nikau-style roofs, solar panels, and solar-heated, filtered ocean water; Etu Moana
Tokoriki Island Resort in Tokoriki Island, Fiji
At Tokoriki, the pool is close enough to the surf to hear the waves, and it's surrounded by thatch-roofed umbrellas. At night, toast with cocktails here — the space is lit with tiki torches — before heading to the teppanyaki grill; Tokoriki Island Resort
Qamea Resort and Spa Fiji in Qamea Island, Fiji
With only 12 rooms — all ocean-front bures (thatch-roofed bungalows) with curtained-off four-poster beds, high ceilings, and hardwood floors made out of local mahogany — Qamea feels intimate, private, and very, very sexy; Qamea Resort and Spa Fiji
InterContinental Thalasso-Spa Bora Bora in Bora Bora, French Polynesia
After its chic overwater bungalows, the Deep Ocean Spa may be its biggest draw. It's one of the biggest and best in the islands, with 13,000 square feet of space, including glass-floored overwater bungalows for treatment rooms, an outdoor whirlpool tub, and steam rooms; InterContinental Thalasso-Spa Bora Bora
Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora in Bora Bora, French Polynesia
If you're looking for polish, this resort has it in spades: There's a chic infinity-edge pool, dramatic thatch-roofed cabanas, and a gym with an overwater yoga platform; Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora
Navutu Stars Fiji Hotel & Resort in Yaqeta Island, Fiji
This property embraces local flavors: Fish is baked in banana leaves, and when you order cocktails, you may be served a snack of fried coconut slices tossed with peanuts and potato chips and served with chili sauce (so much better than plain nuts); Navutu Stars Fiji Hotel & Resort
Royal Davui Island Resort in Royal Davui Island, Fiji
If you want to go snorkeling at this 16-room adults-only private island, all you have to do is step off the sand; there's a kaleidoscope of fish to see just a few breast strokes off shore. Ask the staff to set up a champagne picnic for you on a sandbar or help you find an empty beach to call your own; Royal Davui Island Resort
Pacific Resort Aitutaki in Aitutaki, Cook Islands
Decisions, decisions: Should you take your lounge chairs down to the surf and spend the whole day at the water's edge or keep active with snorkeling, kayaking, or a dance, ukulele, or sarong-tying class?; Pacific Resort Aitutaki