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Between the United States and Canada, there are countless romantic destinations. From mountaintop vistas to Hawaiian jungles, your honeymoon could be filled with snowy adventures or beachside relaxation. It isn't always easy to decide which type of honeymoon you want, but these excellent hotels narrow down the possibilities. Providing you with a wealth of idyllic moments (think candlelit gourmet dining and luxury couples' spa treatments), each of these resorts will give you the perfect start to your new life together.
Best Adventure: Amangani, Jackson Hole, Wyoming
If you thought Jackson Hole was a seasonal destination, you’d be wrong. This intimate, Ansel Adams–worthy resort at approximately 7,000 feet on the crest of East Gros Ventre Butte, is always ready to imbue guests with the real American West. From redwood paneling to roaring fires, its contemporary suites are filled with references to the mountains and forests—see woven cowhide chairs and faux wolf throws.
Winter is epic for hitting the slopes (heli-skiing is a popular option, and the resort has a private Ski Lounge), while the rest of the year there’s yoga, hiking, mountain biking, fly fishing, horseback riding, and hot air ballooning, with elk and bighorn sheep spotting on safaris.
Wanna see nearby Yellowstone National Park without an excess of time? Hop aboard the Yellowstone Photo Edit private helicopter tour. Back on property, there’s also a can’t-miss spa, a massive pool, and chef specializing in local, sustainable ranch meats and farm-to-table produce.
Best Coastal: Ventana Big Sur, Big Sur, California
Adults-only and oh-so dreamy, this 59-room and -suite Big Sur resort is practically custom-made for newlyweds who love being in nature together. The perfect blend of sumptuous and rustic pervades the 160-acre property dotted with sky-high redwoods and meadows, with views of that iconic stretch of California coastline (see Big Little Lies for a good idea of the visuals you’re in for).
All the design weaves seamlessly with the surroundings, especially the glamping tents that provide a fun option for a few days of “roughing it,” complete with s’mores kits. The experience is plenty elevated, thanks in part to The Sur House, with terrace floating over the ocean and sky, where couples partake in craft cocktails and coastal dishes.
Spa Alila offers a beautiful Couples Experience, and there are also Japanese hot baths, an infinity-edge hot tub and a clothing-optional mountain pool for leisure hours. Programming is of the place, too: things like wild foraging and photography hikes, and star bathing.
Best Island: Hotel Wailea, Maui, Hawaii
The sole Relais & Chateaux property in Hawaii, the 15-acre Hotel Wailea is blissfully free of youngsters, which makes it a dream for honeymooners seeking romance and seclusion. There’s no bad room out of the 72 on the property, but newlyweds should aim for one of the 12 the Celebration Suites, which are on the top floor and offer seductive panoramas and vivid furnishings. Each one has a private concierge to address their every whim and comes with a private lanai, daily breakfast and VIP bottle of Laurent-Perrier Brut Champagne.
It’s hard to choose between lounging by the turquoise pool and swimming in the surreal cerulean ocean, but between dips, it’s a safe bet to check out the spa. The dining options are as exciting as the setting and include an ocean-view treehouse with a private seven-course chef dinner and immersive culinary experience in the Secret Garden.
Best Wilderness: Tutka Bay Lodge, Alaska
Newlyweds hoping for an indelible life experience on their honeymoon can look no further than Alaska, where local adventure travel company Within the Wild operates remote lodges offering not only once-in-a-lifetime nature encounters and sustainability but also a serious culinary program thanks to mother-daughter chefs who put their gourmet spins on everything from entrees to s’mores.
This warm, six-cabin lodge on the edge of Kachemak Bay State Park is one of National Geographic’s Unique Lodges of the World and has no roads leading in, meaning you can get there by boat from Homer or float-plane from Anchorage.
Once there, expect backcountry guiding, massage, yoga, cooking classes, hell-adventures (including glacier trekking), kayaking, bear viewing, deep-sea fishing and hiking the Iditarod Trail (go in March to play with the sled dogs!). Epic staff is also part of the equation, ensuring honeymooners have the time of their lives.
Best Luxury: Four Seasons Resort Lanai, Lanai, Hawaii
Exotic and so wildly unique, Hawaii is a fantasy of a honeymoon, and tiny Lanai island is definitely a high point. In view of Molokai and Maui (an easy ferry trip, too), it’s secluded yet not so off the beaten path to be difficult. The 213-guestroom resort on the Pacific, coated in luscious tropical gardens and featuring a mouthwatering Nobu restaurant, plus Malibu Farm and a steakhouse, is an idyllic place to romance your loved one.
There’s plenty to do: a Jack Nicklaus golf course, tennis, horseback rides, sporting clays and archery, sailing and whale watching and much more. But relaxation is also important, and even the organically shaped pool was designed with many private nooks for sunbathing without another soul.
Grab an off-road vehicle to explore the Garden of the Gods, or watch the sunset from the top of Sweetheart Rock, but don’t forget pampering in the spa, too. Pro tip: For an all-inclusive dose of serenity, spa and three meals a day from Nobu by Sensei, add on a couple of nights at nearby Four Seasons Hotel Lanai at Koele, A Sensei Retreat.
Best Mountains: Fairmont Banff Springs, Banff, Canada
Who’d have thought you should go to Canada for some of the world’s best swimming pools? It’s true though—you and your sweetie will find an Olympic-sized pool, a 20-meter heated pool nestled into the grand Rocky Mountains, and a wading pool—even the spa has pulsing waterfalls, plunge pools, and a heart-shaped mineral pool.
This historic Scottish-style castle-turned-hotel, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is also home to spectacular landscapes from its place in the middle of Canada’s first national park. Luxury is a given, considering the pampering that goes on across the sprawling property and its 12 dining venues, each drawing from local influences in some way. There’s a championship golf course for the summer, but winter is when it shines brightest thanks to world-class snowfall and skiing.
Best Landscapes: Amangiri, Canyon Point, Utah
If you want to feel far away from everything you know, check into this desert resort in the middle of Navajo Nation, bordered by Grand Canyon, Bryce and Zion National Parks, plus the Colorado River, Grand Staircase-Escalante and Monument Valley. It’s as if you’ve stepped into another time and planet with these surreal natural phenomena surrounding architecture that becomes part of it. While the red rock–studded environment is definitely a highlight of the haute property, the culinary offerings are, too, drawing serious inspiration from ingredients grown and eaten by Native Americans for centuries, reimagined in five-star plates. Just 34 minimalist suites (all opening up in a major way to the outdoors) allow for quite personalized hospitality, whether you’re at the iconic pool or inquiring about a hike, horseback or canyoning adventure. As of April 2020, there’s also Camp Sakira by Amangiri, a collection of 10 breathtakingly beautiful tented accommodations for a little change of pace.
Best Activities: The Ranch at Rock Creek, Philipsburg, Montana
If wide blue skies, snow-coated mountains and wildlife are your thing, you’ll adore this Montana ranch, which is nothing if not authentic—don’t miss a dance in the barn! More than 10 square miles of wilderness are all yours, along with a few other guests you might hardly see if you book the outlying Trapper Cabin, the most romantic accommodation made of canvas, wood and stone, with cozily heated floors and an outdoor soaking tub. All-inclusive and Relais & Chateau–approved, the experience is as high-end as it gets, with a wide variety of culinary experiences that make every meal—and even the in-between snacks and drinks—enticingly new and exciting. Year-round activities are prolific, think horseback riding, shooting, geocaching, hiking, biking and fly fishing, while wintertime introduces things like snowmobiles, skis (both alpine and downhill), snowga, ice skating and sledding. Learn to massage your partner during a session in the spa, and make sure to spend an evening in the charming bar, bowling, singing karaoke, or simply living your best cowboy life.
Best Wine Country: Auberge du Soleil, Rutherford, California
Michelin-star dining, all the wine you could want, and views second only to actual Tuscany. What more could you want? This legendary resort is quintessential Napa Valley, on a 33-acre olive grove drenched in sunlight and shaded by lush trees. There are 50 rooms that are arguably the area’s most luxurious, but totally un-stuffy so you can let your hair down. The swimming pool is something to behold, with breathtaking panoramas that are California-meets-south of France through and through. It all started with the Michelin-starred fine-dining French restaurant, so you know the world-class cuisine will blow you away—whether you eat on white linen there or in the privacy of your balcony. This is ground zero for wine, so tastings are a happy way to spend days (there’s a complimentary Mercedes-Benz drive program, too), though there are plenty of yoga and movement classes, tennis and hikes, plus an award-winning spa, to draw you away.
Best Destination: Clayoquot Wilderness Resort, Vancouver Island, Canada
There’s off the beaten path, then there’s off the beaten path, and this British Columbia retreat on remote Clayoquot Sound World Biosphere is the firmly the latter. Couples hop aboard a scenic seaplane flight from Tofino or Vancouver to reach the pinnacle of all glamping experiences: hyper-romantic safari-style draped canvas tents fully furnished with antiques and flora worthy of a luxury resort complete with a horse-drawn wagon shuttle and waterfront lounge.
The cuisine is no camp food, but super gourmet and inclusive, as are guided activities that range from fishing and horseback riding to hiking, biking and stargazing after memorable dinners for two. Make the most of your efforts by adding on a couple of nights at the Cloud Camp, 4,500 feet above sea level on Ursus Mountain, and you’ll go via another exciting craft: helicopter.