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 the most unexpectedly romantic honeymoon cities!
With some of the wildest scenery and nightlife on the planet, this Nordic nation is one of the coolest places to get away. Spend a few days in Reykjavik—Iceland's bustling coastal capital—eating at farm-to-table restaurants like Fridrik V or toasting your new marriage with cocktails at Icelandair Hotel's swanky bar near the Reykjavik Marina. From there, post up at Ion Hotel, an architectural marvel both inside and out (interior furnishings are designed by local artisans). Its remote location provides unparalleled access to adventure activities and unobstructed views of the Northern Lights—the highlights of any Icelandic itinerary. Head to the Snéfellsnes peninsula first to catch site of Church Mountain (also known as Kirkjufell)—the otherworldly peak is the perfect backdrop for an epic honeymoon selfie. Next: swap heels for crampons and jump in a 4x4 to explore glaciers, volcanoes, and geothermal pools — yes, don't forget to pack a bikini for a honeymoon in Iceland!
If you're looking for a mix of cosmopolitan grandeur and thrill-seeking outdoor adventures, there's no better place than Switzerland. Everything about this Central European country epitomizes Old World allure—from its sophisticated cities, with historic museums and fine dining, to its dramatic countryside, with chic alpine lodges and glitzy lakefront resorts. Spend your days passing through quaint villages and medieval cities like Bern before checking in to a grande dame hotel on Lake Geneva (we like Beau-Rivage Palace). If you're honeymooning in winter, join the glitzy European jet-set crowd in St. Moritz or Gstaad (the legendary Gstaad Palace is not to be missed), or try a ski-in, ski-out resort in Zermatt, a chic resort town that overlooks the Matterhorn, one of the highest and most majestic peaks in the Alps.
Always dreamed of zip-lining through a dense canopy in a tropical rainforest? Well, start booking a trip to Nicaragua; the Central American nation has—surprise!—the largest area of primary-growth rainforest north of the Amazon. And that's in addition to other tourism draws, including six active volcanoes, stunning ancient ruins, and 550 miles of pristine coastline dotted with golden beaches and sleepy surf towns. Unlike the country's touristy (read: expensive) neighbor to the south, Costa Rica, much of Nicaragua is still undeveloped and undiscovered—like the picturesque colonial towns of Granada and Leon, with pastel-painted churches and vibrant local festivals, and lush beachfronts with resorts like Mukul Beach, Golf, & Spa, a 37-room hideaway that opened in 2013 and remains a favorite among stylish adventure-seekers.
A trip to Japan is at once a journey into the past and the future. From Kyoto's golden temples and cherry blossom trees to Tokyo's bustling street life and inventive food scene, there's something for everyone on this East Asian island nation (just a quick overnight flight from the West Coast). Immerse yourself in the Japanese arts (painting and wood sculpting are among the oldest traditional crafts), nosh on noodles and fresh fish at world-renowned restaurants (there are more Michelin-starred eateries in Japan than in the rest of the world combined), and give your best rendition of Beyoncé's "Halo" (karaoke is a favorite nightlife activity among locals)—after a few rounds of Saki, of course.
America's friendly neighbor-to-the-north may not be your first pick for a honeymoon destination, but you'd be surprised by what awaits you upon arrival: European-feeling cities like Québec; Olympic-worthy ski mountains like Whistler, British Columbia; and emerging wine regions like the Okanagan Valley.
Travel experts have been buzzing about Cartagena for the past few years. And it's easy to see why when you touch down in the sun-washed colonial city, where Latin American sultriness meets laid-back Caribbean cool. In this culture capital—and elsewhere in the country—you'll find modern art, luxe hotels, and some of best ceviche in South America.
Forget St. Tropez and the Amalfi Coast—the sexiest coastal town on our honeymoon hit list: José Ignacio. This tiny fishing village has quietly become a don't-miss stop on the international jet-set itinerary—especially with hip resorts, like Playa Vik(a strikingly modern beach house with a stellar restaurant and stunning sea-view suites), and beachfront restaurants frequented by world-class chefs, like La Huella (where chef Alejandro Morales grills most dishes over open flames; you'll find no place better for a South American steak).
From the bustling streets of Mumbai to the pink palaces of Jaipur and the iconic Taj Mahal of Agra, there are too many bucket-list-worthy destinations in India to count on even 10 hands. Whether you're looking for a northern itinerary through historic Rajasthan—where you can stay at over-the-top resorts like the Taj Lake Palace—or a laid-back beach escape in up-and-coming Goa, no trip to India should be without many many delicious curries and an outbound suitcase full of colorful wares to give to your new mother-in-law.
Few countries have as rich a cultural history as Cambodia. The Southeast Asian nation is home to a legendary New World Wonder, Angkor Wat, a massive stone temple complex built during the Khmer Empire; the 12th-longest river in the world, the Mekong; and resorts that let you interact with habituated Asian elephants, like the Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle.
Freezing your (taut) tush off on a polar ice cap? Might not sound like honeymoon material, but picture this: you and your new hubby, outfitted in down-filled snowsuits, making your way through the frozen tundra, with nothing and no one (except penguins) for miles. Sure, the fearsome voyage through the Drake Passage on your Antarctic cruise (we like Seabourn, if you're in the market to book) got a bit hairy, but once you're there, surrounded by snow-capped volcanoes, crystalline waters, massive glaciers and fjords—there's no greater reminder that you new life together is about adventure!