Some of the most picturesque and romantic honeymoons happen not on a powdery stretch of Caribbean sand, but at a destination with a different kind of vista: mountains. There’s something so peaceful yet invigorating about being in that kind of natural setting, drenched in fresh, clean air and with a sense of adventure around every turn. Another thing hilly retreats have that beaches typically don’t: fireplaces. Crackling flames and a couple of glasses of red wine or champagne are a surefire recipe for seduction.
Winter isn’t the only time to book a majestic mountain trip either. From Switzerland (Gstaad Palace is the stuff of fairy tales) and Aspen (you might fall even more in love at the Little Nell or Hotel Jerome) to Whistler (for a splurge, book the Four Seasons Resort and Residences Whistler), the best ski destinations are dependably stunning in the summer, too.
Or venture off the beaten path a bit to intimate properties between peaks like Dunton Hot Springs, a small, exclusive resort in the San Juan Mountains of the Colorado Rockies, just across the hill from Telluride. There, original 19th-century log cabins have been transformed into romantic accommodations with modern conveniences. The most ideal for a honeymoon is the Well House, a cabin built around a small hot spring, meaning you can actually take a warm dip inside, then cozy up by the fireplace to dry off. Get a side of private cooking classes and a wine cellar stocked with 15,000 wines at Twin Farms, an all-inclusive Relais & Chateaux property nestled in Vermont’s magical mountains.
In the Ozark Mountains of Missouri, newlyweds can cruise on a luxe yacht on the lake, hike through a 10,000-acre nature park, and get pampered together during couples treatments in the giant, nature-inspired spa, all at Big Cedar Lodge. The top pick for honeymooners is the Civil War-era cabin at Top of the Rock, which is ideally secluded and features an outdoor shower with views of the serene Table Rock Lake.
Of course, there are incredible mountains to explore beyond America, too. Intimacy is guaranteed at Azuridge Estate Hotel in Alberta’s Rocky Mountains, where gemstone-inspired rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows and jaw-dropping views. If you end up wanting to skip the hiking and horseback riding to spend all your time in the bedroom, that’s okay, too; you’ll still experience the environment from those big windows, and personal 24-hour butlers will cater to your every whim, from bringing you gourmet dinners to delivering side-by-side massages and body masks.
The South Island of New Zealand is home to dramatic mountains, glaciers, lakes, and fjords and feels like one of the most remote places on earth. In Queenstown, on Lake Wakatipu, Matakauri Lodge epitomizes honeymoon perfection. The small property’s suites are cozied in a native forest, and all feature open fireplaces, private porches, and panoramic views of the surrounding mountains—epic for watching the sunrise or set.
In South America, one of the most amazing honeymoon adventures centers on the Sacred Valley, a region in Peru’s Andean highlands where magical Machu Picchu is the pinnacle. Inkaterra Hacienda Urubamba is a picture-perfect home base for exploring the area by foot (maybe even alongside llama or alpaca), bicycle, quad bike, or even raft (in the Urubamba River that snakes through). At the end of adventure-packed days, you can settle in with a pisco sour and mouthwatering dinner by a roaring fireplace.
Some destinations lend themselves to splitting your time between both mountains and beaches. Costa Rica is such a place where it’s easy to do both in one trip. For the higher-altitude portion, Hacienda AltaGracia is a pristine Auberge resort atop the lush Pérez Zeledón mountains in the southern region, with private casitas, a top-rated spa, multiple fine-dining options, and an array of equestrian experiences.
Another place to pull double duty: down under. Book a flight to Sydney, Australia, and after getting your fill of the city and its gorgeous beaches, hop a train to the Blue Mountains, the bucolic region a couple of hours away where hiking, waterfalls, and kangaroos are in great supply. The Emirates One & Only Wolgan Valley there is a dream of a honeymoon scene: private villas and pools with hazy blue mountains in the distance, locally sourced cuisine, and endless outdoor activities, or none at all. In other words, everything you could hope for.