Is there anything more romantic than cuddling up with your main squeeze under a blanket of stars—and maybe a cozy blanket as well—and waiting hopefully to see one shooting through space or simply admiring a gorgeous moon and spotting constellations? It’s moments like these that you can truly enjoy each other’s company in a pure and contemplative way. Light pollution often dims these celestial stunners, but fortunately many ideal honeymoon destinations are in off-the-grid or out of the way places where it’s far easier to enjoy the splendors of a night sky. Here, 18 hotels and resorts that not only offer flawless viewing but also the pro-level equipment to get a little more intimate with those ancient balls of fire and glowing planets we find so fascinating.
At the top of a cliff between a fishing village and mountain range floats this luxury hotel that epitomizes the beauty of Mallorca. The Romantic Stargazing Experience pairs a customized five-course dinner overlooking the Mediterranean with a private two-hour stargazing experience led by an astronomer who will pass on knowledge and star facts you can use to impress folks at home.
Romance is on the menu at this 12th-century monastery-turned resort that’s remote enough to witness a full array of stars, planets and galaxies that seem draped just beyond reach over your heads. A new twice-weekly stargazing program dubbed Stellar Tourism Experience comprises a brief intro to astronomy followed by stargazing sessions—cocktail in hand—on a powerful GPS-armed Celestron telescope and the opportunity for astrophotography to shoot awe-inspiring nighttime pictures that will definitely make Instagram ooh and aah.
There’s nowhere like Greece to delve into the otherworldly universe of mythology and astronomy. Crete’s inky night sky is an unmatched arena for stargazing, from plush beach cabanas or along an off-road exploration along abandoned dirt tracks in a four-wheel drive vehicle (arranged via the concierge team) where you can reach the highest, most isolated points of the island and feel like the only ones on earth under planets and constellations with rich meaning.
At Amangiri, lovers can actually sleep under the stars, in a skybed on the private sky terrace of Mesa Pool Suites and Desert Pool Suites. The rooftop bed is outfitted with the same luxurious bedding as inside, but gives newlyweds the opportunity to enjoy Mother Nature’s amenities—the Milky Way and occasional shooting stars—with Champagne, s’mores and heaters to keep things steamy.
The brand-new eco-friendly Star Deck at Bilimungwe Bushcamp in Zambia’s Luangwa National Park—teeming with hippos, elephants, lions, giraffe and all the gorgeous gazelle species you could wish to see—gives safarigoers a 360-degree view of the night sky. All the guides are trained in stargazing, and can point out individual stars, planets and constellations using laser pointers and an astronomical telescope.
This all-inclusive Relais & Chateaux ranch is 75 miles from Missoula, the largest city around, and even they have an Outdoor Lighting Ordinance to keep skies dark for optimal stargazing. Trained staff can help you figure out the state-of-the-art Celestron CPC Deluxe HD telescope so you can find your favorite constellations with ease.
Explora Atacama Hotel de Larache, Chile
Astronomy motivates much of the travel to Chile’s spectacular Atacama Desert, home to the profound night skies. Luxury travel concierge Scott Dunn has seen an uptick in stargazing-centered trips in the region, where the ALMA Observatory has made history discovering new facets of the universe. Just this year they’ve found infant planets around a newborn star and the most distant oxygen in the universe. Science nerds will geek out here for sure.
It turns out you don’t have to go to Norway or Iceland to see the Northern Lights—it’s possible in Canada, too. A local outfitter in Kananaskis offers a Snowshoe, Stargazing Fondue tour on the Saturdays closest to the new moon, when the sky is darkest, and highlights may include sightings of the Aurora Borealis, meteor showers and even meteorites.
This brand-new resort is staffed with Artisans assigned to each guest room, and one specializes in astronomy. Admire the great beyond through a large telescope and learn how to photograph what you’re seeing with your phone! Stargazing experiences are arranged around meteor showers and moon phases and can be tailored to the couple with food, drinks and even private serenades in the botanical garden, as well as done off-site in a desert canyon. As of July 19, 2021, this property is temporarily closed and not accepting new reservations.
Go totally exotic with an Indian safari honeymoon—tigers, elephants and crocodiles, oh my!—at this luxe lodge tucked into the untouched jungles of Panna National Park. The starry sky there is dotted with the North Star, Milky Way and all the other usual suspects, and naturalists will share trivia and stories relating to the myths of the great beyond.
Sedona’s opulent getaway offers a unique Written in the Stars package that celebrates all things celestial. Perfect for a magical minimoon, the two-night deal includes a stargazing map, star-shaped cookie and blanket upon arrival. There’s a credit for creekside dining under the stars, and if you’re there on a Saturday there are stargazing sessions and seasonal Star Bathing treatments at the L’Apothecary Spa.
In a cove on the North Island sits this dreamy little lodge on 800 acres of greenery, four private beaches and a vast, open sky. In other words, there’s nothing blocking your view. After devouring a meal by their Michelin-starred chef, couples can sip digestifs around an oversized beachside fire pit armed with tools to enjoy your surroundings: warm blankets, binoculars and iPads loaded with a stargazing app that will tell you exactly what you’re spotting.
Insulated against light pollution by a canyon on the picturesque coast, this ranch-style resort has a telescope around which guests and a master astronomer gather on Fridays to gaze upward and gain deeper understanding of the cosmos and formation of the universe—all made even more fun with wine, naturally.
Anyone who’s been in the western half of the U.S. knows its skies are somehow bigger. One thousand feet above Jackson and adjacent to the Tetons is this resort on a wildlife sanctuary where galaxies, star clusters, planets and more come into plain view with the help of Wyoming Stargazing’s Dr. Samuel Singer and his collection of massive telescopes. Two nights a week he caters to wannabe astronomers by answering questions about constellations, star formation, galaxy collisions and the origin of the universe, while passing on tips to keep you starstruck for years.
The Ritz-Carlton, Rancho Mirage, California
Deserts are some of the best places to stargaze, owing to the flat expanses that seem to enhance the size of the sky like no other. Near Palm Springs this hotel offers guests—five nights a week, weather permitting—stargazing sessions led by a recreation ambassador with a powerful 11-inch computerized Celestron telescope that magnifies wonders that are light years away. There’s even a special Constellations & Cocktails menu featuring a Mirage Milky Way cocktail and treats like Mars Bars, Starbursts and Moon Pies.
You won’t need a telescope to savor the serene scene that will unfold before your eyes from the comfort of a new Star Bed at DumaTau Camp in Botswana. During the dry season, April 1 to November 30, this remote mosquito net-draped bed under a wooden roof is the most incredible place to take in a sparkling sky. Just think of all the wildlife around looking up in admiration, too.
“I love you to the moon” takes on new meaning when you see it close up through a strong telescope with the Pacific Ocean lapping gently at your side. Couples can book a private Stars Above Hawaii experience with an astronomical expert who teaches them about Hawaiian starlings and ancient Polynesian voyaging, and points out star clusters, stellar nurseries, galaxies, planets and more.
The first official Dark Sky City is Flagstaff, where this reimagined 247-room hotel sits with crystal clear views of the Milky Way and more. Ambitious astronomy junkies can head nearby to the Lowell Observatory—one of America’s major astronomical research facilities—for even more exciting insight into the cosmos, with the help of a 24-inch Alvan Clark Telescope.