My husband and I have gone on just one honeymoon and it wasn’t even in Hawaii. But if we were to do it again, I’d put my money on any of these romantic retreats in the islands.
Bedroom of the Alii Suite at the Four Seasons Resort Lanai at Manele Bay.
Alii Suite, Four Seasons Resort Lanai at Manele Bay
If it was good enough for honeymooners Bill and Melinda Gates, it’s good enough for me. The tiny island of Lanai calls out to couples looking for privacy and intimacy, and the three-bedroom 5,228-square-foot oceanfront Alii Suite ices the cake with such trimmings as a deep soaking tub opening up to the master bedroom and offering views of the Pacific Ocean. It’s hard to beat the signature Four Seasons bed with its down duvet, the ultimate in comfort. Designers spared no expense here, combining rich velvet and silk fabrics, jewel and gold hues and carved mahogany furnishings. For a change of scene, couples can spend time in the suite’s 1,162-square-foot alfresco area with daybeds, a dining set and lounge chairs.
Villa 8, Fairmont Kea Lani, Maui
When it comes to honeymoons, Number 8 is one of the most popular of Kea Lani’s 37 villas. This secluded two-story 1,800-square-foot slice of heaven features two bedrooms and two bathrooms, so the bridal party can stay there before the wedding and turn over the keys to the newlyweds afterward. The enclosed courtyard captivates with a private plunge pool and barbecue grill. Couples can order a customized meal complete with a beautiful umbrella with lanterns, rose petals in the plunge pool and a private chef and server. Indoors, furnishings are fashioned from plantation teak and mahogany with bamboo accents. The marble bathrooms have deep soaking tubs, walk-in showers and double pedestals, and the beds beckon with luxurious linens.
Oceanfront Sea Ranch Cottages, Hotel Hana-Maui and Honua Spa
Near the end of the road on the eastern side of Maui, the tiny town of Hana gives new meaning to the phrase "getting away from it all," which is exactly what couples want to do on their honeymoon, right? Drenched in nostalgia, Hotel Hana-Maui’s plantation house-style cottages have woven floor mats like in old Hawaii, but luxury is still key. In their sweet getaway overlooking the ocean, couples can snuggle in their robes on the extra-large lanai in between dips in their private hot tub. The bathroom comes with a large soaking bathtub and separate walk-in shower, and the feather-top bed boasts organic cotton sheets. For the ultimate in decadence, clients can add on a couples massage and gourmet dinner without leaving their digs.
Heliconia Bungalow, Mauna Lani Resort, Hawaii’s Big Island
Tucked away behind a lava rock pond, this is the perfect retreat for newlyweds seeking exclusivity and anonymity. Mauna Lani’s five bungalows share the same layout, but each one has subtle differences in furnishings and views. I vote for the Heliconia because of its ocean front bearing, but couples can’t go wrong in any of them. Whisked from the airport in a limo stocked with champagne and snacks, the couple enters through a private gate, checks into their bungalow and likely never wants to leave. Instead they lounge by their very own pool, Jacuzzi and lawn area. Butlers stand ready to accommodate all their needs, whether it’s a spa treatment, helicopter ride, sunset cocktails or gourmet dinners prepared en suite by a personal chef.
Unit G2, Hanalei Colony Resort, Kauai
Here’s another end-of-the-road oasis. Calling to couples on Kauai’s North Shore, the Hanalei Colony is a sublime slice of paradise, and Unit G2 is surrounded on three sides by cinematic views of the ocean. Sunrises and sunsets are remarkable at this resort, located in one of the oldest and most spiritual locations in all Hawaii. With no phones or televisions in the units, couples are guaranteed peace and quiet as they celebrate their new lives together. They can sup in secrecy courtesy of their in-room kitchen, relish a beachside massage in a thatched hale (hut) and spend hours strolling the secluded beach. Active couples will enjoy the resort’s proximity to ziplining, kayaking, snorkeling, swimming and hiking, while the less ambitious can simply loll around in the king-sized bed.