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The Top 10 Resorts in Asia, Australia, and New Zealand



Picking the perfect honeymoon is no easy feat—countless romantic destinations, endless hotel options, limited vacation time and the struggle-is-real challenge of finding the perfect place to please both you and your new spouse. Where to begin? Well, right here. BRIDES teamed up with the A-list agents at Virtuoso—a global network of more than 15,000 luxury-travel specialists—to find the most romantic, luxe hot spots in the world. Whether you're looking for bucket-list hotels and resorts, far-flung beaches, the top cruise lines for couples, inexpensive honeymoon ideas or unexpected honeymoon-worthy locales, you’ve come to the right spot. Presenting our 2017 Honeymoon Awards—dive in to see the best resorts in Asia, Australia, and New Zealand!


1.
Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai, Thailand

Nestled in the heart of northern Thailand’s Mae Rim Valley, this 20-acre jungle oasis feels worlds away from the chaotic energy of Asia. Here, it’s all about peace and quiet: Days are filled with nature hikes, yoga, Thai language lessons, and instruction in traditional rice-planting techniques. Each villa is shrouded in flora and fauna for maximum privacy—all the better if you want to skinny-dip in your pool before dinner at the Rice Barn, a venue reserved exclusively for one couple each night. (Rooms from $520; fourseasons.com)


When most people think of a Maldives honeymoon, they envision overwater bungalows, otherworldly turquoise waters, and perfect crescents of soft white sand. Good news: That's exactly what you'll get at this private-island resort in North Malé Atoll, which, by the way, is the same atoll as the international airport, meaning honeymooners can skip the expensive sea plane transfer and just hop in a speed boat to arrive at the resort in a flash. Expect to be blown away by your new digs; villas come with 24-hour butler service and private infinity pools, and each of the overwater bungalows has a hammock suspended over the crystal clear lagoon. Spend your days snorkeling and scuba diving, working up a sweat in Pilates reformer classes, and indulging your sweet tooth with homemade frozen yogurt at Sweet Paradise, the beach club's ice cream bar. (Rooms from $1,190; oneandonlyresorts.com)
3.
Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle, Chiang Rai, Thailand
You could argue the term "glamping" was invented at this remote jungle lodge near the borders of Laos and Myanmar. There, not only do you have 15 khaki tented accommodations (outfitted with hardwood floors, teak furniture, copper soaking tubs, and gilded accents), but also exclusive access to a nearby elephant camp (where you can learn to bathe and care for elephants). After daily sunrise treks with the gentle giants, be sure to book a Mahout Recovery Treatment—a massage created specifically to soothe elephant-weary muscles—followed by a soak in your private hot tub elevated among the treetops. (Rooms from $2,444 per couple per night, all-inclusive; fourseasons.com)


4. 
One&Only Hayman Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia
The Whitsundays Islands, off the coast of Queensland, Australia, may not be a well-known destination among American honeymooners. But look up One&Only Hayman Island—located on northernmost of the Whitsundays—and we guarantee you'll want to familiarize yourselves with the destination. The resort has a stylish elegance that does its stunning natural surrounding justice. Expect airy rooms set against the backdrop of the Coral Sea (book a Beach Villa), two large pools for lounging (one saltwater, one fresh), a plethora of complimentary water sports activities (catamaran sailing, windsurfing, paddle boarding), and three delicious signature restaurants (Fire, for modern Australian cuisine; Amici for Italian; Bamboo for Asian). Oh, and we forgot: unparalleled access to the Great Barrier Reef. (Rooms from $648; oneandonlyresorts.com)

5.
Amanpuri, Phuket, Thailand
Asia is known for its outstanding culture of service—but never moreso than at an Aman Resort. And at Amanpuri, one of the brand's flagships, the service does not disappoint. (And neither do the jaw-dropping views of the Adaman Sea.) Expect tropical fruits to arrive at your authentic Thai-style pavilion each day, refills of your cocktail or tea as you lay by the black-tiled pool, and even shake the sand from your towel the moment you leave your beachside lounger for a dip in the azure waters. Though it's hard to imagine ever leaving the grounds, the resort has a fleet of boats (including a Chinese junk) and crews ready to throw you a romantic barbecue on one of the surrounding private isles. (Rooms from $650; aman.com)



6. 
Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia
Accessible only by private plane, this island, which sits smack in the middle of the Great Barrier Reef, doubles as a national park. (You can even visit the area's research center.) Sea turtles, monitor lizards, and flying foxes (yup, you heard that right) all live here, but the biggest draw is that famous reef and the 1,900 fish and coral species that call it home. Not a diver? The resort offers lessons, but you can also snorkel or tool around on a glass-bottom boat. (Rooms from $1,699; lizardisland.com.au)


7. 
Treetops Lodge and Estate, Rotorua, New Zealand
Looking to get back to nature on your honeymoon? Few places can top this eco-lodge, set on 2,500 acres of secluded native forest and game reserve. Get outdoors and explore the seven trout streams, four lakes, miles upon miles of hiking and biking trails. When you want to settle indoors, pretty sure you'll feel right at home in the 15 secluded cottages, each with a separate living room and fireplace. (Rooms from $674, including breakfast and a daily signature experience (like a cooking class or foraging hike); treetops.co.nz)


8. 
Qualia Resort, Hamilton Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia
Everything about this boutique resort in the Whitsundays Islands is rooted in Australia. The wood- and stone-framework of each villa uses locally sourced brown timber; the cascading infinity pools found throughout channel the Pacific Ocean that lies beyond, the dishes served by Chef Alastair Waddell incorporate fresh local produce in modern dishes (that also look like edible art), and the wine cellar features Australian vintages (the resort's owners are winemakers, natch). (Rooms from $1,043, all-inclusive, excluding alcohol; qualia.com)


9. 
Kauri Cliffs, Matauri Bay, New Zealand
The 22-suite lodge at Kauri Cliffs is known for its 180-degree views of the Pacific Ocean and remote setting on 6000 acres near Matauri Bay, on the North Island of New Zealand. It may be a four-hour drive from Auckland (spring for the helicopter, if you can), but arriving at this clubhouse-like resort feels like you've gone back in time. A time when luxe lodges, high-end spas, Relais & Chateaux-designated restaurants, and championship golf courses ruled the world. Take your pick of activities to fill your days—whether you choose to spend them together, wandering the picture-perfect Pacific beaches and trekking to nearby waterfalls, or separate, as he hits the clifftop links and you indulge in a mud mask and reflexology. Regardless, you'll come together at sunset for complimentary cocktails and canapés and a gourmet meal (chef Barry Frith changes the a là carte menu daily). (Rooms from $1,075, including daily breakfast and dinner; kauricliffs.com)


10. 
Kauri Cliffs, Matauri Bay, New Zealand
If you're planning a Maldives honeymoon, look no further than this uberluxe resort in the Indian Ocean. Just don't plan to spend your entire trip sitting on the beach—there are a whole range of activities to keep you busy, from surfing lessons to snorkeling excursions with reef sharks and dolphin cruises. Also not to be missed: The spa, set in an overwater bungalow on its own island, reachable only by dhoni (a traditional Maldivian boat). (Rooms from $900; fourseasons.com)



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