If you want to splurge for your dream honeymoon getaway, here are six once-in-a-lifetime, luxury trips across the globe.
1. An African safari and beach combo
“The bush-and-beach combo, an African safari then staying at a fabulous beach resort, is one of the most popular honeymoons I plan,” says Katie Frederick Jacobson, a SmartFlyer honeymoon specialist who has organized more than 1,000 honeymoons in the past decade.
She recommends honeymooners first go to a popular safari destination like Kenya and stay at a top luxury safari lodge, like Singita properties. The average stay there is $4,000 per night, and extras like hot-air balloon rides over scenic landscapes average about $1,000 per couple.
Then Jacobson suggests honeymooners hit the islands off the coast, which are secluded and romantic. Stay at a place like North Island Resort in the Seychelles, where guests can arrive via helicopter. “Stay in Villa 11, the same villa where Prince William and Kate Middleton stayed for their honeymoon,” says Jacobson. Rates are around $7,000 a night.
Newlyweds spend an average two weeks for a bush-and-beach honeymoon, according to Jacobson, and these trips typically start around $30,000 and can go as high as $100,000 for the whole trip.
2. Around the world
Due to demand, Jacobson plans extended “around the world” honeymoons where newlyweds start in a relaxing beach destination then hop around to various countries. These are longer honeymoons that range from two weeks to two months.
“Think: starting in an overwater bungalow in Bora Bora, heading to Tokyo for the best sushi restaurants, going to the markets in Bangkok, then a tiger camp in India, exploring Paris, heli-skiing in Iceland then going home,” Jacobson says. Or some combination thereof.
Jacobson says she organizes three to five customizable honeymoons a year that are two months or longer and often planned around a special experience, like Cherry Blossom season in Japan or a big sporting event like the Australian Open.
Couples on these kinds of trips also often spend time on a luxury train like Belmond Trains or boutique cruise line like Aqua Expeditions to mix things up, says Jacobson. Some will even have friends meet up with them for a portion of their honeymoon.
“Around the world” honeymoons stop at anywhere from three to 30 destinations, depending on the trip, and prices vary from $5,000 to $276,000.
3. Peru and Brazil
South America’s exotic attractions, from jungles and beaches to ancient ruins, make it popular with honeymooners, especially Peru and Brazil, which are among the most visited countries on the continent.
Black Tomato, a luxury travel company that plans high-end adventures, offers a 10- to 12-night trip through Peru, which goes to Lima, Cusco, Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu, and Brazil, including Iguazu Falls and Rio de Janeiro. Co-founder and CEO Tom Marchant tells CNBC Make It, “In Rio, we arrange the ultimate champagne breakfast at the feet of Christ the Redeemer, watching the sunrise hours before the throng of tourists descend, meaning we have access before the monument opens to the public.”
Other exclusives on this trip include fast-track access for lines at Machu Picchu, a private Pago a la Tierra ceremony (traditional Peruvian blessing to the land) with a local shaman in Cusco, and cooking lunch with Michelin-starred chef Virgillio Martinez Veliz, including delicacies like sea snails cooked using medicinal herbs. This trip costs about $10,000 per person, excluding flights, but a shorter version trip between six to seven nights would cost $8,000 a person. Honeymooners can add on extras to any itinerary, including paddle-boarding down the Amazon River.
Black Tomato says it arranges approximately 150 over-the-top honeymoons a year.
4. Italy road trip
Italy ranks as one of the top honeymoon destinations in the world, and honeymooners are known to visit several cities and regions, like Rome, Amalfi Coast and Venice.
Jenna Mahoney, travel editor for Bridal Guide magazine, says one of the most memorable, once-in-a-lifetime trips is with Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts, which offers a famous vintage car for honeymooners to drive across the country for a road trip, staying at three properties along the way: Four Seasons Hotel Milan, Four Seasons Hotel Firenze and Grand-Hotel du Cap-Ferrat.
Couples can choose either a 1960 Giulietta Spider, a 1958 Mercedes-Benz 190 SL Cabrio or a 1956 Porsche 356A Speedster.
“The couple is followed by a personal driver, so they have a photographer handy to take photos of them along the way,” Mahoney says. There is also driver in a second car to provide road assistance and mechanical support, valet parking at every stop and refueling service.
The trip, which takes newlyweds through the Tuscan countryside, Florence, Milan and the French Riviera, is fully customizable. Couples can stop at museums, restaurants, cafes and scenic views at their leisure, and Four Seasons’ concierge provides recommendations and suggestions in an itinerary.
Price depends on what a couple elects to include in their itineraries. Doubles at Four Seasons Hotel Milano start at $703 per night; Four Seasons Hotel Firenze at $850 per night; and Le Grand-Hotel d Cap-Ferrat, a Four Seasons hotel, at $1,747 per night. A $4,100 rental deposit for every car is required.
5. Private island in the Caribbean
The Caribbean has many expensive private island resorts, like Richard Branson’s Necker Island in the British Virgin Islands, where a stay is $77,500 a night, but you can find more affordable options.
“There’s an island off the coast of Belize called Gladden,” says Mahoney. “What makes it so special from the other private island resorts in the region is that there are only single parties on the island at a time.” This means you have the entire island to yourself.
“You can eat wherever you choose on the island, all the activities are just for you and the staff will happily take you to the mainland to experience the ruins or to neighboring islands to hang out.”
The rate is $2,950 for two people per night, and it includes all meals by gourmet chef, all beverages, all activities (like snorkeling and SCUBA), spa treatments (a rarity for an all-inclusive resort) and round-trip helicopter transfers from Placencia Airport in Placencia, Belize, about 35 minutes away.
6. Island hopping Maui and Lanai in Hawaii
Jacobson recommends a Maui and Lanai combo, with a stay at Hotel Wailea in Maui, the only adults-only property on the island. “It’s very quiet, relaxing and romantic.”
After a few nights, she suggests taking the hour-long ferry over to Lanai (which costs $30 one way) and staying at Four Seasons Lanai.
“The island has just the resort and a small town; the rest of the island is untouched.”
There are activities like horseback riding, ATVs and boat trips, as well as beaches.
A one-week trip can cost between $4,000 to $8,000.
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Amazon River in Iquitos, Peru