The Top Honeymoon Trends and Destinations for 2023
With the fast and furious return of global tourism, "revenge travel" has no signs of slowing down in the year ahead. In fact, the best honeymoon destinations of 2023, and the emerging trends, are evolving with heightened demand. More than ever, honeymooners are seeking out new and intended forms of travel–and planning accordingly.
According to a recent survey by Virtuoso, a luxury travel agency, 76% of travelers have accepted a "new normal" for getaways. The shift has occurred with growing demand and the correlated, increased value of overall trips, including the stay, transportation, dining and experiences. For couples, this translates to a new form of emerging travel planning and honeymoon trends in 2023. This includes a renewed focus on planning early for these trips and consulting travel professionals to help book the best accommodations (with value). Read our list of the best honeymoon destinations of 2023 and our top trends for the year ahead.
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The Top Honeymoon Trends for 2023
Like most wedding experiences, the stakes are often higher with the honeymoon because it's the romantic getaway of a lifetime. Personalization is another factor in how couples are booking and experiencing their honeymoons in 2023. Starting summer 2022, global tourism experienced a hefty lift in demand, prompting the unsavory effects of over-tourism: high demand against a limited supply of accommodations and flights, coupled with inflation. In 2023, couples are responding accordingly by starting the honeymoon planning process earlier and consulting professionals to secure the best value.
Responsible and Respectful Honeymoons
For honeymooners who deeply care about where- and how- they travel, this trend will resonate most. As editors, it's our responsibility to present options and challenge traditions, especially the way couples think about standard honeymoons. Now, more than ever, our environmental footprint matters significantly, especially when embarking on trips to be remembered for generations to come.
Traveling responsibly may look different for each couple, but this trend speaks to those who are especially conscious about their environmental footprint, protecting wildlife, preserving culture and heritage, and respecting locals. In fact, many luxury properties are offering a form of volun-tourism or education to service locals and enlighten honeymooners. Turning to well-versed guides to shed insight into the land, resources, local artisans and the history behind a location is an enduring post-pandemic trend.
Hello, Honeymoon Advisors
Due to the sheer demand and increase in travel-related costs, couples are now wisely turning to advisors or travel agents to help plan their trips from top to bottom. These experts typically have great connections and deep insight into the best-in-class and most romantic spots to build a seamless and incredible itinerary. As each couple's form of preferred travel is unique to their own preferences, the type of expert services rendered may vary. For example, some may outsource the entirety of honeymoon planning by hiring a travel agent who specializes in luxury, romantic getaways, with the expectation that chilled champagne and rose petals await them in their exclusive honeymoon suite. Other couples might prefer more affordable digital services like Reco, which pairs you with a travel expert to craft a custom itinerary.
Many New "Moons"
Life timelines have experienced upheaval during the pandemic. Some couples who may have waited to expand their families after the wedding and honeymoon faced pandemic postponements and surprises. Others are now even parents to toddlers. This is where we've seen a new type of honeymoon emerge, and it includes bringing everyone from babies to besties. Honeymoons are no longer for just partners, making way for the emergence of new honeymoon trends, like familymoons and bestiemoons.
The Return to Antiquities
Standing before archaeological wonders and marveling at the preservation of ancient history are trending bucket list items among 2023 honeymooners. Eager history buffs have singled out honeymoons with a focus on Cleopatra's Egypt or the trade-heavy pathways of the Silk Road. This includes seeking out trips that focus on the birthplace of civilization or other historical events that have changed the ways of mankind. From hiring local experts with a deep knowledge of local history to cultural landmarks that paint a deeper tale, the return to antiquities will be seen throughout 2023.
Imagine telling the grandkids someday your honeymoon suite was at Versailles or you chose to stay in a treehouse in the Amazon. Couples are seeking out suites, palaces and villa rentals not only for their luxury amenities, spacious accommodations and manicured grounds. It's now about the story behind the stay.
Private yacht bookings are also in this category. Sailing the high seas and island hopping with your partner sounds like a dream to some couples… in fact, more newlyweds than ever are embarking on this route.
Imagine a lush natural atmosphere, farm-to-table fare, and a daily sunrise meditation. Wellness-focused trips continue generating demand, making mindfulness-focused travel one of the enduring honeymoon trends of 2023. Couples are seeking out resorts that offer health sessions, such as sunrise yoga on the beach, nature walks, midnight meditations under a full moon, and more. Newlyweds are also turning to destinations that encourage active lifestyles through activities like snorkeling, kayaking, biking, and beyond. Similarly, with gastronomic experiences, couples are seeking out chefs at properties who specialize in fresh, naturally-sourced fare.
Some couples even choose to reset after the wedding, opting to abstain from alcohol and rejuvenate their bodies with spa treatments, vitamin drips and more. With health and wellness remaining a top priority for couples (read above), it's no wonder they're seeking out destinations that specialize in sober activities or provide non-alcoholic menus and options.
Registering for Romance
According to a 2021 survey conducted by The Knot, the cost of a honeymoon was of utmost importance when determining a destination. About 60% of couples ended up paying for the honeymoon via personal savings, while another 55% of either used money gifted from their wedding or from their honeymoon registry funds to pay for their getaways. With inflation at a record high and soaring travel demand globally, perhaps it's the time to create a honeymoon fund that tells the story of what you love to do most when you travel–whether that's swimming with whales off the coast of Maui or lounging poolside with a cocktail at an all-inclusive along the Riviera Maya.
Social media certainly has its strengths, but the age of connectivity is being met with some fatigue by an emerging crop of honeymooners. "The most important part to remember for couples is it's their special time," explains luxury travel consultant Tracy Effron of An Avenue Apart. "When the couple has open communication and is on board together, then it's a recipe for success. I also highly encourage honeymooners to put their phones away. Save posting on social media until either the end of each day or after the trip. This keeps them attentive to one another and the trip without keeping their heads in their devices and allows them to truly unplug."
Shoulder Season Honeymoons
If it felt as though every couple you know was in the Amalfi Coast or Santorini this summer, that hunch was likely correct. A Virtuoso poll found that seven of the top 10 international destinations in 2022 were located in Europe. Due to the sheer demand and influx of tourists to countries like Italy and France, there has since been a request for travelers to consider visiting these destinations during off-seasons.
The Best Honeymoon Destinations of 2023
Couples are once again flocking to classic, international honeymoon destinations like Bora Bora, the Maldives, Bali and the Caribbean. "There will always be a strong demand for white sand and swaying palm trees while enjoying newlywed bliss in an overwater villa with a jewel box of tranquility around them," Effron notes.
In addition to reputable and well-known contenders, several unexpected and tertiary destinations also join our list of the best honeymoon destinations of 2023--especially for thrill-seeking and adventurous couples. Read our annual selection of the best honeymoon destinations to inspire your wanderlust.
Hawaii has long secured its place among the best honeymoon destinations for couples. The six islands of the Aloha State (Kauai, Oahu, Molokai, Lanai, Maui and Hawai'i) speak to every type of couple: those seeking a luxurious getaway to honeymooners wanting an off-the-beaten-path trip. The islands offer a cultural and sensory experience unlike anything else in the US with volcanic terrain, rewarding hikes, culinary tastings and splendid opportunities for romance. For honeymoons in 2023, set your sights on luxurious Maui or its more rugged and adventure-friendly sibling of Kauai. Just don't forget the pua (flower) on your left ear—since it signifies you're taken.
What to Do: Enjoy a sunset sail along Ka'anapali or a romantic helicopter tour along the Napali Coast; Visit the Seven Sacred Pools and the Road to Hana at Haleakala National Park; Walk coastal paths (we strongly recommend the Poipu Beach, Wailea Beach and Kapalua Coastal Paths; Enjoy a day excursion to upcountry for Maui Wine or a self-guided tour of craft brewery Maui Brewing Company; Go shopping in Ka'anapali or Poipu Beach; Nab reservations for a romantic dinner at the famed Mama's Fish House in Maui.
Tourism and development are teeming with activity across three distinct regions in Mexico, all ideal for honeymooners. The country's fastest-growing honeymoon destinations through 2023 include the Riviera Maya, Cabo San Lucas and Punta de Mita. All are now home to reputable top-tier resorts and boutique hotels, with many offering prime views of the Caribbean or Pacific. If you'd a mix of oceanfront relaxation and fine dining, you'll want to fly to Mexico City for its incredible food scene. For something different and unique, swing by the vibrant, Colonial Highlands city of San Miguel de Allende.
What to Do: Snorkel with turtles in Akumal, literally translated in Mayan to the "place of turtles"; Visit the breathtaking, ancient ruins of the Yucatán Peninsula including Chichen-Itza or Teotihuacan; Explore the Museo Nacional de Antropología or Frida Kahlo Museum; Sail by the famed Arch of Cabo San Lucas; Tour a cenote
Where to Stay: Conrad Tulum (Riviera Maya); El Careyes Club & Residences (Costa Careyes); Hilton Tulum Riviera Maya All-Inclusive Resort (Riviera Maya); Hotel Esencia (Riviera Maya); Naviva, A Four Seasons Resort (Punta Mita); Nobu Hotel Los Cabos (Cabo San Lucas); Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal (Cabo San Lucas)
Lake Como, Italy
La Dolce Vita is extra sweet in Lake Como, Italy. The Lombardy region has long catered to romantic and more lowkey couples, only growing in demand with glowing reviews and equally-stunning photos from repeat visitors. (Once a Lake Como getaway, forever a Lake Como convert.) While there: don't forget to explore the lush estate gardens or pick up a new water sport.
What to Do: Sight-see the Renaissance villas lining the lake by boat; Stop by the lush gardens of Villa del Balbianello, Villa Carlotta, Villa d'Este, Villa Bernasconi and more; Enjoy dinner al fresco at sunset with world-class Italian cuisine and wine; Sail, kayak or wake-board on the water
Where to Stay: Grand Hotel Tremezzo; Il Sereno Al Lago; Passalacqua; Villa d'Este
Lush rolling hills, misty landscapes and 790 islands await in gorgeous Scotland. A short flight away from the US East Coast, couples are rediscovering the beauty and history of this UK country. From Edinburgh's charming Old Town to its breathtaking castles, a Scotland honeymoon is a whimsical choice for fantasy-chasing newlyweds.
What to Do: Traverse the Glenfinnan Viaduct via train as if you're in a Harry Potter film; Look for fabled monsters or simply enjoy Loch Ness; Hike the sweeping Highlands; Enjoy a castle tour, including the must-see Edinburgh Castle; Explore the Callanish Stones from 5,500 years ago
Where to Stay: The Carlton George Hotel (Glasgow); Hilton Edinburgh Carlton (Edinburgh); The Glasshouse, Autograph Collection (Edinburgh)
A morning drive in Big Sur along Highway 1 offers unparalleled views of the rugged California coast with looming Redwoods framed against the roaring Pacific. It's a peace seeker's paradise and the nature-loving couple will revel in all that the region has to offer. Drive a few hours north and you'll come across 17 Mile Drive, home to one of the world's most acclaimed golf destinations, Pebble Beach, and the charming cottages of nearby Carmel-by-the-Sea. After a few days of sightseeing, venture inland to Sonoma and further north to Napa Valley for fine dining and wine-tasting experiences to round out your honeymoon.
What to Do: Drive along the Pacific Coast Highway; Run along the bluffs of Pfeiffer Beach for a Big Little Lies experience; Tour renowned Napa Valley wineries like Domaine Chandon, Domaine Carneros, Pine Ridge Vineyards; Make reservations for world-class fine dining experiences.
A haven for luxury eco-tourism, the lush Central American country of Costa Rica is known for embracing "La Pura Vida" (the pure life). Featuring stunning beaches along both the Atlantic and Pacific, Costa Rica is also home to multiple active volcanoes, including Arenal, Poas and Tenorio. The land has diverse vegetation, steep changes in climates and landscapes, including cloud forests awaiting exploration. Romantic activities abound for to-be-weds, such as mineral volcanic massages, waterfall swims, surfing classes and swimming with dolphins. Luxurious tented experiences to five-star resorts offer a range of accommodations for all types of couples. Wildlife adorers will also be delighted by the range of flora and fauna with the country's abundance of hummingbirds, colorful macaws and over 15 types of sloths. For a full Pura Vida experience, book a property known for open-air suites facing the rainforest, indulge in the inland way of activity, then head to either coast to unwind. The country is also known for its top culinary offerings with organic, coursed meals offered at top resorts.
What to Do: Enjoy a day trip to Monteverde; Go horseback riding in the cloud forest and along the coast; See nesting turtles in Tortuguero National Park; Zipline above the Arenal or Tenorio Parks; Hike through the jungle to reach paradise at Manuel Antonio National Park; Swim at the base of the Rio Celeste waterfall; Visit the jade and gold museums in San Jose.
Where to Stay: ORIGINS Luxury Lodge by Mantis (Tenorio Volcano Park); Costa Rica by Four Seasons (Papagayo); El Silencio Lodge & Spa (Poas Volcano National Park); InterContinental Costa Rica (San Jose)
The Bahamas has a bit of everything for every kind of couple. Those seeking an all-inclusive, mega-resort experience will turn to the convenience and fun of Atlantis or Baha Mar (a massive development of three properties). Atlantis even offers its own honeymoon experiences at a fixed cost depending on the length of stay.
Discreet couples should consider the off-the-beaten-path islands for a truly private and secluded getaway. They can find pink sand beaches on Eleuthera and Harbour Island, or adventure in Exuma. Many honeymooners also flock to Andros for its quiet and more muted scene. Couples who want an even more exclusive honeymoon experience should head to the Southern islands including Cat Island, Mayaguana, as well as Long Island.
What to Do: Snorkel or dive through the Andros Barrier Reef; Get beachside massages in Eleuthera or Harbour Island; Relax on Cable Beach; Golf at the Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course in Baha Mar; Go biking on Harbour Island; Island hop by chartering boats for the day; "Flamingle" with flamingos at Flamingo Cay; Swim with pigs in Exuma.
Where to Stay: Caerula Mar (South Andros); The Dunmore Hotel (Harbour Island); Pink Sands Resort (Harbour Island); Rosewood Baha Mar (Nassau); The Cove at Atlantis; Grand Isle Resort (Exuma); French Leave Resort (Eleuthera)
Though seemingly far-flung from the states, Dubai is a 12-hour direct flight from the East Coast. (Even better when booking seats on the acclaimed Emirates Business Class.) Already a layover city for the majority of couples en route to the Maldives or Seychelles, Dubai has solidified its spot as its own standalone destination for honeymoons in 2023. In fact, the Emirate is a romantic option for couples interested in exploring the Persian Gulf, the surrounding desert and more, especially during an elongated honeymoon. "A great honeymoon I've got clients out on right now began with a few nights at the Park Hyatt Dubai to include a sunset camel ride and desert dinner experience at Sonara Camp," says Effron. "Plus, sunset drinks at Sky View Bar at the Burj Al Arab and dinner at Atmosphere at the Armani Hotel located inside the Burj Khalifa, which is then followed by a week of pure bliss in an overwater villa at Gili Lankanfushi in the Maldives with copious spa days on deck."
What to Do: Dine at Atmosphere, the world's tallest restaurant, up 122 stories in the Burj Khalifa; Reserve daybeds and take in views of the Dubai skyline at AURA Skypool Lounge, the world's highest, panoramic infinity pool; Take in a romantic, sunrise hot air balloon ride with Platinum Heritage; Indulge in a romantic spa treatment at the Talise Spa inside the Burj Al Arab
Welcome to "America's Paradise." A short boat ride or seaplane combination away, the US Virgin Islands remain a sought-after honeymoon destination. After back-to-back hurricanes slammed the region in 2017, islanders and local resorts quickly regrouped to bring the destination to its full splendor. Numerous resorts across the main islands (St. Thomas, St. John and St. Croix) have reopened and the water and wildlife sightseeing is still among the most pristine in the Caribbean.
What to Do: Lounge and relax at Trunk Bay, Davis Bay Beach and Buck Island; Hike along the many trails in Virgin Islands National Park; Snorkel with turtles and other wildlife; Reserve a sunset boat tour.
Where to Stay: The Ritz Carlton (St. Thomas); The Buccaneer (St. Croix); Marriott's Frenchman's Cove (St. Thomas), Gallows Point Resort (St. John)
Couples are reminded of Tahiti or another exotic, far-flung destination when they arrive in Saint Lucia, an eastern Caribbean destination that's secluded with just about the perfect number of upscale properties and adventurous activities. Its hulking volcanic Pitons provide a picturesque escape, while local luxury properties (think: open-air, three-walled layouts facing the Caribbean) make Saint Lucia one of the steamiest honeymoon destinations in the region. The island features everything from rainforests to pristine beaches to meet the activity needs of every type of couple.
What to Do: Hike up Gros Piton Mountain and Petit Piton; Bike through the jungle; Unwind along Seven Mile Beach or Marigot Bay; Swim at the base of a rainforest waterfall; Bathe in the Sulphur Springs in Soufrière, the world's only drive-in volcano; Go rum tasting.
A slice of heaven in the Caribbean, Antigua is a reef island that has some of the most prized beaches in the world (imagine soft white sand, gentle breezes and crystal clear water). It's no wonder top luxury properties have set up shop on the island while artfully creating a relaxed atmosphere that any couple would appreciate after wedding planning.
Considered the most popular destination for honeymooning couples, Aruba is a Dutch island nation that's located directly off the coast of Venezuela. It's outside of the path of hurricane alley, making the odds of inclement weather a bit lower at this tropical haven. It also offers the most incentives to newlyweds through its honeymoon program.
If you're looking for a slice of heaven within the Continental US, look no further than South Florida. The Florida Keys, a coral cay archipelago off the peninsula of the state, is a destination that offers adventure and beauty. Meanwhile, nearby Miami remains a vibrant destination for culture, shopping, art and luxury. Couples are invited to lounge poolside at their trendy boutique hotels or to partake in activities like swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving and boating. The culinary and bar experiences are also a reflection of the nearby Caribbean and Cuban cultures, where day drinking and lounging in the sun are perfectly acceptable activities for visitors. In Miami, evenings are sultry and unforgettable.
Requirements: View updated requirements here.
Manicured lawns, dune-backed beaches and gorgeous shuttered homes are all part of the Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard experience. It's no surprise multiple former US presidents and dignitaries have called these two islands their vacation havens. The islands ooze lowkey luxury and a sense of escape off the coast of Massachusetts. The color of the water is an inexplicable blue especially during high season between Memorial Day to Labor Day. September is also an option for those who want to shy away from large crowds.
What to Do: Lounge on private, adults-only beaches; Enjoy dinner and an extensive wine list at Topper's; Explore the clay cliffs of Aquinas; Bike along the trails; Golf at Farm Neck Golf Course or Mink Meadows; Dig into seafood at Nancy's on the Vineyard; Play tennis
Where to Stay: Harbor View Hotel (Martha's Vineyard); The Wauwinet (Nantucket); White Elephant (Nantucket); The Nantucket Hotel & Resort; The Christopher at the Edgartown Collection (Martha's Vineyard)