The islands of the Indian Ocean are unequivocally some of the most beautiful in the world. Think eye-searingly white beaches, calm lagoons, colour-popping coral reefs and deliciously reliable weather… For decades, they have topped the list of dream honeymoon destinations, but the question is: How do you choose between one dreamy island and the next?
Most honeymooners will tell you the choice comes down to the total seclusion on a private island in the Maldives or an action-packed adventure in Mauritius, and we are here to break it down for you.
The land of tropical barefoot luxury has always been a magnet for honeymooners, and it does not take much to see why. This side of the Indian Ocean, set along a string of coral atolls, the private-island resorts are some of the most sensational in the world. Think pristine beaches, turquoise lagoons, overwater bungalows with infinity pools suspended over astonishingly clear waters and hammocks just waiting to be swayed.
It’s the kind of place A-listers like Kate Winslet and Kate Moss retreat to for sun-lit pockets of downtime, so if you’re looking for total seclusion and a one-island, one-resort hideaway on your honeymoon, the Maldives is unbeatable.
Where to check-in
The royalty-approved Cheval Blanc Randheli, where the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge stayed after the birth of Prince George, comes with our highest recommendation. For a start, there is the swish location of the resort, a 40-minute whizz from Malé aboard the hotel’s own seaplane. Then, of course,the super-size Jean-Michel Gathy-designed villas are the stuff of Maldivian travels dreams with their thatched, cathedral-like roofs, sleek swimming pools, baths by French artist Vincent Beaurin and candles created for the hotel by Franҁois Demachy, the nose of Christian Dior.
Of all the luxurious lairs out in the Maldives, the Cheval Blanc Randheli might just be the most elegant…and romantic. And that’s before we factor in the breathtaking underwater bar and the only Guerlain Spa in the Maldives.
Widely considered the Indian Ocean’s glitziest island, Mauritius is home to some of the best beach resorts- and watersports- in the world. Think world-class snorkelling, diving in the turquoise ocean and the chance to explore tiny islands by boat. On dry land, there is as much to do with the dreamy tropical setting, the varied countryside, and colonial mansions and sugar factories turned into gourmet restaurants.
While you’re here, a drive along the south coast of the island, from Baie du Cap to Souillac, is a must. This side of the island, breaks in the coral reef make for surf pounds on black volcanic rock, and the views are some of the most dramatic.
Where to check-in
Some say love is better when lathered up in coconut oil and soaked in Mai Tai, which is why we recommend honeymoons at the Four Seasons Resort, Anahita. Secluded from the mainland with an Ernie Els golf course, sandy beaches and azure blue seas, this hotel has honeymoon written all over it, and the rooms- made to feel like holiday homes in the tropics- come with private plunge pools, daybeds and mangroves to shield you from prying eyes. Our favorite pick is the Beach Villa with its direct access to the private beach, perfect for a midnight walk under the stars.
For more romance, you can have a private chef cook you a dinner for two in the intimacy of your villa or under the stars. Add a musical duo to the mix and the tone is set for a happily ever after… The hotel also has a secluded overwater spa where the masseurs echo the Mauritian culture by combining African, Asian and Indian massage techniques. We recommend the massage and relaxation therapy “a deux”.