Since Mr & Mrs Smith is all about romantic getaways for couples, we know a thing or two about honeymoon hotels with style and substance. Idyllic beach retreats that offer the tropical-fantasy honeymoon package, luxury safari lodges, Venetian palazzos, Californian wine estates – whatever your dream honeymoon destination, you'll find inspiration below.
And don't forget, if you place your wedding list with Mr & Mrs Smith, you can enjoy a guest-funded honeymoon…
Style Fortress mirage
Setting Edge of the Empty Quarter
Luxurious, remote and romantic, the Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort near Abu Dhabi's Liwa Oasis inhabits a staggering, sun-baked sandscape. Outside, the desert heat rages; inside is cool, calm and brimming with Middle Eastern opulence – arches twinkle with Arabic lanterns, palm-lined courtyards centre on tinkling fountains. Lounge poolside, pamper in the Anantara spa, kick up a sandstorm in a 4WD then dine under starry skies in a Bedouin tent big enough for two.
Lie back and dream of the Adriatic at this Croatian cliffside beauty The Adriatic views are something of a theme here: whether you’re in your bedroom, the excellent restaurant, the rooftop bar or out on one of the terraces, the glittering seascapes will be there to drink in. The ceiling-to-floor windows in Villa Dubrovnik’s Suite 418 serves up views that stretch along the coast to the small neighbouring island of Lokrum. And if you’d rather lounge amid bubbles than crisp white sheets, a Jacuzzi awaits on your private terrace.
This restored 13th-century villa in the hearet of Tuscany is all flagstone floors, huge stone fireplaces and ornate chandeliers; beds are draped in tasselled silks and brocade, and light bounces from gilded baroque mirrors in marble-enhanced bathrooms. Every detail is exquisite;every piece of furniture murmurs classic luxury. All 15 rooms are pretty darn sexy, but we’re especially smitten with the Maggiorana Garden Suite and it’s ‘super super king-size’ four-poster bed, exposed beams, freestanding copper tub and prvate garden. It’s the perfect couples’ retreat.
It takes one look at Cardinal Bontadosi’s former home in Montefalco to see that men of the cloth had a good time in mediaeval Italy. All domed ceilings and ancient art, this 15th-century palace has been restored to full Renaissance glory – stone staircases, iron chains in frames and mounted mediaeval artefacts – with a contemporary frisson, thanks to the modern art gallery attached. Junior Suite 4 is certainly a room with a view: gaze at the colonnaded square below from the window, admire the frescoed, chandeliered ceiling from the comfort of the huge bed, or spy on your roommate in the freestanding egg-shaped bath tub in the corner…
We’ve have to admit it: whenever we need a picture of a bedroom that radiates sensuousness, we reach for this photo of the Orangerie at Château de Saint Paterne in Normandy. But we make no apologies – this light-infused suite is as sexy as they come. Set apart from the main château building, among the 25-acre grounds, this beguiling boudoir is fantasy incarnate, in part thanks to the 19th-century theatrical backdrop that adorns the wall behind the bed.
A backcountry oasis in northeast Ibiza, Atzaró is set blissfully apart from the more tourist-trodden paths of the island. This spa-enhanced, family-run finca is filled with scents of orange blossom, rosemary and lavender, that follow you from the outdoor lounge area all the way back to the Suite Deluze Lavanda. With beautiful mod-Moroccan and Asian-inspired interiors, a fireplace, and a beautiful terrace, it’s no wonder hedonistic A-listers head here for some together-time.
You can almost taste the air of old-world Miami-glam as you float up the steps through the grand art deco entrance of King & Grove Tides – it’s the kind of boutique hotel you’d expect to find Marilyn Monroe resting her perfectly coiffed tresses while the Rat Pack slug martinis in the lobby bar. All suites have ocean views, but floors five and up offer less ocean drive action and more ocean. Our top pick is room 601, a corner suite that has north- and east-facing windows overlooking palm trees and twinkling ocean.
If a long-haul escape isn't in the plans, a few days away á deux is all it takes to set hearts racing, and there are plenty of inspired stays just a quick flight or scenic drive away. Here are some short (but oh-so-sweet) destination ideas...
- Oenophiles and gourmands will be thoroughly sated after a few days spent sipping and nibbling their way around the sun-kissed California wine country.
- Alluring art-deco beauties, white swaths of sand and seriously sexy poolside scenes makes marvellous Miami one of the most exotic stateside stays.
- If you must collect a passport stamp, Mexico’s tranquil Tulum is the ultimate barefoot-luxe retreat for the in-the-know spa and sun-worshipping set.
Experience a regal stay with four nights at Borgo Egnazia, a modern-day castle on Puglia's sunswept seashore. Here, you'll find a collection of sumptuous white-on-cream villas arranged like a traditional village, a knock-out spa, delectable Pugliese cuisine and a traditional cookery school.
Worth getting out of bed for
– Explore nearby historic hilltop villages with Adriatic views
– Shuttle down to one of the hotel's two affiliated beach clubs
– Hit the links at the ocean-view San Domenico golf course
Unwind for four nights at Azienda Agricola Mandranova, spectacularly poised along on Sicily’s rugged southern coast. More than just a charming guesthouse with welcoming proprietors, the hotel offers cooking classes that feature produce plucked from the olive trees and vegetable patches that fill the gardens and sets you on a grand tour of the geniality and gourmet cuisine at the heart of Sicilian life.
Worth getting out of bed for
– Spice up your culinary skills with the hotel's cookery class
– Hop on a 38-foot boat for a coastline and island cruise
– Bicycle through the rugged mountainous landscape