The COVID-19 roadmap for the UK states that international travel could be possible by 17 May, while weddings will be allowed from 21 June, providing case numbers continue to fall. Such news brings about a fresh sense of optimism that means recent or soon-to-be brides can start planning what will likely be the best trip of their lives: their honeymoon. From flight-free options to far-flung escapes, these are our top-rated honeymoon destinations, including the best hotels to book.
1. The Cotswolds
If the idea of coordinating travel amid the pandemic instils you with fear, the Cotswolds ticks all the boxes for a dreamy staycation. It's home to some of the most romantic pubs and restaurants in the country, woven within magical honey-hued villages.
Set within the rolling Cotswold countryside, Ellenborough Park is a whimsical English manor house with a luxury spa, fine dining and gorgeous grounds to explore.
The Philippines is a collection of dreamy islands that offer relaxation and adventure in equal measure. Imagine a day spent canyoneering and whitewater rafting, followed by a couple's massage at a five-star hotel where you'll spend the night in your own private overwater villa.
Cauayan Island Resort
With just 30 individually-decorated rooms, Cauayan Island Resort embodies the pristine beauty of its natural surroundings with first class service. Indulge in an epic villa on stilts over the glistening turquoise waters.
The Maldives offers all the ingredients of a quintessential island paradise: year-round warm weather, luxury overwater villas, exceptional food… the list goes on. What most people don't know though, is that besides unparalleled relaxation, the crystal clear waters make it the ideal spot for watersports.
Book a stay at the Anantara Kihavah Villas and experience stargazing at the only over water observatory in the Maldives, before eating at one of the world's few underwater restaurants.
Akin to the idyllic setting of the Maldives, Mauritius is the perfect pandemic wedding stress buster. But while the Maldives is perhaps more isolated, Mauritius also appeals to newlyweds looking for a little action – think zip-lining, quad biking and volcano hiking.
One & Only Le Saint Geran
Located on a stunning coral reef, this hotel is designed with modern interiors, while it also offers endless watersports, and world-class dining.
Home to the Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya is famed as one of the most renowned safari destinations in Africa. It presents the kind of once-in-a-lifetime experience that only a honeymoon warrants, while it also acts as the perfect add-on to a stay in Mauritius.
Elewana Lewa Safari Camp, Kenya
Lewa Safari Camp is a magical camp found within the privately-owned reserve, where Prince William popped the question to Kate Middleton back in 2010, and is home to 12 tents so luxuriously finished that they resemble luxe bungalows. Each comes complete with thatched roofs, verandas offering breathtaking vistas of the plains and freely wandering animals, and en suite bathrooms.
6. Lake Como
With a backdrop of the Alps and several historic grand dame hotels, Lake Como is one of the most romantic settings in the world. Its charm has attracted a celebrity clientele including George Clooney and Richard Branson – who both own villas there – while there is no match for the gorgeous food you'll eat day in, day out.
Il Sereno Lake Como
Il Sereno is the first modern luxury hotel on the lake, with 30 beautiful waterfront rooms designed with floor-to-ceiling windows.
Not least for its beautiful vineyards, Tuscany is an enchanting honeymoon location that is just a two-hour flight from the UK. History nerds can visit one of the many UNESCO sites, before enjoying a stunning hot air balloon ride at sunset.
Borgo Santo Pietro
Boutique hotel Borgo Santo Pietro captures the Italian way of life with refined furnishings, gorgeous grounds and fabulous food and wine. Expect a warm family welcome and enjoy a range of outdoor activities and spa treatments.
Santorini has made its mark as one of the most paradisical pockets in the Greek Islands. The clifftop village of Imerovigli boasts incredible scenery, as well as endless restaurants serving up fresh local delicacies. Be sure to watch out for the jaw-dropping sunrises and sunsets.
Kivotos is located on the highest point of the island with panoramic views across the entire bay. Suites and villas are flawlessly designed with custom-made furniture, super soft beds and high-tech Sonos sound systems, as well as your choice of private indoor or outdoor pool. The hotel marries intimacy with impeccable service and a sense of exclusivity that will make for an unforgettable stay.
9. Saint Lucia
The Caribbean is a go-to for honeymooners, but Saint Lucia is our top pick for various reasons: its postcard-worthy views, the activities on offer and the laid-back atmosphere. It's also home to some of the most incredible hotels you'll ever stay in.
Jade Mountain Saint Lucia
Jade Mountain is a unique resort nestled on the hillside, with each suite designed with an open side where there would typically be a fourth wall. Guests can expect to wake up to the sound of birdsong, ahead of a swim in their private infinity pool with 24-hour butler service.
Paris is often referred to as the City of Love, making it one of the most popular honeymoon destinations. First-timers will need to bookmark the iconic sights on their itinerary, but for those who have been before, the real romance of Paris is found in its hidden cafes and charming side streets.
Fusing five-star luxury with creative exuberance, Maison Souquet champions romanticism. Think blood-red interiors with silk furnishings and Venetian glass windows.
Barbados has remained on the travel corridor since the pandemic began, and is thus an enticing option for newlyweds raring to go. The sandy beaches and friendly locals are what makes it.
The House by Elegant Hotels
An adult-only rule makes The House the ideal choice for honeymooners. It’s a haven of quiet spaces with an intimate atmosphere from just 34 rooms.
Besides a super quick flight, Iceland is one of the most magical honeymoon destinations. Try horse back riding in the snow, bathe in the blue lagoon, and keep an eye out for the Northern Lights.
The Retreat at the Blue Lagoon
If the Blue Lagoon is on your list, the hotel will give you unlimited access to facilities, while it also features its own 18-hole golf course just a ten-minute drive away.
HELLO!'s selection is editorial and independently chosen – we only feature items our editors love and approve of. HELLO! may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. To find out more visit our FAQ page.
WATCH: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle return to the UK after honeymoon
Like this story? Sign up to our newsletter to get other stories like this delivered straight to your inbox.