Are you ready to get away from it all? Whether celebrating a special occasion or seeking solace from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, there’s no better place to say “I love you” to your special someone than at an exclusive oasis surrounded by the world’s most pristine water and stunning landscapes. Couples count down the days to awakening in paradise, near turquoise-colored waves and white-sand beaches.
With hundreds of dreamy islands to explore, selecting the most suitable destination can seem like a daunting task. Windstar Cruises — a fleet of small and elegant cruise ships — has scoured international waters to identify 11 of the world’s most romantic places and the top bungalows, resorts and overnight accommodations where starry-eyed travelers can rest their heads.
1. Bora Bora
The white sandy beaches and cerulean waters make this French Polynesian island the ultimate destination for hopeless romantics. The secluded island of Bora Bora is surrounded by a lagoon and a barrier reef, creating an open invitation for adventurous couples to snorkel on top or dive deep to view a variety of sharks, rays and other unique fish species. Though many seek Bora Bora for its aqua-centric landscape, you’ll also find unexpected beauty in breathtaking mountainous views atop the remnants of the island’s now extinct volcano, Mount Otemanu.
Where to Stay
Among the most popular overnight accommodations in Bora Bora are the overwater bungalows scattered throughout the island’s many beaches. Perhaps the best locale to get a traditional Polynesian experience while basking in the views of both land and seais Le Méridien Bora Bora. Romantics from around the world have relaxed at these bungalow resorts, situated over the crystal-clear lagoon full of turtles and tropical fish.
Conveniently, guests sailing with Windstar Cruises can add an overnight bungalow package to their Tahiti cruise, experiencing the unforgettable romance of both a sailing yacht and an overwater bungalow on one enchanting trip.
Santorini lies in the southern Aegean Sea and is a geological caldera formed by volcanic eruptions that occurred thousands of years ago.This Greek island’s rugged landscape and picturesque villages provide the perfect setting to warm up to your loved one and gaze at a golden sunset. You can complement your beach getaway by visiting a flourishing vineyard and savoring white Greek wine made from grapes indigenous to the island of Santorini.
Where to Stay
Situated conveniently near the airport and Fira, Andronis Luxury Suites boasts opulent suites cascading down the side of the island. The property’s stunning architecture, multi-level balconies and serene ambiance make this award-winning haven irresistible to couples looking to rekindle their passion.
Or, you can take your love story to a new level aboard a Windstar Cruises yacht — voted the most romantic cruise line. When you sail with Windstar, it’s easy to leave your luggage in your stateroom and spend the entire day exploring the decadent scenery of Santorini before returning to the comfort and privacy of your ship.
3. Saint Barthélemy
Known for its ivory beaches, designer shops and candlelit restaurants, this chic Caribbean island is the embodiment of romance. The capital of Saint Barthélemy, Gustavia, sits on a yacht-filled harbor surrounded by gingerbread cottages and is often visited by the world’s most renowned celebrities. Couples can rest on shore and enjoy the sights and sounds of kite surfers zipping by or nuzzle up on a catamaran while sipping the island’s signature ti punch.
Where to Stay
Couples can truly enjoy the view of pristine waters surrounding Saint Barthélemy from their cozy and elegant suite while sailing with Windstar Cruises. As Windstar guests, you and your companion can take romantic shore excursions, such as snorkeling experiences along the island’s beautiful coast. If you prefer to stay on land, you can also enjoy an intimate tour highlighting the island’s history and most popular sites.
4. The Maldives
Known for its beaches, blue lagoons and extensive reefs, the Maldives is a romantic tropical oasis situated in the Indian Ocean. The pearl-like islands of the Maldives are protected by a reef structure, providing an endless selection of recreational activities for visitors. For those who want to explore the island, the capital, Malé, offers a renowned fish market and award-winning restaurants for both novice and seasoned foodies alike.
Where to Stay
Situated in the central-southern part of North Malé Atoll, the exclusive property of Baros Maldives is easy to reach yet provides the feeling of being removed from the world. You and your other half can retreat to this secluded resort’s beachside or water villas and bask in the sun or lie under the stars atop a private veranda. As a special perk, you can enjoy a romantic voyage on Nooma, a traditional handcrafted Maldivian sailing dhoni.
Located in the South Pacific, Fiji is a household name among romantics, and its reputation for luxurious private locales doesn’t disappoint. The island’s powdery beaches, crystal-clear waters and unspoiled landscape offer an ideal backdrop for the most romantic moments. Rounding out the incredible views that couples are sure to appreciate is the relaxed and friendly culture that the locals exude. Perhaps that is why they are called some of the happiest people on Earth.
Where to Stay
Fiji boasts an array of five-star resorts and hotels, so it might be tough to choose the right one. However, you may find that the Yasawa Island Resort and Spa certainly lives up to its “heavenly” namesake. When guests aren’t basking in the luxury of the resort’s beachfront bungalows, they are invited to visit one of 10 private beaches to partake in a romantic picnic or snorkel throughout the famous Blue Lagoon. For couples looking for ultimate privacy, the resort allows guests to reserve their own private beach for the day.
6. Saint Kitts
Saint Kitts is a small volcanic island situated in the Lesser Antilles. Once known primarily for its sugar cane production, this unspoiled Caribbean jewel is now adored for its cloud-capped peaks, green vervet monkeys and black-sand beaches.
Couples who want vibrant Caribbean culture and paradisal scenery without large tourist areas can find peace, quiet and plenty of opportunities to reconnect on the island of Saint Kitts. Adventurous couples can rekindle their romance on a rainforest hike to the top of Mount Liamuiga or soak up history at the Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park. You can also catch a ferry to Nevis – an equally beautiful neighboring island that’s surrounded by coral reefs.
Where to Stay
You have several romantic resorts to choose from when visiting Saint Kitts or nearby Nevis. For example, you can stay at Park Hyatt in Saint Kitts, where many suites provide individual pools and clear views of turquoise Caribbean waters. At the Four Seasons Resort in Nevis, you and your significant other can gaze at the rainforest and feel the ocean breeze from your suite. You can make your stay truly unforgettable by taking a diving trip with one of the hotel’s chefs and lassoing your own lobster.
7. Sint Maarten
Sint Maarten is the southern part of a dual-governed island that sits in the northeast Caribbean Sea. Sint Maarten is an autonomous country within the Netherlands and features lively beach bars, dazzling casinos and stylish boutiques. The northern part, Saint-Martin, is governed by France and where traveling couples will find the island’s top restaurants, mountainside scenery and immaculate beaches. If you and your partner want to taste the excitement of Caribbean culture between laid-back beach days, Sint Maarten and Saint-Martin await you.
You can enjoy a romantic, intimate Caribbean escape no matter which side of the island you explore. In Sint Maarten, you can take a sunset stroll along Mullet Bay Beach – one of the island’s most beautiful and quiet beaches. If you’re searching for seclusion, you can take a boat tour from Saint-Martin and sail to Tintamarre, a small, uninhabited island that allures travelers with its rugged beauty.
Where to Stay
Although there is no shortage of romantic places to stay in Sint Maarten, Oyster Bay Beach Resort tops the list. Located on the beach overlooking Oyster Bay, this is the ideal accommodation for stunning views and easy beach access. As a guest, you can swim in the resort’s infinity pool built on top of an old coral reef or enjoy fine cuisine in their elegant outdoor restaurant. If you and your companion need to unwind after a night of dancing, you can head to the spa for ultimate pampering.
Mallorca is one of Spain’s Balearic Islands, rising out from the Mediterranean Sea. Its rich landscape combines dramatic mountains, agricultural terraces and rugged coves. Mallorca is known for its picturesque coastline and gorgeous beaches and draws romantic couples from around the world.
In Mallorca, you and your loved one can sip award-winning wine, share a unique spiral-shaped pastry called an ensaimada or have a candlelit dinner from a clifftop terrace. For some quiet alone time, consider taking a drive through the Tramuntana mountains or touring a sleepy medieval village. If you and your partner love history, culture, delicious cuisine and idyllic Mediterranean scenery, Mallorca may be the perfect romantic escape.
Where to Stay
From cozy boutique hotels to glitzy beachside resorts, couples have their pick when it comes to romantic rooms in Mallorca. Hotel Salvia, for example, is a high-end, adults-only hotel located in a 19th-century mansion. This hotel features several individually decorated rooms, all with tranquil mountain views. Hotel Salvia is also located near the main square in Sóller, a charming town near the west coast of Mallorca.
Another option is Hospes Maricel, which is a posh beachfront hotel and spa in Palma. Hospes Maricel offers panoramic ocean and mountain views and a pool that hovers above the sea.
9. Prince of Wales Island
Prince of Wales Island is the third-largest island in the United States, and it includes hundreds of neighboring islands. Located in southeast Alaska, Prince of Wales Island is home to countless coves, glacier-carved bays, and steep, forest-covered mountains, all waiting for you to explore.
Since most of the area remains undiscovered by tourists, Prince of Wales Island is ideal for couples who want to visit a more remote destination and spend quality time together away from crowds. While you’re there, keep an eye out for bears, sea otters, harbor seals, humpback whales, and various migrating birds. You might also walk a cave trail, enjoy a romantic beachside picnic or visit a historic totem park. To experience the island’s unspoiled wilderness, you’ll need to hop on a ferry or small plane. Once you arrive, you’ll have hundreds of miles of coastline to call your own.
Where to Stay
You can stay at one of several cozy lodges on the island, but you won’t find endless rows of hotels overlooking the sea. If you travel to Prince of Wales Island on an Alaska cruise, you can enjoy the comforts and amenities included with your stateroom while feeling as if you’ve claimed a private island.
10. Saint Lucia
Saint Lucia offers everything lovers hope to find in a Caribbean paradise. Imagine lush rainforests, velvety palm-fringed beaches, crystalline waters and awe-inspiring mountains. Are you in Saint Lucia yet?
Located in the Lesser Antilles, Saint Lucia is one of the most beautiful and romantic of all Caribbean islands and offers plenty to see and do. Swing in a hammock with your loved one under palm trees and feel your stress melt away or soak in a warm mud pool after exploring a drive-in volcano. If you share a love of sweets with your partner, take a cacao tour and sample locally made chocolate. Are you both nature lovers? If so, head into the rainforest to spot exotic birds or follow the sound of a cascading waterfall.
Where to Stay
Perhaps one of the most romantic places to stay in Saint Lucia is the Anse Chastanet Resort. Located on 600 acres near the town of Soufrière, Anse Chastanet was designed for romance. This hotel offers panoramic views of the Pitons and the Caribbean Sea, gourmet cooking classes, private candlelit dining on the beach, and an alfresco treehouse restaurant overlooking tropical foliage.
Italy’s island of Capri is a small jewel floating in the Mediterranean near the Bay of Naples. This bucket-list destination is known for its astonishing scenery, world-class cuisine and romantic open-air restaurants. While visiting Capri, you and your loved one might spend an afternoon swimming near massive rock formations or exploring secluded grottos. You might also spend the day wandering one of the island’s beautifully untamed hiking trails to catch panoramic views of the sea and take in the aroma of varied flora. The evening is perfect for catching the sunset over the Mediterranean from a restaurant’s terrace or sharing a piece of the island’s famous flourless chocolate cake.
Where to Stay
On the island of Capri, you’ll find an array of elegant and intimate places to stay, ranging from rustic and chic hillside villas to embellished, art-filled hotels. One of the most romantic hotels in Capri is Hotel Punta Tragara. Perched atop a cliff, this upscale hotel offers some of the most incredible views on the island, including the sight of the iconic Faraglioni rocks jutting out of the sea. You and your companion will also enjoy five-star service and amenities such as two freshwater swimming pools and an exclusive wellness area.
Find Romance With Windstar
Islands offer the ingredients of romance, such as stunning natural beauty, relaxing vibes and a sense of seclusion unlike anywhere else. With so many breathtaking places to explore, it can be challenging to choose just one. If you go on a cruise with your loved one, you can visit several romantic destinations in a single journey. At Windstar Cruises, we can take you where your heart desires.
Windstar Cruises sails to bucket-list locales around the globe, including some of the world’s most romantic islands. Aboard our small, uncrowded cruise ships, you and your loved one will enjoy attentive service, world-class cuisine and a relaxed, intimate atmosphere. To learn more about our cruise destinations or plan your journey, contact a Windstar Vacation Planner today.