Ever the romantics, Mr & Mrs Smith have an eye for hip honeymoon stays. Love nests that turn their head must be architecturally intriguing, cosy enough for couples or have an innate sense of style. From Thailand to Greece, here are their top five luxury hotels where romance and cutting-edge design get cosy.
Dolphin Island, Fiji Islands, Fiji
Dolphin Island resort lies just north of Viti Levu, Fiji’s main island. This exclusive-hire hideaway is the destination for those who’ve fantasised about being cast away on a paradise isle (with all the mod cons and a round-the-clock battalion of staff, of course). There’s a romantic sleep-out boudoir, 13 acres of gardens and beaches, and a colourful underwater world in the surrounding reef. Guests can partake in a kava ceremony at a village nearby or learn how to make tapa cloth; or you can commit to being ‘marooned’ in this South Pacific retreat and spend the day lounging by the pool before retiring to your fashion-forward, Virginia Fisher-designed abode.
Smith extra: A Fijian cultural evening of song and dance with a traditional feast on your last day.
Alila Villas Uluwatu, Bali, Indonesia
The sunset cabana bar – a cantilevered Bauhaus-style bird’s nest, peering out over the Indian Ocean from atop Bali’s rugged Bukit Peninsula – is eco resort Alila Villas Uluwatu’s most eye-catching asset, but it’s also a teaser for the mod-Asian elegance that awaits in your Pool Villa. Wood, lava rock and rattan have been polished and styled into breezy open-plan bedrooms, cosy window nooks and a catwalk of aquamarine pool in a secluded garden. Personal butlers attend to your whims, but bespoke spa treatments will entice you over the walkway to the main pavilions.
Smith extra: Early check-in and 3pm late check-out (subject to availability), plus a 90-minute spa treatment for each guest.
Boheme Mykonos, Mykonos, Greece
Hits of colour, iconic design pieces (Acapulco chairs, swoon!) and jazzy prints enliven the blank-canvas white walls and rough stone of this cool boutique hotel in the Grecian isles. It lives up to its name by being laidback and a bit arty, hanging out on a mountainside from which the Aegean Sea, a petite port and Mykonos Town can be spied. The open-plan Bohemian Sea View Suite is our favourite, for its corner reading nook, Jacuzzi with views and refined rustic style with modern detailing. We also like the hotel’s top-notch Med dining, some of which is harvested from the on-site bio-garden.
Smith extra: A traditional home-made dessert made with seasonal fruit.
Point Yamu by COMO, Phuket, Thailand
Amalfi blues and a nod to retro Mediterranean chic give this minimal mod-Thai retreat an Italian flavour – the handiwork of interiors-whiz Paola Navone. Beyond your Andaman Sea-facing suite, the resort’s La Sirena restaurant has an Italian menu that’s as desirable as its quirky decor (walls of tessellated plates, black-and-white detailing), while Nahmyaa offers Peranakan-Thai fare amid burnt sienna-hued mosaics and bubble lamps. As a Como resort, the spa is heavenly, with traditional Thai massages and Guinot Hydradermie treatments in glittering, softly lit surrounds, and views of Phang Nga Bay.
Smith extra: A drink each at Aqua Bar. Guests staying in a suite (or for three nights or more) who book an hour-long massage will be upgraded to a 90-minute treatment.
The Lombok Lodge, Lombok, Indonesia
We love it when stylish Europeans open luxurious resorts in an exotic setting, especially when the end result is a stay as beautiful as Lombok Lodge. On the outside, green-and-blue hues reflect the resort’s leafy setting on the island’s coast; while its coconut-white interiors show the influence of its fashion-forward Belgian owners. Lounging by the palm tree-flanked infinity pool is rewarded with ocean views (boat trips can be arranged if inspiration strikes), Frangipani Spa is a perfumed haven of nimble-fingered therapists and soothing aloe vera treatments, and musicians serenade diners by the pool – you’ll look back on chef Jiwa’s five-course Indonesian feasts with misty-eyed longing.
Smith extra: A candlelit beachside dinner for two.