Of all the most socially acceptable reasons to take a whole bunch of time off from work, a honeymoon may just be your splurgiest, most over-the-top trip. We’ve combed the planet for the best romantic holidays across every climate, season, and category—from short-hop mini-moons to far-flung forays into the exotic.
For the ultimate jet-setters planning on both a short, post-nuptial trip and an epic honeymoon around your first anniversary, we suggest one destination closer to home, and another more off-the-beaten path. If you’re getting hitched in 2020, here are the top ten destinations that should land on your honeymoon shortlist.
6. Okinawa, Japan
For decades, Japanese vacationers have sought out the sandy beaches of Hawaii for their dose of Vitamin D—they love the Aloha State so much, in fact, that it’s common to find Hawaiian themed restaurants and apparel all over Tokyo. But a recent spate of development on Okinawa is turning one of the country’s farthest-flung islands into Japan’s very own version of Hawaii. Starting this year (never mind that the Olympics are being held in Tokyo), the flow of holiday-makers will reverse as Americans head (even further) westward to bask in the warmth of the Land of the Rising Sun’s sunniest destination.
Famed Waikiki hotel the Halekulani opened its doors on Okinawa’s main island, right next to Busena Marine Park. The 308 rooms (not to mention 47 suites and 5 private villas) employs an elegant “seven shades of white” motif, with decor spearheaded by noted New York firm, Champalimaud Design. Hoshino Resorts has also made inroads in the development of Okinawa, opening not one, but four properties in 2020: Hoshinoya Taketomi, a ten-minute ferry ride from Ishigaki that’s designed like a resort village with traditional elements, and Hoshinoya Okinawa, set in center of the action with breathtaking ocean views. They’ve also got Risonare Kohamajima and Iriomote Hotel, both on quieter islands in the archipelago’s outer orbit.
Besides all the trappings of a relaxing beachside holiday, there are plenty of culturally significant sites and unique local recipes worth scouting out as well. “Until the late 1870s, the Okinawan islands were a part of the Ryukyus, a thriving independent kingdom that played a key role in trade in Asia from the 14th century onwards,” explains Alice Volkmar of InsideJapan Tours. “This unique history means that the islands have developed a rich and distinctive culture influenced by China and Southeast Asia as well as by mainland Japan.”