French Polynesia, the Maldives and Bali made the Virtuoso 2018 Luxe Report’s list of top honeymoon destinations. They ranked third, fourth and fifth, respectively, trailing only Italy and Maui. Here are some of the most recent developments in these exotic realms that may pique the interest of your romance clients.
On French Polynesia’s Motu Piti Aau, the “islet of two hearts,” the InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa is popular for honeymoons and destination weddings. Venues for nuptials include a glass-bottomed, overwater chapel, as well as beach and jungle settings. Wedding packages and a honeymoon registry are available.
This past summer, the luxury resort launched a multimillion-dollar renovation program, adding new Pool Premium Overwater Villas with private plunge pools. Last month, it unveiled four new Brando Suite Bora Bora one- and two-bedroom overwater villas.
These new units have glass coffee tables in the living room that showcase the marine life swimming below as well as a private deck, from which guests can take a dip directly in the lagoon. The accommodations afford views of Mount Otemanu and access to the Deep Ocean Spa, specializing in seawater therapies.
InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa has created an intimate, secret garden of love in its botanical garden where sweethearts can symbolize their devotion by sealing their love with a lock. Couples can choose from four Polynesian symbols — the turtle, the sun, the sea shell and the lizard — then attach their lock to the palm tree with their chosen symbol and throw away the keys in the garden’s Tiki, which symbolizes the protection of love forever. Guests are encouraged to bring their own customized lock, although locks are also available for purchase in the resort’s boutique.
Baros Maldives recently unveiled 24 renovated Deluxe Villas. Each of the 957-square-foot villas received a brighter decor such as polished “neo-Art Deco” furniture and a flat-screen TV. All Deluxe Villas have direct beach access and a 24-hour Villa Host.
In addition to the new villas, the Cayenne Grill has reopened with a new menu, including the special Butcher’s Block Menu as well as new vegetarian dishes. The menu comprises wood-fired pizza, salads, wraps, Teppanyaki and Tandoori. The Teppanyaki Hut, where guests can sit around the chef’s counter and watch him cook on the flat-top, was also upgraded.
Baros Maldives has 75 villas in total (including 15 Water Pool Villas and one Baros Residence, the top accommodation), a tropical garden spa with four suites, a spa pavilion where the resident yogi leads classes, two additional restaurants and bars, and intimate sandbank dining exclusive for couples.
The 30th annual Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards ranked Anantara’s Naladhu Private Island Maldives number one among the “Best Resorts in the World.” The resort’s 20 luxury beach houses are spread across a pristine, palm-fringed beach in the south coast of Malé. These weathered-wood accommodations come with a private garden and an infinity pool, high-ceilinged interiors decorated in cane and tropical hues, and an open-air bathroom with L’Occitane products and a sea-facing tub for two. The Living Room’s dining spaces range from tables set around the all-glass wine cellar to cushioned Indian daybeds under the stars. A fleet of dhonis facilitates onboard private dinners. Dedicated butlers, or VGCs (very good chaps), cater to guests’ needs.
An Ocean Pool Villa at Anantara’s Naladhu Private Island Maldives
Anantara’s wedding and event planners custom-tailor “Inspired Celebration” events for engagements, weddings and honeymoons. Naladhu Private Island Maldives is a 30-minute ride, via the hotel’s speedboat, from Malé’s international airport.
Soneva, the pioneering barefoot luxury resort operator, has launched a series of new luxury wellness retreats throughout 2018 at its flagship Soneva Fushi resort in the Maldives (as well as at Soneva Kiri on the island of Koh Kood in Thailand). The four-night, full-board wellness retreats offer a choice of one of three wellness journeys, themed to anti-aging, detox and sleep therapies. Each is centered on yoga and the healing benefits of massage, and includes personal consultations and nutritional guidance from expert therapists at the onsite spas.
By 2019, the Maldives will have a slew of new luxury brands such as Waldorf Astoria, Pullman and Baglioni. Also set to open are the Lux North Male Atoll, Movenpick Resort & Spa Kuredhivaru Maldives, Carpe Diem Maldives, OBLU Select at Sangeli and Emerald Maldives Resort & Spa.
This month, Como Hotels and Resorts is opening Como Uma Canggu, overlooking a beach in Canggu, on Bali’s southern coast, an area known for great surfing. Joining Como Shambhala Estate and Como Uma Ubud, the new resort comprises 52 rooms and suites, 55 one- and two-bedroom residences, and 12 three-bedroom duplex Como Penthouses, complete with rooftop pools and panoramic ocean views. Como Uma Canggu is about an hour’s drive from Ngurah Rai International Airport.
Here’s what’s in store: The resort’s Como Shambhala Retreat will offer daily fitness classes, healing and holistic therapies, while the Como Beach Club promises to be “a distinctly modern take on the traditional surf scene.” Forget the classic surf shack; this is a more refined hangout. Think wood-fired grill, an international menu featuring fresh regional ingredients, accompanied by live acoustic music and DJ sets.
There’s also a 140-foot lagoon pool with floating lounge chairs, a fully equipped gym, and Pilates and yoga studios. Aspiring surfers can sign up with lessons from the pros with Como partner Tropicsurf. For weddings, an events coordinator is on hand and the resort has a number of suitable, intimate venues, including Penthouse Suites that can host receptions for up to 20 people.
A one-bedroom residence at Como Uma Canggu
Six Senses Uluwatu is slated to debut on a rugged clifftop setting in Pecatu, Bali in March. The resort will be close to the famous Uluwatu Temple, an ancient and important spiritual place on the island. Like the temple, the Six Senses Uluwatu will have sweeping views of the sea. Built with local materials and based on sustainable design, the resort’s 103 villas and suites include options of one-, two-, three-, and four-bedroom accommodations. We’re intrigued by the sound of the 28 Sky Villas.
Resort facilities will include multiple swimming pools, a cooking school, organic garden / farm and locally inspired treatments at the Six Senses spa. Multi-day wellness and detox programs are expected to be a draw here, with an added perk being the complimentary morning yoga sessions. The Six Senses Uluwatu is also expected to host destination weddings and events, with an open-air pavilion and ample function space.
Amanusa — the Bali resort designed by Kerry Hill and Danilo Capellini in 1992 — will no longer be managed by Aman Resorts effective February 28. After 25 years, the management contract with the owning company, Ancora, has ended. Situated in Nusa Dua overlooking the Bali National Golf Club, the exclusive resort has 35 thatched-roof suites with private courtyards and outdoor showers. There’s also a spa, floodlit tennis courts, and an elegant restaurant and bar for enjoying the Bali sunsets. No news yet on whether the resort will close down permanently, but there hasn’t yet been an announcement of a new hotel brand taking over its operation.