Romantic private-island getaways, beachy suites, bungalows on stilts in shimmering lagoons -- oceanfront escapes are the stuff honeymoons are made of. And the boutique hotel experts at Mr & Mrs Smith checked out the best of the best to bring you 10 gorgeous locations where you can unwind in your own plunge pool, sip cocktails at the water's edge, or set sail on a sunset cruise. Bon Voyage!
The name hints at the serenity in store: A dirt path leads to a secluded cove (one of the 365 beaches the island claims to have) scattered with wooden cottages that blend seamlessly into the lush green hillsides. Accommodations are a study in understated luxury with Balinese-style furnishings, outdoor dining areas, and day beds for two. And when it comes to dipping your toes in the water, the ocean -- and a curved, freshwater infinity pool -- is right there.
Room to book: A Beachfront Cottage. They don't have private pools (like the Hilltop Suites do), but the sea is a hop, skip, and dive away.
View more photos of the Hermitage Bay Hotel.
Isolated on a crescent-shaped bay that's accessible only by boat, this rustic yet undeniably luxurious resort is the ultimate break from reality. We're talking villas overlooking the ocean (each has a private plunge pool), butler service (if you want it), and outstanding cuisine (perhaps a romantic dinner a deux in the Wine Cave?). For a once-in-a-lifetime experience, book a cruise on a traditional wooden boat and toast to your new status with champagne and canapes as the sun dips below the horizon.
Room to book: Definitely a Water Villa. Like the others, they have their own pools, but the real coup is that each comes with its own ladder leading directly into the sea. Number 5 is the pick of the litter.
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Get ready to live like royalty. Set right on a beckoning white-sand beach, this dreamy hacienda used to be the home of an actual Italian Duchess -- a lady who obviously knew a thing or two about relaxation and romance. Expect exceptional service, delicious tequila cocktails, and a pampering spa. If you make it out to see the Mayan ruins at Tulum, we'll be extremely impressed.
Room to book: Splurge on the Rosa Suite, the duchess's former master bedroom -- the entire property can be viewed from its enormous terrace.
View more photos of Esencia.
It's not often you get to walk on water, but at this boutique retreat it's an everyday occurrence. Built on stilts over individual saltwater pools, rooms are essentially adult-size playpens; their delectable beds, sleek gadgetry, and deep hot tubs will keep even the most restless couple occupied for days. And when you do emerge, all the thrills of the island -- including laid-back beaches and karaoke bars -- are just quick tuk-tuk ride away.
Room to book: All accommodations are identical, but those in the top row have the best vantage points.
View more photos of KC Resort & Over Water Villas.
Drawn by the region's sparkling waters and verdant terrain, fashionable couples flock to this chic hotel. The property's buzzing decks are perched just above the sea, with dazzling views all around (the clientele is just as gorgeous as the landscape). If you decide to linger over cocktails, claim a spot by the fire pit on the sunken deck, which overlooks the water.
Room to book: To be close to the beach, choose a Villa Suite. Or, for the utmost privacy, request an Upper Deck Room, perched high on the peaceful hillside with a view of the harbor.
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Not only is this glamorous retreat fronted by a postcard-perfect beach, it's completely surrounded by lush rainforest. Families of doe-eyed Macaque monkeys swing from the trees, and a resident naturalist leads nature walks several times a week. When you've had your fill of wildlife, "hike" down the meandering path to the blindingly white sand below. But as beautiful as that beach is, the resort's pools give it a run for its money: the upper one is a serene adults-only escape, while the lower one (which allows kids) is more lively.
Room to book: Snap up a Pool Suite -- they have private plunge pools and are well placed for shoreline saunters.
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With its sheltered, Neverland-esque lagoon and beautiful beaches, this island, halfway between Australia and New Zealand, is made for a life aquatic, whether you prefer to dive, snorkel, kayak, or dog paddle. But when you're on dry land, there's no better place to nestle in than the eco-luxe Capella. Styled like the sophisticated beach house of a (rich) friend, it blends into the landscape with bleached wood and floor-to-ceiling glass. The beach below, named -- what else? -- Lover's Bay, is framed by verdant peaks. Paddle around in the lodge's glass-bottomed kayaks, slip under the turquoise waters to swim with the fishes, or simply lay out on your day bed and relax.
Room to book: Save your pennies for the recently revamped flagship Lidgbird Pavilion -- it's split across two levels, with wraparound verandas, a free bar, plunge pool, and an outdoor frangipani-fringed stone bath.
View more photos of Capella Lodge.
It's all about escapism at this South American hideaway. The hotel is tucked into the rainforest with easy access to a gleaming sand bar that stretches more than a mile out into the Atlantic Ocean. A stay here offers a taste of wild Brazil without compromising on comfort. Cool off in the emerald-tiled seawater pool or nap in a hammock slung between coconut palms.
Room to book: Nab one of the four Super Deluxe Bungalows for vast amounts of space and privacy: each has 30-foot-high ceilings, and the huge glass doors that make up one wall slide open to let in fresh sea breezes.
View more photos of Fazenda São Francisco.
Set on the island's rugged Bukit Peninsula, this cool, contemporary cliff hanger delivers dramatic design and unbelievable vistas, as well as a top spa, a pair of amazing restaurants, and a surf break that is, in a word, legendary. Each villa has a pool, an outdoor living space, and a view of the sparkling Indian Ocean. But the piece de resistance is a wood-slatted cabana lounge bar that juts out from the cliffs and hovers above the waves.
Room to book: Villa 409. It's the highest point of the resort, so you'll get a 180-degree ocean view and total privacy.
View more photos of Alila Villas Uluwatu.
Floating in an impossibly turquoise lagoon, this collection of over-water bungalows is curved around a 1,148-foot-long private island. Accommodations have soothing white-on-white interiors and teak flooring that creates a mood of laid-back romance. If you break away from your room (and it will be hard -- trust us), lounge chairs are spread along the beach. After an afternoon spent exploring the reef, treat yourself at the world-class Como Shambhala spa.
Room to book: The ultra-private one-bedroom villas are essentially houses on stilts, complete with private sundecks and outdoor showers. Request numbers 1001 or 1003, which offer the best sea access.
View more photos of Cocoa Island.
For more insider tips and to book your next trip, contact the travel experts at Mr & Mrs Smith (800-464-2040, mrandmrssmith.com).
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