The 17 Most Romantic Hotels in Australia, New Zealand, and the South Pacific
Does your dream honeymoon take place Down Under, or somewhere nearby? Your search for stays just got a whole lot simpler. In partnership with Jetsetter, we asked our readers and followers to to vote on their favorite romantic honeymoon destinations in seven regions, and here are the results for the dynamic trio of Australia, New Zealand, and the South Pacific. According to you, Bora Bora takes the cake; its music, food, and history are definitely worth digging into (if you can tear yourself away from that overwater bungalow). But just because it won doesn't mean it's the only spot worth seeing. Fiji, Tahiti, Sydney, and Wellington were all popular runners-up. Now that you know where to go, we're here to tell you where to book. Here, our favorite hotels in each location, which are guaranteed to inspire you—and make your planning that much easier.
Bora Bora: St. Regis Bora Bora
Spread across 44 acres on a private island, the 100 thatched-roof overwater villas at this resort have a Bali-Thai look and glass viewing panels in the floor that give guests the chance to observe the marine life below. (Plus, they start at a whopping 1,550 square feet.) There's plenty to keep you busy, and the Romance Concierge can help you plan your days. Make sure to relax at the enormous Clarins spa (which occupies its own islet) and sample fresh-caught fish at the first sushi restaurant in Bora Bora. And talk about dinner with a view: Lagoon by Jean-Georges is suspended above the lagoon, with glass walls facing the towering Mount Otemanu.
Bora Bora: Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora
If it's good enough for Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux's honeymoon, it's good enough for yours. A private yacht will deliver you to your high-ceilinged overwater bungalow, which is decked out in a calming cream and mocha color palette. If you don't want to venture to one of the four restaurants, meals can be delivered to your door (via canoe). At the spa, indulge in a signature ritual that blends ancient Polynesian practices with essential oils and scrubs made with local ingredients. The best way to cap off your day is at the aptly named Sunset Restaurant, cocktail in hand.
Bora Bora: InterContinental Bora Bora Resort Thalasso Spa
Set between the lagoon and the sea on Motu Piti A'au, this classic resort just keeps getting better. It recently added private infinity pools to 10 overwater villas on the south side of the property. Come December, you'll be able to book one of four brand-new Brando Suites, luxurious overwater villas complete with their own infinity pools, which will be the resort's largest room options (a whopping 2,368 square feet for a one bedroom).
Bora Bora: Conrad Bora Bora Nui
After a multimillion dollar refurbishment, this former Hilton on Motu To'opua has been completely transformed, and debuted earlier this year. There are now 86 overwater bungalows (including the Presidential suite, the only two-story overwater villa in the region), three restaurants, a swim-up pool bar, full-service spa, and its own private satellite islet, Motu Tapu, where you can book private picnics or candlelit dinners—the island version of a table for two.
Fiji Islands: Kokomo Private Island Resort
Set on a 140-acre private island surrounded by crystal-clear waters and dense, floral-rich rainforests, the Kokomo Private Island Resort opened in April 2017 with five hilltop residences and 21 beachside villas. Paddleboard and swim with manta rays in the Great Astrolabe Reef (the fourth largest in the world), or take a dip in the private infinity pool that comes with your villa. There's also yoga, biking, scenic walking trails, and a dive center, plus dining options galore, including a private island picnic and a casual waterfront restaurant.
Fiji Islands: Likuliku Lagoon Resort
Relaxation is a given at this idyllic 45-room island resort: Likuliku translates to "calm waters," and there's a spa whose name means "House of Dreams." The waters and reefs surrounding the property are considered a marine reserve, and conservation initiatives are in place to protect the native flora, fauna, and archeological sites. Experience a few local traditions, like the Kava ceremony (where you drink ground-up Kava root), the Meke (a traditional Fijian dance), and Lovo (an "earth oven feast" where you eat food that's cooked in a pit). Meals, whether a picnic on the beach or a fancy dinner, are included in your rate.
Fiji Islands: Fiji Marriott Resort Momi Bay
Another April 2017 addition, this is only the second resort in Fiji to offer overwater bures (or bungalows)—and the first on the largest island of Viti Levu. There are 270 rooms total, and each comes with a private balcony or terrace and views of the water (ocean, pool, or lagoon). At the Quan Spa, treat yourself to a body scrub and a couple's massage, or for something more active, book a zip-line tour or boat ride on the breathtaking Sigatoka River. No matter what you choose, a piña colada at the swim-up bar is the perfect way to end your day.
Fiii Islands: Luacala Island
There are plenty of places to cozy up on this 3,000-acre private-island resort without seeing another soul, like the pool and outdoor shower in each of the Fijian-styled villas. Turquoise lagoons are perfect for a dip or countless water activities (like outrigger canoes, scuba diving, and jet skis); otherwise, go horseback riding, tour the organic farms that supply the island's five restaurants, or steal away to the Spa Garden and Kitchen to create your own signature lotion.
Tahiti: InterContinental Tahiti
Sitting on 30 lush acres, this French Polynesian getaway—conveniently located a mile away from the airport—has 32 thatched-roof overwater bungalows. If you can tear yourself away from your room, get crafty with shell and flower necklace making, dye your own pareo (a kind of Tahitian sarong), or learn about the local fish at the Lagoonarium, the resort's natural aquarium. There are also two infinity pools (one with a swim-up bar), an open-air seafood restaurant, and nightly Tahitian dance performances.
Tahiti: Sofitel Moorea la Ora Beach Resort
This elegantly understated resort puts the spotlight on heart-shaped Moorea's extreme natural beauty, including its dramatic waterfalls, tall fern-covered cliffs, and deep ravines. Thatch-roofed overwater bungalows blend Polynesian touches with 21st-century luxuries. Garden or beach villas are also available, and both types of accommodations come with terraces and deep soaking tubs. Make time for a meal at the romantic restaurant K, where tables are lit by crystal candle centerpieces.
Tahiti: The Brando
A 20-minute charter flight from Tahiti brings you to this slice of heaven, set on Marlon Brando's private island of Tetiaroa—which had been occupied for centuries by Tahitian royalty. The eco-resort has 35 Polynesian-style one-, two-, and three-bedroom villas with personal plunge pools, white-sand beaches, and bicycles for getting around. Canoes, kayaks, and paddleboards are also provided for exploring the lagoon. And the food is as fresh as it gets, with fruits and vegetables from an on-site organic garden and fish from the surrounding waters.
Sydney: The Old Clare
This property in the buzzy Chippendale neighborhood has had many lives since opening in the 1800s, including a produce store, a furniture dealer, and a restaurant. By 1939, it was The Clare Hotel—and in 2015, it was transformed into this 62-room industrial-inspired boutique hotel, complete with a rooftop pool and two world-class restaurants (including one from acclaimed chef Jason Atherton). The hip bar is covered in old music posters and serves an ever-changing menu of cocktails, like the breakfast-inspired Salt and Batter-Y (bacon and butter-washed rye with doughnut-flavored syrup and coffee bitters).
Sydney: The Langham
Talk about posh. Set on the Western Harbour waterfront near the historic Rocks, this 98-room hotel is a favorite thanks to its high ceilings, custom-made furniture, and Juliet balconies. Volley on the hard-court tennis court before sipping afternoon tea served on Wedgewood china in the hotel's sunny indoor Palm Court. There's also a spa and an indoor heated pool.
Sydney: Harbour Rocks Hotel
Sydney's first hospital has been transformed into this one-of-a-kind, old-meets-new property. Original sandstone and brick walls remain, and, thanks to its heritage building status, each of its 59 rooms has a unique layout. You'll want to linger on the courtyard terrace or in the cozy lobby, which has a fully stocked bookcase filling one wall and a bar in the corner. At its Scarlett restaurant, you'll find locals feasting on dishes like crispy skin barramundi, with asparagus, and prawn and lobster ravioli.
Wellington: QT Museum Wellington
The former Museum Art Hotel was recently transformed into the cheeky QT brand's first New Zealand location. It's got 163 eccentrically decorated rooms and apartments, a French restaurant called Hippopotamus, and Hot Sauce, a new Japanese-Korean street food concept. Staff members are clad in uniforms designed by Broadway costume designer Janet Hine, and there's an on-site gallery curated by the hotel's own art curator.
Wellington: Intercontinental Wellington
Location is everything, and this five-star international hotel is ideally situation just minutes away from popular attractions like the Queen's Wharf, the Parliament building, and the David Jones department store. Take a ride around the area in one of the hotel's two cars—a 2017 BMW 7 Series and a Bentley Flying Spur—or sit down for a romantic dinner for two at the hotel's Chameleon Restaurant, (don't miss the Waikanae crab risotto and venison loin with chard and celeriac). There's also an indoor heated pool, lobby bar serving house-made cocktails inspired by famous Wellington icons and locations, and a private club lounge on the seventh floor.
Wellington: Bolton Hotel
History buffs, take note. This hotel is named after one of the first immigrant ships to arrive in New Zealand in the 1800s, and was the home of the Kate Sheppard Statue—which honors the country's most prominent member of New Zealand's women's suffrage movement—before it moved to the National Library. Each of its 139 rooms comes with an iPad mini to call room service and floor-to-ceiling windows that offer magnificent views of the city. Make sure to book 24 hours ahead for afternoon tea.
Additional reporting by Eleni Gage and Amanda Reed.