1. British Virgin Islands: Peter Island Resort & Spa
Five separate stretches of sand hug this private-island resort. Mile-long Deadman’s Beach, the most popular, is steps away from cocktails, fine dining and motor-free water toys such as paddle boards, kayaks and snorkeling gear. The quietest, Honeymoon Beach, can be reserved for a private morning or afternoon, complete with a gourmet picnic spread.
Best Room: Set along a corner of Deadman’s Beach, the Junior Suites lull lovers to sleep with the sound of the waves and include appreciated perks such as private patios or balconies, double showers and Jacuzzi tubs for two.
Romantic Perk: Honeymooners receive a complimentary bottle of sparkling wine, best enjoyed in the above-mentioned tub. A visit to the spa for a couples massage in an open-air treatment room is a must. The just-wed can also arrange for a tiki-torch-lit private dinner on Deadman’s Beach.
2. Ambergris Caye, Belize: El Secreto
This new eco-chic boutique on the tip of San Pedro Island is so secluded, it doesn’t even have an address — just GPS coordinates. A luxe speedboat drops you off on a dock over the turquoise water, thus rendering all future arrivals anywhere else hopelessly mundane. In an instant, wide stretches of white sand seductively beckon you to relax and just be.
Best Room: A spacious sea villa lets you slide out of bed right onto the beach and feels so private you won’t even realize you have neighbors. Each of the 13 villas comes with a sexy outdoor Jacuzzi, yummy Malin + Goetz bath goodies and a cozy sitting area with a library. Don’t miss the fresh watermelon juice waiting outside your door every morning.
Romantic Perk: Spend a morning snorkeling at Hol Chan Marine Reserve on Belize’s famed barrier reef to glimpse an amazing rainbow of marine life. Afterward, speed by boat over for lunch at the blissfully bohemian, off-the-beaten-path Caye Caulker. If you still need more action, pop over to San Pedro town for dinner at local hot spot Elvi’s Kitchen.
3. Hawaii: Four Seasons Resort Hawaii, Lanai at Manele Bay
This Four Seasons — one of two on Lanai, the private Hawaiian island owned by Oracle billionaire Larry Ellison — sits on a bluff facing protected Manele Bay. It boasts killer views and a sandy stretch where you can snorkel and Snuba right off the beach. Add tropical gardens, unusual activities such as creating a signature scent, and an outpost of Nobu restaurant (the first for a Four Seasons), and you’ll never want to leave the grounds.
Best Room: The Oceanfront Terrace rooms have sliding glass doors that open to private patios and the Pacific below; you can see migrating whales during the spring, as well as dolphins year-round.
Romantic Perk: The resort caters to couples with private dinners arranged oceanfront and spa treatments in hales(upscale versions of the traditional thatched hut) overlooking the water. Bottom line: If it’s good enough for Bill Gates — it’s good enough for me.
4. Antigua: Jumby Bay
This private-island Rosewood resort gets everything right, from the bicycles waiting outside your suite for easy exploring to candlelit beach barbecues where a chef grills freshly caught fish under the stars. The vibe is utterly Caribbean: palm trees, a sweep of perfect beach — even a historic sugar mill.
Best Room: While the beach side courtyard suites, strung along the oceanfront, lend the best close-up water views, I prefer the private ocean-view pool suites, which offer the best of both worlds: a huge plunge pool in your garden, with a short path that leads to the beach. I’m also partial to the outdoor showers and antique soaking tubs set in the tropical courtyard.
Romantic Perk: The Privileges of Privacy program offers treats such as stargazing, beach dinners, after-hours spa evenings or visits with a local artisan. Choose what you want; leave out what you don’t.
Costalegre, Mexico: Las AlamandasIt’s hard to believe that a quiet paradise like this can still exist in well-traveled Mexico. Situated on a 15,000-acre nature reserve. Floating in the shallow waters just off the coast of one of the resort’s four private beaches, wandering along lush jungle paths, or simply sitting back with margaritas in hand.
Best Room: Each colorful Spanish-style villa comes with perks like a private Jacuzzi and secluded patio, but couples who splurge for the Casa del Sol suite might never leave their room, thanks to a sparkling infinity-edge pool, a full bar and an expansive outdoor terrace overlooking the ocean.
Romantic Perk: Ask the resort’s attentive staff to arrange a private candlelit dinner for two atop Lookout Point, a soaring cliff with panoramic vistas of the Pacific. What could be more romantic than watching the sun dip into the ocean while sipping sparkling wine with the person of your dreams?