pacific island honeymoon: which island is best?

You ask: Where should we honeymoon?
And I say: An island in the Pacific!

But which one is best? Well, that depends.

Waikiki Beach in Hawaii | Ashley Goodwin Photography | see more on: http://burnettsboards.com/2014/04/pacific-island-honeymoon-island-best/

Today, along with gorgeous images from Ashley Goodwin Photography, I’m going to break down the three most popular Pacific Island honeymoon spots – the Hawaiian Islands, Fiji, and Bora Bora in order to help you decide which is best for you and your beau. As a baseline for prices I’m using my own home (Honolulu), which has a comparable cost of living to New York City.

Other assumptions I’ll be operating under:

–       I will be assuming that you won’t bring children with you on your honeymoon…
–       that you’re looking for romance
–       and since I’m married to a scientist who works on conservation issues in the Asia-Pacific region, you’ll also be gleaning some insights into coral reef conditions for all of you diving and snorkeling enthusiasts!

Tropical honeymoon | Ashley Goodwin Photography | see more on: http://burnettsboards.com/2014/04/pacific-island-honeymoon-island-best/ Tropical honeymoon | Ashley Goodwin Photography | see more on: http://burnettsboards.com/2014/04/pacific-island-honeymoon-island-best/ Tropical honeymoon | Ashley Goodwin Photography | see more on: http://burnettsboards.com/2014/04/pacific-island-honeymoon-island-best/

THE HAWAIIAN ISLANDS

Cost: $
Flight Time: 5.5 hours from Los Angeles
When to Go: All Year
Buy: Flight to at least one other Hawaiian Island

I love it when I have visitors because I get to experience Hawaii again through fresh eyes. We have epic beaches and the best weather in the world. Each of the islands has its own personality, so choose your honeymoon hub carefully, and make sure you venture out to at least one other island.

Oahu is packed, but it has the convenient tourist mecca of Waikiki and fabulous restaurants and bars. Maui is a favorite for honeymooners, Big Island (with the volcano) is great for adventurers, and my favorite islands are Kauai & Lanai. Lanai really only has two hotels on it – both of them Four Seasons and both lovely. Kauai feels a lot more rustic and has a wonderful small town vibe to it. Molokai I can’t speak for because I haven’t been yet, but it’s the most rural of the islands you can visit, with only one small hotel.

PROS:

– No passport required for Americans
– Convenience
– Millions of places to easily explore and activities to do
– All resorts have Wifi
– Cheaper to get to
– Beautiful scenery: sheer vertical cliffs, waterfalls, and volcanoes

CONS:

– Everywhere is kid friendly – even at high-end resorts
– Coral reefs are a bit degraded
– Soul-crushing traffic

Engagement ring | Ashley Goodwin Photography | see more on: http://burnettsboards.com/2014/04/pacific-island-honeymoon-island-best/ Pacific Island Honeymoon | Ashley Goodwin Photography | see more on: http://burnettsboards.com/2014/04/pacific-island-honeymoon-island-best/ Pacific Island Honeymoon | Ashley Goodwin Photography | see more on: http://burnettsboards.com/2014/04/pacific-island-honeymoon-island-best/ Pineapples | Ashley Goodwin Photography | see more on: http://burnettsboards.com/2014/04/pacific-island-honeymoon-island-best/

FIJI

Cost: $$
Flight Time: 6.5  hours south & west from Honolulu
When to Go: April/May or October/November
Buy: Carvings

I left my heart in Fiji. It’s such a magical place I really can’t recommend it enough. I’ve been twice in the last year and a half and I fully intend on retiring there someday and lounging on the beach all day with glasses of Chardonnay. It’s the kind of place where you can truly unplug (in a lot of cases because you have to – many island resorts there have little or no internet connection).

Another reason I love it is because it has all the honeymoon-worthy luxury you could hope for, but no pressure to wear heels to the bar. In fact there’s no pressure to wear shoes or much of anything special at all.

PROS:

– Many resorts are designated as no children allowed (anyone under 18)
– The reef conditions are really good & there’s a great variety of fish and both hard & soft corals
– They have a large Indian population so that means awesome curries!
– General friendliness – probably the friendliest people of the three places
– Seclusion – private islands & beaches available

CONS:

– Mosquitoes
– Don’t expect reliable Internet, even if the resort says it has it.

Further reading: Navutu Stars Resort in Fiji on Entouriste.

Tropical Pacific island honeymoon | Ashley Goodwin Photography | see more on: http://burnettsboards.com/2014/04/pacific-island-honeymoon-island-best/ Rambutans | Ashley Goodwin Photography | see more on: http://burnettsboards.com/2014/04/pacific-island-honeymoon-island-best/ Tropical islands for honeymooners | Ashley Goodwin Photography | see more on: http://burnettsboards.com/2014/04/pacific-island-honeymoon-island-best/

BORA BORA

Cost: $$$$
Flight Time: 5.5 hours south from Honolulu
When to Go: November or April
Buy: Pearls

Bora Bora is a bucket list destination. When you say you honeymooned in Bora Bora people will ooooh and aaaahh and it’s with good reason. There’s a certain something magical to Bora Bora and it truly is a once-in-a-lifetime destination and there’s a reason they call it the pearl of the South Pacific.

The center island towers above the motu and is really one of the most awe-inspiring sights in the whole Pacific. The waters are protected, and thus calm, and Bora Bora is that place with those epic over-water bungalows you keep seeing on Pinterest.

PROS:

– It’s French so think baguettes, wine, and cheese, even with breakfast if you want & daily delivery of macarons to your suite.
– Jaw-dropping white sand beaches & scenery
– Warmest ocean water of the three places
Over-water bungalows
– Baby sharks. The big ones can’t make it over the barrier reef (definite pro!) but the babies can and they’re adorable
– It’s geared towards romance & honeymooners
– May be the most spectacularly beautiful island in the Pacific

CONS:

– Coral reefs are a bit degraded
– Mosquitoes
– Cost (I’m talking like $70+ per person for breakfast, and that’s not the wine & cheese breakfast)
– Limited dining options
– Not that much to do outside of your particular resort, so choose your resort well!

Where we stayed (and LOVED): Softel Bora Bora Private Island.

Best Pacific Island for honeymoons | Ashley Goodwin Photography | see more on: http://burnettsboards.com/2014/04/pacific-island-honeymoon-island-best/ Best Pacific Island for your honeymoon | Ashley Goodwin Photography | see more on: http://burnettsboards.com/2014/04/pacific-island-honeymoon-island-best/ Hawaii, Fiji, Bora Bora - which island is best for your honeymoon? FIND OUT! | Ashley Goodwin Photography | see more on: http://burnettsboards.com/2014/04/pacific-island-honeymoon-island-best/

So which of these three is on your honeymoon shortlist? If you have any tips or advice from your own adventures in the Pacific that would be helpful to future honeymooners – please add them!

***

I’d like to give a big mahalo to Ashley Goodwin Photography for sending over these gorgeous images for this post.

About Sara Burnett

Editor of Burnett's Boards, which she founded to showcase global creativity in the wedding industry. Sara currently lives out of a suitcase while island hopping the Caribbean and beyond. Learn More // Follow on Instagram.

Comments

  1. Feeling transported! Beautiful photos and awesome travel tips. Bora Bora is definitely on my list, although I’m kind of bummed to hear it’s as pricey as one would expect. A $70 brekkie not including any booze? I’d be scaling coconut trees at that rate.

  2. Seriously love this post. I hope to make it to all three places someday!

  3. I would be happy with any of these choices! Gorgeous images, too!

  4. I’ve been to almost all the Hawaiian islands, but not Fiji or Bora Bora…yet. This post makes me want to go tomorrow! Beautiful imagery and wonderful tips!

  5. I’m ready to pack my bikinis and book a flight!

  6. hey, you’re totally welcome! + although I sure am partial to hawaii, I mean, Bora Bora don’t sound so bad! 😉

  7. Great post! Awesome info!!!!

  8. Tucking this away for my travel bucket list – here I come Hawaii and Bora Bora! (someday!)

  9. Beautiful post Love it!, Love it Love it!.

  10. This is so helpful to brides and quite the teaser for me:) Can’t wait to make it back to Hawaii one day!

  11. Great advice haven’t planned my honeymoon yet but when I do I think the Hawaiian islands sounds like the perfect place although all of these destinations are gorgeous and have so much to offer.

  12. Suzy Pugh says:

    All sound amazing to me. I live in the UK so flights would be more costly. Also I am in a wheelchair, so we would need help knowing which Island is best for disabled people.

    • Actually there is a direct flight from Paris to Bora Bora that is cheaper for you than to either Fiji or Hawaii. That said though, the most wheel chair friendly of the three places is definitely Hawaii.

      • Suzy Pugh says:

        Thank you for the reply and info. As lovely as Hawaii sounds we were hoping Fiji would be best!

        • The resorts in Denaru have access but the outer islands might be more difficult. I’ve read in forums though that resort staff are eager to help (which does not surprise me – everyone there is SO friendly!) and that being carried off boats, across the sand etc is not uncommon.

  13. I was fortunate enough to honeymoon in the Tahitian Islands – Bora Bora, Morea and Tahiti. For romance – Bora Bora was the best hands down. In addition to water time, rent a moped and take your time putzing around the island. Helpful if you know some basic French. Did not have a problem with mosquitoes there but expect no AC. After that we liked Tahiti as you get nice amenities – like AC, restaurants and shopping, plus mass transit. We found Morea heavily infested with mosquitoes, not nearly as quaint as BB, and no benefits for the size increase. Just got back from Oahu – would personally not honeymoon there but it’s one of the nicest family oriented islands we’ve ever been to. Which was great as we now have kids:)