You ask: Where should we honeymoon?
And I say: An island in the Pacific!
But which one is best? Well, that depends.
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!
THE HAWAIIAN ISLANDS
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.
– No passport required for Americans
– 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
– Everywhere is kid friendly – even at high-end resorts
– Coral reefs are a bit degraded
– Soul-crushing traffic
Flight Time: 6.5 hours south & west from Honolulu
When to Go: April/May or October/November
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.
– 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
– Don’t expect reliable Internet, even if the resort says it has it.
Further reading: Navutu Stars Resort in Fiji on Entouriste.
Flight Time: 5.5 hours south from Honolulu
When to Go: November or April
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.
– 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
– Coral reefs are a bit degraded
– 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!
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.