Honeymoon in Paradise
Nothing says "honeymoon" quite like the Seychelles. Or at least that's what the Clooneys, Salma Hayek and Will and Kate made clear after they tied the knot. The 115 islands off the east coast of Africa--with their postcard-perfect beaches, tropical forests and obscenely luxurious accommodations--practically ooze with romance. Already married a couple of years (or decades)? Consider it an excuse to celebrate the strength of your affection.
Where to Stay
Footwear optional, relaxation required
This private island resort has long been on the map for its fancy clientele and pristine natural setting. But when Will and Kate honeymooned here in 2011, it became the love nest to the stars, with the Beckhams and Jolie-Pitts following suit. As for what you’ll get? Try a 2,500-square-foot-villa with a butler, private pool, private beach cove and personal chef to cater to your every whim. Such luxury doesn’t come cheap (try $5,000 a night). But, hey, a girl can dream.
LE DOMAINE DE L'ORANGERAIE
For the slightly less royal set, there’s the laid-back Le Domaine de L’Orangeraie on the stunning isle of La Digue. There, you’ll spend a fraction of the price of other top hotels for a chic tree-house-style villa with views of the islands or tropical gardens. The Seychellois-fusion restaurant on the premises is one of the tastiest in the archipelago--making it even easier never to leave your little slice of heaven.
When your plane lands in Mahé, don’t be so quick to island-hop. The Four Seasons here snagged one of the best beaches in the Seychelles and designed their secluded villas for utter romance. That said, be sure to get out of bed for the ocean-view yoga, tandem kayaking and sunset catamaran excursions. Exhausted just thinking about it? You can also sign up for couples’ massages on the rooftop terrace.
What to Eat
Go where the tuna is fresh and the sauv blanc cold
Cafe des Arts
This Praslin Island restaurant understands what you and your beloved are after: Prime beachfront scenery, private dining cabanas, sumptuous food and a no-kids-under-five rule. Come for a seafood lunch (hi, freshly caught tuna) and sit out on the stunning Cote d'Or beach. Or stop by in the evening for Champagne cocktails and live music.
What to Do
Aside from staring longingly into each other’s eyes
Bike La Digue
Get a feel for Seychellois life on this little island known for boasting more ox-carts and bicycles than cars. Peddle through the vanilla plantations, charming villages and pristine beaches--including Anse Source d’Argent, the world's most photographed stretch of sand. (Looks hauntingly familiar, right? That’s because you’ve probably seen it on a motivational poster somewhere.)
No matter how idyllic your resort may be, you should make it a point to see some other islands. Book a boat trip--or better yet, a chartered sailboat or yacht--and spend a day snorkeling among the colorful corals, fishing for fresh bonito and docking idly on a deserted beach.
Stroll the Garden of Eden
Spend one minute in the lush Vallée de Mai nature reserve and UNESCO heritage site and you’ll understand why early explorers thought it to be the original home of Adam and Eve. Set on the isle of Praslin, it’s one of the best preserved ecosystems in the world and the only place that naturally grows the suggestively-shaped coco de mer (or double coconut).
What to Skip
Don’t get stuck at a tourist trap
Giant Tortoise Farms
There are more giant tortoises in the Seychelles than anywhere else in the world (ten times more than the Galapagos, for reference). And while you certainly could see these titans at the many farms that dot the islands, we think it’s best to observe them in their natural habitats--Curieuse Marine National Park or the appropriately Darwinian Aldabra Atoll.
What to Pack
With temps in the '80s, it's not just your love life that’ll be getting steamy. (Sorry, had to.) So a dress with ample air flow is a must. Bring at least one long and one short version, and extra points for an island-inspired palette of aqua, coral or yellow.
Since a number of Seychelles gift shops don't accept credit cards, you’ll want to be prepared with a little cold, hard cash. And consider it a bonus that any unused tender can go back into your wallet for your next European sojourn.
Document your time in the most beautiful place in the world (with your most favorite person in the world). Load up your phone or camera with homemade movies, and a video-editing service like DreemItReel will turn it into a professional movie upon your return.