Honeymoon Destinations in December
Where to go on Honeymoon in December
By Jane Anderson, Editor of 101 Honeymoons
December is such a romantic month for a wedding but you need to put some thought into where to go on honeymoon. If you want warm sunny weather, your short haul options are limited to destinations such as the Canaries, Madeira and Egypt – all within five hours flying time.
If you are prepared to fly long haul, the world is your oyster. The Caribbean and Southern Africa are enjoying fabulous weather in December, and there are other great options from South East Asia and India to the paradise islands of the Maldives.
You might also consider heading north to a snowbound wilderness and a glimpse of the Northern Lights.
Caribbean Honeymoons in December
December is one of the best months of the year to visit the Caribbean – the hurricane season has blown over to be replaced by long sunny days, low humidity and cooling breezes. If you go before the start of the school holidays you’ll avoid peak season flight and hotel prices.
It’s a mistake to think of the Caribbean as one single destination: there are different types of islands for different types of honeymooner. Do you want a remote hideaway or a buzzing hotel surrounded by hip restaurants? Are you interested in local culture, or just a perfect hotel on a white sand beach?
The Dominican Republic is good value. As a destination it’s much under-rated, with lush rainforest, a vibrant local culture and beautiful beaches. Although it’s known for its all-inclusive hotels (many of which are excellent), the Dominican Republic has some luxury boutique hotels too. I particularly recommend Secrets Royal Beach Punta Cana as a great value, high quality all-inclusive option.
Barbados is an exciting place to stay in December, though it’s pricey over Christmas and New Year, when the restaurants are busy and partying is guaranteed. If you want splendid isolation, go for The Atlantis on the quiet east coast. With only 10 rooms and suites, it is one of the island’s oldest hotels, immaculately restored, and one of a great collection of small hotels and resorts in the Caribbean.
Cuba is excellent value for money and a great choice if you want a spicy cultural experience combined with relaxing beach time. For a dream island escape, try Melia Cayo Coco. For a few days of Hemingway-inspired partying in the capital Havana – think mojitos, salsa clubs and cigar factories – stay at the historic Hotel Saratoga.
St Lucia is arguably the most beautiful of the mainstream islands. Hidden amongst the forested hills and colonial plantations are some exquisite beachfront hotels including Jade Mountain and its less expensive (but equally beautiful) sister hotel, Anse Chastanet.
Jamaica is also a great option, combining friendly people, a buzzing local culture and numerous beauty spots. If you want to go all-inclusive, head to the adults-only Sandals Grande Riviera Beach in Ocho Rios, which has butler service and a funky beach club. For something more intimate, I recommend a stay at Jamaica Inn, an elegant boutique hotel dating back to the 1950s where each suite looks out over a perfect private beach.
If you really want to get away from it all, I suggest you head out to the sun-bleached Turks & Caicos Islands. Beach lovers should head for the British territory of Anguilla – a perfect coral island a short flight from Antigua. It has 33 pristine beaches and stunning hotels including Cap Juluca and the Viceroy.
For an authentic taste of the West Indies, I recommend Essence of the Caribbean which has a great selection of small hotels, guest hotels and B&Bs including Fond Doux Estate on a working cocoa plantation in St Lucia and Rock Haven B&B in St Kitts. See more ideas.
Steer clear of the Bahamas and Bermuda in December – they can be a touch too cold.
Another great option for a Caribbean honeymoon is a luxury cruise with Star Clippers, fabulous sailing ships that are able to visit smaller ports of call that the large ships can’t reach.
If you love nature and want a bit of an adventure, Costa Rica is perfect with its combination of rainforest, national parks, volcanoes, surf beaches and amazing wildlife. This two-week Costa Rica self-drive takes in most of the key sights, but if your budget is tight this 11-night Value Costa Rica tour is a real snip from just £1,018 per person including flights.
Also in Central America, I love this two-week twin-centre honeymoon in Guatemala and Belize. It’s a perfect combination of adventure, natural wonders and dreamy beach with stay at Francis Ford Coppola’s La Lancha Lodge, and the chic Mata Chica Beach Resort on the Caribbean coast.
December Honeymoons in Asia
In the depths of the British winter, much of Asia is experiencing gorgeous weather in December. Perhaps more than anywhere else in the world you have a huge choice of destinations and types of honeymoon. You can crash on a beach for a fortnight, explore vibrant cities, venture out into the countryside – or do a combination of all three.
Bali is popular with honeymooners in December for its fascinating and colourful culture and great value local cuisine. Although this is technically the wet season you can expect a short sharp shower rather prolonged rainfall. My top hotel picks include Puri Ganesha, a laid-back luxury hideaway in the north of the island, COMO Shambhala Estate in Ubud, the great-value Gajah Mina Beach Resort on a surf beach in the south-west, and the gorgeous Spa Village Resort Tembok Bali. See more honeymoon hotels in Bali.
For couples that like a taste of adventure, how about Vietnam. From the buzzing streets of Saigon to a lazy river cruise on the Mekong, you’ll be staggered by the richness of the culture, the quality of the food and the beauty of the landscape. This Sumptuous Vietnam trip is one of the most popular private tours for honeymooners, taking in Saigon, Hoi An, Hue, Hanoi, the Mekong Delta and Halong Bay. For a more relaxed itinerary, try Luxury Saigon, Mekong and Beach, focusing on the south of the country.
Or how about Cambodia where you’ll be wowed by the jungle-clad temples of Angkor Wat. You can walk with elephants, stay on a floating river lodge and immerse yourselves in the café society of Phnom Penh.
The west coast of Thailand is lovely in December with fantastic honeymoon hideaways like the Sarojin on a fabulous beach near Phuket, though you should avoid the Gulf coast (Hua Hin, for example) and islands such as Koh Samui which are generally wet at this time of year.
India is an amazing place to spend a honeymoon, a truly magical destination. Visit this website for inspiration, or see this selection of luxury honeymoons to India. You could take a 14-day Classic Rajasthan private tour or combine spectacular hotels such as Oberoi UdaiVilas on the banks of Lake Pichola and Leela Goa on a perfect white sand beach.
In the south of India, Kerala has just come out of its monsoon season and is ready and waiting for visitors. Spend time on a rice boat drifting along the backwaters, stay in colonial hill stations and discover amazing beaches. See this private honeymoon tour in Kerala.
Or you could avoid the roads on a luxury train journey aboard the palatial Maharajahs’ Express. A glamorous 4-night tour out of Delhi takes you to the Taj Mahal, Jaipur and a tiger safari in Ranthambore National Park. See a full selection of honeymoons by rail.
Africa and the Indian Ocean
There are few honeymoon destinations more beguiling than The Maldives where each hotel occupies its own private island set amidst turquoise lagoons and deep blue seas. It really is more beautiful than any photograph can convey.
December marks the start of the dry season in the Maldives (it runs until April) with clear skies and temperatures around 30c. If there is an occasional shower, take a dip in the sea which will be extra warm. There’s everything from overwater villas to underwater spas to tempt you here.
Going all-inclusive in the Maldives makes a lot of sense, and one of the most popular all-inclusive hotels is the four-star Kuredu Island Resort which has miles of white sand beach, two pools, four restaurants and a great reef for diving and snorkelling. Six nights cost from £1,259 per person including flights.
NIYAMA Maldives is another very exciting resort. It offers 87 beach and water studios and pavilions – most with private pools – on two secluded islands. You can also opt to spend a night at sea in a luxuriously-fitted Maldivian sail boat, complete with personal chef and butler.
You can also combine the Maldives with a cultural trip to Sri Lanka on a twin-centre honeymoon and for those wanting to tie the knot overseas, weddings in Sri Lanka are always ultra special followed by a luxurious honeymoon in the Maldives. Try these these ideas in Sri Lanka. (Note: you can’t get married in the Maldives).
December is also a great time to visit the Seychelles. Here you have a choice of a luxury hotel on the main islands of Mahé or Praslin, or staying at a remote barefoot island resort such as Denis Private Island. Or of course you can do both.
The Indian Ocean is also an easy add-on to a honeymoon in southern Africa. The combination of safari and beach is another winner in December. Or how about spending some time in Cape Town before heading off on a safari honeymoon?
For a luxury safari it’s hard to beat Botswana – it is home to some of Africa’s most romantic camps. Kenya is a little more affordable – though you’ll find some gorgeous places to stay such as Elsa’s Kopje in the Meru National Park and Cottar’s 1920s Safari Camp close to the Masai Mara.
One of the ultimate journeys in Africa is Rovos Rail, a luxury train that takes you from Cape Town to Dar-es-Salaam with stunning experiences on route in Botswana, Zimbabwe, Tanzania and Zambia plus the Victoria Falls and diamond mines.
More Long Haul Honeymoon Ideas
If you want to indulge and don’t want to fly a long way for your guaranteed sunshine, Dubai is a great option – it’s about 7 hours flying time from the UK. I recommend the stylish Palace at One&Only Royal Mirage perhaps combined with a few days of tented luxury at the Al Maha Desert Resort and Spa.
For honeymooners looking for the ultimate long-haul adventure, Australia and New Zealand are in their prime in December. How about combining a few days in Sydney with Hayman Island Resort in the Whitsundays.
In New Zealand we recommend a self-drive honeymoon that includes the cities of Christchurch, Wellington, Queenstown and Auckland plus natural wonders on North and South Islands including Mount Cook National Park, Rotorua, the Bay of Islands, a cruise on Milford Sound and a ride on the Trans Alpine Train. This 23-day Grand New Zealand itinerary costs from only £1,875 pp (excluding flights).
Short Haul Honeymoons in December
Honeymoons are not all about sunbeds and beaches. You could be snuggling up around a log fire, and venturing out into the snow for magical vistas of mountains and pristine night skies.
Relatively close to home, Iceland will be a snowy wonderland in December – with a great chance of seeing the Northern Lights. Stay at the Hotel Ranga on the banks of a salmon river overlooked by glaciers and mountains. In the evenings, you can lounge in outdoor geothermal hot tubs, watching the sky.
We also recommend The White Circle which offers romantic honeymoons in the Arctic Circle. At the Luosto Log Cabins in Finland you can head out on a snowmobile or husky safari and try your hand at ice fishing, cross country skiing and snowshoeing. Its Abisko package in Sweden includes a night at THE ICEHOTEL® as well as three cosy nights in a mountain lodge.
The Portuguese island of Madeira has year-round sunshine, great hotels and mountainous landscapes that are perfect for romantic walks. Stay at a restored quinta (country house) such as Quinta Jardins do Lago or Quinta das Vistas.
Tenerife is another haven of great weather in December. Stay away from the brash package resorts and head to a lovely hotel such as ABAMA Golf & Spa Resort.
Where to go on honeymoon in December if you don’t want to fly? Britain has some charming hotels that offer guaranteed romance at any time of year. If you come in December there’s a special pre-Christmas atmosphere in hotels such as The Cary Arms in Devon.
>> Visit our homepage for the full choice of 101 honeymoons or try our fun quiz to find the right destination for you. Our sister site, 101 Holidays, has expert tips on the best December holidays plus advice on where’s hot in December.
Try another month…