Stop following the throngs in thongs—honeymoon in these chill places instead.
If palm trees and umbrella drinks are essential ingredients for your dream honeymoon, it could easily turn into a nightmare. Tropical destinations can mean excessive sweat, sunburns, and sand everywhere. Who really wants to get down while you’re burning up?
On the contrary, cold weather is conducive to romance. When the temperature dips, you’ll be more inclined to heat things up. Icy outdoor adventures get the blood pumping and engage your senses, and snuggling in front of a fireplace naturally sparks romance.
Don’t let your honeymoon be a basic beach; here are some chilly experiences to inspire a hot honeymoon.
Top Picks for You
This Canadian province might not yet be on your #honeymoongoals list, but it should be. Picture this: You fly to Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge in a location so secluded you need a bush plane to get there. Then spend your days walking hand-in-hand while wandering the wild, subarctic tundra terrain in search of polar bears, black bears, moose, wolves, and other wildlife with a team of expert guides. Pause to pick blueberries and enjoy a picnic on the banks of a river. Then return to the lodge and cozy up by the fireplace with a glass of Canadian wine and a home-cooked meal. Or ask the staff to arrange something extra special such as a private dinner up on the watchtower where you can scan the coast for wildlife while you sip sparkling wine. After the sun goes down, keep an eye on the sky—aurora borealis can often be seen here. Wrap yourselves in a wool blanket and watch the magnificent natural lights show above.
INSIDER TIPWhen you return to Winnipeg, wind down before taking off on your final departing flight with a visit to Thermea, a Scandinavian-inspired spa.
Trying new things together in Colorado’s great outdoors can strengthen your bond, and the colder weather in the fall and winter months will bring you closer. Strike a pose with a snow-yoga (snoga!) session at Vista Verde Ranch. Challenge yourselves to learn a new skill at an ice climbing clinic in Ouray. Dine under the moonlight at Black Mountain Lodge. Ski into Little Nell and then kick back in a luxury suite at Aspen’s only ski-in hotel. Or book a stay in the Well House, a hand-built log cabin at Dunton Hot Springs, and soak in the romance vibes—and healing waters—with your own private hot springs, plunge pool, and woodstove. Choose Dunton’s Sleigh Ride & Dine package and embark on a sunset sleigh ride and private gourmet dinner for two.
This cold weather playground, with luxury retreats and world-famous spa and sauna culture, is honeymoon heaven. Arise early to snowy views over the Syote National Forest, take a soak in your private jacuzzi with panoramic views from your cozy nest, and dream sweet under a sky painted with Northern Lights in the aptly named and award-winning Eagle’s View Suite at Hotel Iso-Syote. While in Finland, whether you’re newlywed or not, you can take the plunge together—Finnish-style into frigid waters. Ice swimming is an invigorating experience, and the rush (and chill) will surely have you reaching for your loved one to warm things up.
If there is a recipe for romance, Banff National Park has all the ingredients: pristine wilderness, world-class spas, gondola rides, thermal hot springs, helicopter tours, sleigh rides and glacial lakes so brilliantly blue-green, there should be a photo filter named after them.
Book a stay at historic Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise and wake up each morning to magical, unobstructed views of Victoria Glacier, snow-covered Rocky Mountains, and iced-over Lake Louise (Insider tip: Visit in the shoulder season—around mid-October—for a chance to see the lake before it freezes). Bundle up and head out for a heli-hiking, cross-country skiing or ice skating adventure together. Reserve a private culinary experience with Chef Tait at Grapes in the Fairmont Banff Springs. Relax with a couple’s spa treatment, hit up the chill(i)est bar in Banff—Fairmont’s Ice Bar, constructed of giant ice blocks, or step into the stillness of the forest and spot constellations in the night sky on a Night Owl Snowshoe trek. Or, if you’ve booked the Marquis de Lorne Lakeview Suite on the Gold floor, you may not want to leave at all; settle in and enjoy butler service, your own fireplace, breakfast in bed or a private dinner for two with panoramic views through the floor-to-ceiling windows.
One of the snowiest places on the planet and home to traditional Japanese hospitality, luxury accommodations, and some of the best ski slopes in the world, Hokkaido is an ideal destination for snowbirds. Book a villa at Zaborin where you can enjoy views of Mount Yotei while sipping premium sake at the bar; sit down to a locally-sourced, multi-course kita kaiseki meal; relax in your private onsen (hot spring bath) on the balcony and watch the flakes fall after a day on the trails at nearby Mount Annupuri.
INSIDER TIPIf you time your trip right, you could visit the Sapporo Snow Festival and the Otaru Snow Light Path Festival in February, where candlelit snow sculptures light up the night. Both are typically held in February.
One of the best ways to see the world’s largest island—and the arctic waters, fjords, and icebergs that surround it—is by boat. Whale-watch and glacier-gaze from your veranda on a Jacada luxury cruise. There’s a spa onboard this ship, so you can book a couple’s massage after a day spent sightseeing around the villages onshore. Sip champagne under the stars, or if you prefer a private dinner for two, leave it to your butler to arrange a romantic evening in.
For an underrated North American escape, try Fogo Island Inn. This “island off an island” is an ultimate winter wonderland where couples can experience nature’s cold weather gifts while enjoying the comforts of an eco-luxe inn. The minimalist design and handcrafted furnishings allow the North Atlantic outdoors to take center stage. With every room facing the ocean, you will awake and drift off to sleep to the sounds and sights of the sea. Snowshoe and ice skate by day, sneak off to the sauna in the evening, then head out on a snowmobile and stargazing excursion after dark. You can also stargaze without even leaving the inn—head up to the rooftop hot tub for the best and bubbliest star-sighting seat in the house.
INSIDER TIPEvery season offers something unique. Visit in the spring for the chance to see icebergs sail by. Whale watch from the shore during the summer. Book your stay over the holidays and be one of the first in North America to ring in the New Year—Fogo Island’s time zone is a full hour and a half before the countdown in Times Square.
Alaska has it all: rugged coastlines, ancient rainforests, mammoth mountains, and majestic glaciers. You can flight-see over Mount McKinley and sleep deeply while Northern Lights dance. Skip the crowds and arrive in style when you book a luxury lodge that’s reachable only by floatplane, helicopter, or boat. Take your relationship to new heights at the Sheldon Chalet—the highest stay in North America, located just 10 miles from the summit of Denali and accessible by helicopter. Here you can explore the Ruth Glacier, fuel up on Alaskan King Crab and locally grown greens, see the surrounds by helicopter, and watch the aurora borealis from the observation deck.
Live your best snowglobe life in Switzerland. The Romance Experience at The Carlton Hotel St. Mortiz includes a fairytale horse and carriage ride, couple’s massage, and private, candlelit, five-course dinner. Add on the helicopter excursion and you and your sweetie will soar over the Alps and land on a glacier for a drink. Or book a stay at the Tschuggen Grand in Arosa. Take the private train to this five-star property tucked into the Grisons Mountains. Unwind in Tschuggen Bergoase Spa—53,800 square feet designed for wellness and offering organic treatments. Reserve the Forest Cottage (complete with a mountain pine footpath) or Sweet Romance (includes champagne under the stars) spa packages for a more intimate experience.
Couples that science together, stay together. Go to the ends of the earth on an Antarctica cruise and geek out alongside geologists, biologists, and other underwater specialists on a National Geographic Antarctica expedition, or learn from some of the world’s greatest living explorers on the Antarctica 2020 adventure with The Explorer’s Passage. If you prefer ‘round-the-clock room service, breakfast in bed and a butler, book a luxury Antarctica cruise with Abercrombie & Kent. For a longer stay at sea that includes South Georgia and the Falkland Islands, Original Travel’s 21-day Ultimate Antarctic Cruise—and the king penguins, orcas, icebergs and humpback whales you might see—is the stuff big travel dreams are truly made of.