Holidays

Romantic Travel Done Right

by Colleen Clark

Cast Away in the Tropics

The fantasy: A get-away-from-it-all vacation in the Maldives, hiding out in a remote bungalow suspended on stilts over azure waters. You shift lazily from your plunge pool to your deck, out to the ocean for some snorkeling, and back again. No attractions, no nightclubs, nothing to distract you from each other.

The reality: When the Maldives are good, they're really good—but then there is the weather. Monsoons can keep you inside from May to October, and even during the dry season, a long stretch of rain turns the nothing-to-do aspects of the Maldives from a welcome plus to a claustrophobic minus. There are only so many spa treatments that can break up the monotony of waterlogged days.

Perfect match: The French Polynesian island of Moorea (pictured) channels the desert-island vibe of the Maldives. Its secluded palm-covered islets, known as motu, offer the same lost-in-paradise atmosphere with less erratic weather and a dry season that coincides with prime honeymoon time and summer vacations (April–October). And if you do encounter rain, diversions are infinitely more accessible, from the bustling market of Papeete on Tahiti (just a 30-minute ferry ride away) to the endearingly quirky Tiki Village Theatre, where, in addition to watching traditional dances, you can renew your vows. Book one of the thatched-roof cottages at Dream Island, a boutique resort set under a canopy of ironwood trees and palms on a motu in the Moorea lagoon.

Next: Northern exposure >

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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