The Best Honeymoon Destinations with a $15,000 Budget
When it comes to planning your honeymoon, you’re looking to splurge on a trip of a lifetime, but without breaking the bank. And while some dreamy destinations like the Maldives and an African Safari can seem like a great idea, they can really add up cost-wise. Which is why I wanted to make this list of high-value honeymoon destinations that will give you the most bang for your buck. These are the hidden gems and unique honeymoons that will be an ideal romantic adventure getaway for you and your new husband or wife, without feeling like you overspent.
How to break down your honeymoon budget
I like to think of accommodations as about 50% of your overall budget, transportation (flights, and other transportation) about 20%, food and drink about 20%, and 10% for activities you choose to do on your honeymoon. So, for a $15K honeymoon budget, that gives us about $7500 on accommodations (or up to about ~$1000 per night for a week), $3000 for flights + transportation ($1200 or so each for flights, $600 for misc. other transportation), and $3000 for food and drink (about $400 give or take a day for a week long honeymoon), and $1500 for activities. Of course, this is just an example framework and would totally depend and change depending on how many days, what sort of priorities you and your husband or wife have, etc. (for example, do you want to go to fancy dinners every night or eat more cheaply so that you can afford a bucket list activity you’ve been dreaming about or a more expensive hotel?). Or maybe you want to use credit card points for your flight, and allocate that budget elsewhere. There are so many ways to think about your honeymoon budget and at the end of the day it is so personal to you! But, with $15,000 you can have an incredible honeymoon. So where should you go? Here are some of my favorite luxurious, unique honeymoon destinations that won’t ring you up $50,000 like a trip to the Maldives or Bora Bora might.
Why live like a pauper in Italy when you can live like a king in Portugal? A budget of $15K for a honeymoon can go a LONG way in Portugal, and be a once-in-a-lifetime adventure. Portugal continues to be one of Europe’s best hidden gems, and one of the most affordable countries to visit in Western Europe, making it a great bang for your buck. The beauty of Portugal is endless, from the breathtaking Algarve coast, to the colorful streets of Porto and Lisbon, to the rolling hills of Douro Valley. My ideal trip would involve a few days in the city centers, a few in wine country, then 3-4 days relaxing and adventuring on the coast.
Where to stay on a honeymoon in Portugal: Six Senses Douro Valley for a splurge, Monverde for wine country luxury at an affordable price, and Bela Vista Hotel in the Algarve – such a charming boutique hotel! In Porto, we loved Torel Avantgarde for city center luxury.
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If a colorful adventure around South America sounds like the perfect honeymoon for you and your boo, Colombia has got you covered. It’s the perfect balance between “off the beaten path” adventurous honeymoon and relaxing coastal beauty! From the colorful coast of Cartagena, to the bustling mountain city of Medellin, to the coffee triangle region, a trip to Colombia is a guaranteed unique honeymoon for the recordbooks.
Where to Stay in Colombia
Hotel Casa San Agustin (Cartagena) – The BEST hotel in Old Town Cartagena in my opinion, an absolute must.
Hotel Charleston Santa Teresa – Awesome location, dreamy rooftop, great service!
El Bosko (Guatape) – Such a unique eco-hotel in one of Medellin’s top pueblos – or mountain escapes outside the city.
Costa Rica has a lot of the same appeal (think: adventurous jungle to amazing beaches) as one of my favorite exotic honeymoon destinations Bali, but is so much more accessible than flying around the world! A honeymoon in Costa Rica will be a trip to remember – you can spend the first few days of your trip exploring the Cloud Forest and beautiful Mount Arenal volcano, then make your way to the Pacific coastline.
If you’re after luxury accommodations, head to Papagayo, which is located in the Guanacaste province of Costa Rica. This area is home to the Four Seasons, the Andaz, and many multi-million-dollar mansions (one of which is owned by Michael Jordan), and has one of the most beautiful golf courses in the world!
Where to Stay in Costa Rica For a Honeymoon
Casa Chameleon Las Catalinas – This super cool adults-only boutique hotel was my favorite. It feels like it could be in Greece or Italy, but with a totally unique Pura Vida Costa Rican flair. Located on the cliffside of Las Catalinas, a chic, European-like development of really cute homes, and it has a beach club and a calm bay (perfect for paddle-boarding).
If you do end up heading to Costa Rica, check out my travel guide for the best things to do!
If you don’t mind the longer flight, Bali is one of the best value honeymoon destinations. Even a room at the Four Seasons in Bali won’t ring you up more than $1000 per night, and you’ll find it really hard to spend a lot of money here. The food and drinks are SO cheap, so your biggest expenses will definitely be your accommodation (which is a steal compared to elsewhere in the world) and your flights over there.
It’s hard to beat the Four Seasons‘ jungle setting in Ubud. Each villa is adorned in dark teak and Indonesian stone and many of the villas boast a private pool and outdoor living rooms. In the restaurant, you can have delish contemporary Indonesian cuisine on a picture-perfect terrace, or sip a martini overlooking the valley. Staying at the FS Ubud is perfect for a Bali honeymoon. I definitely recommend splurging for a pool villa – the views are unmatched in all of Ubud, and you’ll have your own private infinity pool like this one!
How to get Jetset perks on your stay at Four Seasons Ubud:
Fill out this contact form and be sure to use the referral code “JETSETCHRISTINA” if you use my referral, my agency partner will reach out with more information and can help book you with all kinds of fun perks (at no extra cost to you, and they don’t charge a fee to book!)
Mexico may be just as expensive as other places when it comes to luxury resorts, but where you’ll save here is the flights! Especially if you’re coming from the US, which is just a quick hop away. With so many amazing Mexico destinations to choose from, from Cabo to Tulum, Cancun and the Yucatan Peninsula, to Punta Mita and the Riviera Nayarit, all with INCREDIBLE resorts and a relaxing vibe, Mexico is an amazing luxury honeymoon destination.
One&Only Mandarina – located 1 hour North of the Puerto Vallarta airport, is one of my top picks for a Mexico honeymoon. It feels super tropical, set in-between a gorgeous coast and lush jungle. The rooms here are modern jungle treehouses stilted up 40 feet in the air! It’s a super unique gorgeous hotel that will make for a memorable honeymoon.
My other top choice for a honeymoon in Mexico would be Waldorf Astoria. Located in one of my favorite exclusive gated areas in Cabo – Pedregal, this hotel defines luxury, and stands out even among the many luxurious options in Los Cabos. Check rates for your dates here.
Depending on where you stay in the Greek isles, hotels will ring you up at least a few hundred a night. The nicest hotels in Santorini, like Katikies or Santorini Secret Suites, range around $1000 per night in high season, but you can find some beautiful ones with stellar views like Oia’s Sunset, for even more value at closer to $250 a night. For some great hotel recommendations in Santorini (from luxe to affordable) check out my Ultimate Santorini Travel Guide. And for my guide to the more off-the-beaten-path Paros and Naxos, click here!
Aruba is one of the most beautiful islands in the Caribbean and has been deemed the “most re-visited island in the Caribbean” for good reason. Although the island is only 21 miles long and six miles wide, trust me, there is much to be seen on this incredible island (and at a great price point)! If you end up booking your honeymoon to Aruba, you won’t be disappointed.
The Ritz is second to none. If you are looking for the best of the best luxury experience, stay at the Ritz-Carlton Aruba!! The Ritz has its own private beach, a swanky casino, and a gorgeous resort pool for guests to enjoy. One of the coolest things about the Ritz in Aruba is that the staff serves you beachside on segways!!! So fun and luxurious.
Aruba Ocean Villas are the island’s only overwater bungalows! It’s not exactly The Maldives or Bora Bora, but this is one of the most unique experiences that you will find in Aruba in terms of accommodations. These villas are for those who want to connect with nature and truly relax and unwind from their normal 9-5, 5-9 type of lifestyle. This quaint resort is adults-only and hosts just 13 villas in total – all of which are completely unique in their designs! One of my favorite things about Aruba Ocean Villas is that they are locally owned, so this is just about as authentic of an Aruban experience as you are going to get.