Honeymoon travel isn't the same as other forms of travel. Most honeymooners want to kick off their new marriage by indulging themselves in ways they never have before, treating themselves to beachside cocktails, spa treatments and excursions to destinations they've only ever dreamed of.
The reality is, after planning one of the most important events of your life, you're not going to want to plan every detail of your honeymoon. You're not going to want to build out an itinerary, schedule logistics, or do any kind of research after coordinating a major event. The best wedding gift that you and your new spouse can give to yourselves (or your wedding guests can help pitch in for) is a resort stay at one of the world's top honeymoon destinations: Phuket.
This tiny island floating in the Andaman Sea off the coast of Thailand is the perfect blend of leisure and adventure, offering a chance to veg out in the luxury of beachside bliss one day and explore cave temples in the jungle the next.
To experience everything that Phuket has to offer, split your time between Baba Beach Club in the Phang Nga province to the north and Sri Panwa on Cape Panwa in the south. These partnering accommodations offer private cabanas and villas, exceptional dining that highlights Phuket's unique cuisine, excursions for those days you want to explore the island, as well as transportation between the two properties.
It can be tricky to navigate Phuket as there is no public transportation, but both of these resorts make planning your days simple and stress-free, whether they're lazy days by the pool or exciting days exploring everything Phuket has to offer.
1. You'll have access to secluded beaches
Kick back and relax under the palm tree-lined shores of Natai Beach — Photo courtesy of Kae Lani
Phuket may be a small island, but there is no shortage of pristine beaches. There are world-renowned public beaches that you can venture out to, such as Karon Beach and Kata Beach. If you're looking for a bit more privacy, then try a beachside resort where you'll not only get amenities and service, but also access to beaches that are more secluded.
It may seem counterintuitive, but look for a spot in the shade. It can get very hot very quickly in Thailand, and though you may want to get an envious tan, you don't want to ruin your trip with a nasty burn. Beachside resorts like Baba Beach Club, located just north of the Phuket airport on the shores of Natai Beach, offer plush beach chairs, umbrellas and beaches lined with palm trees, offering a bit of shade and a gorgeous, natural setting.
2. Take a long-tail boat ride through Phang Nga Bay
Sometimes it's not about the destination, but about the long-tail boat ride to get there — Photo courtesy of Kae Lani
When you're done lounging on the beach, you can move your lounging to the water with a long-tail boat ride through Phang Nga Bay. The Thai long-tail boat, or "rua hang yao," is a traditional wooden boat used for fishing, moving cargo and for locals to use as ferries between islands, but these ships have become a favorite means of transport for tourists as well.
Phang Nga Bay has just under 50 islands, many of which are tall limestone cliffs jutting out from crystal blue waters. You can spend the day island hopping, exploring the bay's many beaches and caves, or just relax and enjoy the ride.
3. You can live out a James Bond fantasy
Thanks to the James Bond film The Man with the Golden Gun, Ko Ta Pu might be one of the world's most recognizable rocks — Photo courtesy of Kae Lani
One of the most visited islands in Phang Nga Bay is Khao Phing Kan, also known as James Bond Island. Part of the Ao Phang Nga National Park, this island was made famous by the 1974 James Bond film, The Man with the Golden Gun.
The most notable feature, and what everyone travels to see, is Ko Ta Pu, the eroded limestone rock balancing precariously in the middle of an alcove. You can either arrange to visit the island on your own or book an excursion with Baba Beach Club where you'll catch the sunrise on the island as well as take a kayaking tour through secret lagoons that open up to mysterious caves.
4. Fine dining delivered straight to your room
Indulging in a Phuket-style meal with a view — Photo courtesy of Kae Lani
Part of the fun of a honeymoon is not having to worry about anything, not even your meals. One of the perks of room service at both Baba Beach Club and Sri Panwa is the wide variety of cuisines to choose from.
You can enjoy sushi or teppanyaki at Baba Beach Club's Baba Iki, pasta and other Italian specialties from Sri Panwa's Baba Poolclub, or go with traditional Phuket-style Thai food inspired by Raya Restaurant, one of the most famous restaurants in Phuket that's frequented by celebrities and even royalty.
5. Deepen intimacy with couples yoga
Deepen both your practice and relationship with a couples yoga session — Photo courtesy of Cool Spa
There are many ways to keep your relationship strong, but couples yoga can strengthen your new marriage on multiple levels. The practice engages your partner in a new way by opening up both verbal communication and body language in order to achieve certain poses, or asanas. It's also very playful and is a safe space to mess up, joke around and take a few risks while also learning to trust one another more deeply.
Sri Panwa, located on Cape Panwa in southern Phuket, offers a variety of yoga classes for all levels. You can even book a private class for you and your spouse with an instructor who will give you a sturdy foundational practice or help deepen your practice if you're a bit more advanced.
Classes are held at the Cool Spa, or you can request a class at the Baba Nest where the soundtrack of your practice will be the songs of birds who have made the Nest their home. Either way, the backdrop of your practice is going to be mind-blowingly gorgeous.
6. Get a room...with a view!
When the views are this gorgeous, you don't have to feel guilty for staying in your room — Photo courtesy of Kae Lani
Honeymoons are about spending quality time with your newly betrothed. So don't feel guilty for spending an entire day in your room, especially if it's a honeymoon suite with an incredible view. Every room and villa at Sri Panwa offers incredible vistas and because of its location on a hillside on Cape Panwa, you'll never be without an unobstructed view of the water.
Best of all, most accommodations come with a private infinity pool. So whether it's stargazing from the pool or having coffee while watching the sun rise over the sea, on some honeymoon days, there is no reason to leave your room.
7. Enjoy sunset cocktails at one of Phuket's best rooftop bars
Every sunset in Phuket deserves to be paired with a cocktail — Photo courtesy of Kae Lani
Perched at the top of the hill, Sri Panwa's Baba Nest is considered one of the coolest rooftop cocktail bars in Phuket. The wall-less bar offers nearly 360-degree views of Cape Panwa, making it the perfect vantage point from which to watch the sun set behind the tiny islands in the Andaman Sea.
Seat yourself on an oversized pillow and toast to your new marriage with top shelf wine, spirits and champagne. Be sure to make a reservation ahead of time as these highly coveted spots tend to go fast.
8. Take an evening stroll along Phuket City's Thalang Road
Enjoy the exciting sights and sounds of Thalang Road — Photo courtesy of Kae Lani
Just over a 20-minute drive from Sri Panwa, at the heart of Phuket's capital, Phuket City, is the Old Town built in the early 1900s by merchants who were quickly gaining wealth due to Phuket's growing tin industry. The streets are lined with colorful buildings constructed in a Sino-Portuguese (also known as Chinese Baroque) style.
Thalang Road is one of the most visited sections of the city, partly due to the number of cafes, restaurants and shops. The best time to go is on Sundays when traffic is closed off, turning Thalang Road into an open-air street market where merchants sell food, clothes and other souvenirs.
9. Get a hands-on lesson in Thai cuisine
You'll work with fresh ingredients and build flavor through layers of chili pepper and fish sauce — Photo courtesy of Kae Lani
Relationship gurus will preach the importance of maintaining a date night during marriage. So start the tradition as early as your honeymoon by taking a cooking class together. You and your partner can learn the foundations of Thai cuisine with the chefs who make incredible meals at Sri Panwa's multiple restaurants.
By the end of the class, you'll not only learn to make a few classic Thai dishes, but you'll also be able to eat the feast you've prepared. You'll be so inspired to bring these new cooking skills home that you'll never order out Thai again.
10. Experience some of the best spa treatments Phuket has to offer
Just let your cares melt away — Photo courtesy of Cool Spa
There are many reasons to have a honeymoon, but it all boils down to a need to seek serenity and recharge in order to start a new chapter of your life. One of the biggest draws to Thailand is its reputation for having some of the best, most luxurious and hospitable spas. So it's worth doubling down on a spa experience for you and your partner.
The Cool Spa at Sri Panwa is in a serene location complete with a water garden, floating yoga deck and several waterfall treatment rooms. Choose from a wide range of services or use the steam rooms and plunge pools within the facility. After your treatment, you can enjoy the beautiful setting while sipping on a rejuvenating juice from the juice bar.
Pamper yourself. You deserve it.