Once the wedding concludes and all of the stresses fade, sometimes a little silence, peace and meditation are necessary, especially if you are a Zen couple. Rather than getting stuck in a major metropolis, fighting traffic, crowds and chaos, some couples just want to go somewhere where they can get away from the world and experience a deeper sort of honeymoon. Zen couples seek both relaxation and also a more meaningful travel experience. If you want to break away from life’s distractions for your honeymoon, consider heading to these Zen-approved honeymoon destinations. Pack your yoga pants and open spirit.
For many devout Hindus, Uttarakhand, India is a spiritual pilgrimage destination. The northern Indian state boasts a dramatic terrain of holy mountains, lakes and rivers. It is also where the Hindus believe the gods roam. Relatively untouched and removed from modern tourism, Uttarakhand presents a diverse state of some of India’s best hiking, yoga schools and wildlife. With its soaring Himalayan peaks, lowland jungles and revered temples, Zen couples are sure to find the inner peace they seek. Uttarakhand is also home to the impressive and magical Valley of Flowers National Park. The UNESCO World Heritage site sits in a Himalayan valley and claims 300 different varieties of alpine flowers.
Where To Stay
To have a true Uttarakhand spiritual experience, couples should consider checking into Ananda in the Himalayas. The award-winning luxury resort sits right in the Himalayan foothills and surrounded by forests. Its 78 rooms, suites, and villas boast a colonial architectural style. Luxurious bedding and bathtubs overlooking landscaped gardens or the valley provide couples with the right dose of luxury. Amenities on site are endless, beginning with Ananda’s 25,000 square foot spa with 24 treatment rooms. The luxury resort also offers traditional Hatha Yoga classes, nature walks and Vedanta talks, an ancient Indian philosophy which answers the fundamental questions of life.
Lake Wakatipu, New Zealand
With over 200 kilometers of shoreline and reaching a depth of 379 meters, Lake Wakatipu is one of New Zealand’s largest lakes. In fact, it takes pride in being the third largest in the country and also one of the cleanest in the world. Relaxation and stress-free seeking honeymooners should consider this spot for their newlywed getaway due to the area’s great natural richness. Shaped like a lightning bolt, Lake Wakatipu is surrounded on all sides by mountains, making it possible to get outside and hike in New Zealand’s great outdoors on your honeymoon. The lake is also a popular water sports spot in New Zealand where you can swim in the summer, waterski, wakeboard, go on a cruise or try trout fishing. Best of all, according to Maori legend, there is reportedly a huge monster sleeping at the bottom of the lake for good measure.
Where To Stay
Couples seeking relaxation and wellness in Lake Wakatipu can look no farther than Aro Ha. Located in the Southern Alps of New Zealand, the wellness center lends Zen-inspired luxury accommodations with an emphasis on being eco-friendly. Perched on one of the world’s most scenic places, Aro Ha overlooks the famous Lake Wakatipu. Couples can appreciate amenities on site such as lectures and yoga sessions, therapeutic massages and outdoor adventures. The 8 suites are all unique designed, outfitted with organic linens and views of the surrounding mountains and lakes. You can partake in yoga in an outdoor studio or hike through the neighboring forests to find your inner-Zen. Aro Ha remains a great spot to unplug from the rest of the world.
Zen couples don’t want to honeymoon where everyone else does. While Italy is often overrun with tourists and honeymooners, especially in hotspots like Rome and Tuscany, you can still find a quiet corner of the country in Abruzzo. The region sits roughly one hour from Rome but it might as well be world’s away. The south central region is known for its dramatic mountains, national parks, and medieval towns. You can find peace and solitude while roaming towns trapped in time like Scanno or hiking up to a hilltop castle in the mountains. Lacking the crowds of much of Italy, Abruzzo invites relaxation for honeymooning couples.
Where To Stay
If you are a Zen couple, you seek more unusual accommodations. Albergo Diffuso in Santo Steffano di Sessanio is certainly just that. The luxury hotel is made up of a fortified medieval village. Recreating the experience of living in Abruzzo hundreds of years ago, Albergo Diffuso presents rustic yet modern rooms that are like staying in a slice of Italy’s past. The property is made up of 32 restored houses from a once semi-abandoned village. Activities on site appeal to couples needing to find calm with massage treatments, excursions to shadow a shepherd on his farm, cooking classes and weaving courses honoring ancient techniques.
Settled into southwestern Colorado, halfway between Durango and Telluride, you can get away from the world and your relatives at your wedding in Dolores. Within close reach of spots like Mesa Verde National Park and Canyons of the Ancients National Monument, the small town provides an uninterrupted honeymoon experience. The town itself is made up of shops, restaurants, and taverns but its natural surrounding are its big drawing card. Dolores perches near the second largest reservoir in the state, McPhee Reservoir and just one mile from the San Juan National Forest. A visit here is very much like arriving into the Old West.
Where To Stay
Dunton Hot Springs in Dolores, Colorado provides an unplugged honeymoon retreat for couples seeking a little peace, quiet and calm. Located in Colorado’s San Juan Mountains, the resort was once a bustling mining town. Today, it is made up of 12 private cabins, all originally made from hand-sawed logs. Some boast private hot spring pools and fireplaces. Each boasts its own décor and personality. Activities at the property facilitate getting outside and becoming one with nature. You can fish on 9 miles of private streams, explore the alpine valley on horseback, cross-country ski in the winter or merely find inner peace in the indoor and outdoor hot springs.
In order to live our your Eat, Pray, Love dreams, your honeymoon should take you to Bali. Located in Southeast Asia, Ubud outfits with a lush landscape of terraced rice paddies and temples, along with plenty of villas to practice being Elizabeth Gilbert. At its very core philosophy, Ubud honors true craftsmanship, yoga and meditation and simply doing nothing. Considered one of the most magical destinations in the world, Zen couples won’t find a McDonalds or Starbucks to disrupt their serenity. Aside from practicing the art of meditation, you can visit the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary, home to hundreds of macaque monkeys.
Where To Stay
For a complete health and wellness center for your honeymoon, you can book a stay at Bagus Jati. Set on five hectares of hillside gardens in the lush tropical forests and mountains of Ubud, the wellness resort provides 8 deluxe spa villas and 12 superior villas for couples to choose from on their honeymoon. Some boast views overlooking the surrounding forests while others outfit with private spa facilities. When you need to clear your mind and relax, the wellness retreat provides a whole slew of programs from meditation classes to yoga courses to nature trekking and stress relief management.
Big Sur, California
Perched along scenic Highway 1, Big Sur isn’t so much a destination but rather a state of mind. Considered as one of the most healing places in the world, honeymooners will find unmatched scenery here. With no traffic lights or shopping malls, Big Sur provides just the sort of getaway you might need after a chaotic wedding. The piece of land in between the Santa Lucia Range and the Pacific Ocean claims unspoiled coastline and redwood forests. It is the ideal spot to unplug, as cellphone reception is less than reliable. You can lounge on the beach or hike through one of the area’s many state parks. No matter what you do, Big Sur won’t have you stressed.
Where To Stay
Couples looking to be enlightened on their honeymoon in Big Sur tend to stay at Post Ranch Inn. Located on a cliff, soaring some 1,000 feet above the Pacific Ocean, the luxury accommodations lend 41 rooms to choose from during your honeymoon. Some suites overlook the Pacific while others appreciate views of the Central Coast’s mountain ranges. No matter your views, Post Ranch Inn supplies a wealth of activities to keep you busy. You can go on a guided nature walk, partake in yoga and Tai Chi classes or most simply star gaze from two heated infinity spas. Post Ranch Inn is known for its award-winning spa, which takes relaxation to a whole new level. Not only are private yoga and meditation courses available but also shaman sessions and fire and drum sessions are possible at Post Ranch Inn.
When you need a honeymoon that nurtures the mind, body, and soul, these unique destinations and venues can be just what your doctor, or spiritual guru, ordered after your wedding day.
Are you a Zen couple? Where do you like to escape the world? Share your favorite quiet corners of the globe with us in the comments below.