For most brides-to-be, the honeymoon is an excuse for a week or two of relaxation, pampering, and couple bonding after a stressful wedding — perhaps a lovely destination in the Caribbean, or wine tasting in Italy. But when the bride is marrying into the British royal family, with millions of people watching and the Queen as her future grandmother-in-law, a normal (albeit still awesome) honeymoon won’t cut it.
That’s why we’re not surprised to hear that Meghan Markle is reportedly planning a top-secret, $150,000 honeymoon as a surprise gift for Prince Harry. Meghan has excellent taste and the two have also bonded over travel, so the honeymoon is sure to be lengthy, extravagant, and beyond epic. But just where are Meghan Markle and Prince Harry going on honeymoon? Here, three uber-luxe, fit-for-royalty suggestions for where the future Duke and Duchess might honeymoon together — and why they make sense.
1. Tahiti — The Brando
When Meghan’s soon-to-be (almost) sister-in-law Pippa Middleton set off on her own honeymoon, she chose French Polynesia’s The Brando resort as one of the stops. With famous former guests including national treasures Barack and Michelle Obama, Tom Hanks, and Oprah, it’s understandable Meghan might want to follow in their fashionable footsteps.
Set on the private island of Tetiaroa — itself an atoll made up of dozens of smaller islands surrounding a turquoise lagoon — The Brando offers an embarrassment of relaxation riches. Its premiere accommodation is a 2648 square-foot thatched-roof three-bedroom villa, complete with outdoor soaking tub, a private pool, and oceanfront deck.
The all-inclusive rate includes 24-hour private dining, three fifty-minute spa treatments a day, champagne, and a daily excursion such as snorkeling. The LEED-platinum certified resort also boasts the Polynesian-themed Varua Spa, an eco-station (surely to interest do-gooder Meghan), tennis, paddleboarding, scuba diving, and private fitness classes.
2. Botswana — andBeyond Sandibe Okavango Safari Lodge
Last August, Harry whisked Meghan away for a 36th birthday getaway to Botswana, staying at Harry’s favorite down-to-earth safari camp Meno a Kwena. (He’s visited several times, including with previous love Chelsy Davy in tow.)
Speculation is high they’d want to return to Botswana, a country cherished by both of them, for their honeymoon. However, with Meghan now at the reins, a return is sure to be somewhere even more glamorous, like andBeyond Sandibe Okavango Safari Lodge.
Set on 55,600 exclusive-use acres adjacent to the Big Five-laden Moremi Game Reserve, Sandibe features 12 air-conditioned suites, all with private plunge pools, outdoor daybeds, al fresco showers, and wood-burning fireplaces, and is elevated for stunning views of the Delta through a canopy of palm and fig trees. The duo can get up close and personal with elephants, lions, leopards, and more on twice daily game drives or opt for a helicopter tour of the Delta, and at night, they can retire to their remote suite for private dining under the stars, with panoramic bush views. Heavenly.
3. Utah — Montage Deer Valley
As an American, it’s only natural that Meghan might want to experience her home country for the first time with Harry — after all, Princess Diana adored the states and brought Harry here repeatedly as a child. Since Harry is an avid outdoorsman (and keen on privacy), the two could shack up at Utah’s Montage Deer Valley.
Nestled in Utah’s mountainous Empire Canyon, the five-star resort features only 220 rooms, suites, and residences spread over a staggering one million square feet. (How’s that for privacy?) The Montage’s Summit View Four Bedroom Penthouse Residence is a 5,300-square-foot private home, complete with living and dining room, romantic fireplace and wine fridge, and panoramic alpine views from each of the three private balconies.
While there’s much on property to enjoy — including Utah’s biggest spa, the Gorsuch-decorated Veuve Clicquot Après Lounge and Beach Club champagne Yurt, afternoon s’mores, gastro-pub complete with bowling alley, bourbon lounge, private yoga, Pilates classes, and wine tasting, and an on-property Newfoundland named Monte ready for snuggles — the residence also includes an entertaining kitchen for private chef dining, keyed-off entrance, and private 24-hour concierge to make every honeymoon dream come true.
And despite the resort’s remote, rugged charms, Park City is only fifteen minutes away — should Harry and Meghan want to cheers to their future amongst their adoring public.
Photos: The Brando, andBeyond, Montage Hotels