Destination Weddings, the Luxury Link Way
by Scott McGowan
Luxury Link Concierge
Destination weddings are now the fastest-growing trend in the world of wedding planning. One out of every four couples is choosing to exchange nuptials at a dream destination according to a recent survey. The benefits of combining the big day with a fantastic trip are as numerous as the places you can choose to say “I do.”
True love – the type that leads to life time commitment – is all about finding the right match. The same is true when choosing the location for your destination wedding. It’s important to select an environment that matches you as a couple. Your style, your sensibilities, your taste and even your hobbies should be factored into this once in a lifetime decision. The sunning on the beaches of Hawaii or the Caribbean, an adventure in Mexico, wine tasting in Napa or even hitting the slopes in Colorado are incredible vacation experiences you can tie-in to tying the knot.
Napa Valley in Northern California offers luxurious accommodations in relaxed and refined settings, with a fantastic glass of red or white on hand at all times. You and your guests will be surrounded by the beauty of lush vineyards while being treated to fine dining and comfort at the region’s charming inns and estates.
For your destination wedding, Luxury Link recommends Meadowood Napa Valley.
Located in the heart of wine country and owned by two legendary vintners, the Meadowood offers guests the cozy feel of a bed and breakfast while boasting the conveniences of a major metropolitan hotel.
A typical day for a guests could include a wine tasting tour at local wineries, followed by a round of golf on the inn’s nine-hole course. After some time on the links, you’ll have worked up quite the appetite and that’s where Meadowood really shines. There are two restaurants on the property, including The Restaurant at Meadowood, recently named the No. 2 Most Important Restaurant of 2013 by Bon Appetit magazine.
On the big day, Meadowood Napa Valley offers an unrivaled experience. A gorgeous outdoor wedding is centered on an aisle covered with while flower petals. Tables and chairs are set amongst hanging Chinese style lamps where everyone will have an elegant memory of the beautiful ceremony and party.
The staff will turn the property into the backyard wedding that you see in movies and always think aren’t possible in real life. It will truly be a magical evening.
The perfect way to end a full day of golf, spa treatments, wine tasting, delicious food and your dream wedding is of course to retire to your room that features a wood-burning fireplace, flat screen TV and what Meadowood Director of Marketing Ann Marie Conover simply describes as “sumptuous linens.”
The property features 85 guest rooms so no matter your wedding party’s size, there will be plenty of room to roam.
Hawaii is primarily known for its white-sand beaches, great SCUBA diving and surfing and of course fantastically tropical weather year-round. But often-overlooked by Aloha State visitors is the peace and tranquility of its pristine natural setting.
Hawaii Island Retreat offers the ultimate escape from the stresses of life and the truly green paradise of a world unspoiled. Located on 50 acres of the Big Island’s north shore, Hawaii Island Retreat prides itself on being the state’s premiere ‘green’ resort.
All of the cuisine served is local and organic and a good portion is grown on-site in the Retreat’s gardens. Guests are even treated to gardening and cooking classes as part of their visit to learn to live better with and from the environment.
Immerse yourself in the Big Island’s natural wonders by zip-lining across lush forests and hiking along its gorgeous coastline. Hawaii Island Retreat combines eco-friendly living with world-class relaxation and rejuvenation. Their rooms are known as “sanctuaries of peace” according to owner Jeanne Sunderland.
“The generous rooms are free of clocks, internet and TV creating a place in which to completely relax.”
With you and your guests completely well-rested, your ceremony could be held anywhere on the grounds depending on your desired backdrop. Hawaii Island Retreat is perched on a cliff above stunning coastline and sits amid a lush, tropical forest; either is a dramatic setting to say “I do”, and wedding photos will pop right off the page. Guests can then dance the night away in the luxurious courtyard underneath the star-lit Hawaiian sky.
The entire property can be rented out for weddings, give the couple and their guests the most relaxing and peaceful experience together.
The ultimate fun-in-the-sun getaway can be found on white-sand beaches of Mexico’s Pacific coast. Las Alamandas offers traditional Spanish and Southern Californian architecture with bright beach front suites that allow the ocean breeze to inhabit every inch of the living space.
Surrounded by four miles of coastline, Las Alamandas is the perfect destination to host your wedding and then stay for your honeymoon. It’s a private estate that features everything from horseback riding and private boat tours to a fantastic spa services and private Jacuzzis. Marketing Director Manuel Pomares also recommends taking a kayak out in the lagoon and seeing over 100 different species of birds in the morning before heading to the Tamarindo Golf Course for a quick 18 holes and lunch. All of this followed by a sunset dinner on the beach makes for full day to remember leading up to the day you’ll always remember.
Imagine your ceremony on the sand with the turquoise-blue Pacific Ocean glistening in the background. After the nuptials have been said, guests can retire back to their rooms, and change for the celebration. Keep those bathing suits close by, because after the food and dancing, they may be enticed to take the party into Las Alamandas’ pools and hot tubs late into the night.
Another major plus for guests looking for convenience and exclusivity, the property boasts their own air strip so guests can fly in directly from Puerto Vallarta or Manzanillo. And with only 15 rooms, it’s the perfect estate to rent out completely for your wedding party.
The fresh air and picturesque mountain backdrop of Aspen is the perfect wedding destination for any couple looking to connect with America’s majestic beauty. Skiing in winter is legendary and when the snow melts there isn’t a more incredible backdrop than Colorado’s purple mountain majesties.
Hotel Jerome is a classic Aspen hotel – recently re-opened after extensive renovation – and featuring everything you’d want for a 360-degree wedding experience. Located in downtown Aspen, the first place you and your guests will want to stop at is the J-Bar. You’ll relax in the lounge where none other than literary legend Hunter S. Thompson was known to have a drink and conversation with locals and tourists alike.
The hotel boasts two other restaurants that are both highly regarded in the Aspen culinary scene, as well as its renowned on-site Auberge Spa. Most impressive about the Hotel Jerome though, is the setting for your wedding ceremony.
The Grand Ballroom is the only above-ground ballroom in Aspen, and its 16-foot ceilings allow the room to be filled with natural light like no other place in town, plus incredible views of the Rocky Mountains while dancing the night away with friends and family. Depending on the season you may want to make use of the Terrace, adjacent to the fully-heated pool where your guests can have drinks and hors d’oeuvres while the wedding party takes pictures.
If you’ve always dreamt of that winter wonderland wedding, Hotel Jerome will assist each of your guests with transportation to the local ski resorts, because it wouldn’t be a trip to Aspen without a few runs down the mountain.
Now until Feb. 20, enter our "Build Your Snowboard" Pinterest contest to win a stay at Hotel Jerome!
Turquoise water and blue skies. Powdery sand between your toes. bride in a pristine white wedding dress and her gushing husband-to-be. Destination weddings in the Caribbean will wow as you say your vows. What can be better than saying “I do” and then taking your first dip as a married couple in the perfectly tepid waters of the Caribbean Sea?
One of the best-value islands in the Caribbean is the Dominican Republic, which features the world-class resort Casa Colonial Beach and Spa. Quite appropriately, the property is located in Puerto Plata which is affectionately called "La Novia del Atlántico" ("Bride of the Atlantic")!
Sarah Garcia tastefully designed this resort to accentuate the best the Dominican has to offer: lush, tropical surroundings and breathtaking views of the ocean from virtually every vantage point. Perhaps the best feature of the hotel is the rooftop pools and cabanas that allow guests to experience the best of both worlds, all while seeing across and above the island.
Couples can choose to say “I do” on rooftop overlooking the island, or down on the beach. Everyone will surely want a delicious frozen drink in hand to toast the newlyweds or some wine from the Casa Colonial’s wine cellar. Then the party can go all night because a freshly prepared breakfast awaits in the morning along with a much-deserved trip to the spa.
Your guests won’t stop thanking you for the sublime accommodations and award-winning on site dining. Just make sure and tell everyone what time the ceremony is, because guests of Casa Colonial receive a discount at the Playa Dorada Golf course, which is an 18 hole, par-72 course that may inspire a few of your guests to play an extra round or two.
Guestrooms at Casa Colonial Beach & Spa feature private balconies; stepping out and breathing in the Caribbean ocean air will be the best way to start the first day of your lives together!