Sun-and-sand destination weddings are easy to come by, but we’ve scoped out three of the most sought-after sunny spots for engaged couples.
Antigua poses as a gorgeous island backdrop for A-list weddings. Hermitage Bay is a top spot for VIPs to tie the knot. The all-suite, boutique resort overlooks a natural bay, and the 25 individual villas are tucked amid gardens for extra privacy. Perfect for a romantic visit, we say.
Weddings at Hermitage Bay tend to be more intimate and simple, without sacrificing panache. Cool Touch: Only one wedding is allowed at the property per week, ensuring that all the attention is put on the bride and groom.
Pictured: Maalifushi by COMO has 13 water villas, each of which has its own pool, sundeck and full-length windows overlooking the Indian Ocean.
Guests who book weddings at Hermitage Bay are entitled to complimentary upgrades from a Beachfront Suite to a Hillside Pool Suite (which, we hear, is their most luxurious accommodation). Guests can be married wherever they wish on the property. As part of the wedding celebration, couples will receive a wedding cake and bottle of French champagne. The hotel can also arrange for a Champagne Wedding breakfast to be served on guests’ private veranda. For weddings, reach out to Guest Relations Coordinator Antoinette Bowen ([email protected]; 268-562-5500).
Good to know: Bowen is on hand to cultivate all over-the-top requests. She has been known to arrange private dinners on the beach or island excursions in a private helicopter or cruise.
Pictured: The Hermitage Bay’s hillside suite comes with a private, wrap-around sundeck and a plunge pool.
Upgraded guests will adore the Hillside Pool Suites, which offer harbor, mangrove and sea views. Tip: Villa No. 39 has a direct sea view. We love these suites because they have private plunge pools. But no doubt the second-best option are the Beachfront rooms, which have direct beach access. For bookings, reach out to Sales and Marketing Executive Stephanie Mack ([email protected]; 268-720-7837).
Brides-to-be would be remiss not to pamper themselves in the spa. The 1,545-square-foot spa has three intimate treatment rooms, a relaxation pavilion and outdoor shower facilities. If bridal parties want to book the entire facility, the spa can accommodate a maximum of 10 people. Connect with Spa Coordinator Jacquie McKenzie ([email protected]; 268-562-5500) for bookings.
Wedding guests can also keep themselves busy at the resort with paddleboarding, kayaking and snorkeling. There are also several sailing or cruise excursions available (think swimming with stingrays, deep-sea fishing and scuba diving).
Getting There: Fly guests into V.C. Bird International, which is just 35 minutes from the hotel. Hermitage Bay provides complimentary, private, round-trip airport transfers for any guest staying three nights or more.
Pictured: The COMO Shambhala Retreat at Maalifushi is a luxurious spa with eight over-water, ocean-facing treatment rooms.
VIPs craving a classic luxury wedding in Mexico ought to book the St. Regis Punta Mita Resort. Nestled on Mexico’s Pacific Coast on the rugged Riviera Nayarit, the resort is an A-list getaway for destination weddings. Groups Sales Manager Juan Carlos Salmon ([email protected]) is on hand to tailor bespoke wedding services for brides and grooms. Request an appointment with a St. Regis Specialist to go through rates and options for weddings. These specialists can tailor flower arrangements and room décor, as well. The resort has a 2,600-square-foot Astor Ballroom and terrace, which is easily divided into three sections. It has a pre-function area with access to the outdoor terrace. The ceremony can also take place on the sand for a barefoot luxury experience.
The St. Regis Punta Mita has a wealth of options for wedding guests to explore before and after the big day. There are two Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Courses, a tennis center, a Reméde Spa and nearby Marieta Islands for outdoor enthusiasts. The resort has three infinity pools in the garden area, with one dedicated specifically for families. Private luxury cabanas are available for rental at the adult pool. There are jogging paths that go around the resort, as well as bicycles that are available for rental.
The resort’s Reméde Spa is a 10,000-square-foot oasis with access to sauna, steam room, fitness center, salon, Jacuzzi, cold plunge pools and relaxation gardens. For bridal parties, the bride and her bridesmaids can book a four-hour wedding package that promises to pamper. The package includes a 60-minute Honey Scrub & Rain Therapy, a 60-minute facial, a 60-minute manicure and a 60-minute pedicure. A special selection of treatments accompanied by a healthy menu and chilled champagne can also be designed for the occasion. Reach out to Salmon for these requests.
For couples, the best rooms in the house are the Luxury One-Bedroom Suites, which are the most-requested premium accommodations. These put guests directly on the beach, with views of the ocean and a residential-style space for entertaining. There is also a private pool and Jacuzzi.
The most lavish room, however, is the Suite Amanecer, or the Presidential Suite. This three-bedroom palace has 3,100 square feet of space, plus a private terrace with pool, Jacuzzi and outdoor shower. Room bookings can be made through Karla Villasenor ([email protected]).
Fun Stuff: The Sea Breeze Bar is the place where guests and travel parties can kick off a night of festivities. Champagne is the signature drink of St. Regis, and every month the resort’s F&B director and mixologist, Oliver Atkins, creates a special cocktail based on the season.
Fly guests into Puerto Vallarta International Airport, which is 40 minutes from the resort. Guests can also land private helicopters directly at the property.
If you’ve already said your vows and are ready to honeymoon, we suggest the romance capital of the Indian Ocean: the Maldives. Newlyweds craving the exotic will flip for Maalifushi by COMO. A must for romance travelers are the COMO Villas—two-bedroom over-water villas with their own private pools and butlers. Good to know: There are only two on property, so book well in advance. Reach out to Room Reservation Manager Beatriz Torres ([email protected]; 011-960-678-0009). All of the over-water room categories have views of the ocean, so if the COMO Villas are booked, you cannot go wrong with the Water Suites, Water Villas or Maalifushi Water Villa. Prefer to stay on dry land? No problem. The 1,087-square-foot Beach Suites are ideal, with direct beach access, private terraces, pools and outdoor showers.
Honeymooners who crave extra-special treatment will want to reach out to Mohamed Sobah, front office manager. We hear Sobah is a whiz at chartering private boats for romantic cruises. He can also arrange a private dining experience (think a castaway picnic on a deserted island). The resort also has four boats that can be used for fishing, diving or sunset cruising around the islands.
If guests opt to dine at the resort restaurant, however, they will be equally pleased. Tip: Recommend the COMO Shambhala Cuisine, which is a specialized menu that incorporates organic ingredients. The food on this menu is raw, steamed or grilled and is available at Madi restaurant or via in-room and private dining. Cool Touch: Madi also hosts theme nights each week (think seafood barbecue and a ‘thali’ evening, focusing on South Indian specialties).
Want the best dining seat in the house? That no doubt is from guests’ private villa decks. Private dining can be coordinated for champagne breakfasts, picnic lunches or romantic dinners. Sobah can accommodate these requests.
Spa-ing is super romantic, with eight over-water, ocean-facing treatment rooms. Couples should book the COMO Shambhala Massage, which uses the brand’s signature blended massage oils to rejuvenate the body. Spa Director Gustiayu Nilawati ([email protected]; 011-960-678-0009 Ext. 7152) is on hand to arrange spa experiences.
Guests can arrive at Maalifushi by COMO via Male International Airport. From there guests will take a domestic air transfer to Thimarafushi Airport and a private speedboat to Maalifushi. As the island is quite isolated, VIP services are more available for sea and air travel. The resort can arrange for immigration and customs clearance at a nearby luxury yacht marina for guests traveling by sea and/or private seaplane service.