Our Cover Subjects Talk Top Wedding Destinations

Kyoto, Japan Cherry Blossom
Photo by Sean Pavone/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

Luxury Travel Advisor is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, and is marking the occasion by reconnecting with all of the individuals who have appeared on the cover of our issues throughout the years. They had plenty to share with us, including some favorite new destinations that offer exceptional accommodations and experiences for couples looking to tie the knot. 

Raffles

Four Seasons Dubai at Jumeirah Beach provides couples with a unique wedding experience tailored specifically for them. Guests will enter the venue via a private arrival area located off of the main driveway, and be ushered to the sun-lit Dana Ballroom, which opens onto a beach front lawn and terrace. Four Seasons’ on-site wedding coordinator will custom-design a fantasy wedding for couples based on their preferences, covering all the details from the flowers and photography, to décor and menus. 

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Mary Jean Tully of Tully Luxury Travel appeared on the cover of our October 2006 issue. She recently told us she was most impressed by the hotel’s exceptional accommodations. “It’s truly a beautiful hotel with excellent service and a wonderful ambiance. The décor was stunning and the attention to detail was flawless,” she said. 

After the ceremonies have ended, couples will enjoy special services in whichever of the property’s guestrooms or suites they choose. The Four Seasons recommends a stay for couples in one of their Sea-View Suites, offering views of the Arabian Gulf from a private balcony, a separate living room and master bedroom, and full marble bathroom. Separate rain showers and twin vanity sinks add a special touch for the newlyweds’ honeymoon experience. Couples will also enjoy a Champagne breakfast, a romantic candlelight dinner for two in-suite or in one of the property’s five restaurants, a couple’s massage, a picnic basket for two, and a variety of special occasion packages. For more information or to make a reservation proposal, visit www.fourseasons.com/dubaijb/weddings.

Located on the banks of the Kamogawa River, the Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto designs weddings that combine age-old Japanese traditions with luxurious modern comforts. The property’s three banquet rooms can accommodate weddings ranging from intimate gatherings to grand receptions, and Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto even has its own wedding chapel. 

“The Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto is a stunning contemporary Ryokan including Japanese gardens, bridges and design,” said Valerie Wilson of Valerie Wilson Travel, who appeared on the cover of our January 2006 issue. Wilson was taken by the property’s décor. “The accommodations exude elegance and yet are informal with beautiful wood tones and gentle Japanese touches. It’s truly an authentic Kyoto experience.”

Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto aims create a uniquely “Japanese ambience” in each banquet room using atmospheric lighting and natural materials. Suite accommodations include access to a private Zen garden and moon-viewing decks, and guests can also experience “The Genuine Miyabi Wedding,” a special package designed for couples who want to immerse themselves in a truly authentic Japanese ceremony. To learn more or submit a request for proposal at Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto, visit www.ritzcarlton.com.

For guests who want to feel like a true king or queen on that special day, Raffles Hotel Le Royal in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, spares no expense in making couples feel like royalty. Guests can choose from several styles of venues, including a Royal Ballroom which can accommodate up to 400 people, or the more secluded, informal space of the poolside tropical gardens. Raffles Hotel Le Royal in Phnom Penh can organize either a Western or Khmer style wedding celebration specially designed to fit the couple’s preferences.   

Pricilla Alexander, who appeared on the cover of Luxury Travel Advisor in April 2005, noted the hotel as one of her recent favorites. “Leaving the steamy, hot weather to enter the cool comfort of this impeccably maintained property dating back to another age enchanted me,” she told us. “I adore atmospheric hotels. I expected to see Catherine Deneuve walk through the lobby …” 

Raffles Hotel Le Royal in Phnom Penh offers special celebration packages including accommodations in one of the property’s suites, catering services for groups of any size, banquet arrangements for more formal occasions and a variety of both Western and Asian cuisine. To learn more, visit www.raffles.com 

Raffles Hotel Le Royal
The Shangri-La Lhasa, nestled in the heart of the Himalayas in Tibet, provides a unique backdrop for couples looking for that special place to celebrate their wedding day. A dedicated wedding planner will help couples create the perfect celebration, while paying attention to the smallest details. The Shangri-la Lhasa has the largest five-star international hotel banqueting facilities in the city, with a Grand Ballroom offering both traditional and contemporary Tibetan design. The venue features natural daylight along with a terrace, mountain vistas, and views of Potala Palace.

Kimberly Wilson Wetty, who appeared with her mother, Valerie Wilson, and sister, Jennifer Wilson Buttigieg in our January 2006 issue, is now enamored by Tibet and this property, saying: “It was a magical and life-changing experience. The Shangri-la Lhasa is stunning and offers authentic Tibetan culture. My favorite experience of the trip was learning how to meditate. My view was overlooking the Himalayas at 13,800 feet.”

The Shangri-La Lhasa offers four different wedding packages, including the Elegance Package, which can accommodate bookings of six to 12 tables, one night complimentary stay in Premier Room with a buffet breakfast for two people, and Shangri-La Hotel Honeymoon special offers. For larger wedding parties, the Extravaganza Package provides accommodations for bookings of 30 tables or more, floral arrangements and decorations, two complimentary Deluxe Rooms for a one night stay with buffet breakfast, and a three-night complimentary stay at Kowloon Shangri-La, Hong Kong. For more information on these and other wedding packages at The Shangri-la Lhasa, advisors can contact [email protected] or visit www.shangri-la.com/lhasa/shangrila

South Africa Winelands
Jack Bloch of JB's World Travel, who was on the cover of our March 2007 issue, recently told us about his impression of La Residence, Franschhoek, located in South Africa. He calls it “a corner of France in the South Africa Winelands. It has amazing suites and villas, all individual with their own character and beautiful art. It’s got fantastic scenery and wonderful food and wine.” 

As a Franschhoek wedding venue, La Residence offers complimentary drinks and entertainment to wedding guests on either the palm-tree lined lawn leading down to the infinity pool, the marble-paved Wedding Courtyard or the spacious Persian Alley. Chefs and caterers will create a custom menu and banquet for couples on the big day, and the hotel’s sommeliers handpick local wines to complete the celebration. Guests can choose to stay in either a guestroom or one of four recommended Vineyard Suites, which offer private terraces and gardens, views of the surrounding mountains and valleys, and are decorated with gold silk curtains and vibrantly-colored velvets. 

For more information or to discuss individual requirements for a Franschhoek wedding, contact: [email protected] or visit www.laresidence.co.za

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