From resorts in Cambodia to Bali to St. Lucia, Luxury Travel Advisor singled out three chic havens that make the perfect fit for love-struck VIPs looking to celebrate a wedding or honeymoon in style.
Song Saa Private Island
Perhaps one of the most romantic settings to get married anywhere in the world can be found along the waters of the Gulf of Thailand in Cambodia where Song Saa Private Island resides in a secluded area just 35 minutes from the airport.
The resort tailors each wedding for the bride and groom who can actually buy out the entire property; there is no set formula, to ensure each experience is unique for each couple. Whatever the selection, we know the top pick for honeymooners is the resort’s two-bedroom Royal Villa. Why? It has its own private boat access, as well as stunning views that can catch both sunset and sunrise. Note: It is the most private out of all of the villas and built out over the water.
Picture: Song Saa’s villas offer uncompromising luxury, complete with private pools and high-end comforts in a natural environment.
Advisors should contact Narayan Prasad, spa manager ([email protected]).
Going the Extra Mile: In the past, Song Saa has flown in various live performers from all over the world and arranged sound systems, acrobats, DJs, live pianists, and so on for VIPs looking to spare no expense. The resort has also flown in a pianist from London and had him barefoot on a Baby grand piano on the beach, beautifully lit up for cocktails. Generally, Song Saa will also do a large fireworks display as well. Often on request, it can arrange for white wishing lanterns for the bride and groom and all of their guests to let off into the starry sky, which makes for a spectacular and very romantic vision.
Tip: Table settings and flowers are by request. The resort can work with local flowers such as lotus flowers, lotus pods, orchids, lush green leaves and twisted vines. Note: If the bride prefers imported flowers such as roses, lilies and other exotic flowers, Song Saa can arrange to have these flown in also.
The resort has a large over-water restaurant and bar, which is where most weddings have ended up being held, as it is large enough to buy out. Also, it can prepare food to five-star standard from here. Note: The resort, however, has also hosted nuptials in Driftwood bar on the beach, where the vibe is barefoot luxury in the sand; dancing around a bonfire is included.
Nice Touch: The team takes great pride in setting up secret dining locations, then leading VIP couples to these candlelit locations under the stars. Its most romantic set up is on the end of its Koh Bong Bridge for sundowners, followed by dinner. Song Saa is also home to a private sala built over the water that can be draped with tea lights hanging from the driftwood rafters where VIPs can watch the moon rise.
Advisors should contact Jared Green, director of sales ([email protected]).
Note: Song Saa also welcomes children and has an array of fun activities that are tailored to different age groups. For example, it hosts pizza-making classes in its beach bar and treasure hunts around the island, prizes included. Photo competitions, cookie-decorating contests, sand-castle making, and island safari tours are also options. Little VIPs can also have a trek over to the nearby village where they can interact with the local children in art workshops.
Note: Song Saa often has requests for a Buddhist blessing to be weaved into more traditional ceremonies, which works really well with chanting and incense and jasmine flowers. The resort can also work with outside wedding planners as well.
Picture: Amankila’s Garden Suite features a large bedroom with wide window views, a canopied, king-size bed and a writing desk.
Advisors should contact Ruth Murphy, resort manager ([email protected]) if you’re sending an A-lister.
Amankila in Bali
If it’s Bali you’re looking to take the plunge in, look no further than Amankila, a secluded seaside resort located along Mount Agung.
The resort’s signature honeymoon suite is the Indrakila Suite. Note: The most amazing elements of this room are the incredible view, private pool and bale. Nice Touch: Candles are put around the pool every evening for “honeymoon turndown” service.
The Amankila Suite is a great option for family and friends of the bride and groom as it has terraces which offer complete privacy as well as a beautiful common area. Note: This suite also offers private butler service.
For the ceremony, Amankila uses delicate white pennants to line a path leading to a bamboo arch decorated with young coconut leaves. Flowers and delicate drapes of white fabric create a magical and romantic atmosphere at an Amankila Balinese wedding. Frangipani, tuberoses, white orchids, chrysanthemums and gardenia adorn the dinner tables while a Balinese traditional dance is performed to a gamelan orchestra. Nice Touch: The resort is able to bring in trained make-up artists and hairdressers for the special day and arrange trials.
Hint: The best setting on property for a wedding at Amankila is at the beach club, either on the private beach itself or on the expansive lawn nestled between coconut trees. The natural aisle is laden with flowers and VIPs sit on white cushioned benches under the shade of coconut palms. Candles light the path if you choose a dusk wedding. Other venue options include the privacy of your suite, in the beautiful open-air bar overlooking the ocean, or in one of the many restaurants. The terrace of the Amankila suite provides an alternative setting for smaller, more intimate weddings. A minimum of two nights’ booking is required for this suite.
The resort’s secluded beach is also the perfect setting for a truly romantic dining experience. The entire Amankila Beach Club, Pool and Beach are reserved for one couple to enjoy. A table for two with candles and flowers is set on the beach and a private chef and waiter will tend to your every need, while your toes wiggle in the sand. Nice Touch: A bale is set for you to relax in and is perfect for an après dinner snooze; a bonfire is also lit which brightens up the evening sky. After dining you are given complete privacy and offered a bell so you may instantly summon assistance at any time. Nice Touch: Amankila’s chef will provide a special menu using either Western or Indonesian options.
Having a legal wedding is possible in Bali. A referral to wedding agents can be organized through the hotel. Note: Advance notice of wedding arrangements is required by the agents, as application to the appropriate government offices and consular services for the legal formalities will require time. On the day of the wedding, the magistrate and the religious minister will be present. The ceremony will last roughly 30 minutes with declaration of intent and the exchanging of vows. Two independent witnesses are required; these can be arranged with the wedding agent if friends of the wedding couple are not present.
Note: Unlicensed ceremonies can also take place at Amankila. The priest can be arranged through the hotel. This is not a legal ceremony and therefore does not require legal procedures. However advance notice is essential in order to make arrangements for a local Protestant priest. Alternatively, a Balinese wedding blessing can be arranged with a local Balinese priest. Advance notice is also essential in order to make arrangements with the priest and the preparation of offerings.
Advisors should contact Claudia Schwarze, general manager ([email protected]).
Jade Mountain and Anse Chastanet
Jade Mountain and Anse Chastanet, overlooking the famous Piton Mountains in St. Lucia, are built for the “celebration of love, life and the universe.” In fact, all of Jade Mountain’s 29 suites are honeymoon suites. At Anse Chastanet, the deluxe and premium accommodations are highly recommended.
Jade Mountain/Anse Chastanet has a pre-arrival wedding communicator (wedding concierge) who introduces the bride and groom to the wedding coordinator. Together they look after every aspect of the planning.
The resorts sit on a 600-acre estate, which presents numerous options for the ceremony venue. VIPs may choose to get married in the historical ruins, on one of the two beaches, in their sanctuary (room) or on the resort’s sailboat.
Note: Both resorts usually suggest that couples avail themselves of the abundance of beautiful, exotic, locally available flowers; however, flowers can be imported to meet any specific guest requests. In that case, three weeks advance planning is required.
Picture: Jade Mountain, St. Lucia, overlooking the famous Piton Mountains, is a popular destination for a celebration of love and marriage.
It’s fairly common for the bride and groom to stay at Jade Mountain for the duration of their stay, or to start at Anse Chastanet and then go to Jade Mountain on their wedding night. Depending on the budget, sometimes parents and guests also stay at Jade Mountain, but most wedding parties stay at Anse Chastanet. Accommodations in this scenario range from standard to premium. Note: At this time, neither property offers villa-type accommodations.
Brides can takeover the spa to have a get-together with the bridesmaids. A private spa event is a great way for brides to have some special “girl” time with their bridesmaids and friends. Note: The salon facility can also be reserved for wedding preparations.
Tip: At Jade Mountain, parents and other honored guests are encouraged to enjoy the pool sanctuary (Star, Moon or Sun). Beachside Deluxe, Hillside Deluxe or Premium accommodations are outstanding at Anse Chastanet. Note: Although children are welcome at Anse Chastanet, the resorts are quite focused on providing a getaway environment for grown-ups. Note: Jade Mountain is strictly for adults 16 and over.
Hint: The most romantic place to dine on property is the Celestial Terrace on the very top of Jade Mountain, which offers a stunning 360-degree view under Caribbean stars. For an intimate one-on-one experience, enjoy a private Castaway dinner on Anse Mamin beach.
Advisors should contact Karolin Troubetzkoy, general manager ([email protected]).