Location, location, location – that’s ultimately what sets one luxury destination wedding apart from the others. We suss out places that top wedding planners are recommending to clients looking for swanky locations.
There is a reason why we take a cue from what the rich and famous are doing when it comes to weddings – they can command the ultimate in services and experiences for their elite guests as they can easily afford it. So when it comes to destination wedding locations, illustrious names are opting for unique and interesting places around the globe. We checked in with top luxury wedding planners such as Aditya Motwane of MEW, Pawan Mirchandani of Horizon WIE, Farid & Bhavnesh of WedNiksha, Mahesh Shirodkar of Tamarind Global, Neha Seth Arora of Var Vadhu, Devki Hemlani of I Do Etc. for their input and insights.
1. The Royal Myconian Resort, Mykonos, Greece
This luxury hotel on Elia Beach in the southern part of Mykonos offers unparalled views of the blue Aegean Sea from all its rooms and suites. It hosted the intimate wedding of Aditya Parekh and Mallika Tarkas in 2015. Aditya is the son of HDFC chairman Deepak Parekh, and his wedding had top names from India attending the memorable event in Mykonos. The resort’s stunning facade is inspired by its Cycladic history, and its spacious rooms, top-notch Thalasso spa alongside modern events spaces continue to be a lure for high-end weddings.
Photos Courtesy – Sotiris Tsakanikas
2. Kempinski Seychelles Resort, Seychelles
With perfect weather almost all year around, Seychelles can be considered a prime destination wedding location. With the trinity of sunshine, scenic views and surging waves of the Indian Ocean, this blessed island nation off the east coast of Africa boasts impressive luxury resorts such as Kempinski Seychelles which lies just 20 minutes from the international airport. Situated on the south end of the capital Mahe, on the Baie Lazare beach, the resort inspires creative nuptials with sandy expanses that are perfect for setting up wedding gazebos and photo shoots, and enjoying sun-kissed festivities.
3. Burj Al Arab, Dubai, UAE
The seven-star iconic Burj Al Arab is the magnet in the Middle East with its uber luxurious amenities and spacious, glitzy ballrooms. The Terrace, a manmade luxury beach facility, which was launched in May last year, is an outdoor deck built as an extension to the hotel. Spacious for grand events (and offered only to a very select few), it hosted its first large-scale Indian wedding there when Vivek Bhatia and Shruti Sethi tied the knot there in December last year. For high-flying couples, there is always the option of booking ‘Weddings in the Sky’ experience where they can tie the knot on the Burj Al Arab’s iconic helipad, which at 212 metres above the Arabian Gulf, offers unparalleled views of the glittering desert nation.
Photos Courtesy – Gregory Grytchenko of Blue Eye Picture
4. Constance Ephelia, Seychelles
Named after Ephelia, a legendary goddess of Seychelles, the rugged yet ravishing Constance Ephelia in Seychelles is the largest resort in the island nation. Two of the most beautiful beaches of the capital Mahe are situated here, and a 40-minute drive from the airport brings visitors to the 120 hectare resort which boasts four swimming pools, a luxury spa and 313 spacious rooms and villas which can house up to seven people. Winner of the Best Luxury Resort Award in Seychelles at the World Luxury Hotel Awards in 2016, Constance Ephelia is perfect for intimate or elaborate breezy, barefoot beach weddings – and we won’t be surprised if the resort’s wonderful wilderness and amenities tempts couples to re-book into it as a honeymoon destination too.
Photo Courtesy – Andrej Pavlov
5. Shangri-La’s Hambantota Resort & Spa, Sri Lanka
Fancy an exotic wedding in exquisite natural surroundings? Shangri-La’s Hambantota Resort & Spa in Sri Lanka, located along the ancient Spice Route, is fast becoming the preferred choice for luxury destination weddings. This relatively new luxe resort which opened in June 2016 boasts sprawling green tropical gardens next to the brilliant blue waters of the Indian Ocean which provide scenic backdrops for wedding photo shoots. The resort has also incorporated the best of Sri Lankan flavors, aesthetics and creativity in its offerings which is bound to delight guests visiting for the first time. With 300 rooms and 21 suites alongside a main ballroom, it is perfect for both intimate and elaborate indoor/outdoor weddings.
6. Rosewood London & Grosvenor House, London, UK
With the elegance of an English country manor set in the hip, urban High Holborn area of London, the Rosewood London hotel’s beautifully spaces translate into sophisticated experiences for guests. From the Pavonazzo marble staircase to the picture-perfect arched entrance, the hotel’s multi-million pounds renovation has included a stunning ballroom, two standout restaurants and 306 rooms including a magnificent suite with a private entrance. Last week top London socialite Rekha Mehtani hosted her son Vinay’s wedding to Sonam Dhall here, as well as in the Grosvenor House hotel in Park Lane which is a JW Marriott property. With multiple reception venues, the stunning Great Room for weddings and recently refurbished spaces, the Grosvenor House offers rich history and haute-ness at one central location.
7. Disneyland Paris, France
A fairytale wedding and Disneyland Paris are a match made in heaven as dedicated planners here take care of every step, be it creating a magical garden with giant flowers and animals, unique events such as a Jet-Set Dinner under the stars or a DJ Party. A gala dinner can include touches from favorite Disney classics such as Cinderella’s carriage, Sleeping Beauty’s Castle and even sets from Beauty and the Beast. What’s a Disney experience without fireworks? From pyrotechnics to lasers, everything is lit the way couples want it.
8. Shangri-La Rasa Ria Resort & Spa, Sabah, Malaysia
Situated in Sabah in the north of the Borneo Island, the Shangri-La Rasa Ria Resort & Spa lies 30 km from the Kota Kinabalu airport. A popular wedding destination for well-heeled and discerning Indian families in India, Phillipines, Hong Kong and Malaysia, this luxury 499-room haven is situated in a location that abounds in natural beauty, wildlife reserves, beaches and coral reefs. The resort has been divided into the Garden Wing and the Ocean wing, and both offer access to the sea, have beautiful lawns in between alongside multiple bars and restaurants. The country club and in-house golf course are ideal for day weddings.
Photo Courtesy – Picture Perfect India
9. The Saluting Battery, Malta
One of the most spectacular fortifications in Malta’s capital Valletta, the 16th-century Saluting Battery is attracting truly discerning visitors and wedding clients according to Aditya Motwane, Director, Motwane Entertainment and Weddings. Malta is an island nation located in the center of the Mediterranean ocean in Europe, and lies 93 km off the coast of Sicily in Italy. The Saluting Battery which is located on the colonnaded Upper Barrakka Gardens offers stunning views of the Grand Harbor and historic structures of Valletta such as Fort St. Agnelo. The ceremonial firing of the historic cannon at a wedding here can be arranged to make the occasion truly stand out. There are many world class hotels around this popular attraction to house guests.
10. Shangri-La Le Tousserok Resort & Spa, Mauritius
Shangri-La’s Le Touessrok Resort and Spa is situated directly on the white sand beaches of Trou d’Eau Douce Bay overlooking the turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean. Visitors will be swept off their feet with the ‘Mauritian perfection’ that is evident in each of the 200 rooms, suites and exclusive villas here. The resort offers many elegant venues and enchanting outdoor locations for both large-scale or laidback, close-knit weddings. Unique to the resort is the little island of Ilot Mangénie, which is exclusive to Shangri-La guests. So whether you host a sundowner beach wedding or a cool function in the Hibiscus Gardens or amidst the lush greenery of the Ile aux Cerfs Golf Course with a lagoon view, you are assured of perfection in every moment in this heavenly location.