15 Jan 8 Tempting Destination Weddings from LAX
There is one song that pops into mind when Los Angeles’ Airport (LAX) is mentioned.
I hopped off the plane at LAX
With a dream and my cardigan
Where were you in 2009 if you didn’t sing that line in your head? It’s Miley Cyrus’s Party in the USA, FYI. (Disclaimer: don’t blame us if the song somehow gets stuck in your head.)
Song references aside, we know the pain of planning a destination wedding. The couple’s living in LA while their relatives are in Singapore … and their friends are spread out across the US and Europe. Their guest list is now up to 300 people – and that’s without their parents’ additional demands to invite all the aunties and uncles who have invited them to their children’s weddings.
Choosing a destination wedding for your client (aside from finding the perfect venue,) should largely take into account where their elderly guests are from. Younger guests tend to not mind a longer travelling time and multiple stops. However, for elderly relatives, that will be a deal breaker. Here are eight stops where they probably won’t complain as much!
1. Los Cabos International Airport (SJD)
Los Cabos, Mexico | Direct Flight, 2h 34m
From SIN (Singapore Airport) to SJD: 1+ stops, 19h 45m
From HKG (Hong Kong Airport) to SJD: 1+ stops, 18h 1m
From LHR (Heathrow Airport) to SJD: 1+ stops, 16h 0m
Esperanza, Auberge Resorts Collection
Los Cabos, Mexico
30m Drive from Los Cabos International Airport
In a land abundant with beautiful beaches, Los Cabos is the perfect destination for those yearning for a beach wedding. On its southernmost tip, secluded between two coves and private beaches, lies this breathtaking resort – Esperanza. In total, they have 59 casitas/suites and 30 villas. As Cabo is a popular tourist destination, we recommend buying out this venue to make the wedding exclusive. The perks of doing so? Every guest will enjoy total privacy, with access to all amenities and services.
Based on the couple’s preferences and the number of wedding guests, there are 17 event spaces that they can choose from. For instance, they can hold up to a maximum of 180 guests for the reception dinner at their pool terraces. The view at Cocina del Mar Terraces & Bar though? Breathtaking. (Yes, it’s the one featured in the picture above) So if you’re planning on hosting the dinner there, better cap your guests at 150!
If the couple does end up picking Esperanza as their destination, they better have their ceremony at the upper pool terraces. Just look at this view:
Ever dreamt of owning a home in the richest neighbourhood in the city? In Cabo San Lucas, Pedregal is considered the wealthiest of its neighbourhoods – specifically, the hillside area, which is lined with luxurious resorts and magnificent views of the Sea of C
For the duration of their wedding, your couple could easily live this dream – be the in-the-moment Kim Kardashian or Paris Hilton – right at Waldorf Astoria (previously named The Resort at Pedregal), the epitome of luxury. The resort has a total of 113 rooms, suites and villas, where each place has a private terrace and at least one private plunge pool. (Included in the premium suites, your VIPs will get a personal fireplace, bathtub and uniquely enough, binoculars for whale watching!)
As for the event locations, depending on the backdrop the couple prefers and the number of guests, they can pick between the:
- Sandy beach with turquoise waters fit for 100 guests and below
- Main lobby terrace with an oceanfront view surrounded by blue skies and desert mountains for 150 guests
- Pool terrace where you can get an illusion of a floating ceremony against the infinity pool for 30 to 100 guests
- La Palapa, an open-wide venue made up of a palm leaf roof and a fireplace. Ideal for 30 guests for ceremonies & dinners and 100 guests for cocktail receptions
- Beach Club with an ocean view, draped with chandeliers and lanterns for 61 – 120 guests.
- Don Manuel’s, their signature restaurant, with an authentic Mexican hacienda setting for 80 to 150 guests
- El Farallon, an area suspended over the ocean, tucked into rocky cliffs, for 120 guests and below!
2. Milan Malpensa (MXP)
Lake Como, Italy | 1+ stop, 13h 30m
From SIN (Singapore Airport) to MXP: 13h 10m (Singapore Airlines) / 1+ stops, 15h 0m
From HKG (Hong Kong Airport) to MXP: Direct flight, 12h 55m (Cathay Pacific) / 1+ stops, 14h 40m
From LHR (Heathrow Airport) to MXP: Direct flight, 1h 55m (British Airways) / 1+ stops, 3h 30m
The name or location seem familiar? You might have seen Villa del Balbianello in Casino Royale or Star Wars. As expected, it’s one of the most sought-after wedding venues on Lake Como. The Fondo Ambiente Italiano (FAI), Italy’s national trust, has been managing the museum since 1988, preserving its spirit and taking care of its magnificent garden.
Unlike our previous suggestions, this villa, being a tourist attraction, does not provide any accommodation. So you will have to stay in hotels around the vicinity. They are open everyday from 10am to 6pm except Monday and Wednesday. These days are closed for weddings and events but expect a higher price – you can also get privacy after 6pm on other days. Fees are highly dependent on the number of guests and area(s) used. Additionally, Villa del Balbianello only works with specific and exclusive vendors.
Areas to hold the wedding include the:
- Loggia Durini, specifically for the wedding ceremony. The maximum capacity is 80 pax.
- Loggia Segre. This location is split into two areas: an outdoor terrace and a veranda with glass doors. The indoor venue can fit around 50 pax. For higher numbers, they can combine both the areas.
- Oak Lake Terrace. The biggest area in Villa del Balbianello, which can host up to 150 guests.
Though, all the locations in the villa look superb! With the right photographer, you might just have a wedding album fit for royalty – just look at this.
3. Lisbon Airport (LIS)
Lisbon, Portugal | 1+ stop, 13h 40m
From SIN (Singapore Airport) to LIS: 1+ stops, 17h 40m
From HKG (Hong Kong Airport) to LIS: 1+ stops, 16h 30m
From LHR (Heathrow Airport) to LIS: Direct flight, 2h 40m
** Note: This is the perfect destination for those looking for a location half-way between America and Asia. With unrivalled sunlight and an unpolluted environment, Lisbon paves the way to a starry wedding. (Literally, you can go star-gazing.)
Set in the heart of Alentejo, the best wine region in the entire world lies L’AND Vineyards. If your couple’s an avid fan of wine, they’ll probably wine up here in Portugal. Besides the opportunity to go wine tasting, the hotel is perfect for couples who prefer to tie the knot in a tranquil atmosphere. Moving away from the usual destination weddings on beaches, L’AND Vineyards is surrounded by lush greenery, lakes and starry night skies – the perfect remedy for those allergic to seawater, sand and the scorching hot sun.
At maximum capacity, the hotel hosts up to 150 people for reception dinners and have 26 suites available for 89 pax. Some perks for all the guests includes daily breakfast from a MICHELIN STAR restaurant, as well as a spa with a sauna and internal pool. In short, this venue is perfect for an intimate big day.
Here’s another gem from Alentejo – the Torre de Palma Wine Hotel. With a history dating back to 1338, couples who are going for the rustic look would love this! Heavily influenced by the ancient Romans, the hotel celebrates wine, olive oil, horses and spas. Yes, horses – you read that right. So if the couple has dreams of riding off into the sunset on a horse, where else than Torre de Palma? Just make sure they don’t end up with another two horsemen, or you’d get an apocalypse from the possible mumzillas on both sides of the family.
This venue is even more intimate than L’AND Vineyards – it has 19 rooms in total, which accommodates 64 pax. Facilities include an indoor and outdoor swimming pool (perfect for pool parties!), spa, restaurant, bar, screening room (showcase a tribute video of the couple, how about that?), a chapel and much more. What more can you ask for?
4. Naples Airport (NAP)
Ravello, Italy | 1+ stop, 14h 25m
From SIN (Singapore Airport) to NAP: 1+ stops, 15h 20m
From HKG (Hong Kong Airport) to NAP: 1+ stops, 16h 55m
From LHR (Heathrow Airport) to NAP: 1+ stops, 4h 15m
On the highest point of Ravello sits Belmond Hotel Caruso. Originally a palace built in the 11th century, the hotel was restored to provide 50 rooms and suites – all with magnificent views of the sky and mountains. As per all our recommendations, the services offered here are impeccable.
In total, they have 7 locations that the couple could use for the wedding – a mix of indoor and outdoor venues. If they’re vampires and can’t stand the sun (or simply want to utilise different locations for each event) they could use any of these indoor venues:
- Wagner Room (80 pax for cocktails/banquet)*
- Colonne Room (80 pax for cocktails/banquet)*
- Arcade Bar (50 pax for cocktails, 40 pax for banquet, 70 for ceremony)
* The Wagner and Colonne Room can be combined to host 170 pax.
For a breathtaking view overlooking the mountains (the obviously better choice), the couple can pick between the:
- Belvedere Restaurant (60 pax for banquet only) **
- Belvedere Terrace (140 pax for cocktails, 80 pax for banquet) **
- Wagner Gardens (160 pax for cocktails, 170 pax for banquet, 70 pax for ceremony)
- the Poolside Restaurant/Bar (70 pax for cocktails after 8.30pm, 45 pax for banquet)
** These two venues are exclusive-use only.
5. Malaga Airport (AGP)
Malaga, Spain | 1+ stop, 15h 5m
From SIN (Singapore Airport) to AGP: 1+ stops, 17h 45m
From HKG (Hong Kong Airport) to AGP: 1+ stops, 16h 40m
From LHR (Heathrow Airport) to AGP: Direct flight, 2h 55m / 1 stop, 4h 25m
Want the privacy of being the only guests at the resort but can’t find a venue big enough? Finca Cortesin boasts 67 suites, which can accommodate up to 200 people – the largest group out of our recommendations so far. To proceed with a wedding here, you need to buyout the hotel. With the hotel’s majestic exterior and location (just look at those mountains!), combined with a mix of traditional Mediterranean lifestyle and modern living, this hotel is truly worth the money.
For the duration of the wedding, your couple can get a taste of the exquisite life – manicured gardens, excellent Thai spa treatments and a beach club are within the hotel’s vicinity. (Also, the beach club makes an excellent place for the bride to test the groom’s #instagramhusband skills. Though, if he’s horrible at taking photos, tell her it’s rude to back out now.) Additionally, the resort houses one of Europe’s best golf courses – an excellent choice if the groom, bride or their guests enjoys golf.
6. Cam Ranh International Airport (CXR)
Nha Trang, Vietnam | 1+ stop, 19h 50m
From SIN (Singapore Airport) to CXR: 1+ stops, 5h 0m
From HKG (Hong Kong Airport) to CXR: Direct flight, 2h 20m (Hong Kong Express) / 1+ stops, 6h 20m
From LHR (Heathrow Airport) to CXR: 1+ stops, 16h 35m
For a really exclusive wedding in Vietnam, Mia Resort is your best bet. Nestled in a mountain pass between Cam Ranh Airport and Nha Trang, it is the only development in the area. It has 50 rooms, categorised into condos, villas and suites – including rooms for big families too! (It’s a MASSIVE five-bedroom villa.) As for the areas offered for the wedding, you’d have to check with the resort based on the amount of guests you have.
They have a whole variety of activities they offer to their guests – from water sports like scuba diving and kayaking to relaxing activities like spa, yoga and cooking classes! So if your guests are the type who loves staying active, this should seal the deal. (Pst, there’s a theme park that’s a 25-minute drive away too! A wedding photoshoot there would be pretty cool, no?) When night falls, they can also entertain guests with bonfires, Beach BBQs, cocktails and music.
If you were to be rocked by any of our suggestions, this would be the shoo-in for number one. Feast your eyes on impressive rock formations and the towering mountains at Six Senses Ninh Van Bay. So for eco-friendly advocates (look out for metal straws and tote bags during client meetings), they’d be delighted to hear that they kept as much of the surrounding greenery that they could while building the site. The hotel has also gone the extra length to compost their organic waste and use eco-friendly bath products too.
Six Senses Ninh Van Bay is a great choice for small weddings and couples can pick between tying the knot on the beach, jetty or Wedding Pavillion. Their dining area (which doubles as a chapel) provides has a capacity of 60 guests, so stick to a small guest list! In all, they have 58 villas, more than enough for everyone.
Plus, to add that extra oomph at the end of the wedding, they offer a cruise on a traditional wooden boat to enjoy a romantic sunset with champagne and canapés!
7. Ngurah Rai International Airport (DPS)
Bali, Indonesia | 1+ stop, 20h 15m
From SIN (Singapore Airport) to DPS: Direct flight, 2h 45m
From HKG (Hong Kong Airport) to DPS: Direct flight, 5h 10m
From LHR (Heathrow Airport) to DPS: 1+ stops, 16h 25m
Bali, one of the most popular holiday destinations, is home to Alila Villas Uluwatu. The ocean views here are insanely breathtaking! If the couple wants to tie the knot against the backdrop of the endless stretch of the ocean in Bali, their eyes should be set on Alila’s main pool near the lobby.
However, this is just one of the aesthetically-pleasing options for couples to get married at. They have six wedding packages you could choose from based on the number of guests and your venue preferences:
- Hilltop Wedding (Max. 12 pax)
- 2 Cliff-Edge Cabanas (Max. 30 and 50 pax respectively)
- Cliff Edge Cabana and Private Villa Reception (50 – 80 pax)
- 2 Cliff Edge Cabana and Cabana Lawn Dinner (1 package for 50 – 80 pax, 1 package for max. 120 pax)
- Resort Exclusivity (Compulsory for more than 120 guests to a max. of 400 pax)
If the couple is spending 2 days in the villa, we highly recommend going for resort exclusivity – they could host up to a whopping 400 guests and around 158 of them could stay in the villa’s 79 bedrooms (which includes breakfast, refreshments, morning yoga, host service as well as a max. of 50 spa treatments of 1 hour for the guests!) For these two days, they’ll have the resort all to themselves and their guests.
Tired of seeing the amount of beach weddings on this listicle? If the couple would rather be surrounded by greenery rather than the sea, Como Shambhala Estate might interest them. Set in a sun-rich clearing in a jungle north of Ubud, this hotel is a residential health retreat and filled with themes of nature. Even their residences are named after different natural elements such as bayugita (wind song), umabona (house of the Earth Son) and wanakasa (forest in the mist.) Each room is unique with different views. They have a total of 17 suites, 4 rooms, 5 pool villas and 4 private villas, which can accommodate around 78 pax.
The theme extends to their daily operations too – they utilise eco-friendly and sustainable options! If your couple wants to feel good on their wedding day, why not try gathering some good karma and do good too, right?
Areas available for the wedding (with a max. of 150 pax) include the:
- Amphitheatre, which is an open-air location that overlooks the Ayung Valley. It accommodates a maximum of 150 guests for the ceremony and 80 for receptions.
- Umabona. This private residence is an open-aired villa inspired by palaces, which is why it’s so grand! There’s also a magnificent view of Mount Batukaru. There can only be a maximum of 30 guests for ceremonies.
- Parkland, a location right beside the lobby filled with coconut palms and a pond. This venue is also an outdoor venue. It can host 150 pax for the reception.
- Tejasuara. Another private residence furnished with tribal cloth, black bamboo beds and thatch roofing that faces lush green rice fields. You can host up to 50 pax for receptions here.
Take note that all the venues have a curfew of 11pm (it is a wellness hotel, after all!)
8. Koh Samui Airport (USM)
Koh Samui, Thailand | 1+ stop, 20h 50m
From SIN (Singapore Airport) to USM: Direct flight, 1h 50m
From HKG (Hong Kong Airport) to USM: Direct flight, 3h 30m (Bangkok Airways), 1+ stops, 5h 45m
From LHR (Heathrow Airport) to USM: 1+ stops, 14h 15m
Jack Sparrow may be … many things but we know he loves treasure. The star playing the captain is equally alike. Johnny Depp fell in love with the Bahamas while filming Pirates of the Caribbean – ultimately leading him to purchase it for 3.6 million. He also hosted his wedding to Amber Heard on the private island. So if the groom dreams to get hitched with his dear bride on a private island too, try the Cape Fahn Hotel.
The hotel is located near Koh Samui, on a private island on its own – the perfect fahntasy location for an intimate wedding of up to 80 guests. Locations on site include the:
- Wedding Terrace, an outdoor location with a fantastic beach view
- The Crest, a wooden canopy that also provides an oceanview
The hotel can also accommodate up to 48 guests in 24 beautiful villas. (Each with its own delightful views!) So if the rooms are sufficient for the number of guests, we’d recommend getting the wedding package – which would buyout the hotel, as well as a few other perks.
On the Gulf of Thailand, you can explore the finest beach on the island that stretches for nine whole miles and W Hotel lies on this beach. So if your couple’s all for a beach wedding with modern accommodation (look at the hotel’s decor in the picture above!) – this should be their top pick! They can host up to 250 pax for a beach wedding.
If your couple’s not into a beach wedding, you could also try their indoor venues. The Great Room and The Great Room Foyer can host 80 standing and 60 standing pax respectively. Alternatively, The Great Room can also host 50 seated guests. As for the after party, you can keep it going on the beach or organise it at the WOOBAR – a bar with seats built into an infinity pool. (Imagine all the fun stuff you could do with this though!)
When it comes to accommodation, the hotel has a total of 74 private villas – each with a pool on its own. As for the service … their Whatever/Whenever service definitely stands out. If you’ve ever watched Aladdin and wanted your very own genie, this service provides you the opportunity to do so. Guests can request anything they want (as long as it’s legal!)
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