Latin America

Say "I Do" to Central America

written by | Posted on June 1st, 2011

Contact: panamonte.com or (800) 525-4800; slh.com

los altos beach resort & spa Of course, the darling of Central America is Costa Rica, with its striking natural wonders, and among all of Mother Nature’s exuberance, there are a few resorts that have caught our eye, including the recently opened Los Altos Beach Resort & Spa, tucked away between the Manuel Antonio National Park and the Pacific Ocean. How’s that for a picture-perfect frame to a wedding ceremony? The Balinese-style accommodations with rich exotic hardwoods and tropical rattan furniture, are true sanctuaries and the 3,520-sq.-ft. penthouses are ideal for the wedding party, offering four bedrooms, three-and-a-half bathrooms, three balconies, fully equipped kitchen, and separate living and dining areas, not to mention a private terrace with jacuzzi, as well as views of both the ocean and Manuel Antonio. Wedding party guests can take advantage of the resort’s shuttle that can transport them to local attractions (for a charge), or book one of the available tours to the park or Damas Island, go on an ATV ride through the rainforest, even take a canopy tour or go kayaking, snorkeling, and so much more. The bride and groom can relax before the big day at Spa Los Altos, at the beach or by the infinity pool, and then say “I do” at one of several venues, including beachside or in the penthouse suite, with soaring views of the jungle canopy. All weddings are customizable, but the resort promises exceptional service and sumptuous food, including a selection of typical local fare. Penthouse suite rates for eight persons through Dec. 15 start at $1,790 per room per night.

Contact: (800) 517-1195; losaltosresort.com

villa blanca cloud forest & spa For a cloud forest wedding, head to Villa Blanca Cloud Forest & Spa, a member of Greentique Hotels of Costa Rica and located in the central Costa Rican highlands in the El Silencio de Los Angeles Cloud Forest Private Biological Reserve. If your clients are green-focused, this is the place to send them because only 2 percent of these unique cloud forest ecosystems are left on the planet. Even more unique is the resort’s Mariana Chapel, built to commemorate the 50th wedding anniversary of the original owner and accommodating up to 75 guests. Its entire ceiling—which was inspired by the 17th century La Sixtina de la Maiolica Chapel in Italy—was created by the resort’s original owner’s sister, while each of the 18 handmade cedar benches were crafted by local artisans. The resort has onsite wedding planners that take care of everything, from planning the food items and selecting the finest wines from El Sendero restaurant, to picking the flowers from the organic greenhouses, creating spa packages and customizing tours for the bride, groom and wedding party. For accommodations, there are 35 country-style casitas, each with breathtaking views of the lush tropical cloud forest and featuring custom-made furnishings. Pre- or post-wedding, guests can wander through the nature trails, relax at the Serenity Spa or wellness center, or visit the nearby volcanoes.

The resort has a Deluxe Wedding package that’s valid through Nov. 14 and which includes 3-night accommodations in a deluxe casita for bride and groom, guided nature tour of Villa Blanca’s Cloud Forest trail, 1-hour massage, exotic flowers in-suite and a host of other wedding day essentials. Rate is $5,100 per couple.

Contact: (877) 256-8399; greentiquehotels.com

four seasons resort costa rica at papagayo peninsula Wedded bliss surrounded by optimum luxury is what the Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo is all about. To say that the resort is lovely is to be humble. Here, brides, grooms, family and friends are encircled by sweeping panoramas, two unspoiled beaches, the tropical dry forest and the wild, rugged beauty of the northwest Pacific coast. Unique accommodations include the hillside Canopy Suites, created in the style of tree houses and offering views through the forest canopy down to the water, but for wedding parties, recommend one of the residences. They provide all the conveniences of a private home, including full kitchen and laundry facilities, and are located a short stroll or golf-cart ride away from resort amenities. Wedding attendees can relax by one of the many pools, get a treatment at the spa, or enjoy swimming, kayaking, snorkeling, scuba diving, hiking, surfing, ziplining, or birdwatching, even take trips to the national parks, volcanoes or coffee plantations, or partake in one of the daily, free classes in Spanish, flower arranging and salsa dancing. Dining at the five restaurants is superb, as most of the food is gathered from local sources. For the ceremony and reception, couples can have their pick from the two beaches with either views of the Pacific Ocean or of Culebra Bay overlooking Blanca Beach with Peninsula Papagayo in the background. There’s also an event lawn overlooking the Pacific; the Golf Course at the Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica—an Audubon Sanctuary filled with native trees and animals—or the resort itself, which makes for a great backdrop with its unique architecture and use of natural materials like local lava rock and stone. Here, every wedding is customized and the attention to detail and care from the staff is top-notch. Rates for a 2-bedroom residence start at $1,950.

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