North America

Bliss in Our Own Backyard

written by | Posted on June 1st, 2010

arrabelle at vail square Eco-conscious couples will love the Environmentally Engaged weddings at Colorado’s Arrabelle at Vail Square, with 62 accommodations. The resort’s event planners work with the bride and groom to incorporate sustainability practices into the nuptials that go far beyond simply recycling the cans from the “Just Married” sign. These include suggestions for recycled paper invitations; opportunities to partner with an environmental non- profit; availability of environmentally friendly vehicle; indigenous spa treatments; access to community-based volunteer projects, and, of course, organic ingredients in everything from the candles to the wedding cake. Wedding party guests will love that as part of an Environmentally Engaged wedding, there’s the opportunity to arrange activities such as a hike with TrailWise guides to learn about the local wildflowers and vegetation, not to mention take in the resort’s gorgeous surroundings or stroll through the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens. The ceremony itself can take place in the 2,620-sq.-ft. Grand Ballroom, as well as more intimate venues. Of course, all this customization allows for tremendous rate fluctuation, but couples who book a wedding costing more than $25,000 receive a 4-night honeymoon at a RockResort property of their choice. The 350,000 acres of natural forest that surrounds the resort complements a green wedding stupendously with mountain views amid an alpine setting. The property itself boasts vaulted ceilings, charming archways, and an Old World style. Room nights for a wedding party start at $165 per night (a discount if you book more than 10 rooms; the discount gets higher based on the number of rooms booked).

paris las vegas Ok, ok, it’s not the City of Lights, but saying “I do” at the 2,916-room Paris Las Vegas atop the Eiffel Tower is, at least, one wedding ceremony that won’t soon be forgotten. Boasting panoramic views from 460 ft. above the Las Vegas Strip, the Eiffel Tower is a fun and, dare we say it, kitschy venue that’s ideal for small weddings—it can hold up to 14 persons. There are two Eiffel Tower wedding packages available ranging from $1,500 to $2,800 and include all the customary items such as flowers, photos and guitarist. The Deluxe Eiffel Tower package ups the ante with a 2-night stay in a Le Mans Petite Suite for the newlyweds. Or, the more demure couple can opt to hold their ceremony in one of the resort’s indoor chapels. Wedding guests can stay in the Red Rooms, which are located on the highest floors of the hotel tower and feature signature sofas shaped like plump, puckered lips. And this being Vegas, after all, there’s more than plenty to do, but visitors can’t go to Paris Las Vegas without taking in all the sites—replicas of the Arc de Triomphe; The Louvre façade; the Paris Opera House; The Hotel de Ville; and the Alexander III Bridge, which offers a bird’s-eye view of the casino slots. After a late evening, recommend a detour to the onsite Spa by Mandara to destress and get ready for the next till-the-morning-hours party. Room rates vary.

the claremont hotel, club & spa In this Berkeley, California, castle-like property, the stunning setting—a hillside perch overlooking San Francisco—is complemented by Old World charm and grace. Rose gardens, views of the Golden Gate Bridge, four-diamond status, and almost 100 years of history—this is the place for those dreamy nuptials with dainty flower girls and a stunning Vera Wang wedding dress. Ask for it and you shall receive is the philosophy behind weddings at the 272-guestroom and 17-suite Claremont Hotel, Club & Spa with an army of onsite wedding coordinators looking out for the tiniest detail. With an array of wedding packages, this vintage property can set up everything—from the most intimate affair to a 300-person extravaganza that can be accommodated in more than 20,000 sq. ft. of flexible space. Wedding packages for a minimum of 50 guests run the gamut from the Traditional Collection ($72.50 per guest) with a 3-course meal and Bayview guestroom, to the Timeless Collection ($149 per guest) with everything from the champagne reception to a signature suite thrown in. Pre- or post-wedding bliss is served up on a silver platter at the 20,000-sq.-ft., 32-room Spa Claremont, which has been hailed by the likes of Elle and Vogue as one of the nation’s top spas. The dining, too, is to die for with the new Meritage restaurant offering delights all hours of the day. Hotel rates fluctuate, but large wedding parties typically get 15-20 percent off rack rates, while for smaller ones it’s usually 10 percent off rack rates.