At the core of a destination wedding is transporting the couple and their friends and family to a setting far removed from what they could plan in their hometown…. Think beachside in the Caribbean, colonial charm in Mexico, or Old World enchantment in New York City. In other words, an authentic setting that embraces the “destination”—cookie-cutter ballrooms need not apply. And that’s what’s at the heart of Rosewood Hotels & Resorts, with 18 “unique, luxury properties,” according to Radha Arora, the hotel company’s president, in eight countries. “Rosewood’s guiding philosophy is ‘A Sense of Place,’ meaning each Rosewood property embraces, celebrates and showcases the destination’s location, history, and culture through art, architecture, design and dining,” he says.
Rosewood offers, he goes on to say, “some of the most exquisite and unforgettable wedding celebrations against the backdrops of some of the world’s most inspired destinations. Whether the bride and groom are looking for a sunset ceremony on a private beach, a romantic outdoor ceremony in California’s wine country, or an intimate gathering in one of The Carlyle’s suites with sweeping views of Central Park and Manhattan, the options are endless.”
Even a ceremony with views over a historic pueblo in Mexico isn’t out of the question. Rosewood San Miguel Allende, specializing in intimate weddings for up to 150 guests, can arrange it, or they can frame the “I do’s” within the hotel’s lush gardens, or plan a traditional gathering at the town’s iconic neo-gothic church. At Rosewood Mayakoba in Mexico’s Playa del Carmen, couples can have their first kiss as a married couple on a platform suspended over the ocean; opt for The Plaza venue, offering panoramic views of the resort, lagoons and tropical jungle and accommodating up to 100 guests; or for something more intimate they can have their festivities in La Cava, the wine cellar that can hold up to eight guests.
In the Caribbean at the all-inclusive Jumby Bay, A Rosewood Property, located on a 300-acre private island off the coast of Antigua, couples can tie the knot in a classic white-sand beach ceremony with crystal-clear waters as the backdrop. (Jumby Bay offers a wedding package starting at $3,500 that includes all the details, including personal assistance in obtaining the marriage license.) Meanwhile, in Canada, the Rosewood Hotel Georgia in Vancouver can throw quite a party for 15 to 200 guests in one of the lavish rooftop terrace suites or in its charming garden courtyard. Point is: Your client’s wish is Rosewood’s command.
“All Rosewood weddings are one-of-a-kind, with each detail and personal touch thoughtfully crafted and coordinated. Our wedding specialists understand that couples want their day to be unforgettable and completely their own,” Arora says. “That’s why each Rosewood wedding is completely custom designed—from bouquet, to the catering, the band and even the place cards. No detail is too small.”
To that point, each Rosewood property—from the aforementioned hotels and resorts to Las Ventanas al Paraiso in Los Cabos, Caneel Bay in USVI and CordeValle in San Martin, California—is staffed with an expert wedding and events planner. Each planner, Arora says, has a wealth of experience, but the most important quality they possess is that they know how to expertly zero in on the expectations of the high-end Rosewood guest, who is looking for an authentic, personalized experience. “They work directly with travel agents to ensure that their customers experience nothing short of joy during the entirety of the planning process.” Travel agents should check with each Rosewood property and ask about the commission structure for the custom-designed weddings and guestroom bookings, although travel agents will, of course, receive 10 percent commission on all guestrooms booked.
a rose-filled honeymoon
One of the advantages, says Arora, for couples who host their wedding celebration at select Rosewood properties is the honeymoon getaway that comes with it: 2-night complimentary accommodations, a romantic dinner for two, and a welcome amenity at a resort, or flowers and champagne on arrival and an en-suite breakfast at a hotel. And what can newlyweds expect during their honeymoon? There’s making homemade tortillas during a local organic food-foraging journey in San Miguel de Allende, listening to Judy Collins perform at Cafe Carlyle, engaging with the endangered hawksbill turtle at Jumby Bay, or personal touches such as a fragrance butler. Rosewood also offers Sense, A Rosewood Spa, available at select properties and “embraces Rosewood’s ‘Sense of Place’ philosophy,” points out Arora, “by featuring treatments reflective of each location’s culture and natural environment.”
it’s getting rosier
Rosewood’s expansion is in full swing, states Arora. The hotel debuted the Rosewood Abu Dhabi last month—the brand’s first property in the UAE—will open the Rosewood London this fall in a renovated historic 1914 Edwardian building, and will welcome guests to the Rosewood Beijing later this year. “The brand is expected to double the current portfolio of 18 hotels to 40 hotels,” he says.
Rosewood Hotels & Resorts: (888) ROSEWOOD; rosewoodhotels.com