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The 7 Sexiest Hotel Bathrooms


  • Courtesy of Peter Vitale for Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts

    Planning a quickie escape this Valentine's Day? Nothing says steamy quite like a souped-up hotel bathroom with all the sexy trimmings: Think tubs for two, outdoor showers, and blissful bath amenities. Here, seven sweet retreats where you two can get busy beyond the bedroom.

    Four Seasons Hualalai, Hawaii
    Skip sex on the beach: Most ground-floor rooms at this Big Island beauty, where Megan Fox and Brian Austin Green said "I do," come with super-private outdoor showers made of black lava rock. Pick up oils and lotions mixed with local materials (Kona coffee, macadamia nuts, Hawaiian sea salt) at the spa for an extra-sensual experience. From $625 (low season) and $795 (high season); fourseasons.com.


  • Courtesy of Sammy Todd Dyess for Bardessono

    Bardessono, Napa Valley, California
    You don't have to be a wine lover to fall for a Steam Spa Suite at this Napa newbie. Each palatial pad sports an outdoor shower, a champagne tub (complete with bubbles), and a massage table, should you want to de-stress in total seclusion. From $450 (low season) and $550 (high season); bardessono.com.


  • Courtesy of Hotel Valley Ho

    Hotel Valley Ho, Scottsdale, Arizona
    Get your tiki and cocktail on at Trader Vic's before heading up to your executive suite at this retro-cool midcentury-modern hotel. We flipped over the massive, round tubs—strategically placed next to the bed—and their overhead blue "mood lighting," designed to turn you on when all the other lights are off. From $259 (low season) and $439 (high season); hotelvalleyho.com.


  • Courtesy of Amanresorts

    Amangiri, Canyon Point, Utah
    Every inch of this sleek desert oasis oozes sexy, but we're particularly attracted to each suite's deep baths. Why not check out the dry (and, ahem, deserted) landscape of dunes, mesas, and plateaus while getting wet? Doubles from $850 (low season) and $1,000 (high season); amanresorts.com.


  • Courtesy of The Standard

    The Standard, New York City
    Nothing standard about these digs: Some rooms rock peekaboo showers—perfect for spying on your sweetie—while others flaunt freestanding tubs from which you can admire another hottie (the Big Apple!) from your floor-to-ceiling windows. Doubles from $265 (year-round); standardhotels.com.


  • Courtesy of Morgans Hotel Group

    Mondrian South Beach
    Only in SoBe would your sprawling shower come with a glittering chandelier and an electric blue Marcel Wanders–designed wall mural, worthy of any nightclub. Throw in deluxe Malin+Goetz shampoos and gels, and it's positively a party. Doubles from $195 (low season) and $495 (high season); mondrian-miami.com.


  • Courtesy of Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants

    Hotel Palomar Philadelphia, Philadelphia
    Couple-y love rules in the Palomar's spa rooms: Slip-on your tiger-print robes (meow!), then slip 'em off for a hot soak in your ginormous Fuji tub, which has more jets than a 747. Oh, and go ahead and sneak some of the luxe Etro amenities home with absolutely zero guilt. From $279 (low season) and $499 (high season); kimptonhotels.com.

    —Jacqui Gifford, BRIDES magazine

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5 Royal Honeymoons

One thing's for certain: We know where Prince William and Kate Middleton will be on April 29, 2011. (London's Westminster Abbey, saying "I do," for anyone living under a rug.) But what about their whereabouts on April 30? Ah, honeymoon time: The pair's past vacations have been a mix of glamour and adventure (the Seychelles, Kenya), beach and mountain (Mustique, the French Alps)—so where will they jet for their first married getaway? We've picked five romantic retreats where they're bound to get the royal treatment.


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Photo by Klaus Lorke/Courtesy of Laucala

Laucala Island, Fiji
The newlyweds will have their pick of 25 palatial villas on this uber-exclusive South Pacific isle that was once owned by the Forbes family. Sure, the price tag's hefty at $3,800 per night, but guess what? Everything—and that means spa treatments, unlimited golf if you're feeling game, and a bottle of champagne every hour on the hour by a blue lagoon--is included. And the privacy? Priceless. Doubles from $3,800 (year-round), all-inclusive; laucala.com.


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Courtesy of Virgin Limited Edition

Necker Island, the British Virgin Islands
Will and Kate heart celeb-studded Mustique, but Necker should be their next choice for a Caribbean getaway. This 74-acre slice of paradise belongs to fellow Brit Sir Richard Branson, who rents it out for exclusive use to the rich and famous at $53,000 a day. So what comes with it? A main house, six Balinese-inspired villas, a spa, a staff at the ready, boats aplenty, and golf carts to get around in. And if that's not enough, you can rent out Necker's submarine; neckerisland.virgin.com.

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Courtesy of andBeyond

&Beyond Ngorongoro Crater Lodge, Tanzania
William's proposal spot, Mount Kenya, is pretty tough to top, but we think Kate would also fall for another stunning African setting: Ngorongoro Crater, home to one of the world's highest concentrations of game (think lions, elephants, black rhinos). By day they'd safari; by night they'd retreat to their posh suite at the &Beyond Lodge, with its mix of Victorian and African furnishings (claw-foot tubs, beaded chandeliers). Better yet for the charity-minded couple, proceeds from their stay would help support a local school and wildlife research. Doubles from $1,370 (low season) and $3,000 (high seasons), all-inclusive; andbeyondafrica.com.


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Photo by Genivs Loci/Courtesy of Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge

Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge, Peru
William and Kate love a good romp in the great outdoors (skiing in France, pheasant hunting in the English countryside), so why not get adventurous by hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu? The couple can then bunk up at the luxe Sanctuary Lodge; it's adjacent to the ancient citadel—which means more time in bed before that early-a.m. tour. Doubles from $1,022 (year-round), all-inclusive; sanctuarylodgehotel.com.


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Courtesy of Amanresorts

Amanjena, Marrakech, Morocco
Fashion plate Kate would just say yes to Marrakech, a veritable treasure trove of boutiques offering richly colored sandals, scarves, jewelry—you name it. And naturally, the two would stay at Amanjena, where the SATC2 ladies filmed their flick. Top shops could even cart their wares to Kate at the resort--souvenir-shopping by the pool sounds absolutely fabulous to us. Doubles from $1,050 (year-round); amanresorts.com.


—Jacqui Gifford/BRIDES magazine

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10 Best Wallet-Friendly Resorts


  • Courtesy of Anacaona Boutique Hotel

    Escape the cold winter weather on a Caribbean vacation that won't break the bank.

    ANACAONA, ANGUILLA
    You'll be pampered with luxe touches like cocktails and refreshing towels (nice!), brought to you on one of the isle's finest sugar-white stretches. Doubles from $150 (low season) and $250 (high season); anacaonahotel.com.


  • Courtesy of Nonsuch Bay

    NONSUCH BAY, ANTIGUA
    We fell for the one-bedroom apartments, which have bushels of tropical chic (white-on-wood decor) and to-die-for ocean views. Doubles from $195 (low season) and $300 (high season); nonsuchbayresort.com.


  • Courtesy of Amsterdam Manor Beach Resort

    AMSTERDAM MANOR, ARUBA
    There's a lot to love about this couple-centric resort, like its prime location near Eagle Beach, the kitchenette-equipped studios (grab groceries at the on-site minimart), and the super-friendly service. Doubles from $189 (low season) and $295 (high season); amsterdammanor.com.


  • Photo by John Runnin/Courtesy of A Stone's Throw Away

    A STONE'S THROW AWAY, THE BAHAMAS
    Nassau's homey B&B is—surprise!—a stone's throw from the sea. After sun time, siesta in one of the porch hammocks. Doubles from $175 (low season) and $200 (high season), including breakfast; astonesthrowaway.com.


  • Courtesy of Little Arches Barbados

    LITTLE ARCHES, BARBADOS
    Feast on fresh fish at Café Luna, the hotel's terrace restaurant, before heading to St. Lawrence Gap, a saloon-y strip where locals get their groove on. Doubles from $205 (low season) and $295 (high season); littlearches.com.


  • Courtesy of Natura Cabanas Boutique Hotel & Spa

    NATURA CABANA, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
    This eco-friendly stay near laid-back Cabarete scores points for its spa and thatched-roof bungalows, built sustainably mere steps from swell surf. Doubles from $180 (year-round), including breakfast; naturacabana.com.


  • Courtesy of Rockhouse

    ROCKHOUSE, JAMAICA
    Even at double the rates, Negril's cliff-top hideaway would simply, well, rock. Perfect your tans by the pool, then ladder down to Pristine Cove for snorkeling. Doubles from $125 (low season) and $160 (high season); rockhousehotel.com.


  • Courtesy of Errol Pemberton

    GOLDEN ROCK INN, NEVIS
    You'll discover cozy stone cottages, delish rum punches, and monkeys frolicking in the rainforest at this newly renovated sugar-plantation-turned-inn. Doubles from $200 (low season) and $260 (high season); golden-rock.com.


  • Courtesy of Mago Estate Hotel

    MAGO ESTATE, ST. LUCIA
    Fruit trees cocoon this hillside gem, where you trade direct beach access (it's only a 15-minute walk) for views of the Petit Piton mountain. Doubles from $200 (low season) and $250 (high season), including breakfast; magohotel.com.


  • Courtesy of Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts

    EL CONQUISTADOR, PUERTO RICO
    Quiet isn't for everyone—which is why we're fans of El Con's casino, golf course, and water park. And there are still plenty of intimate spots for two, like the plush booths at the Strip House steak joint. Doubles from $149 (low season) and $259 (high season); waldorfastoria.com.


    —Peter Michaels, Chanize Thorpe, and Elizabeth Woodson, BRIDES magazine

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BRIDES Editor's Wedding Pics



  • This past May, Michael and I got hitched. We wanted a small, intimate wedding outdoors. We picked our favorite American city to visit (San Francisco) and our favorite hotel to stay at (Hotel Vitale). My sister, Kristy, was the officiant and my brother, Mike, was the photographer. I planned most of the wedding from our home in Brooklyn, and on the day of, family pitched in to put together paper pom-poms, do hair and makeup, and sweep up rose petals. Like most weddings we see at BRIDES, ours was a combination of DIY, expert help, and family gumption. Hope you enjoy the photos, and maybe even get inspired!—Joyce Bautista, BRIDES

    I chose the color of my silk Jenny Yoo dress (Capri blue) and then came up with a color scheme that would complement and not overwhelm it. Amy Burke Designs in San Francisco put together four arrangements used to decorate the terrace where we held the ceremony and, later, the tables at dinner. The paper pom-poms were from Party Poms.



  • The throwing of rice after a wedding ceremony symbolizes prosperity for the new husband and wife. Taking luck any way we can get it, we followed suit. The calligraphed gauze bags were by Bell'occhio in San Francisco.


  • My friend Ema talked me off many an emotional precipice back in New York during the wedding planning. Even the day of, she was there, if only in spirit. She put together an emergency kit with everything I might need last-minute.



  • That's me peeking out from the bathroom, waiting for Michael to arrive at the ceremony. My sister did my hair and makeup after a free consultation at Sephora the day before.



  • My bouquet (also by Amy Burke Designs) included some of my favorite flowers and foliage, such as lilies of the valley, kangaroo paw, and dusty millers. Those shoes are my first-ever pair of Christian Louboutin heels, and I continue to wear them all the time—I'm getting my money's worth, baby!



  • The tie is Liberty for Target and features what I think are supposed to be London taxis, but we bought it because they look like VW Beetles—Michael owns a convertible cream one that we both love. The bout was by Amy Burke Designs.



  • Michael and I wrote our own vows. I forgot about half of mine—I was definitely more nervous than I thought I would be. My engagement ring is from the 19th century and was picked out by Michael all on his own from our friend's Brooklyn shop, Erie Basin.



  • We went with plain gold wedding bands. Both are engraved on the inside with our wedding date, and mine reads, "Michael <3 Joyce," while his reads, "Joyce <3 Michael." We are total cheeseballs!



  • The terrace at Hotel Vitale provided a dramatic city background to the ceremony. That was one of my non-negotiables: I wanted to get married outdoors. It turned out to be a typical but lovely cool, windy San Francisco day.



  • In a blip, it was over. My sister became an ordained minister of the Universal Life Church so she could officiate the ceremony.


  • I went pretty nontraditional for most of the wedding details, but I really wanted to wear a birdcage veil. It is such a cute look, and I think it can look costumey any other time.



  • That's the Bay Bridge in the background. I love San Francisco almost as much as I love Michael.



  • The vanilla-and-orange chiffon cake with salted-caramel filling and vanilla-buttercream frosting was made by my brother's friend Kathy Chong, a pastry chef at Town Hall and Salt House in San Francisco. I was inspired to make the ribbon flags by the beautiful food blog Forty-sixth at Grace. The paper banner, which reads "Mr & Mrs Ferrari," was by Bell'occhio.



  • We didn't have a traditional reception (just dinner downstairs at the yummy Italian restaurant in the hotel), but we did want a first dance. After dinner, Michael and I went back up to the suite and danced to Yaz's "Only You" — I know, total cheesefest!

    Photos Courtesy of Michael Bautista

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10 White Hot Wedding Trends


  • Photo by Adrienne Page

    October is the new "it" month for weddings. The weather is cooler, prices for venues begin to dip, and bright fall foliage provides gorgeous photo ops galore. It's estimated that 31,050 couples were married this Sunday, 10/10/10. That's 10 times more than the typical Sunday! In honor of October's rise to fame, the editors of BRIDES offer up the top 10 trends for weddings that will take you from 10/10/10 and beyond.—Jackie Lebowitz, BRIDES magazine

    Engagement
    Chic, fashion shoots aren't just for the pages of magazines anymore. Stylish couples are having fun propping and dressing up for professional engagement photos that incorporate their fashion style, quirky personalities, hobbies, and favorite activities. It's also a great way to try out a photographer to see if you like his shooting style.


  • Photo by Halley Ganges

    Registry
    Canapé or hors d'oeuvre plates are all the rage. Usually used for small bites, they're a great opportunity to register for tabletop that's bold and maybe a little out there (compared to your formal dinnerware). They are great for casual gatherings and cocktail parties.


  • Photo by Amira Mor

    Fitness
    Is your daily appointment with the treadmill making you feel like a hamster? We hear you. A fun—yes, you heard us—way of keeping that wedding-worthy shape without dreading a trip to the gym is to enroll in a belly-dancing or Zumba class. Not only will the instructor keep you focused and motivated, but once you've mastered the moves, you can even practice at home.


  • Photo by Thomas Iannaconne

    Fashion
    From 3-D glasses to 3-D dresses, the more in your face, the better. This year, it's about big dresses that really pop. Our favorite pattern? Giant floral appliqué skirts.


  • Photo by Matt Lever for Redken

    Hair
    You can thank the TV show Mad Men for an increased interest in the structured dresses and polished tresses of '60s style. The hottest hairstyle trend right now is the updo. From the pony and the knot to the twist and the bun, and whether it's structured and formal or loose and flirty, the updo is back!


  • Photo by Condé Nast Digital Studio

    Makeup
    Any makeup artist will tell you that foundation really is the key to a flawless complexion. After that, keep it simple. Layer on bright red lips or a bit of bronzer on top and that's all you need.


  • Photo Courtesy of Kirk Kara

    Jewelry
    For engagement rings, floral designs with colored gemstones are huge right now, as are black diamonds. On the wedding-band front, rose gold, a warm metal that works on all skin tones, is heating up as an alternative to platinum and gold.


  • Photo Courtesy of A Bryan Photo

    Reception
    More brides and grooms are totally obsessed with props and games at their receptions. Whether it's fake mustaches to wear in the photo booth, a bangle bar where guests can choose their own favors to wear, or croquet and horseshoes, it's all about having fun and not being stuffy. A wedding reception is just one huge party, after all!


  • Photo Courtesy of Rosanna

    Dessert
    Cupcakes continue their dessert dominance. Whether they're quarter-size morsels from Baked by Melissa or giant-cupcake cakes from Crumbs that can feed an entire table, they're a fun way to end any meal.


  • Photo Courtesy of Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau

    Travel
    There's one way to make the honeymoon last—take two of them! Short weekend trips close to home to places like Newport, Rhode Island, and Miami (for East Coast dwellers) or Scottsdale, Arizona, and San Francisco (for the West Coasters) is the perfect warm-up or "mini-moon" before the blowout honeymoon.

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The Best Honeymoon Suites With Pools

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Courtesy of Anson Smart

Looking to make a splash on your honeymoon? These rooms are a pool lover's delight!

TIDES RIVIERA MAYA, MEXICO At this part-beach, part-tropical forest resort, every villa's best accessory is the plunge pool, conveniently hidden from public view by the jungle. Doubles from $585 (low season) and $700 (high season); tidesrivieramaya.com.

JADE MOUNTAIN, ST. LUCIA If you never left the room at this honeymooners' fave, we wouldn't blame you. Each open-air suite's "missing" fourth wall has been replaced by a huge infinity pool with to-die-for views of the Pitons. Trust us, you'll take that morning swim. Doubles from $1,250 (low season) and $1,550 (high season); jademountain.com.

ECCA LODGE, SOUTH AFRICA Always keep that camera handy: At this six-suite safari lodge, you can snap photos of impalas and zebras as they cruise by your outdoor lap pool. Doubles from $996 (low season) and $1,870 (high season), all-inclusive; andbeyond.com.

SIX SENSES HIDEAWAY YAO NOI, THAILAND Each villa at this island resort is decked out with a pool and an outdoor living room, which means days go something like this: swimming and sunning in the a.m., then lunch on the couch, followed by a game for two at your chess table. Doubles from $1,197 (low season) and $1,708 (high season), including breakfast; sixsenses.com.

ASTRA SUITES, GREECE At this sugar-cube white compound on Santorini, happy hour means sipping the crisp local vino in your deluxe-pool suite at sunset. Doubles from $476 (low season) and $596 (high season), including breakfast; astrasuites.com.

LA MAMOUNIA, MOROCCO Jennifer Aniston and Gwyneth Paltrow jetted in for this Marrakech hotel's reopening party. We're pretty sure they spent their stay oohing and ahhing over the three riads (traditional Moroccan palaces) and their mosaic-tiled private pools. Doubles from $690 and riads from $9,196 (all seasons); mamounia.com.

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4 Saucy Minibar Items to Make You Blush

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Photos by Jeff Harris/BRIDES


Wondering if your honeymoon will rate high on the sexy scale? If you're thinking of staying at any of these hotels, it's easy to get your groove on with these steamy in-room amenities.

Kiki De Montparnasse's Intimacy Kit ($165) comes with silk ties and a (very) personal vibrator. Find it at the 60 Thompson hotel in New York City.

Foreplay's even more fun with a fortune-telling "love decoder," part of Jimmyjane's Indulgences set ($25). Find it at Sky Hotel in Aspen, Colorado.

Booty Parlor's cheeky Intimacy LoveKit ($26.50) includes Don't Stop massage oil and Add Magic lubricant. Find it at The Nines in Portland, Oregon.

Tiger-print jammies (a cami-and-shorts set) by KN Karen Neuburger ($30) are purr-fect for bed. Find them at 70 Park Avenue Hotel in New York City.

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