There are few things more magical than a destination wedding: You’re in a gorgeous location, surrounded by the friends and relatives who love you most and celebrating what is bound to be the most memorable, romantic, love-filled occasion of your life. It doesn’t get much better than that—unless you have the place all to yourselves!
Boutique hotels and resorts—small properties with just enough space to accommodate your crew—offer a level of privacy and exclusivity that makes your destination affair feel all the more special. Without the crowds and distractions, your union is front and center, which means you have the undivided attention of both your guests and the staff and the freedom to celebrate without interruption.
The six properties highlighted here span our corner of the globe from California to Charleston, South Carolina, and down to the Caribbean, and each one is the perfect size for a buyout. Take a peek below to see which property fits the style and size of your party best.
Situated on a cozy corner in the downtown historic district of Charleston, South Carolina, The Spectator Hotel takes you back in time to an era of elegance, opulence, and 1920s glamour. Both the posh decor (gilded elevators, velvet upholstery, white marble bathrooms) and the impeccable service—each guest is assigned their own personal butler!—make this 41-room hotel worthy of your once-in-a-lifetime celebration. Once the partying winds down, we suggest you grab your spouse and sneak a seat at the hotel’s speakeasy-inspired bar, where cocktail connoisseur Allen Lancaster will whip you up a tasty sip.
Hotel Esencia, a chic stay smack-dab between Playa del Carmen and Tulum, has already received one very stylish stamp of approval: Fashion designer Jason Wu and longtime love Gustavo Rangel hosted their star-studded wedding there last year. In its former life the hotel was the private summer residence of a wealthy Italian duchess; with its 29 well-appointed suites and miles-long stretch of secluded beach, the property still feels incredibly homey. In between your wedding festivities, you and your guests can indulge in organic spa treatments, made-to-order refreshments from the on-site juice bar, and tons of adventurous water activities.
There are plenty of reasons why The Caves, a cliffside all-inclusive in Negril, Jamaica, is continually dubbed one of the most romantic resorts in the Caribbean: luxury treatments at the Aveda Amenity Spa, candlelit dinners inside actual caves, and late-night dips in a private hot tub are just a few of the perks at this adults-only retreat. You and your guests will settle into 13 cozy accommodations (a dozen cottages plus one grand villa), each with a bright color scheme and idyllic view of the Caribbean. When you’re not kayaking along the coast or learning how to cliff dive, stop into the resort’s restaurants for a taste of the freshest seafood on the island.
The Mansion at Casa Madrona
Nestled on a picturesque hillside overlooking the bay in Sausalito, California, Casa Madrona Hotel & Spa is quite a lovely place to get hitched. The historic property (it was built in 1885) underwent a massive makeover a few years back—but it’s the hotel’s adjoining 11-room private residence, The Mansion, that really has our attention. The three-story home is awash in a nautical palette of blue, gray, and beige, and features all of the luxury amenities you could ask for—a deluxe chef’s kitchen, fitness center, outdoor bar and barbecue area. The Mansion sleeps up to 24 people, making it a wonderful choice for intimate weddings or an option for you and your bridal party while your other guests book rooms in the main hotel.
If a sun-drenched affair alongside the crystal-clear waters of The Bahamas sounds like your kind of wedding celebration, Kamalame Cay, a family-run private island resort off the Andros Great Barrier Reef, certainly fits the bill. You’ll feel right at home in the resort’s charming rooms and suites; there are 27 of them sprinkled across 96 tropical acres, so there’s plenty of space to spread out. (In fact, you’ll have your own personal golf cart to make cruising around the island a breeze.) After you say “I do,” take advantage of the many activities the resort has to offer: snorkeling, yoga sessions, fishing excursions, restorative treatments in their over-the-water spa, and so much more.
Royal Davui Island Resort
Seclusion is the key word at the adults-only Royal Davui Island Resort, a dreamy hideaway located on its own private island off the southern coast of Fiji. The remote property is only accessible by helicopter or boat, so a buyout here means it’s just you, your guests, and the serene blue waters of the Beqa Lagoon for as far as the eye can see. During your stay, you’ll settle into one of the 16 treehouse-like villas (each with its own sun deck and heated plunge pool) and dine on fresh seafood at the resort’s open-air restaurant, which was built around a 150-year-old Banyan tree.