Want the privacy of an exclusive-use property buyout, minus the expensive price tag? Need full-service amenities and on-site catering, but don't want to deal with wedding-factory resorts that lack personalized touches? There's an easy way to get all the above, and then some—by booking a villa or residence at a top U.S. resort.
Renting out just one portion of a hotel allows couples to tap into the resources that come with it—on-site planning services, the ability to customize menus with the executive chef, an extensive list of activities and services to entertain your guests, not to mention late-night room service and daily housekeeping. Whether you're looking to wed in the alpine peaks of the American West, walk down a daisy-filled aisle in upstate New York, or party all night under the bright skies of California, these venues have all the makings of a bespoke destination wedding right here in the U.S.A. Read on to find the perfect one for you.
The Estate House at the Broadmoor, Colorado Springs
The Resort: The Broadmoor is a classic grande dame that sets the standard for luxury in Colorado Springs, a laid-back alternative to glitzy resort towns like Vail and Aspen. 2018 marks the Broadmoor's centennial, though you'd never guess the 784-room resort has been around for that long, owing to frequent updates and expansions, plus meticulous maintenance of its championship golf courses, dual manmade lakes, an Olympic-worthy swimming pool, 10 restaurants, 26 boutiques, and more.
The Venue: The Broadmoor debuted its 12,000-square-foot 1920s-era mansion, the Estate House, late last year. While the resort has extensive outdoor spaces and indoor ballrooms, the Estate House melds historic grandeur with modern-day sophistication: every corner is decked out in opulent finishes (chandeliers, original woodwork, marble baths, oversized fireplaces, and spiral staircases). The five bedrooms are perfect for housing parents or a select few from the bridal party, while the downstairs entertaining areas and Gatsby-esque croquet lawns in the backyard are the perfect settings for cocktail receptions of 120 guests or seated dinners for up to 60 guests, all attended to by the Broadmoor's culinary team.
What Makes It Unique: The Estate House offers a more exclusive locale that's ideal for couples who value privacy or want a more intimate event. Not to mention, it's an indoor-outdoor entertainer's dream—the covered veranda overlooks the manicured gardens and croquet lawns, which can be tented for an alfresco reception.
The Boathouse at the Point Resort, Saranac Lake, New York
The Resort: The epitome of luxury in upstate New York is the Point, a 75-acre private estate—just five hours by car from New York City—surrounded by forest and fronting Saranac Lake. Arriving at this 11-room hideout will feel like you've been dropped off at a throwback summer camp. And that's not without reason—the resort was originally owned by William Avery Rockefeller, who built the resort as a kind of "Great Camp" for his family's private use nearly 100 years ago.
The Venue: The Boathouse is the Point's most exclusive room (guests will request it more than a year in advance). It was previously only available for booking May through October, but now, after extensive renovations to the property, the Boathouse is open all year. So, whether you want a summer reception on the wrap-around deck or a cozy winter party in the great room with a giant fireplace, the Boathouse offers year-round amenities (in addition to panoramic views over Upper Saranac Lake and the mountains beyond).
What Makes It Unique: The Adirondacks are an intimate, unspoiled slice of the Great Outdoors. But the Point isn't a granola summer camp—it combines warm hospitality, privacy, and upscale comforts (like a Relais & Châteaux-designated restaurant) with elegant throwback appeal (Wednesday and Saturday evenings are black-tie attire) for a reception that strikes the perfect balance between rustic and luxurious.
Casa Elar at Ojai Valley Inn & Spa, California
The Resort: Set in a secluded valley to the northwest of Los Angeles, Ojai Valley Inn & Spa has a village vibe: its 308 rooms are spread across multiple buildings—made entirely of white stucco and terra cotta—affording you and your guests the space in which to hang together or chillax solo. Guests can peruse nearby art galleries and shops (expect to find a lot of healing crystals in this New Age town), as well as hit the links on the resort's championship golf course.
The Venue: Make the Tuscan villa-style Casa Elar your wedding basecamp. The four-bedroom, 10,000-square-foot home is filled with luxe amenities—hand-carved limestone fountains, Stark carpeting, a surround sound speaker system, outdoor fireplace, and extensive local art collection. Not only can you host your ceremony and reception in the privacy of the villa itself, but your guests can also hang at the pool by day and have parties in the Library/Entertainment room by night (it's outfitted with a card table, wood-burning fireplace, and built-in bar).
What Makes It Unique: Ojai's laid-back atmosphere lends itself to informal outdoor receptions: plan a barbecue on the villa's terrace and serve pizza made directly in the Mugnaini stone oven. Also, be sure to bank some time for R&R: there's a massage room and hair salon on-site.
The River Camp at Dunton Hot Springs, Cresto Ranch, Colorado
The Resort: If you follow bloggers/entrepreneurs like Hannah Bronfman or Paola Alberdi, then you've probably lusted over their Instagrams from Dunton Hot Springs, an uber-popular destination resort nestled in the San Juan Mountains of the Colorado Rockies. Housed in buildings that once constituted a mining town, Dunton Hot Springs instantly transports you and your guests to a bygone era—an experience that's so luxurious no one will feel the need to leave for outside entertainment or meals (also because the resort is quite remote).
The Venue: Dunton River Camp is an exclusive seasonal hideout within one of the most exclusive mountain wedding venues. Each of the eight luxury tents comes with two mountain bikes to take out on countless trails, or head out on foot and walk along the Dolores River, which flows through the camp. Posting up at the River Camp assures you the amenities of Dunton Hot Springs (a full-service spa, natural hot springs soaking pools, plus catering and event planning) within a more remote section that feels like it was made just for you and your guests.
What Makes It Unique: Remoteness makes guests come closer together, so—provided you like everyone you've invited—the River Camp is ideal for catching up with old friends and getting to know one another's families better. Especially as you toast marshmallows around the campfire and go for an after-party soak in the hot springs.
The Residences at Four Seasons Resort and Residences Jackson Hole, Wyoming
The Resort: Nestled at the base of the Teton Mountains, Jackson Hole is a vision of the American West of yesteryear: it's filled with remote, unspoiled landscapes and snow-capped, high-elevation peaks. There are a number of world-class resorts and mountain wedding venues in Jackson, but the Four Seasons Resort and Residences is the gold standard if you're looking for full-service.
The Venue: With its expansive accommodations and state-of-the-art amenities, the resort's privately-owned Residences (which are part of a rental pool) offer a literal home-away-from-home feeling and a more secluded hangout/meeting point for your guests than the resort proper. Turn your residence of choice into your own ski-in, ski-out hideout by hosting daily brunches as well as a cocktail reception, all catered by the Four Seasons staff.
What Makes It Unique: Jackson Hole has both natural beauty and laid-back, mountain town charms. Add to that the first-rate amenities of a Four Seasons Resort, and you've got the perfect destination wedding venue.