Weddings at the Hotel Jerome in Aspen, CO

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The newly renovated Hotel Jerome is hip Aspen-chic meets relaxed Colorado comfort.  I had the pleasure of attending a swanky fete there just a few weeks ago and I was certainly wowed by the new design.

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Nestled in the heart of Aspen, within walking distance to anything and everything you could want to do while in town, this boutique hotel boasts 93 swanky rooms and suites with every design detail imaginable.  Think wallpapers you want to rub, cowhide finished furniture and all the modern amenities of a luxury hotel while maintaining its nod to history.  The hotel was actually designed by my friend and the talented interior designer, Todd-Avery Lenahan.  He’s known for creating some of the most beautiful hotel and resort spaces around the world.  And this hotel spared no expense to make this place the fashionable spot to stay!

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The living room and J Bar are two of my favorite spots.  Preserving the rich history of the hotel while modernizing the look, you can see celebs ordering up a cocktail while you relax and unwind after a day on the mountain in a place that looks like this!

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They’ve also got a gorgeous ballroom for those winter weddings (complete with antler chandeliers) and in the summer, the garden terrace is perfect under a tent (be prepared for unexpected weather this time of year).

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The hotel can accommodate weddings of up to 250 and they’ve got a good curfew too (12am)!  The staff (especially Christine) is wonderful to work with when planning your wedding and of course the food is epic – we wouldn’t have expected anything less!

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If you want a chic city wedding in the town of Aspen, Hotel Jerome could be home.

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The Biltmore Estate Asheville, North Carolina

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I recently had the opportunity to speak at THE wedding industry summit – Engage!13: Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina.  Among a myrad of things I love about this event, getting to experience a new luxury property is near the top of that list.  This trip was certainly no exception, did not disappoint, and in fact, exceeded by expectations by miles!  Held at the historic Biltmore Estate (still owned by the Vanderbuilt family today), we had the chance to explore 8,000 acres of unparelled beauty in the Blue Ridge Mountains.  To say this spot is serene is an understatement.  To say it’s glamorous, regal and magical is also an understatement.  The Biltmore is the perfect blend of fantasy meets fauna with beautiful grounds, mountains, trails, and water at every turn.

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A perfect place for a domestic destination wedding, one friend of mine described it as going to Europe without ever having to leave the states (great for your wedding guests!).  The home can be the backdrop to your tented reception, your wedding lawn and ceremony, and of course, tours for your friends and family. The Inn is where you and your loved ones will stay, just a short hike away from the original property.

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When you wake up in the morning, this is what you will look out to.  Yes, it’s true!  Nothing but nature (and surburb service) surrounding you.

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Ideal for a destination wedding, they offer an array of activities to bring your two families together – horseback riding, barns and animals for the kids, rafting down the river, archery, segway tours of the land, wine tasting at their vineyard on property, even beer tasting too for the guys!  Your group will not know what to do first!  (I highly recommend a private walk along one of their many hiking trials too…)

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The Biltmore Estate is such a unique place, it’s one that the web just can’t do justice.  Having worked on weddings here before, I had no idea how truly special it was until I arrived.  Maura and her team welcomed us with open arms and showed us the best that North Carolina has to offer!  I will be back!

All Photos By: Allan Zepeda, Carla Ten Eyck, Jeremie Barlow 

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Tabacon Resort Honeymoons in Costa Rica

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Looking for the perfectly romantic, secluded and luxurious honeymoon?  Then look no further than Costa Rica!  Specifically, a less frequented part of the country called Arenal.  Located at the base of a volcano lies a little gem of a property called Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort.  A 102 hotel room spa retreat, built around natural hot springs to help restore your body from all that wedding work, Tabacon is  sexy and  sophisticated, yet unpretentiously blends into the natural habitat and culture.

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 Here you can wake up with the sounds of the jungle in your large (and I mean large), beautifully appointed room and hit the paths for hiking before you return to take a dip in the hot springs. For dinner, enjoy a private meal for two under an outdoor bungalow with chefs and staff tableside to cater to your every culinary need.  If you’re not quite ready to retire to your room, pay a visit to the steaming waterfalls one more time for a night swim beneath the stars.  During that time, the springs will be empty and oh-so secluded.

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But if lounging around isn’t your style, that’s okay!  Book a trip up the mountain with Sky Track and zip line on Costa Rica’s longest and highest track, which overlooks both the volcano and Lake Arenal.  Want more thrills and chills?  Take a tour of the canopy on the foot bridge if you dare!

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By then, you’ll have earned a little spa time to relax and work out that tension from flying above the jungle shelf.  Enter – the Grand Spa – it’s spectacular!  A highlight of not only the hotel, but the area too; this indoor/outdoor oasis is one you’re guaranteed not to want to leave.  I had the 90 minute hot stone massage in an outdoor bungalow.  Need I say more?  Well, I will.  Set privately behind jungle trees and plants, the bungalows are just steps from the running hot springs water so you hear the sounds of the jungle and water as you fall into a state of total relaxation.  Get the couples’ massage and you can experience it together with a private outdoor Jacuzzi to retire to once your treatment is done.

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Arenal might just be the most special place to see in Costa Rica if you love nature, peace and quiet, and adventure all-in-one.  And Tabacon is the perfect luxury home away from home in Arenal that you’ll likely never want to leave.  Honeymooners enjoy! weddings in costa rica Tabacon Resort Honeymoons in Costa Ricadestination weddings costa rica Tabacon Resort Honeymoons in Costa Ricahoneymoons at tabacon Tabacon Resort Honeymoons in Costa Rica

 ALL PHOTOS BY JOSHUA BOBROVE

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Acqualina Resort and Spa

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Rarely do I arrive at a new destination property and my expectations are way off the mark.  The Sunny Isles (just outside of Miami) resort, Acqualina Resort and Spa, which I had the pleasure of visiting recently was one of those rare moments.  I had hopeful expectations but I had no idea the what delights really awaited us.  Champagne on arrival?  Check.  A full tour of the room amenities (which were vast to say the least)?  Check.  A staff of some of the nicest people I’ve met in my domestic travels?  Check.  What could be better?  The beauty of Acqualina is truly in the details.

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 We arrived in our one bedroom suite, complete with office and computer for any last minute wedding planning work to be done, and a kitchen worthy of any dream kitchen of mine, fully stocked of course.  Then a view that went on for miles.  The rooms were pristine.  Inviting, spacious, and a rain shower I couldn’t get out of.  This is certainly no typical Miami destination, set slightly outside the city, you feel disconnected in the best way possible (but with Bal Harbor Shops just down the way to satisfy your mega shopping fix of course).

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At breakfast, we asked for Ketchup.  It wasn’t simply delivered to the table, they opened the bottle for us and presented it almost as a gift.  Forget your toothbrush?  (We highly recommend it). Your toiletries will arrive on a silver platter immediately to your room as though you had just ordered a bottle of their finest champagne.

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 For me, it’s the little things that make the big difference in selecting a destination wedding location.  Acqualina has them in spades.  You know your guests will be treated with love, warmth, respect, and plenty of pampering to0 – what more could you ask for?!?

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But that’s not really why most people wed here.  The beautiful beach and grass lawns on the edge of the sand provide the perfect backdrop for a Florida wedding with a view that cannot be beat. Choose from three seaside lawns, a vast pool deck and even indoor spaces and a terrace for your destination “I do” and walk along the sand for those perfect sunset photos.

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Destination weddings aren’t just about the wedding day.  At this oasis you can spa on arrival, host your rehearsal dinner at the swanky NY hot spot Il Mulino on property (who have more staff than guests per table for a fabulous French style presentation and service).  Then perhaps venture out for a day of shopping with door to door service in their house car.  There’s even a kids club for your little destination guests to get their fun on too!

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 It’s rare that a property surprises me.  Acqualina not only surprised me but spoiled me.  They’ve set the bar pretty high for any Florida property to welcome your wedding.  Did you know that Florida is the number one domestic destination wedding location?  Now we know why.

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NYC Carlton Hotel Hip New Themed Suites

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We love it when old becomes new again, and the historic Carlton Hotel in New York, NY has just the ticket! They have just unveiled three themed specialty suites paying tribute to the exciting past of both the hotel and the city that has been its home for over 100 years.

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 Designed by W+CO Design Studio, the three suites are a fun homage (we are suckers for a good theme!).  The Broadway Diva Suite brings us back to New York’s Golden Age of Broadway, with a diva-approved massive  dressing room, mirrors, playbills, and sumptuous bedding, all to meet the high demands of a theatrical leading lady.  Because having an old Hollywood wedding isn’t enough, your bridal suite should match!

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The Speakeasy Suite is all about secrets and intrigue.  Designed like a Prohibition Era hideaway, it even has a hidden back room! The dark wood paneling, period photos of flappers and gangsters all give it an authentic 1920′s air.  Vintage wedding anyone?

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And the Terrace Suite is like a breath of fresh air from the metal and concrete of the city.  With organic materials like a grass cloth wall and ginkgo flower images, this suite offers a relaxing escape, complete with a private terrace and a stunning view of the Empire State Building (let’s not forget the romantic overhead string lighting too).

Now you can coordinate your destination wedding theme with your wedding night suite!  You can never go too far…the only difficult decision now will be which suite to stay in first!  For more information, check out The Carlton Hotel.

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