Planning your wedding? Bypass the ballroom and consider moving on up — to the penthouse, that is. Booking the most lavish suite or private villa at your hotel of choice is a great alternative for a small wedding, and many properties are offering up their poshest suites and standalone homes for rentals. We’ve rounded up five of our favorites for your big day inspiration.
The Hacienda, Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa, Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.
By the numbers: Envision a laid-back California vibe to your nuptials? Select the 5,000-square-foot Hacienda at Five-Star Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa. The resort itself is fresh from a $30 million facelift. The three-bedroom, adobe-style home boasts a full Viking kitchen, a spacious living area that spills out onto a private patio with a heated pool and whirlpool, and an outdoor dining cabana with a grill, fireplace and oversized table for entertaining.
Best feature: Guests (and the wedding party) feel relaxed and pampered in this spa-like environment surrounded by flowering bougainvillea and hibiscus plants.
Don’t miss: Treat guests to activities such as yoga on the Four-Star spa’s open-air floating yoga pavilion.
Ty Warner Penthouse, Four Seasons Hotel New York
By the numbers: Say “I do” 52 floors (800 feet) above the New York City skyline in one of its most iconic hotel suites, the Ty Warner Penthouse at Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Four Seasons Hotel New York. The 4,300-square-foot penthouse took legendary architects I.M. Pei and Peter Marino $50 million and seven years to create.
Best feature: The one-bedroom, 1.5-bath suite features four glass balconies with north-south and east-west views of central Manhattan. Décor was sourced from around the world, including 18th-century Japanese silk pillows, hand-lacquered walls with mother-of-pearl inlay, Mexican travertine stone in the breakfast room and semi-precious stones in the “Zen Room” waterfall.
Don’t miss: At $45,000 per night, the space comes complete with a 24-hour personal butler, a chauffeured Rolls-Royce, a personal trainer, an art concierge, all-inclusive access to the Four-Star spa and dining venues, and unlimited international telephone calls.
Lazy Lizard Estate, Rosewood Jumby Bay, Antigua
By the numbers: Set on five tropical acres on the already remote private island resort of Rosewood Jumby Bay, the new Lazy Lizard Estate boasts 18,000 square feet of space, six bedrooms, a private tennis court, a fitness center and two golf carts.
Best feature: The home is more like a mini resort than a private villa, with eight pavilions clustered around an expansive swimming pool and floating dining area. Take advantage of the private chef for your wedding night feast, as well as the on-staff housekeeper and butler for any needs that might arise during the trip itself.
Good for: This is the spot for a full wedding weekend of activities, where you want your guests to stay and play with you right on the property. The estate starts at $11,500 in low season; but considering that you can host most of your guests right onsite (and regular rooms at the 42-room resort go for around $1,300), you’re not really losing much.
Presidential Suite, Mandarin Oriental, Washington D.C.
By the numbers: Exchange vows in the nation’s capital by reserving its most luxurious accommodations, the 3,500-square-foot, three-bedroom Presidential Suite at Four-Star Mandarin Oriental, Washington D.C. Done up in a tasteful gray, silver and cream color palette, the suite is intimately suited for small weddings of 20 to 30 guests and comes at a $15,000-per-night rate.
Best feature: Panoramic views of D.C.’s best sights are front and center from the suite’s iconic round windows. Gaze out over the Washington Monument, the National Mall, the Jefferson Memorial and more. Arrange to have your wedding during cherry blossom season, when the area around the Tidal Basin explodes into thousands of lightly scented pale pink blooms.
Don’t miss: Book the next-best suite, the two-bedroom, 1,900-square-foot Jefferson Suite, for your “getting ready” area. The former general manager residence was converted last year into an opulent corner suite and boasts the hotel’s only space with a full kitchen. The water and monument views are almost as impressive as the Presidential Suite and sure to calm any pre-wedding jitters you may have.
Penthouse Suite, Ocean House, Watch Hill, Rhode Island
By the numbers: Take in 360-degree ocean and bay views from the fourth-floor Penthouse Suite at Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Ocean House in Watch Hill, Rhode Island. This 4,000-square-foot, three-bedroom, 3.5-bath suite features two dining areas, two living rooms and a separate den.
Best feature: Dance under the stars in the expansive outdoor deck (another 2,150 square feet!) and glassed-in “three seasons room,” and co-opt the second open-air kitchen as a private bar space for you and your guests.
Good for: We’d book the suite for two nights (roughly $11,000 nightly), taking over the three bedrooms to celebrate your last evening as a miss with a few close girlfriends or family. Then get ready and host your party in the suite on the second night.
Photos Courtesy of Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group LLC and The Five Star Travel Corporation