“Weddings remind us that our lives have meaning and that love is the strongest bond, the happiest joy, and the loveliest healing we can ever experience.”
~Daphne Rose Kingma
The idea is that marriages should last forever, and with that thought in mind, the wedding ceremony and the accompanying honeymoon should be as magical and as wonderful as possible. One way to ensure that you create wedding memories to last an entire lifetime is to carefully choose the venue. For those discriminating soon-to-be-newlyweds for whom money is truly no object, there are a number of breathtaking islands that are each a perfect choice for an unforgettable destination wedding.
Top 5 Unique Private Island Wedding Destinations
Calivigny Island, Grenada
Top Rate: US$140,000 per night
For the bride and groom who hope to have a large number of guests, this private island in the Caribbean just may be the perfect hedonistic destination. Up to 50 guests can frolic across 80 acres of tropical land or cavort on any of six different pristine beaches that provide magnificent views of the Caribbean and the Atlantic ocean.
There are three types of residences here on Calivigny Island, with offerings sure to please every taste –
The Beach House has an architectural style that can be traced to Balinese and French Colonial influences, and the rooms are appointed with furniture by Oscar de la Renta and Richard Frinier. Each of the residence’s 10 custom-furnished and decorated suites provide amazing views of both the garden and the ocean. Recreational amenities include a marble terrace, a free-form pool, a gym, a billiards room, and an oversize rotunda for entertaining.
The Overhang House is uniquely and gloriously positioned, with views of the Caribbean Ocean on one side and the Atlantic Ocean on the other. This 2500 square-meter villa offers 9 contemporary suites with interiors enhanced with fine Italian marble and dark Wenge wood throughout. Amenities here include a freshwater swimming pool and an out-of-doors lounge-style bar. The biggest problem faced by guests staying here is that they may never want to leave.
Beach Bungalows are positioned mere steps from the ivory-sanded beach and the crystalline blue of the ocean. Because there are three of these lavish two-bedroom cottages, there are ample accommodations for plenty of loved ones who want to be part of the festivities. Each bungalow is equipped with a generous terrace and a private Jacuzzi that allow occupants to enjoy complete and utter relaxation.
All guests on Calivigny Island will be able to take advantage of an inimitable level of personal service, such as 24-hour chef service, highly-trained attendant staff, and an available premium wine cellar. There are also a number of activities on the island and the water, guaranteed to make the wedding and honeymoon unforgettable – a tennis court, croquet equipment, a fully-stocked game room, an autoplayer Grand Piano, and a portable cinema-quality movie projection system. There can even be a commemorative bonfire and fireworks display created specifically in celebration of your nuptials.
Song Saa, Cambodia
Top Rate: US$37,000 per night
What better place to celebrate your love than these two tiny paired islands in the Gulf of Thailand? In the Khmer tongue, they are known as Koh Ouen and Koh Bong, which charmingly translates to “the Sweethearts” in English. This remote and unspoiled natural paradise offers idyllic oases of rainforests leading to gleaming white beaches and vibrant coral reefs.
Showing deep respect for the environment, the 27 quaint luxury villas have been built using sustainable thatch-and-stone materials in a manner that blends and complements, rather than clashes, with the native surroundings. This spirit of conservation is strikingly evidence by the fact that bedside tables, artwork, and daybeds have been repurposed from cast-off driftwood, while the out-of-doors showers are comprised of tree trunks.
Guests may choose from a generous variety of room styles – hillside jungle villas, beachside villas located right on the sand, and spectacular villas built on stilts and positioned directly over the water. Each villa can boast panoramic, 360-degree sea views, private pools, outdoor showers, and a complement of modern amenities.
Artistic touches include brass accents recycled from old Moroccan lanterns, sumptuous four-poster beds draped in muslin, and one-of-a-kind photographs that were specially commissioned by a local artist to showcase the most photogenic aspects of the surroundings.
The two Sweethearts are ingeniously connected by a footbridge that passes directly over the islands’ marine reserve. Local marine life includes many exotic tropical fish species, seahorses and dugongs not. Unique among destination resorts, Song Saa is also committed to a conservation program, and because of this, guests are able to experience the area’s flora and fauna firsthand.
Island amenities include a yoga and meditation center, infinity edge swimming pool, water sports, including parasailing, kayaking, diving, and snorkeling, and a wellness spa that is actually suspended among the trees within the rainforest.
Tagomago Island, Spain
Top Rate: US$24,763 + per night, US$125,240 per week
This private island off the east coast of Ibiza is a favorite luxury getaway for celebrities and politicians. Although very small in size, measuring only a little over 1500 m long and 113 m wide, Illa de Tagomago makes up for it with breathtaking ocean views and perfectly on-point personal service from the well-trained and attentive staff.The size of the island does give it one distinctive advantage – it is an ideal destination for smaller wedding parties.
For accommodation, the island offers something a bit different – 12 luxury bures. For those unfamiliar with the term, bure is a Fijian word that refers to a wood-and-straw hut or type of cabin. These luxury bures are surprisingly spacious, each over 100 square meters in size and with an open floor plan. They are constructed with Taveuni palm wood and feature floor-to-ceiling windows on all sides that grant the occupants incredible views. Other amenities include a tropically-inspired decor that features floral arrangements using native plants, cool-colored tiles, evocative watercolor paintings, and private outdoor showers.
Besides the bures, there is also a private villa that includes a serving staff, personal chef, and the option of butler service. The villa has five luxury double suites, each with their own in-suite bathroom, as well as a master bedroom that comes with a dressing area and walk-in closet. Also included is a premium sound system, heated floors, a steam bath, a designer kitchen, and a private plunge pool and waterfall.
The usual complement of water sports such as snorkeling and scuba diving are available, but one thing that sets this island apart is the accessibility of a number of “toys”. Guests can avail themselves of a yacht, two boats, and even a helicopter. At only 5 minutes away from Ibiza, you are never very far away from yet another party.
Motu Tane, French Polynesia
Top Rate: US$54,000 per night, US$378,000 per week
This tiny island, whose name means “the Island of Universal Love”, is right across the channel from Bora Bora’s main island, and only rents to one party at a time, making it the ideal destination for guests who value their privacy above all else. Every hue visible to the eye here is unlike any other location on earth – the gleaming whiteness of the sand, the water that seems to almost emit its own azure glow, and the razor-sharp clearness of the night sky all serve as ample evidence of why it has been called the most beautiful island in the world.
Motu Tane can accommodate a maximum of 20 guests at a time, in bungalows and fares, scattered across the beach and gardens. All guest rooms come with King-sized beds, flatscreen televisions, and furnishings made from fine exotic woods. There are two large master suites, each over 22,000 square feet.
Rentals include the services of a private chef who is available to satisfy guests’ every culinary whim, formal or informal, inside or outside, under coconut trees or at a candlelit table. For guests who wish to experience the singular flavor of the South Seas, traditional Tahitian feasts, complete with dance performers, can be arranged.
Water sports are the main activities on Motu Tane, and included in the rental is a 12-meter boat that can be used to explore nearby islands, whale and dolphin watching, fishing, snorkeling, or diving. There is a certified Dive Master on hand to make sure that all snorkelers and divers, beginners to experts, are able to experience the crystal-clear visibility of the local waters.
Kilulu Island Paradise, Kenya
Top Rate: US$20,000 per night
In Swahili, the name Kilulu means “sweet and precious”, and those are exactly the type of memories you will have if you book your wedding party here. Geographically, located only a few convenient kilometers from an international airport, but in reality, worlds away from the ordinary, this aptly-named island paradise offers a substantially different experience than the other island destinations on our list.
Of course, the natural beauty is here, right off of the Kenyan coast in the beautiful Indian Ocean. With the natural tropical gardens and stunning seaside vistas, it is small wonder that locals say that a journey here can easily become a journey of self-discovery.
Likewise, the impressive accommodations are here, with a main villa that has three large suites, a cocktail bar, a generously-sized salon, and a dining room. For outside entertaining, there is a covered terrace a swimming pool terrace, and a guesthouse that also has two double rooms. All of the rooms are decorated with an authentic and elegant Swahili motif. Included in the rental is a full service staff – personal cook, valet, gardeners, housekeepers, security guards, and even a chauffeur.
Where Kilulu differs is in the available activities for guests. All of the requisite water sports are there, such as diving, deep-sea fishing, wind-surfing, sailing, etc., but one should remember that this is Kenya, what many people call the last wild game paradise on the planet. No visit here would really be complete without an actual safari.
Organizing a trip onto the mainland will allow lucky guests to experience the extremely varied habitats of the area – deserts, swamps, lush highlands, and savannas that stretch to the horizons. Here, experienced guides will guide their passengers through a safe and controlled environment while on the lookout for lions, rhinos, cheetahs, hippos, elephants, and all of the other remarkable animals native to the region.