Luxury Hotels


Get hitched, in a more-than-memorable way. At LE MERIDIEN MAURICE, in the northwest part of Mauritius, there’s a Joseph’s coat triumphal approach, above, to the boardwalk leading out to an ideal over-water spot.  Two years after CONRAD BALI opened in 2004 its owner, Tatang Hermawan, added a see-through wedding chapel that was basically two gigantic sheets of glass set together as if a tent but one sheet rose higher than the other: the whole is reached by 12 marble steps set into lush grass.

There is oodles of grass covering the rolling meadowland immediately around HECKFIELD PLACE, 30 minutes’ drive west of Heathrow. Girlahead went to a wedding in an impromptu outdoor chapel there: white chairs set among tall green grass, a female string quartet in black, unbroken blue sky above, memorable.

And then there are chapels that have existed forever, say at BURGENSTOCK, high over Lucerne, and, in Cusco, at Belmond’s gorgeous MONASTERIO.

What about wedding pop-ups? Commissioned by Lord Jacob Rothschild, Waddesdon Manor, Bucks, has unveiled a wedding cake, or rather a 36-foot three-tiered cake-shaped tiled folly large enough to hold nuptials and a bijou group of family and friends. Cake designer is Portuguese maestro Joana Vasconcelos, the first woman to open the Venice Biennale in 2005, with The Bride, a white chandelier, formed of 25,000 tampons.

For possibly the best choice of serious wedding venues, head for Japan, where the presence of a chapel is as de rigueur as running water.  At GRAND HYATT TOKYO, there is a 16-metre high, 100-seat Grand Chapel, its golden wood walls soaring up to a peak. There’s also a 100-seat Shinto Shrine, and the two share an endless emporium of beauty parlours, hairdressers, kimono-dressers and photographers. All in a day’s work.