To celebrate the one-year anniversary of marriage equality and this season of Pride, we set out to explore some awesome wedding and honeymoon destinations in Hawaii, Mexico and Costa Rica, places served by our friends at Alaska Airlines.
Your Costa Rica Wedding
Costa Rica is Alaska Airline’s newest international destination. The airline offers flights via LAX to and from the Daniel Oduber Quiros International Airport (LIR) in Liberia on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays and to and from San Jose (SJO) on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturday.
Andaz Peninsula Papagayo, Costa Rica, is breathtaking, features a variety of packages for celebrating the big day, and is roughly twenty miles from the Liberia International Airport.
Stay on property and live it up with your posse at friendly Chao Pecado Bar: a fun place to listen to the sound of the waves, dance to the beat of a live Latin band, and sip on special cocktails or local craft beers.
Ostra restaurant in Guanacaste focuses on fresh Costa Rican seafood and the flavors of the country. Three live culinary stations allow you to enjoy a carefully prepared welcome cocktail and go to town on the chef’s specially prepared ceviche.
Brunch is ready at the quaint open-air Rio Bhongo restaurant. This is the go-to place or smoothies with fresh tropical fruit, house baked pastries, eggs, gallo pinto, baked plantain, and a variety of “Latin Market” options or more of the traditional continental breakfast options. For dinner look no further than Chao Pescao where you can get into the fun and enjoy a little surf, turf, empanadas, arepas, or a variety of light bites.
With the picturesque Bay of Culebra looming just beyond the property there are plenty of water-inspired activities for you and your guests to explore near the Andaz. Guanacaste has 635 miles of coastline and sun seekers can get into the fun at their Prieta Beach Club, go for a sail, ride the waves, or just relax on the beach. Nearby the Arenal Volcano National Park is a great spot to explore the aftermath of the 1968 eruption and spot tropical birds sloths, and colorful flowers and plants. Laguna del Arenal, Costa Rica’s largest inland body of water is a big draw for the wildlife. Additional destinations just a short distance away include the Palo Verde National Park, Rincon de la Vieja National Park, and the Monteverde cloud forest. For a mix of adventure with your sight seeing go for canopy zip lining, white water rafting, rock climbing on the Blanco River, or catch an epic view from above by going up the high-tech tram in the Monteverde forest.
Your Puerto Vallarta Wedding
Alaska Airlines offers non-stop flights to the Puerto Vallarta International Airport (PVR) with up to 34 peak season weekly flights from San Francisco, Los Angeles, John Wayne/Orange County, San Diego, and seasonal flights from Seattle & Portland.
If you plan on renting out a villa for your near and dearest Villa Savana is a fabulous option. The 18,000 square foot, 15 suite villa is nestled into a lush, tropical jungle hillside overlooking the Bay of Banderas and Old Puerto Vallarta. Villa Savana can accommodate 5 to 38 guests and features a heated pool and jacuzzi, four wet bars, spa and salon services, a media lounge, and comes with a gourmet personal chef to cook and prepare meals and snacks for your guests. It is roughly seven miles from the Gustavo Diaz Ordaz International Airport.
The CasaMagna Marriott, tucked between the Sierra Madre Mountains and Banderas Bay, is the perfect location for a destination wedding just around the bay from the bustling Old Puerto Vallarta. The resort is just 1.4 miles from the Gustavo Diaz Ordaz International Airport in Puerto Vallarta, about ten minutes away.
There is no shortage of bars and nightclubs in Old PV. The upstairs loft at Blondies offers classic cocktails, selections from their Slushbar and a great view of the surrounding gayborhood. If you’re in the mood for something a little more wild, fall into Wet Dreams, with go-go dancers, a sizzling shower behind the bar, and plenty of eye candy. Get those pesos ready!
Mantamar Beach Club reaches down to Los Muertos Beach, the city’s favorite playground. Get into the groove of the house DJ’s beats and dive into the Light & Sound Infinity Pool or heated jacuzzi. Coordinate your reception with Mantamar – the sunsets are spectacular, the ultimate selfie backdrop.
Grab brunch at Sapphire Ocean Club without missing the surf. This exceptional ocean front dining spot will fuel you with a bit of the Mediterranean on the Bay of Banderas. There’s no shortage of dinner options in Puerto Vallarta. El Arrayan, a lesbian-owned hot spot, is a scrumptious traditional Mexican restaurant located in El Centro and a great location for a rehearsal dinner or a culinary spot for those seeking something completely authentic. Barcelona Tapas, situated in the hills, offers sweeping views the Bay and all of Puerto Vallarta. The elegance of Cafe des Artistes blows fish right out of the water. Chef Thierry Blouet sets the standard for gastronomy in Jalisco.
Bay of Banderas is the true star of Puerto Vallarta. Statues and places of interest are peppered across the Malecon (Boardwalk) with Rafael Zamarripa Castañeda’s “The Boy on the Seahorse” as one of the main focal points. The sculpture in town is a replica of the sculpture situated on Los Muertos Beach. For a bit of tradition, get pictures with Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish in the background. If you have a bit of time, take a boat into the Bay of Banderas with a bottle of champagne.
Your Palm Springs Wedding
Ritz Carleton Rancho Mirage
Parker Palm Springs
Alaska Airlines offers non-stop flights from San Francisco, Seattle, and seasonal flights from Portland to Palm Springs International Airport (PSP), located about two miles east of downtown Palm Springs.
Desert longing blends with romance in Palm Springs, and there are plenty of incredible backdrops to say “I do” in front of in this friendly hot spot. Weddings at the Parker Palm Springs can range from intimate celebrations to killer bashes but they’re bound to be decadent. The property has served as Gene Autry’s Melody Ranch and Merv Griffin’s Givenchy Resort and Spa. Today Parker Palm Springs unfolds on thirteen acres of carefully landscaped gardens surrounded by the desert and mountains.
Nearby, The Ritz-Carlton, Rancho Mirage offers 15,000 square feet of cliff-side outdoor space and just under 16,000 square feet of banquet space to lay the foundation for the wedding of all weddings. Tucked away in the Santa Rosa Mountain range, this luxury resort overlooks the picturesque Coachella Valley and embodies the desert’s surroundings.
Hunters Palm Springs is the place to hit the night before you tie the knot. Dance, greet, and live it up with a fun crowd at this stylish club.
Studio One 11 in Cathedral City embodies swanky.
Cheeky’s is hands down the best spot for brunch in Palm Springs. There’s a lot of love that goes into everything served at this often crowded yet always incredible farm-to-table option for breakfast or brunch. Mister Parker’s, with its instagrammable artwork and gentleman’s club vibe dishes up fab bistro food that rivals the best. Miro’s Palm Springs, run by the Terzic family, is a delicious and fun Mediterranean and Central European option for a relaxed yet upscale rehearsal dinner.
Joshua Tree National park is located just about an hour from Palm Springs, but there are a variety of picturesque locations closer to town. The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, San Jacinto Mountain’s hiking paths and peeks, and the Indian Canyons are all great options to enjoy the countryside. Coachella Valley Preserve is an amazing spot to go hit, even off-season. Just be sure to lather on the SPF. There is not a cloud in the sky.
Your Hawaii Wedding
Four Seasons Resort Oahu at Ko Olina
Alaska offers 152 flights each week from Anchorage, Bellingham/Vancouver, Seattle, Portland, Oakland, San Jose, San Diego, Sacramento, and San Diego to Honolulu, Kauai, Kona, and Maui. Passengers to the islands receive Hawaiian inspired meals curated by Seattle restauranteur Tom Douglas and complimentary Mai Tai on arrival.
Whether couples want to get married on the beach, in a chapel, or in a tropical garden enclave, Four Seasons Oahu at Ko Olina allows the choice. Couples and their besties enjoy the secluded waterfront location, catering, and restful spa. Four Seasons Oahu is roughly twenty miles from the Honolulu International Airport.
Great for weddings and honeymoons alike, gorgeous Kahala Hotel is about 12 miles from the Honolulu International Airport.
Hula’s Bar & Lei Stand is the perfect place for a true Hawaiian bachelor party. Sip your mai-tai, tip the go-go boys (while you still can), and soak up some of the best Hawaiian views.
If you’re looking for top-notch drag performances head over to Fusion Waikiki, where the party doesn’t stop till 4AM. Dance the night away at one of Hawaii’s oldest gay bars, open since 1989.
Orchids, one of the best brunch spots in Oahu, is located in the Halekulani Hotel. This casually elegant oceanfront restaurant is filled with orchids and good company. For dinner, Alan Wong’s is the best of the best. The food is as beautiful as it is tasty.
Wakiki Beach, on Honolulu’s southern shore, was once a playground for Hawaiian royalty, and now as democratic as they come. The nearby Iolani Palace is the only royal palace in America and served as the official residence for the Hawaiian Kingdom’s last two monarchs until 1893. Oahu’s North Shore is a sprawling surf mecca. Beside the Four Seasons is a ten-acre oceanfront nature preserve, Lanikuhonua.