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Runaway Bride

Hotels for Eloping
  • Hotel Bel Air

    Hotel Bel Air, Los Angeles

  • Ostraco Suites

    Ostraco Suites, Mykonos

  • One&Only Palmilla Resort

    One&Only Palmilla Resort, Baja Peninsula

  • Ka'ana Boutique Resort

    Ka’ana Boutique Resort, Belize

  • Zhiwa Ling

    Zhiwa Ling, Bhutan

  • Jade Mountain

    Jade Mountain, St. Lucia

  • Milliken Creek Inn & Spa

    Milliken Creek Inn & Spa, Napa

  • Villa Fontelunga

    Villa Fontelunga, Tuscany

  • The Oberoi Amarvilas

    The Oberoi Amarvilas, Agra

  • The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas

    The Cosmopolitan, Las Vegas

December, 2012

A holiday season spent with family can, if your family is anything like ours, serve as a vivid reminder that you might just prefer to get married without any of them around.

We jest, of course. Then again if you’re running off to get hitched in a hurry, or even just looking to protect your nuptials from prying eyes, these hotels — from a tranquil Himalayan retreat with its own Buddhist temple to a super-sized Vegas temple of indulgence — have everything you need.

1.

Hotel Bel Air
Los Angeles, California — The legendary — and legendarily discreet — staff at Hotel Bel Air once set up a seventeen-minute wedding between Ronald Reagan’s daughter Patti and her yoga instructor, just one romantic coup among many at this classic Hollywood hideaway. Whether it’s the white swans paddling about, the rose-colored bungalows or the overflowing gardens and enormous bathtubs, the hotel just seems to invite a tryst.
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2.

Ostraco Suites
Mykonos, Greece — If the traditional sun-washed white-on-white décor of this intimate seaside retreat puts you in a marrying mood, you’re in luck; there’s a pair of wedding chapels, so even if another guest had the same idea, you won’t have to wait to get hitched.
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3.

One&Only Palmilla
Baja Peninsula, Mexico — Set where the Pacific meets the Sea of Cortez at the end of the Baja Peninsula, the Palmilla offers an atmosphere of seclusion that has drawn in a remarkable, era-spanning range of famous guests — from Hemingway to Tom Cruise. Neither, so far as we know, made use of the little whitewashed chapel overlooking the sea, just one of five potential wedding venues.
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4.

Ka’ana Boutique Resort
San Ignacio, Belize — If you’re looking to tie the knot in a dramatic setting, Ka’ana can arrange a wedding ceremony amidst the nearby Mayan ruins. You can even arrive and depart on horseback. And the hotel’s spa employs the services of the area’s last remaining Mayan shaman, should you wish for some spiritual relief along with the bodily.
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5.

Zhiwa Ling
Paro, Bhutan — Tucked into a mountain valley in the tiny faraway kingdom of Bhutan, the Zhiwa Ling makes a more than worthy destination when you’re running off with an inamorata. They’ve even got an in-house Buddhist temple where a local lama can perform a Bhutanese wedding ceremony. The temple is constructed from the timbers of one of the oldest monasteries in the country, and it’s just the right size for a party of two.
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6.

Jade Mountain
Soufrière, St. Lucia — For a hotel whose suites only have three walls — the better for taking in those stunning views of the verdant Pitons rising from the Caribbean — there’s an awful lot of privacy on offer at Jade Mountain. The hotel will even organize a special event for you to surprise your date by popping the question, and if you stay five or more nights, they’ll throw in a free wedding.
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7.

Milliken Creek Inn & Spa
Napa, California — With just twelve rooms, an air of privacy and no kids allowed, Napa’s Milliken Creek Inn makes an easy spur-of-the-moment romantic escape from the Bay Area. Then there are the enormous tubs in the bedrooms, glowing fireplaces, king beds with the cushiest linens and the daily vintner-hosted wine-tasting known as the “Magic Hour.” But it’s the inn’s Elopement package for two — complete with rose-petal turn-down service and a private wedding ceremony in the garden — that sets it over the top.
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8.

Villa Fontelunga
Tuscany, Italy — The tiny chapel at the bottom of the hill of this intimate nine-room guest house is perfect for a storybook wedding, whether or not you’ve got any witnesses. And all the Tuscan accoutrements are right out the door: rolling hills, landscaped gardens and a fresh spread of tempting local meats and cheeses.
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9.

The Oberoi Amarvilas
Agra, India — If the Taj Mahal is, as the cliché goes, the greatest monument to love, then Oberoi Amarvilas is a pretty decent runner-up. Each room features views of the Taj, some from private terraces, some from exquisitely crafted king beds, others from the enormous freestanding bathtubs. And if you decide that privacy isn’t your thing after all, this would make quite the venue for a no-holds-barred Indian wedding.
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10.

The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas
Las Vegas, Nevada — Think of eloping and you quite naturally think of Vegas. At the 3,000-room Cosmopolitan, you and your beloved are treated to decadent suites done in crisp modern décor. For a dose of swoon-worthy kitsch before you head to the drive-thru chapel, just step onto your private balcony and take in those views of the Eiffel(ish) tower up the road, just across the way from a famous Italian(ish) hotel with dancing fountains. What could be more cosmopolitan than that?
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