Five Best: Hotels With Chapels
From Mexican heat to Greek chic, say 'I do' in style.
Saturday 11 February 2006
Four Seasons Jimbaran Bay, Bali
The Four Seasons is located in the hills of Bali's southern tip. Pavilions with pools and ocean views provide accommodation across exotic terraces. You can get married in the Cempaka Sari Chapel, with its airy design and lofty ceiling. White petals are strewn, and there is a stunning vista of the blue ocean across the gardens. Extras include Royal Balinese costumes, bamboo orchestra, - and even a Village Balian, a rain stopper, recommended during the rainy season.
Four Seasons, Jimbaran Bay, Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia (00 800 6488 6488; www.fourseasons.com/jimbaranbay). Doubles start at $732 (£413), including breakfast.
With just six guest rooms and an idyllic countryside setting, Read's Georgian manor house is the perfect venue for an intimate wedding. The bride sweeps down the main staircase before passing through panelled doors into the flower-filled aisle of the Searle Room. The Victorian chapel-style space is light and airy, with vaulted ceilings, wooden floors and seating for up to 60. And as the hotel is a self-styled "restaurant with rooms", the meal will also be a highlight.
Read's, Macknade Manor, Canterbury Road, Faversham, Kent (01795 535344; www.reads.com). Doubles start at £155 with breakfast.
Hacienda San Jose, Mexico
The warm, pomegranate-red walls of the Hacienda San Jose are striking against the lush, green gardens and perenially blue skies. The hacienda, south-east of Merida on the Yucatan Peninsula, was once the estate of a sisal baron. Today, its 15 rooms - many with private plunge pools, four-poster beds and high ceilings - surround a verdant garden courtyard. Attached to the property is the original dusky, pink chapel. Inside the chapel, clusters of candles cast shadows across its deep blue washed walls, wooden pews and 18th-century murals. As well as more conventional unions, a symbolic Mayan wedding ceremony is offered, complete with traditional outfits, a children's choir, guitars and folkloric ballet.
Hacienda San Jose, KM 30 Carretera, Tixkokob-Tekanto, Tixkokob, Yucatan, Mexico (00 52 999 910 4617; www.haciendasmexico.com). Doubles start at $458 (£254), room only.
Masseria Torre Coccaro Italy
Masseria Torre Coccaro hides among Puglia's olive trees. The sea can be seen from the spy windows in the watchtowers of the 16th-century hotel, which has 33 rooms, some with private gardens. An array of delicacies such as Parma ham and mozzarella are produced on site. Well-fed guests can stroll through the orchard, go to cookery classes, visit the Aveda spa - or exchange vows. The courtyard holds a small chapel with a postcard-perfect red and white façade. Heavy wooden doors give way to a cool and tranquil - if somewhat cosy - interior, with seating for up to 15 people.
Masseria Torre Coccaro, C. da Coccaro 8, Savelletri di Fasano, Puglia, Italy (00 39 080 482 9310; www.masseriatorrecoccaro.com). Doubles start at €242 (£165), including breakfast.
Mykonos Theoxenia Hotel, Greece
The Theoxenia, a minimalist 1960s creation designed by Greek architect Aris Konstantinides, has long been one of the hippest retreats in the Cyclades. Recent retro-chic facelift and all - Sixties prints, hanging chairs, Pop Art - it has been declared a national monument. St Charalambos, its white-walled chapel, overlooks the Aegean. Nuptials are celebrated on the waterfront terrace with the infamous nightlife close by.
Mykonos Theoxenia Hotel, Mykonos, Greece (reservations via Design Hotels: 00 800 3746 8357; www.mykonostheoxenia.com). Closes annually for winter, opens April. Doubles start at €140 (£95), including breakfast.
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