The three chic villas that make up Villa Aquamare (www.villaaquamare.com), a tucked-away resort on Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands, could have been built with weddings in mind. Each villa is kitted out with a large living room, dining spaces outdoors and in, an infinity pool, plus five guest rooms and suites, some of which come with open-air showers. The tidy beach is equipped with loungers and a huge sunning bed, and there’s a full staff, concierge to cooks, to ensure you have the privacy of a villa with the amenities of a hotel. In all, you can accommodate 36 very special people at the Caribbean compound, and although it’s seen its share of celebs (Calista Flockhart and Harrison Ford were the first guests), summer rates mean you don’t have to be a Hollywood heavy to stay here.
You can make it utterly intimate, with a handful of guests on the beach at sunset, or have a seated dinner for 60 folks (there’s a less expensive hotel just down the beach, to accommodate overflow). It’s easiest to take over all three villas, which gives you three great dining rooms, three great patios, three great living spaces, three poolside lounges–you get the picture. The resort relies on an experienced local wedding coordinator, but they’ve also worked with New York’s Claudia Hanlin, who owns The Wedding Library (she organized the beautiful dinner, pictured here). Marriage requirements in the BVI are more lenient than on many Caribbean islands–you only have to be “residents” for three days, and the license costs $110.
You’ll fly first to San Juan or St. Thomas. From there, most visitors take a puddle-jumper to Tortola (about 35 minutes), and then catch a ferry to Virgin Gorda. The resort will make transfer arrangments.
Keep in Mind
While the concierge is ready and willing to set up anything from a sailboat excursion to swimming with dolphins, this is a boutique property, and you won’t find gift shops, tiki bars, or organized kids’ activities. But if you’re looking for a low-key event in one of the islands’ most sophisticated settings, you’ll be delighted.