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We were headed to a Palm Beach wedding (local for us) and wanted to stay the night with the wedding party and out-of-town guests. The hotel of choice for the guests was The Omphoy Ocean Resort. We were excited to spend the night at The Omphoy having last been to the property when it was the Palm Beach Hilton, built in the early 1980's. The hotel re-opened as the Omphoy in September 2009.
Were we disappointed with the 134-room oceanfront hotel? Well, mostly no but we spent a little too much time feeling like we worked there. Read on to find out why.
VIP Hotel Reviews / VIP Hotel Reviewer Series / Jen Leo / Viva Vegas / Downtown Vegas Hotels / Hotel Pools / Sweet Suites / Hotel Wedding Crashers / → All Tags
We now present you with our VIP Hotel Reviewer Series in which we hand-pick experts in the travel and media worlds and beyond to tell us what are their favorite hotels and why. Once a week, we'll feature a hotel review from said VIPs about their favorite leisure or business hotels. Pay attention: These VIPs are experts at what they do and they don't mess around when it comes to their hotels.
After a brief sabbatical, our VIP series returns again with Jen Leo, the keynote blogger of the LA Times Daily Deal and Travel Blog and former HotelChatter contributor. Jen is one of the savviest people we know in the travel writing industry so when she mentioned that she booked the spa suites at the Golden Nugget for her wedding, we were intrigued. Here she tells us all the juicy details. About the hotel, of course. Not the wedding night. Enjoy.
One of my most memorable hotel experiences was the suite that I got for my wedding night. It wasn't memorable for the reasons you're quick to assume. This was in Vegas, and Vegas is known for some pretty amazing suites and party palaces. But would you expect anything grand downtown?
Since I met my husband at a poker tournament in Las Vegas - we thought it'd be fun to get married on 7-7-07 in Vegas. I didn't want to do the drive-thru or cheapo turnstile weddings that Vegas is famous for, so we centered our destination wedding, and a full weekend of festivities, around the Golden Nugget.
Hotel Wedding Crashers / Hotel Weddings / Celebrity Scoop / One and Only Resorts / Eli Manning / Hotel News / → All Tags
Giants quarterback Eli Manning finally got hitched to his longtime girlfriend Abby McGrew over the weekend at the celebrity fave resort, the One & Only Palmilla resort in Mexico. The Daily News reports:
Manning, 27, and McGrew, 24, exchanged vows while standing on a platform in the sand as waves crashed over rocks behind them....
Guests were ferried to the beach in golf carts and were served white wine, Veuve Cliquot champagne and sparkling water by white tuxedoed waiters as they filed into white folding chairs decorated with gold ribbons.
Although it sounds expensive, some guests estimated the whole shebang only cost around $500,000 which is a lot of money in normal-people-land but not for celebs. See? Even celebrities save money in Mexico.
The newlyweds made good use of their stay at the resort aside from getting married there. Eli hit the gym the morning of the wedding and partied in the pool up until two hours before the ceremony. The couple held their rehearsal dinner in the resort's old Spanish Mission Chapel and plan on honeymooning there for the rest of the week.
Send all fan mail to Eli courtesy of the One&Only Palmilla!
[Photo: Us Weekly]
We're getting the hang of green travel, and even green honeymoons, so where does our attention turn now: of course, it's green weddings. And just as we started to think about it, the Seaport Hotel in Boston has put out a Green Wedding package to make sure that tying the knot can be done in an environmentally sensitive way.
The Seaport boasts that you can show your commitment to your partner as well as your commitment to the environment if you take up their package. The menu will focus on local and organic ingredients, and your wedding cake will be organic too. Oh, and the menu itself will be edible, written on chocolate! Decorations will take the form of soy-based votive candles, potted plants, orchids and silk trees.
Very importantly, all leftovers will be recycled using the Seaport's "BioX Decomposing System", which certainly sounds impressive (it uses micro-organisms to crunch things up nicely). And finally, the package will include a contribution to offset your carbon emissions from electricity used during your wedding, paid to the New England Wind Fund.
Of course, the Seaport would also expect you to stay the night, and since their interest in being green extends to their main accommodation too, it keeps your green wedding theme going. Plus they have complimentary WiFi if you feel the need to hop online after the stress of the wedding is over.
After lots of rumors about a Christmastime wedding, Grey's Anatomy star Katherine Heigl got married to musician Josh Kelley at the Stein Eriksen Lodge in Deer Valley, Utah on Dec. 23, according to Us Weekly.
The 30-minute sunset ceremony, which ended shortly after 5 p.m., took place under a giant white tent in front of more than 100 guests, including Grey's costars Sandra Oh, Kate Walsh and Knight.
The heated wedding tent, dramatically lit by blue-and-purple lighting and decorated in large white drapes, was filled with silver chairs covered with white cushions on a white carpet. The couple wed on an altar flanked by brass candleholders.
We hope that Katherine and Josh were able to wrangle special rates at the Lodge for their guests in case they wanted to stay overnight. Peak season rates (now through April) at the hotel start at $805 for a deluxe bedrooms. Since Katherine now makes about $6million per film, in addition to her TV salary, that shouldn't be too hard for her to cough up.
[Photo: Us Weekly]
Sometimes billionaire nerds are the worst hotel wedding crashers. This Saturday, Google co-founder Larry Page will tie the know with his fiancee on Necker Island, the private Caribbean island owned by Virgin's Richard Branson.
Necker Island is pretty extravagant place that can house 26 of your closest friends. But Page obviously has more than 26 "friends" so he has rented the nearby island of Virgin Gorda for his wedding guests, including the entire Little Dix Bay Resort:
No one except Page's guests is staying at Little Dix Bay resort on Virgin Gorda "so that Page's wedding could be completely private," said an insider. "They rented all of Virgin Gorda. They took over the island."
The source also said "boats and ferries for hundreds of guests were ordered to ship them from Little Dix Bay to the ceremony."
Page is also flying guests in from all over the world on private planes. Expected to be in attendance are Bono, and other millionaires and billionaires.
· Google Wedding Seizes Island [Page Six]
Much like the promotion over at the Hotel Nikko, the Westin St. Francis in San Francisco is looking for a couple who may have met under the hotel's historic Great Magneta Grandfather Clock which turns 100 this year.
Over the past century, the refrain "meet me under the clock" has become a cherished rallying cry for generations of guests and San Franciscans alike, and the clock has served as the official gathering place for families, friends, lovers and international adventurers.
The Viennese clock was originally built in 1856 and was officially dedicated to the hotel on November 30, 1907.
To commemorate this anniversary, the hotel wants to find a married couple who met under the clock. We're guessing those that met there by chance or on a date are the ones the hotel is looking for.
Couples can submit an essay (no more than 350 words) and a photo of themselves to the hotel by October 31st. A winning couple will be selected by the hotel on Nov. 5 and will be awarded with a public vow renewal ceremony under the clock on Nov. 15 with a reception in a suite with champagne, gourmet hors d'oeuvres, "clocktails" and a wedding cake created by Executive Pastry Chef Jean-Françios Houdré.
Also, the couple gets a three-night stay in the honeymoon suite courtesy of the hotel, airfare to San Fran (if needed), spa treatments for two, and breakfast and dinner for two in the historic Oak Room. To enter visit the Meet Me at the Clock website.
Meanwhile we hear that the Hotel Nikko's contest has been extended to anyone who has ever married or honeymooned at the hotel during its 20 years in business.
· Hotel Nikko Looking for Still-Married Couples From the 80s [HotelChatter]
According to several junketeers, Foxx had his bodyguard commandeer the elevator. "He told guests of the hotel and journalists to leave the elevator," our spy said. "Then, at every floor where the elevator stopped, the bodyguard would stand with his arm stretched out and say, 'You can't enter' to anyone who tried to get on. A lot of us were like, 'Who does Jamie think he is?'
Jamie's rep countered by saying that four to five people were bum-rushing the elevators to speak with him. Whatever. Jamie we remember what you used to look like when you were on In Living Color so there.
Meanwhile, Kate Walsh did indeed get married at the Ojai Valley Inn and Spa which we reported a few back (well, thanks to the Nat'l Enquirer of course.) But anyone who was at the hotel but not part of her wedding, didn't have a good stay. The Gatecrasher reports that thanks to the triple-digit heat over the weekend, the hotel's power blew out. In fact, one guest told the gossip column that 25 percent of the town was without power. But that didn't stop the Walsh wedding:
Adds the guest: "We found out later that the hotel used their emergency generator on the Walsh wedding, and that kept power out for the rest of the hotel, including another, noncelebrity wedding."
A spokeswoman for the hotel said power was restored to the entire hotel at the same time.
Welcome to California, folks.
· Hotel Wedding Crashers: Kate Walsh Chooses Ojai Valley Inn for Labor Day Wedding [HotelChatter]
· Jamie Foxx blows stuff up in Arizona [Jaunted]
· HotelChatter Hollywood Star Map [HotelChatter]
Yes, the Hotel Nikko in San Francisco is looking for still-married couples from the 80s but there is a catch. As a way to celebrate its 20th anniversary, the hotel is looking for couples that either got married, held their reception or honeymooned at the hotel 20 years ago (Oct. 1987-1988) during its first year open. Essentially, it's a way to celebrate the hotel's anniversary as well as the couple's.
The couple wins airfare for two, six nights in the honeymoon suite, breakfast everyday at the hotel, dinner at ANZU (the hotel's fantastic Japanese fusion restaurant) and champagne.
Couples who celebrated the newlywed bliss at the hotel from October 1, 1987 to September 30, 1988 must enter the contest no later than 5pm on September 25th. (All the rules can be found here.)
Or so says the National Enquirer. Yet we have reason to believe this tabloid as of late. They were sooo spot-on about Usher's mama drama over his planned wedding the other week.
Anyways, according to NE, Kate Walsh of Grey's Anatomy has picked the Ojai Valley Inn & Spa as the setting for her nuptials to Alex Young over Labor Day Weekend. Kate and her betrothed have already paid $10,000 to reserver the inn's "exclusive" Casa Elar.
The couple is expecting 110 guests who'll arrive at the inn Aug. 30 the Thursday before the wedding. They'll have a spectacular view of the flower-covered hillsides surrounding the Ojai Valley and a enjoy a dinner reception that night.
As for the actual ceremony, that will take place on Saturday in a grassy courtyard surrounding Casa Elar. Kate will wear Vera Wang and her hubby-to-be will be decked in formal attire. A sit-down dinner will be served with a choice of Kobe beef, chicken, salmon kebabs or a vegetarian plate.
Wow, NE doesn't miss a single detail. We feel sick for just reposting this information, we can't imagine having to grill some poor hotel employee about what kind of food the guests will be eating. Yet we fully expect a report from inside the honeymoon suite.
Sorry ladies, Yao Ming is off the market. The 7'6" NBA baller got married to a female basketball player, Ye Li, (who stands at about 6'2") at the Pudong Shangri-La Hotel in Shanghai over the weekend.
Dozens of security guards patrolled the hotel, across the river from the colonial-era buildings of Shanghai's historic Bund, to keep a scrum of Chinese and international media at bay.
The ceremony lasted about three hours long (!!) and was attended by 70 family members, the couple said in a statement.
All we have to say is they are going to have some tall kids.
· Yao Ming weds basketball beauty [Reuters]
Our summer of attending other people's weddings continues with this story from The Carneros Inn in Napa Valley.
The Carneros is a beautiful resort, situated on 27 acres of "grape vines, unspoiled farmland, and scenic apple orchards." Even better, the resort has 86 quaint little cottages that serve as guest accommodations complete with wood-burning fireplaces, flat-screen TVs, indoor and outdoor showers, private gardens and outdoor patios. Naturally, this type of quaintness comes at a price of about $480 a night.
The resort also has three dining areas all serving Plumpjack Wines which actually own the resort.
As for the wedding, the scenery there is gorgeous but we were a little taken aback that other resort guests were able to frolic in the pool in bikinis and bathing suits while we were attending the cocktail hour.
Then again, if we paid $500 a night for our cottage we better get use of that pool.