In a recent issue, this section noted that hotels were pulling out all the stops to ensure the most memorable honeymoons in the most romantic cities. Now, event managers and travel outfitters are laying out the red carpet at the most stunning locales for a wedding that’ll keep the guests talking till at least the first anniversary.
First up: two castles and a luxury golf resort in the Shannon region of Ireland’s west coast. Adare Manor (www.adaremanor.com), The Lodge at Doonbeg (www.doonbeggolfclub.com), and Knappogue Castle are all sprawling properties, but the last is a 15th century construction that possesses all the magic and mysticism associated with the Celtic land. Dream Irish Weddings’ coordinator Michelle McDermott says: “All three (venues) are perfectly appointed and perfectly equipped to turn any occasion into the most memorable… From seamless airport transfers to check-out, absolute event management allows you to relax and take full advantage of the entire region and what the venues have to offer, safe in the knowledge that an expert team is looking after everything.” The cost? Upwards of €12,000 (around Rs8 lakh) all inclusive for the day, for the bridal couple and very close family and friends. For full details, log on to www.dreamirishwedding.com or contact McDermott at email@example.com; Tel.: +353-61-633636.
Happily ever after: A wedding at the Ngorongoro Crater rim. &Beyond
From stunning man-made backdrops to ones crafted by nature, here’s another wedding venue that will make you want to renew your vows (yes, they can organize that too). &Beyond, the high-end luxury adventure tourism company, offers classic safari weddings in the open Bushveld (South Africa), sunset ceremonies overlooking the Great Fish River (South Africa), intimate blessing ceremonies on the Ngorongoro Crater rim (Tanzania)—or, closer home, uniquely tailored affairs at Pashan Garh, Panna, in the heart of Madhya Pradesh. Our vote goes to Ngorongoro: &Beyond’s lodge is perched on the edge of the crater at the eastern edge of the Serengeti, and the bridal party is escorted by Maasai warriors in full regalia (from $2,200, or around Rs1 lakh). After the ceremony, you could have an al fresco lunch served on the floor of the crater itself (from $75 per guest). Rates at the Ngorongoro Crater Lodge range from $655-1,450 (depending on the season) per person per night on a sharing basis. For more details, log on to www.andBeyond.com
A steppe in time
What’s left to be done after you’ve scoured the depths of the Sharm el Sheikh and climbed Kilimanjaro? If your inner adventurer is yearning for wide open spaces, and glimpses into one of the most unique cultures of the world, join the queue for Mongolia, the newest addition to the destinations offered by Ibex Expeditions.
Just back from a trip through the Eastern Gobi desert and the northern Khan Khentii steppes—said to be the birthplace of Gengiz Khan—Ibex founder-director Mandip Singh Soin says he has drawn up the itinerary with an eye to including the varied experiences on offer. Expect two-day treks through the Gobi, camel and horse riding on the steppes, encounters with nomads and a shot at climbing the Zorgol Hairhan rock formations. Besides, you also spend time in Ulaanbaator, the capital, a medieval city that’s seeking its 21st century identity. It costs between $2,900-$3,500 (around Rs1.4 lakh-1.7 lakh) per person.
Remote trek: Yak caravans at Khan Khentii. Ibex Expeditions
The trip can also include a 33-hour journey on the Trans-Mongolian train from Beijing to the outskirts of Ulaanbaator, which allows an opportunity to witness the changing of wheels just ahead of the international border.
Too demanding? Ibex has three other trips lined up: to the rhododendron forests of Bhutan, the high altitude lakes of Tibet and the rainforests of Borneo.
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