Real Weddings |

Alli abroad


White Magazine has given me some interesting assignments, but this one really takes the wedding cake! Somehow I found myself on a Thai Airways flight heading to Thailand for an entire week of luxury resort accommodation, spa treatments and fine dining. Best.Job.Ever. After touching down in the tropical wonderland of Phuket, our group of four were escorted to an air-conditioned minibus for a 20-minute drive to the gorgeous Mai Khao Beach.



Renaissance Phuket Resort & Spa is located on an isolated stretch of beach surrounded by national park. Arriving at the entrance of the Renaissance, several smiling members of staff greeted us with refreshing towels and ice-cold drinks. Check-in was seamless and we were soon ushered into the amazing Takieng restaurant. Admittedly, it was my first meal in Thailand, but it was (and remains) the best Thai food I’ve ever eaten. Barbequed seafood at Sand Box Restaurant and Bar, and breakfast at Loca Vore were other foodie highlights.

 A true five star resort, the Renaissance Phuket Resort & Spa oozes modern luxury without being pretentious. It’s an ideal honeymoon destination for couples who just want to relax and enjoy each other’s company. For a wedding, I’d recommend a dreamy beachside ceremony overlooking Mai Khao Beach followed by an outside reception. The Renaissance can cater for a wedding party of 200, though a more intimate group would work best. Couples can make use of their wedding planner who will organise every aspect of their destination wedding. The bride and groom also receive complimentary spa treatments plus an upgrade to a pool villa beautifully decorated with flowers and candles on their wedding day.

Don’t miss: a romantic sunset dinner for two on Mai Khao Beach

Enjoy: the sweet, salty, sour and somewhat spicy flavours at Takieng restaurant

Splurge: on a limousine transfer from Phuket International Airport



A short tuk tuk ride down the road and we arrive at the palatial JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa. We’re soon enjoying a meal at the world-class Kabuki Japanese restaurant. I also experienced some amazing Thai cuisine at Ginja Taste, and Italian fare at the cosy Cucina. JW Marriott Phuket is huge and can cater for larger weddings with up to 600 guests! There are multiple bars, swimming pools and activities to keep your guests occupied, plus a large range of accommodation to suit various budgets. My Deluxe Sala Suite was attractive and spacious with a lovely view of the garden.

The Marriott wedding planners also set-up a memorable sunset wedding on the north lawn. However, if you’re planning to have less than 60 guests, I’d recommend an intimate ceremony in the Ginja Taste building. This incredible light-filled space is similar to a Western wedding chapel. The gorgeous Mai Khao Beach and expansive grounds provide plentiful photo opportunities.

Don’t miss: the temple-like treatment rooms at the Mandara Spa

Enjoy: a Thai iced-coffee on one of the lounges overlooking the reflection pool

Splurge: on a BBQ in your private ocean-front pool suite



After a picturesque drive across Phuket Island, we arrived at the coastal town of Khao Lak. JW Marriott Khao Lak Resort & Spa is perched on pristine white sands about 90 minutes from the airport. A three-kilometer lagoon-style swimming pool weaves throughout the entire complex. My room was spacious with a pool view from its large deck.

The resort is perfectly suited to a sunset wedding on the beach. Otherwise, dream up something different and let the Marriott wedding planner make it a reality for you. Some fabulous dining options include the Tak-Krai Thai restaurant, Japanese food from Sakura and Mediterranean cuisine at Olive restaurant. Adventure-seeking honeymooners can enjoy a long list of resort activities plus day trips to world-famous scuba diving sites or local waterfalls. A highlight of my visit was a cycling tour to the spectacular Chong Fah waterfall, where I was able to swim beneath the falls.

Don’t miss: a massage or body scrub in the tranquil Quan Spa

Enjoy: a fresh coconut at the Infinity Pool Bar

Splurge: on a deluxe pool access suite and dive off your deck into the largest swimming pool in the Southern Hemisphere 



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