Destination I Do
Thursday, February 20, 2020

Say “I Do” Like Stars in Costa Rica

Words by Harmony Walton
Photos courtesy of Villa Manzu

Have you ever wanted to celebrate like a celebrity – dance like Beyoncé, tie the knot like Kelly Rowland, vacation like a Kardashian? Villas and private estates around the world are favorites among stars and starlets, in part because of the privacy they offer (a honeymoon must) and for the communal comfort of vacationing with friends and family in a residential environment. A destination wedding brings people together for an extended celebration, and doing so in a home that sleeps the majority of your guests means the party never stops.

That’s where Villa Manzu on Costa Rica’s Peninsula Papagayo comes in. Like many celebs before you, you can arrive by helicopter if you choose and be greeted by a small family of welcoming staff that cater to your every wedding whim. From a chef who sources local ingredients to the mixologist who you’ll quickly call a friend (and makes a mean pisco sour), your surroundings will feel like the fantasy you’ve dreamed of. The estate is equipped with eight suites impeccably designed down to the last detail with high tech accessories and floor-to-ceiling windows and doors at every turn. The balcony-clad rooms are so inviting it’s hard to leave, but if you must, sunsets on the point where ceremonies are held shouldn’t be missed. 

While the property is perched above the bay, ideal for an intimate outdoor reception on the terrace, the beach club rights below give guests the best of both worlds. But who needs the club when you have access to the villa’s new speedboat for fishing, whale shark chasing or a stop on the shore for a beach barbecue with lobster, hammocks and shore games in between courses. The team at Villa Manzu curates the experience as you wish – from wedding day flowers to group activities in the kitchen or kids’ adventures learning about local wildlife. The on-property spa situated under a waterfall is even inclusive when you sleep here (and comes in handy after a long morning hike).

From a wine room with bottles for the taking to billiards, pools and bars galore, there’s too much to partake in to make just a weekend of it.  So snuggle into the theater for a wedding slideshow and celebrate with your closest friends for a week or more to do it all. You won’t be short of memories at this destination wedding haven.

This article first appeared in Destination I Do's Fall/Winter 2019 issue. You can order a copy here.

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