Archive for Carrie MacPherson

Why The Fairmont Chateau Laurier Is Perfect For All Wedding Occasions

Local Finds

Photo courtesy of Fairmont Chateau Laurier.

Ottawa’s Fairmont Chateau Laurier recently completed a major revitalization, adding several new features to firmly ensconce it as the city’s most luxurious haute spot. Located in the heart of the city, the Chateau Laurier celebrated it’s 100th birthday in 1912 and is surrounded by a rich heritage of history, art and culture. We recently visited this grand hotel and enjoyed all the spoils—here’s three reasons to consider the property for your wedding and other wedding-related activities.

Photo courtesy of Fairmont Chateau Laurier.

A Dream Wedding Venue
Who hasn’t dreamed of getting married in a castle? The Chateau Laurier is a French-style chateau and offers several rooms and packages for your wedding. There are three grand rooms to choose from—the original event space known as the Ballroom, the Adam Room and the Laurier room which has an incredible outdoor terrace boasting views of the Ottawa River, Rideau Canal and the Parliament. View their wedding chart on Pinterest to inspire you!

Photo by Carrie Macpherson.

A Beautiful Bachelorette
For a perfect pre-wedding girls day out with your bridal squad, enjoy the elegant afternoon tea service at the newly revitalized Zoe’s lounge bar. The breathtaking space is light and airy and has preserved the space’s original architectural elements—crown mouldings, glittering chandeliers and an incredible marble bar. Afternoon tea with all the trimmings is served daily and is a particular delight. Treat your ladies to a beautiful day out and experience.

Photo by Carrie MacPherson.

A Perfect Mini-Moon
With the recent renovations, the Fairmont Gold level of the hotel now has 69 rooms and suites with service that is second to none! Splash out with a post-wedding stay and enjoy the Fairmont Gold Executive Lounge, where continental breakfast, coffees and teas and a 5-7 service are included in your booking. If you love total pampering and luxury, a stay on Fairmont Gold is your perfect romantic escape!

1 Rideau St., 613-241-1414, fairmont.com/laurier-ottawa

Find Dazzling Bridal Bling At David Yurman’s New Montreal Location

Local Finds

David Yurman Crossover engagement ring. Photo courtesy of David Yurman.

Famed for clean lines, modern design and timeless elegance, American jewelry brand David Yurman offers some of the most stunning engagement rings, wedding bands and fine jewelry pieces perfect to wear on your wedding day. The brand has just opened a Montreal location in the new Holt Renfrew Oglivy on St. Catherine Street West and it’s a gem lover’s paradise.

Inside Montreal’s beautiful new David Yurman boutique.

Larger and more refined than the previous location, the store showcases the brand’s history and the most recent collections for women, men and weddings. The different categories of jewelry are presented in a sleek space that lets the beauty of the David Yurman pieces truly shine. The store feels intimate yet luxurious, outfitted with walnut cabinets and antique bronze keys all of which are made from 90% recycled materials—an initiative that illustrates the brand’s sustainability efforts.

It’s interesting to note that proposals, engagements and weddings are something particularly close to founder David Yurman and his wife and co-collaborator Sybil’s heart as ring design was a particularly important part of their relationship. “A proposal is so unique to every couple. For us, I asked Sybil to marry me every other year for 11 years! Sybil knew we were a great team, but her Bohemian spirit had always resisted the idea of tying the knot. Finally, after 11 years together, she was ready. On our way to the ceremony, Sybil asked me if I had the rings. I thought: ‘Rings? What rings?’ So, I ran back to our loft and soldered two simple gold bands together —one band for Sybil, double bands for me. We still have them. These rings still symbolize our partnership, the shapes and forms we create together.”

David Yurman, Holt Renfrew Ogilvy, 1307 Sainte-Catherine St. W., 514-842-7711, davidyurman.com.

 

Why A Honeymoon In Qatar Is the Ultimate Escape

Travel » Honeymoons

The incredible lobby of the Mondorian hotel. Photo courtesy of the Mondrian.

One of the best-kept secrets of the Persian Gulf is the ever-evolving city of Doha, capital of Qatar, currently the richest country in the world. If you love adventure, luxury, culture and architecture, then Doha is THE city to say “I do” to. Here are five reasons Qatar makes the most unforgettable and romantic honeymoon getaway.

Haute Hotels
Enjoy all the glitz and glam of the world’s top signature hotels. From the Four Seasons to the Shangri-La, there’s a luxe hotel waiting to serve you serious upscale vacay vibes. A stay at the Mondrian, an incredible designer desert destination will make you feel like a modern day Alice in Wonderland From the gigantic golden blooms in the lobby to the cloud-shaped trees at the Magnolia Bakery and tea room, there is charm and whimsy at every turn. The Mondrian houses eight restaurants and bars, including celebrity chef establishments: Wolfgang Puck’s CUT and Masaharu Morimoto’s namesake Japanese restaurant. Yet the diamond in the Mondrian’s crown is the world’s most wow-factor wedding suite. The 6,500-square-foot Opal Bridal Suite has its own golden cage elevator, which whisks the bride and groom directly to the opulent 21,500-square-foot ballroom, providing the ultimate grand-entrance goal for any bride.

A look inside the opulent bridal suite at the Mondrion. Photo courtesy of the Mondrian hotel.

The pool at the Mondrion is absolutely EPIC! Photo courtesy of the Mondrian.

Culture Club
Doha is amping up its must-see museums and cultural institutions by hiring the world’s most elite architects. A visit to the newly opened Qatar National Museum was number one on our radar, as A-listers like Naomi Campbell, DVF and Johnny Depp had jetted in to attend the spring opening. The structurally stunning museum is a series of disks meant to look like a desert sand rose, the inspiration for French architect Jean Nouvel. Another must is the I.M. Pei-designed Museum of Islamic Art, built on its own peninsula and boasting the best view of the city skyline. Hello, photo op!

The Qatar National Museum. Photo by Carrie MacPherson. Carrie was dressed by PRFKT par Europa Group.

Desert Drama
It wouldn’t be a trip to the Middle East without a desert excursion and we highly recommend booking a honeymoon safari! Most safaris start with a stop to take photos with colourfully clad camels and falcons. Then it’s time for a little “dune bashing” – what locals refer to as off-roading, or driving up and over sand dunes at high speeds in an air-conditioned 4×4 Land Cruiser with a professional driver. The thrill of conquering the dunes will work up your appetite, and luckily, a traditional Middle Eastern meal awaits at the Regency Sealine Camp. Après-lunch lounging on Bali beds is highly recommended, or rent one of the royal tents outfitted with AC, king-size beds and luxurious bathrooms for the utmost glamping experience.

The incredible sand dunes are a must explore! Photo by Carrie MacPherson. Carrie was dressed by PRFKT par Europa Group.

Falconry in the desert is another incredible Doha experience. Photo by Carrie MacPherson. Carrie was dressed by PRFKT par Europa Group.

Shoppers Paradise
Quite simply there is SO much to shop for and browse in Doha, it’s almost overwhelming. You may find Souq Waqif quaint for its scents and spices, as it was built to resemble a traditional open-air 19th-century market, but it’s a tad touristy. Instead, shop like a local at some of the most beautiful department stores you’ll ever see. We visited the brand new Galeries Lafayette flagship in the Katara Cultural Village. Here, we spotted a Fauchon Paris (one of three in Qatar) and all the luxe labels we love. Designed by famous French architects Bruno Moinard and Claire Betaille, Galeries Lafayette Doha is the equivalent of Parisian shopping. Our luxury senses were further heightened when we visited Alhazm, a luxury destination for the uber-affluent. Executed by top Italian craftsmen, Alhazm resembles the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan and is home to some of the world’s finest restaurants, cafés and fashion labels.

Shopping at the Souq Waqif. Photo by Carrie MacPherson. Carrie was dressed by PRFKT par Europa Group.

Athletic Pursuits
Sports may not seem like an exciting honeymoon endeavour, but it’s thanks to the fact that Qatar is hosting the FIFA World Cup in 2022 that the city is seeing a surge in tourism and an extreme growth spurt in urban development. Other activities and events worth checking out are: falconry, equestrian competitions and camel racing. We opted for elegance with a visit to the Al Shaqab equestrian centre. Pack your best Derby attire, as this establishment belongs to the former Emir, and the horses housed here lead a pretty posh life. Visit the royal stables and see how the famous Arabian breed is trained.

Get up close and personal with the gorgeous horses at the Al Shaqab Equestrian Centre. Photo by Carrie MacPherson. Carrie was dressed by PRFKT par Europa Group.

Getting There
Start your honeymoon early by booking with Qatar Airways new Qsuite business class model. Voted the world’s #1 business class, it’s now also the first to offer the option of two side-by-side seats converting into a double bed. With sliding doors and dividers for extra privacy, newlyweds can cuddle up to enjoy total comfort and top-notch service.

Inside Qatar Airlines luxury Qsuite business class. Top photo courtesy of Qatar Airlines. Bottom photo by Carrie MacPherson.

Explore Playa Del Carmen’s Most Romantic Wedding & Honeymoon Destination

Travel

Photo courtesy of The Fives Azul Beach Resort.

A destination wedding or honeymoon reaches an entirely new level at The Fives Azul Beach Resort Playa del Carmen. This all-inclusive gourmet resort offers unique experiences that explore themes inspired by each of the five senses. We visited The Fives recently and our senses approved!

Inside one of the resort’s plush suites. Photo courtesy of The Fives Azul Beach Resort.

The  adventure began with a blind dinner at Club 82 Wine Bar, where we enjoyed a unique meal prepared to entice our sense of smell, touch and taste, all while being  blindfolded. Entertaining indeed.  Once a week, The Fives organizes a journey through an interpretation of the sacred Alux ceremony, which incorporates various Mayan rituals. In the morning, our tour took us into the mangroves where we discovered Mayans in costumes from another era, some representing animals, which seemed to grow more and more elaborate and impressive as we continued on. As we walked, we took in the scent of ensarte, a mixture of natural herbs and wood that help purify the spirit and boost our energy.

The following evening, our senses were awakened with an authentic Mexican dinner, which we helped prepare, at La Casa de Rosa. “Rosa” had just recently opened her doors and her ovens for guests to learn how to cook typical Mexican dishes. Inspired by a traditional Mexican home, you’ll feel as if you’ve stumbled upon the best house party in Mexico where you get to cook, share and enjoy a meal at a communal table to the sound of mariachis.

We kicked off our final evening with a tequila tasting at Nineteen Ten, the resort’s Mexican Cantina. The cantina’s local tequila aficionado walked us through a selection of some of Mexico’s best tequila and mezcal while we snacked on traditional Mexican appetizers.

You can enjoy romantic dining at in the privacy of your own overwater hut! Photo courtesy of The Fives Azul Beach Resort.

The resort also offers several options for your wedding ceremony and reception. The Sky Deck, for example, which boasts a magnificent view of the sea, is ideal for a modern wedding. Closer to the ocean, the garden gazebo, is a charming choice for a boho-chic wedding. Finally, the beach will satisfy those couples who dream of saying “I do” with their toes in the sand!

The garden gazebo is a stunning location for your destination wedding at The Five Azul Beach Resort. Photo by Carrie MacPherson.

Leading up to and after the wedding, you and your guests will be seduced by the hotel and its diverse dining options, sleek bars, chic spa, sublime pools and Balinese-style day beds to dream in. The beach will also be calling your name with its rows of relaxing lounge chairs facing the ocean.

Photo courtesy of The Five Azul Beach Resort.

The Fives welcomes visitors of all ages and offers activities that appeal to everyone. The little ones will love the entertainment for the “Azulitos” while the adults enjoy activities such as: yoga or soccer on the beach, spiritual ceremonies and even Spanish classes.

Whether you go for a sun-filled wedding, your dream honeymoon, or just for a romantic getaway, your five senses will definitely thank you!

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