Small-scale destination weddings and celebrations in Hawaii, Belize and Mexico

After a year of avoiding gatherings even among extended family, travelers are once again planning safe and socially distanced getaways. Wanderlust is finally being satiated as coronavirus vaccinations continue to reach more arms.

While leisure travel took a major hit during the worst of the pandemic, many would-be celebrations were also put on hold for months on end. If your family has been waiting to gather for a small-scale graduation party, notable anniversary, or wedding celebration beyond the courtroom, now is your time to put last year’s travel credits to use and book a destination celebration.

Opt for a private in-room party with catered cuisine in your own Maui beachfront villa or take advantage of incentive promotions with a wedding reception included during your stay in Cabo. Or savor a small-scale gathering in a wine venue in Belize.

Whatever your taste, no matter your party size, take a look at these three dreamy destinations for inspiration in planning your own celebration getaway.

Andaz Maui Ilikai Villa Penthouse Dining Room at Andaz Maui Wailea Resort

courtesy Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort

Celebrate in Hawaii as Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort debuts the ‘Ilikai Villas


Award-winning Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort has introduced ‘Ilikai Villas, 19 brand new three-bedroom options at the resort. ‘Ilikai, the Hawaiian word for horizon, captures the new villa experience with expansive views of the ocean.

These new villas offer incredible space for families gathering at the beach with 1,900 square feet encompassing of a gourmet Bosch kitchen and private dining space, a variety of bedding options, and a spacious lanai with outdoor seating. Ground floor units include a private plunge pool while the penthouse villa includes a glass bottom cantilevered pool.

With so much space within the privacy of your own villa, there is ample room for small-scale celebrations, be it birthday or engagement parties, or graduation dinners. Plus, every booking with the ‘Ilikai Villas puts guests in touch directly with the resort’s VIP concierge team who will customize guest experiences. Villa rates also include valet parking for one vehicle, a full daily breakfast at Ka’ana Kitchen for two people per bedroom, and a resort credit of $150 per day.

For larger gatherings, Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort boasts 70,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor spaces along the scenic Maui coastline. From cocktail parties to family celebrations and weddings, guests may opt for the open oceanfront lawn, scenic views from Nohea Terrace, and private studios.

Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort is situated on Maui’s southwestern coastline along Mokapu Beach and just 16 miles from Kahului Airport (OGG). In addition to the new ‘Ilikai Villas, the resort offers 320 guestrooms and suites, with cascading outdoor infinity pools and a private adults-only pool.

Onsite dining includes highly acclaimed full-service restaurants including Ka’ana Kitchen and Morimoto Maui by Chef Masaharu Morimoto. Casual bites are available poolside at Bumbye Beach Bar while fireside cocktails are available at Lehua Lounge. The resort also hosts The Feast at Mokapu Luau on the beachfront lawn.

Terrace Pool Vista at Alaia Belize

Terrace Pool Vista at Alaia Belize

courtesy Autograph Collection Hotels

Celebrate at the first Marriott international resort in Belize

Now that Alaska Airlines is soon offering nonstop west coast flights to Belize, a celebration getaway at the newly built Alaia Belize, Autograph Collection is a grand possibility.

Alaia Belize, Autograph Collection is the first Marriott international resort in Belize, and the highly anticipated four-diamond property is making waves with its grand opening. The resort spans more than 20 acres and sits on the beachfront in San Pedro Town along Ambergris Caye.

Weddings and events at Alaia Belize may take place on the beachfront, on the Vista Rooftop Pool and Lounge, or at any of the resort’s venues like the Wine Room or the Pier overlooking the Caribbean. Wedding packages include a ceremony officiant, bridal bouquet and groom boutonniere, floral canopy and champagne toast.

For other celebrations, the Wine Room may be booked for a private wine and dine event, while the pool and beachfront also offer space for special occasions. The pool is Belize’s first-ever suspended rooftop pool and lounge with 360-degree views.

The resort features 155 guestrooms and suites ranging from studios to three bedrooms, all with a natural color scheme to complement oceanfront views. Rooms include spacious interiors with open air outdoor spaces for immersion in the warm Caribbean breeze.

Alaia Belize has a strong culinary focus with five different onsite concept venues. Sea Salt features the fresh daily catches alongside meats with a Belizean twist. The Vista Rooftop is focused on small plate offerings such as sushi, poke bowls and conch. The Deck and Beach Bar restaurant offers open-air beachside dining with local favorites such as tacos, ceviche, wraps and classic cocktails.

The Piano Bar offers an upscale lounge setting for breakfast, lunch, dinner and late-night bites ranging from pastries to cocktail snacks. The Terrace Bar focuses on classic lunch and dinner items like burgers, sandwiches, salads, ceviche and more.

Belize is open to international leisure travelers and Alaska Airlines will be offering nonstop west coast service to Belize City starting this summer. In December 2020, Belize received a Safe Travel Stamp from the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) in recognition of the country’s enhanced health and safety protocols.

Garza Blanca Resort & Spa Los Cabos

Garza Blanca Resort & Spa Los Cabos

courtesy J. Wade Public Relations

Celebrate with family at all-inclusive Garza Blanca Resort & Spa Los Cabos

Say cheers to your destination celebration at ultra-chic Garza Blanca Resort & Spa Los Cabos, located beachfront on the 20-mile corridor between Cabo San Lucas and San Jose Del Cabo.

This beach resort is home to 8 heated pools, including an adults-only rooftop infinity pool, and a range of outdoors activities for travelers of all kinds. Guests will also find Spa Imagine to be one of the most luxurious spas in the region for pre-party relaxation and pampering.

An ideal location for luxury weddings, the resort offers a range of ceremony packages to suit groups big and small, and there are no minimum guests for the petite Gemstone wedding package. Reception packages offer a variety of options with an open bar, multi-course dinner menu, and Tiffany chairs with white linens. Check current promotions, like the complimentary Gold reception wedding package for guests staying a minimum of 3 nights with the all-inclusive plan. 

Guests staying at Garza Blanca Resort & Spa Los Cabos have six different dining venues to enjoy, ranging from fresh seafood and signature steaks to poolside bites and a beach raw bar food truck. The culinary range is available to guests with the all-inclusive plan, or a la carte to room only guests. The all-inclusive plan includes signature beverages and 24-hour room service.

One-, two- and three-bedroom suites and swim-up suites accommodate families of all sizes, and each option includes a spacious private terrace. Also available are four-bedroom oceanfront penthouse suites accommodating up to 12 guests in 6,500 square feet.

Onsite activities include yoga classes, tennis and pickleball courts, board games and outdoor activities, along with a kids’ club.

Garza Blanca Resort & Spa Los Cabos is located beachfront approximately 30 minutes from Los Cabos International Airport and about 20 minutes from downtown Cabo San Lucas.