I recently got married. Now, before I go into the topic of this article, let me explain, my wedding and marriage have been long awaited and anticipated. I am 32 years of age and have seriously waited for the man of my dreams. My dreams have become my reality yet I still feel as though I am about to wake up. So, when the topic of my honeymoon and where we should stay came up, I immediately thought “Well, it has to be THE BEST.” I have waited long enough to be able to do the many things I have celebrated in my friends’ lives, and while we as women love wedding planning, I have seen the honeymoon become an afterthought, when all the other decisions and chaos of planning are taking place.
While planning the honeymoon there are two separate decisions, typically. First, where to stay the night of the wedding, and secondly the long-term destination. For me the night of the wedding was just as important as the long-term destination. Why? Because I still wanted it to feel special; it is almost an extension of the wedding day. In my mind it was fluid. Leave the beautiful wedding and walk into a beautiful hotel. There was no other option than to stay somewhere incredible, in my mind, Mandarin Oriental, Atlanta was the only option.
This hotel is known to be the best of the best all around the world. They take pride in making sure every little detail is considered. When we pulled up we immediately were greeted by the bellman who took our luggage and ushered us inside. At the front desk we were warmly welcomed and were excited to see another couple, still in their wedding attire, walk in right behind us, which also affirmed we made the right decision. The hallways are a beautiful cream color all around, so many textures and soothing features that subconsciously start to allow you to exhale. When we entered the room we were amazed with luxurious features, marble bathroom, large elegant tub, and a huge shower. The bed was one of the most comfortable beds I have ever slept on, in fact I would like to know the brand name of the pillows they use. They also thought of the details that make a honeymoon night a little more special, such as chocolate and a bottle of champagne. I felt myself start to relax and ease into “married life.”
As any of you brides know, it can be one of the most stressful events you ever plan. It is a little bitter sweet as you anticipate all the planning to follow through for only one day. I tried to listen to all the advice I was given: Enjoy every moment, remember it will fly by (which it did), surrender the things that are out of your control, focus on people and not “certain traditions” you may not get to explore.
This leads me to the importance of the wedding night, when you start to come down from this anticipated day and back to a new reality of life. Experiencing this, let me reiterate how important it is to make sure you fight to stay at a place that will help cultivate the climax of your wedding day… A place that ushers in relaxation and helps you process what just took place. I remember getting in the car to leave the wedding in almost disbelief, it was over, only to be reminded as we pulled up to the Mandarin that another aspect of the wedding and our marriage was just beginning. It was almost a relief “it isn’t over yet.”
To add to this prized experience, their luxurious spa is majestic. Ladies, if you hear one thing from this article only, get a spa treatment here. I had the “Digital Wellness Escape” treatment where you power-down your phone and remove all technological distractions. It begins with a Wellness Bath in Shungite-charged water to relieve fatigue and revitalize the body. A massage concentrating on the head, eyes, neck, shoulders, hands and feet follows, restoring the body and mind with purifying Shungite crystals and a soothing paraffin hand treatment. Shungite is a stone containing Fullerenes, which works to neutralize negative energy and exposure to harmful radiation from mobile devices. As a “take away” you receive a phone sleeping bag and healthy lifestyle tips upon your departure. While I soaked in the tub, I kept thinking, “I should have done this before the wedding as well.” If you are able and budget affords, it may be a good idea to have you and your bridesmaids stay at MO the day before the wedding and indulge in some spa services.
The Mandarin offers many packages such as the “Wellness Retreat” which is an overnight stay and spa treatments for two. They also have other fun “programs” such as a unique tea program. “Traditional Afternoon Tea is now being offered daily from 2:30 pm to 4:30 pm at The Café & Bar, but throughout the year, the hotel will offer a series of special occasion teas to highlight the seasons and other festive happenings. Each of the specialty teas will feature themed tea selections and food items, as well as corresponding décor, florals, and special touches,” explained their concierge. You can check out their website for the dates of the specific teas they will be serving. How fun!
One of the ideas my husband and I thought about was returning on occasion just for a little “retreat” or “getaway.” While we were still in our hometown city, the feel of the Mandarin was so different than the normal lives we lead that it felt as though we were in a completely different city. Another added bonus is the Mandarin is located right in Buckhead at Lenox. You can easily walk to Lenox Mall or any of the wonderful restaurants near by. In fact, we ended up meeting some friends the Sunday after the wedding for dinner at a restaurant in Lenox.
To sum up my experience and give some advice and takeaways… I was highly encouraged to stay two nights somewhere after the wedding before flying out to our honeymoon destination. This was the most amazing advice I was given. Please do this for yourself. We happened to get married on the Saturday night of Daylight savings, which (do not do) unless you gain the hour, not lose it. So, it made us not get to bed till around 4 am, which then, to have had to check out at 11 am or fly out early would have voided the point of staying anywhere in my mind. Being able to sleep in and have the 80-minute spa treatment, eat at the Mandarin café and spend time at Lenox was therapeutic and necessary to cleanse my mind, process, and begin to enjoy the next phase of marriage. I wouldn’t have had it any other way.
If you get the opportunity to stay with your girls somewhere the night before the wedding/day of, choose the Mandarin, get one of their amazing spa treatments, rest in, relax, eat food, and return that night with your new spouse to do it all over again, for two days. Yes, I had THE BEST honeymoon, hotel experience. I cannot express the need that I didn’t know I had for a spa treatment, and apparently for a good pillow. The motto we’ve heard our whole lives is “you get what you pay for,” and the Mandarin Oriental is worth every penny.