One Way to Avoid Other Guests? Book the Entire Hotel

Larger hotels and resorts are also getting in the game. Groups who can fill a minimum of 70 suites can take over Casa Velas, in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, for $49,420 a night. The new “Tower Takeover” (price upon request) at the Hilton Aruba Caribbean Resort & Casino allows groups to buy out one of the hotel’s three towers (the smallest has 80 rooms). The new buyout package at InterContinental New York Times Square (from $100,000 a night) affords access to a minimum of 200 rooms, the 4,000-square-foot ballroom and more.

But for William and Alexandra Cobb, 27 and 25, the fewer, the merrier.

The Philadelphia couple rented out Sheldon Chalet, a five-bedroom luxury hotel in Alaska’s Denali National Park, for their October wedding. No seating charts needed: Their guest list featured only themselves.

“It had to be something that was private,” said Mr. Cobb, a consultant for private equity firms. “We wanted something that was just us.”

Reachable only by private helicopter, Sheldon Chalet transitioned to a buyout-only model in March. The starting rate is $35,000 for a three-night minimum.

“They did everything for us,” said Ms. Cobb, an occupational therapist. “We ate crab cakes on a glacier after taking a fixed-wing flight. We really wanted espresso martinis, and they experimented with five different recipes.”

Yet when it was time to celebrate, the newlyweds discovered they weren’t, in fact, totally alone.

“They set up a disco ball for the night of our wedding,” Ms. Cobb said, adding, “The staff partied with us the whole night.”


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