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TA Dina

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Everything posted by TA Dina

  1. It is a very pretty venue for a small wedding group. You can use the gazebo for the wedding if you like (as of last time I was there).If you look at the pic from the home page of their site (anelagarden.com) that is the entire property. It's not very large. What's nice is that even though it's small, you can get some pretty nice pics there (in the chapel, gazebo, up on the balcony, over by the fountain on the lawn). The only issue with outside parties there is that they are located in a residential area at the base of Diamondhead, so they are very strict with noise and how late you can be outside with music etc.
  2. The chapel rental here will cost you $1500 to start if I'm not mistaken. Their beach weddings though are rather inexpensive. Over here you deal with either the hotel if you want something on the Great Lawn or Village Green. Or Best Bridal Hawaii if you want the beach or Ocean chapel or gazebo (I don't recommend the gazebo personally). Keep in mind this complex is HUGE. The towers around you could block the sun if you did a wedding on the lawn. And the beach in that area is always crowded. I'd definately opt for a mid-week wedding here and not weekends. Your least expensive option would be working with a planner and arranging a ceremony on a public beach, and then a reception at a local restaurant or hotel. Many hotels don't offer "in the sand" ceremonies due to all the changing laws.
  3. TB is no more expensive than some of the other resorts. Actually, if anything they are slightly cheaper overall. They do provide a list of preferred vendors but you can bring in your own at not fee which is nice (unlike Kahala or Halekulani where you have no options). Their wedding "structure" (I wouldn't really call it a chapel) is nice for an outdoor ceremony with the protection from the sun/wind/rain if needed. I prefer the Kulima Point though (great views, pretty lawn area). Watch some of the rooms there though. Some of the lower categories are dated, need some help. The beachfront cottages are awesome. Email the resort for their wedding packages. They are pretty quick to reply and will get you all the info you need so you can accurately compare to other places you may be considering.
  4. St Augustine's in beautiful. And right in the middle of Waikiki so if that's where you're all staying, it's easy for everyone to get to. The Roy's at the Waikiki Beach Walk is again, central to Waikiki and easy to get to. The other one is out at KoOlina so 30-45 min west (& if you hit traffic even longer). Both have small private rooms for parties.
  5. It will all depend on how elaborate or simple you want the entire event. Yes, you can choose a restaurant and the coordinator there can arrange all of the reception activities for you. But as far as the ceremony, are you looking to do it on a beach, at a resort, at a private home? You'll need permits for the beach, you'll pay site fees for a resort/home. Many times this is where a wedding planner, photographer, TA etc can help out and save you time, headaches and money when planning. Remember when choosing places like the North Shore or the west coast of the island, you don't have that many resorts to choose from, so you either have to stay at those particular places, or drive out to your ceremony/reception the day of (meaning transportation expenses). It's not hard to do, but there are alot of little details you'll need to figure out first to then decide the best way to go. If you're doing a hotel site and restaurant reception, you should be good to go on your own. Anything else, I'd recommend getting additional help (& I'm an Oahu bride myself who just hired her own wedding planner-and I've only got 6 guests). And as usual we always recommend using a TA for travel arrangements
  6. Yes...finally...my very own destination wedding! All I know so far is it will be Oahu. So over the next few months I'll be sure to share lots of details with all future Hawaii brides to hopefully help with your planning process too. Anyone know if there is a Hawaii TA on this board I can hire?
  7. Check with Amstar directly. You can hire them for transportation for however long you need them. Very professional and you can trust you will get what you pay for.
  8. I'm so glad you had a fabulous wedding! The stuff about Tiara is actually making me see red as I type this though. Future DLR brides, please know that I am trying my best to get this addressed by DLR.
  9. I just returned from staying at IBG 2 weeks ago. Beautiful! If I can answer questions or help with planning let me know. Pics aren't up on our FB page yet but soon...I promise.
  10. Have you checked out any of the resorts directly? All of them have some sort of wedding packages that they offer and you avoid having to pay site fees or outside coordinator costs. A place like the Maui Prince has ceremony sites on the lawn, literally steps from the sand so you can still have the oceanviews in the background but not break the "rules". You can do their luau for your reception or rehearsal dinner, or go to another restaurant just for your reception dinner. As for pics on the sand, that's allowed if the photog has the permits. The chairs/arches etc on the sand are the problems, but as for getting photos taken, any reliable photographer out there can arrange for that.
  11. I've got some pics up on our FB page of all 3 Dreams resorts now if you want to check them out. Decor/room-wise, DPB and DLR are very similar. The deluxe rooms at DPC are small compared to the entry rooms at the other two. But the jr suites at DPC have the jacuzzis on the balconies. DPC has a nice outside terrace areas for receptions. All have great beach wedding areas. The oceanfront gazebo at DLR is probably one of the most private areas (meaning not alot of onlookers lurking about). I found the beach at DLR the most crowded and not as nice as the other two. Preferred Club is worth it for the extra amenities. Room-wise nothing really different (at DLR it's literally one side of the hall is deluxe, the other side is pc deluxe). As for my opinion on WC, Melanie is my fave. What's her name at DPC (Deyanira is it?) is friendly and ok. None of my brides have issues with them over there so I rarely have to get involved (which is why I'm not sure who is there now...Miguelina used to be very sweet tho). Tiara has always been my least fave and in the last few days is at the top of my sh*t list. Not nice at all via email or in person (I can only pray she's nicer to the brides when they are there).
  12. There is not a bar upstairs. The wait staff delivers/serves the drinks wherever the guests are. They can set up a bar upstairs if that is what you prefer though. Mayte is very accomodating and helpful.
  13. Hard Rock did not take over the resort. Palace purchased the Hard Rock franchise. Palace still owns and operates the resort as a Palace property. Changes will not be complete until summer 2010.
  14. Hi All! Just saw this and wanted to let you know that I'll be on the island in about a week and a half and this is one of the places I plan on visiting. I will give a full review on here when I get back. So check back over the next few weeks. If you have any specific questions I can try to answer for you before I leave or want me to check out while I'm there, email or PM me here.
  15. Just a reminder that the Excellence webinar is tonight from 7-8pm. If you haven't signed up yet, hurry...you still have time!
  16. Check out Willow's. It's a buffet and the food is very good, and the place is very pretty. It's more of a "locals" place as not many tourists find their way over there. We visit every time I'm there. They do weddings right there on site too so they can accomodate a small party with your own private area of tables if you wanted. Welcome to The Willows Restaurant
  17. I absolutely understand about budget and the Paradisus, and would say the same for them, they are more expensive and for a reason. Better accomodations, food, service etc. Not that Occi is bad, but when comparing the two against each other, there really isn't a comparison. I do not agree that the Occi is small or quaint. With over 800 rooms I found it rather large and spread out (not as bad as say the Grand Bahia, but still big). All bldgs are 3 floors w/o elevators (keep in mind for older guests). I stayed in the Royal Club Lux OV and was slightly disappointed. Not all that different than the regular rooms, and I searched, I saw no ocean anywhere. Bathroom flooded everyday. And my biggest actual complaint was the fact that our neighbors (other TA's) checked in the same time we did & checked out shortly after (they hated the place). They didn't shut their door all the way upon leaving (oh yea, the doors didn't shut properly either) & their door remained opened for 3 more days. No housekeeping staff or anyone ever thought to maybe shut it? We actually roamed into it one day to take some pics to see if each room was like ours (& they were). The rooms are exactly as they appear on the Occi website. So what you see there is exactly what you will get (not that that's bad, I'm just saying sometimes pics aren't truely showing everything. those pics are good, as that's what the rooms look like). My other issues with this resort was the food and the language barrier. Nowadays throughout the DR the language issue isn't really an issue anymore. But it seemed at this place we were 2 of a handful that spoke English. A fluke? Maybe. But when I sell this resort it's something I bring up just in case it wasn't a fluke. As for dining we ate 2 nts at the Royal Club restaurant which 2 tables inside were raving about the food. I'm a picky eater so I am no judge (no comments from you TAJen ), my BF is not (he'll at least try everything), and we both left hungry. However...in the buffet people had their plates piled high with food. So it must not have been bad, but we had no idea what 3/4 of the stuff was (european, south american?? i'm not sure). And noone spoke english so we couldn't ask. That said, food is very subjective. What one person hates another could love. My point here is that we didn't even know what the food was.... Entertainment is what you make it. We had fun just hanging in the lobby. But it was quiet. Is it awful and would I not sell it? No, absolutely not. But I do share my experience with my clients because these were typical issues of DR long ago. I was kind of suprised to experience it again. I'm sure for the wedding groups they will be falling all over you making your stay extra special anyway so I would'nt worry.
  18. The Royal Service rooms at the 2 Paradisus resorts are adults-only. There is an adults only section at Majestic Elegance. And as listed above, Excellence, IB Grand (will be staying there in 2 weeks so watch for our review), PC Princess, NH Royal Beach, and Ambar sections of Gr Bahia. But for total seclusion from kiddies, Excellence or IB Grand. We've got an Excellence webinar coming up on 2/25 if you want to learn more about this resort (see my other thread to sign up for it)
  19. We're thrilled to have Excellence Resorts join us to present their 5 star all inclusive, award winning, adult only Excellence Resorts in Mexico and the Caribbean! Reserve your Webinar seat now at: https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/335799498 Thursday, February 25th 7:00-8:00pm Excellence Playa Mujeres: An adults-only romantic all inclusive resort nestled on two miles of powdery white sand beach, all inclusive luxury surrounds you in a setting of lush Caribbean beauty. The newest luxury resort destination in the Cancun region, Playa Mujeres is situated on an untouched 20-mile peninsula, secluded and serene but conveniently only 25 minutes north of Cancun Airport. If you have a taste for excitement mixed with luxury, romance and relaxation at andults-only romantic all inclusive resort, then Excellence Riviera Cancun is where you belong. This resort is situated on a secluded, pure white sand beach on Mexico's Riviera Maya. Excellence Punta Cana: This quaint, colonial-style all inclusive resort and spa is the ideal destination for couples seeking a secluded romantic resort getaway at an dults-only romantic all inclusive resort. This resort is nestled among palms on a 30-mile stretch of perfect white-sand Caribbean beach. Additionally we’ll explore the amazing, 5-star, luxury, La Amada Hotel.. Here you’ll have a comfortable home base of contemporary luxury. Stylish hotel architecture and decor, generous suites, spotless service, deluxe facilities, and of course, our secluded beachfront setting, all enable you to let your days here happen naturally. Those attending the webinar will receive: *$25 per person discount when you book a 5 night or longer stay *$50 per person discount when you book a 7 night or longer stay *Must Book within 30 days of webinar
  20. Quote: Originally Posted by ashleed I have heard this......it's the Dominican Republic.....they are way more laxed than Americans and do not get in a hurry. Yes frustrating when you as a bride need it to be all about you. Unfortunately no, it's not just the DR. But having personally met dozens of the WC throughout the DR I can tell you this, they are totally overworked and there are not close to enough hours in the day to handle all of the emails they get. While it is frustrating when we sit on this end waiting for replies, remember that when you are there, that same woman is by your side for days finalzing every detail for your big day. And then on that day they are there for you from start to finish. So while she is doing that, her emails pile up. But it's a toss up...have her be slow in replying now, or ignore or rush you while you're there. And one thing I tell all my brides as far as emails...is that they WILL get back to you eventually. Sending 10 emails a day is only going to slow up a response & fill up her Inbox. Not that it's an excuse for them, just an observation. Even we have to wait sometimes for replies and I've worked quite hard building personal releationships with these girls so if one of my brides needs an urgent reply I can easily get her on the phone (usually after 10pm...but whatever). Just hang in there....and be patient (I know, easier said than done). Or have your TA try to get in touch on your behalf.
  21. I have not seen their wedding set up, but the resort IMO is ok. It's moderate. Nothing fancy. It's large and spread out. It tends to cater to a more european clientele as we saw with the food/entertainment and intereacting with the other guests (which was limited b/c noone spoke english). Pretty quiet after the nightly show each night. People just tend to hang around in the lobby playing cards etc. Prices well but for a reason. And it doesn't really compare to the Paradisus which you'll see. In two different leagues.
  22. It will be difficult to find any resort that will allow you to do a ceremony on the beach due to the legal restrictions throughout the islands. But on the Big Island, yes, your best beaches are going to be up near the Hapuna Prince and Mauna Kea. If you wander south check out the Keauhou Resort. Not a great beach but central enough to Kona and a nice comfortable place. I agree, I dont like that entire area where King Kamehamea hotel is located. More like beach motels to me rather than "resorts".
  23. And the same package for $2900 is also now available at the Outrigger Reef on the Beach. Fabulous hotel for moderate budgets.
  24. Congrats! You're going to love it. The pics on their site don't do it justice.
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