When we decided to get married in the Dominican Republic we did extensive research of many different resorts and what wedding packages they had to offer. The main reason we choose to have our wedding at the Riu Mambo was because of the stay at one, but you can use all three feature. We where concerned about our guests and them being bored. For many of them including us it was our first time at an all inclusive resort. And that was the last thing we wanted was everyone who came with us to be bored and disappointed.
Once we confirmed our wedding date we choose the Royal Wedding Package and that was all we had to do until we arrived at the resort. So Easy! The day after we arrived we met with the wedding coordinator and her assistant for about an hour and we got to pick our flowers, and the location. We choose the beach over a gazebo. She also explained to us what would happen during the ceremony and what we where expected to do. They also had a wedding cd that they asked us if we wanted to use, which we did. Or we could have brought our own. Then that was pretty much it, we paid her and then we went on to enjoy our holiday.
We didnâ€™t see her again till the day of the wedding when she came and got me in my room before the ceremony which was scheduled for 4pm. The groom was already at the beach 30 minutes before the ceremony like she told him to be. When she came and got me she had my bouquet and they where just what I expected them to look like. Once we got to the beach I was surprised at how many people where standing around watching. I found they didnâ€™t give us any space, many where standing right beside where our guests where seated. I know we where warned that there would be people watching, but we where not expecting as many as their where. (Probably around 75 or so) So the majority of our pictures from the ceremony have random people in the background. The ceremony itself was very quick, maybe 20 minutes or so. The minister spoke only Spanish so once she said whatever she said then our wedding coordinator translated it to English for us. Once we where pronounced husband and wife our guests threw rice at us as we walked down the isle and then we did all of our signing and pictures. Our wedding coordinator even took our group photos of all of us with every single personâ€™s camera. Which was really nice of her to do. We opted not to use the resort photographer because of the price. It was going to be $300 USD for 16 photos on a cd and printed in 8x12. And that was if you paid in cash. If you wanted to use credit card it was 15% on top of that price. All of our pictures turned out great though. Really the scenery is so beautiful that you donâ€™t need to do tons of poses that a photographer would put you in, you can just stand there and it will just naturally look beautiful. After we where done all our guests left to hang out at the bar while we went around to the resort and took our wedding pictures. The scenery was perfect, with it being so lush and also with the ocean our photos are very unique.
We had dinner reservation for 8:30PM that evening at the steakhouse restaurant for our wedding supper. When we arrived they had all the flowers from our ceremony moved onto the tables and pillars surrounding our long table. We all ordered steak or chicken, and I donâ€™t think anyone was really satisfied or happy with the meal. The food was either barely warm, flavorless, or well done when they asked for medium. After we finished our meal the waiter poured us all champagne and brought out our wedding cake. We never got a choice of our wedding cake so we didnâ€™t know what to expect. It was a 2 layer cake all white with tons of frosting. It looked like something from the late 80â€™s, but it tasted really good. One layer was chocolate and the other vanilla with coconut. One of the best tasting wedding cakes I have ever had. It was just too bad the presentation wasnâ€™t better.
After our dinner we all walked over to the club that was onsite and partied throughout the night. Once we where done we headed over to the 24 hour bar and grabbed some late night sandwiches before calling it a night.
We are so glad that we choose to have a destination wedding at the Riu Mambo. It was so easy and laid back and all we had to do was just show up. There where things that we wished where better- the cake, the strangers watching, but because of those things itâ€™s something to laugh about and a wedding that people will remember forever.
We stayed at the Riu Mambo in February 2010. We traveled with a group of 16 people for our wedding. When we arrived at the Riu Mambo resort we had a very quick check in, which included giving each couple a welcome cocktail and an envelope that included your room key, safe key, towel card and a map of the resort. Once we arrived in our rooms our luggage came a few minutes later. The rooms we had where very spacious and clean. They have two double beds pushed together, a mini fridge that is stocked every two days with beer, pop and water. There are also 4 different types of optics in your room that you are free to use. (rum, vodka ect.)
The grounds of the resorts are very beautifully kept. The surroundings are very green and lush with many trees and different types of flowers. You always saw people cleaning, never once did we see garbage on the ground or on the beach. The beach was very nice, the nicest out of all three resorts. The others had more trees and not as much beach. It also didnâ€™t matter what time of day you went down to the beach you could always find a lounger. They also had shopping on each end of the beach with shacks that you could go into and purchase souvenirs. They pretty much all had the same things. We found that the shops at the far end- Next to the Bachata where the private water sports beach was, everything was much cheaper. It seemed as if they did not get as many people to that side so they always started out the prices much lower. The pools on the other hand, not so much. Everyday at 9am if we went to the pool, every lounger had a towel on it, with no people around at all. The pools where always kept very clean, fairly small though compared to the other two resorts pools. The mambo pool was very basic- no swim up bar, waterfalls ect.
The Mamboâ€™s restaurants included 1 buffett that changed at breakfast, lunch and for supper. There was a wide variety of different foods, mostly American style food. (Spaghetti, ham, roast beef, chicken, salads, potatoes, soups) The food was not the best of quality but it was fine, and we all always found something to fill our plates with. We did find that the Riu Bachata had the best food on their buffet. We normally ate there at least once a day. They also have an outdoor seating area, which is nice. They also had a snack bar during the day by the pool. It was a small selection with pizza, burgers, hotdogs, fries, salads, soup. The snack bar would close during supper time and would become the alâ€™ a carte restaurant. It was split in half one side being the steakhouse and the other side an Italian restaurant. We only ate at the steakhouse once, which was for our wedding supper. The steaks where not of good quality of what we are used to in Canada. You have to reserve the alâ€™ a carteâ€™s the day of to get a seating. They normally are all filled up by 7:30AM. I would say that it was definitely not worth it. No one in our group ate at the Italian, but from what we heard from other travelers it was worse than the steakhouse.
The evening entertainment was different every night at all three resorts. We always watched the shows at the Riu Meringue every night. The stage at that resort had a nice layout and we always found a place to sit. Anytime we went to the Mambo stage it was packed with only standing room. The shows where fairly good, nothing that you would pay to see somewhere. We had two nights where they got members of the audience to go up on stage to do different activities (dancing competition, Valentines Day games) which where fun to watch. Much better than the stage shows like the African or Michael Jackson ones.
Overall I would say the Riu resorts where very nice and I would recommend them to anyone I know wanting to go to the Dominican Republic. It was great to be able to use all three Riu resorts on the complex. I think that made it a huge factor in why we enjoyed it so much.