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About nyclw

  1. Hello Brides, I am writing this review of our wedding at Gran Bahia Principe Esmeralda, now to help inform your decision making for such an important event. We had our wedding July 2012, some background , I researched and read every blog, website etc. as I did not have the option to visit all hotels we were considering. My first choice , from personal experience and attending my friends wedding was Paradisus Punta Cana, Palma Real , but could not due to budget concerns w. family members. As a vacation hotel, Esmeralda it is fine, good food, great beach, the hotel service itself was great. As a wedding venue, I would not go with this hotel after our experience with the wedding planning department. 1. Horrible communication- I spent months emailing with wedding planners(they seem to change by the week w. no warning), I am Dominican American and am fluent in spanish, this did not seem to facilitate planing. I got the sense they just want you to decide most things upon arrival. 2. Wedding venue options, FEES, rules for options, using outside vendors, etc are ridiculous, They have rules and fees for almost any option you would need or like at a small private event. To use any off resort vendors you will be charged a fee ( aprox 200$ or more), to have guests from outside resort attend your wedding you or they will have to pay a fee per guest. I can go on and on. 3. The wedding planning department itself is very disorganized, has poor communication and coordination; my flowers were incorrect and I had to argue w. planner to have florist return to fix my bouquet, She failed to coordinate a rain plan ( it rains often and i had an outdoor location for the ceremony) a second location had to be organized at time of ceremony, delaying our event 1 hour, my guests had to help the few staff members at the indoor location set up chairs and dry off chairs because they were poorly staffed and organized. \ To reserve restaurant for your group , you need to make these arrangements before arriving at the hotel w. your planner, I was not told this and was told at hotel I could not make any restaurant group reservations for my group. I had a few off resort guests attending, we decided to pay the resorts fees for them ahead of time, They were forced to pay upon entering the resort and my husband had to after much back and forth have the planner correct this and return the money to our guests (all during our reception) They double charged us for many items , this came to light at our check out when we were told we had over 1,000$ balance. We had to go to wedding planning department ourselves to have this oversight corrected and almost missed our flight home. 4. Venue for ceremony are poor, they look ok in pictures, but on the resort the gazebos are all in very public overcrowded areas of the resort, one gazebo is basically on the side of the road were the trolley drives by every 15 minutes. the beach venue is also old and on an overcrowded beach, they tell you they can not section the area off. We made the best of these obstacles to be able to enjoy our wedding. We had 70 guests and paid for a private dinner and reception, and did not feel the wedding planning department was efficient or professional. I hope this helps those trying to decide on a venue. I could not find much on Gran Bahia or Esmeralda myself when I was looking. I wrote a formal complaint outlining these and more issues but never even got a response from the hotel.
  2. I know , I totally agree, the guests booking their rooms does not have to be linked to the wedding coordination team. But, besides that dealing with the staff there was frustrating in general.
  3. Hi Everyone, I have been referring to the bdw since we got engaged this past July 2010..and trying to plan a destination wedding for next July 2011 in Dominican Republic..and thought I needed to share my recent experience in dealing with the Romance Team at Palma Real…My original ideal resort was Palma Real , I am Dominican and speak Spanish fluently although, live in New York City (I know some have had trouble with the language barrier)…and have stayed and planned many family trips to other Paradisus’ and other hotels…so thought planning my own wedding would be relatively easy...Unfortunately not so, the Romance team, and Manager Maria Victoria Gomez, have been very unprofessional; not returning calls or emails, giving us misinformation. The resort seems to have a “new policy†where you must plan the wedding event and book the group with the Romance team . In wanting to be very thorough and having dealt with many hotels in the past, I requested a “dummy†quote for a group rate from the Groups office at Palma Real, they were prompt and professional and sent a quote for the group for the month of July 2011 –they gave us a rate of $190 per person per night double oc . I did not tell them it was for a wedding , as I was already informed I had to make all arrangements with the Romance team,. I finally got a response (this is after many calls and messages to groups office leaving messages with them and directly to Romance Manager) with a proposal letter from Romance Manage –Maria Victoria ; stating there is a “rate parity policy†(whatever that means) giving us a the best possible rate of $235 per night per person double occ., also stating that everyone will receive the same rate regardless of how they book their rooms and that they do not offer a group rates!!! Ridiculous!! I called the corporate office(in Florida all are under Sol Melia parent company) to clarify the different rates and information I had received from the people at Palma Real-one person told me they should be offering a group rate and then forwarded me to the manager who reiterated that I would have to book through the Romance team and accept their quoted rate-when I explained the situation she said there was nothing she could do and that I must book groups and wedding events through the romance team. Needless to say, I am no longer considering the Palma Real , as it seems they want to charge higher group rates for wedding parties and give misleading information . I do not have any more time or patience to deal with the Palma Romance team, although it is a very beautiful resort-not worth my piece of mind. I now have been receiving group rates and wedding package information from other resorts , so far with relative ease…sorry for the long message and good luck!
  4. Hi All! We got engaged two weeks ago and it already feels like a rush to plan all the details.. We are hoping to get married Summer 2011 (date yet to be determined) Destination wedding location: Punta Cana, Dominican Republic(hotel to be determined) I have been there many times but would like to pick a hotel with great wedding coordination services-that are reliable and timely. Looking forward to this exciting new venture... Using this website has so far been a little confusing , I will keep trying:) -Y
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