Pros: Excellent location, beautiful resort, excellent service
Cons: none that I found!
Okay..we're now back home from our wedding at the Gran Porto Real in Playa del Carmen and I must say any brides who are hesitating on choosing this resort look no further!
Everyone at the Gran Porto Real was absolutely wonderful and I wouldn't hesitate for one moment to recommend this resort to anyone!..So on with the review!
Let's begin with the planning..
We decided after a long couple months of contiplating to do our wedding in Mexico. I looked at other places in the caribbean but found not one of them could really come close to the value, they were far more expensive than Mexico. I've been to Mexico before and loved it however because of the bad rap they're getting in the news alot of people have mixed feelings about travelling there. I stongly believe any place you travel can be dangerous if your not careful and use common sense. I wouldn't drive across the border there but flying into the Riviera Maya area was no trouble at all. Mexico also has a vast array of activities to satisfy any traveller, we chose the Riviera Maya area because (just in my opinion!) it's the nicest part with the best beaches. I've been to Playa del Carmen once before and loved the laid back relaxed atmosphere of the small city. The hotel was beautiful, Ive stayed in Mexico before only at a much bigger resort. I actually found myself liking the size of the Gran Porto much better, everything you need is right there. Theres also a few things that I found the Gran Porto exceeded at above the other resort that we stayed at afterwards..the Gran Porto has wifi access everywhere in the hotel, meaning in your room as well..the other one only had wifi access in certain areas which was kind of a pain..I did most of my picture uploading and organizing at night once my husband was asleep so it was very nice I didnt have to leave the room. Also..at any other resort Ive heard about you must make reservations at all the alcarte resturants, not here..you can just show up and be seated! They're fantasic with very good food! I can't imagine anyone having anything negative to say about them cause I never had any issues whatsoever and neither did anyone staying here, they all really enjoyed the their time there and thanked us for picking such a wonderful resort.
I contacted a few resorts there after narrowing down a long list. The Gran Porto was the most efficent at answering my email regarding package questions. With other resorts I could be waiting at least a week for a response and any ladies trying to plan a wedding knows how frusturating that can be! They always got back to me very quickly..usually within the same day! It didn't take long for us to decide this is where we would have our wedding.. :)
The wedding planning couldn't have been easier, they help you along every step of the way.. sending us catalogs and different choices for pretty much every step. They have this nailed down to a science! It can be a little nerve racking planning a wedding out of a catalog at a place you've never seen but rest assure they will make sure your special day is everything you'd hoped it would be! I still have copies of the choices if anyone would like me to forward them for a sneak peak!
Once all the planning was done the final payment must be made 45 days prior to the event. Once payment is confirmed they will then transfer your file to the wedding coordinator on site, we had Michelle Madrid for ours and she was lovely, clearly in my opinion has definetly done this many times. Everything went off without a hitch. Once we arrived we had an appointment with her the next day so she could confirm everything and go over the timing..as well as preform the blood test which is done by a nurse right at the wedding centre..right across the street from the Gran Porto :)
Wedding day arrives and we have a hair appoinment at 2pm which she has arranged for. Service was wonderful, having a stylist for each person! They give you a ton of pictures to flip through to decide which hair style you like..I cant imagine anyone not being able to find one they love in there!
We had a couple small requests that they added in at no extra charge.. I made up water bottle labels with they put on for me..all I had to do was hand them over..I also had diamonds that I wanted sprinkled on the table at the reception..again no problem at all! We chose the Italian resurtant for our reception and it was beautiful..very well set up..and the food was awesome! I also have pics of the resurant and how they set it up for a reception in anyone would like to see them. We did have a couple that wanted to choose something off the menu that was different..again no problem. I also had a certain song that I wanted playing when I walked down the aisle..(different than anyone else in the wedding party) which was an instrumental of Halo.. (Beyonce)..they did it without any problem and it was so beautiful!
The ceremony was beautiful.. it wasnt done in spanish as I believed it would be. They do their typical vows and once shes finished she asks if you have anything you'd like to say..thats when you can do your own vows to each other which we did.
The part I really wanted to do the review about was the photographer. I couldn't find much about the resort photographers on here so I was a little nervous..again for no reason at all..he was sensational..so patient and always willing to do whatever shots we wanted and encouraged our input. His name was Cesar Rioja and I cant say enough about him. We had purchased the gold package which gets you 60 photos, he took 181 photos and we loved them..he gave us a wonderful deal on the additional prints as well as all copyrights! He even delivered them to our resort (we transfered to another one for the honeymoon) before we left!
The pictures attached are his work..
Okay I tried to attached pictures but its taking forever!..Here a link to a video with his pictures and the wedding gazebo :)
If anyone has any question on anything else at all let me know and Ill be happy to share whatever information I have!
My best advice is relax and enjoy it..everything happened in such a blur!..and dont stress yourself out..they take care of EVERYTHING for you and they definetly know what they're doing! It's a day that I'll remember forever and all the staff made it a dream wedding beyond belief, far more beautiful than I could have imagined. The only thing I was sad about is leaving.. :-(
If someone would like further pics of reception set up or catalog options let me know.. email@example.com