OK Ladies, here is my review - FINALLY! I know its been awhile but it just seems like ever since we got back I haven't had much time between school, work, and other plans. I tried to include things that I wanted to know about before going and I hope that it is helpful, and as always feel free to ask me any specific questions The Resort/Check-in/Our Room/Transportation: First of all this resort is HUGE when you consider it in its entirety. I personally never even made it over to the Tulum side of things and barely made it into Coba (went to the Hibatchi restaurant there one night) so we mainly stuck to the Akumal portion of the resort. When we arrived they whisked us away on a private golf car to the Golden Club lobby as we got upgraded (bonus!). We arrived around 2:00 so they said that our room was not ready yet and come back at 3:00, which was fine. We left our luggage and my dress at the desk and walked the ~5 steps over to the snack bar and got a couple of drinks and some of the most delicious guacamole ever. Once it was 3:00 we headed back and were told our room was ready and we gotâ€¦ drum roll pleaseâ€¦. Room 6626! Of course we didnâ€™t know it at the time, but I would venture to say that it has to be the best room in all Akumal! Top floor (3rd) on the end, overlooking the beachâ€¦. Just fantastic! (I donâ€™t know if it had anything to do with our travel agent or not, but when we made our booking I made sure to tell her to put a note that we wanted top floor, ocean view, we were the bride and groom, etc etc). Needless to say we loved our room and had great service the whole time we were thereâ€¦ I canâ€™t think of one complaint. (View from our room - the Akumal Hammock location can be seen just past the Palapas) I will note that some of our guests had minor complaints. For example my parents didnâ€™t have hot water one day. They called the front desk to report it and it was fixed later that night. Another few guests in the same villa complained that their A/Câ€™s were not working, but again called the front desk and it was fixed and running by the time they returned to the room. Overall, I think that it pretty good service and while not perfect, definitely not a deal-breaker or huge letdown. Back to the size of the placeâ€¦ If youâ€™re walking, donâ€™t really follow the room number sign directionals. Most of the time it will lead in you a huge circle when you could have just turned the other way and been there much quicker. I just suggest taking a little while to walk around and orient yourself the first day you get there to get the hang of things. The only time we took the trollies was when we had our luggage or when we went to the Hacienda or the restaurant at another resort. The biggest negative about this resort is the time it takes to get to and from the airport. I personally have been to this area of Mexico quite a few times, and knew that it was going to be ride, but based on the reviews for the weddings chose it anyway (after all thatâ€™s the whole reason you are there right?). First of all, the ride really isnâ€™t that bad, but definitely still in the negative column for me. On the way down we had a CRAZY driver who sped and whipped in and out of traffic, who got us there in 55 min! One the way back to the airport, we had a driver who went the speed limit the whole way and we got there in 1 hour 15 min. So moral of the story â€“ the travel time is 1 hr 15 min normally, just be aware J Random Thoughts: This is not a deal breaker but something that caught my attention â€“ all over the resort they mention their contributions to an ecological fund to help preserve the environment in Mexico. And yet at all the bars they serve you disposable plastic cups! They have the hard, reusable plastic cups that I expected for about 1 hour in the morning and then switch over to the throw-aways. It just seems so wasteful â€“ and a little contradictory to their signs, etc. Spa: I got my hair done at the spa and I was very happy with it. I didnâ€™t have a specific â€˜do in mind, but brought in a few photos of ones I liked and just let her know that I wanted it up and to the side and a place to put a flower and it turned out great! It cost $85USD and was charged to my room. The one thing that I was concerned about is when I wrote the email to them they originally scheduled me from 12:00-1:30pm. Our photographer had set out a little schedule for us to begin taking some of the before pictures (getting ready, etc) at 1:30 so I was nervous that I was going to be super rushed if the appointment really lasted that long. I wrote back to request an earlier appointment and they got back to me and changed my time to 10:00 â€“ 11:30AM. Turns out that the appointment only took about 45 min so I had a ton of time to do nothingâ€¦ If I had to do it over again I would have kept the 12:00 appointment so I wouldnâ€™t have felt rushed first thing in the morning and wouldnâ€™t have had a huge chunk of dead time in the afternoon since I was the only one getting my hair done. Wedding Ceremony: We did the symbolic ceremony (we did the legal thing in the States before going down) and it was very nice. It went very smoothly, all our guests could hear everything that was said, both from the minister and us, and it was beautiful. I was unaware of this at the time but the minister talked with my husband right before the ceremony to ask how to pronounce our names, etc. and it gave Steve an opportunity to nix anything that we were uncomfortable withâ€¦ (as in pronouncing us â€œMr. and Mrs. Tuinâ€ at the end since I am keeping my name). The one thing that stood out to us was there was still a decent amount of religion in the serviceâ€¦ we prayed twice. While it wasnâ€™t a huge thing or really bothered me that much, it was a little unexpected as we are not religious people and had we known in advance we probably wouldnâ€™t have had it included. That being said, it was all very nice, and there was no objectionable stuff like obeying or anything like thatâ€¦ I wish I could be more specific for future brides as I was curious about the content before I went down there, but as I was unfamiliar with the subject matter I donâ€™t really have any specifics. If someone is just dying of curiosity I could review the video we have and let you know more detailsâ€¦ just PM me. We got married at the Akumal Beach/Hammock location. We stayed with just the included white decorations and just had rose petals scattered up the aisle. I thought this was perfect as it really let the location itself shine, which of course is the whole reason we chose it. I thought it was beautiful and so did all our guests. You really donâ€™t need anything else in my opinion because you donâ€™t really notice it anyway since you are so focused on other things J and again it really lets the ocean be the backdrop! (Wedding Ceremony at Akumal Hammock Beach location) Wedding Dinner: We had our wedding dinner at Dolce Vita, the Italian restaurant, and it was FANTASTIC! Everyone said that it was the best meal of the entire trip. As we had a fairly large group (46 total) we had to choose the meal items ahead of time. We chose the Caprese Salad, the Minestrone Soup, the chicken dish (more on this below) and we upgraded the cake (Tres Leches) so everyone could have it. In our party we had 4 vegetarians (including me and my husband) and one vegan, as well as 3 kids. They were so nice and accommodating to our needs! They even made a special salad for the vegan. The soup was excellent â€“ one guest said she could have just eaten that for dinner and been happy! For the vegetarians they served us a creamy mushroom linguine pasta for the entre that was SO good. I obviously didnâ€™t eat the chicken dish, but heard that is was great as well â€“ â€œthe meat was moist and flavorful, not tough like some of the stuff you would find at the buffetâ€. They also took special orders for the kids â€“ pizza and spaghetti. The cake was beautiful and tasted amazingâ€¦ I am kinda sad that I didnâ€™t eat more of it, but I was stuffed at that point! (Our cake with out custom cake toppers (dinosaurs) from etsy - RAWR means I Love You in dinosaur) This is also where we did speeches and it worked out really well. There was time after most people had finished dinner before cake and it was relatively quite so everyone could hear and see what was going on. My brother (the Male Of Honor), Steve's brother (Best Man), my mom, and one of Steve's good friends all gave short speeches. Pool-Side Reception: What can I say â€“ this is the part that MADE the wedding for me (I mean, yes it was a meaningful and beautiful ceremony, but we were in Mexico with our friends and family â€“ the party is where itâ€™s at!) We chose to have the after-dinner, pool-side reception with the Special Cocktails ($5pp the first hour, $3pp for every hour after) with the resort DJ ($210 per hour in CASH â€“ paid to Eugenia at the first meeting). It was set up right outside the Dolce Vita restaurant at the activity pool, right near the snack bar. It was scheduled for 7:30 to 10:30. We brought down a TON of glow sticks â€“ both bracelet and necklace sizes - for everyone to wear (we found them all on Amazon). The DJ played good music the whole time and was great at requests â€“ he even found Dick In A Box for us (yes we totally played that and it was fabulous, lol). He did not talk at all which was perfect for us, we just wanted to dance. At some point someone decided that it was time for the â€œtraditionalâ€ dances so we pulled out our iPod which had a playlist of our songs and told him to do that. My dad and I danced to â€˜Itâ€™s 5 Oâ€™Clock Somewhereâ€™ by Alan Jackson and Jimmy Buffet. Then we did our first danceâ€¦. We started off to a slow romantic song and thenâ€¦. Rewindâ€¦ did a whole choreographed routine (borrowed from How I Met Your Mother)! After that Steve and his mom dancedâ€¦ and then it was back to partying. Like I said, I thought the DJ did a really good job of playing a variety of songs that all age groups enjoyed. (Glow stick dance party) Please noteâ€¦ even though we paid for the cheapest barâ€¦we got EVERYTHING! We were doing shots of tequila, whiskey, rum, vodka â€“ you name it the whole night. The bartenders were fantastic and made anything and everything! Definitely do not pay up for the more expensive drinks as you are going to get them all anyway So here it isâ€¦ the best part of the nightâ€¦ we ended up having a DANCE PARTY IN THE POOL!!!!!! It was seriously the best wedding reception anyone could have asked for. The pool has a shallow end where you can just step in and it comes to ~right above your knees, which is where we startedâ€¦ but then we all ended up taking a swim in the deeper part too. There were two security guards but they just stood back and watched us all dance and playâ€¦ I think someone even gave them glowsticks to wear. Needless to say, it was so much fun and super memorable! (Wedding Party in the Pool) Wedding Coordinator - Eugenia: We had Eugenia as our WC as we stayed in Akumal. As with all brides it took a long time for her to write back at first but as the time got closer, her response time was greatly reduced as well. As for when we actually got down thereâ€¦ I canâ€™t say enough good things about her. She really knows her stuff and everything, down to the last detail, went off smoother than any wedding I have ever been to! We had so many guests even comment about how everything was so smooth and perfect. Eugenia is so friendly and open to all of your questions, concerns, comments, etc. She made us feel very comfortable with the whole process that I wasnâ€™t nervous or thinking about anything detail oriented at all! We hadnâ€™t even finalized my flowers selection until our meeting at the resort, but again, it was so easy (could also be a reflection on me since I wasnâ€™t specific on what flowers I wanted â€“ as long as they were bright and tropical and included in the price, I was happy). My only â€œnegativeâ€ comment comes from my husband and it is directed to Eugeniaâ€™s assistant â€“ apparently when all the guests were gathered at the snack bar before heading down to the wedding location, Eugeniaâ€™s assistant came up to Steve and told him it was time to go and they needed to hurry and get down there, etc. It freaked Steve out a little bit being rushed around trying to figure out if he was supposed to wrangle the guests down as well. But then Eugenia came over and calmed her assistant and Steve down and was like, its ok, things are running on time and smoothly. I will personally let you know when we all need to leave, etc. So like I said, a very minor thingâ€¦ and of course I didnâ€™t even know about it until the next day when Steve mentioned it!