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springwater

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About springwater

  1. Not really Cali. A few people had some stomach problems, but I don't think it was widespread enough for it to have been coming from a lack of a filtration systems. Honestly, I didn't even ask about he filtration system before I went, I just assumed it would be ok since it's a really toursity area. I personally didn't have any problems with it, but I travel a lot if that makes any difference.
  2. I'm not sure what their policy is on the site fee. We knew we needed both villas anyway, so we tried to negotiate before booking and that was one of the things that we negotiated. There were also two other villas right near Celeste (vs. Azul, which was a short cab ride away), but they were a little more expensive. But if you have people paying for their own rooms maybe it won't be so bad, but we were really price sensitive since we were paying for the whole thing ourselves.
  3. We didn't do a visit prior to the wedding. We were in Puerto Vallarta for the first time ever just 2 days before our wedding But I saw some pictures of a couple of weddings done at Celeste so I was ok to take the chance. My husband and I actually paid for both villas on our own, as a gift to our family and wedding party. We reserved the villas back in September, paying a 50% deposit, and we had to pay the remaining 50% two months before the trip. So, as I said, we paid for them so we didn't have to collect money from people (except for the daily meals, which we did have everyone chip in on), but we did have to collect for the airline tickets. I got a group rate from the airline. This isn't exactly a discount, all it is is a way to lock in a rate at a certain date, then you have until 1 month before the trip to pay the balance. In my case, I had been watching ticket prices and they were consistenly in the 700+ range. Then right around Christmas I saw they dropped to 580, but not everyone had that money just laying around to get their ticket, especially since it was Christmas. So I had I everyone pay a $100 deposit to lock in the 580, and they had until 30 days before the trip to pay the balance. I had to pay the airline 1 payment, so I had people send me money through Paypal and I used it to pay the airline. I guess you can do something similar for the villa payments. And we just let everyone pick their own rooms, it was pretty much first come first serve. And since everyone was on the same flight and took the same shuttle to the villa, it was a mad house! People just left their luggage outside and ran in to pick rooms
  4. Sorry for that wall of text...I don't know where my paragraph breaks went
  5. California10, you pick which 2 meals you want served daily and the time (included with the villa). We picked breakfast and dinner, assuming people would be going out during the day and could get their own lunch. There is a menu you can pick from, and the chefs will present you with a receipt at the end of each day for the groceries. I will admit, it was a little hectic splitting up the bill, so I would recommend doing a total estimate for the week and having everyone pay up front. Then just have one person settle the bill everynight. Jenna, it's my pleasure. I know when I was initially planning I really wished there were more reviews available, so I'm glad to help. Depending on the number of people you have you can definitely have it at the villa, it would be gorgeous. I just wanted to break mine up since we already have family staying at the villa and we were having the reception at the villa. I wanted a different background for some of the pictures. We had 32 people and it felt a little empty at Celeste because there was so much space. Besides splitting the bills amongst ourselves and our guests, there was absolutely nothing unorganized about the villa. The staff was excellent, they really took care of everything. We were able to tell them what we wanted stocked ahead of time, so when we got to the villa there were margaritas and guac and salsa all ready for us. It was really fantastic. We didn't have to wash one dish, pour one drink, or even call a taxi if we needed it. We never lifted a finger! But at the same time we didn't feel as if they were in the way. Bear in mind that you can't really walk from Villa Azul to Villa Celeste, so your guests will have to take a taxi if they want to get from one to the other. I was a little worried about this but it turned out fine, the taxi was always there within 5 minutes of us calling and the ride was very cheap. Our other guests staying at hotels didn't have any issues either, they actually hung out with us a lot during the trip.
  6. We booked out villas through Vallarta Shores and they have a few other villas and they also have a condo hotel with 1-3 bedroom condos. I can't speak for all of them, but the two villas we chose were beautiful and averaged about 100/night, which was within our budget. We also had some other guests that were comfortable just finding their own hotel, and they were fine taking taxis to our place when they wanted to hang out with us. In total we had 32 people, including myself and my husband. I would recommend you shoot them an email with a brief description of what you're looking for, because they replied to me very quickly with a very detailed estimate. My original quote was under 7k for up to 40 people (it was closer to 6k, I can't remember the exact number). This didn't include the donkey, fireworks, cigar roller, or alcohol. It did include a guitar player for an hour. Also, this was with the 75/pp caterer, which I didn't go with in the end.
  7. Hey California, We booked two villas through Vallarta Shores - Villa Azul, an 8 bedroom villa where me, my husband, and our wedding party stayed, and Villa Celeste, a 5 bedroom villa where our immediate family stayed. We saved a little money by booking early in the rainy season, with the hopes that we would get lucky with the weather (which we did). So all together we paid under 1,400/night for 13 bedrooms. The villlas were amazing and everyone loved them. And since we booked both for 5 days, we didn't have to pay an event fee to have the reception at Celeste. For alcohol, our wedding planner gave us suggestions of what to buy based on the number of people we had. We had a little left over at the end of the night, but it was ok for us since we still had 2 more days in the villa after that. But overall it was pretty reasonable. For instance, you can get a bottle of Jimador tequila for roughly $8 USD. For the wedding night, the staff cooked the dinner that was served but the tables, linens, etc. were rented from an outside company I believe. My wedding planner handled all of that so I don't have all of the details. But even with that cost added in, my final reception price per person was still half of the original quote I received from an outside catering company ($75pp). This also included waitstaff and bartenders.
  8. Hi All, Just thought I'd post a review of my wedding experience...hopefully it can help people looking for some information. Venue We knew that we wanted to do a villa wedding as opposed to a hotel/all-inclusive thing, and I'm so happy with the Villa we chose. We finally settled on Villa Celeste in Conchas Chinas. We had the wedding on the beach nearby and the reception at the Villa (which our family was staying at). It was absolutely gorgeous! There are so many great spots in the Villa to get beautiful pics. We found the Villa to be really affordable, and it came with chef service...which leads me to: Catering We received a quote for catering the wedding, which was actually really reasonable. But since the villa comes with chef service we wanted to use them to save some money. By using them, we paid about half of what we would have paid with an outside caterer, and the food was delicous. Our wedding planner helped us to figure out how much alcohol was needed, and the staff went out and bought it and we just had to reimburse them. Wedding Planner We went with Vallarta Weddings to plan the wedding for us. I am extemely happy we picked them because I couldn't have been happier with their work. When I originally began planning I reached out to Dazzling Details, and while their work looks beautiful, they were way out of my budget. But this turned out for the better, because I got Eva and Michael from Vallarta Weddings and everything turned out beautifully. I think a big reason why everything turned out great was because I tried not to be overbearing. I gave them a theme that I wanted and let them come up with the details, and they did an amazing job of interpreting my vision. Also, since the villa itself was so beautiful I didn't want to overdo it with the decorations. They did a fantastic job! DJ For the DJ we went with Michael of Vallarta Weddings. He set up speakers on the beach to play the wedding party and bridal entrance songs, and also had a setup for the reception. Honestly, we were a little worried because we planned on making a playlist to give him and we never had the time to do it. But I'm so glad we didn't because he was so great at reading the crowd and keeping everyone dancing, and I feel like it could have only been for the worse if he had to be confined to our playlist. And, his services were very affordable. Photographer For photography we went with Eva Sica of Photoshoots Vallarta. As you can see from the pics above, she did an excellent job. They were very easy to communicate with and prompt at answering emails. No problems there! Videographer Photoshoots Vallarta has videography services, but we went with Raul Rolando Rios Torres (http://raulrolandorios.com/) instead. This was a tough choice for us because I couldn't find many reviews on him. Even though the videos on his site were very nice, you never know to whom they actually belong. But we decided to take a chance anyway and this was possibly the best decision we made for the wedding. The video he produced for us was absolutely beautiful! All of our guests have been raving about it. And the best thing was he was very affordable. Extras Just to try and make things a little more special, we went with a donkey, a cigar roller, and fireworks, all coordinated through Vallarta Weddings. These were the little things that I think made the wedding more memorable, and it only added roughly 1k more to the wedding cost. I hope this helps in someone's wedding planning. Any questions feel free to ask! Steph
  9. Cool, I'm sure they'll turn out great. We just got back from our wedding and the maracas were a huge hit...so happy I went with them.
  10. Try Michael from vallartaweddings.com. I'm using him for my reception and his prices were very reasonable. I'll be able to give better feeback next month after the wedding.
  11. I'm actually getting married at Villa Celeste, the same villa that Taquito posted. And since chef service is included with the Villa rental I decided to use them for the reception. I am using Eva and Michael of Vallarta Weddings as my planner, so they are coordinating everything for me. I thought their prices were fairly reasonable. You can contact them and give them a brief explanation of what you are looking for and they will send you a pretty detailed price estimate.
  12. I've ordered custom maracas for my wedding and they ended up being 6.75/piece. They include a design I picked ($6), our names ($0.25), the date ($0.25), and the location ($0.25). I was able to pick out the colors I wanted and she sent me some pics as samples and I think they turned out beautifully. I'm so excited to give them to the guests. And, she is right in PV so you can just pick them up when you get down there, or have her deliver to you wedding planner for a fee. There are two places I compared: http://www.maracasartanddesign.com/ http://www.maracasmexico.com/ They both look like they do beautiful work but I ended up going with the first one because she charged 6.75 vs. the 8 that the other site charged. I highly recommend, mine came out better than I could have pictured. Hope this helps
  13. Sorry, I missed that you already mentioned up to 100 people. I guess I found it reasonable because I will have closer to 40. The quote I received for the mexican buffet style setup was 1300 for 40 people (32.50pp). This includes food, 1 or 2 waiters (i don't remember), a bartender, and setup of the equipment like tables, table cloths, dishes, etc..
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