By eholt, · 918 Views · 11 Comments
My husband and I were married at the Suites on Thursday, May 19, 2011. It was one of the best days of our lives and we were super pleased with the way everything went. Cannot speak highly enough and we truly believe everything was perfect.
We arrived at the hotel in a group of 8 on Monday, May 16 around 11:30ish. We were greeted at the door by the amazing bellmen. They didn’t even want us to assist in getting our bags off the shuttle. Greeted again with a cool drink of “fruit juices” and a warm welcome upon entering the beyond amazing lobby area. The front desk staff at the Suites is great! Always willing to help when they can, and willing to go the extra mile for you at any time of the day. I especially enjoyed Dwayne! He was a great help to my entire wedding party over our entire stay. All but 1 of our group rooms was available when we checked in. My parents simply put their stuff in someone else’s room and we all headed to Aunt Ruby’s for lunch. I believe that last room was available within 2 hours of our arrival. No worries!
Our room was ocean front on the 4th floor. The view is awesome. Beds are beyond comfortable. I am mad I forgot to peel the sheets back to see what kind of mattress it was! I had the best sleep ever while on vacay! Beware that the top floor Suites on the front DO NOT have a covering over the balcony so if you want a shady, relaxing area, this is not the place. We personally enjoyed the sun so it was no big deal. Bathrooms are nice and sufficient for getting ready. Our room was clean as well.
*Many people go to the hotel anticipating an upgrade. I will tell you this may be a gamble. We booked what we wanted and were very pleased. If the hotel is booked, the options will obviously be limited so if you can afford, get the view/location you prefer. Personally, there was no “bad” room in the hotel but I know my hubby prefers ocean front everywhere we go. Again, totally up to you, but keep in mind it is not a guarantee.
My group actually preferred the buffet. Breakfast and dinner were always good for us. It was nice to remain casual for dinner if you had allowed the sun to beat you up all day and you just weren’t feeling getting “dressed up.” The buffet was also good since no reservations were required and the group could always have a place to sit together. My group was full of “food critics” and everyone was pleased with the variety. I would rate Calabash with an A+ as the best gourmet; Aunt Ruby’s in second with a B-; and the Mediterranean in last with a D (not impressed).
When it comes to drinks, they were all good and free-flowing. No complaints from the group. Personally, I am not a big drinker but when it’s all-inclusive, why not? All the bartenders were friendly and ready to make you a special concoction based on your preference. Miami Vice was my drink of choice all week and I lost count of how many I consumed, the Jamaican Smile was also a good drink that my hubby had the majority of the trip. The beach is hot and the drinks are cool so….enjoy!
This is an area that is most important to us. Even at home, good service means a lot to us. In Jamaica and particularly @ Iberostar, they have this in the bag. Each and every person at the resort has a totally different view on hospitality than we do in the States. It was as if they were all working for tips and you know they were not. By the end of my week, we were sure to tip each and every person we could. They deserve it and I remain in awe of just how amazing the service was. Whatever you need just ask and someone will try to assist you with your needs. Hats off to the Iberostar team!
The pool is more crowded than the beach but there were ALWAYS lounge chairs and huts available. We were able to sit together or close even with our group. Both beach and pool became more crowded towards the weekend, but that’s to be expected. No complaints here, although if you are particular about seaweed, know that it is in the ocean water!
I enjoyed the hot tubs and sauna with my group. I had my own hair stylist travel with me, but the hotel let me use the hooded dryers in the salon for a $20 charge. I saw some bridal styles there. The up-do’s simply consist of pin-curls up and they looked nice from what I saw. Hubby and I enjoyed the couple’s massage after our wedding and it was A+. It was his first massage and now he wants one once a month. Sounds good to me! I went back and enjoyed my first facial ever and it was nice too! Staff is warm and friendly.
- Planning: We met with Nicole the day after our arrival on Tuesday for our Thursday wedding. We went through the list of final details I had submitted and she was right on point. We made minimal adjustments and the meeting went smoothly. I was undecided on using Tai Flora, but Nicole was able to show me a book with some of their stuff and I decided to use them for centerpieces. I bought all my own Real Touch flowers so Tai credited our bouquet/boutonniere towards the centerpieces I needed.
- Wedding day: An absolute breeze. I confirmed some final details that morning. Tai Flora had delivered my centerpieces and they were all ready to go. The ceremony was at 5 and we started right around 5:15ish. Not a bump in the road. I had few details, but I was happy to adopt the Jamaican attitude of “no problems” while on this trip. I had given Nicole few details and she was on top of her game. Her disposition is as cool as can be but she is very attentive. She actually does a quick “rehearsal”/walk-through of the ceremony the evening before and it was about 15 minutes seeing as though we had no wedding party.
The ceremony went smoothly.The DJ had our music on point.The microphone and PA system kept messing up during the ceremony but I didn’t care, although my guests kept giving the DJ the evil eye.The pics we have are pretty funny.Again, at that very moment, nothing short of a natural disaster could have messed up the day!
Dinner at Calabash was set up in a semi-private setting and the food was fantastic.I still wish I tried some other things on the menu.I did not have enough guests to rent out the whole place (nor was I interested) but the semi-private worked just great.Keep in mind that NONE of the gourmet restaurants book to capacity so the place is never full.I still felt like we had an intimate space.
Now that it is all said and done, I would not change one single thing about our stay and wedding at the Suites. I re-live days of the trip in my head each and every day and cannot wait to return. If you are looking for a casual type of wedding/vacation, you will certainly enjoy this trip and it will be money well spent! Iberostar ROCKS! We will be going back without a doubt!
Photographer - Marcia Roberts
Bouquet - watermeknot.com (Kelly M.) - real touch flowers
Make-up - Rashel Edwards