By AD2012, · 1,294 Views · 2 Comments
Wedding week review
Resort: Gran Bahia Principe Akumal
Dates of Stay: May 6, 2012 – May 13, 2012
The resort is absolutely gorgeous. They do an exceptional job at keeping the grounds clean and well taken care of. Personally I did not enjoy this resort as it was a little too big for my liking. That being said, the size of the resort was also the reason we chose it for our wedding, so it’s not really something I can complain about. The size really started to bother me once it came to getting anywhere. It felt like the trains were not running nearly enough. Every time we got on one it was full to the max! In my opinion, they should have been running more frequently for this reason. We found that the service at the resort was seriously lacking. Overall the service from the general staff was less than exceptional and something that we were most disappointed with. Some of our guests tried to catch one of the trains back to the lobby and weren’t at one of the designated stops. They were told they would have to pay to get on. When they got to the lobby and asked the staff working at the front desk if this was the case, it was not. If you flag them down she should pick up, wherever you are. Overall we were disappointed with the level of service we received from the staff at the resort. I didn’t personally spend a lot of time at the beach, but they were gorgeous! We spent a couple days at the pool near the snack bar. The chairs for this pool fill up fast! Adam and I were up at 6:00am one day and people had already claimed the beach chairs with their towels. The other larger pool near the lobby was busy but there always seemed to be room.
We were in room 6621, and I couldn’t have asked for a better room. We had an amazing view of the ocean & the beach. We also had a spectacular view of the Akumal Hammocks wedding location, which is absolutely beautiful ceremony location. I think they reserve this Villa for wedding couples as we noticed quite a few other brides & grooms in this villa. I would definitely make the request to be put in this villa is possible! Our room was also close to the golden lobby and snack bar.
Restaurants are a bit of a sore subject with us lol. It was impossible to get into any of the A La Carte restaurants during our stay. We tried to book upon check-in and we were told to come back the next morning. Adam and I went back the next morning to make reservations and the only time we could get into any restaurant was 12:00AM…. When we had our meeting with the wedding coordinator, she made some reservations for us that didn’t count towards our designated number of a la carte’s and was able to get us better times. We ate at Gran Tortuga (Brazilian restaurant) in Tulum on Wednesday evening for our rehearsal dinner. The food was great but the presentation definitely made the dinner memorable. We had our wedding dinner at Arlequin in Akumal, which was fabulous! I will elaborate on our wedding dinner more in my wedding day review. Friday evening, we ate at Mikado in Coba. I had the fish & seafood entrée and found it be to be mediocre. The appetizers were delicious though! Last but not least was Tequila (Mexican) at Tulum. They have a salad bar for appetizers, which was very fresh. I can’t remember exactly what I had for dinner but it was a fish and mushroom dish. I didn’t care for it but everyone else at the table really enjoyed their meals. Dessert was the best for me at this restaurant. Like the salad bar, everything was very fresh. The two reservations we had after the wedding at Mikado and Tequila were at 10pm and the restaurants were dead! I just couldn’t understand how the only time slot they could give us was at midnight. With dinner at 10:00 we were out of the restaurant around 11:30 – 12:00 and the staff was packing up for the evening. Overall we found the buffets to be ok, with lots of selection. We found the Tulum buffet to have more selection than Akumal and everything to be fresher. We also found that the Tulum buffet was also better in the mornings. People go crazy for the bacon during the breakfast, so show up early! Overall I would recommend the Tulum buffet! We also went to the Coba buffet one morning, it was a lot quieter but they didn’t have as large of a selection as the other locations. One thing I will say about the buffets is that they’re a free for all, no one understood how the lines worked or that you were waiting for an item. One of our friends had another guest at the resort steal their toast one morning. This is actually quite funny, but gives you an idea of the atmosphere in the buffets.
Wedding Coordinator: Jazmin Wedding Date: Thursday May 10, 2012
Wedding Package: Sunshine, $975.00USD
Ceremony: Tulum Gazebo Dinner: Arlequin in Akumal
Reception: Main Pool Akumal
We had Jazmin for a wedding coordinator. Overall Jazmin was great for responding to all my emails, sometimes it took longer than I would have like but for the most part she answered all my questions. I do have one complaint, which significantly affected our wedding ceremony. When Jazmin and I had spoken about having a legal wedding, she told me that the only requirements were to be in Mexico 4 business days, tourist card, passport & the blood test. We needed 4 witnesses as well, and needed to bring their tourist cards & Passports to the meeting. The Friday before we left Jazmin had sent me an email confirming everything and told me that I needed to have my birth certificate translated and apostilled. I was confused about this as it had never been brought up before and I thought I only needed to have this completed if I had been previously married. Turns out this is not the case, I needed to have my birth certificate translated because my father and I do not share the same last name. As irritating as this was at the time, we had a symbolic ceremony and were not charged the difference. It also meant I didn’t have to get my blood taken either!
We were married at the Tulum Gazebo at 5:00pm and I thought it was a fantastic location. We were in the shade for the duration of the ceremony and the breeze off the ocean was just enough to cool us off without blowing our hair or my veil all over the place.
We had our wedding dinner at the Arlequin Restaurant in Akumal for 7:00pm. We started with an arugula salad then mushroom soup and our guests had a choice between filet mignon and chicken cordon bleu for their entrée. For dessert we had Crème Brulée. Everything at dinner was amazing, it was our favourite dinner of the week and not just because it was our wedding dinner! All our guests ranted and raved about the Crème Brulée! We did our speeches in between courses because we were so tight on time. The Arlequin is a small restaurant and was very quiet with only a few other guests there that evening so it was ideal for speeches.
We had our poolside reception from 9 – 11pm at the main pool outside of the Akumal lobby. We hired the resort DJ and were very happy with the music he played. We had given Jazmin a list of songs we wanted to hear and he had them all downloaded and ready for the night of. Anything that we wanted to hear but he didn’t have he quickly downloaded. We paid for the basic bar and got everything, so I would definitely recommend this to any other brides contemplating the bar choice. We did our cake cutting at the reception; we had the three milks which was delicious!! I had asked Jazmin for a three tier cake but we got a one tier instead, it was probably the size of all three tiers put into one lol. Our poolside reception was way too short, I would definitely recommend any other brides to try and go with an earlier ceremony time than 5pm. It felt like our day was just beginning as it ended. After the reception, I changed into my reception dress and went to the disco.
- We rented a cart to take us around for photos before the ceremony. This was extremely helpful because the resort is so large and we had quite a few locations we wanted to take photos at. We paid $100USD for a cart from 1:30- 5:00pm. Definitely worth it and it was big enough to fit our entire wedding party.
- Make your dinner reservations before you arrive at the resort. One of our guests did this and was able to get into all the restaurants they wanted at reasonable times.
- As other brides mentioned, if you want to take any of your decorations home, make sure you take them after the poolside reception.
- Beware of the laundry service. I had asked for my dress to be steamed and they lost it the day before my wedding. After speaking to multiple people at the front desk and Jazmin, they were able to track it down and have it delivered.
Overall we had an amazing wedding day! I married the man I love and couldn’t be happier! Thank you so much to all the ladies on here who helped us put together our dream wedding. If anyone has any questions please let me know. When we met with Jazmin she said that they did 360 weddings last year so they are definitely busy!
We don't have any professional photos yet, one we do I will be sure to update my review with some pictures!
Photographer: Tracy Kuhl http://www.tracykuhl.com/
I can’t say enough nice things about Tracy and her husband Mike; they went above and beyond on our wedding day!
Hair & Makeup: MVP Makeup Artistry http://www.bestdestinationwedding.com/products/mvp-hair-and-makeup-artistry
Melissa has definitely mastered her craft! Her and her team did an amazing job with our group’s hair & Makeup! Definitely worth the money and couldn’t have been happier with the results.
TTD Session just past Akumal Beach
View from our room
Our wedding party
Resort supplied bouquet