By Lisa Dyer, · 1,964 Views · 1 Comment
Ok, let me start of by saying that I’m not usually an all-inclusive type of vacationer. I prefer smaller hotels that make you ‘feel’ more like a local but since it was for our wedding and we were bringing family members with young children, many of which have not travelled before we decided that a resort was the right choice.
Check-in – C: 38 of us arrived at the resort around 9:30pm on Saturday night, the check-in was a bit slow but they were fairly efficient and provided us with drinks while we waited. One negative comment regarding check-in was the lack of directions for guests on how to get to their rooms (and the resort can be a bit complicated when you first arrived) and the lack of help with luggage, especially to our family members that had small children and to some of the older guests. In fact, I found the front desk staff to not the least friendly of all of the staff at the resort.
The Resort –A-: The resort is beautiful and incredibly well kept and although we’re usually ocean people we loved the infinity pool and swim-up bar. The beach was generally well-kept although a bit rocky at times however the entire week we were there it was quite windy which could be why we tended to stay at the pool in the afternoons. The kids in our party also loved the Waterpark and it was great they had shaded loungers for the parents so they could sit and watch the kids. My only complaint about the resort is the lack of open-air restaurants and patios to enjoy in the evenings, although I appreciate the air conditioning our group would have preferred more areas that were outdoors, especially at night when we wanted to get together after dinner.
Room – A+: We booked an oceanview room and were upgraded to oceanfront. The room was huge and beautifully furnished and had the most amazing view! We also arrived to a fruit basket and bottle of wine which was a nice touch J
Food & Restaurants – A+: We can’t say enough good things about the food, we loved, loved, loved it and we had many picky eaters with us! My fiancé and I personally only had time to try the Steakhouse and the Gourmet both of which were delicious and comparable to high-end restaurants in Toronto. Our guests also tried the Mexican and the Mare Nostrum Restaurants and loved them. Most days we ate lunch at the Steakhouse as we loved that it was open air and though the food wasn’t as heavy as the options at the buffet restaurant. I.e. the steakhouse had hamburgers, hotdogs, jerk chicken, etc, while the lunch buffet tended to be similar to what you’d see at dinner time. We also ordered room service the day of the wedding which came relatively quickly (45 mins) and was delicious.
Entertainment – B-: Although we loved the entertainment staff most of our guests didn’t like the Nightly Shows they held in the Theatre, it seemed a bit amateur and not as interactive as I’ve seen at other resorts. The other events at the resort however were all great, this includes pool-side entertainment, daytime activities, children’s activities and the band and singers they had most evenings in either the lobby bar or the Blue Moon Music Bar.
Wedding Coordinator Review – B-:
We arrived at the Suites on a Saturday evening and went down to Nicole’s office on the Sunday morning to find out when we’d be meeting to go over the wedding plans and to confirm our rehearsal dinner. When we arrived Nicole’s assistant Simone was there and she immediately got our file and setup a meeting time for the following day with Nicole, she also confirmed our Rehearsal Dinner Reservations.
We met Nicole Monday morning and she went through our final details sheet with us to make sure she understood all of our instructions. She was fast and efficient and we felt as ease immediately with her. The only issue we had was regarding the 2012 vs. the 2013 pricings. When we signed our contract with the hotel in November 2012 we received the 2013 package prices however when Nicole sent us our Final Details Sheet the week before the wedding it had the 2012 packages on it. Since we preferred the 2013 packages we asked that we receive those but Nicole explained that since we did not pay a deposit that we could only get the 2012 packages; this is because the 2012 packages didn’t require a deposit... So this didn’t make sense to us and we tried to reason with her but to no avail.
Our only other issue with Nicole was regarding our fire lanterns, when we met with her we told her that we wanted to set off the lanterns after our wedding but when 10:30pm arrived Nicole was nowhere to be found and our guests eventually left. Apparently around midnight someone saw Nicole running through the lobby asking where we were because she had the lanterns, of course by this time it was too late as our guests were already in their rooms or elsewhere for the evening. This also bothered me because we had our photographer booked for another hour after our reception to photograph us lighting the lanterns. When we went to see Nicole the next day she didn’t apologize but we did manage to set-off the lanterns with Simone’s help on our last evening at the resort.