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Playa del Carmen
Absolutely amazing experience at the resort, amazing wedding, but get a wedding planner!
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This is a review of:

Playacar Palace

Detailed Ratings
Accommodation Value:
4.0
Communication:
1.0
General Location:
5.0
Wedding Sites:
5.0
Wedding Value:
4.0
KSparks29

By KSparks29, · 1,330 Views · 4 Comments

Pros: Resort was beautiful, service was great, all guests were happy
Cons: Expensive resort vendors, wedding planning communication is very poor (just get your own!)

I would totally rate Playacar Palace 5 stars, but the wedding planning portion of the experience was so terrible.

 

The Resort:  Fantastic - great service, great experience!

1)  Absolutely perfect location for our various guests - right in the heart of Playa, on a sandy beach with a great pool.  Steps to 5th Avenue and haha, a Starbucks!  It was also convenient to various excursions in the area.  Right next to the ferry to Cozumel, so much stuff was nearby and it was the perfect blend for a big family with different opinions.

2)  Service and food was amazing - my family includes 2 of the most extremely picky eaters with odd food allergies and both (for once in my life) were satisfied at the variety of food and their effort to accomodate food allergies.  Anywhere you went, service was readily available - it was fantastic.

3)  Wedding venues were amazing!  We chose the wedding terrace bc we didn't want to walk in sand and we thought it'd be cooler - it overlooks the ocean on a top floor of the resort.  The terrace was very pretty - a long hallway of crystal beads and an atrium with a modern wall-paper - it was better than we hoped and we spent very little effort decorating bc the view was so beautiful.

4)  Amenities were amazing - the SPA was one of the best I've seen in the world, the excursions available were highly reviewed by all my guests (one went on for an hour!).  We struggled to understand the Resort Credit promotion -but overall, it was great, you just pay 16% tax on anything you buy with the "free money" so we and our guests were happy.

 

Wedding Planning:

1)  Booking was easy with Angelica - she was very responsive, scheduled calls, answered all my questions.  Their policies require a lot of reading and are very convoluted -- layers of promotions/package deals make it really hard to exactly understand what you will be paying for and what you won't be paying for.  Read carefully!

2)  You get a Free Wedding Planner when booking with Palace - THIS WAS ABSOLUTELY terrible.  I worked with Renee Garcia, who was so bad I finally called and asked for a new planner.  I was given to Margarita, who was just as bad.  :(  I gave up.

-- They will not give you a basic list of vendors and options that you need to have for your wedding. You just have to ask a zillion questions via email or on a scheduled call (which kept getting missed) in order to understand exactly what you need to plan.

--The vendors are very expensive!  I anticipated high prices but was blown away by the prices.

Advice:  If you want to stay at Playacar, which was ABSOLUTELY amazing, consider doing an alternate wedding planning company to take the only negative thing out of the experience.

3)  On Site Wedding Coordinator - we worked with Laura Castellanos, who was amazing.  We met with her as soon as we landed and she calmed all the fears we had developed after working with Margarita for the past 6 months.  Everything went EXACTLY as planned and she was a pleasure to work with.

 

The Experience:  Absolutely amazing!  

  • We had our reception on the South Solarium, which is right outside the main restaurant by the pool, so I was concerned there'd be a bunch of resort guests walking around our wedding being a distraction, but that was not the case at all.  We paid to have the palm tree lights and some overhead lights because the sound person said the area could be dark at night.  I think just the palm tree lights would have been fine, but it looked beautiful. 
  • The food was amazing (you can tailor your own buffet menu), cake was amazing (and I hate cake), and I didn't get a chance to try the other desserts we had at the event.  We did not do a big dance - we had a DJ play some music and we set up some board games and bean bag toss games for guests to enjoy.
  • The wedding event went great - we had our own officiant, which made the experience better.  They will provide a microphone for free and play whatever music you prefer.
  • Wedding photography was done by DreamArts photography, the on-site photographers, and it was great - I'm still waiting for pictures, but the quick snaps the photog showed me were great and they were a pleasure to spend time with (the groom and I wandered off for some photos during our cocktail hour - there is a nearby ruin).
  • They say they'll charge you for having your own decor, but they did not charge us - we hauled a bunch of stuff down with us (yay free bags on Southwest!) and the wedding was beautiful and we did at inexpensively as we could.  I don't regret any of the options I chose!

 

Final Advice: I'd definitely recommend a wedding at playacar palace, but would prob recommend using your own wedding planning service or else respond VERY quickly if the wedding planner they assign you is not good.  I've read a ton of reviews and not all the planners are terrible - I think we just drew the short straw.  :)

 

PM me if you need any help/have any questions!

 

 

4 Comments


Thanks for sharing your experience!

 

I love Playacar Palace's beach photos and I am thinking about having wedding here but I agree that the package I got was a bit confusing. Will you be able to share (in ball park.. if possible) what was included in free wedding and what you have to pay for how many people?

 

Thanks so much again!

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So sorry, I didn't see your comment until today!

 

Complimentary wedding package includes:

- basic decor at ceremony (chairs and alter, simple faux flowers) and dinner (table and chairs with white tablecloths + open bar + buffet meal) for 30 guests

-music at the ceremony (You can book their audio visual system for the reception for a couple hundred dollars and hook up an iphone playlist).

-officiant

-on site wedding coordinator

 

If we booked 60 room nights (10 rooms booked for 6 nights each, for example) - you get a free "two hour event" - which would either be a dinner (buffet or plated, the plated meal costs extra) or a cocktail reception (drinks and apps) for 30 people. This will include standard decor (table cloths and bar set-up), but no lighting, decor, etc.

 

If you get 75 room nights, you can get "unlimited" private events (so your food and drinks for any buffet or cocktail hour are free), also with the same standard set-up.

 

Overall - we spent about $2400 for reception audio equipment ($385), a "cocktail hour" before the buffet ($600), palm tree lighting at the reception, + overhead Xmas lights and papel picado banners ($1500) + some additional fees for outside guests. This was for about 30 people total + a few kids. This doesn't include the amount we paid for our own rooms.

 

We spend another $2500 on photography - using their on-site photographers. We got digital copies of all of our prints.

Other expenses include: hair and make-up at the spa, flowers from an outside vendor, dry cleaning/de-wrinkling of the wedding dress.

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Hey! Very interested in learning more. I found your comments very helpful. Could we possibly chat via email/phone? Planning October 2018 wedding. Thanks! Christa

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