By beckys98, · 2,645 Views · 5 Comments
We had 61 guests staying at Iberostar Rose Hall Suites hotel, with people arriving/departing at different days between June 7 – June 16. We were extremely happy with our choice of resort. It is close to the airport, family friendly, beautiful and clean. The size of the resort was perfect for us. It felt nice and small and it was easy to find people and quick to get anywhere.
All in all, our wedding events were everything we hoped they would be. Our guests had the best time and everything was beautiful. A few things could have gone more smoothly but, of course, our guests didn’t notice.
Wedding Coordinators – I would give them a B/B+. One month before our wedding I sent an email with a couple easy questions and followed up twice and didn't hear from them for 3 weeks - I would expect MORE communication closer to your wedding date, not less! We really had a very simple set up (no bridal party, no head table, no cake topper, no menu cards or favors, etc.) and really only had 3-4 things that were important to us that we discussed during our meeting 2 days before our wedding. We didn’t want any aisle runner…our ceremony was set up with the white runner anyway. They played the WRONG SONG for our processional and when we told her afterwards she insisted she played the right song. No, no you didn’t, we know the song we chose and that was not it! Why argue with us? So we ended up doing our first dance to the song we were supposed to walk out to – kind of a big thing to mess up.
We were also very clear that we wanted dinner service to start while speeches were going on so that dinner could be complete by 8:00pm at the latest (we were private at Calabash). Well, speeches started and dinner service did not so after 2 speeches my sister went and asked the servers to begin. At 8:15 dessert hadn’t been served yet so my husband and I got up and did our first dance anyway. The wedding cake was also never served! We did pictures cutting the cake, but we didn’t want to interrupt dancing to make people watch. We assumed the cake would be cut and served but it never was! One of the servers finally cut it after the last dance as everyone was leaving so people could take a piece to-go. About ¼ of our guests had already left and didn’t get any. I really would expect that making sure the wedding cake was served would fall under the responsibility of the wedding coordinator and not the bride L
Also, the night before we had a welcome dinner at the steakhouse at 6:30 and bonfire with the steel drum band. The band was scheduled to play from 8:30 – 9:30. Well, similarly, dessert wasn’t even served by 8:30. I only casually asked someone what time it was and they said it was 8:40. So I freaked and had to rush our guests out of dinner to get to the bonfire – it was almost 9 by the time we got people down there and we missed 1/2 of the time we paid the band for. Again, I feel like it was the responsibility of the wedding coordinator to at least tap us on the shoulder and let us know the time it was and help us usher the guests down there.
We went down to the office to pick up our items after the wedding, brought it back up to our room and realized when we were packing to leave that they didn’t include our guest book!! We did get it back at the last minute but, again, kind of an important thing to make sure you return to the bride and groom.
Overall, I felt like they had a little bit of a disinterested attitude that I was surprised by. I had sent our ceremony script and final guest counts and entrée counts for both the welcome dinner and wedding and our timeline about 10 days before we arrived and when we showed up for the meeting they had no idea I had sent it – hadn’t even seen the email yet – fortunately I had printed out extra copies for them. There were a couple of other small details that were frustrating. Maybe because we were so low maintenance they didn’t worry about us too much? I put some friends/family in charge of certain aspects but in retrospect I should have put them in charge of more to help the days run more smoothly and take more of the responsibility off of my shoulders.
Welcome Dinner/Bonfire – We did a welcome dinner the night before the wedding at Aunt Ruby’s at 6:30, followed by the bonfire from 8:30 – 10:30 on the beach with the steel drum band from 8:30 – 9:30. We had our guests draw a table number out of a hat before dinner so everyone was randomly seated. This worked out awesome because people got to meet other guests! Plus, we only had 6 tables so most people still had 1-2 others at the table that they knew. The food was delicious and everyone raved about it. The slightly odd thing is the servers don’t really offer drinks other than red/white wine, so everyone was going inside to the bar to get drinks. It was okay because it was probably faster that way, but just something to keep in mind. The steel drum band was AMAZING and the bonfire was totally worth it for our welcome event.
Spa – I had my hair and makeup done in the spa on the wedding day, along with many of my would-be bridal party (we didn’t do a formal bridal party). My stepmom had brought champagne from the airport and brought it down to the spa that morning – the spa manager served it for us and kept our glasses full. They were all so lovely and helpful. My hair and make up ended up absolutely perfect and lasted ALL NIGHT despite the fact that I was sweating buckets. I did have false eyelashes and my right eye was watering a ton so my right lash was coming up in the corner. Tracey, who did my makeup, came up to my room before our first look and reapplied the lash and touched up my makeup for me! I have zero hesitation about recommending the spa for hair and makeup. I was 100% happy.
Ceremony/Reception – Our ceremony was on the beach at 4:30pm. The ceremony location is definitely off to the side enough that we only had a couple gawkers, but I absolutely did not notice them at all! And they don’t let anyone walk behind you on the beach so they aren’t in pictures. It was windy that day so sand was hitting my face a little but I was glad for the breeze to keep me cool. We did group photos on the beach immediately after – I was a little worried because even people who weren’t in photos hung around, but since the bar is open in the steakhouse/snack bar, people just went in a grabbed a drink and were fine hanging out. We left to do our pictures and everyone went to the lobby for drinks before the reception started at 6:30. (We did not pay for a formal cocktail hour.)
We paid to rent Calabash for a private reception for our 66 guests (we had 5 off-property guests) and did the international bar. I already mentioned a bit about the timing, but the restaurant itself was perfect for our reception and for a group of our size. We chose to do the Jamaican entrees instead of the regular Calabash group menu and we’re so glad we did. Everyone RAVED about the food and it was really delicious. We were able to swap out the salad and soup course with Jamaican options as well. There was plenty of space to dance and everyone had a blast!
Rooms – We booked a regular room and were given the upgrade to Ocean View (Room #4422). We had a spectacular view and our room was cleaned every day (late morning) with turndown service every evening. The minibar was restocked every other day (which was plenty for us). I had seen some reviews saying the air conditioning didn’t cool their room but that was definitely not a problem for us! We had to open the door frequently to warm it up in there because it was so cold! I was glad because I sweat a lot J Check in and check out were simple – no issues. We did have one guest on the bottom floor who saw a cockroach in his room, and he was immediately moved to a higher floor. (It is an island…bugs happen.) The exhaust fan in our bathroom also didn’t work when we checked in so it got really steamy and humid when we showered, but we called maintenance and they fixed it right away. No one else mentioned any issues.
Restaurants – We ate at all the restaurants on the Suites property and they were pretty good! Unexpectedly, the Mexican was our favorite. I had the tacos al pastor and couldn’t stop talking about them all week. I think unanimously the Mediterranean was everyone’s least favorite, but it was still good. The buffets are a little bit smaller than other all-inclusives we’ve stayed at but the quality of the food was better. We are slightly biased, however, because they always had an abundance of Jamaican food (and my husband is Jamaican) in addition to plenty of other options so we were always pleased! I really don’t think they keep much track of how many of your restaurant allotment you’ve used. No one had any issue getting as many reservations as they wanted. All in all, the food at IRHS was very good compared to other places our guests raved about the quality – especially at our welcome dinner and wedding dinner. The room service menu is small but our group used it heavily – especially in the middle of the night. My girls ordered it on the wedding day and it did take over an hour, but other people said it took about 30 minutes. We also went to the Mexican restaurant at 4am on our wedding night for snacks and they make hotdogs/hamburgers/etc. to order for you, which is another great option for late night food!
Pool/Beach – The beach is a little bit rocky right when you enter the water, but then it is smooth once you are in. The water is so warm and clear and we had zero issue finding a spot to relax in the shade. It is slightly harder to find a “prime” chair at the pool but we were also looking for space for 60 people! Pool bartenders were great and kept our drinks full. We spent all day the day after the wedding in the pool and it was super fun and just what we wanted.
Disco – Oh the disco! Ha. The disco was DEFINITELY the best disco of all the discos at all-inclusives we’ve stayed at. Hands down. It always had a crowd but was never packed and the DJs were fantastic. It isn’t the same guy every night and there was one night I would have sworn the DJ knew we were coming or someone gave him a list of what to play because every single song had our group dancing. He was on point. (This happened to have been the night before our wedding so I was up until 3am dancing with our guests – I just couldn’t tear myself away! It was worth it.) It was absolutely perfect for our group and I hear at least a handful of people from our group closed it down every night.
Theatre – We tried to go to a show the first night as we had been told by one of the workers that it was the BEST show all week. Well…we left after 15 minutes because it was so terrible! Haha. We didn’t attempt the shows on subsequent nights so maybe they got better, but it wasn’t for us J