Long review of my wedding at GP January 5th, 2011.
We booked our wedding at Punta Cana part of the resort. Mistake #1. We mainly chose that side because of our guests. We decided to stay 6 days at Punta cana and then move to Royal Turquesa for 4 days.
Check In at Punta Cana Lobby: From the moment we got there it was off. The front desk 'supervisor' Faustino was extremely unprofessional. If you demand some basice customer service he will be such an ass to you. On the other hand if you let him flirt with you then its completely different service. Some of my guests already arrived a few days prior and had a lot of trouble with their rooms. We already knew about this and requested to be put on the second floor due to a lot of mold in the rooms. If you did book or will book Punta Cana, first of all do yourself a favor and dont. But if your guests do choose it do not go into 2000 block first floor. My brother and parents had to change their rooms due to excessive mold issue. I have been to this country 3 times prior and all over caribbean so I'm familiar with the mold issue...it was fine until now. When I say mold I mean MOLD GROWTH in the shower, on the mattress....
So Faustino would just walk away as we stood there waiting to check in. He did not let us have a room until 4pm. Not to mention try to accomodate some of my guests who shared a room to have a two bed room. So they shared a bed!!! For 3 days straight they would come every morning to request a two bed room and they would not accomodate so poor people just gave up.
First impression of my JUNIOR SUITE at 2000 rm 2032. We come inside the room and the pull out sofa is flipped. I mean pulled out stuck cushions gone and just crooked stuck in air. Interesting right? We pick up the phone to call front desk...not working. Finally 3 guys came in and for an hour hammered in that sofa to get it to go inside and we still could not sit on it. Some time later the cushions for it arrived. Not to mention that it was visibly filthy and moldy.
We contacted our Apple Rep and told her everything. I was mostly upset for my guests. She did work with us and was very nice but it is almost impossible to talk to their front desk staff including the managers. She managed to get them to listen once we actually took them into our suite and showed the filth on furniture and mold. The day before the wedding they decided to put us into ROYAL TURQUESA as a favor. Once we saw the room there we were even more upset. I dont know what it was but it just got worse and worse. They put us in the lowest possible room there. It was the same room as our Suite as far as furniture type etc. but it was just a room while I had a Suite there. So we decided not to move because here I was paying for a suite to have more room for the wedding day as we take pictures and such. Just the whole experience with the managers upset us that we did not even want to move at all. We chose to stay in Punta Cana section and not to even move for the 4 days we paid for. I know we looked completely crazy but for 3 days straight they were driving us nuts that we just gave up and did not want it to ruin our vacation.
The pictures you see on trip advisor of Royal Turquesa with white linens and such...yes they do exist but not on the first floor which is what they gave us.
I dont want to seem like a bridezilla but I do not think I would return to this resort again. They use the nicer sections of the resort to spruce up ones such as Punta Cana and give it 5 stars while its barely 3. False advertising so be very careful which section you choose.
Resort Grounds: Absolutely amazing! I have been all over carribean and particularly in DR. They have one of the best kept grounds and its hugeeeee! Just walking around the resort is relaxing. AMAZING!
Food: As always very good food. If you're picky stick with the buffets. You can switch back and forth between Punta Cana buffet and the Bavaro. I would definitely recommend checking out the Brazilian and Japanese restaurant. You do need to be there right before 6pm to make a reservation. They dont take them prior. Also the Spanish restaurant was very good. We tried getting into the Chinese but it was booked the last night.
One restaurant that I did not enjoy was the Arrefice (seafood) but you cant always win. Overall great food! The serving staff goes above and beyond. Fantastic people.
Beach: As always it is breath taking. Clean and plenty of private little nooks to hide and relax. On the days when the weather was exceptionally nice of course the lounge chairs were scarce. You do need to get up earlier and go to the beach to claim yours. Beach is always my favorite part and refuge from the moldy room.
Wedding: Since my wedding was during Carolina's vacations I did not get to meet her. Instead I met her lovely assistant Kenya. One thing I want to mention ladies. Keep all your emails with Carolina, do not delete. This will come in handy if you had any special requests and some confusion comes up once you arrive. With them everything gets confirmed once you're there so I did have some trouble explaning that I will be having a beach reception with only 17 guests instead of 20 that they request. I had my travel agent confirm this with their apple rep prior to coming and still when we came they gave me a tiny bit trouble only because Carolina wasnt there. But nothing major.
Kenya made sure she had all the details. We gave her our sand ceremony kit and little details.
We were having the ceremony at the gazebo and then a dinner reception on the beach a la carte. I cannot say enough about the wedding. Even though we had a rough start with the room and all the wedding made us forget it all.
LADIES DO NOT WORRY!! They will take care of you as much as you request. If you want to have a private dinner reception on the beach with special requests they will go above and beyond. We were really impressed. From the ceremony to the very dinner.
We had a DJ starting at dinner until we were done. I must say that the servers were some special people. We loved them! Such professionals, more so than the front desk. Kenya stopped by to check on us and I could not believe she pulled it all together. FABULOUS!
PHOTOGRAPHER: I know a lot of brides here always ask about photographers. I have a friend who is a freelance photographer himself and when I was choosing mine he helped me. I came across Jorge Alloco. Let me tell you. This guy is a real professional. Google him and check out his website/profile.
His work is amazing and he has real good equipment. We met with him the day before to go over what we'd like and from then on we went gaga over the pictures he's taken of our wedding. I do want to say. What you pay for is what you get. I have seen weddings done at the resort with the resort photographer. You can do that yourself. They only have a camera with one lens all the time. If your at all knowledgable about photography once you see their photographer you'll know. Jorge is a real sincere person and extremely interesting. He has extensive resume of his work. It all comes down to how important your wedding pictures are to you. Another thing I forgot to mention. He also has a guy with him who does videography. We used him as well and definitely were happy that we did.
I know Jorge will be posting some of our wedding pictures on his blog as he does with most of his brides (with signed consent of course). If you're interested in seeing our photos please check out his blog http://jorgeallocco.blogspot.com/ he should be posting ours in a few days. Alma & Muamer 01.05.11.
CONCLUSION: LOVED IT! If I could come back to this resort and get married every time I would. Their Wedding services exceed their customer service as far as front desk. Punta Cana section is not at all 5 STARS...absolutely not. BAVARO and Palace are much better which is where my parents stayed prior to our wedding and we went with their review. Avoid unnecessary headache and go to Palace or Bavaro. Our guests admitted the same thing. They would have rather paid more than to have their kids inhale all that mold.
Have fun planning your wedding and once you get there let them take care of you. I know its hard to believe it (it was hard for me even) but it turns out 10x better than you expected.
If anyone has any questions I'd be glad to answer as best as I can.