so if you've read back through the forums, you'll know I've been here for 1.5 yrs, and through that time, I've been super loyal to the Royal (I've spent two vacations there in the past). however, with the pervading sentiment lately being frustration with their policies and fees, I just wanted to throw this out there...
I recently asked to change my reception from private to semi-private (we have a mere 11 guests), and they told us the only restaurant times available are 6pm or 9pm. now those of you who have booked a photographer will know the best light is sunset, so the goal is to do cocktails while you're off shooting and then have dinner after, around 7pm. the royal's issue is that this is peak dining time, so you must schedule around their needs, not the other way around. now, this would be understandable if it was some sort of sandals-type free wedding, but it clearly isn't. when I realized how blatant they were being about me planning around them, something snapped, and I threatened to start looking for other venues. lo and behold I found one that same evening. it's called wicky's and has a gorgeous, glass-enclosed, air-conditioned private dining area for 20 people or less with an attached patio overlooking the ocean. they're rumored to be one of the best restaurants in playa, and though their food is american, they carry USDA-quality filet mignon and king crab. their private dining room is geared to smaller groups, but they can accomodate weddings of any size up to 375 (you can even rent out the entire restaurant and patios). oh, and the cost to have your wedding there? $350. seriously. no sunset fees, no weekend fees, just $350. do they allow sky lanterns? you betcha. no $300 charge, no BS statements about the environment, just go set them off and wicky's will be happy to help. I asked about getting a small tres leches cake, and linda, the coordinator, offered to visit a local bakery (who doesn't have a website and doesn't speak english) and send me pricing. how long do we have the dining area reserved for? as long as we want. did linda offer to book us a mariachi band to escort us from the royal to wicky's? absolutely. what's more, linda gets about one panicked phone call per month from a fed up royal bride asking to switch the whole thing to wicky's.
now I understand this isn't the most ideal location for everyone and I didn't mean to make it into a sales pitch about wicky's specifically, but I wanted to point out that if you're fed up with the Royal, YOU HAVE OTHER OPTIONS. please don't be scared to look around. oh, and the cost of moving my reception and switching my wedding to a la carte pricing (vs one of the royal's packages)? THE SAME. I don't know about you, but I'd much rather give my money to a venue that will appreciate me being there than one that expects me to cater to them and pay whatever fees they deem necessary. honestly, at this rate, I think the Royal better watch themselves. there are simply too many other places in Playa willing to cater to brides with lower rates and zero BS fees.
here's a pic of wicky's (from their website) so you know it's the real deal: