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Finally! Sandra's Cabo - Riu Santa Fe review

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#1 Sandra E.

Sandra E.
  • Sr. Member
  • 2,183 posts

    Posted 12 April 2008 - 01:59 PM

    I apologize about the delay, I've been studying for an exam and has taken a lot of time. But here's the review... FINALLY!!

    Vendor Grade:

    I designed my own and have been getting a lot of compliments!

    Vistaprint: (A+)
    I printed my engagement and wedding invitations with them and they did a fantastic job. I only wish they had different options in paper stock, I would of like them to be on heavier stock. Another good thing about them is that they supply the envelopes!

    Papermart (A+)
    I wanted to deliver our invitations in a unique manner and I absolutely loved this bags, I think they're unique and people enjoyed them.

    Asianideas.com (A+) -
    I bought the parasols and pink flip flops for my bridesmaids here. I was so happy with all of them.

    Ailanakais.com (A+) -
    I bought the OOT guests bags here and I absolutely loved them, they came on time, they were easy to travel and it was kind of fun to see the girls carrying them throughout the trip.

    blissworld.com (A+) -
    What can I say, my favorite thing in the whole world. I'm a fanatic of bliss. I bought the ray of hope for the OOT bags and all the women loved them. I also bought the body polish for the bridesmaids and the moisture mousse for my MIL.

    anti cellulite treatments, sun protection for body - bliss

    steep clean body polish, body scrubs, bliss - bliss

    magnolia body moisturizers, body lotions, bliss - bliss

    Cole Haan (A+) -
    Bridesmaids bags, they loved them. I don't have a picture of this and will have to post it later.

    Wedding Website (A+)
    Mark & Sandra
    Thanks to my DH, we were able to have something that I really wanted. He's an excellent web developer and just made it happened. Since he has a hosting package, we only paid $10 per year for the domain.

    ATTIRE (A+)

    My dress: I got it at Nordstrom it was a Mary L Couture. After trying a couple dresses on I decided I wanted something light for the beach. I didn't want it to be heavy, I went for comfort. I ordered it online and I knew it was it when it arrived. It didn't require any alterations.

    My shoes: I found a white pair of Anne Klein that I liked very much and had them died fuschia.

    Mark's Suit: Also bought it online and got an amazing deal, we paid under $135.00 for the whole suit. They had a fantastic sale!

    Groomsmen Attire: They bought their linen pants from various places and my sister-in-law found the linen shirts at TJMaxx.

    Bridesmaid’s Dress:
    I didn't want the bridesmaids to look the same so I told them they could either wear orange or pink and they all chose pink. I love how different they all look in the pictures. My sister's dress (hot pink) is BCBG. Katelyn's (silver accents) is Nicole Miller and Farrah (Tulle) got hers at Charlotte Rousse (By the way she's over 5 months pregnant in the pictures!).

    Ring bearer:
    My nephew Nicholas. He's shirt is from the Gap and his pants were from the cuban store. I think he looks absolutely precious!
    Boys Linen Pants: Beach Wedding Shirts | Guayaberas, Linen Pants, Boys Linen Shirts, Mexican Wedding Shirts.


    Everyone flew on American, most of the guests came from Dallas, Mark's aunt and uncle came from North Carolina, he's brother came from Glasgow and his parents from New York. I called the meeting services desk and arranged for the 5% discount, it was easy.


    Erika Rangel (Riu Santa Fe) - She was on top of everything and she was also reliable. She responded to all my emails quickly, she was professional and answered all of my questions. Once we got her and met with her, she was very thorough about all of the details.

    One of the things that I would advice on is the chair ribbons. Right now they only have purple and gold chair ribbons, the gold worked with our wedding, but if you want a different color, make sure you bring them with you.

    Angel M. Calero (Erika's boss) - He's one of the managers for the Riu. Can I just say Wow!!! He was simply amazing, we had a couple of hiccups with the hotel and my gosh he handled it with no problem at all. He made things happened. Extremely professional and very aware of our needs.

    Hotel and wedding reception - Riu Santa Fe (B+) -

    Room, check in, service -
    Thank you to Erika and Angel, everything went smooth. In fact they knew who we were once we arrived at the hotel (they saw our web site). Everyone is very nice and extremely friendly. The restaurants are spotless and so is the whole property.

    Fine Cousine restaurant's reservations -
    They have a system that in my opinion and others it's not very effective. We got very lucky since some friends were there before we were and a lot of people ate together and we would take turns in doing it. Supposedly, you have to make reservations to the restaurant of your choice the day of between 8am-11am. Well unfortunately the resort is huge and they only serve a certain amount of place per sitting. So what a lot of people were doing is getting up early to get in line, get their number and then would come back around 8am and wait for their number to be called. Obviously you want to get their early to get the restaurant of your choice. I can tell you that the Italian and the Streak house are the most popular and are always the first ones to go. We didn't try the Asian restaurant, because we never heard anything good about it and the Mexican restaurant was ok. This is one complaint that I have read from a lot of travel sites and this is how it's planned for every Riu.

    *Note - if you're planning to do your wedding dinner at the hotel with your hotel package, I would recommend doing it at the Steak house. The Steak house overlooks the pool and the ocean, I spoke with Erika about the seating arrangement and like you'll see in the pictures it worked very well. We had a total of 27 people including us. Another thing that I would recommend you to ask and confirmed before you get there is your restaurant choice. Erika had suggested that I wait till I got there to decide which restaurant to choose for our wedding dinner, but I told her I didn't want to take a chance and wanted it take care of before we got there. She complied and it was taken care of before that.

    The main restaurant (California) which is opened all of the time for breakfast and Dinner was overall good. They had a huge selection of Fish, meat and chicken. Anyone is bound to find something that pleases them. Also, a couple of nights a week they had a fiesta set up outside the restaurant with Mexican food.

    Transfers to and from the hotel -
    This may change but at the time that we went it was included in our rate. This was the most difficult situation to deal with. I had sent everyone's itinerary over to Erika to please give to the transportation company. Which she did about 3 times and once Mark and I got there with 7 of our friends they only had 6 of us there with incorrect names. So once again I have explicit information to the company of who and when they were arriving. Well even after all that 2 couples were not picked up and took a shuttle to the hotel which is about $50.00. One couple spoke with Angel and got their money reimbursed.

    Tours -
    Guests booked various tours with the front desk there are a couple of companies in the lobby and it all went smoothly. Mark and I booked the glass bottom boat for 15 people and got a discount to 10.00 a person since we paid cash. They all took cabs to the marina and had a great time. Mark and I booked the day trip to Todos Santos.... amazing!

    *Note - you can take the glass bottom and water taxis from the hotel but remember that the current is extremely rough in that area and will get soaked.

    We didn't plan for a welcome dinner, but my brother in law treated us to an awesome dinner at El Capitan Fish. It's in the marina in the mall upstairs, they put us in the terrace and the food was absolutely amazing. All fish, steak - I highly recommended. DELICIOUS! also great service. The lobster was breath taking.
    Capitan Fish Seafood Restaurant - Cabo San Lucas, Los Cabos, Mexico

    The weather was amazing during the day absolutely perfect, but chilly at night. I recommend pashminas or light sweaters in the evening. I'm guessing April will be similar since we left on March 31st and the weather was pretty much the same the whole time. Now during the day while we were hanging out at the pool, it was perfect! Not too hot to be out there drinking a mojito!

    I did my own makeup. However, I got my hair, nails and eyebrows done at the Renova Salon. Even though it's in the property it's independently owned. It's a very nice salon a couple of friends got a sweedish massage done and they loved it.

    Pancho's (A+) -
    Absolutely perfect! Jennifer was a delight to deal with, she answered all of my questions and would get back to me right away. She was extremely professional and everything turned out perfect. I was a bit nervous to book Pancho's since a lot of the reviews that I had been reading in the forum, but I couldn't be more pleased. In fact I mentioned all of this to Jennifer. Everyone had a great time and everyone loved their food, the guacamole was to die for and the margaritas just kept getting stronger and stronger. Jennifer reserved an area for us and I sent her place cards and a seating chart and she took care of everything. She even put our logo in our menus, it was just great. They had a trio going around and playing music and everyone was entertained. We booked 2 hours at Pancho's and that's exactly how long we were there, it was a very smooth operation.
    Pancho's Restaurant - House of the Best Mexican Food in Los Cabos, Mexico!..

    Jennifer Lee – Ext. 20
    Groups & Special Events Manager
    Restaurant Pancho's & Tequila Bar
    Tels: (624) 143 2 891 – (624) 143 09 73
    Cell: 044 624 134 29 94
    Calle Hidalgo Esq. Zapata, Col. Centro, Cabo San Lucas
    C.P. 23450 - Baja California Sur – M©xico

    Transportation to and from Pancho's (A+) -
    Thanks to Jennifer from Pancho's I found a great guy at a very reasonable price. I had been getting extremely high quotes from everyone else and at the end I'm glad I chose Enrique. We agreed on a price by email and gave him a list with all of the people that were going. Well, he was fantastic. He showed up with 3 vans they all had a sign on the front window acknowledging our party and he designated people to their vans. Amazing!! Since sometimes I don't think things run very smoothly in Mexico, this was brilliant.
    At the end of the evening some of us decided to go out and Enrique came and picked us up.

    Sr. Enrique Mora P.
    Destination Management
    From U.S.A. 011-52-624-144-48-58
    Mobile 011-52-624-122-34-46


    Our ceremony was on the beach at 6pm, we were the only ceremony that day - we lucked out and I liked that. While I was walking to the beach a lot of pool guests were yelling congratulations and some whistled. It was very funny, my parents and I were laughing. The mariachis were there playing, they were all dressed in white and I loved them. I've always wanted a large mariachi band for our wedding and I was so happy when I saw them down there.

    Minister (B-) -
    He was nice, but changed the ceremony to his liking a bit. He didn't have us signed the Ketubah at the beginning of the ceremony how I requested it, he signed it later and gave it to us. He also didn't make room for my Mom's prayer and my Mother in law's blessing of the wine. We did those at dinner instead. I wasn't completely upset about it, but a bit bothered since I had emailed the ceremony program to Erika 2 weeks before.

    Mariachis (A+) -
    Mariachi Internacional, just awesome! Jose Luis was my contact name and they did a great job. He always got back with me right away and answered all of my questions.

    There are 2 main companies in Cabo, and I happened to come across Mariachi Internacional on my own. So make sure you tell the hotel that's who you want to use for your wedding, otherwise they'll charge you due to Union laws.
    Jose Luis Gonz¡lez
    Mariachi Los Cabos Internacional
    Homephone: (52-624) 173.3587
    Cellphone: 624.151.5529

    Photographer (A+) -
    Gilda Badillo. She gets there and means business, she doesn't waste any time, she works immediately. She came with an assistant and I thought they both did a great job. She took over 400 pictures in just 2 hours, I couldn't believe it! She was just awesome! Since Mark and I stayed a whole 9 days after everyone else left, she brought over a DVD and had done her picks and put them in a leather album for us. She even brought us the aluminum paper to wrap the DVD in for security! I highly recommend her, she was affordable and very different.

    We did have to buy a day pass for Gilda since we went outside of the hotel, so expect this.

    We did use the hotel's photographer that came with our package for some additional photos besides the wedding. I didn't know his work so I decided not to use him for our wedding. Which even though he did a great job, I'm glad we used Gilda instead. The pictures of Mark and I on the beach where I'm wearing the blue dress were taken by him. He also was very nice and put the pictures in a leather album for us.

    USA ... 619 378 0034
    office.. (52) 624 144 4227
    cel......(52) 624 355 3400
    zaragoza y 16 de septiembre local 3
    Cabo San Lucas B.C.S.
    cp 23450 Mexico

    RECEPTION (A+) -

    As I mentioned we had ours at the Riu Santa Fe in the Torote restaurant (Steakhouse) I was so pleased when I walked up there, it looked absolutely beautiful! I had purchased pashminas, thanks to the help of NYJen in pink and orange. Each lady got one in a different color. There were just a couple of flower arrangements on the table and everything had white linens.

    Afterwards we headed over to Pacha, the discoteque for some dancing. Thanks to Angel, they opened it earlier for us and allowed Nicholas (he's only 5) to join the festivities.


    Riu Santa Fe (A+) -
    I was very impressed with the cake, Erika sat down with me and we chose it a couple of days before the wedding. It was delicious. The only thing that I regret not doing is bringing a cake topper, but the pictures give us something to laugh about since the bride is so much taller than the groom.


    Cabo Flowers (A-) -
    Flowers are just expensive in Cabo no matter where you look. I used the hotel for my bouquet and Mark's bouttenier and ordered the bridesmaids, flowers for my hair and the rest of the boutteniers from Cabo Flowers. I really liked what she did. The only reason I'm not giving her an A+ was because all of the boutteniers were purple not fucshia, but they did look nice in the photos.


    If you have an opportunity to go here, do so. It's very quaint, there are a lot of artists. Fantastic place to visit, we went to the famous hotel California and took a ton of pictures. Mark's hobby is photography so he really enjoyed this trip, he took some great photos. We had a wonderful lunch at a Mexican restaurant across the hotel California and the food was out of this world. Amazing margaritas, I've never had margaritas like these.

    We also went shopping to a store called El Pueblito, of course everything that I liked was really expensive. They have very exquisite pieces of sterling jewelry with different topazes pendants.

    Final thoughts
    Everything really came out great and all of the hard work paid off, everyone was happy. Especially Mark, right after the ceremony he looked at me and kept saying "we did it!". During the ceremony he cried and honestly blew me away, I didn't see that one coming, so then I cried because he was crying it was very sweet. So enjoy your moment, everything does come together and at the end every one had a great time.

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    #2 Yari

    • VIP Member
    • 10,928 posts

      Posted 12 April 2008 - 02:05 PM

      What a great review!

      #3 Sandra E.

      Sandra E.
      • Sr. Member
      • 2,183 posts

        Posted 12 April 2008 - 02:06 PM

        Thank you Yari!

        #4 Golden

        • Jr. Member
        • 354 posts

          Posted 12 April 2008 - 05:00 PM

          Great review!!!

          #5 Alyssa

          • Sr. Member
          • 11,793 posts

            Posted 12 April 2008 - 06:38 PM

            what a great review! thanks for sharing your pictures - you looked so beautiful!!! i love seeing everyone's wedding pics b/c you can see so much emotion :)

            i love all the little details - it really came together nicely

            #6 Tamster808

            • Jr. Member
            • 193 posts

              Posted 12 April 2008 - 07:13 PM

              Great review. Your pictures turned out great. You look soooo pretty!

              #7 nikkianddean

              • Sr. Member
              • 1,881 posts

                Posted 12 April 2008 - 09:05 PM

                Congratulations sondra!!! That was a great review and simply gorgeous pictures. Your wedding was beautiful - thanks so much for sharing!!!

                Mr. & Mrs. C
                February 14, 2009

                #8 Kryztan

                • Member
                • 743 posts

                  Posted 12 April 2008 - 09:48 PM

                  Your review is great....and you looked beautiful!

                  #9 tlomlad

                  • Banned
                  • 1,949 posts

                    Posted 12 April 2008 - 10:53 PM

                    great review!!!!! this will help alot of girls congrats!!!!!!!!

                    #10 cabobridey

                    • Newbie
                    • 141 posts

                      Posted 12 April 2008 - 10:56 PM

                      Thanks for sharing your review! It totally made me cry... you look so beautiful, and it looks like everyone had an amazing time!
                      Your tips were SOOOO helpful, I am so excited to get married there in July!!

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