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RESORT BOOKED: Barcelo Marina Palace - Varadero, Cuba


Amarillis
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Hey Ladies,

 

In early February 2008 we went on a research trip in hopes of finding the perfect wedding location. While we were there we checked out 3 resorts - I couldn't decide whether or not to post this in the reviews section - it technically is research.

 

This resort is HUGE! On most sites it is classified as a 5*

Beach: This resort is at the end of the peninsula, the beach is not the expected pristine white sand beaches of Varadero that one would expect, there is a lot of seaweed and small stones all over the beach. Having a beach wedding there my main concern was that it could be REALLY windy.

 

Rooms: The standard rooms are similar to mini suites and are quite nice. They are really spacious and super clean. They offer many extras that most other resorts we visited didn't (umbrellas, extra pillows, room service)

 

The suites were incredible. This was definitely a selling feature of this resort.

 

Food: While visiting the resort, we were invited to stay for lunch at the buffet. The food was really good and the selection was great. The buffet had a kids section and a bbq grill that was manned by a couple of chefs. If the lunch buffet was this impressive I can only imagine what the dinner buffet would look like.

 

Pools: The pool areas are very nice, very clean and have a playscape for children including a waterslide and a play fountain (this was important to us as we have around a dozen children attending the wedding)

 

Grounds: Very well kept, absolutely gorgeous. Their wedding gazebo was really small. We are anticipating a minimum of 40 adults, and the gazebo was simply too small to accommodate having the wedding there. The beach would be the place if you were expecting a bigger crowd.

 

This resort really was lovely, and although we had an appointment with the wedding coordinator we were escorted through the resort by her assistant – who honestly did not speak English very well. We really did think that this would be the resort for our wedding.

 

The major downfalls of the resort was the distance from the resort to the centre of the town of Varadero ($15-1cool.gif and the wind on the beach and the lack of pristine white sand.

 

This resort is the destination of choice for our wedding. We managed to negotiate a KILLER deal with Megan Crouse of Ocean's Travel and Cruises Megan's Brides by Oceans Travel!

 

If you are interested in seeing the wedding packages, PM me and I will email them.

 

[Our first choice was the Melia Las Antillas, but at the eleventh hour they have changed to an adults only resort (whole other story) ]

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  • 1 month later...
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I thought I'd offer my two cents regarding planning in relation to this resort thus far...

 

Communications with Sandra (the WC) and her team have been fantastic... the only lull was during the hurricanes, which is completely understandable.

 

Because my group is too big we can't have the reception in one of the a la cartes... so they are offering us the conference room at no extra cost.

 

Click the image to open in full size.

 

Click the image to open in full size.

 

Click the image to open in full size.

 

Obviously they are non-pro pics, but I think it looks pretty good

 

I just received photos of the conference room where our reception will be held.

 

Honestly - the communication with the resort has been fantastic... It truly seems that everything I ask for, I get... and her famous words are NO COST....

 

I am getting so excited!

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  • 2 months later...
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During our research - the crowds were older - i would definately agree... but when push came to shove and the Melia Las Antillas was nixed from our list (they went adults only for 2009) this was our second choice. The property really is stunning and we got a great deal for the rates - which made the choice even easier. It is a kid friendly resort and this was important with a dozen kids going.

 

Now as we are in the days before the wedding - with over 80 people expected - I don't think that the other patrons of the resort will play in on our 'young' crowd in anyway...

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