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Hi Calgrl! We just had 80 people book through one travel agent to stay at the Barcelo. Everyone was able to get on one contract and the rate includes transfers between the airport and hotel. I think many tour groups will offer transfers. We thought it was pretty important considering the hotel is at least 45 minutes from the airport.

 

The travel agent we used was Wendy Hicks who works with Wright travel agency (the agency that sponsors this forum) and she is fantastic. Booking went as smoothly as things can go when you're trying to get 80 people to submit deposits by a certain deadline!

 

You can get in touch with a travel agent from Wright Travel by clicking on the add up at the top of the forum page.

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Those using Adrian for make-up, could I please have contact information for him? :) Did you have to pay a fee to allow the make-up artist onto the property? We're at the Colonial, would it be the same rules for all the Barcelo resorts?

 

Thank you!!

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FYI if you are shipping your boxes to Mexico be careful of items made in China. I just shipped three boxes to Claudia for our wedding and customs is holding them because of all the items made in China.

Flip Flops from Old Navy

Mugs that we had imprinted with our name

Meds for Welcome bag- have to be thrown away

Welcome Bags from target- made in china

Plastic pails from target- made in china

 

So heads up be careful what you ship and allow plenty of time

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Hi Everyone...here is my review. I'd be happy to answer any questions!

 

We had our wedding 1/25/10 at Barceló Maya Palace. Even though we had some ups and downs, Iâ€m so glad we chose to have a destination wedding. I would have never had it any other way. We stayed at the Barceló Palace for 2 weeks and most of our guests stayed a week. We had 30 people total for the wedding and no kids.

 

Barceló Maya Palace – B

 

My first impression of the hotel was great. The grounds are immaculate and the hotel (Palace section) is gorgeous, modern and clean. I have very few complaints about the hotel itself. The entire complex is HUGE. I think if I would have realized how huge it actually is I may have chosen a different resort. Most of our friends stayed at the Palace but a few of our friends stayed next door at the Tropical. It ended up working out fine since they were in the building next to us…but still a bit of a pain w/the wristband system. If you decided to pick this hotel I would HIGHLY recommended that everyone stay at the Palace. I think I would have been disappointed if I stayed at the other sections.

 

The food at the hotel was awesome. The buffets got a little old (like most do) but the ala carte restaurants were great!! We stayed for 14 nights and were able to get reservations for 13 of the nights. The reservation process is kind of a pain…and they sure arenâ€t willing to help you out if you have a larger group. But, we made it work and the food was well worth it. The French and the Japanese were the BEST!

 

Here are a few things that I had issues with...

1)When we got to the hotel and checked in we had several couples who were given 2 full beds instead of a King. Some were able to get switched but other couldnâ€t for a day or 2. I know for a fact that the hotel was nowhere near capacity…so they should have switched this right away or better yet, had it right to begin with. I had also requested we all be put in the same building…didnâ€t happen but no big deal. Not sure why the wedding coordinator sent the special request form if they werenâ€t going to grant any of them.

2)We had to switch our room after the first day because we had only steaming hot water, a screaming baby next door, lost power every time I used the blow dryer and had to reset the circuit breaker which meant we couldnâ€t open our safe…annoying. Letâ€s just say it sucked to pack up all of our stuff and move when you have 2 weeks worth of clothes.

3)We had a salamander in our room and lots of ants. We had friends that actually had bugs in their bed…they called the front desk and they came up with raid to kill them…pretty gross.

4)We had items stolen from 2 different rooms. We reported it to the front desk and actually end up meeting with a manager about it (among other things Iâ€ll get to later) and they didnâ€t do anything about it…said they had cameras and would look into it but never got back to us.

 

Besides those things…which are small but shouldnâ€t happen…the stay was great. The beach and pools were awesome. Not much for nightlife but playa is a cheap cab ride away so we did that.

 

Wedding Coordinator, Claudia – F

I hate giving her such a bad review but I want all you Barceló brides out there to be much better prepared than I was! I have been planning my wedding for the past 1 ½ years and have worked with Gabriela through e-mail. Gabriela seemed great through e-mail but I never actually got a chance to meet her.

 

When I showed up they didnâ€t have any info for me for a meeting. So, later on in the day I stopped by the desk and asked for Gabriela. They transferred me to the wedding department and they informed me that Gabriela was traveling for business so I would have Claudia. No big deal but annoying since I had been working with Gabriela. I met Claudia the next morning at 10 am. She seemed nice but not super personable, good English though. We had some drama getting all of our paperwork faxed into the courthouse. For those of you getting a legal marriage…they donâ€t tell you this but make sure you come to the meeting and your husband to be and both your 4 witnesses with your passports and visa cards. I had already sent her all our info but you need to sign right away when you get there and sign again during your ceremony. This was something super simple that only took 5 minutes…but they never communicated this to me so we spent 2 hours searching for our 4 witnesses….and the resort was huge so it was a pain. She also told me that if I didnâ€t find them and get my info faxed in by noon that day I couldnâ€t get legally married…so nice of them. It ended up working out fine but much drama could have easily been avoided with some simple communication on their part. All I was told is that they need to be there the day of the wedding to sign.

 

After the paperwork was done I picked out all my stuff for the wedding. I had the ceremony on Coral Beach (awesome location) and my cocktail hour on the Palace rooftop (also awesome). I picked out the Mexican apps for the cocktail hour. I gave Claudia a picture of a huppah for the ceremony and picked out my flowers. I also brought pictures of my flowers and they didnâ€t have all the varieties but said they would match the best they could. I also had fans and vases for a sand ceremony.

 

I had the Mint Breeze package so I picked the Chak Halal banquet room. It was pretty big but actually not bad. Iâ€m glad we did the reception inside because we had lots of room to dance and it was bug free and air conditioned! The beach would have been awesome some night but not so awesome other nights. It was super hit or miss depending on the weather. The night we got married it actually got really cool…so it would have been a bad night for an outdoor reception. For dinner I picked ceasar salad, French onion soup, beef tenderloin and chocolate cake.

 

I brought in a picture of our cake that I stole from a previous Barcelo bride. It was simple…2 tiered white and square with a simple, elegant design. She took the picture and said they could make it. We picked coconut.

 

I added on an extra hour (which was totally worth it,….should have added on 2) and we used an ipod for our dance music.

 

Now for the reasons why I gave her a D….

 

1)The miscommunication at the beginning which I already talked about

2)She overbilled me by over $1000….which eventually got fixed but was a huge pain and I had to end up paying for it at the front desk and then she gave me the money back later

3)She called me 10 minutes before I was supposed to be picked up for the ceremony and said my huppah was put up and if I still wanted it…of course I wanted it or else I wouldnâ€t have asked for it. So, she said they would put it up quick…and it wasnâ€t just like the picture I gave her

4)She had told me groomsmen to go stand up in front because my bridesmaids were walking alone….which they werenâ€t. They were walking in pairs. She argued with my now husband and she still disagreed. When I got down there I had to tell her…no they are walking in pairs. I had told her this in our meeting…she obviously forgot.

5)I asked her for NO fruit centerpieces because I had my own vases that we put flowers in…she still put out the fruit centerpieces

6)My cake looked NOTHING like the picture I gave her

7)She was NEVER around. I called her 2 days before because I had a couple questions (my bill being wrong) and she didnâ€t get back to me until the DAY of my wedding..which I was already running around like a crazy person and shouldnâ€t have had to deal with my bill being wrong and my huppah not being set up

8I brought votive candles and wanted them to be put in glass votive holders…she put them on plates…like dessert plates, wtf

9)I paid for an extra hour so I had my reception from 6:30-10:30…she came over to me at 10:30 on the dot and told me it was over….so much getting some extra time that Iâ€ve read about.

Overall, I was extremely disappointed in her. She was pretty rude throughout everything and I consider myself a very laid back bride. I had very few special requests that she couldnâ€t handle. I would give her some slack if it was a busy week but she told me it was a slow week and only 5 weddings the entire week…which is nothing compared to the usual.

 

 

Now onto the positives….

 

Ceremony A+

The ceremony was awesome. We had the civil ceremony and Iâ€m so glad we did it. The blood work was no big deal. And all you need is your passport (if youâ€re from the US) and you get your documents right away. No big deal…plus your legal day is your true wedding day. For any of you debating about the legal ceremony….DO IT! Our judge was awesome! Totally laid back and did a great job! I was so nervous coming up there and he totally took the edge off and made us laugh. We wrote our own vows which we got to incorporate into our ceremony. The MOH did a reading and the Best Man did the sand ceremony reading. Another quick complaint about Claudia…I had a lot of questions about the civil ceremony since we couldnâ€t get the script before our meet our judge. I specifically explained to her that we had 2 people doing additional readings and they could be during our ceremony. She told us they would have to be at the end of our ceremony after the judge had declared us husband and wife since they arenâ€t a part of the “legal†ceremony. This was wrong, our judge actually let us do them during our ceremony which was awesome. But, I was confused because we were going to have our best man announce us because Claudia told us our judge would leave right away and not let us have the readings. It ended up working out fine but she should have known…again just more unneeded confusion.

 

Back to the ceremony…I have no complaints about the judge at all. The location was great also. I would recommend coral beach over the other beach locations because it is very private.

 

Cocktail Hour A

I didnâ€t really get a chance to attend the cocktail hour since I was having pictures taken…but I heard it was great! We had the Mexican apps and drinks. The location was awesome on the palace rooftop and we had a great view as the sun was setting. I would recommend doing the cocktail hour since itâ€s private and outdoors. I saw some people who had their wedding group go to the Lobby bar and it wasnâ€t as intimate. The only thing that was slightly strange…but mostly humorous….was the music they played during the cocktail hour. I didnâ€t know they had the speakers set up during cocktail hour, if so I would have given them my ipod and made a playlist. So, instead they played this super creepy music that was a girl singing cover songs, but they were super slow and creepy. Not exactly my preferred music for cocktail hour but pretty funny.

 

Reception A

The reception was great minus the items that Claudia messed up that I already talked about. The food was SO GOOD! One of the best meals I had all week. No complaints! They definitely keep the food moving but itâ€s hard between speeches and dances to make time to eat!! I definitely felt rushed but I think most brides feel that way. I really liked having our reception in the banquet room…I agree itâ€s not as nice as the beach but it wasnâ€t bad. You could slide the doors open so that you had large windows to see outside…so it made it feel more open without actually being open doors. I will say that our wait staff seemed super crabby and uptight. Iâ€ve read reviews about how awesome the staff was and how they partied with everyone and gave shots out and stuff. Not sure if they got in trouble or anything but we had NONE of that going on…the only person we even talked to was our head bartender, who was AWESOME and super sweet. I canâ€t remember her name but she did a great job!! I will have to say that my group of friends is pretty rowdy and we danced nonstop for 3 hours until Claudia cut us off…so it wasnâ€t like the wait staff needed to help get the party started or anything. But, they could have been a little friendlier!! If I could have done anything over I would have extended 2 or 3 extra hours instead of just 1!! We used the ipod for our music and it worked out great! The give you a mic and the speakers are pretty good. We had a few playlists and just switched them during the night. I already mentioned that our cake looking nothing like the picture but it tasted great. I would recommend the coconut cake!

 

Photographer-Claudia Rodriguez- A+

I havenâ€t seen any of my pics yet but Claudia was great!! She was super sweet and stayed longer to take more pics of us dancing together. I really liked her a lot. Iâ€m sure our pics will be great since her work is amazing!

 

Spa- D

Iâ€ve read mixed reviews about the Spa….Iâ€m not sure why I had such bad luck but it was me and 4 of my bridesmaids that had our hair done there and it horrible. I brought a few very specific pictures and she did it once and the back wasnâ€t right, so she re-did the back and it was better. The biggest issue is that they use about a gallon of hairspray on each girl…and the hairspray the use is cheap , nasty and sticky. You end up coming out of there with your hair slick to your head. My girlfriend spent about an hour trying to fix my hair after the spa did. I didnâ€t have enough time completely redo it but would have liked to.

 

Flowers A+

I brought in a picture of my flowers and the matched them the best they could. They were white roses and lilies and turned out gorgeous!

 

Overall Impression

Overall, my experience was great. But, I feel that I could have chosen another hotel and had a better experience. The important things turned out great! But, it had nothing to do with the hotel. All my closest friends were there and the weather was perfect! Our judge was great and we had an awesome time overall. I have very few complaints about our wedding…but thatâ€s because of everyone there that made it so perfect. The hotel could have tried to make some things right with us, but frankly they just didnâ€t care and wouldnâ€t except responsibility for the things they screwed up. My husband and I met with the Asst Manager of the hotel and our wedding coordinator a couple days after the wedding. We let them know that we were disappointed about the way Claudia had handled our wedding and also about our room and the items that were stolen. The never really apologized for anything, Claudia just made excuses and tried to cover herself. Overall those things were so minor…itâ€s just disappointed to spend so much time and money somewhere to see that they donâ€t really care about good customer service.

 

Even with our minor glitches….I definitely recommend doing a destination wedding. It was the best choice I ever made and so much fun. If you decide to get married at the Barcelo I would come extremely organized and prepared to act like Bridezilla. You definitely have to be on top of them and check and double check everything. Good Luck!!

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I'm doing the Strawberry package too, and we are expecting about 60 people. When I visited in December, the WC told me that a party that large would definitely be buffet instead of a sit-down dinner. So, it will be more casual, but unfortunately I think the cost is the same. My wedding is also scheduled for 4pm, and I'm having the cocktail hour from 5-6pm with the reception starting at 7pm. I'm not worried the time in between, because people can go to any of the bars or even back to thier rooms if they want before the reception begins. Should be fine! :) We are hoping to have the cocktail hour on the rooftop terrace, but I think people have also used the lobby bar which is just upstairs from the gazebo. Hope this helps!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dpitre View Post
Hello ladies- This thread has been so helpful! I have a few questions- hoping someone can answer.

1. Strawberry package dinner- Can you downgrade the food to buffet style or just more casual to try to cut back on costs? Has anyone tried to negotiate this? (I'll prob have approx 50 guests and at $64/person, the price will grow really quickly! And my FI and I would prefer more casual dining.)

2. I would like a cocktail hour, but was hoping to use one the hotel bars (so we don't have to pay extra). Has anyone done this? And there a good bar to use near the gazebo/beach area?

3. My wedding is at 4pm. I'm having a cocktail hour, but would not like to start the dinner/reception until about 7. What do you do in the meantime? Ceremony should last around 30 mins; Group pics about 30 mins; Cocktail hour...I'm only at about 6pm... (Thoughts? Feedback on timing?)

 

Thanks ladies!

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My wedding is in November too! :) We had our date on hold until last week. We booked our travel through our agent who uses Funjet Vacations, and he forwarded our itinerary to our WC at the resort. She emailed him (and me) back and said our date and time were confirmed - she also said she would be sending me a contract (or some form to complete). If you send in your booked travel itinerary, you should get everything set. Let me know if you'll be there between Nov 2-10 - it will be fun to be in touch with another Nov bride!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Calgrl View Post
Congratulations to everyone. I'm so glad I found this thread....I'm also planning a wedding there in November and am getting quite nervous that I have not heard back from Gabriela in 4wks. Last I spoke to her she said our date and time were on hold, and that they would be reserved as soon as we booked our rooms but I have not been able to get in touch with her to finalize plans. Did everyone else run into this problem? Who did you book your rooms through? Also, did they draft up a contract for you prior to reserving the rooms? Thanks!

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Quote:
Originally Posted by bride2b10 View Post
wow, super disappointing to read....
I know....I'm sorry. I feel bad not reporting anything but great things. I just feel that I have to be honest. I did a lot of research on this website before I picked the Barcelo. Knowing what I know now I would have never chose this resort. Maybe for a vacation....but not for my wedding.

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No, worries, I agree, it's the truth. Maybe like said before it was a fluke (hopefully) but it happened and people need to know, whether it is great or disappointing...without this site, we couldn't have made experienced/informed decisions thus far, and people like to know when making decisions.

 

I get married there next week, wish me luck blink.gifblink.gif

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