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Non-Resort Wedding in Playa Del Carmen


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#1 pdcbride09

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    Posted 02 July 2008 - 02:27 PM

    Hello all!

    We are getting married next May 09 in Playa Del Carmen and do not want an AI resort. We want everyone to stay in town and get to have the real experience of Playa and be able to do their own thing.

    My question is has anyone done this or planning to do this? If so, what hotels were booked and what was your experience like?

    Also..where did you have your reception/ceremony?? Also, we are using Ajua Weddings as our coordinator, anyone use them? Look forward to hearing from you!!!

    #2 monicaswave

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      Posted 02 July 2008 - 02:38 PM

      I am also having a non-resort wedding but I am using Caribbean Blue weddings. If you do a search for Ajua you will be able to find some information on them here. It sounds from the posts that they have a really good reputation.

      My ceremony is going to take place in a semiprivate beach called Playacar and my reception will be at Maroma Beach Club.

      The majority of my guests are staying at the RIU Riviera Maya but others are staying at other local boutique hotels and at timeshare rentals.

      #3 aeroo

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        Posted 02 July 2008 - 02:45 PM

        We were also looking into this when planning our wedding. We wanted to stay in PDC for the same reasons as you. In the end we decided AI was easiest (and cheaper for the ceremony/reception/coordinator) for our group. We stayed at an AI that was in PDC, right off 5th ave, so it worked out perfect for us. There are SO many non AI hotels on 5th ave that you can choose from though, in all price ranges, so it depends on what you're looking for. Do you want a hotel that includes breakfast? That has a pool? That has a beach club? I would look for a hotel that has a beach club, so you don't have to pay for chairs on the beach. If we stayed in a non AI, we would have stayed at La Tortuga. It's adults only though, but has a beach club and the rooms look very nice and some have jacuzzis in them. The best thing to do is to go on Trip Advisor and check out the different hotels and reviews.

        As for your ceremony and reception, if you are using Ajua, they will have lots of suggestions for you. You can have your reception at various restaurants on 5th ave. Good luck planning and let us know what you decide!

        #4 pdcbride09

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          Posted 03 July 2008 - 07:34 PM

          We don't know if anyone will be staying at an AI resort. I looked up quite a few and nothing is less than $1200pp! I know that that includes all your food and drinks..but how much can you really drink is what we feel. There are a lot of boutique hotels that do offer some sort of breakfast.
          We rececently stayed at La Tortuga ourselves and loved it. The breakfast that is included is PHENOMENAL!! extremely filling so you can even skip lunch if you wanted to. And a week there is only $700 I believe if booked 90 days in advance so I feel that's worth it..especially getting the beach club passes as well.

          I just don't want our guests to have to stay at just one resort or force them to to pay that amount of money. Especially w/ these airfare prices on the rise.

          Is it really worth it w/ the AI's?? We've never actually stayed at one so really can't compare. Do you really save money or is it more of a "we don't have to leave to eat/drink" convenience Any tips/suggestions would help as we are going to be sending out our STD'S and need to give our guests some info on the area.

          I feel pretty confident w/ Ajua. I'm hoping it really is as stress free as so many people say!! Thanks for the info!!

          #5 aeroo

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            Posted 04 July 2008 - 02:01 AM

            Quote:
            Originally Posted by pdcbride09
            We don't know if anyone will be staying at an AI resort. I looked up quite a few and nothing is less than $1200pp! I know that that includes all your food and drinks..but how much can you really drink is what we feel. There are a lot of boutique hotels that do offer some sort of breakfast.
            We rececently stayed at La Tortuga ourselves and loved it. The breakfast that is included is PHENOMENAL!! extremely filling so you can even skip lunch if you wanted to. And a week there is only $700 I believe if booked 90 days in advance so I feel that's worth it..especially getting the beach club passes as well.

            I just don't want our guests to have to stay at just one resort or force them to to pay that amount of money. Especially w/ these airfare prices on the rise.

            Is it really worth it w/ the AI's?? We've never actually stayed at one so really can't compare. Do you really save money or is it more of a "we don't have to leave to eat/drink" convenience Any tips/suggestions would help as we are going to be sending out our STD'S and need to give our guests some info on the area.

            I feel pretty confident w/ Ajua. I'm hoping it really is as stress free as so many people say!! Thanks for the info!!
            I know how you feel about not wanting to force people to stay at a certain place. We just told our guests where we were staying and how much it cost, and then left it up to them to decide if they wanted to stay with us or at other hotels or resorts. We had 36 guests and only 7 decided to stay elsewhere. Those 7 guests we pretty much only saw on our wedding day. Depending on which AI you stay at and what time of year, prices can be reasonable. We stayed at the Gran Porto in May (cheapest time of the year) and the hotel and flight cost $1200 per person (for 7 nights including tax), flying from Seattle. That's the cost for the Junior Suite, which is the cheapest room, but still very luxurious. The hotel is a 5 star. Compare this if you stay at La Tortuga: 7 nights for $700 for 2 people. Flights say $600 roundtrip per person. Total is $1900 for 2 people. Round that up by $100 for taxes and such, and that equals $1000 per person. So the difference of $200 per person is not much considering how much you get at an AI.

            We got a good deal because we booked the flight and hotel together and that saved us a lot. When you're looking at the AI cost, look at booking flight and hotel together to save $$. We checked with a few different TAs and found that it was cheaper if we booked everything directly with the hotel. Plus we got a wedding coordinator with the wedding package.

            It was my first time at an AI too; I've always stayed at the boutique hotels when visiting PDC and love that experience. But I have to say, the AI was incredible! Especially since the food there was so freakin amazing! And the big pool on the beach was great for our guests that didn't like swimming in the ocean. For us, I think we had the best of both, since the Gran Porto is right off 5th ave, so our guests could still have that experience of being in the town and come and go as they please.

            Also, we saved on the reception too, since the open bar is included (even for guests not staying there), whereas if we had it in a restaurant, the open bar cost would have been too high.

            The thing is too, that if some guests stay at an AI and some don't, it's not as easy to meet up with people because the AI people will obviously want to eat and drink at their hotel.

            Another thing we liked about the AI was that we could have big group dinners at the different restaurants and then not have to figure out who pays what after since it's all included! That was a big plus! We found that our guests usually spent the days at the resort beach or pool, and then wandered around 5th ave in the evenings.

            #6 pdcbride09

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              Posted 05 July 2008 - 03:04 PM

              Thank you for all the information. You definitely put it into another perspective as far as AI's go. I think Gran Porto is in a great location, although for nightlife it still is a walk to the "hot" area. I don't have too much of problem w/ it though. I went on their website and it only lets me see as far as December for pricing which doesn't help much for our May date. December I know is considered "high season" so the prices were pretty high. Also, went to tripadvisor.com to review the ratings on the hotel and it was #47. So kind of disappointed by that. La Tortuga is still #1.

              I guess we have a lot of deciding to do as far as lodging goes. I know w/ us, we went to Walmart last time we were there and got all sorts of snacks to tide us over after our breakfast which was very filling.

              The one thing that is great about the wedding package is the open bar is included in the price. We are planning to have our wedding at Ajua Maya Restaurant..and it is not included. However, their menu's aren't that expensive. Ugh! I don't know..this planning has got me all stressed. Just really need to sit down and compare. I want to thank you for all your info. I also seen your review on the resort as well and the breakdown of prices.

              Were you pleased w/ the photographer? The pictures on her site look great to me, and we are in the same boat as far as not being able to spend all that money on a photographer.

              Thanks again for the info!




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