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How did you go about researching resorts?

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Hey ladies,

We are just starting research for resorts. There are so many up and down the Riviera Maya!!! How did you do your research as to not go crazy? It feels so overwhelming I don't know where to start. Thanks, Carla wink.gif

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I found a WC in Colorado who has been to almost every resort in Mexico. We met with her, looked at hundreds of pictures and talked about the pros and cons of each hotel. We decided the Barcelo Maya Palace was the perfect choice for us! She said nothing but WONDERFUL things. I would figure out what is most important to you guys (the rooms, the beach, the price ect.) and then pick a few resorts that seem to fit your needs, then break them down until you find the best fit!! It will be beautiful no matter where you are!!!!!!!!!!!! Good luck!

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Originally Posted by Davematthews16 View Post
P.S you should join our January Brides thread :) http://bestdestinationwedding.com/forum/t21722
Thanks wink.gif

I really wanted the January wedding but it looks like we going to be moving it to mid-December to reduce costs. Didn't realize that January was the busy season in the Riviera Maya. Maybe if we can get a deal on for January we still might be able to do it.....
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I decided which criteria were important to me:


Resort (not wedding related)


1) COST!

2)5 star resort prefered, 4.5 star would be okay

3) Good beach

4) lots of a-la-cartes (and preferably no limits on number of times you can go per week)

5) Size of resort (Mega resorts like Palladium, Barcelo, Bahia are great for escaping your guests and having alone time, but I didn't want to have difficulty finding the people in my small group so I prefered an average size resort)

6) disco at resort


resort (wedding related)


1) Cost of wedding package

2) Outside photographer allowed?

3) Location of ceremony and set-up (i.e. gazebo? whether the beach ceremony was in the middle of the beach or off to the side for a bit of privacy, etc).


I usually started with the cheaper hotels and then checked out the reviews on trip advisor. You have to ignore a lot of the negative stuff but if it seems like something is repeated a lot then I would consider it (i.e. I couldn't care less if housekeeping is inconsistent, but when several people complain about the rocky beach then I'm paying attention!)


I created a spreadsheet where I listed all those factors and I put information and comments related to my factors and to other things I learned about the resort. Helped me to keep track of everything and which resorts I eliminated and why.


Choosing the resort was BY FAR the most difficult and unpleasant part of wedding planning, once we booked everything else was so much fun!

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I did what sunbride did, i made a list of things that were important to me and then went through the Punta Cana area comparing each resort to my criteria to narrow it down. then once i had it narrowed down to about 3 i talked to my ta and got prices for each one and made my final decision.


I think it's impossible not to drive yourself crazy during the decision process. I think i didn't get one night's sleep until i picked a resort. I stressed myself out so bad.

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It can vary with all inclusives. Some of the things that we looked for were:

-type of alcohol served. I'm not a beer drinker i like vodka so i wanted to find a place that served top shelf alcohol. or at least some. And i wanted an option for my guests beside the El Presidente beer for those who drink beer just in case they didn't like it.

- we looked to see how many restuarants were at the all inclusive and the variety of food offereings. I didn't want people to get tired of eating the same thing.

- i'm not a big buffet eater so i wanted a place that let you have as many dinner reservations at sitdown restaurants as you wanted

- i think the activities vary, i know a lot of them have dance lessons and aerobics in the morning. A lot resorts offer shows at night, which would probably be a good thing to look for in the Riviera Maya since it's not like Cancun with nightlife nearby.

-we liked having 24 hour room service because we like to eat after we get back from the bar. it wasn't a must but we kept it in mind


I looked at tripadvisor for most of that info. it would tell you how many restuarants, acitivies, and the reviews would usually talk about the liquor. If i were you i wouldn't focus on the bad reviews unless the resort has consistently bad reviews. I think most of the bad reviews are from people looking for something bad. I focused on the positive reviews and the so-so reviews.


I hope that helps, goodluck!

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first, we decided we did not want jamaica or cancun. then, i looked for all inclusives, where reservations were not necessary and where there were at least a handful of restaurants. then i narrowed the search by looking at price, and decided on mexico. then i narrowed it down using trip advisor and other reviews. i'm not positive how i decided on dreams, pv - i don't remember what i read/saw that made me pick it, but it was def. the hardest decision of the planning process.

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