Hi girls! The tropical storm goes on... such a nightmare! We are now in our room and ordered the dinner to the room service. It is impossible to go ouy from here! This is one good thing at royal suites! We haveaso booked a dvd movie so we are having a quiet night Just wanted to say that. I have received some photographers, videographers, etc that wanted to join the group and I didnt add them because i think all prefer to stay the group more private. The vendors have alredy this site to write here which is good btw. Un saludo
Any Grand Palladium brides?
Posted 25 August 2013 - 06:26 PM
Hi Ladies, I'm writing a huge review here but without the pics..... but I will copy it into a document that everyone can open on the Facebook page as well. Here is my experience with our wedding at Grand Palladium.
Iâ€™m writing a super long review and Iâ€™m writing it now while itâ€™s still fresh in my mind. This is a combination of my trip advisor review but with WAY more wedding related details for you guys. The beginning is going to sound a bit negative because we did have some bumps and itâ€™s important that you know about them so that they can hopefully be avoided. I really think that no matter what resort you choose youâ€™re bound to have some issues and overall Iâ€™m 100% happy with our resort choice. I donâ€™t have any actual pictures of the wedding day yet, but as soon as I get those Iâ€™ll post them for you. I know thatâ€™s what youâ€™ll be most interested in. J In the meantime Iâ€™ve added a few pictures of the resort and rooms for you here. Here is my review:
Our wedding trip to Grand Palladium White Sand began with challenges but ended up on a high note. Upon check in at White Sands we shared that we were getting married at the resort and were bringing 60 people with us. We did not even get a congratulations, but maybe it was a language barrier. We are really laid back people who work hard and donâ€™t ever expect things to be handed to us but we were looking forward to being treated specially during our stay because we were getting married.
We heard time and time again (from other brides and even tripadvisor reviews) that people get upgraded to the Royal Suites but even still, we did not want to take a chance with our wedding so we had paid a LOT more than our family and friends to ensure that we had a Mayan Suite booked in the White Sand section. Looking back now I would book the cheapest and hope for the best. Youâ€™re more likely to get an upgrade if you havenâ€™t already spent any money is what it seems like. When we arrived 3 days ahead of our guests, we were given our suite in the White Sand but no upgrade. Not a huge deal since that is of course not a guarantee. I had filled out a room upgrade request before we left for the resort and received a response saying it would be $90 a night to upgrade from a Mayan Suite to the Royal Suites.
When we arrived at our room there was a large hole dug outside of it and yellow precaution (crime scene!) tape out front to block the hole. I just kept thinking that would not look so good in our wedding pictures! Again, not a huge deal but I was starting to get a bit frustrated. It looked like a scene out of Criminal Minds! The hole got bigger and bigger over the 3 days we were in this room too â€“ and every time we left the door there were workers outside in the hole digging. It had to be done I guess, but it was really awkward. The room itself was gorgeous though and we were happy. The next day we got 3 phone calls asking when the bell boys could pick up our luggage because they thought that we were checking out. We explained each time that we were actually staying for another 10 days as we had just arrived the night before, but the communication didnâ€™t seem to be happening. We had to go back to the lobby and try to explain our situation which took a lot of time but eventually it got figured out.
The giant hole out front of our first room, the beautiful view from the back:
The rain started and lasted for the next 2 days and our room leaked and leaked so we had to move everything to the centre of the room and use all of our beach and bath towels to block the puddles from spreading onto our things. We told the front desk, but it didnâ€™t make a difference. I think itâ€™s probably just the way things are this time of year when it rains.
When the first of our guests began arriving it took almost 2 hours to check in 17 people. All of them were booked for White Sand but only 4 of the 17 actually got rooms there â€“ the rest were in Riviera which is a much farther walk. I guess it is not guaranteed that you will get a room at White Sand but we werenâ€™t aware of that and it really spread out our group. My aunt also requested a room next to her son who is younger, but she was in Riviera and he was in White Sand. She was upset but was told there was nothing available. Two hours later when more of our guests checked in, 8 of them were all in the same building in White Sand. It seems like there could have been something worked out without all of the frustration.
Four people who were offered upgrades from the Junior Suites to the Royal Suites (a 3 level jump) for $30 a night - not the $90/night that we were quoted even though we had already paid quite a bit more for a Mayan Suite not to mention it was our wedding and it would have only been a 1 level jump. Another 2 rooms of our guests were given welcome fruit baskets, a bottle of tequila and honeymoon signs although it was not their honeymoon. We did receive a fruit basket too, but nothing else even though we were the couple holding our wedding on the resort. Yet another couple was offered the honeymoon dinner. We had received a letter stating that during our stay there was NO honeymoon dinner that would be offered so I went to the front desk with my friendâ€™s offer letter and after that we were given reservations but again no apology for any mix up. After another group of friends arriving later that evening were offered an upgrade I expressed my frustration again at the front desk.
We were sent back and forth by the front desk to a few people but no one seemed to be able to help or care. I spoke to someone for about 30 minutes before he finally told me he could and would do nothing, but to speak to a manager in the morning. Perhaps the front desk staff donâ€™t have the knowledge or empowerment to help, but it was not the experience I had expected, especially as a return guest who has previously had a fantastic trip to the same resort. That was the main reason I planned our wedding here.
Itâ€™s great when others are offered upgrades for no reason, but we personally found the inconsistency very unfair. We felt as though we had a black cloud over our head at our own wedding! I finally found a manager named Laura who was the only one who seemed to make things right. I had to fight to talk to her and at this point felt like I had wasted a good 4 hours of our trip. Laura said that she would upgrade us to the Royal Suites. She was professional and courteous and apologetic. I had to run to my hair trial appointment at the spa to prepare for the wedding, but I got Tyrel to bring two of his groomsmen with him to pack up all of our things as Laura said that the bell boys would be at our room at 5pm to pick up our stuff and bring it to the Royal Suites. Of course they did not show up. Tyrel called at 5:30 and was told they were coming. They did not. Now he had wasted 2 more hours of his day sitting in our room (on a no rain day!) waiting. We had a scheduled rehearsal dinner for 30 people at Portofino restaurant that he needed to get to for 6pm so he called again and said to leave our things there, that we would have to deal with it after dinner.
Meanwhile I didnâ€™t know that they had not shown up, I rushed back from the salon to the Royal area to change into my special rehearsal dress for dinner and none of my things were there. No one knew where they were. So I went to dinner in the plain, sweaty clothes I had on. I had turned in my old room key so I couldnâ€™t even check the old room nor did I have time. After dinner we found out that the bell boys had taken our things anyway sometime after I had been to the new room, but they forgot one of our bins of wedding things so we then had to track it down too. We feel like we wasted SO much time because of the lack of communication, inconsistency and unprofessionalism.
Iâ€™m happy to say that after that things got better. The new room was gorgeous â€“ a Mayan Suite at the Royal. The resort itself is gorgeous. It is impeccably clean everywhere you look. Even the days that it rained the staff were working so hard to mop up the puddles and to keep things safe and comfortable. We didnâ€™t find the walking too bad at all, but I can see if you have problems with long distances that it would not be a resort for you. We had a few guests with kids and strollers and it was tough for them to go up and down all of the stairs. Almost all of the staff that we encountered were very friendly and always said hello as we walked by. There was never a problem finding a chair in the sun or a shady spot if you want. The pools are huge and clean and you can bring floaties if you want because there is so much space. The pool bar at the White Sand was very slow. Most people had to get out of the pool to get drinks or wait for a long time because there was only ever one or two people working when they could have done with a few more for the amount of people in the pool. You canâ€™t leave messages on room phones so it was a bit difficult travelling with such a large group to coordinate things. There is no room service in the rooms either unless youâ€™re in the Royal Suites. The air conditioning in the rooms worked well and the maids were really great too. The wildlife was so cool! It was nice to see and really added to experience. A definite plus! If you get a chance to get out in the ocean and play on the giant inflatable slide and water trampoline do itâ€¦. So fun! It is a huge resort so try to pick a spot in the beginning of the week and stick with it. My group could usually be found around the pool bar!
The Mayan Suite at Royal, our floaties in the pool, ocean blow up slide, the pool bar at White Sand:
The food is delicious and I love to eat. There are no reservations at most a la carte restaurants. We were often told it would be an hour and a half wait but the longest we ever waited, even trying to seat 14 people, was 20 minutes. Our favourite restaurants were the Japanese restaurant Sumptuori in the Kantenah, Ribs and More at the White Sand, Portofino at White Sand and El Dorado at the Colonial. We had a waiter named Victor for a scheduled family dinner for 20 of us at El Dorado and he was amazing! So funny and personable. He brought us flaming tequila shots, did hilarious things with napkins and danced with my mom, even pulling out a chair and dancing on top of it because she was so much taller than him. No matter where we were I never waited for a refill or to have my water topped up. We personally did not like Rodizio the Brazilian restaurant that much mainly because weâ€™re spoiled here at home and when we turned it to green to have the meat start coming we waited a really long time before anyone stopped at our table. By the time they did our rice and veggies were ice cold.
We were able to get reservations at Punta Emilia for dinner although this was another fight. We wanted them for our last night so knowing we had to make reservations a day in advance, we called to book. We were told that they were sorry and it could not be done as this is the only restaurant that requires reservations 2 days in advance. I am certain that we were told it was only 1 day, and I was shocked later when my mother told me that my aunt had made reservations for Punta Emilia just the day before (1 day in advance) for 4 people. Nora at the Royal Suites lobby was another person who helped us a lot during our stay. She remembered our name and room number and always asked how we were doing and how things were going. When I approached her about this latest inconsistency she was able to secure us reservations for the next night. The food at Punta Emilia was incredible! By far the best we had the whole week, especially if you love seafood. The lobster was HUGE! The chef even came out to see how everything was which was really nice.
I used the spa for many services while I was at Grand Palladium. It is an awesome thing to have there. The pool and services that are free for now I am very glad we were able to take advantage of. Come November these will no longer be free so it was great to use them. I had a hair trial, my hair and makeup done the day of the wedding, a foot massage and a coupleâ€™s massage with champagne on the beach. THAT was amazing! I would highly recommend the spa as I was seriously impressed all around.
The beach massage area and the view from it:
On our final night our butler Alberto in the Royal Suites left rose petals and tea lights all over our room in a path leading up to our tub. There were rose petals in the shape of a heart floating on the bubbles and champagne chilling ready to be opened. It was such a wonderful surprise. It meant a lot to us to finally have our wedding acknowledged.
Itâ€™s kind of hilarious, but Tyrel got in, poured the wine and was waiting, and then I went to get in â€“ accidentally kicked the glass into the tub where is shattered into tiny bits and pieces. Hhahahaha, it was really too bad, but Iâ€™m such a klutz and it makes a good story now. Obviously the bath went to waste, he had to jump out quickly before he got cut, but we still enjoyed the champagne (out of one glass!) in bed.
Our wedding day was absolutely perfect in every way. Our wedding coordinators who I had worked with for over 8 months were absolutely incredible! Their names were Vanessa and Nidia and on the day of our wedding some of the other coordinators helped out too. I cannot even begin to describe to you how hard they work or how thankful we are for all that they did for us. The communication was unbelievable. If I emailed them once, theyâ€™d email back twice. If I had a question leading up to the day, they answered it and exceeded my expectations. They offered suggestions and friendship. They made me feel leading up to our day and on our day the way we were supposed to feel â€“ important and special.
I really appreciated that we could personalize our wedding at this resort as a lot of other resorts have prepackaged things that you have to take and if you donâ€™t like the options there is not much else you can do to personalize. I think Grand Palladium has just started this too but we booked when you could still do things the way that worked for you. When I was initially looking into having my wedding here I was fairly certain that this resort would be it because of my previous experience here and itâ€™s affordability for everyone however I emailed a few other resorts just to keep my options open. The wedding coordinators here emailed me back immediately and I pretty much had my entire wedding booked before I ever even heard back from other resorts.
The morning of our wedding my mom, girlfriends and I went to the buffet at the Colonial so that we wouldnâ€™t run into the guys. We took the Royal car around to pick up the dresses from each of their rooms and take them to my room. I had to get special permission to have my mom and bridesmaids come back to my room in the Royal to get ready for 2 hours which I thought was stupid. Especially because other times my friends with White Sand wrist bands were walking around and Royal drivers would offer them a ride! All of the drivers were so nice and always talked to us, asked questions and were fun. But it seems like if you try to follow the rules you donâ€™t get as much as if youâ€™re a jerk and rude to people. Maybe I should try being more of a jerk haha.
My bridesmaids and my mom and I at breakfast:
After dropping off the dresses, we went immediately to the spa and we were all happy with our hair and makeup. The timing was good at the spa. I started at 11:30 and my makeup was done by 1:00. I really wanted my hair half up half down, but it was just way too hot to make it happen. Having it up it stayed no problem. I plastered my head with hair spray but I have very thick hair. I still sort of wish I was able to make half up work. I donâ€™t really feel pretty with all of my hair up. My last two bridesmaids started at 1:30 and they were running a bit behind but we all made it ok.
After the spa we went back to my room and ordered room service so that we could make sure we ate something before the wedding. I did not even feel stressed at all the entire day! I was just so happy and excited! I didnâ€™t worry about the weather. Even if it had rained I would have thought it was perfect. I was just too giddy and delighted to care.
Our ceremony set up was phenomenal. It was beautiful in every way. We were married on the beach at the Pergola Kantenah at 4:00pm. I found this ceremony site to be private (only a few people in speedos who insisted on walking behind our pictures haha) and we were blessed because the weather was perfect. I requested a big space be left for the aisle as I would be walking down with both of my parents. The music that we had downloaded was perfectly played on their sound system with no issues at all. I had 4 songs to play while the guests were seated. Tyrel said that they played over twice so maybe have 5-6 to be safe if youâ€™re doing that. The ceremony only started about 10 minutes late. On the beach it was nice and cool with the breeze. Nobody complained that they were hot at all. I wore barefoot sandals and the sand was not hot at all. There was a bar right there too, so afterwards if they wanted a drink other than champagne they could get that too.
The mariachi band was fun and totally worth the extra money for the authenticity of it all. The carts picked up our groomsmen, our guests, and the bridal party exactly on time. I wish I would have had a cart scheduled for our videographer since he missed getting the bridal party walking down the aisle since no cart came for him in time. Make sure you catch all of the details, ladies. J
I havenâ€™t seen our pictures yet, and I didnâ€™t take any that day! I hope our photographer got some good ones. She is a friend from long ago, and this was her first Destination Wedding so I am a little worried. After seeing Carlotaâ€™s pictures which were so perfect I am nervous! I loved the pictures of your parents coming down the stairs and I donâ€™t think we got any of my mom and dad without me. I think some of our pictures are going to be too posey, but others Iâ€™m super excited to see, like the ones at Las Rocas on the beds and chairs! She also took some with me holding angel wings that she brought with her, to represent my daughter who passed away 7 years ago. Right after Avery died, the photographer Nicole did some pictures of me with these same angel wings in my hometown so it meant a lot that she brought them to Mexico to recreate the memorial shoot in my wedding dress. I think those will be beautiful.
At our reception which was at La Laguna, things were displayed exactly as weâ€™d discussed. Not a single detail was missed. I donâ€™t especially care about flowers or cake but both of these things were so perfect. The bouquets that the resort got for myself and my 5 bridesmaids were so gorgeous!! The cake was beautiful too! It was made with chocolate and vanilla and it was DELICIOUS! Nidia was there the entire night (I donâ€™t think the poor girl sleeps!) and made sure that everything was perfect. She truly was the best part of our week. She deserves so much credit for being there not only that day, but showing up for our scheduled dinners to check in, and organizing the return of our items, and simply for being so kind and incredible.
We used DJ Mannia and I would highly, highly recommend them. We emailed many times leading up to our wedding day and they were quick to respond, professional and fun. My dad especially was very impressed with how great a job he did. He allowed us to choose all of our own music which was very important to us especially through dinner. During our first dance, DJ Mannia lit cold fireworks right at the end at a perfect time! After dinner for the dance I had requested a few songs and he played them all and it was so fun! He even played just one more song at the end of the night. When my one friend kept requesting Justin Timberlake and I told him not to play it again he didnâ€™t hahaha. I told her I put a stop to it lol! He also played a song that is important to Tyrel and his best friend but the song is terrible and when he realized that no one liked it he phased it out and Tyrel said he was so happy haha. He could totally read the crowd. This was a great investment!
After the wedding was over we all went swimming (me in my wedding dress!) in the adult main pool. It was supposed to be closed for 8pm and it was 11:30 pm but we were quiet even though there were about 20 of us. We were so hot that it felt amazing! My friendâ€™s husband even went behind the bar and tapped the keg haha! Someone came by and we thought we were going to get in trouble but my friend tipped him and he actually brought us 2 bottles of alcohol! Then we all went to the disco and continued dancing. We were wet but dried quickly â€“ even my dress. My dress was quite a disaster afterwards, but like other brides, I continued to rinse it each day in the tub and itâ€™s not perfect by any means now, but I had a blast and I have the memories, and Iâ€™ll never wear it again anyway.
I was not fully impressed with our wedding video. We only had the videographer for 2 hours and I liked him a lot he was a really cool guy. But he seemed to stay in one place and the entire time through the ceremony all you can see is my back, Tyrelâ€™s face, and the groomsmen. There are almost no shots of the bridesmaids at the ceremony at all, and Iâ€™m pretty disappointed because you canâ€™t get that back. Maybe thatâ€™s a good thing though because I felt gorgeous that day, but after seeing some pictures I kind of feel like I was sweaty, bloated and not as pretty as I had hoped to be on my wedding day. L Oh well because I married my best friend, in a beautiful place, with everyone I love around us. I wouldnâ€™t ask for anything more! The beginning and the end of the video were very good with the music and there are some shots of the bridesmaids from that. Lol, Iâ€™m not the most elegant of people so there are too many shots of me adjusting my boobs and flapping my arms around and putting on deodorant. I wish I had looked a bit more classy in my wedding video but luckily my sister and friends were class enough for me haha. I also heard that my dad was crying during the ceremony and there is no video of that either â€“ neither of my parents were in it during the ceremony. L At the end though they were in it. I do love how he captured all of the hugging and celebrating at the end.
Our Trash the Dress session which we did with Cancun Wedding Photo (Claudia Rodriguez) was amazing! We went to a cenote which was only about 10 minutes away from the resort. We went 2 days after our wedding early in the morning. It was so romantic and fun! We were the only people there. The water was warm, Claudia brought with her Ivan (I think her boyfriend) and he was so nice and fun too. She took all the time with us to get the pictures just right. We did some on land, some in the cave, some with fish nibbling our toes â€“ we even jumped off a big cliff into the cenote afterwards but I did not have my dress on for that, we just did it in our bathing suits. I was too afraid to hold Tyrelâ€™s hand and jump in so he jumped down first. Claudia said she got a great picture of us where I am watching his jump looking terrified! Haha â€“ I canâ€™t wait to see the pictures. I did eventually jump too but I screamed all the way down haha. The day of the wedding I forgot to wear my wedding earrings but I wore them to our Trash the Dress shoot. I did not bring the dress home with me because it was really cheap and soaking wet haha. I threw it out there.
Our Welcome Bags I paid $2 a room to have delivered and although Nidia worked really hard trying to do it for us, it wasnâ€™t possible to deliver all of them. Only 2/3 got out because some people had Do Not Disturb signs up or had been upgraded and switched rooms. I probably would not do it that way again. Since Tyrel and I waited in the lobby for our guests to arrive (we had 2 giant groups all come at the same time â€“ one from Ontario and then 2 hours later as soon as the first group was done checking in our other group from Alberta arrived) Iâ€™d just have handed them out then since we saw everyone then anyway. The big hits were the playing cards surprisingly, but when it rained they could be used and they were. Also the Sudoku books and the towel clips. The key card and tip money holders were also super popular. Iâ€™m happy almost everyone used the bags. J
Iâ€™d also recommend to be very specific with how you want your tables set up at your private dinners that the wedding coordinators can schedule for you if you care. I didnâ€™t think to ask, but at both dinners the tables were set up like a head table and then people just all on one side so that we could not talk. I would ask to have a long table set up, but with chairs on both sides. It felt kind of segregated when we were trying to get people to mix and mingle and get to know each other. At our second dinner we ended up just moving chairs and doing it how we wanted anyway, but we would have been a lot less of a pain to the waiters if we had requested this through Nidia in the first place. You can kind of see what I mean in the picture below. At first we were all just sitting on the outside of the table.
Overall, our trip was everything I wanted. Iâ€™m glad we chose Grand Palladium White Sand. I wish we had more time there haha. We never did find El Secreto pool which is open until midnight, or the 24 hour snack bar because the place is just so huge! The shows that were put on in the lobbies were VERY impressive! The couples show and the Pirate show especially. Some of our guests went off of the resort and did Xel-Ha, Tulum, Chitzen-Itza tours and they all LOVED them! We did not have time to do any tours so maybe next time.
I got to meet Carlota which was SO AMAZING! I was all sad after like how did we meet these amazing people who Iâ€™d LOVE to be friends with and now theyâ€™re going back to Spain and weâ€™re going back to Canada and itâ€™s such a bummer haha. I totally think weâ€™d be such great friends if we lived in the same place. J Carlota you are wonderful!! Had we not had the initial problems, I think I could truly say everything was perfect â€“ just like the wedding day was.
- Sarah2323 likes this
Posted 26 August 2013 - 03:19 PM
And here it goes mine!! Lauren it was so great to meet you too!! I will upload my pics too at the FB group!
As I promised here is my review!
We arrived to the resort at the July 29th at 9pm. We were presumed to be at Kantenah lobby. We have required the possibility to have an upgrade to one of the beautiful suites next to the beach at that part, but as I explained you before, my travel agent is a good friend of the general manager of the resort and emailed him one month before our arrival. He had the really nice touch to upgrade us to the Royal Suites into a Mayan Suite which was beautiful.
We were really happy with him as we sooner discovered he was going to make the same when all of our guest that were going to arrive two days later. We were really thanked and we asked to see him and he received us inmediatly.
He is a very nice person!
We had our meeting with Vanessa the 30th July. I was so happy to meet her and she told me the same. After 10 months of mails and some phone calls I was really emotioned to finally meet her. She was nicer in person!
The first thing we made was the blood tests. I asked her before to make them at the doctor's office so I can be lied at the stretcher as I hate needles and this makes me puts me nervous. The blood tests are made by an special paramedic that comes to the resort for this. The thing was really fast, much more than I thought, and he was really professional, he found me the vein really fast and I did not notice anything.
Vanessa brang me (withouht asking her) a coke and one sweet and other salad croissant. For those you do not know the coke/pepsi is great to up the low pressure. While being there, doctors were really nice with me and gave me conversation to forget about that. Meanwhile, the paramedic made the blood tests as well to Thomas.
After that, we returned to the wedding office. We payed (220 usd both) to the paramedic for the tests and we re started to talk about the wedding with Vanessa. I gave her all our things that we brang to M©xico for decorating the wedding. We talked as well about all vendors (names, ID, etc). I brang with me the word document with all the information about our wedding, but Vanessa had all the info wrotten so we just reviewed all the info.
We asked her the last doubts we had and payed the bills and other amounts in cash (judge and musical trio).
Our meeting lasted 3 hours!!
Vanessa told me that the special white covers for La Laguna (4usd each) were a "present" from the general manager so we did not have to pay for them. She told me that GM phoned the wedding office two weeks before our arrival to know the planner that was with my wedding to give her some instructions. Vanessa was really happy because the GM told her that she was free from other weddings during one week just for our wedding (from 30th July to 6thAugust, the big day).
She told us she was really happy about this because in this way she just had to work from 9am to 7pm (they work loads of hours per week, this is the reason Vanessa decided to resign).
The next day, the 31th July we had our 2nd meeting with Vanessa. We visited all the locations with her (beach gazebo, Sports Bar for appetizers, La Laguna for our reception and Las Rocas for the party). This was great to us because we did not loose big time with this but was great to ask her doubts about how things were going to work in each moment. Being there we changed the place of some things. We were really happy to see all with her.
Then at 5pm we went to taste the menu for our dinner. I had asked to Vanessa some months before to have the possibility to eat at least one dish between Thomas and I just to know if we liked that or we could change things.
When the general manager knew that (when he phoned to the wedding office) he told to Vanessa to offer this as a private dinner. We refused this because we did not see it necessary until that point and we did not want to bother people so much!
The taste of the menu was made at Portofino. When we arrived there with Vanessa we were shocked... There were there 4 waiters, one maitre, two chefs and the executive chef! We were a little "inconfortable" at the start with so many people around our table taking notes and treating us as we were kings, lol !!
Then the food & beverage manager arrived (she is also Spanish) to introduce herself and asked us if we are feeling unconfortable for all that people. We said "no", we thought it would be rude saying yes, hahaha
The executive chief was taking notes. I do not know in your countries, but in Spain is typical to taste the wedding menu. We saw some differences (althought the same language there is also a language barrier, belive me!) and we asked changes. Just with the mandarine sorbet (we asked to be served in a champagne glass, more liquid and with a little bit more of champagne- because in the other way it seemed a mandarine juice) and the other was with the cake. We just wanted the cover in light pink and less alcohol inside (too alcoholic for us when we did taste it! hahaha).
The cakes included at the wedding package were vainilla, chocolate and Mexican flavour (3 milks) but we asked Vanessa months before to have a different one (I meant when the GM did not know about our wedding) and she asked to the chef and he said yes.
Our cake was of champagne ros¨, strawberries and chocalate butter. It was really tasty and everybody loved it.
The 31th at 9pm arrived our guests while we were waiting for them at the Royal Suites. I saw as well that at the reception they had my OOT bags (Finally I had asked Vanessa to give them to the Royal Suites recepcionists so they could give them at the check in). Everybody loved their OOT bags and were enchanted about this detail. I made them simple and just for the women (9 in total).
I forgot to take them a pic. They were pink in paper, smaller and I did stick an explanation in one side of the bag so people can understand what was that.
The 1st August we had to go with our 4 witnesses to the wedding office because the Mexican law says the witnesses have to sign some documents before and during the wedding ceremony. They have to show as well the passports and the visa you obtain during the flight. After that, the rest of the days were all fun!! We loved to be with all of them during a week. This is a great thing about destination weddings, that you are with your family and friends and then you get married there!!
Most of the people was never before at that resort or not even in Mexico and they loved the place. It is not strange at all because I really think GP is a beautiful hotel.
My only complain about the place was the quality of the food at the a la carte restaurants. We have seen that compared when I went last time (2009) the quality is not so good as before. None of us nor the guests went out from one of them that you could say â€œi have eaten very goodâ€.
One of our friends was there last November for his honeymoon and told me that then the food at the restaurants were much better than now. We even found that the food was better at the buffets than then.
One positive thing of being at the Royal Suites is that you can book in advance so you dont have to queu. It is true what Claire told at her review: we saw very long queus of people waiting for. Even my parents for example did not book ever and just showing the bracelette they had a table inmediatly.
Once you are seatted in a table we discovered as well they toke a lot of time to serve the dishes... They really need to hire more waiters, we saw empty tables in spite of the long queus outside plus the fact that the most of the times we had to wait to be served 30-45 min. Once in the American restaurant we had to wait 80 min...
This is my only complain about the restaurants. Ah! And the wine house is still so disgusting as the 1st time! Hahaha but this Ok with me.... it is an all inclusive resort! I am not picky in this sense but to give you an example, our friends (most of them in their 30's were saying the same about the wine... lol).
The day before the wedding, the 5th August we made an special dinner at the Mexican restaurant. We were 22 and the booking was made thourgh the wedding department (they do not allow more than 8 people to eat at the same table at the restaurants). The dinner was really good (in spite of what I was saying about the quality of the food we found this to be very good) and we had lots of fun. The only problem was that we had to dinner very early at 6.30pm.
Well, we had our dinner at La Adelita and I have to say it was fantastic in spite of the quality food of other places. I was thinking in having it at the beautiful terrace of El Portofino, but this an Italian restaurant and the typical Italian food is not good at all at the resort. In fact, one day talking with one of the maitres of El Portofino, I explained him that Thomas was Italian and I lived at the country for a whole year and then he told me â€œok, so then do not choose any Italian dish, i just advice the sirloin and the prawns, because the pasta is cooked twice and then it is not â€œal denteâ€.
So, La Adelita in spite of being inside we had a large room for only us, so we only saw other people eating there when we entered and went out of the restaurant. The food was really good (well, if a Mexican speciality is not good in Mexico.... hahaha) and everybody loved them. But once more, they took a lot of time to serve the dishes to everybody promptly, but what could we do? Just patience because this is the Caribbean way of style (and I do not want to offend anybody, of course, but you see that everything is made really slow in the Caribbean places).
I had asked to Vanessa to have the centerpiece of flowers included at our wedding package (I did have other from a flowershop for the wedding), and there it was.
Everybody was really fun with the huge Mexican hats, etc.
We finished 2 hours later, more or less, and then we went to the White Party at Las Rocas Bar.
They made like a disco at open air, so you can dance, and we enjoyed that a lot. Then they make a limbo (one of our guests won!) and more music. Around 11.30pm starts the fire show... That I had to say that it was a big disappoinment... We dont know if they were tired or what because during 30 min they were making the same all the time. Nothing spectacular and all of our group as well other guests at the resort left the place...
This was around midnight and a half and my MH and I decided to go to sleep because we wanted to be fresh for the next day.
The next day my MH and I woke up late, at 10am, went to have breakfast withouth the guys, of course, hahaha, and then we returned to my room. We had an appoinment at 12 at the Spa but they told us to be at least 30 min before as there were other people from our wedding there as well people at the resort.
I had booked a wedding package from Spain online that included manicure and pedicure spa, plus updo and make up. The 5th i went for manicure and pedicure at 4.30pm. I have to say they are really slow! I was not in a hurry but I was there for 1hour and 45min for sth that at least in my country is made in 30 min less.. The manicure has nothing special and I was wondering myself if this would last until the end of the wedding. She also painted me out of several nails and I waited she saw that but I had to tell her at the end...
I would have liked to make this at home but we arrived in Mexico with 9 days notice of our wedding so it would have not probably last them because the products used at the pools are very strong and destroy any manicure/pedicure in few days.
Well continuing with the Spa... My maid of honour and me went there for our appoinments (my mom and other friends of us had to be there later than us). So first advice of everything, avoid the woman named Cari. This was such a rude, unplesant and above all non professional stylists. My maid of honour had the bad luck to have her... she had to paint her nails twice as she was a disaster. My MH had booked an Spa manicure and pedicure but she just made her the basic ones and refuse to put her lotion.
The same woman that makes this is the same that you are going to have for your updo and make up. So once again my MH had to be rude with Cari because she did not want to change her updo... I had even to go near to her (to Cari) to tell her, this is not the updo she wanted. Without saying anything she started again... So it was easy to see that she does not want to work at all and/or she did not fancy it. Then, do not do it! But c'mmon we are here because of a wedding, try be nicer!
I had luck with my stylist as she was all the opposite (her name is Seyla) but I saw that even I brang 3 different full color pics of my updo that was really easy to make she had difficulties... It was not exactly what I have asked...
The other guests of my wedding at the spa did not make an updo there, so they had just straight hair (and this cannot be complicated).
My mom had Alejandra as stylist and she is really nice but in spite of talking the same language she seemed she did not understand what my mom wanted. There was not enough time and my mom decided to go with that updo anyway.
Advice: look for an outside vendor. It does not worth the money at the Spa and the waste of time trying to explain sth that they do not understand.
My MH went after that to the reception to complain about her stylist and the woman there was not really interested in paying her attention.
As we finished earlier that we were supposed to and the flowershop had not arrived to the resort yet (we are going to have Vanessa bringing us the flowers for our hair to the Spa so the stylists collocate them) I phoned Vanessa from there and she told to go to the room and she will send us someone to put them.
When we were at our room arrived the woman of the flowershop with Vanessa saying that the type of white orchids of my bouquet had not arrived well and that they had to change them for another white orchids. I was upset because I did like that orchids I chose (and BTW now that I am thinking were more expensive than the other that I had). She told me she was looking in other flowershops around and only could find 2 plants. I decided then to change the bouquets of my dad and Thomas using the other ones so I would have more the ones that I really wanted in my bouquet and in my hair.
Also the bouquet of my MH was a little bit different from what I have ordered and the women told us we were wrong. Vanessa told us to dont worry that she was going to fix the situation. She returned with orchids like I wanted and she also re made my MH bouquet. The woman of the flowershop went and I decided to do not tip her after her behaviour and lack of professionality.
My MH and me were so thanked to Vanessa because she spent like 30min fixing our bouquets. She was soooo nice!! And we were shocked about how she changed them!! Very professional!
But with all that, Vanessa was quite stressed and when she went to look for extra flowers for our bouquets she met the photographers... Well, that is a really incredible story.
For one hand what Vanessa explained me from the start was that any vendor coming in the resort needs to show his/her ID or passport if not the security guard is not letting them enter. I was really careful about this and I asked this info to all my vendors and their assistants.
For other hand, I recognize I am very picky with the photographers and videographers. This was one of the things that I spent more time looking for. I perfectly remembered that the 1st day I started to look for one I was desesperated for the bad quality of the ones that I found in internet. Thank godness that there are advices about other that I did not find in the BWD site, there it was where I found mine.
I wanted to have technique at our pictures and assistants in both cases (photographers and videographers). I saw a lot of pictures and videos until I decided who to choose. I studied Journalism and worked as a journalist in TV so I understand a little bit about images being capturing by a videographer, that is why I decided to choose to have an assistant here too.
My advice is you all take a good look of this things because when everything has finished, photos and video are the things you are going to have as a remembrance of your day.
I am happy to see that it really worths the money.
Well, so returning to the story. When I was looking for a photographer I did find ones at Playa del Carmen that I did like. We talked by email about costs, etc and we were agree with this services. They sent me the contract but when I started to read it, this had important mistakes as hours and even the date! So I emailed them again asking them to correct those without signing it.
I did not have an answer in spite I sent them 5 mails in 2 months and one private message to the facebook page. In my last mail I told them that I could not wait for them and if they did not answer me then I understood that they were not more interested and that I was going to look for another photographer.
This was from November to January and never got a response.
I found Erick Rodriguez and thank godness because in spite of being more expensive I discovered I did like his photos more than the others. I did agree with him to be at my room at 3.15pm.
When Vanessa entered with all the extra flowers, behind her there were 2 men saying there were the photographers... I was a little bit confusing as I knew how the Erick's face was so my first thought was he was ill and he had to send other person... But it seems me strange as I did not have any email from Erick (you have free internet access at the Royal rooms). Then I decided to ask them again their names and the company.... could you believe those guys there were the ones that â€œdisappearâ€ and never repplied to me??!!
MY MH and I were so shocked that being really polite I started to say that I had hever had an answer from them. One of the guys showed me at his mobile phone the contract and I told to him that that was not signed because it was incorrect. That I never payed a balance as a booking and that I had to look for other studio. They were shocked and told us that was not the 1st time they happened this and it is because the most of the times the people forget to sign them.... They finally decided to leave, they made some jokes like telling us â€œwe are not angryâ€ and I said to them â€œso sorryâ€.
Vanessa was shocked too and started to ask me sorry. She told me that she could not understand why the security guard let them enter at the resort if they were not at the list and she did not ask them anything because she was stress with the flowers.
I was not very happy with this because it was a unconfortable situation and this men were insisting in that...
Well, so finally some minutes later Erick and Matias (videographer) arrived to my room and their assistants were to the Thomas's friends room.
They were fantastic and really nice people, we were chatting a lot and getting ready and take the advantage to take some pics because the judge was arriving late (15min).
Then Matias went to the gazebo to connect the audio and arrived his assistant, a really nice girl, Fernanda, that was before at Thomas' room.
So then it arrived the moment of the leaving the room and our golf cart arrived with Rigoberto, such a kind man!
The rest you have seen it at the video. Everything is really well organized and the ceremony was beautiful. The gazebo decorations at the columns at the gazebo were fantastic. I had the idea to have them because in my opinion â€œdressâ€ the gazebo much more that being empty. Everybody was saying those were beautiful. Even the planners!
We had there also Grace.
After the ceremony you saw everything at the video, we toke photos and video at the beach and have lots of fun there. Then, Vanessa went with my wedding guests to the Sports Bar (at 5.15pm) and Thomas and I stayed more time with Erick and Matias at the beach and Grace.
Then after this, we went to the Sports Bar terrace that it was beautiful decorated. We have booked the musical trio and asked them to enter behind us playing the music.
People enjoyed the musical trio a lot, they played for one hour and beautiful songs. In spite we have chairs and tables, our guests were dancing and seatted around the fountain (that I asked to Vanessa on our 2nd meeting to work, as when we saw this location, the fountain was not pouring water) or eating around the appetizers.
We had 3 waiters, everybody received a cocktail at their arrival as well as Thomas and I. It was really good! I did not ever drink it before and I asked later the name, it was Mango Belini.
So, there was one waiter for the drink orders and other two waiters walking around and offering with trays the hot appetizers. The cold ones were on the buffet. We had also asked this months ago and we got a positive answer from the maitre. I meant this was nothing we got special because of the general manager so if you want to make it equally, it is supposed you will have it (eachtime is a thing from the GM I am telling it, if not it is because we asked months ago before he knew from our wedding there).
We payed 350 usd for our appetizers, drinks and the waiters and I have to say that it worths the money! The food was really good. We also asked for some extra decorations at palm leaves and turtles made with watermelon (everything for free asked them months ago).
We had too our own DIY centerpieces. This was free as well, made them with fake fucsia orchids and 3 fucsia floating candles in each centerpiece that I bought in Spain and I asked to Vanessa the vases and fill them with water and some sand so the flowers were not going to float. I saw she also added some small beautiful stones at the top of the sand which made them beautiful. I do not have any pic of it, but a friend of mine took one. I will ask him to send it to me to show you them.
We were with Alma (other planner there). Then arrived Vanessa to pick everyboody to La Laguna at 6.45pm. When they went we wait a little bit there with Alma and Rigoberto toke us at the golf cart to bring us to La Laguna.
Alma was all the time there, speaking with Vanessa thourgh the walkie talkie for letting enter us once the guests were seatted.
Then we entered for the wooden bridge that is in front of La Laguna. The entrance is beautiful there. Once you are at the La laguna corridor there are some yellow paper candels at both sides which makes it more beautiful.
From that moment the only person with us was Vanessa. She was there all the time.
Small detail: We noticed that the waiters were really nice but (in spite we told this to Vanessa at our meeting) they do not know when to serve the wine and champagne.
When I was seated they started for me to serve the champagne and I told them to not do it until the desserts. But this are protocolary things that Vanessa knew perfectly but the waiters not. I told this to the maitre and it was perfect.
Everybody loved the starfishes for the seating cards and the bottles for the menu. I want to explain that none of our our guest was at a destination wedding in the Caribbean before. In Europe we are more serious, hahah and the same villa or restaurant makes this things for you in a special sheet of paper, anything special in it.
People started to ask us if they could bring both at home. I had the suspect that everybody was going to ask me this and for this reason we did not make favours.
I have been at home of several of our guests since we arrived to La Coru±a and I saw they have the colored starfishes and mini bottles at their kitchen, bathroom or leaving room, which is nice to me, because in this way they had their own favours and they have them right now at their homes.
We had the cake as well and it was delicious. But it was funny because we had asked to Vanessa that waiters brang the cake in a small troley (like the ones that they have at the kitchens) and besides the cake the plates so the waiter cut the cake and the other waiter started to give the dishes. We did not want to cut the cake.
They did understand perfeclty and they even repeat it to me before going out with the wedding cake, but then started to spin around the table with the cake (3 rounds, haha) and then arrived Vanessa to remember what they had to do. It was really funny!
We tip them anyway because they were really nice and came to me the maitre a couple of times to ask me if everything was going great.
During the dinner, we had music that I had recorded at our ipod and that Vanessa played. We had downloaded soundtracks of movies but quiet ones like: the rules of sider home, dragonheart, sense and sensibility, pride and prejudice, etc. In a low volume, of course, so did not disturbe to anybody.
Then, started the speeches which were greats and really emotional. The two best friends of Thomas speak some Spanish in spite of being Italian, and they wrote their speeches to read them in spanish so it was going to be easier for them, and this were beautiful. More people then started to take the micro and started to say beautiful things and best wishes. We do not make this of the speeches in Spain or in Italy. We only saw this in the movies, hahaha. But we asked people some days before if they wanted to say sth there was going to be a microphone and this had a lot of sucess.
After that, we went to Las Rocas. It was not windy so it was perfect to dance. Everybody removed their shoes. It was really confortable to dance there because there is sand there but it is hard (not like when you step at a beach). There were 2 waiters at the bar serving drinks. We have also had the Chinese lamps and everything was beautiful decorated. We were there completely alone (I mean, no hotel guests) and had lots of funs just with the music of our ipod. If you do not want to waste money, I advice you this because the sound system is really good!
We were there from 9.30pm to 0.30 and we finished at the swimming pool of Las Rocas swimming!! It was hot! Vanessa brang everybody towels and she even brang to my MH and me to the room at Royal Suites at her golf cart to take the swim bath. I had the trash the dress the next day with the same gown.
We really had lots of fun and enjoyed a lot! It is a pity the hotel does not allow to stay more at the beach parties because i do not really think you are bothering someone as the villas area away from the area...
We had the ttd the next day with Erick. We had booked him for an hour and he stayed with us for 2h30min... I was sooo tired!! But it worthed it a lot. We enjoyed it every moment with Erick and Omar (his assistant).
We started at 6pm. We called to the butler at the Royal Suites for having a cart in our villa, the driver picked us up and brang there to the area of the beach where is the pergola. We started to walk to the beach that is next to the hotel, 10 min walking.
There is a public beach and we toke there all the photos.
After that, we walked to the Kantenah lobby to pick up a Royal Suites golf cart.
Removing the sand and the sea water of the dress was not so difficult as I thought. I was 20 min cleaning it at the shower. I left them after at the terrace and then the next day was dry. The same with Thomas' suit.
We left the resort during 3 days because we wanted to make a small trip by our own visiting mostly the state of Yucat¡n (Uxmal, Chichen Itza, groots, small towns, etc) before that I asked to Vanessa to stay with my dress as i did not want to bring it with myself at the rented car. There was no problem at all and I left her the dress. I also asked her so much was to bring it to the laundry (she told me the day of our 1st meeting that they do not wash the gowns, only iron) and she said to me that she knew that this was more or less 200 usd in a laundry the resort knows as other brides requested this.
I decided to not do it, I had brung mine last week here to a laundry near to my home and has a cost of 40 euro (like 51 usd).
We asked too to Vanessa if she knew if we were going to stay at the Royal Suites again after our 3 days outside (we were at the resort from 29th July to 7th August, and we returned from 10th August until 19th). She told me that she had seen we were at the Royal again, which was great. We requested to change our Mayan Suite for a Junior Suite as the ones that my guests obtained as being sometimes in this rooms I noticed that the air conditioning worked perfectly.
This is because we had problems with the air conditioning. It did not work good at all and sleep was quite difficult because the room was quite hot. A man came to repair the a/c twice but didnt work. I went to the lobby to talk about this and they recognised that the system of the A/C at the Mayan suites were not good. I asked too why this type of room didnt have a fan at the ceiling and they told me that was impossible because of the structure... I dont see why this is a reason... So this is why we asked to have a jr suite at Royal.
When we returned from our small trip we had the surprise when we were making the check in. The recepcionist made us to sign one small sheet of paper, we started to read it, and we saw that they were giving us other upgrade, from a jr suite to a suite. This was wonderful! The A/C worked perfectly! We were at villa 69 that is next to the pool and the lobby. We had 3 independent rooms. Once you enter, you saw the living room with TV, minifridge, A/C, ceiling fan, a small table and 2chairs, one couch and a small terrrace with chairs.
You continue walking and you have at the right the wardrobe and at the left the bathroom which is great with a window overlooking a garden and the lake. Then, you continue and you arrive to the room. There you have the huge bed, another A/C and ceiling fan, the TV and a table with a chair and then the terrace with 2wooden deck chairs and the HUGE jacuzzi. This is super great. The big difference with the Mayan suites, for who wants to know, is that the Mayan Suite has a normal jacuzzi and a Mayan shower while the shower is at the bathroom of the Suite and a big jacuzzi outside. You have the curtains so you can close them to have more privacy. Anyway we were lucky with the room because also with the opened curtains was impossible someone saw you as we have the beautiful garden and lake and the suite is like in a corner so you do not see the other rooms.
We ordered a lot of times the room service and we were highly surprise because the quality of the meat (for example) was better here that the a la carta restaurants!
During our whole stay at the resort and also happened to our guests, in different nights we had the jacuzzi prepared without asking it previously, strawberries with chocolate, champagne, petal rosas, candels etc. It was funny too because we had two rooms in which some male friends were staying (two guys friends of Thomas and other 2 friends of mine, that they are not gay, but they just share the room because they are friends between them) and they had the jacuzzi prepared as well and champagne bottles in several ocassions! Hahaha It was funny to hear how they all described their faces when they saw that, lol
The buttlers normally enter at the rooms to decorate again during the evening.
Well girls, I do not know if I forget something, because I have been very detailed!! haha
Hope this all details help you all you upcoming brides. This is the reason of my super detailed review, so you could see or understand more how they work at the resort.
We were really lucky with all the general manager made for us and our guests but the important of all of this is that the wedding planners work really hard and you certainly obtain a beautiful wedding and an unforgettable day!
My last advice is that to do not have problems with the language barrier, send to your planner a word document as we made, when everything has been booked. So in this way is easy they do not loose any detail.
Sometimes they are reading our mails and then they have to go, so they could forget to put it down at your file.
Other advice: bring all your things for the big day, your gown and your fiance's suite the day of your meeting. Could be difficult to find them other days (I remembered Maybride had a big problem to find her planner at the office). My advice is to avoid the hours between 12 and 2pm that is when they usually have lunch. They usually arrive at 9am and stay until 7pm (at 11am if that day they have a wedding) and they worked fr
Posted 03 September 2013 - 01:17 PM
Hey there Brides and Brides to be!
I've got a question for you, in particular you ladies from Alberta! I'm looking for recommendations for travel agents. My own TA hasn't been very good at getting back to me with information, and as I am still pricing out the tickets for my guests for next year, I am feeling the crunch and want to get things sorted out. So if you ladies have any TA's you think are awesome, can you send me their names and contact info.
Thanks a bunch,
Posted 03 September 2013 - 06:15 PM
Hi Liana I went with a TA, but one from Ontario, not Alberta where I live now. My best advice would be to get a local TA, one where you can pop in and chat with him or her, and get your questions answered without waiting for email responses. I know obviously you have to wait sometimes, for them to get answers from the airlines, etc. But you want to know that you're a priority. Also, because I used a TA out in Windsor, she was unfamiliar with WestJet and their booking procedures, change guidelines, etc. and it added a LOT of confusion for our guests. Make sure your TA has done business with the airline or tour compay you're using before, so that she's not 'learning' throughout your wedding. Let us know what you decide! ~Lauren
Posted 05 September 2013 - 02:08 PM
I'm from Saskatchewan, but the TA I used is in Edmonton. It hasn't been a problem at all not living in the same place, as we've done everything by phone and email. She's been fantastic!
Here is her information:
Phone: (780) 439.3096 Ext 227
Toll Free: 1.888.673.6283
Let me know how you make out!
Posted 06 September 2013 - 06:44 AM
Hi Lianna, I am from Winnipeg but I worked with a girl named Alexis from a company called Travel Best Bets which is based out of Vancouver. She was excellent! Great customer services and I was really pleased with the prices she got for us. Most of my guests are flying out of Calgary and Edmonton and they found booking with her very easy. I haven't found it to be a problem not having her in the same location as me and dealing were over the phone and through email. The nice thing about Travel Best Beta that worked well for me is they were able to get me a group rate without having to have all my guests fly out of one gateway. They combined all my guests flying out of multiple gateways to secure the group rate which was perfect for me because I am having a smaller wedding. I would highly recommend them. Kathy
Hey there Brides and Brides to be! I've got a question for you, in particular you ladies from Alberta! I'm looking for recommendations for travel agents. My own TA hasn't been very good at getting back to me with information, and as I am still pricing out the tickets for my guests for next year, I am feeling the crunch and want to get things sorted out. So if you ladies have any TA's you think are awesome, can you send me their names and contact info. Thanks a bunch, Liana
Posted 07 September 2013 - 07:54 PM
Thank you Kylie and Kstoks for your information.
My big problem is that I live in a very small community 5 hours north of Edmonton, so its not very likely that I will find a good travel agent up here who has experience with destination weddings, especially with the size and complexity of the one Jason and I are planning, and has worked with Grand Palladium, etc, and since my own TA hasn't been very attentive, I appreciate your recommendations to help find someone new, even if it means lots of phone calls and emails in the future.
Thanks again ladies! I'll let you know how things go!
Posted 07 September 2013 - 07:57 PM
Thank You Lauren,
I never thought about those cautions, and I appreciate the advice! I won't likely have the benefit of using a travel agent from up here, but I will definitely ask some smart questions when I do figure out who I will be using.
Thanks again darlin!
Posted 10 September 2013 - 10:29 AM
http://vimeo.com/56042820 from http://vimeo.com/cancunweddingvideo on https://vimeo.com.
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