Any Grand Palladium brides?
Posted 24 February 2009 - 03:03 PM
I don't have my reception pictures from the photographer yet. I have everything up to the end of the ceremony. Once I get them all, I'll post them.
We had our reception in Portofino. We were on the patio section across the walkway/hall on the lake. We had that section to ourselves. The chairs were wrought iron, so not standard banquet type chairs. I'll see if any of the pictures show what the chairs looked like. I've heard they usually put weddings on the patio section, but I don't know if group size effects where you sit. I would ask Erika/Rocio about that to confirm. We had 17 people total, but there would be room for more, I just don't know how many more.
Posted 07 March 2009 - 11:13 PM
1. How long does the drive take to get from the airport to the hotel?
2. For those that have been there, how is the water? It sounds like you need water shoes because of the coral. Are there any spots that you can go in without shoes?
Thanks. I'm sure I'll have more questions as I go along.
Posted 08 March 2009 - 07:55 PM
It took us around an hour to get from the airport to the hotel. We weren't really paying too much attention to the time as we were having fun and drinking beer. We also stopped at the Barcelo on the way there.
The water was very nice. There are a couple of areas down by the White Sands resort where you would want water shoes. But the beach at Kantenah was white and sandy and hardly any coral or anything in the water. We spent more time in the ocean then the pool as it was warmer (we were also there in January).
Posted 09 March 2009 - 03:53 PM
Thanks so much for posting your pictures & info! Was your day everything you wished it would be?? Did you & all your guests stay at the Kantenah? And did you have the options of any of the wedding sites for your ceremony?
Does anyone mind me asking how much you & your guests ended up paying for your vacation packages (especially if you are from BC) ? Did you go through a travel agent or book independantly online or in small groups?
Any information or do's & don'ts would be very welcome!!
Posted 09 March 2009 - 05:58 PM
It was even better than we could have hoped. All but 3 of our guests stayed at the Kantenah. The other 3 stayed at the Colonial. We had all booked in the Colonial, but that's just how the room assignments worked out. The resort is laid out so that the Colonial and Kantenah are together and the White Sands and Riviera are together. Our entire group spent most of our time in the Colonial/Kantenah areas and really only ventured over to the White Sands/Riviera to explore and eat at one of the a la cartes over there. The 2 sides are almost a mirror image to each other (but not).
Our package was $1850 + tax through Air Transat. We flew directly from Victoria to Cancun. I definitely saw some cheaper packages after we booked, but it was too late then. We used a travel agent, just to ensure that everything was coordinated. She started off great until everyone was had put down their deposit. Then things changed .... I would use an agent again for a group, but probably not for personal travel. The little red flags are now noticeable in hindsight.
I would recommend (if you want to hang out with your group) to try to book everyone in the same resort. It made it so much easier to hang out with people. Our group pretty much had rooms really close together so even if you didn't plan on it, you were running into each other. It made it easier to coordinate hanging out. Also, we all headed to the same pools and areas of the beach due to the proximity.
You can chose any of the wedding locations (there are 3). It doesn't matter which resort you stay at. Erika and Rocio will make transportation arrangements for you if you want/need them.
Let me know if you have further questions.
Posted 09 March 2009 - 11:11 PM
Thank you so much for getting back to me! That is just great to hear that you had such a wonderful experience!
I do have some more questions, was the $1850 + tax for 1 week or 2 ?? And how far in advance did you book your package with your travel agent ?
I just got some prices back now for Feb 2010, and they are really high compared to what we think it should be. She quoted 2225 + tax for 1 week, and 2980 + taxes for two weeks.
What travel agency did you use?
My fiance was really wondering about the beach as well, he is worried that it isn't great to swim in...can you give us a description of the beach & what kind of activities you & your guests took part in?
Did you do any adventures or tours with your group?
Thanks so much for the info, it is great to hear that the wedding planners are accomidating and the resort is flexible with the areas you can visit
Posted 10 March 2009 - 01:08 PM
The $1850 rate was for 1 week. I forget what the quote for 2 weeks was as we changed resorts for our second week. We booked everything (wedding date, resort, etc.) in July 2008 for January 2009. You may find it better to wait a little bit to book if you are trying to get a package deal through one of the providers. They don't seem to have any prices available online yet, so it's hard to compare what you could get on your own vs. what the agent is finding you. We used a local travel agency in Victoria. What city are you departing out of?
If you think the rate you were quoted was high, ask other travel agents for a quote. You could even try contacting TA Lindsay from this site. An honest travel agent will let you know the pricing trend and such.
The beach is huge. Part of it is great for things like snorkeling with the reef and such and part of it is for swimming. The water on the beach behind us in the picture in my signature is from the beach that you can swim in. You can see other pictures of the beach in quite of few of our wedding photos.
Our guests did deep sea fishing, scuba diving, snorkelling. Our guests and us did a combination of the following tours/adventures: Coba, Chichen Itza, Xel-ha, Xcaret, Rio Secreto.
We waited until we arrived to make most of the decisions regarding the wedding (flowers, ceremony location, cake, reception menu). Erika just walked us through everything we needed to decide. The only stuff we really did before was choose the date and the reception dinner location as they needed to make the restaurant reservation.
Posted 10 March 2009 - 08:45 PM
Thanks so much! You predicted all that I needed to know about beach to assure my hunny that it is good to go! We had chosen the Iberostars before but prices came back too high for us, as well the beach in Playa has sand bags which we knew we didn't want.
Did you use the spa there? For your hair & such?
I am glad to hear that we can choose some of the details there- makes it more exciting & spontaneous!... which is more our style!
Oh, did you have music for the ceremony? Any insight on that?
I am so excited! Wish that it was sooner! Just cause this winter business doesn't seem to want to shake us! How was the snow for you the other day? eh?
Posted 11 March 2009 - 07:53 PM
I used the spa to get my hair done. I had a great experience. Others in our group used it while we were there for massage, etc. as well and also loved it. I do know another bride that purchased one of their packages and didn't have so great of an experience. It seems that with the package, you get one practitioner for all services, no matter what is getting done (massage, facial, mani, pedi, and hair). So, you might get someone who is good at part and just does the rest when they are doing a package. I would recommend booking services separately so you get someone who specializes in an area (i.e. hair).
We decided to make most of the decisions down there so that we could see the location and get a feel for everything. I also didn't have my heart set on a perfect colour scheme or anything, so it made the planning stage very relaxing. The hardest part was getting guests booked and choosing a dress.
We brought a cd with music for the ceremony. They have music there, but we decided to bring our own. We wanted to use acoustic guitar and guitar/banjo music to keep the feel beachy. You will need to pick at least 3 songs (processional, document signing, recessional), which you can do there if you want.
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