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#891 lea_rai

lea_rai
  • Newbie
  • 15 posts

    Posted 03 May 2011 - 01:30 PM

    http://www.juanphoto...m/blog/?p=11781

     

    Hi Everyone,

     

    Here's the link to our professional pics... If anyone is still looking for a photographer, I would definitely recommend him!

     

    We've been back for a few weeks now but here's what went on while we were down for our Wedding on April 7th.  We arrived on April 1st and came home on the 10th.  As for the resort, we had some issues from day 1.  Most of our guests were all booked on the Riviera side but due to the explosion in November '10 our Platinum guests were moved to the 'New Platinum Area' which is basically Junior Deluxe suites right beside the lobby that they are calling Platinum.  We were told by our TA that we could request a swim-out room in this area and we were ok with that.  But, when we arrived at our room we went all the way to the top floor.  Pretty sure you can't swim out from there! 

     

    When we talked to the Front Desk we were told that it was a 'downgrade' to be put in one of the swim-out rooms and that is was not possible for us to be moved.  But here's the thing... my sister and her friend actually booked a Junior Deluxe Swim-out and when they checked in they were told by the Front Desk that there were being 'upgraded' to the swim-out in the Platinum Area.  WTF?!?!?  We went in to her room just to check it out and what do you know... it's exactly the same room.  We were pissed.  Not only did we get lied to numerous times by the Front Desk staff but we went through 4 days of arguments with them.  I really don't feel like we should have had to argue with them about this as it was our Wedding and we had brought over 30 people to their resort.  We were NOT impressed.  Finally, our on-sight representative with American Express fought tooth and nail for us and we were upgraded to a Villa Laguna Suite.  These suites are the most expensive in the resort and are very beautiful... not sound-proof though.  We had the pleasure of being woken up the morning after the wedding by horrific country music coming from our neighbours.  The great thing about these rooms is you have access to a private pool area which is incredible! 

     

    The buffets were both great... the Sunset side seemed a bit better.  We didn't get a chance to try all of the A la cartes but I can definitely say 'to each their own'.  We had an amazing meal at La Hacienda' (Mexican) but a few of our guests didn't care for it at all.  The steakhouse (La Vaqueria) was probably my least favourite but it was still very good.

     

    We didn't spend too much time on the beach... the 'Platinum Area' on the beach near the Chill Out Restaurant (Thai Beach Club) looks NOTHING like the pictures you see on the website.  There are no beds and chaise lounges, just beach chairs (and not many either).  This was kind of a disappointment.  We did find another 'Platinum Area' on the Riviera side but it's basically just your regular beach chairs in a roped off area.  These areas claim to have have butlers but I think we only saw 1 come by within the hour we were there.  I'd have to say the pools are much better to spend time at... especially the swim-up bars closest to the beach.  We had no problem getting chairs and they were much more relaxing than the main swim-up bar that seemed to be frequented by the 'spring break' crowd.  Unless you plan on getting completely trashed and listen to awful music you will probably want to stay away from that pool.

     

    Wow... This is starting to become a rant.  Ok.. I'll stop complaining.  Feel free to PM me if you have any concerns about the Riviera side... I'll tell you everything I know.

     

    As for our wedding we couldn't have imagined anything better.  Me and a few of my bridesmaids got our hair done at the spa.  I gave my makeup session to my Mom as I had a friend do my makeup.  Everyone LOVED their hair and my Mom's makeup looked amazing.  All you have to do is bring them a pic of the hairstyle you want and they'll do it! 

     

    We all got ready in my room and the ceremony started at 4pm.  It was a perfect time as it was starting to cool down so we didn't die from the heat.  We did the civil ceremony and the judge we had was AWESOME!  She made the ceremony enjoyable for all of us... cracked a few jokes... made it really light and easy-going.  My hubby and I are laid-back, fun people and the last thing we wanted was some stuffy ceremony.  The DJ played our music in the perfect order... mind you we made the CD in the right order (make sure it's a CD-R... NOT A CD-RW as they won't play).  Ceremony music first then we added a bunch of songs to be played during the Toast and Cocktail Hour. 

     

    We had just the right amount of time to get lots of pictures while our guests enjoyed the cocktail hour at the Chill Out Restaurant before the dinner reception at Mamma Mia at 6pm.  The dinner was really good... we chose to have 4 courses but definitely could have just done 3.  We had the Caprese Salad, Seafood Bisque, Cannelloni au Gratin, and Tiramisu. By the time dessert was served everyone was stuffed and we still hadn't cut our wedding cake.  We chose the Tropical Fruit cake and it was incredible!  Best Wedding Cake I've ever eaten!!  We stayed in the restaurant for way longer than 1 1/2 hours but no one rushed us out. 

     

    We did our first dance in one of the Palapas near the Riviera Lobby & Disco.  It was perfect!  We just used our iPod dock and did 2 songs.  One for Sev and I and the next for me and my Dad and the wedding party.  Then we just went and hung out at the Riviera Lobby Lounge for drinks.  I really just wanted to chill out and wasn't in a partying mood.  It was great though... we just took over the lounge for a few hours and it was perfect! 

     

    Alejandra, our WC, was great.  We met with her the day after we arrived and we sorted out the last minute details.  The bouquet & boutonnieres were beautiful as were the decorations at the ceremony site.  I had favours for all of our guests that they put out before everyone arrived at dinner.  I was also able to arrange a 'Welcome Dinner' for all of our guests at the Riviera Buffet on the Tuesday before our Wedding.  The put us all at seperate tables though which I didn't really like.  The dinner & service, however, were great!!

     

    We went to CocoBongo for our Bachelor/Bachelorette party... I would highly recommend it!  It's a once in a lifetime experience.  We were able to get 20 people to go, so Sev and I were able to go for free!  It's a $50 US charge for transportation, admission and open bar. We were picked up at 10pm and we got home around 4am.  Our Amex rep was there and I guess he told them that it we were getting married and they put us up on the big screen and gave us shots!  Hilarious!!  Needless to say, you probably don't want to do this the night before the wedding!! :)  We slept until 1pm the next day and felt a little rough.

     

    Even with all the crap we dealt with, I would still recommend this resort!  It was absolutely beautiful and our guests had an great time. 

     

    Please feel free to PM me if there's anything I can help with... I'd be happy to help out!

    Best of luck to all the future GRP/GSP brides!!

     



    #892 VancityBride

    VancityBride
    • Jr. Member
    • 152 posts

      Posted 03 May 2011 - 01:54 PM


      Wow it seems like you had an amazing time except for little bumps at the beginning of your trip.

       

      I just have a few questions that im hoping you can help me with.. Where was your cocktail hour held?? Do you get a choice of where you would like to have it..

      How were your flowers..did you love them??  With the DJ did he play his own music or could you give him your music on ipod/CD to be played??

       

      Ive just been told by my TA that she cant find anywhere that will book packages to the riviera side.. Do you know what side is the newer side?? Does it matter.. or are they both the same..

       

      With the Villa suite you ended up getting was it close to the beach??

       

      Thanks!!!

       

      Originally Posted by lea_rai 

      http://www.juanphoto...m/blog/?p=11781

       

      Hi Everyone,

       

      Here's the link to our professional pics... If anyone is still looking for a photographer, I would definitely recommend him!

       

      We've been back for a few weeks now but here's what went on while we were down for our Wedding on April 7th.  We arrived on April 1st and came home on the 10th.  As for the resort, we had some issues from day 1.  Most of our guests were all booked on the Riviera side but due to the explosion in November '10 our Platinum guests were moved to the 'New Platinum Area' which is basically Junior Deluxe suites right beside the lobby that they are calling Platinum.  We were told by our TA that we could request a swim-out room in this area and we were ok with that.  But, when we arrived at our room we went all the way to the top floor.  Pretty sure you can't swim out from there! 

       

      When we talked to the Front Desk we were told that it was a 'downgrade' to be put in one of the swim-out rooms and that is was not possible for us to be moved.  But here's the thing... my sister and her friend actually booked a Junior Deluxe Swim-out and when they checked in they were told by the Front Desk that there were being 'upgraded' to the swim-out in the Platinum Area.  WTF?!?!?  We went in to her room just to check it out and what do you know... it's exactly the same room.  We were pissed.  Not only did we get lied to numerous times by the Front Desk staff but we went through 4 days of arguments with them.  I really don't feel like we should have had to argue with them about this as it was our Wedding and we had brought over 30 people to their resort.  We were NOT impressed.  Finally, our on-sight representative with American Express fought tooth and nail for us and we were upgraded to a Villa Laguna Suite.  These suites are the most expensive in the resort and are very beautiful... not sound-proof though.  We had the pleasure of being woken up the morning after the wedding by horrific country music coming from our neighbours.  The great thing about these rooms is you have access to a private pool area which is incredible! 

       

      The buffets were both great... the Sunset side seemed a bit better.  We didn't get a chance to try all of the A la cartes but I can definitely say 'to each their own'.  We had an amazing meal at La Hacienda' (Mexican) but a few of our guests didn't care for it at all.  The steakhouse (La Vaqueria) was probably my least favourite but it was still very good.

       

      We didn't spend too much time on the beach... the 'Platinum Area' on the beach near the Chill Out Restaurant (Thai Beach Club) looks NOTHING like the pictures you see on the website.  There are no beds and chaise lounges, just beach chairs (and not many either).  This was kind of a disappointment.  We did find another 'Platinum Area' on the Riviera side but it's basically just your regular beach chairs in a roped off area.  These areas claim to have have butlers but I think we only saw 1 come by within the hour we were there.  I'd have to say the pools are much better to spend time at... especially the swim-up bars closest to the beach.  We had no problem getting chairs and they were much more relaxing than the main swim-up bar that seemed to be frequented by the 'spring break' crowd.  Unless you plan on getting completely trashed and listen to awful music you will probably want to stay away from that pool.

       

      Wow... This is starting to become a rant.  Ok.. I'll stop complaining.  Feel free to PM me if you have any concerns about the Riviera side... I'll tell you everything I know.

       

      As for our wedding we couldn't have imagined anything better.  Me and a few of my bridesmaids got our hair done at the spa.  I gave my makeup session to my Mom as I had a friend do my makeup.  Everyone LOVED their hair and my Mom's makeup looked amazing.  All you have to do is bring them a pic of the hairstyle you want and they'll do it! 

       

      We all got ready in my room and the ceremony started at 4pm.  It was a perfect time as it was starting to cool down so we didn't die from the heat.  We did the civil ceremony and the judge we had was AWESOME!  She made the ceremony enjoyable for all of us... cracked a few jokes... made it really light and easy-going.  My hubby and I are laid-back, fun people and the last thing we wanted was some stuffy ceremony.  The DJ played our music in the perfect order... mind you we made the CD in the right order (make sure it's a CD-R... NOT A CD-RW as they won't play).  Ceremony music first then we added a bunch of songs to be played during the Toast and Cocktail Hour. 

       

      We had just the right amount of time to get lots of pictures while our guests enjoyed the cocktail hour at the Chill Out Restaurant before the dinner reception at Mamma Mia at 6pm.  The dinner was really good... we chose to have 4 courses but definitely could have just done 3.  We had the Caprese Salad, Seafood Bisque, Cannelloni au Gratin, and Tiramisu. By the time dessert was served everyone was stuffed and we still hadn't cut our wedding cake.  We chose the Tropical Fruit cake and it was incredible!  Best Wedding Cake I've ever eaten!!  We stayed in the restaurant for way longer than 1 1/2 hours but no one rushed us out. 

       

      We did our first dance in one of the Palapas near the Riviera Lobby & Disco.  It was perfect!  We just used our iPod dock and did 2 songs.  One for Sev and I and the next for me and my Dad and the wedding party.  Then we just went and hung out at the Riviera Lobby Lounge for drinks.  I really just wanted to chill out and wasn't in a partying mood.  It was great though... we just took over the lounge for a few hours and it was perfect! 

       

      Alejandra, our WC, was great.  We met with her the day after we arrived and we sorted out the last minute details.  The bouquet & boutonnieres were beautiful as were the decorations at the ceremony site.  I had favours for all of our guests that they put out before everyone arrived at dinner.  I was also able to arrange a 'Welcome Dinner' for all of our guests at the Riviera Buffet on the Tuesday before our Wedding.  The put us all at seperate tables though which I didn't really like.  The dinner & service, however, were great!!

       

      We went to CocoBongo for our Bachelor/Bachelorette party... I would highly recommend it!  It's a once in a lifetime experience.  We were able to get 20 people to go, so Sev and I were able to go for free!  It's a $50 US charge for transportation, admission and open bar. We were picked up at 10pm and we got home around 4am.  Our Amex rep was there and I guess he told them that it we were getting married and they put us up on the big screen and gave us shots!  Hilarious!!  Needless to say, you probably don't want to do this the night before the wedding!! :)  We slept until 1pm the next day and felt a little rough.

       

      Even with all the crap we dealt with, I would still recommend this resort!  It was absolutely beautiful and our guests had an great time. 

       

      Please feel free to PM me if there's anything I can help with... I'd be happy to help out!

      Best of luck to all the future GRP/GSP brides!!

       



       



      #893 lea_rai

      lea_rai
      • Newbie
      • 15 posts

        Posted 03 May 2011 - 02:40 PM



        Originally Posted by VancityBride 


        Wow it seems like you had an amazing time except for little bumps at the beginning of your trip.

         

        I just have a few questions that im hoping you can help me with.. Where was your cocktail hour held?? Do you get a choice of where you would like to have it..

        How were your flowers..did you love them??  With the DJ did he play his own music or could you give him your music on ipod/CD to be played??

         

        Ive just been told by my TA that she cant find anywhere that will book packages to the riviera side.. Do you know what side is the newer side?? Does it matter.. or are they both the same..

         

        With the Villa suite you ended up getting was it close to the beach??

         

        Thanks!!!

         



         

         

        Hi VanCity... I'm from Vancouver too!

         

        We had our cocktail hour at the Chill Out Restaurant (aka Thai Beach Club) and we weren't given a choice.  Now that the other Gazebo is open I'm not sure if they'll have it there as it's way on the opposite side of the beach.  You'll probably have to check with your WC to find out.

         

        My flowers were perfect... I opted for 108A.  Just a simple White Calla Lily & small green flower bouquet with a white organza bow around the stems of the flowers.  They also made the decorations for the ceremony site match my bouquet. 

         

        The DJ for the ceremony can play the music you want or they have their own too.  If you make a CD you have to make sure it's in CD-R format not CD-RW otherwise it won't play on their system.  We didn't have a Reception with dancing so I'm not sure if you're referring to that as well.

         

        Who's your TA?  The TA that I used is Susan Gill of All About Destination Weddings and they are run by Travel Impressions/American Express.  They can only book the Riviera side.  According to her different agencies all own a block of rooms on one side and can only book those rooms.  This may be what your TA is getting at.  The resort is on one HUGE property so no matter what side you're on you can use the amenities at either side.  For example, we were booked on the Riviera side in Platinum but were able to use the Platinum Lounge/Pool on the Sunset side as there wasn't one on our side.  All they do is give you a wristband in the colour for Platinum... there's no indication of which side you're on.  Honestly, with all the drama we dealt with on the Riviera side... BOOK SUNSET!!  As for one being newer than the other... I'm not sure.

         

        The Villa Laguna Suites are nowhere near the beach... they are right in the middle of the property near the spa & main lobby.  If you haven't decided which room to get, I would highly recommend Platinum (Make sure you book on the Sunset side though to avoid the problems we had).  We only paid about $40 more per night than a Junior Deluxe Suite but it's probably a bit more now (we booked in May '10) but the perks that come along with Platinum are so worth it.  You would get a room right near the beach, with possibly a view of the water, private pool & lounge, free wi-fi in your room and in the lounge, first pick at reservations for the Al a Carte restaurants that you can book in the Platinum Lounge, free room service for your entire stay (we took advantage of this... it was awesome!!), unlimited supply of booze in your room, restocking of filtered water, beer etc in your mini-fridge.  I could go on... it's so worth the extra $$.

         

        Hope this helps!

        Leanne.

         

         

         


         

         



        #894 VancityBride

        VancityBride
        • Jr. Member
        • 152 posts

          Posted 04 May 2011 - 10:40 AM


          Thanks sooooo much!! You really helped. I think that will go with the Platium suit it seems wonderful.

           

          Regarding the cocktail hour i guess once the WC gets back to me with my confirmation ill ask her about the cocktail hour locations. Because i do want the ceremony at the gazebo that looks like a little chapel. Another question regarding your cocktail hour.. Did u guys get to chose what appys you wanted to be served??? Or was it just whatever they wanted to give you....

           

          The TA that im using is a friends wife.. she has been in the business for a while and her office is located near where everyone lives so i think that will work out good when it comes to booking time.

           

          For my flowers ive been referred to a decorator located in Mexico that does amazing work. So im getting her and her team to decorate the reception hall/centerpieces and probably do my flowers as well. I guess ive just read a few reviews that ppl were not totally happy with there flowers..so i didnt wanna risk it.

           

          With your hair and make-up.. did you just bring a pic of what you wanted your make-up to look like????

           

          Also, Ive seen in a couple pics a golf cart/trolly that has a just married heart on the back... Do you know anything about that.. or did you see it at all???

           

           

          Thanks again:)

           

           

           

           

           

          Originally Posted by lea_rai 



           

          Hi VanCity... I'm from Vancouver too!

           

          We had our cocktail hour at the Chill Out Restaurant (aka Thai Beach Club) and we weren't given a choice.  Now that the other Gazebo is open I'm not sure if they'll have it there as it's way on the opposite side of the beach.  You'll probably have to check with your WC to find out.

           

          My flowers were perfect... I opted for 108A.  Just a simple White Calla Lily & small green flower bouquet with a white organza bow around the stems of the flowers.  They also made the decorations for the ceremony site match my bouquet. 

           

          The DJ for the ceremony can play the music you want or they have their own too.  If you make a CD you have to make sure it's in CD-R format not CD-RW otherwise it won't play on their system.  We didn't have a Reception with dancing so I'm not sure if you're referring to that as well.

           

          Who's your TA?  The TA that I used is Susan Gill of All About Destination Weddings and they are run by Travel Impressions/American Express.  They can only book the Riviera side.  According to her different agencies all own a block of rooms on one side and can only book those rooms.  This may be what your TA is getting at.  The resort is on one HUGE property so no matter what side you're on you can use the amenities at either side.  For example, we were booked on the Riviera side in Platinum but were able to use the Platinum Lounge/Pool on the Sunset side as there wasn't one on our side.  All they do is give you a wristband in the colour for Platinum... there's no indication of which side you're on.  Honestly, with all the drama we dealt with on the Riviera side... BOOK SUNSET!!  As for one being newer than the other... I'm not sure.

           

          The Villa Laguna Suites are nowhere near the beach... they are right in the middle of the property near the spa & main lobby.  If you haven't decided which room to get, I would highly recommend Platinum (Make sure you book on the Sunset side though to avoid the problems we had).  We only paid about $40 more per night than a Junior Deluxe Suite but it's probably a bit more now (we booked in May '10) but the perks that come along with Platinum are so worth it.  You would get a room right near the beach, with possibly a view of the water, private pool & lounge, free wi-fi in your room and in the lounge, first pick at reservations for the Al a Carte restaurants that you can book in the Platinum Lounge, free room service for your entire stay (we took advantage of this... it was awesome!!), unlimited supply of booze in your room, restocking of filtered water, beer etc in your mini-fridge.  I could go on... it's so worth the extra $$.

           

          Hope this helps!

          Leanne.

           

           

           


           

           



           



          #895 takelly

          takelly
          • Site Supporter
          • 62 posts

            Posted 04 May 2011 - 04:43 PM

            Thanks for the advice!  This certainly does make me feel better.  I have been waiting for someone from the resort to contact me about the wedding details but nothing yet!  Fortunately my TA is a great help and if it becomes critical, she helps me out by contacting them directly.



            #896 takelly

            takelly
            • Site Supporter
            • 62 posts

              Posted 04 May 2011 - 04:47 PM

              I knew that would make your happy   The travel arrangements are coming along nicely.  So far most everyone has booked and we are just working on the individuals that are outside of the group travel booking.  I still haven't heard from the wedding coordinator but this site really has been a great resource for working through some of the questions I have.

               

              How are your plans coming along? 



              #897 takelly

              takelly
              • Site Supporter
              • 62 posts

                Posted 04 May 2011 - 04:56 PM

                Many thanks for the detailed review.  It is a little scary but you just decribed the wedding I am in the process of planning...right down to the timeline!  Would you be able to elaborate on why you would choose a different Al a carte for the dinner? 



                #898 sonymp

                sonymp
                • Newbie
                • 13 posts

                  Posted 12 May 2011 - 08:43 AM

                  Hey everyone, I'm getting married at GSP in November. I have confirmed any dates because I haven't heard from the WC. Very frustrating! I'm having a small wedding (4 guest hopefully). I would prefer to have an arch wedding on the beach but I can't find any info on the website. 

                   

                  Any tips or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!

                   

                  Thanks everyone! 



                  #899 samcalv1

                  samcalv1
                  • Jr. Member
                  • 300 posts

                    Posted 12 May 2011 - 11:07 AM

                    Welcome sonymp Congrats on your wedding xxx When in November are you getting married I am getting married on Oct 25th x  I've been e-mail Mara at the hotel and to be honest I have found to be quite helpful .....



                    #900 sonymp

                    sonymp
                    • Newbie
                    • 13 posts

                      Posted 12 May 2011 - 11:14 AM

                      Thanks samcalv1.

                       

                      I don't have an exact date of the wedding but I will be at GSP the 11th - 20th. I submitted the inital form last week but have not had any response. I have even tried calling the hotel but I can never get through. I have printed everything from their website in regards to the wedding but I find that the packages have a lot of extra that I wouldn't need. I'm trying to find out if I can manipulate any of the packages to fit what we are looking for.






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