review of our wedding and why we chose the Al Cielo Hotel
Posted 09 March 2007 - 07:05 PM
Everyone has been asking for a review of our wedding and why we chose the Al Cielo Hotelâ€¦ so here it goesâ€¦
Like I said in an earlier post I wish we knew about this site before we got married... there's a lot of info on here that we had to figure out on our own... hopefully we can help anyone else having a destination wedding in RM, Mexico...
We were married last Friday Mar. 2nd at the Al Cielo Hotel on Xpu-Ha Beach, about 20-25 minutes south of Playa Del Carmenâ€¦ if you donâ€™t know PDC, its about an hour or so south of Cancun airportâ€¦ we had a party of 60 come down from the NYC area... since the Al Cielo Hotel only has 4 rooms, most of the guest stayed with us at the Grand Palladium Kantenah... while others stayed in hotels right in PDC... we chose the Palladium because it was only a 5 minute drive from the Al Cielo... Iâ€™ll get into why we chose the Al Cielo for the wedding later, but if youâ€™re looking into having a wedding not on a resort, check them outâ€¦ awesome hotel and restaurant, with awesome peopleâ€¦ Andres (owner), Olga, Leilaniâ€¦
When we first decided on having a destination wedding, we looked at a lot of placesâ€¦ and I mean a lotâ€¦ Hawaiiâ€¦ Puerto Vallartaâ€¦ Caboâ€¦ Jamaicaâ€¦ Bahamasâ€¦ USVIâ€¦ BVIâ€¦ Bermudaâ€¦ Arubaâ€¦ our first choice right from the start was Cabo San Lucas, Cabo Surf Hotel or the Marquis Cabo wouldâ€™ve been our choices for the wedding, but after going through flights and rooming, it just wouldâ€™ve been too much for all our guestsâ€¦ so with that, Puerto Vallarta and Hawaii were out as wellâ€¦ as for the places in the Caribbean we looked at, Rockhouse in Negril, Jamaica was a place we were interested in, but they were completely booked for the weekends we asked aboutâ€¦ St. Thomas/St. John, we looked at, but reviews on service turned us offâ€¦ this is about the time when frustration set inâ€¦ trying to find a place that all our guests would love and wouldnâ€™t be too inconvenient for them to attendâ€¦
At this point were we still avoiding the Riviera Maya, just because of the Cancun/Spring Break image we hadâ€¦ but after being introduced to someone that had a destination wedding in RM, we decided it was worth a checking outâ€¦ they had their wedding at the Maroma Hotel, and they just kept on about the service they got inside and outside the resortâ€¦ We looked into the Maroma as well, but they were booked for our weekend â€¦and after reading general reviews of weddings all over the RM and the Playa Del Carmen area, we decided the RM would be the placeâ€¦ so the search began for a resort to have the wedding atâ€¦
Why did we choose the Al Cielo Hotel over the big all-inclusive resorts? Well we decided early on that we wanted a more intimate / private setting for the wedding and reception, which had to be on the beach, and where it would be just us and no on-lookersâ€¦ we looked up and down the RM for any all-inclusive resort that could provide thatâ€¦ most didnâ€™tâ€¦ what they offered was a ceremony on their beach or gazebo, then a roped off section for the reception in one of their restaurants/buffetsâ€¦ but the ones that did, either didnâ€™t allow kids, were too far from PDC, or just didnâ€™t seem to catch our attentionâ€¦ out of the all-inclusive resorts that we did consider, were Azul Beach Hotel, and the Grand Esmeralda (after reading recent reviews of Grand Esmeralda, thank god we didnâ€™t choose to have it there)â€¦ so from there we decided that we and our guests would stay at one of the many all-inclusive resorts, and we would have the wedding somewhere else that was more intimateâ€¦ side note: we did host a welcoming party at Grand Palladiumâ€¦
The hotels that we were considering to have the wedding at were, Maroma, the Ikal Del Mar, Amansala Hotel, Hotel Esencia, and the Al Cielo Hotelâ€¦ each hotel was small and catered to what we were looking forâ€¦ if you have the chance, check out each hotelsâ€™ website theyâ€™re all gorgeousâ€¦ our only problem with Ikal Del Mar and Esencia, was that they required a certain number of rooms be booked at the their hotels in order to have a wedding thereâ€¦ as for Amansala, it was just too far from PDC (1 hour), and Cancun (2 hours)â€¦ we knew that we would have a few people staying up in Cancun for our weddingâ€¦ so Tulum, where Amansala is located, would be too farâ€¦ The Al Cielo Hotel turned out to be a perfect fit for usâ€¦ And after having our wedding there, if we had to do it againâ€¦ there wouldnâ€™t be any other choice but the Al Cielo Hotelâ€¦
Our first visit to Al Cieolo was the Monday before our weddingâ€¦ from the moment we set foot on the Al Cieoloâ€™s sandâ€¦ we fell in love with the place and the people thereâ€¦ Andres, the owner was very coolâ€¦ he was the first one we met when we got to the hotelâ€¦ Olga, the restaurant/event coordinator, was very receptive to our wishes and very easy to work withâ€¦ and Leilani, the hostess, was just a blast to hangout withâ€¦
As for the wedding dayâ€¦ we believe it went off without a hitchâ€¦ we had the wedding on the beach, then had the cocktail hour in the restaurantâ€¦ which is just an open air thatched roof buildingâ€¦ I believe we were supposed to have the cocktail hour on the beach as well, but it was bit too windy for itâ€¦ so they just moved the tables around so there was more roomâ€¦ as the party started, we had open bar, so everyone was at the bar drinkingâ€¦ we hired two DJs, so if people werenâ€™t at the bar, they were on the dance floor dancing all niteâ€¦ as for the food, some guests told us they were licking their plates cause the food was so goodâ€¦ hahahahaaaâ€¦ so I guess it turned out to be an awesome weddingâ€¦ everybody kept telling us it was the best party/wedding/vacation they had ever been onâ€¦
We just wanted everybody to have a good timeâ€¦ they all spent a lot of money and time to share this day with us and we just hope they had as much fun as we didâ€¦ by what weâ€™ve been hearing I think they didâ€¦
Oh I forgot to mention we had a welcome party at the Grand Palladium Thursday niteâ€¦ the nite before the weddingâ€¦ Thanks to Dafney, the group coordinator at GPâ€¦ she helped us set up the private get together with apps and open barâ€¦ she also helped us set up day passes for those that werenâ€™t staying at the resortâ€¦
I also canâ€™t forget to thank Erica and Maria (Weddings in Playa Has Experienced Wedding Planners to Coordinate Destination Weddings, Receptions and Mayan Ceremonies in Playa del Carmen Mexico) our WCs for making this unforgettable wedding
Thanks for listeningâ€¦ if you have any questions just ask awayâ€¦
Julie&Jeff... (del Sol Photography)
Here are a few links to the people that helped make this wedding happen:
Playa Weddings - Videography in Playa del Carmen and the Riviera Maya
Weddings in Playa Has Experienced Wedding Planners to Coordinate Destination Weddings, Receptions and Mayan Ceremonies in Playa del Carmen Mexico
Al Cielo Hotel A Charming Small Beachfront Hotel Xpu Ha Beach Riviera Maya Mexico
Sol Tamargo Photography Wedding Photojournalism
matt adcock photography
Posted 09 March 2007 - 07:44 PM
Posted 09 March 2007 - 08:19 PM
Wanna plan mine?!
Posted 09 March 2007 - 09:58 PM
Your wedding was beautiful and I love your photos!!
Posted 10 March 2007 - 12:11 AM
SPRINGBRIDE: yes they were J.Crew... and the groomsmen wore Banana Republic...
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