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Playacar Palace 2009 & 2010 Brides - POST HERE!

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#151 Tanya Marie

Tanya Marie
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    Posted 08 September 2010 - 08:38 PM

    Hi Ladies,


    Can you tell me what you are doing as far as a sound system for the ceremony?



    Happily Married after an AMAZING wedding at the Playaca Palace in Playa del Carmen, MX!!!

    #152 ekcmexico

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      Posted 09 September 2010 - 10:54 AM

      Hi Everyone,


      Just got back from my wedding at Playacar Palace.  It was absolutely wonderful.  Everything turned out very well. The ceremony on the beach, the reception, the food, the decor, and my hair (done at the Playacar salon), all perfect.  My guests all absolutely loved the resort and said it was the best wedding they have ever been to.  The service from the staff was unbelievable.

      A summary of what I did-  welcome cocktails in the lobby bar, rehersal dinner in the luna lounge, ceremony on the south side of the beach with the emerald package decor, cocktails at the cielo bar, reception in the north solarium. 

      #153 perry1217

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        Posted 10 September 2010 - 11:58 AM

        Hey there Ladies!!!!!  I am thinking of becoming a 2012 Playacar Palace Bride and was hoping for some feedback or possibly pictures from any of the brides who have already been married there. 


        I've been doing a ton of reserach since my FI and I didn't even have a country initially picked out for our DW!  I had been considering the Barcelo Maya, but the cost for the wedding for what was actually included was just too much. Playacar Palace not only looks amazing, but TripAdvisor has it at a 90% recommend.  Most of all, the wedding packages are so insanely reasonable.  I was starting to question the point of a DW with what some of the other hotels were charging, especially since we're having an AHR!


        We will probably have around 35 guests and I think we would do the free wedding with some a la carte add-ons (photography, videography, MOH bouquet, etc).  I am crossing my fingers that they offer some booking promos for 2012 comparable to the $1500 Vacation Dollars one for 2010 & 2011!



        Playacar Palace Bride - January 6, 2012!!!!

        #154 GracieLR

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          Posted 10 September 2010 - 03:12 PM

          Originally Posted by CamilleA 

          I'm planning on doing a test at their spa when I arrive to see how it goes - if it doesn't turn out there is MAC in town so I'll go there and get my make up done and perhaps try out some of the salons in town too....the makeup artists in Mexico are crazy for what they are charging - it's more expensive than at home..there is also Waves Salon and the guy is originally from Canada so I will keep him in mind too

          I contacted the Waves Salon their prices seemed pretty good and include a trial.  They asked for a %50 deposit which I wasn't exactly comfortable with cause I've never seen any reviews of them.  I just wish I knew more about the PP Spa and how well they do.  Especially make up.

          #155 steph71

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            Posted 17 September 2010 - 04:29 AM

            Hi ekcMexico and congrats!  So happy to hear your wedding at Playacar Palace was beautiful!! Thanks for the scoop on your event locations - we are using many of the same places when we get married in November.  One question - what did you do for ceremony music?  Did you use one of the instrumental soloists they offer in the package?  Or did you have a DJ play the music for your ceremony?


            We'd love to see pics when you have them!


            Originally Posted by ekcmexico 

            Hi Everyone,


            Just got back from my wedding at Playacar Palace.  It was absolutely wonderful.  Everything turned out very well. The ceremony on the beach, the reception, the food, the decor, and my hair (done at the Playacar salon), all perfect.  My guests all absolutely loved the resort and said it was the best wedding they have ever been to.  The service from the staff was unbelievable.

            A summary of what I did-  welcome cocktails in the lobby bar, rehersal dinner in the luna lounge, ceremony on the south side of the beach with the emerald package decor, cocktails at the cielo bar, reception in the north solarium. 

            #156 Jodster123

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              Posted 24 September 2010 - 12:06 PM

              Hi Perry1217 -- I too am thinking of having my wedding at Playacar Palace in 2012! I thought about other countries besides Mexico, but I just love the country and the people so much it really was an easy decision. I chose PP for much the same reasons as you -- the wedding packages are great. I am set on the Sapphire package as those are the colours I've always wanted. At this point we're expecting over 50 guests.. and we're hoping to get a good group rate so we can all stay at the PP. Do you know where your guests are planning on staying?


              Have you contacted the hotel yet? I e-mailed Palace Resorts about a month ago and haven't heard back at all. Has anyone else had trouble receiving word back from them? I understand the wedding is a long time away, but I would like to hear from them so I can start planning! (Do I sound like an obsessive planner already? Ha ha.)


              I am also crossing my fingers they have a booking promo in 2012 comparable to the $1,500 Vacation Dollars they have now!

              #157 ekcmexico

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                Posted 24 September 2010 - 01:16 PM

                Hi Everyone,


                I have been trying to publicize my recent experience with Palace Resorts/Playacar because I want to make sure other people don't make the same mistake, and this type of thing doesn't ruin your memory of what is supposed to be beautiful and wonderful.  Unfortunately my experience with Palace is ruining my impression of the whole experience, even though my wedding itself was quite nice.  It seems that the cost is much higher for it than I anticipated.  here is a clip from the email my wedding coordinator had to send to the group sales director yesterday:


                Here is a clip from the complaint letter my wedding coordinator sent to the sales director yesterday, it gives you a bit more information so you can see what types of problems you might get with Palace:


                My clients, Mr. and Mrs. Coker, and I are awaiting assistance to problematic oversight which occurred at the Palace Playacar.  The couple brought a group of about 40 family and friend to celebrate their wedding at this property.  Problems began upon arrival when there was a "mix-up" with the couple's Resort Dollars, which were supposed to go to their wedding, and instead the coupled incurred costs against that balance which ultimately had them paying for a portion of their wedding out of pocket.  Albeit they were quite amenable to the process of paying the difference of what was left over, I still found it troublesome that money was supposed to have been allocated and sufficed as the balance of their wedding bill prior to their arrival, as this was the agreement that we had with their Wedding Sales coordinator in Miami, Lauren Negrin as well as the on-site coordinator, Dulce Hernandez. 

                Additionally, my clients were gracious to pre-pay for some nights for specific guests in their party.  Unfortunately, some CC forms for the group were never filed to pay off the balance of the room for one guest, which in turn caused the guest to pay for this out of pocket. Instead of being able to credit the guest and bill the client as was the initial agreement, we were told to just pay them out of pocket. 

                While these things are tedious, timestaking and granted, frustrating, the ultimate offense has occurred with my clients being billed erroneously and in some occasions repeatedly, as well as a severe lack in customer service.  It is impossible to get a finite answer from anyone in the Miami office-- I have been repeatedly emailing and calling.  Finally I got a hold of the Sales Coordinator, Lauren Negrin and she says that she has sent it to her supervisor who is now in touch with someone at the resort-- we have never received a personal call or email; it is always me that has to follow up about this substantial amount of money for my clients.  While in Riviera Maya, we were told that all of these things could quickly be handled and a refunds would be credited from the Miami office.

                Herein is where the problem lies:

                On April 5, 2010, my clients paid for 6 nights up front for their stay.  However, my clients had fulfilled their obligation for their 75+ Room Nights and are due a refund of $2232, instead of this being applied to the room nights (2232)

                The clients paid for half of the wedding up front on March 8th, 2010; the agreement prior to the clients' arrival was that their remaining vacation dollars were to pay for the remainder of the wedding. However, as mentioned before, this was never done, so other things that the clients were going to bill to their room or to their credit card caused said items to be neglected from their vacation dollar balance. As also stated, the clients, while inconvenienced, worked around and paid the remainder of the balance for the wedding.  However, they were charged for the full wedding package instead of the balance that was owed.  (1187.50)
                This gives a total refund of 3419.50 that is owed to my clients. 

                These are careless oversights, endless finger-pointing over who indeed is in charge of what and along with the lack of communication from practically any one at Palace Resorts, this makes the experience almost offensive. My clients are set to go on their honeymoon, and now have to suffer from this lack of attention to detail as their funds are depleted and after their wedding, they continually have to fight their way to get someone to even acknowledge their communication, let alone help them fix the error.



                If anyone is already contracted with Playacar Palace and has wedding questions, I would be happy to answer as I was just there and can share pictures, etc. But anyone that still has an option to choose another resort, I would encourage you to do it. 

                #158 ekcmexico

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                  Posted 28 September 2010 - 09:34 AM

                  Hi Everyone,


                  The payment issue has been resolved with Palace. Lessons learned (that I hope will help you):  There is really poor communication between miami office and resort, so when you are presented with final bill at resort, and if there are any weird charges or any questions, dont count on the front desk people to answer it or credit you. They have no idea what is going on and dont have the power to change anything (not even reimbursing my mother in law for an incorrect $20 charge on her room bill). You will just need to pay it, then dispute or question the miami office when you get home.  And, dont expect good communication with the Miami office when you get home, because as someone that has already paid for your wedding, they won't answer you as you are a very low priority.  The other lesson learned is that the vacation dollars promotion is kind of messy and may look a little weird to your guests when they have to deal with hotel reps fighting each other for the vacation dollars, and saying things like "you don't understand the politics involved' when they are merely trying to cancel a massage.  Overall, I would recommend Palace resorts if you are very careful with accounting for your charges, and you have a lot of patience with the people you are working with.  I think the problem had more to do with miscommunication, poor communication, and disorganization with Palace resorts (possibly due to recent Wyndham acquistion) than it had to do with any intentional wrong doing or deceptive business practices.


                  Now for the full wedding review, which I hope helps everyone. Email me if you have questions.  I've gotten a lot of questions from people whose weddings are not for a year or so about getting the resort to get back to you, I have to tell you that you won't be engaging with the resort coordinator itself until you have your wedding contract taken care of first with the miami office.  Then the wedding coordinator will prioritize communication based on how far out your wedding is. I imagine that is the only way they can handle their workload.


                  The wedding itself, as I said before, was beautiful and as perfect as I could hope for.  I spent 6-7 months of planning, A LOT of stress, and poor communication with the resort (you can expect this too until your wedding is a month or two out, then they will start returning your emails faster), and I had a wedding coordinator that I brought down in addition to Dulce helping at the resort.  Dulce was great while we were there and really seemed to know her stuff, so you can have confidence in that.  The only issue we had was trying to get a response from her before the wedding. I had the ceremony on the beach with the Emerald package, which included all of the stuff you see in the promotional pictures (the Juppa, green fabric, flowers in the aisle and in the Juppa). It looked wonderful.  I used a friend as the wedding officiate. They will have you standing facing your guests during the ceremony and your officiate will face the opposite direction.  The fireworks are actually just sparklers that go off behind you at the kiss. I had a lot of entertainment which included mariachis at the ceremony, fire dancers at the reception, and a salsa band.  I had the Mexican appetizers at the cocktail hour (great guacamole, everyone's favorite) and I had the Yucatan buffet, which was great.  The cake was the cake included in the Emerald package (with the spots on it) and it looked beautiful. It was pretty good too. You can mix flavors if you'd like.  I got vanilla and chocolate.


                  I used the Playacar Palace salon to get my hair done.  They truly did an amazing job. I had no idea my hair could look that good. They really worked magic because they made it look longer and thicker then I thought was possible.  It was like art- everyone commented on how great it looked.  I didn't have an idea of what I wanted exactly (just a basic idea) when I went there. On Thursday I went in for a test run on my hair and looked through the wedding hair books they have at the salon.  Then I picked one, and she did it, beautifully.  It was an extremely windy day when I got married and everyone's hair is blowing around like crazy in the pics and video, except mine :-)  So, there was an appropriate amount of hair spray used too. You couldnt tell by looking at it but it was extremly solid and immovable.  I had about 30 hair pins and a pony tail under a side part bun (not really a bun, a complicated twisting of hair) with a green orchid in back and little braids on each side.


                  The wedding photographer and videographer included in the package really wasn't bad.  The photographer got some amazing shots.  I brought my own photographer to the resort and am still waiting for his pictures, but for anyone trying to save money, I think the resort photographer did a pretty good job. The wedding photographer I brought to the resort is Daniel Aguilar, who was really fun to work with, totally professional, an amazing talent, and just a nice guy.  You can learn about him at www.danielaguilar.net.  I spent hours on his site and fell in love with his photography. I had to just pay for his day pass in order to bring him to the resort.


                  The staff at the resort (aside from the extremely rude and hateful Magdelena at the front desk) were absolutely wonderful, and will make your wedding truly memorable.  The waitstaff always made sure I had a full drink during all of my events. They really went out of their way to give great service.  The entertainment guys, Gabriel and Super Eric, were amazing, really fun, and guest favorites. My guests were hanging out with them on a daily basis. Some even went out to bars and clubs with them after hours. Please remember to tip the staff when you go they work really hard and are really sweet.


                  The resort was lovely, and despite little issues with the rooms (some guests had one thing or another broken, there were inconsistencies with the room upgrades, some conceirge level people didn't get the same services as others, etc), it was an excellent choice.  The food was excellent, and I am pretty picky.  Sure, there were some things in the buffet that werent great, but you cant expect to like all of the 200+ things they put out.  You might get sick of the restaurants if you are there for a week, as there are only 3 and only 1 of them is open for lunch.  So, dont forget you can go to other palace resorts and eat for free.  If you are planning to use your vacation dollars as a group on any tours, make sure you all book together because they farm out the tours to different tour companies.  So that meant my husband and I were assigned to a different tour operator than my wedding guests.   The Chichen Itza tour took about 12 hours. I would not recommend that because it was too long and hot. It should have been just about 6 hours, as its only a couple hours away.  They make you stop at a tourist trap shop and they pick up people at tons of hotels and that is what makes it take so long. You are better off paying extra by choosing a private tour operator outside of the Palace that guarantees a shorter trip.


                  If you have a wedding contract that has run of the house superior deluxe (the more expensive room that you probably are telling your guests is ocean view) please note that they will tell you its partial ocean view at the resort.  Its almost impossible for your guests to use all of their vacation dollars, so most of them will (and should) do the room upgrade with their vacation dollars.  It will probably upset a few of your guests that paid more for their room to only learn at the resort that they can do a single or double room upgrade with their vacation dollars.


                  Lastly, the resort entertainment was fun.  We did the Karaoke, dance lessons, and saw the Monday night fire show (my fire dancers were on Sunday, I made sure there wasnt a conflict with the resort schedule first and also wanted to make sure the first time my guests saw it, it was at my wedding). 


                  My wedding was on Sept 5, which was labor day weekend but its the heart of hurricane season and low season at the resort.  I took a risk that paid off, in terms of weather, etc (but honestly it stressed me out like crazy before the wedding because I had no idea if there was going to be a storm).  The reason I picked this time was because I didn't want the resort overrun with people and kids. It wasn't. In fact, we pretty much owned the resort (along with another wedding party).  It felt like the pool was ours, the entertainment every night was for our wedding, etc.  The restaurants were nearly empty, and there was always plenty of room around the pool.  We had very fast and super friendly service, partly because the staff wasn't overwhelmed with guests.  So, if you are planning things for your wedding keep this in mind.  I also was at the resort to do a site visit on July 4th weekend and the resort was completely packed. It was very difficult to get a chair around the pool. It also was a little slow to get drink service at the bar or wait for someone to come around the pool to take our drink order.  That is fair though- if they are more busy they can't get to everyone as fast.  So expect a different experience based on the time of year you go.  Peak season is not a good time for your wedding if you can avoid it. You just wont get the attention you would if its not as crowded. 


                  I hope this helps answer some questions. I dont know how to upload pics here and I don't have a public link to my pics yet until Daniel sends us our photos, but I will be happy to send a few pics if you email me and give me your email address. 



                  Good luck on your weddings!  I hope they are beautiful. 






                  #159 t_par_t

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                    Posted 28 September 2010 - 03:19 PM

                    those photos are fabulousl!  it helps that the subjects were as beautiful as they were!  That scenery looked amazing...it makes me so excited for my wedding!!

                    #160 t_par_t

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                      Posted 28 September 2010 - 03:36 PM

                      Originally Posted by julieswedding 

                      We used a Palace Resorts photographer (David Pena) when my daughter was married at Aventura Spa Palace, last month. He was fabulous! He is available at all Palace Resorts if you ask your WC for him. Here are some of her photos I put on Shutterfly:
                      Shutterfly | View share
                      They are even more beautiful seen larger!


                      those photos are fabulousl!  it helps that the subjects were as beautiful as they were!  That scenery looked amazing...it makes me so excited for my wedding!!

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