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Planning Site Visits -- Your thoughts welcome!

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#11 San Fran Sarah

San Fran Sarah
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    Posted 11 December 2008 - 03:06 PM

    Yeah, once you lock down the site you will feel great and everything else will just fall into place. We just wandered into Eurostars while we were in Tulum. Their wedding coordinator is named Angelina and her email is bodas@eurostarsbluetulum.com
    I definitely have a hard time getting them to communicate lately and they are in the process of transitioning to new ownership so make sure they can Guarantee
    your date despite all that change before seriously considering them. I think we are going to try to go with Turtle Bay too! I haven't contacted them yet but let me know what you think. Have a great trip!

    #12 debbie421

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      Posted 17 December 2008 - 10:09 AM

      I can't wait to hear the review of your site visits! These are all places I'm interested in as well. Although this is the first time I've heard of Le Reve, gotta check that one out!

      #13 Gr8ful

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        Posted 23 January 2009 - 04:07 PM

        Hi everyone, I am off to Cancun tomorrow!! I'm very excited & I promise to take pictures and post detailed site information, although it might take me a while to get it together. In addition to excitement, I am feeling somewhat panicked. Is this normal?

        Just for fun, my left eye decided to start twitching, and hasn't stopped all week! My boss even said something to me about it today! Kind of embarassing, but what can you do?

        Thanks again everyone for all of your insight and help. I hope that "the one" will be apparent when we see it. Good news is that every one of my potential vendors responded to my email confirmations immediately, so I'm relieved about that. If I could only persuade my subconscious to do something about this attractive eye twitch!

        Maybe doing this will help (haha):

        #14 Gr8ful

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        • 155 posts

          Posted 21 April 2009 - 02:47 PM


          We visited Mexico in January, and I am finally posting information about our site visits. Work has been crazy (although I am thankful to have a job), then we went to a wedding and vacation in Brazil (such an amazing country), and time just flew by! Better late than never, and I hope that this will be helpful!

          (1) Ana Y Jose
          - Why: Based on extensive research and feedback from this site!
          - Location: Right on the beach -- an absolutely beautiful setting. All the pictures you see do not do it justice when you are actually there with the breeze blowing, the blue sky and the white sand stretching out forever.
          - Planner: Jackie is 100% competent & knows what she is doing. I trust her judgment & taste completely.
          - Price: I felt that there was an element of being nickeled & dimed here. The vendors she recommends are top notch to be sure, but there is an added premium to this. Some of the pricing is comparable to what is offered in Manhattan (my sis got married in NY, so I know this). Also felt like the element of choice was limited b/c of how much you had to pay to use someone not on the chosen vendor list. However, I'm certain that the people she chooses are very good.
          - Food: We ate here for lunch one day, and the food is excellent!
          - Liked: The food, location, Jackie’s competence
          - Disliked: Pricing, pushed into high-cost vendors, it may not be completely private (as it is a beach club, and may be opening for dinners)
          - Decision: Because of price we decided to go elsewhere. There was something else that bothered me too, but I can't place my finger on what it was.

          (2) Weddings in Playa
          - Why: This was something I looked into b/c I thought we should also look at Playa b/c we were there.
          - Location: For our party size, our planner took us to Blue Cacao – it’s at the end of a dirt road, but you end up in a club, really. It’s very loungey, centered around the pool, looking over the ocean. Water here is really azul blue and beautiful
          - Planner: Erica – an expat from Italy, was very lovely, organized and had great ideas.
          - Price: About the same as AyJ – maybe a bit less
          - Food: I was surprised, but the food here was absolutely delicious! And we made a mistake with one of the dishes, they immediately fixed it and brought it back.
          - Liked: The food, it's always nice on the beach
          - Disliked: Clubby atmosphere, PDC is not “us” (although it is beautiful)
          - Decision: The vibe is a bit too clubby for us, and we liked the beach in Tulum so much better

          (3) Esencia
          - Why: I had a feeling this was out of our range, but I had to see what high end places had to offer as a comparison.
          - Location: Extremely private, absolutely stunning grounds. Truly a dream wedding destination. They pick you up in a golf cart, and you walk around the heavenly grounds that was once the home of a very rich woman.
          - Planner: Phillip – because of the venue, I can’t imagine that they would put together anything less that top notch, but we really didn't talk about details at this meeting.
          - Price: They wanted to have at least half our guests book here and at $800 / night (for one of the least expensive rooms), I just couldn’t do it.
          - Food: Did not sample.
          - Liked: What is there not to like?
          - Disliked: Budget – need to win the lottery for this place.
          - Decision: This is more for the Brangelina set, which clearly is not us. If you have a lot of money to spare, this would be my dream location – not for just a wedding, but for life in general!

          (4) Akumal
          - Why: Research and a recommendation from one of the brides on this site!
          - Location: Akumal is a secluded beach town that seems to be a bit of a secret. Sleepy and romantic vibe. She does weddings everywhere from the CEA center, to the beach, or in one of the private villas for smaller events.
          - Planner: Jenn, from Turtle Bay, who we absolutely loved & connected with immediately. She was very helpful, showing us lots of different villas we could rent, looked through pictures, and is very flexible to try to meet your needs.
          - Price: Very reasonable and there is flexibility with outside vendors
          - Food: TBC has excellent food & they do the cakes pretty much for everyone in RM.
          - Liked: Jenn, the food, the pricing, the laid-back vibe
          - Disliked: Prefer Tulum as a location
          - Decision: We loved Jenn, but we preferred the beach in Tulum

          (5) Eurostar Blue Tulum
          - Why: I had read about this place, and it seemed like it would be easy as it was an AI.
          - Location: When you first turn into the road to Tulum Beach, it is right there. It’s a larger resort for Tulum, -- there is no direct beach access, but the water looks fabulous. I hear the rooms are nice, but we didn’t see one and didn’t ask (probably should have though, but we really wanted to leave at that point).
          - Planner: The front desk was going to find the planner for us, but he / she never materialized. Instead, we were shown around by a young man from Atlanta, in the depths of teenage angst. In all fairness, we didn’t have an appointment.
          - Price: Didn’t ask, since we kind of knew from the beginning, and our host really wasn't the right person to ask.
          - Food: To be perfectly honest, we were not impressed, and we were hungry. But they might pick it up if it is for a wedding.
          - Liked: Looking at the water, watching the birds fly overhead
          - Disliked: We didn’t get a true wedding overview of what the place had to offer, and, the place seems to be changing ownership. We couldn’t get the full story from our teenage host, but if you are booking here, I would make absolutely 100% sure what is going on, and when.
          - Decision: Didn’t like the food, and the instability of what the future holds for this venue made this decision simple.

          So we came home & did all of the numbers. We were leaning towards AyJ, but the numbers were not agreeing with what we wanted to do. We would have had to cut on things like music and probably flowers (our focus is on food & wine before anything else – if our guests are liquored up enough, they won’t notice that there are no flowers, haha!).

          Final Decision
          But what we ended up doing is reaching out to Jenn b/c we liked her so much.

          And we went completely off the deep end and decided to get married on the beach at Rancho San Eric, and have the reception at Hechizo afterwards. Off the deep end meaning, we didn’t even visit the site, so we are going completely from recommendations. Since we have heard the food is good from Jenn, from reviews on Trip Advisor, and even the place where we stayed in Tulum pueblo liked it etc., we are going to go on trust of our fellow travelers on this, believe it or not!

          We will have the wedding on the private beach, and then have the reception at the restaurant. As I had mentioned, our focus is on food & booze, and we are looking at this as having a really nice dinner for our friends and family. The compound also has villas that we are planning to rent out, so everyone will be together. Jenn is our wedding coordinator, and so far she has been wonderfully responsive and calming. I email her constantly, and she has called and emailed in response.

          I am doing a lot more legwork than I would prefer, but I think there would be legwork no matter what. I am in the process of figuring out lodging, making our flight arrangements, figuring out a photographer (suggestions?) and wedding / travel insurance (suggestions?). What fun it is!

          In any case, I hope that this helps others, as this site has helped me so much. I have photographs if you are interested, just email me. I am trying to figure out the best way to get these onto this site, as the file I was attempting to attach is too big!

          Whew! Now to email photographers! :-)

          #15 MarieSam

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            Posted 21 April 2009 - 04:17 PM

            Wow what a weath of information! I'm sure this will help so many brides in the planning process as you hit several locations that are often options for lots of BDW members

            I'm so glad to hear that you hit it off so well with Jenn -- she really is such a nice and helpful woman. Your wedding is going to be fantastic with her insight, help and guidance. I'm just about 2 months out from my own wedding, so I will make sure to post my reviews and tons of pictures!!

            Again, congrats on picking a location -- I just googled it and the place looks fantastic, a secluded paradise that looks like a great wedding spot!!!

            #16 mrsscottyb

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              Posted 21 April 2009 - 04:36 PM

              Gr8ful ~ Looks like you really accomplished a lot on your trip. I think you're going to be extremely happy with your choices. I have never ate at Hechizo, but plan to on our honeymoon in a few weeks. We've only heard great comments about the place. Also, I wanted to suggest that you check out the tulum (dot) info. website. You'll finds tons of information from locals and people who have visited Tulum. Happy planning!

              #17 Gr8ful

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              • 155 posts

                Posted 22 April 2009 - 11:24 PM

                I hope that I will be happy, in any case, it's done, and I am going to be happy, no matter what!

                Amber~ If you eat at Hechizo, please let me know -- but if it's horrible, well, I probably want to know even though I don't want to know if you know what I mean. Thanks for the suggestion on the website, will definitely check that out.

                Marie Sam~ Thanks for the recommendation on Jenn -- I really do love her. We really connected with her, and she knows everyone in that area. I am excited for you -- I love Akumal, and your wedding is going to be gorgeous, I know it! Can't wait to see the pix and live vicariously through your experience!

                Wish I was there right now -- I'm so excited for everyone!

                #18 boven

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                • 193 posts

                  Posted 08 May 2009 - 08:54 PM

                  Gr8ful - Great analysis of resorts in the area and congratulations on your selection of Rancho San Eric! I have not been to that establishment, but will be getting married down the road from it at Milamores Villas and will be visiting Hechizo for a special pre-wedding dinner. Hechizo is highly recommended and I am excited to try it out. We might have some guests stay at Rancho San Eric, so I may have questions for you down the road.


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