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My Riu Palace Las Americas Wedding Review *w/ pics* (very long)


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#1 Mrs. Martin

Mrs. Martin
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    Posted 28 October 2008 - 05:44 PM

    Gosh, I feel so bad I took this long to finally write a review, but here it is!

    Sorry it's so long, but there aren't any other RPLA reviews, so I thought it would be helpful for those considering it!

    Hotel- This hotel is beautiful! It's located in the heart of the hotel zone, so most of the bars, clubs, and shopping centers are walking distance. This was a plus for everyone because we all went out each night. All the guests liked their rooms. And the guests that didn't reserve an ocean view were upgraded any way because they were part of the wedding group. Our room was upgraded to a full suite and it was huge! I had a walk-in closet and it came in handy to hang my dress and change into it.
    The staff at this hotel is very nice and really do work hard to please you. After a week of us being there, the staff knew my husband and I and they would give us extra attention with anything we needed!
    The hotel, inside and out, is very clean. Outside there are two infinity pools which are also very clean. One of the pools is more of the party pool and during the day they play music, volleyball, drunk Jenga, ping pong, and lots more. Needless-to-say, their entertainment staff will keep your guests busy!

    Food- There are 5 restaurants plus a buffet. You are allowed 2 reservations for your entire group when you have a wedding there. For the welcome dinner, we reserved the Brazilian restaurant and for the wedding day we reserved the steak house. Both were delicious, but my favorite had to be the steak house!! All of our guests loved the food. It's also located on the terrace overlooking the ocean, so the view was great! We had buffet 5 days straight in a row because we kept forgetting to reserve another restaurant and we got so sick of it, it was good, just not for everyday dinners. The second best thing about this hotel is that you can have 24-hr room service, so we had breakfast in bed every morning! I loved waking up and having my pancakes and OJ ready for me, YUM! A few of our guests told us that their orders were incorrect when they had ordered breakfast, but it had only happend once to only 3 couples. They were just basic things like forgetting syrup, butter, or bread; things of that matter. So, it really wasn't that big of a deal.

    WC- I'm not sure if there are multiple WC's at the RIU, but I worked with Pamela. I originally started with someone else in the beginning of the year, and I never really had a problem getting an email response. Once Pamela took over my wedding plans, it would be days (sometimes over a week) before I heard back from her. I was very aware that I wasn't her only bride, but I think taking a week to reply to someone is rude, especially when that's your job! A lot of times, she wouldn't understand what I was trying to to explain. I thought maybe it was the language barrier since English is her second language, so I decided to start emailing her in Spanish- it didn't help. Perfect example: I told her we wanted our ceremony in Spanish, so she replys to me that she will let the minister know I want it in English. WTF?! Then, after knowing for months I wanted to get married at the gazebo, she tells me two weeks before the wedding that our party is too big for the gazebo area and we should have it at the beach. I was so upset that she told me this after months of confirmation that the ceremony would be taking place at the gazebo.
    The day before the wedding, we met with her and went over the final details of the wedding. Everything went fine and we confirmed the ceremony details and the cake. The cake she ordered turned out horrible looking! It was suppose to have fresh flowers and instead it had whipped cream flowers and some other whipped cream decoration crap on it. It tasted ok, but I wouldn't have paid for the cake upgrade if I knew it was going to look like that.
    The day of the wedding, I saw her twice, that's it. She wasn't there to take my guests to the cocktail hour or to the dinner, my friend's had to do that. Also, she told me the day of our meeting that she will set up my decorations (which were all ready to go, all she had to do was place them), just to have them ready at the lobby 1 1/2 hrs before the wedding. Well, she didn't do any of it. When my friends brought down the decor to her she asked my friends to do it. So, one of my friends had to place all the raffia fans on the chairs for the ceremony and my other two friends had to place the decorations on the tables for dinner. I was furious when I found this out!!! The last thing I wanted was for my friends to be working that day! Needless-to-say, I didn't give her a tip, gift, NADA!

    Wedding Day- Obviously the whole WC thing upset me, so I wasn't as relaxed as I wanted to be. But, I still had a great time and everything was beautiful! The ceremony started on time and the set up of the ceremony was very pretty. Even though we got married next to the pool, no one was inside of it and that side of the pool area was blocked off. There were a lot of people watching the wedding from their rooms or on the other side of the pool, but they were all very respectful and so quiet, you would have thought we were the only one's there. At the very end of the ceremony, as we started walking to the hotel, all the guests started screaming and cheering and that became one of my favorite parts of the day! So, if you are concerned with others viewing your wedding, the gazebo wouldn't be a great option. We paid extra for appetizers for the cocktail hour and the guests finished them all, so I'm guessing they enjoyed them. The WC was suppose to block off that section where the cocktail hour was-well, she didn't so there were a few hotel guests (not many, only about 6) there listening to the mariachi were hired, but they weren't eating our food so I guess it shouldn't have been a big deal, but it still bothered me. The dinner was very good and we had our tacky cake served there instead of the dessert they usually serve there. It wasn't private, however the terrace has two levels and we were on the bottom level, so no one else but the wedding party was there. Other hotel guests weren't bothering us and to tell you the truth, none of us even noticed them. So, if this is a concern for you, maybe try reserving your dinner at a smaller restaurant to ensure you don't have many hotel guests (if any) at your dinner location.
    We rented La Pacha, which is the club next door at Riu Cancun, for a private party. This was the best investment we made for the entire wedding. We had it until 11:00, then it opened to the rest of the RIU guests. All of our family and friends love to dance, so we danced and drank until 2:00 am. If you've been there, it doesn't look like much because it's dark and hot. But, when we got there, they had lighting in there, so it wasn't too dark but not too bright either, we had our own waitress, bartender, and a DJ. The DJ was great, we didn't even give him a list of songs we liked, we just told him the type of music we wanted and he played the perfect songs. We seriously all had the best time dancing and drinking there!!

    Overall, I loved how everything turned out, minus the issues with the WC. RIU isn't very flexible with certain things when planning a wedding (like day passes, reservation times), so just make sure you ask about these things ahead of time so you won't have any issues later.

    If anyone has any questions that I may not have answered, feel free to PM me! I didn't put a lot of pics, but if you need pics of anything specific, let me know!
    View from our room:
    Click the image to open in full size.

    The best thing ever:
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    One of the infiniti pools:
    Click the image to open in full size.

    ceremony location
    Click the image to open in full size.

    more pics coming...

    #2 Mrs. Martin

    Mrs. Martin
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      Posted 28 October 2008 - 05:53 PM

      ceremony setup/location:
      Click the image to open in full size.

      inside lobby:
      Click the image to open in full size.

      cocktail hour location (terrace)
      Click the image to open in full size.

      dinner reception at steak house:
      Click the image to open in full size.

      #3 Mrs. Martin

      Mrs. Martin
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        Posted 28 October 2008 - 06:16 PM

        steak house:
        Click the image to open in full size.

        Beach:
        Click the image to open in full size.

        more beach from my first visit:
        Click the image to open in full size.

        Brazilian Restaurant:
        Click the image to open in full size.

        Here is the link to my wedding pics, they'll contain a few more pics from the hotel if you haven't seen them already:
        del Sol Photography Wedding Photojournalism

        #4 MomentsThatMatter

        MomentsThatMatter
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          Posted 28 October 2008 - 06:23 PM

          Wow... great job on the review! Fantastic job of posting the pictures as well... will be very helpful for planning brides.
          5 STARS to you Mrs. Martin!!!
          Lincoln & Lori @ Moments that Matter Photography
          Playa Del Carmen Wedding Photographers - Mexico - Cancun - & Mayan Riviera
          Web: http://momentsthatmatterphotography.com/
          Blog: http://momentsthatmatterphotography.com/blog/
          http://i711.photobuc....Ad-Sept09b.gif

          #5 tylersgirl

          tylersgirl
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            Posted 28 October 2008 - 06:29 PM

            The pics are gorgeous! I am having mine at the RPRM in August! I can't wait. I love that pic of y'all on the rocks. It really shows off your dress.

            #6 JennyK

            JennyK
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              Posted 28 October 2008 - 06:36 PM

              Your pics are beautiful! sucks that you had that stress with the WC but overall seems like you had a wonderful time.

              #7 jmiranda

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                Posted 28 October 2008 - 06:55 PM

                Great Review!! I really loved your dress and your bouquet. Your pictures came out really nice and you both look so happy.

                #8 cdc0427

                cdc0427
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                  Posted 29 October 2008 - 11:25 PM

                  Thanks for all the info. I'm a Riu Caribe Bride. Did you happen to go there? I have so many questions to ask you. I guess I will be asking you as I plan. How did your guest make reservations, through a TA or through riu? That's one thing I'm concerned about.

                  Before I confirmed with Riu I was asking them about entertainment for guests after the wedding. They only kept saying you may be able to rent disco at Riu Cancun. No Prices! If you don't mind me asking, what was the addt'l cost?

                  -Cachet

                  #9 Mrs. Martin

                  Mrs. Martin
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                    Posted 30 October 2008 - 04:11 PM

                    Quote:
                    Originally Posted by cdc0427
                    Thanks for all the info. I'm a Riu Caribe Bride. Did you happen to go there? I have so many questions to ask you. I guess I will be asking you as I plan. How did your guest make reservations, through a TA or through riu? That's one thing I'm concerned about.

                    Before I confirmed with Riu I was asking them about entertainment for guests after the wedding. They only kept saying you may be able to rent disco at Riu Cancun. No Prices! If you don't mind me asking, what was the addt'l cost?

                    -Cachet
                    I have not been inside there, I've only seen the outside and the lobby area.

                    At the time (this was before all the airlines raised their prices), we had a better rate reserving through Travelocity than through Riu or a TA. We provided our guests with plenty of info, so there wasn't any confusion when it came to them reserving the trip through the Travelocity site.

                    As far as the disco, your hotel isn't that close to Riu Cancun, so that's one thing that you may want to consider. It's too far to walk so you may have to get a shuttle for everyone. If you don't mind that, I think the disco would be a great idea in order for you to be able to continue the party! The fees are broken down as is: $300 to rent the club and $220 and hour for the DJ (you can only use their DJ). So we spent $740 on the club and were suppose to have it only up to 10:30. Well, no one said a word to us and we kept dancing until it opened to the public, which was at 11:00. So, we didn't have to pay the DJ for extra time which was great considering how much we paid already! But, I thought this was totally worth it and for sure the best thing we did for our guests.

                    Good luck and I hope this helped! Feel free to contact me with any other questions.

                    #10 Lenchika

                    Lenchika
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                      Posted 30 October 2008 - 09:19 PM

                      Mrs. Martin! Congratulations!
                      You look beautiful and so happy :) I love the rose petals! Great colors. Did you get them from the hotel?
                      I noticed your hubby wearing flipflops on the rocks! That's too cute peaking from under the suit :)

                      I'm a future bride at RPLA in October 2009 - just in the beginning of the process. Kind of nerve wracking hearing about Pamela's lack of response. It took her 1.5 weeks to reply to one email so far. I think I'm ok with that...what bothered me in your review - her total lack of accountability during the wedding
                      Maybe she'll improve?? Or...not :)
                      I'm really excited - I feel that I am a few steps closer to my wedding after reading your review! Thank you for posting it.

                      Lenchika




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