RyanAmanda's Bahia Principe Tulum/Del Sol Review
Posted 16 November 2008 - 12:53 AM
First, the non-wedding stuff:
TA Lindsay - A++++
I canâ€™t say enough how amazing Lindsay was!! We were really indecisive at the beginning and she helped us so much â€“ she must have sent me dozens of quotes. Lindsay definitely went above and beyond for us. The whole Dreams/other resorts closureâ€™s was going on when we travelled and Lindsay said not to worry, she would handle everything if BPT was shut down. It was nice to know if anything bad happened, she was just a call away (as opposed to going through one of the big internet travel companies). Lindsay is based in Saskatchewan and our entire group is from Vancouver but it wasnâ€™t an issue at all.
Air Canada Vacations - F
I don't think I'll ever book a holiday with AC again. The flight was about 6 hours and our guests werenâ€™t giving anything to eat. We knew they didnâ€™t serve meals but nothing, not even one of those little bags of pretzels. Also, our guests werenâ€™t seated together. We were told by Lindsay everyone would be in rows 16, 17 and 18. But not only were they not seated together, couples werenâ€™t even seating together! When we arrived in Cancun it was pouring rain, like tropical storm pouring rain, and Air Canada left all our bags out in the pouring rain. I explained to them that I had wedding items in the bags and they couldnâ€™t get wet (I had my hair pictures on photo paper right next to FHâ€™s linen pants!) but they didnâ€™t care. Eventually FH and I ended up loading our groups bags ourselves! The Air Canada employees just stood there and laughed at us.
First Class: A
FH and I were bumped up to First Class for freeâ€“ I donâ€™t know if this was done by Lindsay or Air Canada so I didnâ€™t include it above. It was incredible! I would definitely try to get it included in your contract when you book. The only downside is that Ryan said heâ€™ll never travel economy again now so our holidays will be expensive from now onâ€¦lol.
Bahia Principe Tulum: A
It was our first time at the BPT and we loved it! The staff was amazing and everything was beautiful. Our friends LOVED the activity poolâ€¦well maybe not the â€˜activityâ€™ part but the swim-up bar part. And my family hung out by the quiet pool. The quiet pool has a large section where the water is only a couple of inches deep so it worked great as my 18 month old nephew was able to play in the water as well. The food was great at most of the restaurants and the buffet food was better then I expected. Most nights we hung out at the lobby bar and the only complaint was that it closed too early! It ended at 11pm so then we would move to the snack bar and hang out on the beach. It was gorgeous at night!
Next post will have wedding details!
Posted 16 November 2008 - 01:09 AM
Our wedding was INCREDILE! Iâ€™m so glad we decided on a DW. The only thing that really was too bad is that the day before the wedding, I woke up with a horrible cold. If I had been at home instead of at our wedding, I would have called in sick from the day of the wedding to the day after and staying in bed full of Nyquil.
Wedding Coordinator â€“ Jazmin: A
Jazmin was great. She was hard to get a hold of at the beginning but then was really quick to respond. Once she took a long time so I phoned her and she got me the info right away. Sometimes her English is a little off (she means one thing but writes the wrong word) so I would ask for pictures just to make sure. When we got there she was amazing. We went through everything and planned all the details. She has a big binder of pictures and will show you the different options to pick. She walked us to the ceremony site and reception site as well as the back-up locations in case of rain.
The Spa is the only thing I would re-do about the day. We had 3 people doing hair and make-up as there were 6 of us and our first appts were at 9:30. They took FOREVER, our ceremony wasnâ€™t until 5pm and we were almost late for it! I brought a bunch of pictures showing the front and back of what I wanted but what he did looked nothing like the picture. To make it more frustrating, the hairdresser spoke no English so I couldnâ€™t even explain what was wrong. He ended up washing my hair out and starting again because he didnâ€™t understand what I wanted (even though I had clear pictures). I told him then to just do my hair exactly like how one of the bridesmaidâ€™s hair looked but it didnâ€™t come out like that. I hated my hair the day of the wedding. Really, when I look at our wedding pictures, thatâ€™s the only thing I canâ€™t stand. We did a TTD the day after so hopefully my hair is better in those pictures! As well, when we were leaving the spa, they had me sign the bill and they overcharged me by about $200 US. I noticed it right away but as we were almost late for the wedding and I was feeling so sick, I signed it because I didnâ€™t have the energy to fight it. Two days later I talked to Jazmin about it as the spa had emailed me confirming the lower price. She asked if I had the email but I had forgotten to print it. She went back to the spa to try though and they said I agreed to the price so there was nothing she could do so we ended up paying the higher price. So when you email to make appointments, be sure to confirm the price and bring a copy of the email with you for verification.
The flowers were exactly what I asked for! I couldnâ€™t have been happier with them and they were definitely worth the money. I had emailed Jazmin a picture in advance and when we got there, I noticed she had printed it out in color on a huge piece of paper. Obviously she had given it to the florist as our flowers looked exactly like the pictures. I added orchids to my bouquet which were expensive but something that I really wanted. If you want any specific flowers (other then what they normally offer) be sure to email Jazmin in advance. The florist didnâ€™t have orchids but luckily I had emailed in advance so she was able to get them for me.
Our ceremony was on the beach and exactly what we hoped for! It was beautiful and on a secluded part of the beach so there were no people around. The minister was great. He talked to Ryan before I got there and asked him what kind of ceremony we wanted - certain bible readings, personalized vows, etc. â€“ so we had a perfect ceremony. We had certain songs we wanted play, Where the Streets have no Name by U2 right before the ceremony (itâ€™s a Vancouver thing â€“ they play it before every Canucks game and we always get goose bumps when we hear it. Whenever itâ€™s played you just know something big is about to happen). Better Together by Jack Johnson for the bridesmaids to walk down the aisle to (I LOVE this song) and We Are Man and Wife by Michelle Featherstone for me and my dad (I didnâ€™t want a traditional wedding march, just something slower). It was perfect. After the ceremony, they had this fruity punch thing for all our guests in champagne classes. Normally they do champagne but we needed to serve something non-alcoholic.
We were both AMAZED at the reception. We paid for a private cocktail hour and dinner which was set up by the poolside. When we saw the location the day before, there was a very large man in a very small speedo suntanning on what would be our dance floor so I was a little worried. While we were looking, they gave us a bunch of options options, round or rectangle tables, 6, 8 or 10 guests at a table, table cloth colors, head table options. When we saw it that night, it far exceeded our expectations, it was gorgeous. They had set up lights, a microphone and a dance floor so we were able to do our speeches and first dance & father/daughter dance in private. Really, I canâ€™t put into words how happy we were with it. For our dinner, we choose the mixed grill which is one of the cheaper options so we thought the set-up wouldnâ€™t be as nice as if we had choosen a Theme dinner but it was the same set-up. In the info it said it would be disposable cutlery but I confirmed with Jazmin in advance and she said if itâ€™s a wedding dinner, theyâ€™ll use real cutlery. So not only was it amazing and beautiful, but after dinner all our guests started dancing. It was great to have a private dance floor. We hadnâ€™t told the DJ what to play but he was really good at reading our crowd, he played old favorites that got everyone up and dancing. We had paid for a couple bottles of wine (as we wanted US wine instead of the house wine) and everyone was having such a good time that we finished it halfway through the wedding! I asked one of the servers and he RAN to get more. All the servers were in such a good mood and eager to do anything to make us happy. Later in the night one of them surprised us with this fancy tray with white tequila and glasses and everyone â€“ even my dad who never drinks! â€“ was doing shots and having an amazing time. Then later, one of our friends noticed two guys skinny dipping in the pool and invited them up, so we had streakers at our wedding! They hopped up and danced to an entire song and everyone was killing themselves laughing. My mom was laughing so hard she had tears streaming down her face. Ryan and I were talking later and we would have easily paid 5 times the price they charged us for a reception. It is without a doubt one of our best decisions.
Me and my Dad
Me and my NEW HUSBAND trying to explain Captain Morgan's to the waiters
Me and the bridesmaids
Our group at the VERY end of the night (on the dancefloor)
Posted 16 November 2008 - 01:09 AM
We hired Del Sol as our photographer as I love their pictures. They really had their work cut out with us though as Ryan HATES being in pictures. Not just that he doesn’t like it, he hates it more then anything in the world. He would rather have a root canal then pose for pictures. For the wedding day, we hired Diego as Mateo & Sol were out of our price range. He showed up early and was very accommodating. I asked him to take pictures of some things that were important to me and he made sure to get all the pictures I asked for. We also did a TTD the day after and hired Sol for those pictures. Our TTD was at 1 as I wanted to get pictures of the ocean at that time. We set the alarm for 8am so we had time to get ready, eat, etc as we needed to leave at 12. But, with my cold, I felt like s**t and must have slept through the alarm. Next thing I knew, Ryan was saying I had to get up NOW and when I looked at the clock it was 11:30. So I quickly got ready and ran out the door. By this time, I guess Mexico had caught up with Ryan so along with me being sick from the cold, his stomach was upset. Along with Ryan having reached his tolerance for being in photos, needless to say, we weren’t in the best mood. Sol was such a sweetheart though, she asked Ryan if he wanted to pause to get some food (since his stomach was upset, he just wanted to get the pictures over with) and kept asking me if I was okay. My dress weighted a ton to begin with but because I was sick and my body was aching, it felt like it weighted a thousand pounds. Sol helped me with my dress (tying it up when we get there – lesson learned, don’t ask your husband to do up your corset back…lol), and helped me stand up when we were in the water. Once the dress got wet, it was so heavy and I was so weak that I couldn’t even stand up on my own! The entire time we were in Mexico the beach was red flagged and the waves were really big. Ryan and I went into the water up to our knees and that’s as far as we could go. The waves were so strong, and with a wet dress with a train that kept getting pulled with the tide, Ryan had to hold on to me so that I didn’t get pulled out with the water. Sol emailed me the other day though and said the pictures turned out great so hopefully you don’t realize how sick I was! I can’t wait to see them.
I did notice some differences between Diego and Sol for those of you trying to decide who to hire. Sol told exactly where to stand/look whereas Diego’s style was more free. A lot of times Diego told us to ‘do something crazy’ or to stand wherever we wanted. Maybe if I wasn’t sick we would have been more crazy and creative but the only crazy thing I did was not going back to our room to take a nap. Ryan and our entire wedding party was concerned about me being ill and whether I was okay so none of them were very crazy/creative that day either. Still, I think Diego got some really good shoots. I’m sure Sol is more knowledgeable about photography as she’s the principal photography and Diego just became an associate. When Diego was doing our pictures, we took a lot of pictures on this stage. Ryan was picking me up which is a big deal for us. He’s a guy’s guy and isn’t good at expressing emotion. But when he wants to show me he really loves me, he picks me up and gives me this big hug. So I really hope those pictures turn out and you can see that Ryan is picking me up. My sister is a professional photographer and she was surprised about where he took the pictures because she said the lighting wasn’t very good (she just told me this the other day though). I don’t know anything about lighting for pictures so hopefully they turn out! Sol took some of Ryan picking me up too so I’m really happy they got so many. Poor Ryan though – the week before we left he was in the emergency room as he injured his ankle. He was supposed to be in a cast (he told the hospital they couldn’t cast it because of our wedding) and instead here he is picking me all the time!
Overall, we’re really happy with hired Del Sol (well I am, Ryan would have been happy if we had banned cameras at the wedding altogether...lol). I can’t wait to see our pictures and I’ll post them as soon as I get them!!!
Posted 16 November 2008 - 01:11 AM
For those of you planning a wedding at the BPT, hereâ€™s a few tips:
-When we arrived, they told us they would bring our luggage to our room. It was a large group when we arrived â€“ along with us there was another large group who turned out to be the relatives of one of the groomsmen from my sisterâ€™s wedding! Anyways, we waited in our room for our luggage (it arrived 15-20 mins later) but not everyone did. As the bellboys donâ€™t have keys, if youâ€™re not there, your luggage is left outside. One couple who didnâ€™t wait had a cellphone and expensive sunglasses stolen from their bag so they spent the night getting it cancelled. So I would advise your guests to wait for their luggage.
- It was hard to get dinner reservations so I would look at the menuâ€™s online before you get there and make your reservations as soon as you get there. Even though it was hard to get reservations the restaurants were mainly empty so you could always try just showing up at the restaurant.
-For beach weddings, the place you walk out of is a wayâ€™s away so make sure you have long enough songs. I had 5 bridesmaids so it took a while from the time they started the music until I was at the front.
I'll update the thread with our pro pictures when we get them. As well, if you have any questions at all, feel free to ask. We're completely open about everything and happy to help other couples!
Posted 16 November 2008 - 01:29 AM
Posted 16 November 2008 - 03:41 AM
Re: The Spa, this must be a common problem at most resort spas in Mexico. When I was staying at the Grand Palladium in the Mayan Riviera three years ago for my FBIL's wedding, I gave them the exact picture of how I wanted my hair (since I was bm) and they totally messed it up! It looked nothing how I wanted and I was completely dissatisfied with it, and like you said, the hairstylist didn't speak a lick of English, so there was really nothing I could do about it. This makes me nervous since I will be getting my bridal hair done at the spa at the Iberostar for my wedding. I pray that they get it right (once I figure out what I want lol).
Congrats on your wedding!!! Can't wait to see the pics!
Posted 16 November 2008 - 03:42 PM
Great review! Every time I read something positive about the resort, it really calms me down for a few days!! You look beautiful in the photos - the hair too... Now I'm thinking that maybe I should be having an outdoor dinner reception. They really went all out in the decorations, eh? Wow. It looks like you had so much fun. I can't wait!!
Posted 16 November 2008 - 04:13 PM
We really had the most amazing time. I know that I went into details about the negatives above but really, aside from feeling sick which we had no control over, we would do it again in a heartbeat. I just wanted to give details about the negatives to give a heads up to the girls planning their weddings at the BPT.
And Scoutley, I would 100% look into the dinner. It really was amazing. We saw a few weddings who didn't have an outdoor reception and their first dances, etc. was just in the lobby bar. One we saw there was a kid running around screaming during the father/daughter dance. If it's not a big deal for you (as I know some people the dances aren't), then no biggie. But for us, me and my dad did a traditional ballroom dance and it was really important to him. It would have been way different if it had been in the lobby bar with everyone else. Plus, a lot of nights there were events going on in the lobby bar - dance contests, karaoke, beer drinking contests, a carnival (I didn't really get it, all I noticed was there was a LOT of Tequila being shot). You'll have no control over the event on your wedding night so you really need to be easy going about it all.
Also, just for comparision, for the 6 of us (me and 5 BM's) to get our hair and makeup done at the spa (which as you can tell we hated), the cost was $8,325 pesos. The private dinner (not including the cocktail hour) for our 30 guests was only $7,441 pesos! Granted we did pay an extra $1488.20 pesos for the cocktail hour and then $450 US for the DJ but still, I would choose the private dinner over the spa in a heartbeat.
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