MissyR's Paradisus Review...
Posted 06 December 2008 - 07:27 PM
Resort and Facilities
I wonâ€™t spend a lot of time on this section. We had guests travelling with kids and babies who took advantage of the kids pool and daycare services offered at the resort and they were extremely pleased with the services provided. Great service at all the bars and no real issues with anything â€“ the first day there was quite a lot of sea weed because of the winds but they cleaned it 2x a day for the rest of the week which was nice. Great concierge services â€“ they will pretty much arrange everything for you. The hotel offers a free shuttle to Cancun 5 days a week for shopping although the few of our guests who took advantage of it said that it didnâ€™t actually go to the best shopping areas so something to keep in mind. There is also a shuttle to Playa Del Carmen that costs appx $10 person that runs three days a week â€“ itâ€™s good if you only want to go into Playa for an hour or two â€“ (i.e. leaves at 4:00 pm and returns at 8:00 pm).
We didnâ€™t actually watch any of the evening shows b/c most nights everyone congregated in the lobby and then headed to the fun pub. The fun pub is closed on Wed and Fri as the hotel organizes a trip into the local disco (Cocobongo). The fun pub is exactly what it sounds like â€“ itâ€™s a pub with a dance floor. Itâ€™s not a disco but it serves itâ€™s purpose and the music was good â€“ we ended up there at 12:30 after the wedding and it was amazing.
Make sure to bring bug spray as we found in the evenings that the mosquitos were quite annoying!
We did have a number of guests experience some stomach issues but frankly to me this comes with the territory â€“ you are in a different country, different weather, food, alcohol, etc. We did have one family with a one year old who got quite ill and puked in her crib and over the room â€“ the resort moved them to a new room for the last two nights to give them time to recover (apparently the smell of puke never really disappears!) at no extra charge which was great.
All the restaurants were amazing â€“ most of our guests are quite well travelled and all commented on how good the food was everywhere. The Buffet was great, lots of selection, healthy options section, great kids choices, etc. I wonâ€™t go into tons of detail because everything was quite good.
The only negative thing I would have to say about the food actually relates to the reservation system. Even being in Royale Service, we had a hard time getting reservations and some nights one a la carte was completely closed which was quite frustrating. It was a little annoying but I think the key is to make reservations as soon as you arrive. My parents made dinner reservations for 12 ppl for every night as soon as they arrived and that was perfect â€“ they were always able to round up a group to go for dinner.
We had 57 ppl join us in Mexico, with 90% arriving the same day we did (Sunday). I had arranged with Perla before we left to have the far section of the buffet (private area) reserved for our group. Perla was actually off the day we arrived which was fine. FI and I showed up with our two huge bins of welcome bags and Perla had arranged to have 5 long tables set for 12 ppl set up as well as the two tables I had asked for to set out the OOT Bags. It was perfect, the staff set out the OOT Bags, we had 1 waiter per table and the service was amazing. This didnâ€™t cost us anything extra at all â€“ part of the reason why we chose to go with the buffet.
Monday Meeting with Perla
Let me start by saying that I am the most anal person I know. Before I left I had calculated more than 200 emails between Perla and I over the last 15 months. When we went for our site visit, I actually took Perla a binder with all the information, every question I had etc. and she answered all of them. We also took down two boxes of all our centrepieces â€“ vases, candles and rocks and tea lights.
About 5 days before the wedding, I sent her a 15 page document (see attached) setting out everything â€“ seating, flowers, table arrangements etc. FI and I and our 4 witnesses met with Perla on Monday to sign the paperwork and have our blood taken. It was 15 minutes tops. Then FI and I sat down with Perla and Daniela went over every detail for the wedding day. I gave them two huge bins with everything from menu cards to place cards to table numbers, to sand ceremony vases etc. We also wrote our own vows and sand ceremony which I gave to Perla to give to the judge.
The best decision I ever made was asking my BF to be my day of coordinator. I gave her a copy of everything I gave Perla and she was onsite the entire day of the wedding to make sure everything was exactly how I had asked. Keep in mind that, depending on the detail, they may start as early as 9:30 am (which they did for mine) and I didnâ€™t want to worry myself or my MOH with the details.
We had arranged with Perla to do a quick walk through at 3:30 pm the day before. This was just a 10 minute exercise for the parents and bridal party to see where they would be coming from etc. It certainly proved beneficial for the parents who were nervous about their grand entrances!
I had visited the hair salon in September when we went down for our site visit and had a hair trial completed by Leticia. I will admit that I was not completely happy with my hair at the site visit but she followed the pic I gave her â€“ I think I just wasnâ€™t sure what I wanted.
You are guaranteed to have Leticia as she is the only stylist. While she does not speak English, the spa staff are more than happy to translate and both my sister (MOH) and I were extremely happy with our hair.
We had made appointments for 9:00, 10:00 and 11:00 am for my mom and sis and I and then my MIL was joining us at 11:00 as well. Apparently they had arranged for a second stylest to come from ME Cancun at 11:00 but that person never showed up which ended up being fine b/c my MIL has short hair and really only needed a wash and blow dry.
I am glad we went as early as we did â€“ there was no rushing â€“ we just lounged and our photogs were coming and going taking pics which was great. Make sure you take pics of what you want to show her â€“ they do have some books and my sis (MOH) actually picked her hairstyle from one of those.
Great gym â€“ I used it a couple of days as did DH and our guests â€“ They also have an outdoor track and tennis and basketball courts. I did fine the gym slightly busy around 9:30 am and 5:00pm but the equipment is good and it does the job.
FI did a couples massage two nights before the wedding. What a great experience â€“ we were supposed to go on the beach but it was quite cool and windy that night so we asked to be moved inside and that was no problem at all. They have a nice couples hot tub out back which we relaxed in before our massages. They were totally flexible about allowing our photogs in to take a couple â€œromanticâ€ pictures which was amazing as well. You also get a spa credit with your room which we didnâ€™t even know about so that was an added discount to the evening.
The night before the wedding, FI had dinner with his family and I with mine and then we said goodbye to eachother. FI stayed with his bro and my sis with me. I had arranged the night before the wedding to have room service breakfast delivered to the room and my sis and mom and I enjoyed some fruit and pastries before heading over to the salon at 9:15am. We hung out there until about 12:00pm and then went back to the room to begin getting ready.
A good friend of mine who was a guest at the wedding is also a MAC make-up artist so she volunteered to do all our make-up. We ordered room service and just chilled in our room with our photogs â€“ I had my make-up done first so as to have some pics done outside while the others were getting ready.
At least 3-4 times that afternoon â€“ Perla or Daniela called the room to check in and see if there was anything we needed. When my bouquet arrived at 3:00 â€“ the locket I had given Perla (as my something old) was not laced into the ribbon as I had asked. I called my BF and she went and found Perla. Within 10 minutes there was someone at my door â€“ they took my bouquet and brought it back 5 minutes later with the locket â€“ no questions asked.
The guests were asked to arrive at 3:15 and we had given Perla a CD with music for the guests mingling, processional, signing etc. and she played all that perfectly. The boys and parents walked over around 3:20 and hid in the Mexican Restaurant. The cart came to get me and my MOH at about 3:30 and took us to the lobby where we took a few pics and made our way to the Mexican Restaurant (which leads out onto the Terrace and down the stairs).
Perla and Daniela were very careful to ensure that FI and I did not see eachother and were both onsite all day with walkie talkies going back and forth on stuff. Daniela was positioned on the beach during the entire ceremony to make sure that no one walked by etc.
Was perfect. The judge was a female and the entire ceremony was performed in English. As previously mentioned, we wrote our own vows and Sand Ceremony and Perla had given this to her and she read it beautifully. We didnâ€™t memorize our vows (I knew I would be too nervous) and she would read us line by line to repeat). They had the wireless microphone which was great â€“ we had asked for that specifically.
After the ceremony we went back up to the terrace for champagne (which they had tinted to my wedding colour to my surprise) and we did a toast with all the guests and mingled on the beach to do some pics. The bar was open from 4:15 â€“ 5:15 while we continued to do pics and then appetizers came out at 5:30.
We had arranged for 7 appetizers and open bar for an hour between 5:30 â€“ 6:30. This was all set-up buffet style and apparently (since we didnâ€™t get to try much as we were off around the resort doing pics) the food was amazing. We had also arranged for the mariachi trio but got the 7 person mariachi (which we ended up paying extra for!) and they were the best investment of the week â€“ great music â€“ great vibe â€“ people were dancing â€“ it was awesome!
The set-up was to a tee exactly what I had asked for and Perla and her staff made all the centrepieces.
I wll say bar none that the service and food that the Paradisus provided was above and beyond. The banquet captain (Victor) was our head table server and he was the pinnacle of professionalism and service. Each course was carefully chosen by Ben and I and lived up to every expectation. We had upgraded on the wine (per bottle fee) and while the wine we had asked for didnâ€™t arrive for supplier reasons, they provided us an alternate without a hiccup. For dessert we had bananas flambay with rum and mixed nuts â€“ a nice surprise that the dessert for FI and I was prepared table side by Victor and then when it was ready they brought out the guest desserts.
I will also say that I was concerned with the privacy (being near the tequila grill area and the buffet) and Perla resolved this issue by hanging white tool/sheet materials draping on the windows and at the far end to give us some privacy.
As previously posted, FI's BF passed away in June and his wife and kids were at the wedding. In addition to donating to the trust fund for the kids, we also had a memory table with his pic and FI's grandparents pics..
We had sent Perla two pictures, one with the style of cake and the other with the colours.The cake was amazing â€“ exactly what we had asked for (tres leches) and tasted amazing.
DJ Victor SWANK
Another great choice. I had sent him our play and do no play lists weeks before and he stuck to them. I will say that FI and I do not enjoy â€œinteractive DJsâ€ â€“ if you are looking for someone to involve your guests in activities and such then you may enjoy something a little different. I had sent Victor a Wedding Day Schedule before we left and asked him to announce guests to sit for dinner, first dance etc. and he followed it to a tee. We had also asked for a podium with a wireless mic for speeches and this was set up as well.
For our first dance and mother/son, father/daughter dances we had given Victor the songs we wanted before and he had them downloaded for us â€“ we also brought backups on CD just in case. For our first dance â€“ we actually did a rock the reception type act and we had told him ahead of time what the two songs were and that was great too (one song he couldnâ€™t get so we just brought it ourselves).
I really have nothing negative to say. The staff, DJ, Perla and Daniela worked extremely hard leading up to the wedding and during. Smiles the entire time â€“ great service, and courteous to the fullest extent. All the service staff at the wedding knew my name and constantly brought me bottle water throughout the night without me even asking. Perla was there at midnight packing everything up â€“ Damn that lady is a gem.
We were fortunate enough to have our families pay for the wedding costs so the morning of the wedding my BF rounded up the dads and they went with Perla to straighten out all the finances. There were a couple small in discrepancies but nothing major. Payment was made by credit card.
On the Saturday (the day before we left) we went to go get our supplies etc. back from Perla and were told she had left for the day and than she had delivered everything to our room. Of course it was all there â€“ packed up nicely â€“ including FIâ€™s â€œceremony shirtâ€ (he had two separate shirts for the ceremony and the reception) â€“ my veil etc. and a nice note from Perla. Not one thing was missing or unaccounted for.
SOooâ€¦ pictures and a full review of our photogs, Visual Cravings Photography to follow. I cannot do justice to how amazing they are without showing you some of their work.
Posted 07 December 2008 - 02:24 PM
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Happily married since 2008
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