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Le Reve site visit - with pics


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#1 Ayita

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    Posted 27 December 2008 - 11:36 PM

    So my FH and I went to Le Reve last week-end to discover the place, explore the area and meet with the wedding coordinator and the photographer.

    We were not disappointed and are so looking forward to get married there !!

    Part of this review is just a copy from my review on trip advisor - I'm addressing some issues that other travellers mention but we never encounter so... Another part of the review is more wedding-oriented.

    The place is beautiful, secluded, peaceful and quiet ; it has a home feeling to it and the staff really makes everything they can to make sure you're having a great time, while respecting your privacy. The size of the property also means they all know you and you know all of them and you get a very personal, almost VIP kind of service ! The property is located 15 minutes away from Playa del Carmen (when you take the right road, see below), but is away from the crowds - which is just what we wanted.

    The hotel viewed from the beach
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    Click the image to open in full size.

    From the pool
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    The pool
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    Click the image to open in full size.

    The beach bar, gym (ground floor) and spa (above)

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    Le Reve is adults only but they will accept children on your day. For those for who the 25 rooms are not enough (I think they accept up to 150 people for the wedding day), or who have guests with children, it is to be noted that Le Reve is on the same beach than the Azul Fives, the Tides, and Le Petit Laffite. The Princess is only a few minutes farther away, and there is the Sandos Caracol just nearby on the way to Playa del Carmen. The closest property is the Azul Fives (the next beach, literally).

    The Azul Fives (still in construction – opens in a few days from now)
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    The road to Le Reve

    First important thing to know is that there are two roads to Le Reve : the first one, the old, original one, is the very bad dirt road. It is in a bad shape, full or holes and rocks, going in the middle of the jungle. We took it once, we were lucky it was not raining so did not experience any mud problem. It was at night and it was an eery drive, but we knew what to expect and we actually enjoyed it. We silenced the radio and listened to the forest noises. It gave us the feeling to get to the end of the world - which is what we had come for !

    However when you're not so keen on jungle drive, or in a hurry, or with a moody taxi, you can take the other - very normal - road. From the highway you turn where the sign "Azul Fives" is. You drive all the way long, and you will first find Le Petit Laffite - another hotel on the same beach - from there turn right, get to another road that is along the Azul Fives, then to get to Le Reve you have to turn right on the dirt road, but you have like - 200-300 meters at most on this dirt road. The last night we went into Playa del Carmen and it took us exactly 14 minutes to get from the city center (we were parked at 10a avenida and 14a calle) to the hotel.

    #2 Ayita

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      Posted 27 December 2008 - 11:41 PM

      Check in

      We arrived late on the Thursday night. Somebody was here to welcome us and take us to our room. We signed the paperwork (you pay only 50% for reservation and the other 50% is to be paid upon arrival - but in other places you have to pay the bill 30 or 45 days before coming in... if not 100% upon reservation, so I was OK with that). I also have to note that I originally booked for 2 nights only, paid the deposit for 2 nights, and when I changed to 3 night they never asked for the 50% of the third night.

      They knew we were arriving late and that the restaurant would be closed, so they had prepared us sandwiches and salad and apples that were waiting for us in the room ! We had not asked for anything. We were never charged for them either.

      The lobby is beautiful and is the first "rain option" location.

      The lobby
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      Click the image to open in full size.
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      The lobby ceiling
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      Our room

      We had a horizon suite on the pool side. We had a beautiful view. The rooms are very simple but still classy, and the bed is super comfortable ! The balcony is furnished with two chairs and a table. The room had light enough for us - 2 bedside lamps, one ceiling lamp, some accent lights at the bottom of the wall which, left alone, was giving a wonderful romantic atmosphere ; there was also one light on the balcony, above the sink, in the shower, above the closet, and in the entrance. Plenty. We did have ONE mosquito on the second night - I must say I'm a mosquito magnet, one in a house and it will find me - and we did not have any problem for the whole stay, including when in the restaurant (which is on the ground level, with two ponds). Somebody mentioned there's no door to the bathroom - actually, there's no door to the bathroom but the toilets are separate and have a door - I think it is worth mentioning as people could get a wrong idea. I also want to mention that my FH is 6'3 and the shower was more than high enough for him. The first night, we did not have hot water in the shower, which was strange because there was hot water in the sink... we mentioned it and it was fixed the second day - actually, the red and blue indicators were just on the wrong faucet ! The only critic I would have here is that there are not enough amenities.For instance, there is no shower cap for the rain shower. There are also no cotton balls or Q tips. They came on the first morning to ask if we needed anything and I asked for some but never got them. Just a detail to me, though.
      Also note that there is no TV in the room (we love that) but they have DVD players that you can ask for.

      They have 25 rooms total. 7 garden suites, that are not accessible to people with handicaps. The horizon suites are all on the lobby level, and there is an elevator to go down to the ground level where are the pool, restaurant, bars, the beach and the gym. They have 5 bungalows on the beach, with private pool and deck. And 2 Master Suites with spectacular terraces where you can even have private events. For our wedding we will have a Master Suite
      We don't have a lot of guests – so we might not fill up the hotel – and in this case, they make sure that the guests from the wedding have the rooms closer to the restaurant area, where the party will be, and the other ones have the rooms farther away.

      Our room and the view

      Balcony and view
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      Bedroom
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      Bathroom
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      Click the image to open in full size.

      #3 Ayita

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        Posted 27 December 2008 - 11:41 PM

        *** deleted as this was the same as above *** Sorry for the mishapp

        #4 Ayita

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          Posted 27 December 2008 - 11:42 PM

          The restaurant and bars

          The restaurants and bar are beautiful and offer many options for the reception and dinner. If we don't fill up the hotel, they will set-up some tables for the other guests in the Spa area, so that we as well as they could have our privacy. I found this great.

          The restaurant
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          Click the image to open in full size.

          Lounge area near the restaurant (the shelves are full of books and DVDs to be borrowed) :
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          Contrary to what somebody says on tripadvisor, they have screens that they take down when the wind is too high, or in case of rain, so you are sheltered if need be.

          See the screen down on the left hand side of this pic (our room was the one just above)
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          The restaurant has a wooden floor, and is set-up in two distinct areas around a central bar, with two ponds and fountains on the sides. For the wedding, they proposed to arrange the dining tables on one side (the side of the pool) and have the dance floor on the other side. We are actually going to keep everything on the same side - we do not have a lot of tables and want to keep the dance floor close to the tables - but this would have been feasible. We are going to bring the lounge furnitures that we will rent for the reception to this other side, to make a lounge bar and cigar corner for after the dinner. We are also going to put tons of floating candles in the ponds - great to have these.

          The ponds
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          Click the image to open in full size.

          The part of the restaurant that is away from the pool has a very high ceiling, and would be a great rain option.

          The area where the dance floor / rain ceremony location could be (also note the other pond in the upper left corner)
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          Click the image to open in full size.

          The bar and restaurant are well lighted at night and we did not feel we had to bring in some extra lights for the night. For the music, the system they have works with an ipod and we found the speakers to be powerful enough.

          The restaurant bar at night with the lights
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          The beach bar where we will have our reception after the ceremony
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          #5 Ayita

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            Posted 27 December 2008 - 11:43 PM

            The food

            Again a great experience for us. The ceviche bar is to die for - all the ceviches have different flavors, so we tried the tasting one that comes with three different ones and the sea bass one. My fiance is fond of tres leches so we asked for it and the chef prepared one specially for him the next day ! As regards wines - they have a lot of wines that are not on the list. We drink wine by the glass because I do red and my fiance does white. If you don't like the one you first pick, they will make no problem in bringin you anther one ! They have an awesome selection of teas (try the rooibos !).

            We had selected three menus that we wanted to try from the wedding menus list they sent us before we came. During our stay, we tried all 3 of them in "tasting sizes". All the beef dishes we tried were so-so, but we live in Texas and are used to Angus beef so it's difficult to compete with it ! However we loved the fish dishes, as well as the soups. We ended up creating our personalized menu, picking the dishes we liked the most from each menu. Again, a lot of flexibility there ! The chef is very creative and the presentation of the dishes is beautiful – up to what you want for your day. Here are a few examples of what he does (remember these are sample sizes) :

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            At the bar - great experience too. We asked for mango juice and they just chopped the mango and mixed it in front of us - when we know they have bottled nectar that they can just open (the ones in the mini-bar).
            Note that they have 3 different options for open bar (with or without alcohol, with or without appetizers). They also have a late snack menu if your dinner is early and your party lasts long. They also have BBQ options.
            We found mini-bar prices to be as any other mini-bar prices (2$ for juice for instance). The rest is maybe a little pricey (for instance, count 11$ for a chicken cesar salad) but I must say that the last night we had dinner in Playa del Carmen and we ended up paying 20$ more than our other 2 dinners in Le Reve. And we had just 2 margaritas, ceviche, guacamole, chicken and fajitas so nothing exceptional. If you don't want to stay in Le Reve to eat, there are unexpensive options nearby. Le Petit Laffite bar and restaurant is a 5 minute walk along the beach (direction to Cancun, turn left when exiting Le Reve), and 10 minutes away from Le Reve is the Thai beach Club. The Thai beach club belongs to the Princess but is open to the public. They have 100 pesos hamburgers and salads. Otherwise Playa is just 15 minutes away.

            The Thai Beach Club

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            Le Petit Laffite

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            The wedding packages

            Le Reve now offers wedding packages and they have a wedding coordinator on site. We are still undecided – we think it's easier to work with the person from the hotel, and Claudia has a lot of experience (she was working at Iberostar before). She had a lot of different options we could chose from for everything - flowers, centerpieces, cake, lounge furniture. tables and chairs, etc. She could even provide us with a minister that could speak French. So we're leaning towards her. TBD !

            The gym

            I had an average experience at the gym. First I have to say I love going to the gym. I have tried the work out equipment of all the hotels I went to. So I have high expectations... The gym has a bike, an elliptical, a treadmill and a machine for the arms that does everything. There's also one mat for crunches of stretching. The machines were OK and doing their machine job. But there are no lose weights, for instance. Also, there is no a/c in the gym. We were in December and both windows were wide open - so there was a nice breeze, refreshing enough. I don't know what it would be like in May. Also, there are towels, but no water fountain.

            The spa

            You can either take your treatment in the open air spa, or they will come to your room. Having them come to your room is of course the best option for bridal hair style, make-up, your party hair style, etc. We chose to have a couple massage in the spa. It was wonderful ! It was so relaxing, with the ocean noise, the breeze, the blue sky that you could peer at through the gaze, and the massage was great ! It lasted super long too, it gave the impression it would never end. Highly recommended ! At least once in your stay. We will do it again before our wedding.

            The beach

            Our ceremony will take place on the beach, just down the steps coming from the hotel. The beach in front of the hotel is clean, however, just next to the hotel on the left there are some houses in decay. Not sure how long they will stay there… Just after these houses, is the Azul Fives, then the Tides, then Le Petit Laffite, then the Princess. On the right, the beach is just beautiful with the palapas from the hotel, the gardens of the bungalows, and nothing in sight.

            It is true, there's a reef on the beach. If you want to take a bath you need shoes. You also have to pay attention to the jet-skis that are in the area. When you walk along the beach, you can get to spots where the reef has stopped but there are still some rocks. If you walk as far as the Princess (10 minutes away), you will find a lot of people in the water there. However, there are also rocks there. We went jet-skiing and it was great, though ! There are a few rentals along the beach. The normal price is 50$ for hald an hour, so don't get fooled by people asking for more. You can get lower, too (we got 35 min for 45$). On the beach you can also fin snorkeling trips, deep sea fishing trips, parasailing, etc.

            A great thing is that, because it's remote and there is this reef, there are not a lot of people on the beach ! So we expect not to be bothered by strangers...

            Beach viewed from the beach bar :

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            The beach towards Playa del Carmen :
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            The beach towards Cancun :
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            Check-out

            We did not have issue on check-out. To the contrary, they had forgotten a charge ! The rate they used was 13.5, when the bank-to-bank rate of the day (on Oanda) was 13.06. Sounds like a normal rate to me - no business will charge you at and interbank rate. Also note that even if the prices are quoted in USD, you have to pay in pesos if you pay with your credit card - it's just the rule for everybody. You can pay in USD in you bring USD. Nothing different in Le Reve than in any other places.

            #6 LadyCheese

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              Posted 28 December 2008 - 01:03 AM

              What a great review, very thorough! The resort looks beautiful; can't wait to see your wedding pics when you get back in May.

              #7 jdrewett

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                Posted 03 January 2010 - 08:42 PM

                Thank you for the great review and photos! It was very helpful!!
                -Jessica

                #8 baj

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                  Posted 03 January 2010 - 08:54 PM

                  great review and pics, thanks for sharing

                  #9 Jones Wedding

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                    Posted 21 February 2011 - 05:33 PM

                    Thanks for sharing.. Very helpful info. WE too are planning on getting married at Le Reve.. We had friends get married there and they swore by it :) Looking forward to seeing pics of the wedding! THanks again!!



                    #10 Ixchel

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                      Posted 07 July 2011 - 12:19 AM

                      Hello girls!!..I'm looking at Le Reve for my wedding but I'm a little bit concerned about the reef!. I love Playa and Tulum and would love to get into the ocean while been there, so I am not sure how bad it is!. I know is not a deal breaker but would like to have it in mind..thanx!!






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