Iberostar Rose Hall Brides - Post all info/questions here!
Posted 15 May 2010 - 08:08 PM
Posted 16 May 2010 - 08:03 PM
Posted 16 May 2010 - 08:06 PM
| Originally Posted by lmuze |
Congratulations and thanks for the review. Can't wait to see pictures.
Do you know how big the tables were? I want to bring my own tableclothes. I know they sit 8 for round tables.
Posted 20 May 2010 - 12:58 PM
So Nicole mentioned in her email that she will not be getting the details of the wedding together until a month before. Is this enough time? My TA said we need to have more done by then. What were your experience with the planning timeline? I just want to be sure things go smoothly. Im am growing more and more excited and I have a solid year left!!!
Posted 20 May 2010 - 10:21 PM
We love travelling and as a result, decided that when the time came to get married, to do it destination wedding style. After much research (including the indispensible tripadvisor.com) we selected the Iberostar Rose Hall Suites (IRHS) for our wedding location – and boy, are we glad we did.
Accompanied by many more friends and family than we expected (we were 26 all told), we trotted off for a week at the resort in mid-January earlier this year and had an absolutely amazing time. Truly a memorable experience from beginning to end, and for all the right reasons!
For those not wanting to slog through our complete review, here is a quick summary: A-M-A-Z-I-N-G.
If I had to pick something to find wrong with our week, and keep in mind this would be after MUCH thought, I would point at a slight bout of what we suspect was mild food poisoning suffered by the bride and a guest, and weaker than what we would expect (and this was our 4th all-inclusive trip in as many years) front desk service when calling down (though the check in and check out service was great). This should put things into proper perspective for those looking at finding an idyllic location for a wedding. Heck we would go back in a heartbeat just for a plain old vacation to get away from it all.
The Vacation Carrier – A-
We booked through Air Canada Vacations and despite an initial complication with respect to date selection, every other dealing was pretty smooth sailing (er, flying…). The bump-up to business class for our trip there and back was welcomed and our dealings either over the phone or onsite were satisfactory or better. Our travel agent is an Ottawa based one – and we are happy to recommend if anyone desires this information.
The Country – A+
We are frequent travellers and love seeing and exploring new countries, so early on in the process we decided that we would get married in a country that neither of us had visited. Given our desire for an all-inclusive experience, heading south for a ceremony on the beach seemed to be the way to go. Choosing something new meant eliminating the following locations from consideration: Cuba, Barbados, Bermuda, Dominican Republic, Mexico and Costa Rica. Well, after having now been to Jamaica Iwe can honestly say it would EASILY top our choice for a return trip and we would be flying there tomorrow if we could. The people, the food, the culture, the way of life - it was all so incredible. “Island time” did not move slowly enough while we were there (and we honeymooned the week after in Negril…subject of another review for another great resort).
The Resort/Room/Facilties – A
As mentioned we did a tonne of research before selecting a resort and found that almost everyone who had a wedding experience at the IRHS were satisfied to very satisfied. A relatively newer resort, everything seemed to have that “new resort glow” and as more than one of our party remarked, the staff always seemed to be making sure things stayed that way. The layout is easy to navigate, the pool area actually provides quite a few spots to find yourself in relative seclusion and the beach was not a long walk from your room. Our room was spectacular, the fridge was always well stocked (cleaning/replenishing staff were very good), the A/C and TV, etc… all worked great and the balcony was a great place to chill out and designed in such a way that it didn’t feel like your neighbour was too close and too visible. The gym did have a few machines out of order, but hey, there were plenty of other and better ways of getting exercise that week if that was what you wanted. Tennis courts, pools, etc… were all in fine working order. We went to the onsite dance bar a few nights, and while the selections were a tad repetitive and the place smokier than what we are used to back home, it was a fine place to enjoy a bit of drinking and dancing. And then, there is always the beach. Beach area was well maintained, and the chairs and shade-umbrellas were what you would expect, and keep in mind we I have to say, I waswere prepared for the rocky beach sand that I hadwe had read so much about. We finally sorted out that the rocky side is located by the , but it was actually more on the side of the Iberostar Rose Hall Grand…the Suites area was more than fine. We actually had some guests staying at the Iberostar Rose Hall Beaches (slightly striped down version) and the Iberostar Rose Hall Grand (couples only, higher end) and not a peep of complaint from anyone about their stay who had their expectations met.
The Food/Restaurants/Bar Service – B
The la carte restaurants were all pretty solid. We did have a guest of ours and the bride experience what we suspect is food poisoning on one night, but it was hard to pin down the source and thankfully we did not let that overly colour our experience. The buffet selection was impressive, the chocolate-based desserts better tasting than we had expected (including the wedding cake itself), and there was never a wait for an empty table. We tried just about all the a la carte restaurantsos, and as you would expect, some were weaker than others, but Ruby’s steak house and the gourmet restaurant meals were the best and everything else to us slid down to the good to acceptable range. The wine did lack some (and the wine service was not great) but when in Jamaica ... wine really shouldn’t be your focus now should it? Also, while the Jamaican cuisine was a little on the light side (though they did have an outdoor BBQ lunch meal which was great), I we maintain that if you want to sample the authentic local cuisine when on a vacation, do so off-site. We did, and it is worth the trip. Snack bars offered great filler foods and were great for late night conversation with the staff coming off a few late hours at the club. As for the drinks and bartenders, again, compared to other similar star experiences we have had, this group and their selection ranks on the high end of the scale. Waiters at the beach who, while not travelling by often, were at least regulars and attentive was great. Poolside swim-up bar service was excellent and here is a tip: best place for drinks is the hotel lobby bar. Almost every night included a stop there. Mixed drinks mixed well, Red Stripe on tap, great service, sometimes live music and a great place to hang out.
The Entertainment/Staff – A
Our previous all-inclusive trips could have all been typically characterized as minimally taking advantage of the onsite entertainment facilities and staff, beyond trips to bars/clubs/shows. Even with travelling with other friends we prefer making our own fun and taking excursions off the resort just to enjoy something a little more authentic in our travel experiences more than doing something at the resort. With this being the largest group we have ever travelled with, and clearly in a mood to take advantage of all that a resort has to offer (especially to stay relaxed leading up to the BIG DAY) we got to know our hosts and avail ourselves of all the things to do this time around. Whether it was archery, water-aerobics (with the Best Man leading the group in one of the most painfully funny water-aerobic experiences ever), ping pong, you name it, chances our one of our group did it – and did not regret it. We should point out at this juncture that at most resorts, we actually found the entertainment staff to be too aggressive and sometimes just flat out annoying. Not so at the IRHS. Theirs was a much more relaxed approach to things and interestingly, by the end of the week, we found ourselves actually seeking out the conversation and antics of our friends on staff, Noodle and Carlos in particular. The hilarious good byes (including bear hugs) and wedding card we received from them at the beach party on the last night at the resort illustrate perfectly the personal touch and general level of amusement and good times they provided. Thanks to them and everyone else at the resort for having made our experience that much more enjoyable!
The Weather – A-
The weather was very good the whole week we were there. There were some clouds and strong winds in the afternoon, but nothing that darkened our experience at all. On the wedding day it did rain early in the day, but our wedding coordinator’s relaxed attitude about it made us completely comfortable that it would pass on by. And, it did. Otherwise it was sun and 30 degrees Celsius with cooler evenings which were welcomed. Apparently we missed 4 days of rain from the week before, so we certainly lucked out. That all said, the wind on the beach proper is very strong in the afternoon. Those with young childrenWe or just a desire to stay sheltered somewhat often moved themselves to the pool after lunch to get away from it.
The Wedding Coordinator/Meeting – A+
Before we had even arrived at the hotel we had been e-mail communication with our wedding coordinator, Nicole. During this period we came to realize that her priority was the couple in front of her, so we knew that once we arrived, she would focus on us. And this is the truth: She was amazing! When we wanted our music for the reception, she lent us her CD player. When the bride panicked about the rain on the wedding day, she calmly told her that she would move the wedding if necessary, but it was unlikely to be necessary. She was right. When we discovered we needed music to walk up the aisle to (who knew?) she helped us pick out a classic Jamaican tune. The fact that the IRHS only holds one wedding a day allowed for a flexibility and an attention to detailcreate the option of flexibility, which removed a huge amount of stress on both of us. We can honestly say, that with a 3 p.m. wedding, we were still lounging at the pool at 1:30 because everything was in the hands of Nicole. Thank you!
We should point out that it took three months to receive our wedding certificate. As we had planned on six, we think that is pretty awesome. It was Nichole who touched based with us, and ensured the copies were couriered out. It was a nice added touch to have her see us through the entire process.
The Ceremony and Ccocktail – A+++
Our ceremony was on the beach. As it was in the afternoon, it was windy. When the bride stepped out onto the beach she nearly tipped over! But, she was standing downwind and her dress looked fantastic for the ceremony! The set-up was beautiful and simple – exactly what we wanted without realizing this was what we wanted. Our wedding was performed by Paul who’s words brought tears to many a stoic person in the audience. He had a great sense of humour and made the entire process easy, despite the wind. We had a bar set up, with steel drum bands, for after the ceremony. This was well worth the investment – everyone enjoyed their drinks and some impromptu beach dancing before the reception proper.
The Reception – A+
We held a private reception in the Mediterranean restaurant. But, as the bride is a carnivour, the hotel was able to make steak an option on the menu. And the steak was melt-in-your-mouth fantastic. We recommend it! We somehow ended up with a private bar as well (we never figured out how that happened) that everyone enjoyed. The service was good and the cake was amazing. A perfect way to cap off the perfect day.
Posted 21 May 2010 - 09:37 PM
Posted 25 May 2010 - 03:23 PM
I got some more pictures, so I posted a few more that might be helpful on my review (Lisa's Iberostar Rose Hall Suites Review)
Posted 29 May 2010 - 11:27 AM
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