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Iberostar Rose Hall Beach review --long


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#1 dodds

dodds
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    Posted 05 February 2009 - 01:32 PM

    Hi
    I'm new to this forum, but found it soon before leaving and appreciated reading other brides suggestions, so thought I should do the same.

    I got married last week at Iberostar Rose Hall Beach in Montego Bay. Sandy was my WC. She's so relaxed. Now that I've been through this, I suggest everyone just buy your dress, book your ticket, buy the sand ceremony, a few decorations and don't worry about anything else. Sandy only orders everything the day before the wedding anyways. Any of the complaints you'll read on my thread are really minute-- but easily avoidable if you know to request it, which is why I mention it.

    Hair:
    I went to the spa next door to get hair/make-up done. Mitzi did my hair and I forget the name of the lady who did my make-up. Wow! do these ladies ever pay attention to detail! Mitzi looked at the photo about every 5min. and made my hair look just like the pic. I brought my own make-up since I wasn't sure what the spa used or what colours they had. This lady let me look in mirror about every 2min. so she could correct anything I didn't like. I didn't ask for her to do this, but I did appreciate it. My appointment was for 12:00. I should have made it for earlier. It took them 3 1/2 hrs to finish. My guests were waiting by my room when I arrived as I had told them the photographer was arriving at 3:30.

    Location/Flowers:
    Iberostar has a choice of three locations for the ceremony. I preffered a balcony not on the list, and I was permitted to perform it there. I was thrilled!
    The arch was decorated exactly as I had explained to Sandy. The flowers from Tai Flowers were wonderful. The bouquet was a little bit smaller than I expected, but turns out it was just fine -I got many compliments on my exotic bouquet. The flowers from the arch were moved and used as table centrepieces for the reception.

    Because of my odd location, they couldn't use the runner that comes with the wedding package as there was not a long runway. They put in a beige carpet, that was a bit odd, but I didn't notice that until the ceremony was over.

    The hotel staff picks you up in your room. And make sure you are hidden from view of the groom. They had me stop along route if they saw the groom glancing that way and had walkie talkie's to make sure that all is in order -that I don't arrive too early etc. I was anxious to get there, as I didn't want my groom to start sweating in his suit while waiting in the heat. (I didn't realize I was worrying for nothing as it was a windy day -I'd been indoors the whole day).

    Minister:
    I had asked that my groom and I face my guests and the minister to the side of me so that we could get good photos. This did not happen. It seems as though Sandy mentioned it to the minister, but before the ceremony he told my groom that it's usually done with him facing the crowd, and my groom was taking the whole day in stride and accepted. I noticed this as I was walking up and not knowing they had the conversation was a little frustrated but soon after arriving realizing I can't change it decided to accept it. The minister had many great words though. He kinda looked like Eddie Murphy but he spoke very eloquently.

    Ceremony:
    The one thing all my guests and I agree on is that we wish the WC told us the pool games start at 4pm -the same time as my ceremony. I had asked if they can delay the games by 20min. She said they can only turn down the sound system. Well turns out, during the ceremony all I could hear is them cheering. Had I known, I would have performed the ceremony at 3:30.

    Sand Ceremony:
    We had a sand ceremony. The idea was great, but it was a windy day so the sand wasn't going into the container as smoothly as we had practiced. The minister announced "I must have lots of love to share with everyone!" That was cute :) ... the final design was great but didn't fill the container (we brought only enough to fill it, not expecting to lose any in wind). After the fact, the photographer said we should have had a funnel. He's right, I only wish he mentioned it before the ceremony. So either bring lots of extra sand or use a funnel. (or a way to stuff the empty space so the sand doesn't mix together on the flight home).

    Music:
    I made a CD of music to play for ceremony. I told them the songs were long, so just fastforward to the next song when the ladies have finished walking etc. But he decided to play it all. No big deal. I didn't have music to play during the sand ceremony and he played our exit music. I chuckled, whispered it to my groom, and continued with the blowing sand. We also made a CD for the dinner, but because we weren't renting out the whole restaurant, we weren't permitted to play it. We were told there would be music playing anyways. As it turns out, there wasn't, but our best man talked to someone and they turned it on. Unfortunately, when the speeches started, there wasn't anybody around that could turn it off. That's ok though, I heard the speaches. (In retrostpect, I didn't even have to make the ceremony CD- it would have been provided. I missed that detail when reading what's included with the wedding ceremony).

    After ceremony:
    After the ceremony we had the champagne and threw some rose petals in the air. I brought the rose petals. Lots of Valentine's Day stuff was arriving in stores the week before our wedding -so I stocked up on all sorts of stuff. We took some photos, then left my guests to take pictures around the resort.

    Dinner:
    We chose Tony's Steakhouse for the dinner. What a great choice! Some guests tried to talk me out of it as it's not a very fancy place (during the day time). But they dressed it up so nice for our party. White table linens, three long tables set up like a letter U with a small cake table in the middle. I had purchased sprinkles of X's and O's and hearts to put all over the table. I also had Sandy put the favours on my seat so that I would know where to find it when I decided to hand it out. As I was headed to my seat, I put it on the ledge behind me, and we handed it out just before desert. Right after Christmas I purchased some sparkle hearts and inserted "Just Married, Jan.27/09" in the heart. I bought some little red boxes at Michael's and glued ribbon/bows on it. I didn't seal the box, the guests were able to open it up like they do on the soap opera's.

    Cake:
    I could barely eat the dessert. My dress was kinda tight when sitting, so ate light that night. I hear it was wonderful though. It was white icing,two-tier with lemon cake. They had flowers that matched the boutonniere's all over the cake. It looked great. Some people ate the flowers -said it was edible. Hmmm, I don't know, I wouldn't attempt that- but they didn't get sick.

    Band:
    I didn't hire a band, but one of my guests found one. I think they had just finished playing at the evening show and she convinced them to come to our party. So I was able to have my surprise first dance. The guests kept tipping them, so they kept playing.

    Disco:
    After dinner, we went to our rooms to freshen up and change to go to the disco. We had some time to spare and found a bottle of champange in our room, so we brought it to the lobby bar to enjoy with the everyone else. The hotel has golf carts to take us to the hotel next door which has the disco. It's walking distance, but they really do want us to take it easy. When we tried to walk, we always hear "ya mon, no problem, we take you there." The disco wasn't too exciting, we stayed a little over an hour. After the disco, some of us weren't ready to end the night, so visited the midnight buffet. We were the only ones there, so that was lots of fun.

    Photos:
    The resort photographer was unnoticeable while working. Which was cool. Since I wasn't hiring him, he took about 200 photos and I was permitted 12 free with the package price. I looked at the photos the next day. They were good. I was pleasantly surprised. Although, I didn't buy any extra photos at $12 a piece since I brought my own photographer.

    I think that's a summary of the day. The resort is HIGHLY recommended. My guests continually thanked me for choosing such a great place. Many of them travel every January to a Caribbean location and told me they will be returning here next year. The staff is soooooo nice. Bring lots of tip money. You will want to tip all the time as the service is exceptional.

    I booked an OceanFront suite, I didn't get the upgrade but the sound of the sea was great and room just fine. Actually, my sister only booked the Gardenview room and says her room was better than mine. She had a view of the garden/pool and the sea, and was close to the restaurants --best of both worlds.

    I believe in total (not including flight/hotel/dress/suit) the wedding cost us about $4000 in US dollars. I had 20 guests in attendance.

    sorry, I didn't realize that this would be soooo long but don't know what I should cut out.

    I have pics but not sure how to post?

    #2 Flasong

    Flasong
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      Posted 07 February 2009 - 12:33 PM

      Congrats and thanks for such an awesome and detailed review! I have a couple of questions for you...did you get a chance to see the property of the newly opened Rose Hall Grand? I was thinking the Grand because its adults only. We wont have any kids in attendance, so I prefer an adults only resort. Also, how many guests attended your wedding? We won't have that many so I am not sure if I want to pay the extra money for a wedding...I could have it at Sandals or Breezes RB for free...what are your thoughts on this? I did stay at the Iberostar in Mexico and loved it.

      Thanks again for all of your insight...would love to see your photos but I don't know either how to post them on here...

      #3 dodds

      dodds
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        Posted 07 February 2009 - 07:24 PM

        I saw the Rose Hall Grand from the beach. It takes about 20min to walk the length of beach from Rose Hall Beach to Rose Hall Suites and then to Rose Hall Grand. My uncle asked one of the employees what the difference between the three hotels is. He was told the Grand is a quiet resort. No games at pools, calm place, good for seniors. I believe it just opened three weeks ago. Their beach chairs were empty -so I assume not many guests there.

        I had 21 guests. We all arrived different days, so they did not put us in the same area of hotel. But everyone loved the view from the room. So I guess there isn't a bad location.

        I'm not sure what the free wedding provides do give a fair opinion. This hotel promises only one wedding per day. I think that is superb!! The $2100 included the decorated arch (no flowers -I purchased flowers for each side at $102 per bunch which were also used as a table centerpiece at dinner.) It includes finding a minister who was dressed in a really nice suit and seemed to speak from the heart. He really had everyone listening to what he was saying. There was champagne set up at the wedding site, a table for the sand ceremony, and a signing table. At dinner time, there was nice white table linens. Two red candles (not lit). Also my bouquet and groom's boutonniere included. So I did have to buy another bouquet and more boutonniere's and a few corsages. I also had to pay an additional $18 per guest (not sure why -I think it has to do with the time to set up the table since we did have the same meal as the other guests of the hotel on the other side of the restaurant.)

        Any more questions, don't hesitate to ask.

        All my guests loved their stay. This is actually the first time my family ever even heard of a destination wedding and didn't know what to expect and now they can't stop talking about. My uncle thinks it was real romantic that we were married on a balcony.

        #4 dodds

        dodds
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          Posted 07 February 2009 - 07:24 PM

          I saw the Rose Hall Grand from the beach. It takes about 20min to walk the length of beach from Rose Hall Beach to Rose Hall Suites and then to Rose Hall Grand. My uncle asked one of the employees what the difference between the three hotels is. He was told the Grand is a quiet resort. No games at pools, calm place, good for seniors. I believe it just opened three weeks ago. Their beach chairs were empty -so I assume not many guests there.

          I had 21 guests. We all arrived different days, so they did not put us in the same area of hotel. But everyone loved the view from the room. So I guess there isn't a bad location.

          I'm not sure what the free wedding provides do give a fair opinion. This hotel promises only one wedding per day. I think that is superb!! The $2100 included the decorated arch (no flowers -I purchased flowers for each side at $102 per bunch which were also used as a table centerpiece at dinner.) It includes finding a minister who was dressed in a really nice suit and seemed to speak from the heart. He really had everyone listening to what he was saying. There was champagne set up at the wedding site, a table for the sand ceremony, and a signing table. At dinner time, there was nice white table linens. Two red candles (not lit). Also my bouquet and groom's boutonniere included. So I did have to buy another bouquet and more boutonniere's and a few corsages. I also had to pay an additional $18 per guest (not sure why -I think it has to do with the time to set up the table since we did have the same meal as the other guests of the hotel on the other side of the restaurant.)

          Any more questions, don't hesitate to ask.

          All my guests loved their stay. This is actually the first time my family ever even heard of a destination wedding and didn't know what to expect and now they can't stop talking about. My uncle thinks it was real romantic that we were married on a balcony.

          #5 DTHSLove

          DTHSLove
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            Posted 09 February 2009 - 04:54 PM

            Glad you and hubby had a good time. CONGRATS!!!

            #6 dodds

            dodds
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            • 44 posts

              Posted 10 February 2009 - 01:14 PM

              I believe I might have figured out how to add pics.

              1)The first pic is a view of resort from most GardenView Rooms.
              I was married on the balcony (on left side of pic).

              2)The minister and view of my archway. Decorated exactly as I requested.

              3)Sand ceremony.

              4)One of the two gazebos. The other gazebo is to the left of the one seen.
              I didn't choose this location, as it seemed windy, there are a few places with no wall on the way walkway to the gazebo so unsafe for the toddlers among my guests.

              5)The cake.

              6)The surprise band (found by one of my guests.) This is Tony's Steakhouse restaurant.

               

               

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              #7 urania4

              urania4
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              • 40 posts

                Posted 10 February 2009 - 10:12 PM

                Dodds...

                I am so happy you have posted a review of the Iberostar. Although I am getting married at the suite property, I am happy to hear some feedback about the resort since it seems there are not a lot of posts on here. My wedding is scheduled there for August 2009. I'm curious...i saw your guest count was 20 which is about the same amount that I will be having...for your reception, did you decide to do it right after your ceremony and was it private enough for your group. Also was the reception price included with the 2100 fee for the wedding. I have been trying to get in contact with Nicole, WC for Suite property, but I guess they are really busy. Also who did you use as your photographer? I don't think I want to use the resort photographer only because I'm a little uncertain about how the pictures will come out since I am wanting photojournalistic photos. Please provide all the help you can. Thanks so much!!!

                #8 majortomm

                majortomm
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                • 27 posts

                  Posted 11 February 2009 - 01:19 AM

                  Thanks so much for posting your review - I have my eye on this resort so I will file this in my research folder =) It sounds like the WC very accommodating. It seems like the day was a bit spontaneous too which is great! I may have questions for you later, if you don't mind - so much to think about!

                  #9 dodds

                  dodds
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                  • 44 posts

                    Posted 11 February 2009 - 12:05 PM

                    Hi Urania4,
                    I did not do the reception right after ceremony. We did pics around the resort. During this time, I saw some of my guests having drinks at the lobby bar, others went to the restaurant for a snack. My ceremony was at 4pm. My dinner was at 7pm. That's the earliest the steakhouse opens.

                    Pretty much one of my only wishes is that I did the ceremony at 3:30. The pool game folks made lots of noice at 4pm and we were celebrating with champagne etc. for so long afterwards, that we missed the opportunity for some really nice beach shots before the sun goes down.

                    The resort does not allow you to reserve the restaurant unless guest count is above 40 people. It was fine though. I still had half the restaurant to my group. The other side wasn't full and we barely noticed them. (Until they also started chiming their fork on plate for a bride/groom kiss.) The reception price is not included in the $2100 fee. I had to pay an additional $18 per person.

                    I saw the resort photographer photos. I got to pick 12 of his pics (on paper and on CD). They are surprisingly o.k (and cheaper than the 3K I spend on my photographer). I've listed some others I may purchase if my photographer didn't get the same shot. I actually paid to fly a photographer from Montreal. I did alot of research on photographers. There are some great ones in Jamaica and all over the U.S. Many willing to discount their work if you fly them and their partner down.

                    I used to complain that I would email my WC 10 questions, and she would answer only 2. Turns out there is just not too much planning needed. My husband says it was stress free and loved it - I say it was somewhat stressful. But he reminds me, that I put the stress on myself. I was putting way too much time into every little detail. Anyways, two months before the wedding, they send a form to be filled out with details. They want it back one month prior to the wedding. But, she only orders the flowers on the list the day before the wedding. We met up the day before my wedding to confirm the details about decoration of archway, flowers, location of ceremony and reception. It was a really easy meeting and Sandy really pays attention to detail and trys her best to get it done. (All the employees are like this. The service at the resort was outstanding!).

                    Anymore questions, I'm here to answer them. I realize Sandy didn't have a chance to answer all my emails, because half her shift is in the lobby at the desk to take reservations for the restaurants. And, the emails she doesn't answer, I guess just aren't important. (I asked a few times about my concern that my birth certificate does not have fathers name. She didn't seem to care. Said she'd look into it, but never did. I learned later on here, I could have ordered it on some government website. But it wasn't necessary. We're married, it's all legal. She'll mail me the papers in about 2 to 3 months.)

                    #10 Carina

                    Carina
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                    • 14 posts

                      Posted 09 March 2009 - 08:12 PM

                      Hi Dodds??

                      Thanks so much for your review! I am booked for May 20, 2009 at the IBRHB. I had a few more questions if you don't mind!!

                      You mentioned red candles on the tables at the reception. Were these included or did you add them on? Were you able to pick your color? And, did you ever light them during the reception? Were there any other extras for the reception other than the flowers that you could choose?

                      From the information I have found regarding Uncle Tony's Steakhouse, the bar consists of only beer, wine, pop, coffee, and tea. If cocktails are desired, there is an extra charge to set up a bar, did you do this or was this available? Many of my guests drink alcohol as opposed to beer/wine.

                      So far we have 25 booked including my FI and me!

                      Thanks for your help!

                      Carina




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