My wedding review of Playa Fiesta Beachclub and Resort
Posted 14 February 2009 - 12:15 AM
RESORT â€“ Playa Fiesta
Playa Fiesta is beautiful. For a very realistic description of the resort itself, see the TripAdvisor reviews (PF is ranked #1 resort in Puerto Vallarta). Iâ€™ll keep this review focused on the wedding services. Hereâ€™s a few pics of the place:
Staff and service: The staff and service at PF are probably the best part of the resort. They will, quite literally, do anything to make you happy. The staff learn your guestsâ€™ names on the first day, and theyâ€™ll find themselves supplied with their favourite drink without even asking. Positive comments on the service and staff were the most common we received from our guests.
Food: Breakfast is included in your package and is a full breakfast buffet with made-to-order eggs every morning. The day after the wedding, we had a post-wedding brunch that was absolutely amazing. A lot of our guests ordered the resort food for lunches and it was consistently excellent and quite well-priced.
We did 3 dinner buffets throughout the weekâ€“ the food was excellent every night. We also did a Mexican coffee one night (coffee with liquor and whipped cream, lit afire!), Mexican fried ice cream one night (to die for), and a cupcake table on rehearsal night. Our guests loved it all.
The wedding night, we did a 5 course plated dinner that was, by far, the food highlight of the week, which is saying a lot. I am a big fan of plated dinners at weddings â€“ to me, it just lends a certain elegance that I really like. Plus, since we did buffets the other nights, we wanted the wedding night to stand out. I am very happy with this decision â€“ we had guests tell us that they were full after the pasta course but the rest was just too good not to eat. It was about $40 per plate.
Bar: Open bar until 11pm is included on all nights except the wedding. This includes everything except top shelf stuff (Crown, Baileys, Absolut). On the wedding night, we did 5 hours open bar followed by consumption until about 12:45am (so about 7 hours total bar provided to the guests). Again, we just did national open bar rather than premium. The bar was a major line on our budget (it was $10/person/hr).
To make the wedding day special, we did signature drinks (bright blue â€“ one of our wedding colours) during cocktail hour and had wine served during dinner. Also, the bartenders (Charlie and Aldo) put all these shot glasses in the shape of our initials, which was pretty cool looking.
Hairstylists: We had our hair done by the hairstylists provided by the resort and were VERY happy. I had a trial when I arrived at the resort, and it was even more perfect on the wedding day. Bring pictures with you since their English is not that good. My Mom was the only one who had her makeup done by them, so I canâ€™t say much on the makeup, but she loved it and it looked really good on her.
Flowers: I had provided a picture of what I wanted to Lindsay and her florist did a fantastic job. My flowers were beautiful. For centrepieces, all I did was have the large pillar candles that you can order from Lindsay plus rose petals on the table. It looked great and lent a beautiful ambiance. If youâ€™re looking to save money, this is one step I highly recommend.
Fireworks: We did the small package of fireworks and they were a HUGE HIT. I canâ€™t recommend them enough, but definitely keep it a surprise for your guests. Mid-reception, we stood on an island in the small pool to give our â€œThank Youâ€ speech. At the end of the speech, we gave a code word and the fireworks and music beganâ€¦.breathtaking. They usually use â€œThunderstruckâ€ by ACDC, but we used â€œLet Me Entertain Youâ€ by Robbie Williams and it worked like it was made to be.
Salsa dancing, fire jugglers, and mariachis: As entertainment, after our welcome dinner we had fire dancers and jugglers. They were pretty good and got the party goingâ€¦.although the guy dropped his flaming sticks a bunch of times ☺. The 3 piece mariachi band we had during dinner another night was fantastic â€“ I would totally recommend them! Finally, on our rehearsal dinner we had Victor, the salsa dance instructor. He was hilarious â€“ I loved it! Not everyone was into it, but the vast majority of our guests were up dancing.
Price: Playa Fiesta weddings are not cheap. You are paying for privacy and the ability to completely customize your ceremony and reception. It is midway between most villas and an AI, from my basic knowledge, although Iâ€™m sure there are lots of exceptions to this. If youâ€™re considering a wedding at PF, get Adam (the owner) to send you his budget worksheet so you can get an idea of how much it will cost you.
Takeovers: You need to commit to a partial (20 rooms) or full takeover (30 rooms) for a wedding at PF. If you donâ€™t fill them, youâ€™re on the hook for the empty room space. This was our ONE major stress during the wedding planning and, from other PF brides Iâ€™ve spoken to, it is the most common stressor. I would suggest getting as good an idea of how many guests youâ€™ll have before booking as possible, and count on a few cancellations, before you make your decision.
My ONE negative: I will mention one negative that slightly took away from our experience. We had booked 2/3 of the rooms at the resort, and a few rooms were taken by outside guests who arrived on our wedding day. During our wedding reception, one of the outside couples came down to use the pool and deck area that we had exclusively reserved for our weddingâ€¦.and made out in the hot tub.
At first, I was pretty disappointed and wondered how this could have happened after paying for a private reception and being guaranteed privacy. After over a year of meticulously planning every detail of our wedding (I might be a little A type), it saddened me that this had happened. When we picked a wedding hotel, we had as our top priority being able to offer an exclusive event to our guests, and this was paramount in our decision to use Playa Fiesta.
However, Adam and Lindsay both apologized profusely for the intrusion of the outside guests at our reception, explaining that they had spoken to these guests earlier in the night when they wanted to come down to the reception area and had made it clear that it was a private event. Furthermore, the correspondence between the guests and the resort was very clear that the reception area was off-limits after 4pm on the wedding day. As such, I think the resort did everything they could to prevent this from happening.
Future brides, I would not let this dissuade you from considering Playa Fiesta â€“ by all accounts, this has never happened before and I doubt it is likely to ever happen again â€“ I can only imaging that the vast majority of outside guests would respect the fact that this is your wedding and would not intrude. Keep in mind that all outside guests must agree to the â€œprivate wedding eventâ€ policy on their reservations.
Anyway, it wasnâ€™t as big a deal as I thought at first and I bet Iâ€™m the only one who was really bothered, or perhaps who really noticed.
Overall, this was the best week of our lives, and I will forever thank Playa Fiesta and its staff for making our dream wedding a reality. Still more below...
The ceremony site:
Hereâ€™s a link to our first danceâ€¦.it was fun! You can see the set-up of the reception site:
Posted 14 February 2009 - 12:50 AM
Congrats! Can't wait to see more pics
Posted 14 February 2009 - 03:42 AM
Posted 14 February 2009 - 12:29 PM
Posted 14 February 2009 - 01:26 PM
And love love your first dance. Bill and I watched it... it was so fun to see it in the same spot as we had ours a few weeks earlier, although we now feel we should have stepped it up a notch, ha!
So glad you had such a great experience. Congrats!
Posted 14 February 2009 - 01:39 PM
Posted 14 February 2009 - 10:04 PM
Thanks for posting a new PF review! I can't wait to see all of your gorgeous pics! HINT HINT! I'm especially glad you liked the hair person. It's the one thing I worry about.
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