**NEW** YOURS TRULY - RIU MONTEGO BAY- 03.06.09 with pics
Posted 11 March 2009 - 11:08 PM
I am back from my wedding at the RIU Montego Bay - March 6, 2009. I had a FABULOUS and AMAZING day. Similar to what was expressed by Indigo and Amanda, you have NOTHING to worry about with Chantelle the WC. You will be in very capable hands.
Air Jamaica - A
We decided to fly first class to Montego Bay out of JFK (NY) International airport. The flight was non eventful, the typical champagne flight and the flight crew was very accomodating and friendly. We flew out the day after the biggest snow storm of the winter season, so we were concerned naturally that there would be major delays which there weren't. We arrived at Sangster International in 3hrs 45 min to a rather unseasonably and overcast day.
Due to a tropical depression, Jamaica was rather cold and windy. It was approximately 55 degrees and overcast so naturally as they were forecasting the same for the remainder of the week I started to worry. Thank God it cleared up the following day and outside of some clouds and a short rainfall, the weather was beautiful!
JTL Tours and Jamaica Tourist Board
They were absolutely the best. From the moment we headed off the plane, through customs and baggage claims, we were escorted by a team from the tourist board that was sent to escort us PERSONALLY and thank us for visiting Jamaica. We thought this was a very nice jesture, with posted signs welcoming us to Jamaica.
The JTL tours team were very professional and we were through customs and off to the hotel within 40 minutes of landing. Since the RIU was a short 10 minute ride from the airport, we were the first stop.
RIU Hotel Check-in - B+
While the staff was not the most professional at times (they are short staffed and wet behind the ears), they tried very hard to be accomodating. Our room was ready and after we completed the check-in registration forms we were off to our room within 15 minutes. Unlike other reports from Trip advisor, we did not have a rude experience with anyone, and albeit a bit slow, if you practice patience, everything will be alright.
Rooms - A
The rooms were gorgeous. We had an oceanfront room and was upgraded to a Junior Suite the following day. As I mentioned, typically they allow the upgrade the day before your wedding and of course based on availability, but as mentioned the team tried their best to make our stay the very best!!
The suite was unspeakably gorgeous, all marble and granite floors, jacuzzi, oversized california king and satellite tvs. The showers were also amazing and the bathrooms also included a bidet.
Hotel accomodations - B+/A
The hotel is new and the staff work very hard to keep the grounds well maintained and new. From the landscaping to the restaurant, they work night and day to maintain the surroundings and also see to it that requests are addressed in a timely fashion. The A/C system leaves a bit to be desired, as there is a musty smell which I think is due to the design of the building and condensation issue as a result it common after a length stay.
We had an issue with the jacuzzi and our fridge and the staff sent someone to fix the issue within 30 minutes. My guests also expressed that any minor issues were worked on and resolved within an hour or less.
Hibiscus - A
Tai Flora - A
I used Hibiscus florals in Toronto and I cannot say enough. From the pics you will see that they did an amazing job on the flowers, boutonniers (sp), etc. Tia Flora did my bouquet (as it came with my wedding package), but note that this was displayed during the ceremony pics. The bouquet featured in the pics taken in my suite was from Hibiscus.
The site flowers and decorations starting with my bouquet, the bouts, the gazebo decorations, reception centerpieces, all GORGEOUS. I decided to really spend on decorations but as for the chairs and the debate between chair sashes AND covers,I decided to get the nice chair and just use a sash. Still pricey but worked out less than paying almost $20 per chair for both sash and covers. I was very pleased with the decorations!
Wedding Coordinator - A+
Chantelle Hemans is truly coordinator extraordinnaire!! ANything you need she will (outside of the impossible) get it for you!!!
Chantelle was my sister friend, mother and coordinator all rolled into one. I say this because I got quite sick the night before the wedding and at 9 pm at night she stayed to ensure I got all the meds I needed (by her own doing) and called me to make sure I was fine afterwards.
She asked a number of questions to ensure she was capturing my vision and also made recommendations if she felt it would work best to my advantage. For example, it got quite windy as I mentioned earlier and she noted that the beach gazebo, which was my first choice, could be an issue due to the wind and also because there was the risk of onloookers strlling by during the ceremony. She gave me a tour and walk through of EVERYTHING and was so patient with me. It was amazing to see how this tiny woman could juggle so many things at one time. She eeven came to our "rehearsal" to ensure we were comfortable with our places and to get a feel of everything.
She has an obvious great relationship with the external vendors and on my wedding day, she ensured all the decorations were carried out to the letter. Only glitch was that my fans and programs were not laid out only because the wind was so strong everything was blowing away in the wind, EVEN MY Champagne glasses for the toast!
The music, the deco, photgraphers, everything was lovely, I could not have imagined a more beautiful day. If you have any concerns about Chantelle just rest assured you are worrying for nothing, she will take great care of you.
The day of my wedding, not sure if it was a sabatoge move or not, but long story short, my sister managed to ruin my wedding dress with makeup 3 hours before the ceremony. I was so distraught and hubbie assured me that between he and my cousin and Chantelle they would fix it for me. Let's just say when I walked in from the spa after getting my treatment, hair, nails and makeup, the dress looked like new. Chantelle got all kinds of alcohol, an iron, pillow and worked her magic. CHANTELLE steamed the hell out of my dress and made it look like BRAND new after getting out the makeup stains! Again, can't say enough!
Spa/Hair/Makeup - A
Can't say enough. I brought my picture in of my hairstyle and Teresa worked her magic, same with the makeup. You can view the pics and see for yourself that they did an great job. Despite the fact that I do not wear makeup so I was excited at the transformation, maybe a little overly excited, but everyone agreed that they did a fab job.
Food - B
The menu was simple, however, the appetizers and meal was okay, nothing elaborate and gourmet but I heard no complaints. It was held at the steakhouse and appetizers were self serve.
Cake - B
The cake was a vanilla and chocolate cake with a cherry filling. Again, okay but tasty still. They also had options for lemon and carrot. Onne recommendation, bring your own flowers and decoration for the cake, as the samples sent are a little misleading. The cakes are two tiered white frosting so bring your own ribbon, flowers, etc if you do not want to pay extra for this.
From what I have seen they do very nice work, however, we are still dealing with a little quagmire. Our photos were not ready as promised so we are working through these details. Michael is not very organized so please be specific and firm in terms of expectations.
I may have left out other categories, so please fee free to PM me with any other questions.
I hope the sample pics uploaded okay into Photobucket. The website is:
Pictures by adrenepaulwilliams - Photobucket
Posted 12 March 2009 - 01:01 AM
Posted 12 March 2009 - 01:05 AM
Posted 12 March 2009 - 08:38 AM
Posted 12 March 2009 - 09:53 AM
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