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AH! Picking a resort is the HARDEST thing!


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#1 KJT1985

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    Posted 20 April 2009 - 11:43 AM

    We're planning our wedding for Feb 2010 and are having the hardest time picking a resort!! We stayed at Paradisus Playa conchal in Costa Rica back in August and I think we got spoiled. We weren't charged for the in-room safe and had unlimited dining at the a la carte restaurants (so we ate there EVERY night). These were things we really enjoyed and don't want to settle on for our wedding. We'd love to go back to CR but think the Paradisus is just too expensive for our guests. We're also trying to stay away from Mexico (which kinda bite since there's a million nice, affordable AI resorts there). AND my fiance's sister will be 16 at the time so adult only resorts are out as well. I don't particularly like the really tall hotel looking resorts (makes me feel cramped and doesn't seem relaxing to me). Has anybody come across a nice resort that fits our requirements while being less than $1500 a person/week? HELP! I know we're being picky and will have to settle on something....

    #2 Alyssa

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      Posted 20 April 2009 - 11:55 AM

      Quote:
      Originally Posted by KJT1985
      We're planning our wedding for Feb 2010 and are having the hardest time picking a resort!!
      Picking a resort was the hardest part about planning my DW - i looked at EVERYTHING - so many different Islands, areas, etc. It took like 6 months! it was so frustrating - just hang in there - you will know it when you find it!

      We stayed at Paradisus Playa conchal in Costa Rica back in August and I think we got spoiled. We weren't charged for the in-room safe and had unlimited dining at the a la carte restaurants (so we ate there EVERY night). These were things we really enjoyed and don't want to settle on for our wedding. We'd love to go back to CR but think the Paradisus is just too expensive for our guests.
      One of my friends is planning her DW at PPC in C.R. for April 2010 - they haven't released the prices to us yet - how expensive was it? anything else we should know? tips? (thanks!)

      We're also trying to stay away from Mexico (which kinda bite since there's a million nice, affordable AI resorts there). AND my fiance's sister will be 16 at the time so adult only resorts are out as well. I don't particularly like the really tall hotel looking resorts (makes me feel cramped and doesn't seem relaxing to me). Has anybody come across a nice resort that fits our requirements while being less than $1500 a person/week? HELP! I know we're being picky and will have to settle on something....
      i don't like tall resort style hotels eiter so i hear you - and it's ok to be picky - its your wedding!

      would you consider Jamaica??

      #3 natashakc

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        Posted 20 April 2009 - 12:03 PM

        Quote:
        Originally Posted by KJT1985
        We're planning our wedding for Feb 2010 and are having the hardest time picking a resort!! We stayed at Paradisus Playa conchal in Costa Rica back in August and I think we got spoiled. We weren't charged for the in-room safe and had unlimited dining at the a la carte restaurants (so we ate there EVERY night). These were things we really enjoyed and don't want to settle on for our wedding. We'd love to go back to CR but think the Paradisus is just too expensive for our guests. We're also trying to stay away from Mexico (which kinda bite since there's a million nice, affordable AI resorts there). AND my fiance's sister will be 16 at the time so adult only resorts are out as well. I don't particularly like the really tall hotel looking resorts (makes me feel cramped and doesn't seem relaxing to me). Has anybody come across a nice resort that fits our requirements while being less than $1500 a person/week? HELP! I know we're being picky and will have to settle on something....
        I completely understand your frustration!!

        It took Joe & I about 3 months of hard Trip Advisoring, internet surfing, and talking with travel agents to finally decide on the Gran Bahia Principe Bavaro in Punta Cana, DR.
        We had alot of the same concerns as you: we really wanted to stay at a luxury, adults-only resort for our wedding, but if we wanted any of our friends & family to actually come to our wedding, we had to find something more reasonable. Our budget was $1500 CDN as well, and the GBP came in right at that. It is made up of 3-storey Villas, so you don't feel like you are in some jumbo sky-scraper style hotel. The restaurant selection is great, the only downfall is they do not offer premuim liquor/beer for free. Not so great for all our Labatt beer drinking friends who cannot bear the thought of driking Presidente all week long:)
        Natasha & JoeGran Bahia Principe Bavaro, Punta CanaNovember 16th, 2009http://img.weddingco...vo5osqfalgz.png

        #4 KJT1985

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          Posted 20 April 2009 - 12:28 PM

          Thanks guys! Paradisus in Costa Rica was AWESOME! I think we paid around $530 a night in August - a week for the two of us (including flights was $5,000). The resort was beautiful. It's pretty secluded which I thought was great - no other huge resorts next door. Make sure you do the free sunset cruise - and book in advance! It fills up quickly but was beautiful (even though it was raining when we went out, only time it rained before the sun went down). We also went off shore fishing and did the canopy tour - A MUST! Here's a link to our vacation photos - Costa Rica - August 2008 pictures by Katie_T85 - Photobucket Sorry, there not all labeled or in order but you get the idea. I would go back in a heart beat. However, if you're a beachy person - it's not the best place. We mainly stuck to the pool. Vendors set up stands right outside the resort exit so you have to walk through them to get to the beach. They aren't pushy so it's not a big deal - just walk on by and say no thanks, they back off. The beach has a pretty decent slope to it and is made up of crushed sea shells so it's a little rough on the feet. We only went down there when we out to go kayaking/snorkeling which is a free trip with the resort. The water isn't very clear so if you've been somewhere tropical you won't be impressed but it was fun for us. We at least saw a squid and porcupine puffer up close - our guide picked up both and passed them around. We got upgraded to the Royal Service for free but honestly, I wouldn't pay for it. Basically, your building ends up with a butler and you get to enjoy the private pool. The standard rooms were larger and I actually liked them better (we stayed in one for two nights before finally getting the right room). Anybody can reserved dinner at the "private" restaurant - the only time it's private is at lunch time. It certainly was quieter than the main pool - never any kids that I saw - so if you're looking for that and think its worth the price, then you certainly could upgrade. I found the drunk foreigners in the main pool pretty entertaining, myself.

          Anyway, I don't WANT to settle but think we might have to. Jamaica is absolutely an option and the place I was leaning toward! I don't like the huge look of the RIU ocho Rio which is so popular among brides here but LOVE the look of the Gran Bahia - BUT they charge for the safe AND you only get 3 a la carte meals a week unless you upgrade and still only get 6 (not a big issue but i'm already paying enough money I don't want to pay more!). We thought about the Dominican Republic and the paradisus - since we loved the one in CR so much - but the reviews of the food are terrible and I've heard a lot of comments that the people aren't the friendliest. I'm just lost now! Haha.

          #5 ErinB

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            Posted 20 April 2009 - 12:38 PM

            Have you found a TA to help you look?

            I agree that choosing a resort is the most difficult part of the process! Here is a link to the por-con sheet I made. I find that making a list always helps. http://bestdestinati...om/forum/t34495

            You can look into the Superclubs SuperClubs Super-Inclusive Resorts, the Almond, and the Allegro chains. I believe they all offer properties for guests 16 and older. That way all of your invitees can stay in one place but you don't have to worry about screaming toddlers, LOL

            Island Outpost Properties Island Outpost - Exclusive Boutique Hotels in Jamaica & the Bahamas operates several boutique hotels in Jamaica and the Bahamas. You'll have to see what the ages are for each resort. The Sunset properties Sunset at the Palms are also family friendly and not "tower" hotels.


            The Rockhouse Rockhouse Hotel/Restaurant in Negril Jamaica is open to guests 12 and older.

            Good luck with your search

            #6 Alyssa

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              Posted 20 April 2009 - 12:42 PM

              Quote:
              Originally Posted by KJT1985
              Thanks guys! Paradisus in Costa Rica was AWESOME! I think we paid around $530 a night in August - a week for the two of us (including flights was $5,000). wow that is A LOT!

              The resort was beautiful. It's pretty secluded which I thought was great - no other huge resorts next door. Make sure you do the free sunset cruise - and book in advance! It fills up quickly but was beautiful (even though it was raining when we went out, only time it rained before the sun went down). We also went off shore fishing and did the canopy tour - A MUST! Here's a link to our vacation photos - Costa Rica - August 2008 pictures by Katie_T85 - Photobucket Sorry, there not all labeled or in order but you get the idea. I would go back in a heart beat. However, if you're a beachy person - it's not the best place. We mainly stuck to the pool. Vendors set up stands right outside the resort exit so you have to walk through them to get to the beach. They aren't pushy so it's not a big deal - just walk on by and say no thanks, they back off. The beach has a pretty decent slope to it and is made up of crushed sea shells so it's a little rough on the feet. We only went down there when we out to go kayaking/snorkeling which is a free trip with the resort. The water isn't very clear so if you've been somewhere tropical you won't be impressed but it was fun for us. We at least saw a squid and porcupine puffer up close - our guide picked up both and passed them around. We got upgraded to the Royal Service for free but honestly, I wouldn't pay for it. Basically, your building ends up with a butler and you get to enjoy the private pool. The standard rooms were larger and I actually liked them better (we stayed in one for two nights before finally getting the right room). Anybody can reserved dinner at the "private" restaurant - the only time it's private is at lunch time. It certainly was quieter than the main pool - never any kids that I saw - so if you're looking for that and think its worth the price, then you certainly could upgrade. I found the drunk foreigners in the main pool pretty entertaining, myself.

              Anyway, I don't WANT to settle but think we might have to. Jamaica is absolutely an option and the place I was leaning toward! I don't like the huge look of the RIU ocho Rio which is so popular among brides here but LOVE the look of the Gran Bahia - BUT they charge for the safe AND you only get 3 a la carte meals a week unless you upgrade and still only get 6 (not a big issue but i'm already paying enough money I don't want to pay more!). We thought about the Dominican Republic and the paradisus - since we loved the one in CR so much - but the reviews of the food are terrible and I've heard a lot of comments that the people aren't the friendliest. I'm just lost now! Haha.
              we went to a wedding at paradisus palma real in the D.R. a couple of years ago and had a great time. the food is good, not great but it is perfect for a big group and pretty affordable. the people in D.R. are super friendly!

              #7 KJT1985

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                Posted 20 April 2009 - 02:39 PM

                Quote:
                Originally Posted by ErinB
                Have you found a TA to help you look?

                I agree that choosing a resort is the most difficult part of the process! Here is a link to the por-con sheet I made. I find that making a list always helps. http://bestdestinati...om/forum/t34495

                You can look into the Superclubs SuperClubs Super-Inclusive Resorts, the Almond, and the Allegro chains. I believe they all offer properties for guests 16 and older. That way all of your invitees can stay in one place but you don't have to worry about screaming toddlers, LOL

                Island Outpost Properties Island Outpost - Exclusive Boutique Hotels in Jamaica & the Bahamas operates several boutique hotels in Jamaica and the Bahamas. You'll have to see what the ages are for each resort. The Sunset properties Sunset at the Palms are also family friendly and not "tower" hotels.


                The Rockhouse Rockhouse Hotel/Restaurant in Negril Jamaica is open to guests 12 and older.

                Good luck with your search
                I've looked into the SuperClubs but they're pretty expensive and Almond resorts had TERRIBLE reviews on trip advisor. The Island outpost resorts are also too expensive & we really want an AI - though I LOVE the Rockhouse hotel and want to spend our second week there if we choose Jamaica! I am working with a TA via email. Problem is that I don't think she knows specifically what we're looking for. She suggested some places initially and I ruled them out or considered them further based on my own research of them. Then most recently I was just asking for pricing on some specific ones. I can only imagine how annoying she would find it to have to look into safe charges for all the resorts she could come up with! haha.

                #8 KJT1985

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                  Posted 20 April 2009 - 02:40 PM

                  Quote:
                  Originally Posted by Alyssa
                  we went to a wedding at paradisus palma real in the D.R. a couple of years ago and had a great time. the food is good, not great but it is perfect for a big group and pretty affordable. the people in D.R. are super friendly!
                  Great to know! Guess it should stay on the maybe list. I'm just going to start an excel file with the resorts, locations, approx. prices, wedding package prices, tripadvisor ratings and other random notes (safe charges and a la carte limitations mostly) - then I guess we'll just have to sit down adn decide which fits our requirements best. I'll just be glad when we've chosen something!

                  #9 ~Debra~

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                    Posted 23 April 2009 - 11:41 AM

                    I know exactly how you feel! I had my heart SET on Hawaii. That was the only place I wanted to get married but it would've been entirely too expensive for our guests and I didn't want to get married in Mexico. I looked at The Dominican Republic and then I finally decided on Jamaica. It can definitely take a while. Good luck with your search!

                    #10 jk1101

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                      Posted 23 April 2009 - 12:39 PM

                      Picking my resort was the toughest thing for me as well. I did major searches on Trip Advisor as well and searched on google for all inclusive resorts all over the Carribean. There are quite a few that allow age 16 and up. Do youreally think all of your guests will stay a full week? The packages my TA is setting up for our guests are 3 or 4 night stays. That makes it much more affordable for them. Go through the island threads on BDW and you can see the descriptions of the weddings of the forum members too - that's what helped me make my decision!

                      Good luck!!!!




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