Bumbles' Paradisus Riviera Cancun Review
Posted 26 May 2009 - 09:47 PM
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Cheers to the PRC brides! You ladies are so creative, supportive, and have made planning such a fun experience. Thank you for sharing all your tips, pictures, reviews and thoughts. I don't know what I would have done without you!
Last, but not least, cheers to all the BDW brides and grooms! You guys have given me so many great ideas and your positive attitude is just energizing and motivating. I hope that my review will be of some help to you guys and I encourage everyone to contribute to BDW, a community we have all benefited from, by posting a review after their wedding!
Now, on to the review...
Everyone had a blast! The resort was gorgeous and the ocean was so relaxing. We arrived at PRC on Friday afternoon after a long morning of early flights to find out that we had been upgraded to the Coba Suite in building 1. Thank you Perla and Kay! The room rocked! Huge balcony with views of the ocean and pool, table w/ chairs, lounge chairs and large hot tub! The Suite had a living room, 2 bathrooms, kitchen, bar area and large windows that spanned the length of the room. Mmm! A nice jump from our original garden view room : ) Friday consisted of going to the pool, lunch, and dinner. The resort was really quiet. Saturday was a busy day as our guests and many others arrived at the resort. We had a meet up that evening at the lobby bar where my friends and I started a conga line : ) Sunday, we went to the spa and had a shower at lunch. So much fun and the weather was perfect.
The Big Day
DH and I said were going to Mexico rain or swine. Well, there was no swine flu around, but it definitely did rain! More like poured for a while. I was extremely bummed that my outdoor reception had to be moved indoors (can’t risk getting expensive dj equipment wet!), but thankful that the weather was clear for the ceremony and cocktail party. Also, I feel lucky that L’Hermitage was not open that night, so we held our reception there. It was a great option compared the ballroom. Definitely look at rainy day options! I was adamant that it would not rain (haha), so I didn’t even think about alternatives. Definitely got lucky with the restaurant being available that night. So, aside from the rain and crazy hair trial, everything was perfect!
Take it all in because the day will be over before you know it. Just enjoy the special day! Getting married surrounded by family and friends in a gorgeous setting was absolutely amazing and more joyous than I could have ever imagined.
Posted 26 May 2009 - 09:48 PM
Ceremony - beach
Cocktail party - outdoor terrace
Reception - L'Hermitage Restaurant
We stayed Friday – Tuesday PRC and then moved down to Playa del Carmen for the honeymoon
Resort: Paradisus Riviera Cancun
Travel agent: Elite Travel Management
Photographer: Elizabeth Medina Photography
Videographer: gift from friend
DJ: Mannia DJ
Makeup Artist: Guillermo Flores, Ultrafemme
Invitation: Wedding Paper Divas
Save the Date: DIY, Aylee Designs template
Table numbers, escort cards, programs: gift from friend
Dress: Romona Keveza L732 - Hannelore's Bridal
Veil: Toni Federici, London - Hannelore's Bridal
Shoes: J Crew
Bridesmaids dresses: J Crew
Bridesmaids gifts: tote bags,J Crew, Gap, Tommy Hilfilger
Groom's suit: John W. Nordstrom - Nordstrom's
Groomsmen's gifts: Flasks - Engraved Flasks - Personalized Liquor Flask Gift Sets
Groomsmen's attire: Old Navy (shirt), Dockers (pants)
Cake topper: Etsy seller, Mudcards
Prelude: How Forever Feels - Kenny Chesney
Reasons to Love You - Meiko
Mexico - James Taylor
Love, Love, Love - Tristan Prettyman
Free - Donavon Frankenreiter
Processional: I'm Yours - Jason Mraz - Guitar Tribute Players
Processional, Bride: Pachelbel Cannon in D - Barrymore Chamber Orchestra
Recessional: Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I'm Yours - Stevie Wonder
First Dance: When the Stars Go Blue – The Corrs and Bono
Last Song: Don't Stop Believin' - Journey
Posted 26 May 2009 - 09:49 PM
The resort was true to the gorgeous pictures on their website. The check-in/out process was easy, but note that the resort was not running close to full capacity during our visit. The rooms were clean and beautiful. Many of our guests were upgraded to an ocean-view room. Only person had to switch rooms due to ants. I knew that there was sea grass in the beach and it didn't bother me while we were swimming at all, but I wish it wasn't there for our beach ceremony. Not a big deal to me, but something to consider if PRC is on your short list of resorts.
Many of the restaurants are under renovation, so we only had the chance to sample the Reef Grill menu, Carribean Market Place, and the Tequila Grill. It was really disappointing after hearing great things about the other restaurants. We didn't have a problem with reservations, but our situation was definitely an abberation because of the renovations and low number of guests due to the swine flu.
The Reef Grill: Dinner was okay, nothing special.
Caribbean Marketplace: Everyone loved breakfast. The buffet had a variety of fruits, pastries, yogurts, and egg station (huevos rancheros, omlettes), etc. Mixed reviews on dinner buffet Some nights were good and others were just okay.
Tequila Grill: Lunch outside on the terrace outside was good, although not much of a variety throughout the stay. The guacamole is delicious at PRC and I literally ate my weight in guacamole!
Service (Restaurants, Bar, Housekeeping, Reception Desk): A+
All the staff members were extremely nice and accomodating throughout our stay. The kindness was graciously returned through tips. We ordered room service and laundry service -- all requests received a timely response.
The resort did a great job of steaming my dress (I had it packed in a rolling carry-on bag). I waited for the staff member to pick up, so I could explain in person that the top should not be pressed â€“ I also drew a small picture on the form : ) Check the room before you let your FI walk in though! My dress was totally hanging on the bedâ€™s canopy without the garment bag on.
Spa and Salon: F
I would not recommend any of the spa and salon services I had at PRC: pedicure and hair styling. The room was plain and did not have a relaxing atmosphere you would expect to find at a spa. It was just a plain room with 1 pedicure chair, 1 table for manicure, and a couple of stations for hair/make-up.
Pedicure: It consisted of soaking, 10-second foot exfoliation from a jar of old looking scrub, nail shaping and trim, and polish (she didn't apply a base coat). No buffing or de-roughing. The overall result was disappointing and not worth the money.
Hair trial: After seeing so many former PRC brides with beautiful hair dos from their wedding pictures, I wasn't worried about getting my hair styled there. Boy, was I wrong. Perhaps there is a new stylist (Leticia, the stylist in aforementioned posts was not present) or I just had bad luck with the one I received, but, without hyperbole, the hair trial was horrible. The stylist did not know what she was doing at all. I wanted a half-up style with large curls and brought in 5 pictures of the style at various angles. When she started working on my hair, it was obvious that she was not confident and inexperienced in what she was doing. She pulled back more than half of my hair which made me look like I have a mullet, so I asked for more hair to be let down... but then she proceeded to tie the hair on the right side of my head! Sorry, but this is not the 80s! The curling iron looked old and had some hairspray gunk on it... Anyway, you get the idea so I will spare you the other details. Needless to day, I cancelled my appt for the wedding day. My friends ended up doing my hair for the big day which turned out perfectly. Have a back-up plan, ladies!
Wedding Coordinator: A+
It was a pleasure working with Perla. She was always incredibly nice and helped me work within my budget. Communication-wise, I think my experience was typical of many dw brides: sometimes really quick email responses and other times it seemed to take forever. Closer to the wedding date, the responses came more quickly. There were some issues with outside vendor fees, but I think it was more of the resort's policies than the wc. In the end, the fees and policies I was quoted where honored. When it was time to get on the plane, I felt like Perla and I were on the same page and all the minor decisions/details can be made when we meet in her office.
Perla greeted us at check-in where we also confirmed our meeting and dress rehearsal time. During our meeting, we went over the wedding details she had kept in an Excel file that also had pictures I sent. Don't forget to bring a copy of your wedding day timeline! I picked out my candle centerpieces and table linens (many options) during that meeting. I also brought my cake topper, guest book, programs, escort cards, etc for her. For the dress rehearsal, she confused the days, so we had our own rehearsal in the lobby bar. We then rescheduled for the morning of the wedding, so everyone will know where to enter and stand on the beach. Not a big deal, but I would have rather been on the beach : ) During the ceremony, Perla cued the wedding party on when to walk. At the reception, she worked with the DJ to keep track of timing for the cake cutting, first dance, toasts, etc. She also helped my with me bustle. Overall, PRC brides should feel confident as Perla was fantastic!
Elizabeth Medina Photography: A+
Not only is Elizabeth a talented photographer, but working with her has been such a pleasure! Our communication via email was always in a timely manner. On the wedding day, I really enjoyed working with Elizabeth because of her calm demeanor (all brides get a little nervous, no?) and that she likes to have fun with photography. DH and I were up for anything as was she, so we had a blast during the photo session -- none of the awkwardness I thought I'd feel around the cameras! I can't wait to see our photographs!
Carlos from Mannia: A+
After reading glowing reviews of Carlos of Mannia, I was not worried at all about the music -- for a good reason as THE RECEPTION WAS A BLAST! Aside from a "do-not-play" and "must-play" list, he selected perfect music for the evening. A few friends commented on how they loved the all the songs. Professionalism, easy communication, and great dj skills makes Carlos a great choice!
Guillermo Flores from Ultrafemme: A+
I have found the perfect makeup artist! It was such a challenge for me to find a mua in Cancun, but I lucked out with Guillermo. A former makeup artist for Christian Dior and now at Ultrafemme (think Mexico's version of Sephora), his professionalism, focus, and artistry skills were evident. Also, he uses high quality products from Chanel, Dior, etc. The bridal package included a makeup trial and wedding day application, cheeck and lip color for touch ups (or you can choose a spa treatment), and transportation costs to the resort. Prior to our trial, I had sent him a picture of myself and a few inspiration photos. During the trial, we determined that I wanted a natural, yet glamorous look and he went from there. In the beginning, I was not used to having makeup applied for photography and was in a little bit of shock. My friends there LOVED it though! Seeing that I was not comfortable, Guillermo asked me to rate my makeup and what he could do to make feel comfortable and happy. I really appreciated that he was determined to making me look and feel great with the makeup on. We took some photos outside and I loved the results. I kept the makeup on for an hour longer and felt great! I asked DH for his opinion and he loved it and thought that it looked natural - just what I wanted. In the end, it was just me not used to wearing more makeup than usual.
On the wedding day, I kept the look from the trial and felt just fabulous! We were running about 20 minutes little late from stying the hair, but he was understanding and even offered to stay for touch-ups. My mom was in room and he kindly her makeup, gratis : )
I definitely recommend him!
Elite Travel Management: A
Kay was great in working with our guests during the reservation process as well as taking care of those who needed to cancel during the swine flu ordeal. Pre-departure, we received a nice zip folder with our travel information and luggage tags which was really useful. She also arranged car roundtrip airport transportation and kept us updated on guests who have made their reservation and also sent Perla a list of guests. Definitely work with a TA - they're great!
American Airlines and the Cancun Airport: A+
I had no problems flying AA. We had a weather delay on the outbound flight, but our 2 hour connection at DFW gave us plenty of time to make our next flight. On the return flight, also allow plenty of time between connections as our flight was delayed due to weather. The Cancun airport is beautiful! It beats a lot of the airports in the US! Upon arrival, if you get stuck in one of the booths offering tours and such, just tell them you've already booked your tours online if you want to get out. The person we talked to was very friendly, but I knew we would be there forever. We were so close to the beach - no time to waste!
Everything went perfectly. Perla put us in touch with our officiant, Alex, who delivered a great ceremony. It was a energetic with a dash of humor, yet maintained the significance of the day. We emailed him a reading and the rest of the ceremony was up to him. DH gave Perla my iPod of our songs for the ceremony. I loved my canopy! Perla did an excellent job in recreating it from the pictures I provided. Not sure, if any other grooms experienced this or if it's just us, but dear 6'2" husband's head could almost touch the top of the canopy! Haha... it was funny.
Flowers: I received the shade of pink roses I requested although the blooms were not as open as I would have liked, same for the bm bouquets. I had given Perla fabric from the hem of my dress to wrap around my bouquet. I assumed the florist would trim the fabric to an appropriate size for the bouquet, but this did not happen. Instead, the entire strip of fabric was wrapped around the stem regardless of size. It looks fine from afar, but not good for detail shots! I should have been more specific. The groom's boutonniere was delivered to the ceremony site, so DH didn't have it during the pre-wedding photos. Be sure to specify that you would like it to be delivered to the groom's room if you want the flower before the ceremony.
Cocktail Party: A?
I completely missed the cocktail party, but the guests said it was nice to hang out on the terrance with drinks and the hd were okay. We went with the hd that came with the Fantasy Package.
Food: We selected the Carribean Buffet for our guests. After a hit/miss experience at the buffet, I was really impressed on how the resort really stepped it up for the wedding. In fact, the food was great! The honey chicken and curry rice was really stood out. I wish I had eaten more! We had a tres leches wedding cake which was not bad but a little dry : ( Table service was great.
D©cor: Perla did a great job at arranging the escort cards, table numbers, candles, putting flowers from the canopy on the table guest book. The tablecloth was a darker shade of yellow than what we had selected, but it worked well with our new location. I don't know if she intentionally changed the color to compliment the restaurant. Honestly, I noticed it, but it didn't matter. As requested, there was a maraca at each seat : )
Music and Dancing: Our dj, Carlos was fantastic. There was a good amount of space for dancing in the restaurant. When the dancing started, Perla arranged for some of the servers to pass out the glow bracelets we brought. Glow bracelet on a silver platter, anyone? : )
Finally, 10 pm came around and we were given the option to extend the party for an hour. Seeing that some of the guests looked tired and had early flights, we decided to end on a high note and party back at our suite. So, a bunch of us filled up that hot tub on the balcony, ordered room service, and had a blast!
Hope this review helps and Iâ€™m glad to address anything I may have missed!
Posted 26 May 2009 - 10:18 PM
View from where wedding party and bride walks out to the ceremony.
View from the other side.
L'Hermitage restaurant. The space closest to the viewer is the dance floor and the dinner is served on the other side of the wall.
Coba Suite and Views
Large balcony with hot tub
Posted 27 May 2009 - 12:36 AM
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Posted 27 May 2009 - 03:40 PM
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