*****REVIEW FROM JUNE 12TH WEDDING AT DRC******
I just got back from our wedding that was on June 12th at DRC and it was amazing! I just want to let you all know that you have nothing to worry about- once you get there everything will be taken care of as this team knows what they are doing. I too had Lisbeth and the day I got there they told me she was gone. Ana stepped in and didn't miss a beat! She is wonderful and so is the whole wedding team.
We flew from LAX to CAN direct on Virgin and it was great. We did book our travel vouchers and the transport was easy and fast from the airport. Once we got to the hotel we were taken to the preferred club check in area where we checked in very quickly and were given a master suite which was amazing- right on the water and about 1500 sq ft (room 2400). Bellman brought up all of our bags and boxes. We had kitchen, living room, dining room, floor to ceiling windows throughout the whole room, 2 hot tubs and huge bathroom. Maid service was great. Just make sure to use the safe and lock up cash and high end items.
The drive up to the resort is a little strange- it's a long dirt road then you hit the hotel. Once you walk in its beautiful- just like the online photos.
We paid to have our gift bags delivered ($3 each) since we had over 30 rooms and it was worth it. Some didn't get them at first bc the do not disturb signs were on the door- that is the only reason why. The bellman did a great job wtih the bags. We had tote bags with sunscree, hangover kits (tylenol, advil, pepto, tums, bandaids, etc), door hangers, ring pops, gum, trail mix, candy, chapstick, suduko, playing cards, altoids, Do not disturb signs, peanuts, and welcome letter in them. Everyone used the bags (Dollartree.com) and they were perfect!
Make sure to tell your guests they have to get the resort coupons at another desk- you can use them at the spa, dinner or upgrades for wine. they do not give them at check in.
Meeting w hotel:
We got in Wed night and met with Ana on Thursday morning at 9 am. She went through everything with us, cost, etc and we paid then. We also met the photographer, DJ and banquet manager at this time. I did set all of this up before we got there. All took about an hour.
We were quoted $12 per person last year by Gabby (who is no longer there) and they tried to get is to pay $15 per person and not close the restaurant. My TA called and straightened this out right away. We set up a slide show and had a set menu of filet and seabass for 55 guests and it was great. They closed the restaurant for us and we had it the whole night. I think its worth the money because with such a big group it's hard to get everyone together other than the wedding night. They had a bar and wine that was passed around to each table.
We had the ultimate package so we booked our couples massage for the first morning we were there and it was great. Amazing spa- I had 2 massages, my hair and nails done and it was perfect. They did exactly what the picture looked like- bring a photo as the english is not good in the spa. I paid for all of my girls nails, hair or facials for the wedding day. I think 1/2 of our group used the spa and loved it!
Book your appts before you get there or you will not go! Do it the first day so you are not burned and distracted.
All of the food is great-I did read some people getting sick as some people do in Mexico. I did get sick one day but I did eat and drink everything at the resort! I would say 5 out 70 did get a little bug but that is to be expected. The French restaurant is amazing and the Japanese one is too. Pool bar is awesome as we ate there everyday. Room service was good and pretty fast.
The pools are great. Kids club was good for a few of our little ones that liked it. They do have things going on all day but we just hung out most of the time. The Barracuda bar has swings and it in the sand down at the beach. We played volleyball and snorkeled a lot. Bands in the lobby were good and the late night dance place was always full of our group after dinner.
The DRC website says FREE golf but there is nothing free about it. there are a TON of hidden fees so please let your guests know this. we only had 4 people golf but its about $100 - 150 per person if you rent clubs, play before 2:30 etc.
I brought my own pink and yellow chair bows and pink table overlays from wedding linens direct (super cheap), flowers for the cake and cake topper, card box, message in a bottle favors for the tables, fan programs that were on the chairs with bubbles and that was it! I got (2) lantern towers from the hotel and all of the flowers from them and that was all we needed! I would not recommend using an outside vendor unless you are bringing in lots of furniture etc as the hotel has everything. Our reception was on the pool deck and cocktail hour was by the jacuzzi. Mariachi band was awesome!!!!!!!!!!! they were hilarious and had everyone laughing as I saw them the next day and loved them!
We used adventure photos who are onsite (santiago) and he was great- we don't have the pics yet but will post them when we get them.
Used onsite DJ- gave them our list and they play exactly what you give them. They were fine- light up dance floor was perfect and they have small fireworks which was fun!
BM and I had lunch and then hit the spa from 1-3. Then we finished getting ready in my room. The wedding started at 5:30 pm at the Gazebo and I could see them setting up from my room which was neat! Ana had delivered all of the flowers to the guys room and our room and they were perfect- just what I sent in the photos. As long as you send pics, that is what it will look like.
We went down at 5:40 ( a little late) and music was played perfectly. We brought our own officiant and she wrote a personal ceremony which was awesome. it was about 20 min and we did a sand ceremony and had our moms bring up the sand which was nice.
We had a toast and then did 2 group photos. Then our group went to cocktail hour and we did photos on the beach.
Reception was a blast- they called everyone's names and we did our entrance then our first dance right away. We ate, speeches, dances w parents and then danced the rest of the time. We sat at our own table because we didn't want to split up the wedding party w their spouses. I liked that as we could enjoy each other for a little bit before talking to everyone and dancing. We went with the Carribean buffet and it was awesome- all the food is great. We had the tres leches cake and didn't upgrade it for more guests as many people didn't even eat the cake! it was square with 3 tiers and was perfect. . I brought a few flowers from home since they were expensive to have real ones, no one knew. There are dessets on the buffet too
OH- 1/2 hr before Ana asked if I wanted to bring the wedding inside bc of rain but we didn't and were lucky because it started raining when the wedding was over! it was actaully nice because it was so hot! I went up and changed and danced all night in Desires
The next day we went around to the different departments and tipped all of them as they did a great job. Jorge is the banquet manager and works with Ana and is great too- he was all over it and is very professional.
I know that communication is not the best here but they do know what they are doing and most of your wedding will be planned when you are there! I work in a high end hotel in CA and am not use to slow repsonses but do not worry- it will get done!!!
I will post pictures when I get them so you can see the wedding. If you have any questions about ANYTHING, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.