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Girl's Scouting Trip to Tulum area November 11-15


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#1 Sycamore Tree

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    Posted 09 September 2009 - 01:51 PM

    Hello everyone - I want to announce a Girl's Scouting Trip to the Tulum area November 11th-15th. We'll be visiting:

    Hidden World's Adventure Park
    Tulum Ruins
    Akumal for snorkeling
    Local hairdressers
    Local florists
    Hotels
    Restaurants

    PM Malisa!

    #2 sunnyee

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      Posted 09 September 2009 - 02:22 PM

      I will be at the GBP Tulum starting Nov 13 for a week. Doing a girl's vacation and combined site visit/meeting with the wedding coordinator.

      Happy Scouting!!

      #3 tracyann

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        Posted 09 September 2009 - 04:18 PM

        Good Luck with your scouting trip!

        We have a trip planned in early October to visit a few resorts-- do you have a list of questions for the resorts already- if so, would you be willing to share it? I am trying to compile a list of questions to ask each place and I am sure I am forgetting something!

        Thanks!
        Tracy

        #4 ChristinaP

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          Posted 09 September 2009 - 05:34 PM

          Quote:
          Originally Posted by tracyann
          Good Luck with your scouting trip!

          We have a trip planned in early October to visit a few resorts-- do you have a list of questions for the resorts already- if so, would you be willing to share it? I am trying to compile a list of questions to ask each place and I am sure I am forgetting something!

          Thanks!
          Tracy
          Hi Tracy,

          Do you know which resorts you are planning on visiting in October? I am wondering if the Palladium would be one of them?

          #5 Destination Scout

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            Posted 10 September 2009 - 12:11 AM

            In Tulum there are many questions that you probably don't need to worry about:
            Do you have enough electricity to run a DJ booth & lighting (20 amps)?
            If not, will you provide a generator and set up?
            May I use a caterer of my choice?
            Are there additional charges to do so?
            Do you have european plan pricing as well as all inclusive?
            Do you have someone at the resort available to steam wedding clothes?
            What is the server to guest ratio?
            How late can your event run?
            Is it possible to pay an extra fee for a longer reception?
            Do they have decorations that you can rent vs their standard free decorations?
            I recently learned that an all-inclusive resort was charging an additional event fee for dinner, when I asked why I was told that it was because they had a special event menu. I also learned that if I wanted to use their regular menu I didn't have to pay the special event fee.
            If you have a small group or group that will not likely stay the minimum number of days for your wedding package ask about group rates instead of wedding packages.
            Of course you'll want to see pictures of past events, locations, and transportation options.
            How will your plans change if the weather doesn't cooperate?
            Outside vendor fees?
            I think there is a broad range of questions you can ask. I think it's easier to just go knowing what you want and making sure they can provide it. Always ask for samples or photos.

            If anyone would like to join us in Tulum just let me know.

            #6 Destination Scout

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              Posted 16 September 2009 - 11:47 PM

              I just wanted to post an updated itinerary:
              All of the hotels have offered a standard site visit rate for a total savings of over $600 for the 4 nights

              Hotels:
              Nov. 11La Reve (Playa del Carmen)
              Nov. 12Blue Tulum
              Nov. 13Mil Amores
              Nov. 14Ocho

              Excursions:
              Hidden Worlds
              Tulum Ruins
              Snorkeling in Ak-ul Lagoon

              Meals/Cocktails
              Casa Miel
              Mil Amores
              Ocho
              Blue Tulum
              El Pez
              Hechizo
              Personal chef that we could use to cater
              Ginger
              Cesiak
              Charlie's

              #7 MnM2Mexico

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                Posted 28 October 2009 - 11:47 AM

                Sounds like fun! I'll be particularly interested to hear about the activities if you are going to post reviews. I'm booked for Dreams Tulum May 2010- and would love to know more about the area!

                Also, i have a random question-- which will probably sound silly-- but if you happen to note how much postcards are - on average- in the area- the info would be super helpful! I'm thinking of having my guests fill out a pre-stamped postcard that my fiance and I will get when we get home, instead of having a guest book.

                Buying the postcards for Mexico in New York is, i think, more expensive... just trying to be sure.

                Can't wait to hear all about it!

                #8 Destination Scout

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                  Posted 03 December 2009 - 02:13 AM

                  So we are back. Here is what we learned on our trip.

                  Le Reve Tips
                  Look for the "Tides" sign off the 307
                  The Le Reve sign is very small.

                  Don't judge the hotel by the approach
                  This is one of the craziest roads I've driven in Mexico. After rain, some of the potholes could be mistaken for ponds.

                  Other Tips
                  Don't park by the yellow or red curbs
                  That is a no parking zone. Police will take your license plate instead of issuing a parking ticket.

                  Lodging
                  Hotel Lunata
                  My favorite place on 5th Ave. It's a very cute, garden style pure old Mexican style hotel. I'll be staying here the next time I want to spend the night on 5th.

                  Mesquito Blue
                  Beautiful fun decor and pool area. Very quiet for being on 5th. 45 rooms or suites. Great for large parties, but will not host weddings.

                  Mesquito Beach
                  Related to Mesquito Beach, this also has great decor and pool. Set on the beach, it has a great restaurant. This part of the beach is very busy. One of the girls mentioned that it would be like getting married in front of 500 of your not so closest friends.

                  Blue Parrot
                  Didn't tour the property but wanted to mention that is on the beach right next to Mesquito Blue. For those of you looking for a private wedding on the beach - this is not the location.


                  Basico
                  Thumbs down. Very fun 80's look - that hasn't seen a paintbrush since. The place smells really bad.

                  Activities
                  Drive into Playa and walk 5th Ave.

                  Restaurants and Food
                  Le Reve
                  Tasty and nicely presented. I thought the tortilla soup was a little hollow but every one else raved about their food.

                  Transportation
                  Cancun Rent a Car
                  I highly recommend them. Their price includes all taxes and insurance. The car was clean and reliable.

                  Top picks in Playa

                  I've always been reluctant to consider Playa del Carmen for a wedding. This isn't a sleepy little fishing town any more and there are skyscraper hotels from Cancun to Xcaret. However, I found a gem at Le Reve. Next to the Tides, between Aventura Palace & Catalonia Maya, this hotel is found in the center of a small bay that hides the two mammoth hotels from view. The covered, open-air restaurant is large enough to host your dining and dancing. The 25 rooms have air conditioning and hair dryers. The hotel is decorated with locally made tile and light fixtures.
                  Doranna is also a fantastic hairdresser. Located just off of 28th St and 5th Ave. she managed to whirl up two great updo's that perfectly matched my client's tastes (pictures still to be posted).


                  The Road to Tulum

                  I had heard about Al Cielo on the road to Tulum. Word has it that it is on a lonely beach near Barcelo. The hotel has 4 rooms right on the beach and a huge restaurant large enough to feed 50. This makes it an interesting option for weddings that require blow driers.
                  Al Cielo certainly is on a lonely beach. It's quieter than Tulum - more like Sian Ka'an without the trash.
                  It's also next to Essencia, which is a gorgeous hotel. Once a hacienda built by an Italian Duchess, this is Mil Amores but larger and fully staffed. They have an organic spa that is to die for. They roast the herbs outside and many of the treatment rooms have dipping pools surrounded by the jungle. The treatments are reasonably priced at $130/massage. The hotel rooms are not at $600/night. Beautiful location though. I'm definitely recommending this for the girl's spa day.





                  My "To Do" List

                  Found a place to rent generators
                  Found local party furniture rental
                  Found two local florists
                  Found hairstylist & make-up artist




                  Dinner by Mindy

                  Mindy was kind enough to cater a private dinner for us at Mil Amores. We had the entire restaurant to ourselves. This is the way all scouting trips should go. Two fantastic couples, 3 amazing tasting courses, 2 bottles of wonderful wine in one of the most romantic places in Tulum. The wind was softly blowing, we were surrounded by candles and I fell in love - with everything.
                  Mindy really did an outstanding job. The shrimp was just spicy enough, the beef was juicy and the flan was creamy.




                  Tequila

                  My husband is a tequila connoisseur. We probably own 30 bottles of tequila. The last time we were in Mexico he fell in love with this really cheap bottle of Tequila "Orrendain" (the brand, not the type). He asked me to bring him home a bottle of Orrendain Joven. The last day in Mexico I wandered around and found him two bottles, paying no attention to the "EXTRA" typed below the joven, in a different font. Low and behold it's Extra Joven - extra young. Not the same. Oh well. I'll just have to go back.





                  Tips

                  Everything takes longer
                  It takes 20 minutes to drive down the beach road. So don't. Rent a bike or stay put.


                  Order a private dinner on the beach.
                  Everyone is so accomodating. Just ask and it will happen. It will be the most romantic night of your life - until you do it again.

                  Lodging
                  Mayan Hostel Tulum
                  Still don't like this hostel, but the client's were at Blue Tulum and it was close. Thumping music and drafty walls made this an unpleasant stay.

                  Blue Tulum
                  Was pleased to stay here in for two nights. Comfortable beds, hot clean water, and super accommodating staff. Really wish they had a beach and put the outlets in places I could find them.

                  Ocho
                  25 rooms. Some close to the ocean, some not so much. The selling point on this hotel is their great restaurant. It is a large raised palapa. Their beach has beds and both the restaurant and beach have plenty of helpful staff. They are currently closed, but we all have our fingers crossed that they will be up and running again soon.


                  Las Ranitas
                  I have hope for this property. 25 spacious rooms. They have a pool, tennis courts, massage cabana and a large restaurant. This hotel has good bones and a new owner that promises to have a remodeling project finished by the end of the year. They plan on repainting and replacing all of the textiles. I will be e-mailing them for frequent updates.


                  Mil Amores
                  Mil Amores - 1,000 Loves. My heart stays here every time I leave. The beautiful spacious rooms, the airy palapas, the intriguing architecture. The staff that bends over backwards to please your every whim. I heart Mil Amores.


                  Shambala Petite
                  Very cute almost oriental hotel. 9 Rooms and prideful owner on site.


                  Amansala So this is where the party people stay! This fun hotel is run by 3 25 year old hot boys. It's a bikini boot camp/yoga retreat/hotel for the single and fit. This is where your young single friends should stay.

                  Activities

                  Spa at Essensia
                  Absolutely beautiful and serene. I could spend the entire day here by myself, or with my girlfriends, or my husband....maybe I just wouldn't leave.


                  Massages by Margo
                  While I did not have time to receive a massage, one of my couples did. They both said that they were amazing massages. She even got the butt really well- which is usually a miss hear in the states. I look forward to my massage next time.


                  Hidden Worlds
                  I dropped Couple #1 off at Hidden Worlds while I went and finished my to do list. They came back happy and excited. The first cenote is a hoot to zip line into, the second cenote has very cool snorkeling. Skip the skycycle. It goes WAY TOO SLOW.


                  Friday night at Mezzanine
                  If you want to "club it" in Tulum, this is where you would go. The music was loud, the entertainment was - well, entertaining and Mezzanine is just a cool venue.


                  Sunday Night Salsa Lessons
                  My old friend Romero wasn't teaching this week, but I know he's still around. The salsa lessons let anyone join in and have fun. Afterwards the music continues so that everyone can practice.




                  Restaurants and Food

                  Cocktails at Cesiak Sunset at Cesiak can't be beat. There's no where else in town where you can watch the sunset of the lagoon.


                  Pizza at Om Eat your heart out Jim.


                  Mindy - caterer
                  She used to run an "intimate dining" company in San Francisco. Now she raises her family in Tulum. She has excellent roots in the community that allow her to find staff to cater private events. Her husband is a sommolier, so you could say they are a match made in heaven - and we reaped the benefits.


                  Teetotum Tulum
                  I don't think I ordered right here. I had the breakfast burrito, and it was ok. Everyone else had the coconut french toast and they all ooh'd over it. Very cute swedish interior.


                  Cetli
                  Yumm.... The appetizers were different spreads for our homemade bread. We greedily asked for more bread. Then we ordered the grilled fish and veggies, and the challa and chicken empanada with green mole sauce. It was earthy and rich with spices without being too hot. The owner Claudia is very sweet and is so proud of her restaurant. She is considering catering for us.


                  La Zebra
                  Always consistently good food and service. A great stage and dancing area for large parties.

                  Transportation

                  Collectivo
                  There is now a collectivo that runs up and down the beach road. Hooray!


                  Bike
                  After the second day of scouting I really get tired of driving this bike. I truly suggest getting a bike for a most relaxing stay.


                  Walk
                  I woke up every morning and took a walk on the beach. How fantastic is that? I met Ed, because I thought he looked like Kevin from the Tulum forum. A great guy from Canada who's been traveling for a whole year. I'm uber jealous.

                  Enjoy the pictures
                  http://www.flickr.co....7622799699315/

                  #9 Destination Scout

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                    Posted 03 December 2009 - 02:14 AM

                    And to answer the postage question. It is 105 pesos for the stamp only. I'll follow up on the cost of the postcard.

                    #10 Sycamore Tree

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                      Posted 03 December 2009 - 10:27 AM

                      My FI and I just returned from our second scouting trip and we wish for a third. Tulum is the ultimate wedding and vacation destination for us. We spent one night at Playa Azul, one at Milamores and two night at Ocho. We dined at Charlie's, Daddy Blanco's, Playa Azul, Hechizo, Zamas, Ocho and La Zebra. In Akumal, we lunched at Turtle Bay Cafe.*

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                      Ocho Tulum
                      The hotel was built in 2007. The breezy beachfront cabana contains screen doors, a plush king size bed with ceiling fan overhead, plenty of lights and electrical outlets, seperate toilet room, bathroom with double sinks and double shower. The small porch at the entrance to the cabana has a table, two chairs, and a hammock. The grounds are immaculate and there are plenty of beach beds for guests. The restaurant sits under a large palaypa and has plenty of seating and lounge areas. The manager, Alejandro is professional and friendly. Coffee is available every morning at 6:30 am. Continental breakfast includes plenty of bread, fresh fruit and orange juice. Very good wine selection at the restaurant. For weddings, they offer half a dozen buffet-style and sit-down menus. Prices are competitive for wedding menus. Accomodation prices are very high and you must rent all rooms or accomodations for 46 people. Hotel is unfotunately closed.*


                      Playa Azul*
                      We stayed in a beachfront cabana. The cabana contains a comfortable king size bed and a step up to a small bathroom with one sink, a toilet and a small shower. Outside the cabana is a small sitting area with a table and two chairs. Continental breakfast includes 3 slices of toast, fresh fruit, coffee and orange juice. The restaurant is a double-level large palaypa with youthful funky wall art. The art can be covered with fabric for formal events. The grounds are immaculate. The hotel prices are very good. The hotel has a generous amount of beach and a beach bar with swings. The manager and chef are young and friendly. They offer exciting menus for events at very competitive prices.

                      Milamores
                      We stayed in Room 4 of Corazon Maya. Milamores has the widest expanse of sandy beach. We ordered and received our room super-sized. The bed was comfortable. The mirror was even super-sized. The bathroom is large with a mosaic tile tub/ shower. The terrace is large with a table and chairs. What is so special about Milamores, besides it having the best beach in Tulum, is the large tastefully decorated common areas and the staff.*


                      La Zebra
                      Lunched on grouper ceviche, guacamole and chips, chicken empanadas and chicken tacos. Food was good. Met a couple who raved about their prehistoric fish soup entree. The Sunday night salsa was sexy. Us white folk did not show off our steps. Left credit card and retrieved it the following morning from the honest staff.

                      Hechizo*
                      7:30 pm seating. We had way too many margaritas prior to dinner but we enjoyed every bite. The dining is comparable to the finest restaurants here in Boston. The food is French. We had the duck and also a beet salad as appetizers, scallops and yellowtail snapper for our mains.*

                      Zamas
                      We met the chef Paul Bentley and sampled his papas bravas, guacamole, beet salad and two homemade pasta dishes, one was a simple mainara while the other was braised short ribs and mole. His food had the most flavor and "levels" as foodies call it.

                      Had a makeup trial with Lili. She did a nice job creating a glamorous look for me. Her prices are very reasonable.*

                      Met Charlie at his restaurant. He explained the spiritual ceremony performed by him and his partner Maria. We booked him for our ceremony.*

                      We recommend the cenotes near Coba.
                      Choo-Ha and Tamcach-Ha. The second cenote was our favorite. It was a deep pool with an 80 foot ceiling. The are two diving/jumping platforms.*

                      Things to note for guests:

                      Topes noted with regular signage looks like lego (some do not have signage). Largest tope at Ana y Jose.*
                      *
                      Other rules of the road-wear seatbelt!!! To pass you driver indicates with blinker and determined tail gate.*

                      Do not rent from Hertz over charged us.

                      Visit the ATM in Tulum Pueblo. Many places in Tulum are cash only.

                      Must haves: major credit card, bug spray, benedryl, anti-itch cream, bring sunblock, hat/visor, flip flops, phone charger, pesos.*

                      Wifi limited and turn off data roam on your cell phone.
                      *
                      Make sure hotel provides free wifi

                      Playa for Starbucks and salons and partying.

                      Salt water shower in non all-inclusive hotels.

                      No hairdryers at non all-inclusive hotels.

                      Not all hotels have wide beaches

                      Kiddies - Xcaret Xplor

                      Akumal good shops lower prices than Playa for silver jewelry.



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