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My Cabo Site Visit Review


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#1 NYJen

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    Posted 09 July 2007 - 01:10 PM

    Hello Ladies,

    Sorry it's taken me so long to get this review posted. (American Airlines lost my luggage on the way home and then I played "catch up" at work for 2 days plus it was my niece's b-day this weekend.) And I'm apologizing in advance for this being so long.

    Ok, so we went down to Cabo Saturday, June 30th. Got in that afternoon and checked into Marbella Suites en la Playa. Not the fanciest hotel but the rooms are big, clean and inexpensive. Couple of things though about this hotel. Although it's directly on the beach (that's nice) there are no phones or TV's in the rooms. Not the worst thing in the world but if you have any issues with the hotel, you can't call the front desk, you have to walk up to the reception desk to talk to them about it (not fun.) However, each suite is basically an apartment with a kitchen that consists of a fridge, microwave and sink. The hotel also has a TV room and a Phone room. In the phone room, you can call the US and Canada for free (something about the calls being routed through the internet so they're free. That was cool.) And one last thing about the hotel - there's no elevator. So unless you can get a staff member to carry your bags, you're stuck lifting them up and down the stairs. But this is a good hotel to recommend to guests that may be looking for inexpensive lodging.

    Next, we went to Don Emiliano's for dinner and to check them out for our Welcome Dinner. We had already eaten there before and not only did we love the atmosphere, we loved the food. So this was pretty much a no brainer for us. It will probably end up being somewhere in the range of $50pp for food and unlimited beer, soda and water. We'll pay on consumption for any other beverages. We did have an appointment at La Panga on Monday night just to compare at least one other restaurant - but the manager Jacobo never showed up. Even after I confirmed our appointment with him only 3 days before. To this day, he still has not emailed me to apologize for missing our meeting. (Apparently that's just the way things are done in Mexico, no one takes appointments too seriously. Oh well.)

    Sunday, July 1st - we had a free day since no one really works on Sunday's. We checked out Costco, and a few hotels (as potential lodging for our guests.) Everything is very expensive. We went to the Westin and after a $58 buffet breakfast for two (yikes!) we inquired about rooms. They couldn't show me a room since they were apparently filled to capacity but they printed me a price list and the cheapest room was $527. It's a nice hotel - it's not THAT nice. The Esperanza told me that if we had our wedding there, we would need to pay for all our guests room up front, in advance. I told them "Thanks, but that's not going to happen." So needless to say, by the end of the day, we were a bit depressed thinking that it was OBNOXIOUS of us to ask our friends and family to come to Mexico and spend that much money for a hotel. So we went to the Palmilla for lunch and I swear if I saw one more "plastic" looking woman with a Gucci bag I was going to vomit. Sunday was not a good day.

    Monday, July 2nd - We started our day with a 9:15AM appointment to meet cake diva Jennifer Hatton. She was confused with our appointment time and wasn't really ready for us. But she gave us some cake samples and they were very good. Next we went to meet our planner Varinia at the Hilton. She introduced us to Emeline who then took us around the hotel. Emeline was great - she showed us everything. From the many different spots we can have our events to what the actual hotel rooms look like. They are offering us a lot of perks for having our wedding there (free nights for us, room upgrade, etc.) The rooms are beautiful and much more reasonably priced as compared to the other hotels we saw. However, the menu is expensive. The plated dinners are actually very reasonable, it's the cocktail hour and drinks that will have us taking a second mortgage on our house. Next stop was to tour Villa Vista Ballena. After extensive research on the rentable villas in Cabo, this is the only villa in the Corridor that fit our requirements. We decided to stay away from Pedgrel since you have to stop the music and move the party inside at 10:00PM. (If I rent a villa, the whole point is to be able to stay outside - Pedgrel didn't make sense for us.) Anyway, Vista Ballena is a gorgeous villa and definitely large enough to seat our 60+ guests. The cost to rent the villa is $10,280 - and that's just for the space. It doesn't include food, drinks, tables, chairs, china, etc. Other problems with the villa - there is no parking outside. Any guests that drive themselves will have to park in a lot down the road (not cool.) And since it's on a cul-de-sac, buses can't get in. So I would have to rent multiple vans to bring my guests in (not liking that.) Good things though - music can stay on until midnight.

    Next we met with the Lazy Gourmet (in case we decide to have the wedding at the villa.) Again, (like most vendors in Cabo) they weren't prepared for our 1:00PM appointment. But we got to meet Tracey and we went over the ideas for the wedding. Her team is very good and they are very familiar with Villa Vista Ballena. However, they were very busy last week so I'm still waiting for the proposal from her. I'll let you know what it says when we get it.

    After lunch we went to the Cabo Surf Hotel. Maybe it was a bad time of day, but I did NOT like it. I think it was just too casual for me and it smelled very "beachy." I'm a city girl so if I do go to the beach, I'm more of a "beach elegant" type - not a "beach bum" type. Let me just clarify so I don't offend anyone. It's a great hotel for a more casual, relaxed wedding. I think I'm just looking to do something a bit more upscale.

    Last, we met with Juan Carlos the photographer. He's just amazing. I knew from the moment I first saw his work, that I only wanted him. Yes, he's expensive - but so worth it. I just can't wait to get that coffee table book!!!

    So, all in all, it was a good trip and we got a lot of info. Looks like we're leaning towards the Hilton rather than the villa. Only because logistically it makes more sense. Having the wedding at the resort will be easier for us and our guests. If we have it at the villa and some of the guests want to go home before the van comes to pick them up, I know I'll end up being pulled away to help them call cabs. Plus what if people don't want to leave. Then I have to kick them out. (Hello, it's my wedding night - get the hell out.) Plus, also doing it at the Hilton will eliminate any babysitting issues. And when the wedding itself is over, the Hilton offered to set up a bonfire on the beach. Everyone can go upstairs, get changed and come down for the bonfire. We can even bring our iPod and speakers and stay out as late as we want. They said the iPod on the beach is no problem. So to me, this sounds like a better option. Although, I'm still waiting to see what the Lazy Gourmet has to say.

    Well, thanks for reading. Let me know if you have any questions or comments.

    #2 Janet

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      Posted 09 July 2007 - 01:14 PM

      Thanks for all the details. I am so bummed that Jacobo was a no-show. What is it with people?

      It sounds like the Hilton is a good choice for you though. The beach there is great!!

      #3 TammyB

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        Posted 09 July 2007 - 01:19 PM

        Jen, tell me more about the coffee table book, did you see any forum girls in there? How fun would that have been? I wish we could have afforded to get the book, Oh did Juan happen to mention the prices of the books? He had told me awhile back that he was going to start offering a cheaper one.

        #4 NYJen

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          Posted 09 July 2007 - 01:19 PM

          Thanks Janet. I'm finally getting excited about this whole process. Up until last week, I was so bummed about the amount of work involved (and from such a long distance.) But now that we got to see everything in person, I feel so much better about it.

          Did you know your wedding pics are on the Cabo Surf Hotel's website? How cool is that??

          Tammy - last I saw on his website, the coffee table book was $2200. (I know it's a lot of money and my fiance almost croaked, but I DON'T CARE!!! I'll stop eating if I need to save money to pay for it. That's how much I LOVE it and MUST have it!) Juan did tell me that he was recently at a trade show in Vegas and saw a newer, better Coffee Table Book that he's going to start offering. He didn't say though if it was cheaper or more expensive. But definitely ask him about it. I think he said he would be putting it on his website soon.

          #5 Nrvsbride

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            Posted 09 July 2007 - 02:27 PM

            Jen thanks so much for the review. I'm glad you liked the Hilton and it fit your needs. In sounds like you had a good time and you got to research a lot of different options. I think everyone in Latin America is more laxed about keeping appointments. No one ever sees the reason to be on time. LOL.

            #6 jak27

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              Posted 09 July 2007 - 02:43 PM

              Jen, thanks so much for your review! I'm sorry you had such a frustrating start to your trip, but it sounds like you have narrowed your options and will be able to make some great decisions!

              Sorry you had so many problems with appointments...hello, you traveled to Mexico for it, it's not like you can just pop by sometime. That drives me crazy!

              Can't wait to hear how the rest of your planning goes!

              #7 Janet

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                Posted 09 July 2007 - 03:57 PM

                Quote:
                Originally Posted by JenandBrendanWedding
                Thanks Janet. I'm finally getting excited about this whole process. Up until last week, I was so bummed about the amount of work involved (and from such a long distance.) But now that we got to see everything in person, I feel so much better about it.

                Did you know your wedding pics are on the Cabo Surf Hotel's website? How cool is that??

                Tammy - last I saw on his website, the coffee table book was $2200. (I know it's a lot of money and my fiance almost croaked, but I DON'T CARE!!! I'll stop eating if I need to save money to pay for it. That's how much I LOVE it and MUST have it!) Juan did tell me that he was recently at a trade show in Vegas and saw a newer, but better Coffee Table Book that he's going to start offering. He didn't say though if it was cheaper or more expensive. But definitely ask him about it. I think he said he would be putting it on his website soon.
                I know, I am that crazy lady who emailed Armando to have him post them. In my defense, he did ask! haha.

                Your wedding will be great - keep it simple and low stress!

                #8 ajncooter

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                  Posted 09 July 2007 - 08:40 PM

                  great review... thanks for sharing!

                  #9 TammyWright

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                  Posted 09 July 2007 - 09:51 PM

                  great review jen!

                  yes, they are on mexico time so when they are late, just grab a marg-y and watch the ocean...there are worse things in life.

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                  #10 cessyboston

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                    Posted 10 July 2007 - 08:05 AM

                    thanks for the review...good luck planning
                    Married oct 10th 2008 ~ proud parents to Miss Sophia Emma feb 2, 2010




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