It took me a little while to get to my review but here it is! Sorry for the wait! If you have read my planning thread or some of my other threads you know that I can be wordy, lol. Iâ€™m warning you now that this is long! Pics are at the end though.
We were married at the Majestic Colonial on Feb 3rd. We had 40 guests join us and we stayed at the resort from Jan 30-Feb 6. Our wedding was absolutely fantastic!!! If you are booked here you have absolutely nothing to worry about in regards to the wedding. They definitely know what theyâ€™re doing; the whole day went off without a hitch! I have mixed feelings about the resort itself since service seemed to be lacking (for a 5 star at least, I think that it may have been a low/understaffed week) and the food was hit and miss and the majority of our group got sick (from what I heard through Trip Advisor norovirus was going around Punta Cana at that time so that isnâ€™t really the resortâ€™s fault) but please donâ€™t let this scare you. All in all please take my comments in perspective, sick or not we had an absolutely amazing time as did our guests. We are so happy that we had a destination wedding at the Majestic!
Awful! Our flight was scheduled to leave at 4:15 pm and we got to the airport 3 hours early. Right before we were supposed to board the plane we found out it was delayed until 9 pm due to a mechanical issue. Since we had already checked our luggage and gone through security we decided to stick it out. At 8pm we found out that the plane wouldnâ€™t be leaving until at least 11 pm. I realize that mechanical issues are beyond anyoneâ€™s control but we later found out that the staff knew that morning that the plane wouldnâ€™t be leaving until at least 7 pm. None of the passengers were notified about the delay (we called before leaving home and kept checking the screens at the airport) until right before boarding and all we got for the 10 hours was a $10 food voucher (try finding a meal $10 or less at the airport!). Weâ€™ve complained to Skyservice but have yet to hear back from them.
A bit of a delay wouldnâ€™t have been a big deal but waiting so long, worrying about our guests being upset and having to carry around/watch my wedding dress just stressed me out. By the time we got on the plane I was exhausted! They had no closet to hang my dress so I had to put it in the overhead bin (which I knew before the trip) and I was so stressed the whole time about someone putting their luggage on my dress (even though my parents were guarding it). Normally I would have been fine but I think that because of the long day I just overreacted and lost it and ended up having a little cry on the plane (privately at least, lol, only FH noticed I think that everyone else was too exhausted). All in all I had absolutely nothing to worry about in regards to my dress, it arrived at the resort in perfect condition, I didnâ€™t even have to get it steamed! So moral of the story is donâ€™t worry about transporting your dress, it will be fine!
The only reason that I didnâ€™t give Skyservice and F- is that the flight back was ok.
Majestic Colonial Punta Cana (the resort as a whole): B+
The resort was beautiful and very clean. We were given an upgraded oceanfront room which was really nice. It seems like we were there during a less busy week as the resort never felt very full. The pool was beautiful and very large, again very clean. The beach was absolutely gorgeous! One of the nicest beaches weâ€™ve ever been too! We had no problems finding loungers (and we didnâ€™t have to play the towel game which I always hate at resorts!).
For a 5 star resort we found the service to be lacking. When we arrived at the resort many in our group had room issues. For example, we had a first floor room and the patio door wouldnâ€™t lock, our friendsâ€™ safe wouldnâ€™t work, room keys didnâ€™t work, etc. Even with repeated calls the repairman never made it to some rooms (we got our door fixed within a couple of hours though). Our friends whose safe didnâ€™t work got so frustrated that they just gave up and used another friendâ€™s safe.
Most (but not all to be fair) of the front desk staff seemed annoyed whenever you asked them anything and werenâ€™t the most helpful. We were given the wrong bracelets, told that wedding party members had to keep bracelets on for the wedding (we later found out that this wasnâ€™t the case but it involved talking to many people to sort it out), had to fight for the late (6pm) check-out that was part of our wedding package (they had already booked another couple in our room and at first said that we had to be out by noon but then gave us until 4), our restaurant reservations were booked for the wrong day etc.
I think that the most annoying part was that many people didnâ€™t get their rooms cleaned regularly (some for a few days in a row). When they did come they were very inconsistent on the times they came. This was annoying if you were in the shower when they walked in or if you wanted to take an afternoon nap. Normally I donâ€™t think that it would bother me so much (I have no problem reusing a towel) but we had to ask the front desk 3 times the night before the wedding to send someone to clean the room since it hadnâ€™t been done (we were taking pictures in the room the wedding day and I just wanted fresh towels too!). Also, we had room service included in our package and we got the complete run around trying to order something so the bridal party could have lunch before the ceremony (e.g. The brochure in the room said that room service is available at 11 am. When we called at 11:55 they said it started at 12 and to call back in 5 minutes. I said it was my wedding day and I was getting married in an hour but they still wouldnâ€™t even take my order until exactly noon. It was just strange!).
I do want to mention that although the service wasnâ€™t what I expected at a 5 star that most of the bartenders and servers were great (except for one miserable man at the lobby bar who wouldnâ€™t take womenâ€™s orders)! Also the spa was great.
I suspect that maybe we had service issues because it was a low week for the hotel and it was understaffed. When we left it seemed that they were gearing up for more activities that they didnâ€™t have the week we were there (beach Olympics etc..) so I expect that the hotel might be better when itâ€™s busier.
We donâ€™t go to resorts for the food really but I think that we had expectations that a 5 star would have better food. The food was very hit or miss. Sometimes really good, sometimes ok, sometimes awful. We had dinner at the steakhouse and werenâ€™t very impressed but when we went back for our romantic dinner it was excellent! Maybe it depends on the night? The main buffet always had something to eat but like all buffets it was repetitive and sometimes things were cold. We werenâ€™t at all impressed with the beach buffet (usually cold food, undercooked meat) so we usually just had lunch at the main one.
Probably 95% of the 42 of us got sick during the trip (confined to the room for a night or full day). At first we thought that it was just a case of too much sun and booze (which it very well may have been for some people) but it just seemed like too many of us to just be that. Maybe it was the food, maybe we caught a virus like norovirus on the plane or from other guests (it was going around Punta Cana at that time), weâ€™ll never know. Although it wasnâ€™t pleasant (I spent the whole last night in the room and my stomach took a few days afterwards to recover) itâ€™s the chance you take travelling and can happen anywhere. We tried to not let it get us down!
One warning: beware the burgers! Everyone who ordered one (including myself) found that they were extremely undercooked and completely raw inside. It didnâ€™t seem to matter where you ordered one either (buffet, beach buffet or the late night fast food place).
The drinks were on average good and plentiful, although you couldnâ€™t get some drinks like Caesars and they wouldnâ€™t make some mixed drinks. One thing to mention is that we were under the impression that the top shelf alcohol at the lobby bar was included. After speaking to reception they said that everyone has to pay for it and that itâ€™s not included in anyoneâ€™s package. At $6 a drink we passed on the top shelf stuff!
Travel agent/Wedding Planner (Wedding in the Tropics): A+
We used Julie Thivierge from Wedding in the Tropics (Home - Weddinginthetropics.com) to book our trip and wedding details and we are so happy that we did! Julie is awesome! She is fluent in Spanish and knows the resort well so she did all of the communicating with the resort/wedding planner for us. She made everything so stress-free! Iâ€™ve heard that some brides have had a hard time communicating with the wedding planners at the resort but Julie has such a great relationship with them that she could just call them and would often have answers to our questions within a few hours. She also translated all of our documents for us. She was well organized and was so detailed about everything. She also sent us off with a checklist and lists of all of the wedding details we booked and prices we agreed to pay so that there were no surprises when we got to the resort. All in all we would highly recommend her!!!
Resort Coordinator (Yadilis): A
Our coordinator was Yadilis and she was a sweetheart! When we met with her I had so many decorations to give her (I was a little worried that I went overboard!) but she took it all in stride. She had a list of everything that we had gone through with Julie and was really well organized. She went over all of our details and told us when she would get in touch with us on the wedding day. During the wedding she translated the ceremony for us and it was perfect! At the reception everything was set up as we asked with the exception of our kissing game (thatâ€™s the only reason why we didnâ€™t give her an A+ but really, thatâ€™s a pretty minor thing over the course of the day). It was all so beautiful! We were so happy with how everything turned out and we have her to thank for it!
We got our hair done at the spa and the ladies there did such a great job! We had appointments booked for 9am (2 BMs), 10am (myself and my MOH) and 11am (the two Moms). I went to the first appointment with all of my BMs and they ended up doing all of our hair by 10am! It was awesome! Plus they had fresh flowers to put in the BMs and Momsâ€™ hair which was a really nice touch. I was really happy with how my hair turned out in the end! With the exception of one of my BMs (I think it was more the style she picked) everyone else loved their hair too!
As a part of our wedding package DH and I got a free couples massage. This was also great. I have to say, we were really impressed by the spa (and it smelled so good there! I forgot to ask what the scent throughout the spa was but I loved it!).
Cermony : A+
We were married at 1pm on the beach. It was absolutely perfect!!! We brought our own chair bows and they looked great with the whole setup. Yadilis had also added some rose petals down the â€œaisleâ€ which was a nice touch. The weather was amazing, the judge was on time, the ceremony was beautiful and DHâ€™s brother read a hand ceremony that didnâ€™t leave many dry eyes in the crowd. We had a champagne toast on the beach immediately following the ceremony and it was a lot of fun to mingle with our guests.
Dominican Trio: A+
We loved them and so did our guests! We had them play Canon in D and the Wedding March at the start of the ceremony and they played Dominican music right after. Afterwards they played many songs while we mingled with our guests (sorry, I canâ€™t remember what they were but they fit the mood) and a one point the female musician (there were two men and a woman) started singing an Elvis song and she had the most amazing voice! They were definitely worth the money!
Flowers (Shavonâ€™s Silks): A-
I absolutely loved the look of our flowers (everyone thought that they were real) but I had to take a few marks off because the ribbon on some of the boutonnieres and my bouquet started unravelling before the ceremony and my Maid of Honourâ€™s bouquet started falling apart as she was walking down the aisle! They were beautiful though and for the price we paid we were still really happy with them.
Videography (Video Punta Cana): A+
Florian from Video Punta Cana was recommended to us by Julie. Before the wedding we always joked that we were probably going to get a super cheesy, low budget video that we would laugh over. Boy were we ever wrong (ok our â€œtestimonialsâ€ were cheesy but that was more us, lol)! Our video is amazing! Florian was so professional and captured everything perfectly! Our wedding was on the Weds and he was back at the resort on the Sat to show us the finished product. It was perfect; he didnâ€™t even need to edit it. We are so happy to have such a wonderful souvenir of the wedding (that is in perfectly clear HD, definitely not low quality looking). We highly recommend him!
We had a private reception at the Wet Bar from 6:30pm to 11pm. Best choice ever! Our reception was a blast, decorated exactly as we wanted and I have to say that the food was excellent.
When we first started planning the wedding I got a lot of flak from some people (mostly FH and the parents) about paying extra to have the private reception. In the end everyone apologized to me. The private reception was one of our favourite parts of the day and our guests all gushed about what an amazing party it was! I just knew that for us it wouldnâ€™t have felt like the type of wedding we wanted if we had gone the free dinner route so I stuck to my guns on this one! We wanted a head table, speeches, the dances right after dinner etc. and we got exactly what we wanted. It was so beautiful; I still canâ€™t get over how much I loved it!
Just a note: it wasnâ€™t as expensive as it could have been since we had the dinner from 6:30pm to 8pm that included beer and wine and didnâ€™t start the open bar until 8pm (it went until 11pm). This may be an option for some couples who think that they have to have the open bar all night. Also, the bartenders were so much fun! They were hilarious and seemed to be having a great time all night! All of our guests loved them and they definitely earned their tips!
DJ Mannia: A+++
Music was so important to us, weâ€™ve been to weddings with bad DJs before that completely killed the mood of the party so we wanted to have the best DJ we could get. All I can say about DJ Mannia is WOW! Carlos was so professional, we met with him on the Tues to go over our entrance song, wedding party, speeches etc. and he left us feeling so confident about how the reception was going to proceed. Throughout the reception he acted as MC, had the speeches flow perfectly and played the best set list! He and his assistant (I feel bad, I never caught his name) read the crowd so well, the music was incredible! Some of our guests told us afterwards that he was the best wedding DJ they had ever encountered. They even handed out balloons at one point and that was such a hit! You have no idea how crazy a bunch of grown adults can go with balloons, lol! It was a pretty crazy party (in a great way). Just to give you an idea of how great the sound system and party was, when we got back home I was on trip advisor and a woman was actually complaining about how loud our wedding was, lol. Part of me felt bad at first but really, it was over by 11pm and it followed the resortâ€™s policies (apparently she was at the front desk complaining though, lol).
Our Incredible Photographer Eva Hadhazy: A++++++!!!
Eva was by far our favourite vendor. Not only is she an amazingly talented person, sheâ€™s also one of the sweetest most genuine people weâ€™ve ever met! We loved her and so did all of our guests!
Originally we had booked another photographer but due to some issues (itâ€™s discussed elsewhere in the forum) we werenâ€™t comfortable having him as our photographer anymore. This was about four months before the wedding and I was beginning to worry about not having a photographer. I had booked a boudoir photoshoot with Eva for DHâ€™s wedding gift and after being so impressed with her work (this was even before I saw my album) I asked her if she would photograph our wedding. I was so happy when she said yes! I was even happier after my photoshoot because she made me feel so comfortable and beautiful and the album for DH was incredible (I felt like a Victoriaâ€™s Secret Model...and believe me, Iâ€™m no model). It kind of ended up being a funny situation though because we couldnâ€™t tell DH how I had found her. He didnâ€™t put all of the pieces together until he got his album on the wedding day! BTW he LOVED the album!
Iâ€™ve always been a firm believer that everything happens for a reason and that things always work out in the end and in this case I was absolutely right! Eva being our photographer was absolutely meant to be! Her photos are so amazing and Iâ€™ve never met anyone so passionate about their field. All week she was constantly â€œonâ€, we really had no idea how someone could have that much energy! Not only did she shoot our wedding, she also shot an engagement shoot on the Monday and a TTD the day after the wedding. We have 1000s of pictures and we love them! We have no idea how weâ€™re going to narrow them down for albums! She was so fun to have around and she just has such great positive energy to her. We canâ€™t say enough good things about her, she really was one of the best parts of our wedding day and week!
Wedding Party Gift (Mikeâ€™s Marina): A+
As a thank you to our wedding party we booked a private catamaran trip through Mikeâ€™s Marina for our last day. It was exactly what we needed after all of the stress and excitement of the wedding! It was so relaxing and the crew was great! I would definitely recommend it especially since it was nice not to be crammed onto a boat with a ton of other people!
All in all although we have mixed feelings about the resort itself we are so happy that we got married there! The wedding was perfect, our guests had a great time and above all else weâ€™re married!!! I would definitely recommend a destination wedding at the Majestic to other brides.
I would like to leave you with a little advice though. Remember to take some time for yourselves, we only stayed one week and it was very exhausting (weâ€™re honeymooning in Peru in August, yay!). We adored having our friends and family with us but we also felt like we had to be â€œonâ€ for the whole week and that we were always on display (ok yes I know that we were the bride and groom and that we should have expected that but it was a bit much at times, we were very happy to go back to our anonymous lives after the wedding, lol). Donâ€™t schedule too much during the week and if you must schedule something (besides the wedding of course) make sure that itâ€™s just a day for you and your hubby! Happy planning everyone and thanks so much for reading!
Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions!
Here are a few pictures, you can see more at this link: Picasa Web Albums - 10465200237980679...
***Just as a note, all of the pictures in the Picasa album are courtesy of Eva Hadhazy Photography and cannot be copied or reproduced without her permission***