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Grand Bahama Resort Scouting March 2010


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#1 JenArge

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    Posted 24 March 2010 - 03:23 PM

    Hello! Just wanted to start by saying these are all my opinions and if someone booked somewhere else I am not trying to offend anyone! So I went on a "scouting" trip to Grand Bahama in March to book my venue ect. I read a ton on here and was so excited to see these places in person. So here I go
    (I apologize in advance for the length)

    1) Viva Wyndham:
    This is where we stayed (it's all inclusive and they had a great buy 2 night get 2 free). So let me first off say we did bad planning because we went during spring break but this was my only vacation time. I can't tell if the service we got was due to spring break rush or just them. They were nice because when we first got there we were told to put our bags down and they "pre-checked" us in because our room wouldn't be ready till 3pm. They gave us the bands so we could eat drink use the beach ect. Despite the spring breakers I liked the resort. The beaches are full of palm trees and are beautiful. There is plenty to due between the trapeze, nightly shows, non motorized water equipment, dance lessons ect. Yeah the entertainment isn't top notch but it's something to do. They also did go out of their way to give us a room away from the majority of the spring breakers, and the staff treated us different by giving us real glass glasses instead of the spring break plastic cups. They were really nice to my mom, and kept apologizing for the spring breakers. The rooms also were clean and well put together however the decor was kinda over the top. BRIGHT Tropical fish on the bed spreads and walls (not my cup of tea). The bathrooms through were big, clean, and great water pressure (I have naturally curly hair-pressure is everything!).

    So the negatives....when we did get there early we decided to ask about wedding packages and location ect. They sent us to 2 different people who finally handed us a binder full of pieces of misc paper and told us to look through it and ask any questions after. No wedding coordinator or anything. Even before I went to GB I had a hard time getting in touch with someone at the Wyndham to set up a meeting. So basically it was kinda crapy service. We even asked if someone could show us where the ceremony would take place and all we got was "later they could". We were hassled more by the lady wanting to sell timeshares then getting help for the wedding. Also the "reception" sites were kinda small. (one was the chinese restaurant they have-Bamboo) Bamboo is all white and really a blank canvas so it does have potential. HOWEVER I do have to throw in the fact that when we had dinner there the linens were FILTHY! Stains everywhere. Besides that the food overall at the Wyndham was ok. Most times it was lukewarm (my moms biggest complaint) but it was by no means horrible. I actually thought it was fine for an all inclusive.

    Ok well I realize I'm lengthy so I'll post Pelican Bay next.....

    #2 JenArge

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      Posted 24 March 2010 - 03:36 PM

      2) Pelican Bay
      The coordinator we met was Marva Munroe. She is VERY professional and at one point was the head of the grand bahama tourist board. She is very impressive and was very knowledgeable. Pelican Bay is in Port Lucaya and really across the street from the Radisson Our Lucaya resort. Pelican Bay is on the "island" or port side. Pelican Bay defiantly feels like a boutique resort. The grounds have plenty of green foliage which also gives it a more private/Secluded feel. The pool areas (they have 3 total) are beautiful and kept very clean. The coordinator did say Pelican Bay had the top European chef on the island (We didn't eat there so I can't comment). The gathering areas are inviting and clean. Next we visited the rooms. They are very island inspired and clean. I loved the rooms, even the basic rooms were large, clean, and opened to a pool area or gathering area. I thought the rooms were very nice (all with mini kitchens ect).
      So the reason I didn't choose Pelican Bay (though tempted) was because I am somewhat obsessed with palm trees being in my pictures for the ceremony. Don't ask me why, I just think something else in the picture other than sand is beautiful. Which leads me to talk about their beach option. They actually don't have beach front at the hotel so they take your guests by ferry/boat to a private beach (the bride rides by car so noone sees her!). The beach is rented out from a woman who lets the resort use her beach. Her house is in the "ritzy" part of town. So the beach...it is a nice beach, usual bahama white sand. However as I said before, I'm obsessed with palm trees or something green, and this beach is sand. I like the idea of a mini trip for guests to the ceremony ect but the beach killed this resort for me. I think it is defiantly a place to check out when you are there, this was just my personal taste.

      Lastly, they are building a huge new canal house which will have additional dining areas and meeting rooms. It is HUGE with beautiful views around Port Lucaya and patios that wrap around the WHOLE building. The brand new facilities will be beautiful and would be a great place to have a reception. If you are on Grand Bahama you should give some time to check it out.

      Ok...phew...only 2 more to go...next Old Bahama Bay

      #3 JenArge

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        Posted 24 March 2010 - 03:41 PM

        3) Old Bahama Bay:
        I really don't have much to say about this resort other than BEAUTIFUL! I didn't go into too much depth at this place because by that time I made up my mind between peaceful secluded wedding vs being at a place with other activities for our guests (few children coming and my crazy partying college roommates--and yeah we are almost 7 years post college!). The activities for guests won. I do want to say I'm thinking of doing our wedding at one place and then staying the extra time at Old Bahama Bay (so romantic and beautiful!) They coordinator there is Ms Harris (nice lovely woman). By the way if you want any contact information please PM me.

        Ok ladies and gents...last one...Our Lucaya (yup you guessed it----I booked here!)

        #4 JenArge

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          Posted 24 March 2010 - 03:59 PM

          4) Our Lucaya:
          Finally, this is where I booked! So I will try to make this short and to the point because I'm sure I'm not impartial anymore!.

          Our Lucaya use to be the Westin and Sheraton but now is basically all 3 resorts all under the Radisson name (all owned by one man). The three "areas" are the Our Lucaya Reef Village, Our Lucaya Raddison, and the Lanai Suites. So without gushing or getting getty I'll try to explain why I chose this place.

          As I stated before I already made the choice to stay where there was a wide array of activities for our guests to do. There is a casino, 2 golf courses (my FI is a HUGE golfer), Port Lucaya market with food/bars/shopping, the straw market. (Remember Pelican Bay is across the street and so has the same benefit). I wanted to add the point that most hotels don't have shuttle service and the main transportation is taxis and they can be expensive so this was another reason to choose here instead of stay at OBB and transport people all over. (we stayed a week and most of our $$ went to taxis--however keep in mind we traveled all over for wedding planning)

          Next, the "three" areas have different price points depending how much you want to spend or do. This also I felt gave my guests the flexibility. I'm a horrible decision maker and I like to give friends/family choices also. The staff there was so friendly . There are numerous pools and a extensive beach. The pools range from quite secluded to a more popular busier area near the reef village.

          In addition to the above I felt this resort had so many options of areas to have each part of our wedding. 3 gazebos, numerous beaches, inside accommodations for receptions as well as out, fountains, pool areas, and covered outdoor areas. There are just a ton of possibilities for all of your events. You can do a beach welcome reception, a gazebo ceremony, a pool side cocktail hour, with an indoor reception. Trust me, you can find something here. Not to mention the grounds were very well kept. They were re-grouting the pool areas and stone work while we were there.

          Just an FYI outdoor events have a noise curfew of 10pm (my friends/family are rowdy so we chose an indoor reception to stay up later!) The coordinator there is Faye Knowles (now she is getting a divorce so is trying to change back to Faye Hunt). She was helpful to the point where we booked on Tuesday and she arranged for us to meet the vendors and minister on Thursday. We did cake tasting, flowers, linens, ect. (I can talk about vendors another time). I just loved the grounds and felt I had so many options to make my wedding exactly what I wanted.

          Lastly I'm not getting married for over a year but I'll keep you posted how my wedding goes!!! Wow that was long but please let me know if you are curious about anything else or if anyone has anything else to add. Thanks guys! Hope it helps!

          #5 nathanielthompsonphoto

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            Posted 24 March 2010 - 05:50 PM

            What a great review! This will be very helpful as there isn't a ton of info on Grand Bahama on this forum yet. Our Lucaya sounds like perfect place for a wedding.

            I loved the wedding I shot on Grand Bahama last year - the island itself has a great combination of beautiful and unique locations at which to shoot.

            We were at Old Bahama Bay, and it was great - the rooms were beautiful and elegant, and the resort was very quiet, peaceful, and secluded. The wedding coordinator bent over backwards to help us find the locations we (myself and the B&G were looking for). But, you are absolutely right to choose Our Lucaya over OBB if you're looking for nightlife and other activities.

            I'm happy to pass along more info on OBB if anyone is interested. Here are the slideshows from the wedding and the TTD session.

            wedding: Click the image to open in full size.

            #6 Angel-in-Law

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              Posted 25 March 2010 - 02:01 AM

              JenArge. WOW. Thanks so much for the thorough review. You rock!

              I'm happy that you found your perfect destination wedding spot AND took the time to report on the other sites you visited. Our Lucaya was in the running for me, your wonderful review may have put it over the top had I read it before booking. hehe.

              Glad to hear you liked the new Canal House at Pelican Bay. Although I've booked at Pelican Bay I haven't picked the reception spot. It sounds like Canal House is the spot to pick. I'm excited!

              Thanks again. Your post is invaluable for GBI brides planning from afar!

              #7 radiant_princess

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                Posted 26 March 2010 - 07:09 PM

                This is a fantastic review! Thank you for taking the time to right it! I'm getting even more excited that we chose Our Lucaya too!! I actually changed my wedding co-ordinator to Faye Knowles...we were going to go with Janet Albury with VIP services but there ended up being to many extra fees (even fees for use of resort grounds...we're already staying at the resort). Anyway...the only frustrating part about Faye is the amount of time to return any calls or emails is quite lengthy!! She was accommodating to make a package that suited our budget and now I just want to know how I go about making an actual booking, the deposit/payement and how about a contract agreement...I haven't heard from her in a week I seriously wish I had the extra money to do a site visit...just so I could have everything in order!!
                "It's ok to throw rocks at girls...as long as they sparkle!!"

                PrInCeSs-JoY

                #8 MrsMiller2b

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                  Posted 05 April 2010 - 01:48 AM

                  Don't worry! Faye Knowles is the sales manager and once you book you will be working with a wedding coordinator that will be assigned to work with you. My wedding will be in June 2010 at Our Lucaya.

                  #9 radiant_princess

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                    Posted 18 April 2010 - 05:50 PM

                    Thanks MrsMiller2b! Finally got a hold of her and i guess she has been on holidays! She will be back April 19th to discuss further and assign us a wedding co-ordinator but our wedding date is secured for November 10th, 2010! All this time i thought Faye was the co-ordinator...sheesh! Anyway, your wedding is right around the corner! Good luck and I can't wait to hear all about your beautiful wedding!! Where did you decide to have your wedding reception?
                    "It's ok to throw rocks at girls...as long as they sparkle!!"

                    PrInCeSs-JoY

                    #10 MrsMiller2b

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                      Posted 25 April 2010 - 02:59 PM

                      Great! I'm glad you have things going now. Our reception will be in the ocean view pavillion.




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