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My Melia Varadero Review!!

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#1 krista_nf

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  • 39 posts

    Posted 26 April 2010 - 10:59 AM

    We just got back from our wedding at Melia Varadero… and I’m not sure if I can even describe how amazing it was. Everything was perfect and it turned out even more beautiful than I could have imagined.

    The resort:
    Beautiful!! We had 35 people in our group, and everyone loved it. The resort is about 20 years old, and could probably use a coat of paint here and there… but I’d go back in a second. The main building is a 5 story building with an open air atrium in the middle. It was easy to find your way around, and everything was close. No big walk to get to your room or the beach.

    This was our first trip to Cuba, and I’ve heard that generally the food isn’t great. I didn’t hear a single complaint about the food the whole 2 weeks we were there… it was great! The buffet had a huge selection for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Always lots to choose from, even for the pickiest of eaters.
    The resort has 3 A La Carte restaurants and Chinese one next door at Sol Polmares that you can book as well. The 10 minute walk to the Chinese restaurant is definitely worth it… it was delicious!

    Our wedding coordinator (Daili)
    I can’t say enough wonderful things about this girl, she was soo helpful and took care of everything for us. After we arrived we realized she had upgraded our room to a superior suite… it was incredible. Instead of the standard room the rest of our group had, our room had a separate living room and bar area, 2 bathrooms, a walk-in closet, and a balcony that was big enough that we actually could have had the wedding reception there, lol. We met with her the first day we arrived and went over all the details. She had drinks and dessert delivered to us while we talked with her. I gave her the wedding favors and place cards we had and she arranged them on the tables the day of the wedding. She had a little rehearsal with us the day before just so that everyone knew where they were supposed to be, and she arranged a table for our whole group at the buffet for a sort-of rehearsal dinner as well. She also gave us reservations to all of the a la cartes for various nights during our stay, and before we left she had “just married in Cuba” Tshirts for both of us. She was just amazing and made the whole experience wonderful and totally stress-free.

    The wedding:
    I’m not even sure where to start… the whole day was wonderful! We started at about 11 am when we got our hair done at the salon at the resort. I had requested that we get it done earlier in the day because I didn’t want to be rushed just before the wedding. I was kind of nervous about the hair and not knowing what to expect – I had gone to my own hairdresser for a trial run and brought lots of pictures of the whole process. It turned out beautiful – I think it was even nicer than when my own hairdresser did it (I hope she doesn’t read this, haha) My MOH, bridesmaid, and my mom also had their hair done after me, and they all turned out great.

    Our ceremony was in the wedding gazebo, which overlooks the beach. It was supposed to start at 3pm, but because our flowers were late arriving, it didn’t start until about 3:30. I was getting a little anxious waiting, but we didn’t really stress over it. It was ok for us seems we were waiting in our air conditioned room, but I think our guests were getting a little hot waiting in the sun. The ceremony was beautiful, and pretty fast. As soon as it was over the champagne started flowing. They kept popping corks for our guests while we were off taking pictures.

    We had the most amazing photographer. We had tried to arrange a destination wedding photographer to bring with us, because we had heard that the resort photographers in Cuba aren’t generally great. It didn’t work out because the guy who I had been contacting seemed to disappear and all of a sudden didn’t return any of my emails. So we went hoping for the best with whoever was going to be shooting our wedding from the resort. We were so happy with who we got – he wasn’t really a “resort photographer”, he works for Crucero Del Sol (which is a huge tour operator in Varadero, the same people who do the catamaran tours to Cayo Blanco) . He was wonderful! He had an awesome camera, and really knew what he was doing. He kept us laughing and having fun all during the pictures. He had a lot of shots in mind, but he was open for any suggestions. He also came back for our TTD shoot a couple of days later… which turned out amazing! He came to our room a few days after the second shoot, and showed us all the photos on his laptop. He had 2 sets of DVDs burned off for us with all the original photos. We could have had them printed as well, but because I work in a photo lab and my husband is a photographer as well, we were more interested in the digital files rather than the actual prints.

    Our reception started at 6pm. We had a private reception at the Carilda Oliver Salon, which is outside next to the wedding gazebo, but covered with a roof. It was beautiful out there, watching the sun set over the ocean while we ate. We had chosen the menu previously, and it turned out great. We had the best wait staff, who ended up dancing with us later in the night. They had a music system set up for us to use, and a microphone for speeches. We went with an MC for the night just to keep things organized and to announce our first dances n things. After our meal was finished, they cleared the tables back to make a dance floor… and then the party started. We cut our cake later in the night rather than right after supper. We had already had dessert with our meal, so we figured we’d wait until the cake would actually get eaten. The cake was great and as soon as we made the first cut for pictures, the wait staff cut it all up for us. We danced and partied until 11:30, we couldn’t stay out there any longer because there was guest rooms just above us and the noise would have been a bit much.

    Well I think I’ve covered most of it, I feel like I could sit here and write for a week and still not think of everything. We had a wonderful 2 weeks and people are still talking about just how beautiful the wedding was. I’m so glad we decided to do a destination wedding… it was everything I could have dreamed of and more. Thanks so much to everyone on this forum – you guys were so helpful! If anyone is considering this resort for your wedding or even just a vacation, I promise you you won’t be disappointed… we’re already hoping to go back for an anniversary :)

    #2 Fireweed

    • Newbie
    • 77 posts

      Posted 27 April 2010 - 11:07 AM

      Thanks for your review! Do you have any pictures we could see??
      I'm considering this resort right now. It's between a couple of different resorts, but this one just feels 'right' somehow, even though it's a bit pricier than the other ones.
      What's the name/email of the wedding coordinator there?

      #3 AlexsBride

      • Jr. Member
      • 401 posts

        Posted 27 April 2010 - 02:21 PM

        Well it sounds like you had a beautiful dream come true wedding! Congrats and enjoy your life as a happy newlywed!
        Mom to two beautiful girls, Izzy and Delilah and about to marry their Daddy! :)

        #4 krista_nf

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        • 39 posts

          Posted 27 April 2010 - 05:56 PM

          The wedding coordinator is Daili and her email is bodas.mva@solmeliacuba.com. She is actually filling in for the regular wedding coordinator, Joyma, who is on maternity leave... but she did a fantastic job.

          I have tonnes of pictures, but for the life of me I can't figure out how to attach them to a thread, lol... sad I know. If you send me your email address I can send you some :)

          #5 Fireweed

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          • 77 posts

            Posted 27 April 2010 - 10:35 PM

            Thanks! I sent you a private message so check your forum inbox!

            How much was the wedding package and what did it include?

            #6 Tilly in the Sun

            Tilly in the Sun
            • Jr. Member
            • 450 posts

              Posted 27 April 2010 - 10:47 PM

              Congrats Krista!! I am so glad to read your review! It sounds like you had an amazing wedding and vacation :-) I was so close to picking this resort, but I for sure want to go there for a regular trip especially after reading your review. I'd love to see pics too!

              #7 krista_nf

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              • 39 posts

                Posted 28 April 2010 - 09:55 AM

                Thanks guys! Fireweed - Our wedding package was actually free, because we had over 17 people staying with us. But the packages are listed here


                I emailed you some pics :)

                #8 newflores

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                • 15 posts

                  Posted 01 May 2010 - 08:09 PM

                  Originally Posted by krista_nf
                  Thanks guys! Fireweed - Our wedding package was actually free, because we had over 17 people staying with us. But the packages are listed here


                  I emailed you some pics :)
                  HI Krista_nf,

                  Do you mind sending me some pictures to your wedding too?? I am also deciding between this resort amongst others.. but this is one of the best ones i have in mind. please send your wedding ceremony gazebo pics and some dinner reception pics as well as any other pics you'd like to andrya.wong@gmail.com

                  I hope you don't mind me asking, regarding your photographer, how much did it cost for the photo session for your wedding? since he's not part of the hotel, did u have to purchase a day pass for him?? Do you know if we can actually book him in advance? i am in desparate need of looking for a photographer too. Did you have a videographer? or does the resort have one for extra costs? or did your photographer also did video? Sorry for sooo many questions!

                  you mentioned that you had a private dinner reception in the beach with the roof, was that charged extra? what kinda meals were served? (buffet? main course?)

                  i have sooo many questions!! i relly hope you don't mind! Regarding legal documents, did you and your husband just bring in your passport? does anything need to be legally translated into spanish?? Both me and my fiance have never been married before, so i am not sure if all we need is passport and if we need to have it legally translated or not. It would be super helpful if you can answer these questions!!

                  If you don't mind ONE last question (SORRRRRRRY!!!) how much were you quoted for you all - inclusive stay for a week and which TA/company did you go for?? THANKKKKKKKSSSSSS a bunch!!!

                  anything that could help me is MUCH MUCH MUCH appreciated!

                  #9 sjmacphe

                  • Jr. Member
                  • 291 posts

                    Posted 01 May 2010 - 08:17 PM

                    COngrats Krista, would love to see a few pics if you read the thread on how to post pictures it's pretty easy to follow. So glad you had a great time, I'm getting married at another Melia resort in a few weeks (in Cuba also), I have never been there so it's great to hear your experience was so positive :).

                    #10 jprincess

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                    • 5 posts

                      Posted 28 May 2010 - 03:28 AM

                      Hi, Can you please send me your wedding photos also.

                      Thanks so much


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