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EL DORADO ROYAL - DIMPLZ's VERY LONG REVIEW - **PIC HEAVY**


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#1 dimplz05

dimplz05
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    Posted 19 May 2010 - 08:43 PM

    First off, I just want to begin by saying that my wedding day was truly the happiest day of my life because I got to marry my best friend in the most beautiful place on earth! Now, I know that every bride wants her wedding day to be perfect and I also know that a “perfect wedding” does not exist. I know that before I started planning this wedding, I tried to read every possible review of the El Dorado Royale that I could get my hands on. But, in the end, every bride has their own experience and just because something happened to one doesn’t mean it’s going to happen to another. I think it’s so important to keep an open and happy attitude when going into your wedding day and although there may be rough patches along the way, your wedding really is about sharing the rest of your life with the man that you love.
    I am going to be extremely detailed and honest in my review so that other brides can maybe learn from my experience. My intention is definitely not to scare anyone away from having their wedding at the El Dorado because although there were issues and hiccups, there were also things that went perfectly!
    I am warning you a head of time that this is going to be long! Lol!

    HOTEL REVIEW

    El DORADO ROYALE OVERALL: 9/10
    This resort is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been to (and I have been to a lot of resorts in the Caribbean)! As soon as we stepped off our shuttle, we were definitely in paradise! The grounds, restaurants, buildings, pools, beaches, and rooms were beautifully and immaculately maintained.

    We had 36 people come with us with ages ranging from 22 – 70 and everyone absolutely LOVED it!!

    We never felt obligated to tip (except for a few times) but we did because so many people deserved it and are genuinely grateful for whatever they were given.
    The grounds are plush and green with a lot of butterflies, birds, geckos and iguanas!

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    TRAVEL AGENT: DestinationWeddings.com (Tina McQueen): 10/10
    Tina from destinationweddings.com was absolutely AMAZING!! From the beginning she was very responsive and helpful in picking out the resort and throughout the entire process! My guests felt very comfortable booking through her. She took care of all last minute changes and details fast and efficiently! She was my lifesaver and I would recommend her and destination weddings to anyone!!

    MORE TO COME...

    #2 dimplz05

    dimplz05
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      Posted 19 May 2010 - 08:57 PM

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      CANCUN AIRPORT: 9/10
      After some of the horror stories about getting through the Cancun Airport that I had read on this forum and other places, I was very worried. First of all, we were bringing 10 pieces of luggage (for just FI and I) which we split between our mom’s and siblings. We arrived on the same plane with my mom, my sister, my brother and sister-in law, my FI’s mom and brother and two of our friends. It wasn’t too bad getting through immigration (about a 30 minute wait) and then when we got to customs with our suitcases it was only about a 20 minute wait. Since we were all together in the same party, I told the guy at customs that we were all family and he let me push the little “red/green” button for ALL OF US! We got a green light and breezed right through will all of our luggage! There were a lot of people in front part of the airport that were selling timeshares but they really didn’t bother us. I told everyone not to make eye contact with them. All in all, getting through the airport was a breeze!

      WELCOME AND CHECK IN: 9/10
      Since my fianc© and I were staying in the casita suites, as soon as we arrived in the main lobby, we were whisked away in a shuttle to the VIP check in area. We were given champagne and hot towels as soon as we got to the check in and the entire process went very smoothly. At that time we asked them if there were any upgrades available and they gave us a very good deal on the upgrade so we ended up with the Infinity Pool Casita suite. Our room wasn’t quite ready when we arrived so they took us to the closest restaurant where we had lunch. About 45 minutes later, they gave us a call and let us know that our room was ready!

      The rest of our guests checked in at the main lobby. I didn’t hear of anyone having any major problems with checking in. The only problem that I heard about was that my mother in law and brother in law were given one king bed when they had requested a double. When they asked for a different room, they were told that they would have to switch to a room that was pretty far away from the other guests. This wouldn’t have been a problem except for my mother in law is handicapped and needed my mom to help her get around so they ended up staying in their room and making do with the king bed. Another one of my guests didn’t like where their room was (pretty far away from everyone else) so they were able to get a different room with no problem that was closer.

      OUR ROOM: 9/10
      We were given a room in the last section of the Casita’s on the 2nd floor. Our room was awesome!! We had a huge king size canopy bed, an outdoor shower (our favorite part), a huge walk in indoor shower, twin sinks with granite countertops and a 2 person Jacuzzi bathtub! The toilet was separate with a door. We also had a very large balcony with a full size bed and our own personal infinity pool (another favorite part)! There was also a table with two chairs inside and outside.

      The overall d©cor was very nice and clean looking (nothing too frilly or fancy). The balcony overlooked the pool and lazy river area and we could see directly down to the ocean! It was a breathtaking view!

      The bed was the most comfortable bed I have ever slept on (well besides my own bed). Everything was in working order except the 27 inch flat screen TV was very fuzzy (we didn’t really care because we didn’t really watch any TV) and our refrigerator wasn’t very cold. It was stocked with beer, water, juice, and soda. When we went down to the concierge to ask about getting our fridge replaced they told us that none of them get that cold. We said okay but then when we went into our friends rooms their fridges were really cold. This irritated us but we decided to just deal with it!

      The cleaning staff was absolutely wonderful! They didn’t come early (usually came between 1-5 pm) and did a great job of cleaning up. And every day we got a towel animal (which I loved!!).

      The section of the casitas that we were in was very quiet! We hardly ever heard any noise when we were in our room which was definitely nice!

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      TO BE CONTINUED...

      #3 dimplz05

      dimplz05
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        Posted 19 May 2010 - 09:16 PM

        Pictures from the jacuzzi roooms
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        FOOD AND RESTAURANTS: 9/10
        The food was definitely 5 star. The meat/seafood was very fresh and cooked to perfection and the vegetables and fruits were very fresh as well. We thought that they had a very good selection. The portion sizes are pretty small so just be aware of that as well. The only complaint I heard from our guests is that they didn’t have an "authentic (or what I call Americanized)" Mexican restaurant. The only complaint I have about the restaurants is that a couple of the nights, we asked our concierge to make us reservations at one of the "fancy" restaurants for 8-10 people and they said that they couldn't so we ended up splitting up but when we got to the restaurant they easily could've accommodated us. For those of you who like to eat late, the restaurants all close at 10 which sucked because a couple of times we didn’t get back to the resort (from an excursion) until 8 or 9 and it was too late to go to the restaurant so we had to order room service. All of the water served at the restaurants was purified so we could drink it. We didn’t have any problems with that.

        Here is a breakdown of the restaurants that we ate at:

        EL COCOTAL: Casual dress during the day; No shorts, flip flops or hats at night
        We ate at El Cocotal for breakfast one morning and then we had our rehearsal dinner there the night before our wedding. The breakfast buffet was pretty good although they didn’t have some things that I thought they should have. They didn’t have cheese or bacon for the omelets (they had an omelet station but the guy was really rude to my fianc©) and the drinks didn’t have ice in them. They did have a mimosa and Bloody Mary station though (Yum)! The food at our rehearsal dinner was delicious (more to come on this)! This restaurant is very conveniently located in the lobby building!

        KAMPAI (Asian): Casual dress; Open Air
        My fianc© and I ate here our first day for lunch and my bridesmaids and I ate here for lunch on our wedding day. The food was excellent! They had a variety of seafood with asian spices, noodles, and fried rice (my fav!) but they also had a hamburger (for my fianc© who doesn’t eat seafood).

        D’ITALIA (Italian): No shorts, flip flops or hats; Reservations required
        This was my favorite restaurant of all! They had a really nice selection of Italian dishes (gnocchi, pasta, etc.) but also had chicken and steak. The desserts were out of this world (I think we got one of each!)

        LA FUENTES (Culinary Theatre): No shorts, flip flops or hats at night (not sure about during the day as we only went at night); Reservations required
        The d©cor in this restaurant was awesome but the food was just okay and the service was horrible. It took us 2 hours just to get our meals from the time we sat down. My fianc© asked for another beer and it took the waiter 25 minutes to bring it. It wasn’t even crowded at all.

        JO JO’s (Seafood): Casual/Open Air
        The food was very good here! I definitely recommend the fish and chips!

        PIZZA & HAMBURGER: Casual/Open Air
        We ate here several times because it was right by the main pool and very casual. The pizza wasn’t very good but the nachos and chicken wrap were very good!

        ROOM SERVICE: 10/10
        The room service at the resort was FABULOUS!! They always came within about 20-30 minutes and the food was always hot and fresh! The menu is not very big but you can pretty much order anything you want. We wanted quesadilla’s our last day there (not on the menu) and they were able to make us them. We also ordered cheese fries and nachos. The breakfast was delicious too!

        These are the only restaurants that we ate at but a couple of our guests ate at La Isla and L’Fondue and they said they were really good as well!

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        BARS AND DRINKS 8/10
        The drinks at all the bars were never watered down and they had a very large selection of liquors. The only beer they served was Tecate, Tecate Light and Sol although they may have had others at some of the bars that we didn’t go to.

        The best bar was Las Guacamayas! This was where most of our guests and us hung out late night because they stayed open until 2 am. The only other bar on the resort that stayed open past 10 pm was the Beach Bar. Las Guacamayas had something going on each night we were there. My fianc© actually entered the Dorado Idol contest the first night and won 2nd place! Some nights they had live bands and some nights they had DJ’s. It is open air so it was pretty warm (even at night) but it was huge and could accommodate a lot of people. There were also lounges and swings that you could relax on. The bartenders were very nice and fast and could pretty much make any drink or shot you wanted.

        The only issue that we had with the bars were that all of the swim up bars closed at 5 pm. We were very irritated with this because we really wanted to go to a swim up bar but we were so busy during the day that we couldn’t make it there until after they had already closed.

        I am sure many of you have heard not to use ice but the resort assured us that the ice was made from purified water so it was fine to use in drinks!

        MORE...

        #4 dimplz05

        dimplz05
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          Posted 19 May 2010 - 09:31 PM

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          BEACH / POOLS: 8/10
          The beach was very pretty as you will see from my pictures below. It was very clean and the sand was beautiful. There were lots of sand bags in some places but they really didn’t bother us all that much. Also, if you walked into the water from the beach, it was pretty rocky but if you got out a little further it was a lot smoother. The resort was only about 60% full when we were there so we didn’t have any problems finding a palapa (bed with a canopy) at either the beach or the pool. There were also waiters walking around on the beach taking drink orders which was really nice so you didn’t have to get up to get a drink. They were very fast too! The pools were very nice but we didn’t spend too much time in them. There was a lazy river that went through almost the entire casitas section of the resort which looked very cool! There was a salt water pool but we didn’t get to experience that but it looked really cool! Like I said above, the only negative was that the swim up bars closed at 5 pm.

          SALTWATER POOL
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          MAIN POOL
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          BEACH
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          MORE...

          #5 dimplz05

          dimplz05
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            Posted 19 May 2010 - 09:36 PM

            And now……drum roll please….the wedding events!

            WEDDING REVIEW

            FREE WEDDING PACKAGE
            CEREMONY AND RECEPTION DECORATIONS / CHAIRS = $920
            CAKE = $55.50
            OUTSIDE VENDOR FEE (for using our own DJ) = $500
            BBQ DELUXE BUFFET FOR RECEPTION = $1499
            TOTAL = $2,919.40
            OTHER CHARGES:
            BRIDAL HAIRSTYLE FOR ME W/REHEARSAL = $140
            BRIDAL HAIRSTYLES FOR MY 5 BRIDESMAIDS & MOM = $600
            MISHKA MARARACAS = $280
            OTHER DECORATIONS = $550

            PRE-WEDDING EMAIL COMMUNICATION: 7/10
            Due to a major snowstorm in the Washington DC are back in February we had to cancel the site visit we had planned so we did the whole thing “blind” which added a lot of stress. In hindsight though, I don’t think that a site visit was really needed except to calm my own nerves. We booked our wedding date with El Dorado shortly after we were engaged which left about 8 months for the planning. Once we had paid our deposit to secure our wedding date, we were contacted by Valeria who explained that she was the wedding coordinator for Lomas Travel (the company that was affiliated with the resort) and that she would be handling all of our wedding details and plans. She was pretty responsive in the first couple of months and was very easy to work with. We did everything through email. She explained that she was located at the corporate office in Cancun and that I would be working directly with the onsite coordinators when I arrived at the resort. She was very patient with me as I changed my mind quite a bit because I wasn’t sure whether or not I wanted to do the free wedding package and book the casita suite or go with one of the other packages and book the lower level room. I also wasn’t sure if I wanted to do a cocktail hour and have a dinner at the restaurant the night of my wedding of if I wanted to have a private reception. Everything was confirmed about 60 days before we left. We had chosen to go with our free dinner at El Cocotal for the rehearsal and do our ceremony on the beach at Gazebo 55 and have a private reception at La Tuscanes after the ceremony. We had also chosen the BBQ Deluxe for the reception. About a week before we left, I went on the forum and checked the thread on the EDR and I am so glad I did because one of the girls found out that the BBQ Deluxe had gone down in price from $49 a head to $26 a head! That would save us about $800 so I immediately emailed Valeria and asked her if they would honor the new price for us even though we had already paid our final balance. The day before we left, she finally got back to me and said that although they would honor the lower price they couldn’t give us a refund  but they would give us a hotel “credit”. I felt like that was better than nothing but wasn’t sure what we could use it for since we had pretty much already paid for everything! This kind of made me upset but I figured that it was money already spent so I should just let it go. I knew from visiting this forum that I should definitely print out every communication that I had with Valeria as she was not the actual person I would be dealing with when I got to the resort. And boy am I glad that I did! In the days before we left, I felt very confident and good about all the plans and details and felt like everything was going to turn out just how I had planned with Valeria.

            Well, that turned out to not be the case. A lot of information we were given turned out to be incorrect when we arrived at the resort and met with the onsite coordinators. They did do their best but this is an issue that needs to be addressed. All my communications from 8 months out were with Valeria but my actual wedding coordinators in the resort were Celena and Odette. I believe it would be a better system to have couples assigned to an individual WC that deals with you from start to finish.

            PRE-WEDDING MEETING WITH WCs: 5/10
            Celena had left a welcome letter and appointment time at reception for us when we checked in. We met her at 11am the next day.

            We went over all of my menus, including the rehearsal dinner menu and the reception menu (which I had to sign off on), the decorations that I had brought and how I wanted them set up at the reception, the wedding site decor set up, my spa appt.'s, and all the little extras that we were supposed to have gotten (and already scheduled with Valeria). Everything looked to be in order. I asked them if we were able to get the Master Bridal Suite in the Casitas spa for the day of the wedding from 11 am - 5 pm so that my girls and I could get ready there. Tina, my TA had said that she had asked Valeria several weeks before our wedding and Valeria said she didn’t think it would be a problem. Celena, my primary wedding coordinator, said that she would have to call the spa and set that up. So, she got on the phone with the spa as we sat there and waited. After about 20 minutes she hung up with them and told me that everything was all set at the spa and that we could arrive at 9:45 am (which was my first bridesmaids hair appt.) and we would have the bridal suite from then until I got picked up at 4:45 pm to go to the wedding site for the ceremony. She even said that my wedding gown would be getting delivered to the spa at 1:00 pm (after it was steamed). I also confirmed with her that all the spa appt.'s had been made for all of my bridesmaids and my mom and Fiance’s mom to get their hair done and also for my mom and fiance’s mom to get massages (which I had also confirmed with Valeria a week prior to the wedding when I paid our final balance). The coordinators said that everything was confirmed at the spa. There was a little confusion because two of my guests had also made spa appt's through Valeria and had given their credit card information to Valeria but the coordinators thought that I was or had paid for their appt.'s as well but I told them that I was not paying for their appt's and that they had already paid for them through Valeria. I then asked them about the credit of $800 and asked them what we could use that for. They basically said we could use it for our spa appt's (which we had already paid for) or we could use it to buy champagne for the rehearsal dinner and wedding reception. We opted to buy 12 bottles of champagne and to also pay for my mom's hair appt (which I made at the last minute and hadn't yet paid for). I asked if we could use it for a return stay at the resort (like maybe our 1st honeymoon stay) and was told that we had to use it on this trip. I also asked if we able to use it towards our upgraded room and they told us that we couldn't. We were a little perturbed because we felt like there really wasn’t anything else we could've used it for. We ended up leaving without using about $300 of the credit.

            That meeting lasted about 2 hours and I walked out of there feeling confident that everything was in order for the wedding events that night and the following day.

            REHEARSAL DINNER – EL COCOTAL: 8/10
            FI and I arrived at El Cocotal, the restaurant where we were having our rehearsal dinner about 30 minutes prior to when it was supposed to begin just to make sure everything was in order. When we arrived they took us to the back of the restaurant where they had set up 4 large round tables for us. We noticed that they had put menus at everyone's place setting so I picked one up and noticed that one of the entrees that we had chosen was not listed as a choice on the menu. We then asked the head waiter why it wasn't on there and he said that it wasn't available to us. I then proceeded to ask him if they were out of it (It was the vegetarian entr©e: ravioli) and he said, "No, it is available to our restaurant guests, it just isn’t available to your party". I told him that I would like to speak to his manager. This is about the time that Odette showed up to check on everything. I told her what had happened and she was pretty rude to me and said that we weren't allowed to have three choices; we were only allowed to have two choices. I then told her that Valeria had offered us the three choices (because some of my guests were vegetarians) and that just that morning I had confirmed the menu with her and Celena and the ravioli was on there. She then asked me if I had proof. By this time, my guests were starting to arrive and I was pretty upset so I told her that I could go back to my room and get the email from Valeria proving that she had given us that menu. She pretty much told me, not in so many words, that I was lying and not to worry about the email at that time. I think that she was getting slack from the manager of the restaurant which is why she asked me for proof. In the end, they ended up accommodating us and the rehearsal dinner was very nice and my guests were none the wiser.

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            STILL MORE TO COME...

            #6 dimplz05

            dimplz05
            • Jr. Member
            • 214 posts

              Posted 19 May 2010 - 09:51 PM

              MY WEDDING DAY

              THE SPA AT CASITAS: 8/10
              I do not want to give anyone the impression that the spa was not nice. It was actually beautiful and very tranquil and relaxing. FI and I had a wonderful time when we got our couples sky massage (included with the promotion we qualified for). The reason I am giving it an 8 is because of my experience there the day of the wedding.

              We arrived at the spa around 9:30 am the next morning for our first appt's. When you first walk in the spa there is someone that directs you to the next available check in coordinator. The spa coordinator asked us what we were there for and I told him that I was getting married that day and that we were supposed to have the Bridal Master Suite for the entire day. He acted like he had NO idea what I was talking about. I explained to him about the wedding coordinator calling the spa the previous day and reserving it for us. He then got on the phone with one of the coordinators (I am not sure if it was Celena or Odette) and after about 10 minutes of them talking in Spanish he got off and said that the Bridal Master Suite was only available if I had booked at least 3 services with the spa on the day of my wedding. I could not believe what I was hearing. First of all, I booked and paid for 7 bridal styles and 2 massages which came to roughly $800. Second of all, everything seemed to be in order the day before. I got very upset and ended up walking out of the spa. That was when my sister-in-law took over and told them that they better give me the bridal suite or else (she is a bit of firecracker). I guess they got back on the phone with the wedding coordinator and I am not sure what was said but they did end up giving us the room. By that point, I was already beyond stressed and feeling like nothing was going my way! The day went on and my bridesmaids started checking in. The spa coordinator kept coming up to the room and asking me to sign the slips of paper for the charges for all the appt's. I repeatedly told him that I had already paid for the services and he assured me that I was just signing off that they were completed and for the 10% service charge that was being added to all of the services. I decided to just deal with it later and eventually was able to relax. The hairstylist that did mine, my sisters, and my mom’s hair were AWESOME. Her name was Rafaela and apparently she was the head stylist at the resort. The other stylists that did my bridesmaids’ hair were also great! This was one of the things that I was nervous about because I didn’t know how the stylists would be at the resort but everything turned out great! None of us took advantage of the makeup artists at the spa so I have no idea how they were but if the hair stylists were any indication I am sure the makeup artists were wonderful as well!

              Two pieces of advice I would give you in regards to the spa is don’t take NO for an answer and use about a gallon of HAIRSPRAY! It is so hot down there and the wind on the beach is pretty crucial. I think my stylist used so much hairspray on my hair that not a piece was out of place at the end of the night!

              MY HAIR
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              MY BRIDESMAIDS HAIR
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              GETTING READY
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              THE CEREMONY: 8/10
              We decided to have our ceremony at Gazebo 55 and I am so glad that we did. In my opinion it was the most beautiful site on the resort (and we saw all of the sites that were available while we were walking around). It was on the very end of the resort so there weren’t many people walking around and there were no sandbags in site. There was some greenery around but most of it was just pure white sand and water. It really was beautiful!

              When I got to the ceremony site everyone was already there and the ceremony began. The processional and the first prayer went well but then as the officiant went on, I began to notice that this was not the ceremony that I had slaved over for hours trying to personalize and sent to Valeria. The officiant didn’t even know that we had written our own vows!!! We had to pretty much whisper to her in the middle of her repeating the normal vows that we had written our own. She seemed very confused but we did end up saying our own vows. Then, my sister's boyfriend was supposed to do a reading (Corinthians) and he had practiced and was very honored that we had asked him to do it. Well, needless to say the officiant ended up doing the reading and didn’t call him up at all. I felt so bad because I knew that he really wanted to be a part of the wedding. By that time, I realized that the officiant never received our ceremony and just got the general one from the onsite coordinators. The ceremony truly was beautiful and my guests had no idea that anything was wrong so it ended up being okay but I knew and it upset me. I don’t know what Valeria did with our ceremony script but she definitely did not give it to the wedding coordinators onsite. I blame myself because when we met with the coordinators, this was the one thing that we didn’t go over. We used our own IPOD for the ceremony music and my FI had gone over the playlist with the coordinators before the ceremony started and everything went very smoothly. All in all, the ceremony was very beautiful and my guests had no idea that the ceremony was not what we had written. The ceremony was also a little longer than I thought it would be. I think it lasted about 40 minutes from beginning to end because the officiant added her own stuff to it which ended up actually being really nice.

              #7 dimplz05

              dimplz05
              • Jr. Member
              • 214 posts

                Posted 19 May 2010 - 09:52 PM

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                PHOTOGRAPHY: 10/10
                We brought our own photographer with us to Mexico which was awesome because he pretty much took photos the entire time we were in Mexico. We took photos right after the ceremony and that time of day was perfect (around 5:45 pm) because even though the sun was not yet setting, it was lower in the sky and reflected off of the water perfectly!

                #8 dimplz05

                dimplz05
                • Jr. Member
                • 214 posts

                  Posted 19 May 2010 - 09:53 PM

                  THE RECEPTION: 9/10
                  We decided to have our reception at La Tuscanes and it was perfect. The covered area was perfect for the amount of guests that we had and it was pretty private. We only saw a couple of people walking by and the bathroom was also very close (my bridesmaids and I went there several times to stand underneath the AC). The only complaint I had was that there was really no breeze or airflow since its located in the middle of the resort and there were buildings surrounding it. There was a private pool adjacent to the reception which was nice because we floated some candles in it. The area where the dance floor was also perfect!

                  I cannot stress this enough, appoint someone who is not in your wedding party to go immediately from your ceremony to the reception site to make sure everything is being set up correctly. I had appointed two of my friends and when they got there, the wedding coordinators did not seem to know exactly what I had wanted it to look like so having my friends there to direct them ended up being a lifesaver. When my guests and I actually arrived at the reception site, everything was perfect! The tables looked stunning and all the decorations were placed perfectly! The BBQ deluxe buffet was probably the best food that we had the entire time we were there! There was so much variety and everything was so fresh and cooked to perfection! My new hubby and I really didn’t eat much but all of my guests said it was awesome food! We had decided to go with the personal cake for just my FI and I because the BBQ Deluxe included a lot of dessert and I figured that no one would probably eat the cake anyway. Well, the cake was really pretty but it did not taste so good. My FI and I were the only ones who even ate a piece of it. I think that because it was so hot it that the fondant and icing had melted but it was really just for show anyway so it ended up being okay.

                  The service at the reception was also amazing! We had about 5-6 servers and they were all great! They were bringing out shots and drinks the entire time and anything we needed they took care of. Bring cash with you to your reception so that you can give them a tip. We forgot and had to have someone run to an ATM machine for us.

                  The private reception was definitely worth it and that is one thing that I would absolutely do again!

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                  #9 dimplz05

                  dimplz05
                  • Jr. Member
                  • 214 posts

                    Posted 19 May 2010 - 10:01 PM

                    DJ DOREMIXX: 10/10
                    DJ Doremixx (Ivan Gomez) is a vendor on this forum and I am soooooo glad that we used him. He was absolutely fabulous! I would recommend him to anyone having a wedding in the Riviera Maya. He was very reasonably priced (Especially since we had to pay the $500 to the hotel for the outside vendor fee), spoke very good English, and was pretty much the best DJ I have ever had an experience with! He came to the resort the day before the wedding to meet with us and finalize everything and he showed up 3 hours before our reception to set up. He brought fireworks, balloons, masks, and other assecories which my guests all loved! He played every song on our playlist and kept the party going until after the end of our reception. There really isn’t anything else I can say besides, “HIRE HIM!”

                    PRIVATE CATAMARAN CRUISE: 10/10
                    My FI and I wanted to do something special for our guests that had travelled so far just to share our special day with us. We looked into a lot of the different excursions but nothing was really private enough or in our price range. Then we found Cancun Catamarans. This company is owned by a British couple and they are absolutely wonderful to work with! We ended up chartering their 40 person catamaran for a private 2 hour sunset cruise the evening after our wedding. About 28 of our guests ended up going and they all said that it was the best part of the trip. The crew on the boat was so fun and entertaining that it was definitely worth dishing out the dough. If you are looking for something to do with your guests, I would definitely recommend them.

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                    Click the image to open in full size.

                    CHECK OUT: 2/10
                    When my bridesmaids began to check out starting the Sunday after the wedding, they realized that they had been charged for their spa services. This really made me angry because I had already paid for everyone's services through Valeria a week and a half before and my sister and brother almost missed their flights because they had to stand up at the checkout and argue with the person about the charges. Also, when I was supposed to be relaxing and enjoying my honeymoon, I was called down to the lobby each time because they didnt know what to do. This happened 4 times when people were checking out. A word of advice to avoid this happening to you right before checking out is to get a printout of all your charges the day before you check out so that you can clear everything up then and not right before you need to leave.

                    One other problem that was discovered by my sister when she got home was that when checking in, the resort asks for a major credit card (for incidentals). They promise that you will not be charged anything. Well, this was not the case with my sister. When she checked in she told them that she did not have any money in her bank account and they assured her that they would not charge her card. When she arrived home, she realized that they had put a hold on her account for $500 so when she used her card for a couple of little things while in Mexico, she over drafted her account and was charged almost $200 in overdraft charges by her bank. When she called the El Dorado and told them what had happened, they basically said they couldn’t do anything for her. Ugh!

                    When my FI and I checked out, they accidently checked out the wrong room and ran my FI’s credit card for charges that we did not have. We were able to get it cleared up but by that point, we were 15 minutes late to catch our shuttle to the airport. I would leave plenty of time to check out in case anything like this happens to you.

                    LASTING THOUGHTS AND ADVICE
                    Bring copies of everything, double check your contracts; be prepared for elements of your plans to change. Be prepared to go with the flow. Speak up about extra charges and don’t be afraid to omit things if you’re not happy. Make sure you print out all confirmation emails and bring them with you. Make sure you double-check everything that the wedding coordinators show you at your first meeting and make sure that everything is exactly how you wanted and expected it to be. Bring lots of small bills for tips. And lastly, try to have fun no matter how stressed out you may be because you only get to do this once! I wish that I had relaxed and “gone with the flow” more because I think I would’ve had a better time. All in all though, my guests had a wonderful time and that is what I was most concerned about. I got to marry my best friend in front of the most beautiful background! One other thing that I wished I had done differently was either stayed an extra week after the wedding to spend with my husband or transferred to another resort right after the wedding! I feel like we didn’t really get a honeymoon together and I regret that but we will just have to go back next year!

                    I am sorry for such a long review but I wanted to make sure that I covered everything! I hope this helps you fellow brides out there as much as you have all helped me! I couldn’t have pulled this off without the support and advice from all the ladies (And men) on this forum!! So THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart!!

                    Happy Planning!!!

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                    Click the image to open in full size.

                    Click the image to open in full size.

                    #10 LA923

                    LA923
                    • Jr. Member
                    • 200 posts

                      Posted 19 May 2010 - 10:19 PM

                      Thanks for the review, I am thinking about the same colors, so I loved looking at your pictures!




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