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MnM2Mexico: Review Dreams Tulum


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#1 MnM2Mexico

MnM2Mexico
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    Posted 08 June 2010 - 04:59 PM

    Hi-- before I get into the review of our wedding at Dreams Tulum, i have to thank this forum for all the help planning our wedding! You girls are awesome. Best of luck to all of you, and happy planning to those just beginning to look here!

    The Basics: we were married at Dreams Tulum Monday, May 17th, 2010. We had a total of 53 guests. Natalia was our wedding coordinator.

    Summary of our experience: B-
    In further sections I'll explain the few experiences we had that negatively impacted our stay/our day at Dreams. I'll also highlight the good ones- because there were plenty of those too! To those brides who have already paid and are having their wedding at Dreams Tulum, don't worry. Everything will work out and you'll have a fabulous time. We certainly did! (despite some issues that popped up). To those brides looking at this forum for ideas of which resorts to go to, i would recommend to keep searching- I think you can do better than this hotel. There are resorts with better service & better facilities out there. We went to a different resort for 3 nights after staying here as our mini-moon honeymoon, and the difference was huge! If we were to go back in time, we would have tried to find a place with the level of service we had at the second hotel.

    Wedding Coordinator, Natalia: C-
    Let me preface this by saying that the wedding department seems overwhelmed and understaffed for the amount of weddings they handle, so i don't think our issues with Natalia were entirely her fault, but, we didn't think her treatment of us was very professional, and it did effect our day.

    Dreams Tulum has brides running all over the place. there are 3 weddings a day, everyday. So maybe it's not technically a 'wedding mill' with 6 brides a day, but 3 is still enough to 1). make you feel less special about your wedding 2). divide the wedding coordinators time where they are spread too thin.

    During our first meeting, Natalia was awesome. She knew every detail we wanted for the wedding from my emails. She addressed every part of the day, and we felt good after our appointment. I did have two lingering issues- i wanted to see the Relax Pool reception area at night (because I was worried about the spot light harsh lighting), and we needed to give her our welcome bags to distribute to our guests. At our morning appt, we agreed to meet at 8pm that night at the Sugar Reef bar to discuss lighting and for us to let her know the welcome bags were ready. At dinner, we left our parents sitting in one of the restaurants so that we could be on time to meet her. We waited for 20 mins and she never showed up. Oh well. We figured maybe she called the room to cancel the meeting and we hadn't gotten the message. When we went to the room- no message. Oh well. We figured she'd call in the morning apologizing to reschedule. Half of our guests were due in that day, so we figured she'd be calling immediately to get the gift bags. She never called the next day. Finally, at 1 pm, with our guests landing at the airport, we went to Natalia's office. Instead of apologizing then, she said, "what do you want? I am very busy." we told her she missed the meeting, and her response was "i had a big wedding." we told her the gift bags needed to be collected, and i still wanted to see the lighting at the pool. She scheduled an appt for us with Aurora (her subordinate, it seems) for that night and we left feeling very disappointed with her tone and treatment of us.

    In later sections, I'll note the other moments we had with Natalia that contributed to our extreme displeasure with her- but in summary, every time we needed something from her, her response was to tell us she had a big wedding to work on, which left us feeling like our 53 person wedding was not important enough to her. She was always too busy, or too concerned with someone else's wedding to be helpful, or even polite. If you are going to work as a wedding coordinator, i think you need to possess the ability to juggle your time effectively, and deal with your couples in a polite and cordial manner.

    Hotel Accommodations: C+
    We loved our room- it was in the #16 building of the Dreams Suites overlooking the seaside grill and the ocean. if it weren't for all of the problems our guests had with their rooms, I would rate the accommodations much higher, but there were issues. One of our guests, a young married couple, had 3 different rooms over their 7 day stay- the first time, they were given two double beds when they checked in, so they changed to a king bed room when that became available. However, when they returned to the king bed room to sleep, they noticed a swarm of winged bugs in the bed. They called the front desk and asked for a new room, and were told someone would come by and change the sheets. They said that was not acceptable, they wanted a new room. Three times they called the front desk to arrange this, and it was not done, so in the middle of a rainstorm they packed their luggage, brought it to the front desk at 1 a.m. and demanded a new room. They got one. The groom's parents woke up in the middle of the night to a skylight pouring water down on their bed, only to meet their good friends in the hallway who were experiencing the same thing in their room- roofs leaking so badly it was raining inside. The hotel provided them new rooms, a van escort because of the rain, and cleaning and pressing for their wedding clothes at no charge because of the incident.

    Spa: A+ and D-
    I gave the spa two grades because I had two different services here. The first was a 60 mins swedish couples massage which was AMAZING. One of the best massages I've ever had- (thank you Alexandro). The second was spa pedicure, spa manicure, and hair the day of the wedding. The hair came out great- it was not really like the picture I showed, and the stylist spoke no english, but i was happy with how it came out, and it held all night long in the wind. The "spa" manicure and "spa" pedicure, however, were horrible. First of all, there's nothing "spa" about it- for $45 each, i expected a little more than course sand rubbed once up my forearms, but that was all there was in terms of extras above a regular manicure. And the woman who did my manicure stabbed my nailbed so hard i yelped and my finger bled for about an hour until i requested ice water to make it stop. And she told me it was my fault because my skin was thin. And she didn't ask what color i wanted and proceeded to put a very dark beige over the french white lines- which were uneven to begin with. In short, I could have done much better myself and saved myself the blood & trama.

    Package: Ultimate: A
    I was happy with this package. It included everything so I didn't have to second guess myself about whether or not I had enough for the wedding. The Mexican trio for the cocktail hour was great- so fun to take pictures with them. The included spa services were awesome (massage & hair)-- there are some things that were not necessary- the 'special' romantic breakfast in bed is the weirdest layering of eggs i have ever seen- (two poached eggs baked inside an omlet like covering?), and ours was not delivered the day after the wedding. Natalia sent it over the following day- we didn't eat it. Might as well just order room service. I have the champagne flutes at home, and that's a nice keepsake. We brought our own photographer (which i think was one of the best decisions I made during the whole planning process), so the resort photographer shot the cocktail hour- and it was nice to pick 50 of those photos to have.

    Ok, i have to stop here for now... more to come tomorrow with everything positive that happened (there were lots!) and photos...

    #2 taranyc

    taranyc
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      Posted 08 June 2010 - 06:11 PM

      OMG...scary. I hope things got better. I hate hearing how snotty Natalia was to you...and that your guests had such issues with their rooms!

      tt

      #3 pina13

      pina13
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        Posted 08 June 2010 - 06:49 PM

        Looking forward to the Positives!
        So sorry to hear about the experiences with the Coordinator...

        Great review :)

        #4 AishaB

        AishaB
        • Sr. Member
        • 2,350 posts

          Posted 09 June 2010 - 06:53 AM

          Thanks for the review. Sorry to hear that our coordinator was a spaz! But on a bright note, congrats on your nuptials.
          BDW the best place for my TYPE A personality!

          #5 MnM2Mexico

          MnM2Mexico
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          • 54 posts

            Posted 09 June 2010 - 02:50 PM

            hx ladies! I'm probably being more critical than necessary- but at the time, i was so upset by these small things that I they felt like way bigger issues. Looking back, our day was amazing, and our trip with our family and friends will be a cherished memory for everyone always. And our guests had no idea that we were not happy with our wedding coordinator, so there's a lot of 'behind the scenes' stuff only you will know about. Anyways, the review continues...

            Excursions: A++
            We did two off-resort trips with our guests- and both were amazing. The first was a chartered snorkeling trip/sail on a 46' catamaran operated by Paradise Catamarans. (they have their own website and are on tripadvisor.com too). They are docked in Puerto Adventuras (about 40 mins from Dreams Tulum), and this excursion was a highlight for everyone! I loved it. My husband :) and I booked this trip as a way to say thank you to all of our guests for traveling to be with us on our big day. With round trip transportation on a big air-conditioned coach bus, unlimited food & drink for all, and snorkel gear, the total cost for 50 people was $2700. And it was worth every penny. They picked us all up at 2pm from the resort lobby, we boarded the boat, and then we sailed out to a coral reef on a slightly overcast day with decent size waves-- the snorkeling at the reef was unbelievable!! we thought it might be murky down there because of the clouds- but it wasn't. I've never seen so many fish-- and we saw sea turtles! They let you keep the snorkel, too, which is nice because you know nobody else had their mouth on it. After snorkeling, they serve drinks and food- and the crew was amazing- the margarhitas were delicious, and they play dance music and get everyone partying. After a while, you sail back to the dock- on the way, they surprised us with a few special wedding surprises-- i won't spill the details in case you ever book with them, but i will say it made the trip so super special for us.

            The second trip we did was with Mexxtremo Adventures- we went ATV'ing to a hidden cave/cenote two days before the wedding. It was awesome! the cost was $86 per person, plus $5 for transportation- they take you to Rancho Los Campos where you get on four wheelers & then go thru the jungle to a cenote called Rio Secreto where Paco(so cute too!) gives you a geology lesson on the region- and you wear helmets with lights on them and explore the cave. then they bring you to a section of the cave where you can swim in the fresh water-- it was soooo fun! I found a link on youtube YouTube - ATV TOUR RIVERA MAYA We had so much fun we went on saturday with one group of friends, and then two days after the wedding, went back with another group of friends. a blast!


            Extras: A+
            I didn't do too much in terms of extras- but the few things I did do (thank you forum!) I loved. One of which was I ordered special shot glasses and shipped them down to Natalia ahead of time, and then, on the drive from the airport to the hotel we asked our driver to stop so we could purchase 6 bottles of tequila-- one for each table-- as our centerpiece. There's a big store called Soriano on the way to the hotel, and it has everything- we paid $18 a bottle for tequila that they sell in the airport duty-free for $36. And it was a big hit! It took about 3 minutes after being seated before our guests were up and cheers'ing and shooting tequila- needless to say, it was a rowdy reception!! I also bought some fake capiz shell strings from wildthings.com in pink (my colors were dark blue & light blue with a splash of pink). I used this on the beach canopy- (totally stole the idea for a former dreams bride!), and i brought a bolt of light pink tulle for the canopy. It looked awesome- and the hotel did a great job setting it up. I had extra ribbon which they used on the back of the back row of chairs- i didn't even have to ask. It was a nice touch. Other extras: we made welcome bags with sports bottles, novelty sunglasses in the shape of margarhitas, and, instead of having a guest book, we provided a pre-stamped pre-addressed postcard for them to send back to us, with a special pen for them to keep. No one used the sports bottles, but everyone had intoxicated moments in those sunglasses- and the postcards are still arriving in the mail-- so it's fun to read how much people enjoyed their trip weeks after the fact. We bought the postcards and the stamps in the hotel's little store- i think the cards were $1 each, and the stamps were about the same? Those are the only extras I did- as I said before, the ultimate package had plenty in it- so i didn't have to think about it much.

            Reception: A / C-
            As I said, the tequila bottle centerpieces were a big hit- and made for some hilarious moments. We had so much fun with our guests- it was hot- and humid- and everyone sweated straight thru their clothing because the dancing was non-stop. We were supposed to have our reception in the Relax Pool area (which, by the way, I was surprised to see is not at all far away from the Dolphin Pool- for some reason in my head I envisioned them far apart- but they are divided by a bush line and that's about it). I had been freaking out about the lighting at the Relax Pool because the hotel provides these stands on which they have two very bright spotlights, which they shine onto the receptions. It's certainly adequate- you are not eating in the dark- but it's pretty harsh lighting. The other lighting extras they have (light columns, tikki torches, etc) are very expensive (in my opinion), and they don't shed any light. So... I was unwilling to pay for additional lighting, and not thrilled about the provided lighting, but i said, oh well, and figured I'd just suck it up. Thankfully- it was supposed to rain that night- but DIDN'T! The morning of the wedding, Natalia offered us the Mexican Restaurant at no charge because of the threat of rain. It was the perfect spot, and redeemed Natalia in my eyes. I was thrilled! And, if i were to go back in time, i would cough up the $750 private event fee to have my reception in one of the restaurants. That way, you don't have to worry about weather or lighting or anything. It was awesome. There are 2 reasons I gave the reception a second grade of C- the first was because after we cut our cake, no one served it. I assumed the waiters were going to, but no one did, so only my husband and I had some. weird. and secondly, we had an issue with sound. The hotel has nightly entertainment, and that night there was a DJ/hypnotist blaring house music during our toasts. One of our groomsmen went over and asked the guy to keep it down until we finished our toasts and said he'd alert the DJ as soon as we were done so they could turn their music back up- the DJ, at first, refused, until groomsmen #1 was joined by groomsmen #2 of equal size (above 6' and 200+lbs). The DJ then turned it down, and when we were done, the groomsmen gave the DJ a thumbs up to continue his show. Small issue- but it shows how compact the areas are at Dreams Tulum. The Mexican restaurant is right next to the Relax Pool and the entertainment courtyard, etc... The other sound problem was with Natalia: who from 9pm onwards kept trying to turn down our music. She would walk over and tell my groom to turn it down, (which he did a few times) or turn it down herself, about every ten minutes. I didn't really notice it, but it was driving him crazy because it was turned down so low sometimes that we couldn't hear our music. Finally, my groom had to get a little aggressive with Natalia (and he is SO NOT THAT TYPE!) and in not so many words tell her to go away and not come back. unpleasant to experience- but not a huge deal. We used an ipod and had the hotel's sound system- they worked perfectly & the sound was great (when we were controlling the volume!!)

            Ok, more to come soon. Going to try to figure out how to post pics, and will write more later!

            #6 Miss Lighting Bug

            Miss Lighting Bug
            • Jr. Member
            • 162 posts

              Posted 11 June 2010 - 03:50 PM

              Do you have a photo of your tequila bottle centerpieces or other decor. Sounds fun
              KB

              #7 AmyandRich

              AmyandRich
              • Jr. Member
              • 344 posts

                Posted 11 June 2010 - 04:26 PM

                Wow - Your experience was soooo different than ours... I'm really sorry to hear about your treatment. We were a wedding of 18 people and NEVER once felt like the larger weddings were more important.
                Congrats on the wedding.... Wish you many years of happiness!!! Looking forward to pics.

                #8 jaynreneewed

                jaynreneewed
                • Jr. Member
                • 184 posts

                  Posted 11 June 2010 - 05:22 PM

                  you're scaring me!

                  #9 ourvm

                  ourvm
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                  • 211 posts

                    Posted 13 June 2010 - 11:30 AM

                    uh-oh - I'm getting a little worried as well.

                    #10 MnM2Mexico

                    MnM2Mexico
                    • Newbie
                    • 54 posts

                      Posted 17 June 2010 - 01:45 PM

                      don't get worried-! overall, our experience was wonderful-- it just wasn't as wonderful as other brides on this forum had reported, so i felt like i should share some of the less pleasant details. The #1 important thing is to have fun with your family and friends- and for that, i don't think it matters where you go. We had a blast, and have memories to last a lifetime. Our main issue was the quality of service at the hotel. We went to the Excellence Resort in Puerto Morales for three days as a mini-moon before coming home, and the difference in service was pretty big. At The Excellence, everywhere we went (dinners, etc) when we had to give our room #, the staff automatically knew we were on our honeymoon- and had a special table with rose petals and champagne ready for us. It was really, really special-- and this is where, for me, Dreams failed. Other than that, everything was great. so don't worry-! Just don't book a manicure at the spa




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