Review of Casa del Mar and Damiana
Posted 23 October 2006 - 06:12 PM
CASA DEL MAR
General: We got married on Oct. 14 at 5:45 p.m. The hotel grounds are incredibly beautiful and a great deal for the price. We had to book 10 rooms in order to waive the site fee and got upgraded to the "honeymoon suite" for our entire stay. The only downside is that the hotel is undergoing MAJOR renovations, so there was some construction noise. But we talked to the contractor overseeing the renovations, and he said they are scheduled to be finished by Dec. 15. There wasn't much debris or anything around, it was more of a noise issue. But honestly the place is so lovely, it didn't matter. I'm not sure if the prices will increase after the renovations are complete. My only other complaint with the hotel is that it is small, and many of the buildings on the Casa del Mar grounds are condos. That makes it difficult to call between rooms, since each condo has its own private number. (Local calls are 55 cents.)
Grounds: Everything was spectacularly lovely!!! I especially liked the hotel's beach-front pool ... not many other hotels in the corridor had a pool/restaurant right up to the beach like they do. Everything was immaculate, and the colors are bright and warm. Feels very authentically Mexican, but also very comfortable and luxurious. One weird thing was that the shower in our hotel room didn't have a door and the Jacuzzi tub was in the middle of the room! Fine since we were on our honeymoon, but other people with similar setups in their rooms were a little freaked out!
Staff: I worked with Claudia Morales, the group sales coordinator, on the set-up for the wedding and most of the arrangements for the cocktail hour and reception. She was nice and unfailing upbeat. Her English was great, but the staff there is not very *proactive* but rather *reactive.* For example, we had our ceremony in a paved "quiet zone" between the main pool and the beach that has a nice palm tree there. Some of my girlfriends had to ask the people at the pool to be quiet during the ceremony -- this is something tht Claudia should've handled. Also, I wrote in my wedding plan that seating would begin at 5:30 and there ceremony would begin at 6 p.m. or as soon as everyone was seated. Well, seating only took about 15 minutes and Claudia had to be told to get started since eveyrone was getting hot. But overall, I would give her a very positive rating.
The staff overall at Casa del Mar was EXCELLENT!!!! Everyone was so friendly and polite at every moment. No one ever seemed stressed out or got snotty with us. I can't say enough about them. Anything we needed, they provided!
Food: DELICIOUS! Ohhhh, dreaming about their steak and lobster now! I had a plated four-course sit-down dinner for abou 62 people serving filet mignon and lobster tail for just $79/per person, including the wedding cake! I thought that was a pretty good deal, and the portions were plentiful.
Decor: The hotel provided free of charge white garden chairs and white table linens. I like things simple, so that worked great for me. I had papaya and ivory roses as the centerpieces. The only thing is that the breeze from the ocean can get quite strong, and all my beautiful votives were blown out within about 15 minutes. I would say save your money and get them to put in extra tiki torches or get taller glasses for the votives!!!!!
We had our rehearsal dinner here, and I just CANNOT say enough good things about them!!!! Roberto Jaregui, the manager, met our every single need (and there were lots of them) and offered an exceptionally good deal. We had 62 people out on the patio ,and it was cozy and just gorgeous at night. The restaurant is very cute and quaint in downtown San Jose del Cabo. The food was excellent, and there is a guitar trio that performs during the high season, but that you can rent by the hour during the off season. It really helped set the tone for the entire wedding. They even gave us a free bottle of Damiana, which is supposed to be an aphrodisiac!
One word of caution: Damiana (and many of the restauarants) do not have enough room to accommodate people indoors if it rains! I was a little worried about rain while I was down there and just wanted to have a plan in case. Roberto was very worried as well, and when I became upset that he didn't have a backup, he arranged to have a tarp covering on standby. Really, it was a huge ordeal for him and he was checking weather reports constantly! Luckily, everything went perfectly smoothly. But it made me feel much better that he was just as worried as I was.
We had a three-course dinner of tortilla soup (WOW! the best we had while we were down there), red snapper baja style or chicken mole and flan all for $29. We did an open bar by consumption, and the bill was surprisingly low. Really, I couldn't have been more pleased with them!!!!
I used personal friends for my photographer, hair and makeup.
Posted 23 October 2006 - 06:27 PM
Posted 23 October 2006 - 06:45 PM
Thanks for all the details on the review.
I looooooove your hair. That is what I want for mine, but I'm worried mine isn't long enough, alas.
Overall, did you notice any tension between condo/hotel people?
Can't wait for the pro pics, although the one's on your sister's site look pretty pro to me!
Posted 23 October 2006 - 07:14 PM
thank you for the review. now back to the real world-----boooooo
Posted 23 October 2006 - 07:16 PM
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Posted 23 October 2006 - 07:22 PM
Posted 24 October 2006 - 09:39 AM
Posted 24 October 2006 - 09:58 AM
Posted 24 October 2006 - 12:00 PM
Also great color, I can't wait to see more pics. Thanks for creating your review and sharing your pics with us. Thank your sister too!!!
Posted 25 October 2006 - 04:20 PM
(Btw, on the hair -- my hair stylist at home came up with it!! It was super easy. I just put hot rollers in my hair and then velcro rollers on top for volume. We swooshed the hair over to one side and secured it with booby pins at the top and on the bottom, and then just wrapped a piece of hair around the pony. Voila! I did have to put hot rollers back in the pony after I finished the photos, though. *g*)
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