Playacar Palace was the best decision ever! To all of you that are having your weddings there in 2012 - you will be blown away by the beauty and the service. I seriously can't put into words how amazing it was. I would be more than happy to answer any questions you have. We were married 11-4-11 in the Wedding Terrace. I will post pictures as I get them from my photographer.
We had 44 adults, ages 24-60 and one child, 18 mos. The majority of the guests were +/- 30. Nobody wanted to go home. The last week of Facebook status updates has been full of our guests talking about how much they miss Playacar Palace. My husband's parents are long time KC Chiefs season ticket holders and are considering cancelling the tickets so we can make this an annual trip.
Don't worry about the "wedding planners" you have to deal with via email. I had Mercedes and she took forever to respond. When you get to the resort, you'll work with Wilma. Wilma is absolutely fantastic. She is professional, efficient and incredibly kind. Oh - and very experienced and patient with large groups of people that aren't following directions because they've taken full advantage of the top shelf tequila shots She took care of every, single detail and made it perfect.
As for the staff...WOW... The word "no" is not in their vocabulary. Anything you or your guests want... "My pleasure." Not only did the waitresses and bartenders know our names, they knew our drinks! And, what we liked and didn't like. They even remembered that I don't like salt on the lime with my tequila shot. Watch out though! They get you a new drink before you are even done with the one you have in your hand. This caused a few of our guests to go to sleep early. And by go to sleep early, I mean pass out The guys that work at the swim up bar are a blast! They are so nice and seem to truly enjoy their jobs. Carlos was our favorite. Besides the fact that he treated us like royalty, he loved my niece (the 18 month old and flowergirl) and would hold her and teach her to say "hola!" He even held her and rocked her when she was crying. It melted my heart.
We had unlimited events due to booking 100+ rooms, but only used two. I wanted the guests to be able to relax and not be on a schedule. We did a cocktail hour the night before the wedding and a private dinner after the wedding ceremony. We had a 2:00 pm wedding and a 5:00 dinner. The guests were on their own between the ceremony and dinner. They were fine with this! They all went to the outside bar and drank and mingled until dinner. The reason for the two hours in between was we wanted ample time to take pictures up and down 5th ave and the beach. (We paid to bring our own photographer because photos were absolutely the most important thing for me. I cut from a lot of areas to bring our own and it was worth every penny.) For the reception dinner, we had the Caribbean Buffet - they added potatoes to the menu because hubby doesn't like rice. The food was the best meal we had all week.
They just opened a 5th floor reception room "La Villa Suite," which is where we had our reception. Once again, amazing... There is a set up fee for this location. It's worth it! I loved the privacy of the Wedding Terrace and La Villa Suite. We had our cocktail hour on the Cielo bar - it was also beautiful, but not as private. It was funny though, when some lady accidentally joined us for a welcome cocktail, then realized it was a private party
We didn't upgrade the wedding package or cake. We got the chocolate, heart shaped shell cake and it was so good. I wish we could have taken the rest home to freeze! The only decorations I brought with were 40 chair sashes and 10 table runners from www.tableclothfactory.com and the vases for the sand ceremony. (Bought the vases at Target for $1.99/each for small ones and $2.99 for the big one. The wedding themed ones online are a rip off.)
I saw other weddings that week that upgraded the packages. It was pretty, but I don't think it was worth paying or using the resort credit on. The complimentary is just as pretty.
Do not believe any of the bad reviews you see on Trip Advisor. Some people just complain about everything. Take it from me - I travel for work and stay in hotels all across the country every week. This is by far the best service you'll find. The rooms are immaculate, the food is great and the service is just unbelievable.