Wedding Review at The Royal Porto Real Resort & Spa
Posted 30 October 2006 - 10:58 AM
All 56 family members were scheduled to stay at the Gran for my sister's wedding. The four of us (sis, fiance, my husband and me) arrived a day prior to everyone else and stayed one night at the Gran. Upon arriving, we all had just missed the storm. First impression of the lobby was wet, wet and more wet towels all over the place. Our Master Suite room was ready before check in time.
Master Suite room (rm 527) was more than spacious, very clean, beautiful views of the beach and ocean. Loved it. Has a separate sitting area. We had 3 balconies. I anticipated a lot of activities happening in my room (getting ready day of wedding, luggage being placed while other guest's room not ready, all the wedding supplies, etc).
I went to speak with the front desk staff to inform that our guests would be arriving Wed through Fri for my sister's wedding. Front desk was friendly and informative. I even provided a list with everyone's names and arrival dates in order to facilitate the process.
About 3 hours later, some of the guests started to arrive. Rooms were not ready yet (if coming from East Coast, flights are early and only 3 hours, so it's understandable). However, in speaking with front desk, they informed me that they could not accomodate our whole wedding group at the Gran Porto. In particular, the oceanview/oceanfront junior suites. We think it may have been due to the storm prior to our arrival (some of the rooms were slightly flooded) or they simply overbooked.
They then offered us to put half our group at the Gran and the other half at the Royal. This was not acceptable to us.
In case you didn't know, if you are the Royal, you can visit and eat at the Gran. It doesn't apply if you are at the Gran.
Finally, a decision was made, and they upgraded our ENTIRE wedding group to the Royal. We were pleased with the situation.
The one downfall was that my Master Suite room equaled an oceanfront/oceanview junior suite at the Royal. (1100 sq ft vs. 750) Oh well, at this point, I was too busy getting everyone checked in and situated. How did the Gran do this? Our wedding group received a letter at check in and then were told to go to Royal for check in.
Welcome Cocktail Party on the beach:
We had a Welcome Cocktail party on the Gran Porto beach. We had 8 apps served, 1 hut bar all to ourselves, AV system, about 3 or 4 waiters, cocktail tables with some chairs and our private beach area was sectioned off with candles. It was really nice and the staff was really attentive. We booked this prior to our arrival. Walter, the sales manager is great with email correspondence. They are very accomodating with the menu as well. They even made a special drink in honor of my sister (the bride) Emily Martini.
We had the beach ceremony on the Royal side, closest to the pier, but to the right of where they play volleyball. We had a minister and a guitar player as music with the AV system all set up.
We had white cloth covered chairs and a few floral arrangements. Ceremony started at 6:15pm as the sun was setting.
Prior to the ceremony being set up, I could see them arrange everything from my room. My one concern was that at 5:45 the volleyball net was still up and people were still playing. Of course, with the staff's help, that ended right away.
If you are getting married on the beach, there will definitely be attention. People are respectful, but when I found myself at the ceremony location going over the details, little things like...walking through the aisles, taking pictures of the floral arrangements..it was a nuisance because the staff had just raked those areas. Security is present before and during the ceremony, mainly to ensure that people walk through a certain path.
Photographer: Recommend Vanessa Vargas. I had done my own research on her. Emailed her about the wedding at Gran/Royal. She informed me to tell the wedding coordinator that I wanted to request her. It got to busy for me and we just expected run of the house photographer. Then, at the ceremony Vanessa was there! Great, great shots. My sister received an album of shots picked out by Vanessa before we departed on Tues (8/15).
Floral: Paty, the wedding coordinator arranged it. Told her our colors and picked out some styles.
Wedding Coordinator, Paty:
Unfortunately, the day of my sister's wedding we did not know she was not present until 4:00pm when the concierge, Ursula informed us that she would be taking over. We understand that she had a family emergency and we hope everything worked out. We do feel at least a phone call from her as a courtesy to us would have been factored in??
Even the photographer knew in the morning before we did..
Otherwise, Paty was great in her email correspondence and quickly answered questions and concerns.
We chose to have the reception at Yaxche Restaurant, not at the hotel. Yaxche is located off 5th. We wanted a different, local experience. We had authentic Mayan cuisine. Erica, the event coordinator was great! We had lots of email correspondence and decisions already made prior to our arrival. She met all my requests and expectations..mariachi band, DJ, salsa dancing, photographer, shuttles for my guests..everything. The reception was held in their outdoor garden area. If you go on their website, you can see how they set up for groups. One area which is used for a ceremony has Mayan designs..we made that the dance floor. For 56 people, it wasn't too tight, but still comfortable.
Organizing a destination wedding was definitely a unique experience. Also knowing you have 56 family members from NJ/NY/Philly/Texas/Seattle..it's alot on you..but it was all worth it in the end!! Lots of emails and planning! Everything is still so fresh in my mind, I feel I could organize another one
As for the Royal...love, love it. I agree with the other reviewers. New, modern, clean, spacious rooms, food options were varied, service was fine, pools were large, enough chairs to go around..beach cabanas were great. The proximity to 5th ave/market area is waking distance.
I think all inclusives are great for large groups, esp this one.
We already have talk about going back soon :-)
Posted 30 October 2006 - 11:10 AM
Posted 30 October 2006 - 11:18 AM
Posted 30 October 2006 - 01:47 PM
| Originally Posted by Ryjaxs19 |
Good, except I keep finding info on everywhere besides the Occidental which is where we want to go. This is just my luck unfortunatly lol. If I could just find one wedding slide show at the Occidental Resort I would be the happiest girl in the world.
you'll find it...
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