My FH, parents, sister and I returned from our site visit with le Reve just over a week ago and we are still in LOVE! It is every bit as beautiful as the reviews say and every person we came in contact with was wonderful. I'm going to do the review somewhat chronologically so that it makes sense to me...
The Cancun airport was fine, save the very very long line for immigration. It seems as though a few different flights arrive around the same time (1-3pm) and so it gets a bit crazy. Make sure you allow extra time in your planning to accomodate for that. We rented a car, but le Reve does also provide airport transfers for a fee, so that is another option. The drive down to Le Reve was easy, mainly highway. As many others have mentioned, the last 2-3 minutes of the drive is over a road with many, many potholes. Not a huge inconvenience, just something that is good to be aware of. FH likened it to driving over moon craters, but as long as you take it slow it's not a problem at all.
Once we walked up to the reception/lobby area of le Reve we all just melted. It is stunning. You look out over the pool and then straight out to the ocean. FH had not wanted to talk much about the wedding before our visit, but when he saw that view, he just hugged me and said "this is it." I couldn't help but melt!
Arlenis, the wedding coordinator, was there to greet us immediately. She helped us get settled in our rooms and said she could meet with us at any time. Once we unpacked, we met with her for about an hour. She was so super helpful and had tons of information for us! She had all kinds of pictures and ideas. Once we started getting overwhelmed with all the information, she let us think on it and told us she'd answer any questions we had the next day at our tasting.
We all stayed in their horizon suites. The rooms were perfect - minimal yet comfortable. These rooms were on the second floor had a balcony with two chairs overlooking the garden area. The shower has glass doors and the shower head is directly overhead like a rain shower. You get turn down service every night, and they leave a dessert on your bed One night it was flan, another night it was a coconut pastry, you never knew what delicious sweets would be on your bed that night!
Arlenis also showed us all the other suites. The garden suites were laid out just like the horizon suites, but were on the lowest level with balconies leading out to the garden.
The master suite was our favorite - these suites are on the third floor and there are only two of them. They are bigger, they have a canopy over the bed, a great big bathroom and a massive balcony overlooking the ocean, the balcony is big enough to throw a party! We ended up having our massages up here because it was raining and the outdoor area was too wet.
The last type of room is the bungalows. These are on the main level as well, but right on the beach; separate from the main hotel building, accessible by a pathway through the garden. The layout is similar to the horizon and garden suites, but you get an extra sink, a slightly bigger bathroom area, a canopy over the bed and (the best part) sliding glass doors that lead out to your own private plunge pool and then out to the beach. Sigh...
Unfortunately, I didn't get any pictures of the rooms, but the pictures on their website are very accurate. All the rooms are lovely, you can't go wrong with any of them.
Mariana, Arlenis' assistant, emailed us two months before our visit to ask if we would like to have a tasting while we were visiting, and of course we said yes! The price was $50 US a plate, very very reasonable for the amount of food that we got! We did our tasting on Friday afternoon at 1pm and it wasn't over until 5pm! We got to try every course as well as four different cocktails to help us decide on signature drink for the cocktail hour. Arlenis stayed with us the whole time, taking notes and talking about different options for food, settings for each portion of the wedding (ceremony, cocktail hour, reception). She took note of everything we talked about (very stealthily, I might add) and worked it all into a spreadsheet for us. That was so helpful to see everything laid out, especially with any and all customizations we had. For example, we were a bit concerned about the open bar prices, so Arlenis suggested we have two signature cocktails for cocktail hour, serve wine with dinner and then have an open bar for the rest of the night, then included that in her spreadsheet so we could see the difference in price. She is flat-out awesome. Aaaanyway, back to the food...
Antonio, the bar manager orchestrated this food fest; making drinks and explaining each plate as it came out. We had five courses: canapes, salads/soups, first course, intermezzo, main course, and dessert. Food is really important to FH and I, so it was going to take a lot to impress us. le Reve rose to the occasion. I'll go through each course with pictures:
So, so tasty. These were all traditional Mexican foods and each one was delicious. Out of the 6 we tasted, we picked five for our wedding.
Salads/Soups: Also great! We loved the Caesar salad and the traditional lime soup. We thought that soup might not be a good idea because it was a hot day, but it was so delicious that we didn't care! It is light, like a chicken soup broth, but full flavored with lime and cilantro, the tortilla chips add a good crunch and corn flavor.
The ajillo shrimp won this battle
Mandarin sorbet all the way! It was light and refreshing, a good palate cleanser between the larger courses.
Main course: We loved loved loved the chicken with guajillo chile, but were not as wild about the steak option. When FH told Arlenis that he'd enjoyed the arrachera steak he had at dinner the night before, she told us they could easily add that to our wedding menu instead. We are so excited that they are flexible enough to allow us to have anything we like!
Desserts: We had the flan and the tres leches cake, and they were still knocking it out of the park with the flavors! Just amazing. We picked the tres leches for our wedding cake, but I might ask if they can bring me a piece of flan on the side
We had the Mayan margarita, mango margarita, berry caipirinha, kiwi caipirinha and a lime/vodka drink. We were very happy by the end They were all great, the berry one was a bit sweet for my taste though. The Mayan margarita uses a local liquor flavored with anise seed and it is delicious! The sweetness of the anise cuts the sting of the tequila. We're deciding between mojitos (which are also amazing at le Reve), the Mayan margaritas and mango margaritas for our signature drinks.
On top of all the amazing food and service, this was our view during the tasting:
Life does not get much better!
The service was always wonderful! It wasn't in-your-face, but if you needed anything, you got it. I think this is best exemplified by something we watched from the pool on Friday morning. A couple on their honeymoon had found a coconut on the beach and were trying to open it so they could eat it. A couple of the bartenders and waiters saw this and grabbed the tools to help them. They opened the coconut and made the couple a snack out of it! They added various spices and juices to bring out the flavors.
Antonio went above and beyond to make sure we had a good time. His energy never waned through our four hour tasting and he took any suggestions we had or tweaks we wanted to make with grace. He chatted with us later that night at the bar and even gave us a free shot of tequila!
Mariana, Arlenis' assistant, was wonderful leading up to our site visit. She always answered my emails promptly and was the one to suggest the tasting! I was so impressed by that. Unfortunately, I missed her while we were down there, but she checked in via email once we'd returned home.
Unfortunately, FH and I had to cut our trip short because our dog ran away from our dogsitter's house (she's home now, safe and sound!). Concierge was very understanding and even let me use their computer to list my lost dog on various websites! They have an iPad they lend out to guests generally, but I needed to upload pictures so they let me use the computer behind their desk. They also arranged for a last minute transfer to the airport on Monday morning.
I cannot say enough about Arlenis! She listened to all our concerns, desires, questions and followed through with everything promptly. She was so friendly and full of ideas and suggestions. I feel completely confident planning my wedding with her long distance, I know everything will get done and she will do a beautiful job. She showed us programs and schedules other brides had made, place cards, all kinds of pictures with ideas for decorations. It was so helpful, she knows the space and what looks good. She also has a list of vendors that she uses, so you don't have to worry about finding a hairdresser or a DJ, etc.
We are crossing our fingers that we can get enough guests to fill this hotel! We love the idea of having the place to ourselves for the weekend, just have one big house party to celebrate our marriage!
And now, a few gratuitous pictures..
The hotel from the pool area
The beach and the pool bar
Beautiful night time view