Ok, here goes my review, Iâ€™m sorry it will be lengthy because I want to provide as much detail as possible:
Vacation Provider: Air Transat
Travel Agent: Regina Labog @ Now Destinations in Toronto
Resort: Iberostar Rose Hall Suites
Ceremony Location: Lazy River Island
Reception Location: Beach with Jamaica Buffet
Photographer: Misha Earle
DJ: DJ Kevan
Tent Rental: Conrad @ Cover Me Up Rentals
Florist: Tai Floral
Travel Agent- Regina Labog @ Now Destinations in Toronto A+
We received Reginaâ€™s contact through a friend of ours who works in the travel industry. Regina was great right from the start, she researched resorts for us using the criteria we gave her and retuned a list of resorts to us within a week. We went back and forth on the list until we eventually chose Iberostar Rose Hall Suites. Once we had decided on the resort she contacted them for us and arranged all of the wedding paperwork and details. She even managed to keep a surprise from us that our uncle upgraded us to Club Class for our fight to Montego Bay AND she convinced Now Destinations to upgrade us on our flight home!
Air Transat was amazing, when our TA found better prices from Sunwing she went back to AirTransat to see if theyâ€™d price match (as I preferred to book with them) and they matched the prices and then some.
AirTransat Club Class was absolutely amazing; from the food to the service we couldnâ€™t have been happier. When we arrived at the airport we received priority check-in, plus extra weight allowance for our checked luggage. We also were the first to board the plane and right away the stewardess made sure my dress was stored properly in the overhead bin (as there were not closets on the aircraft). Since my dress was lace I wasnâ€™t worried about it being wrinkled and there were no issues. They also announced that my fianc© and I were on-board and getting married which was a nice touch! I did however hear a couple of complaints for our family members that did not book Club Class regarding the food not being very good and that the seats were too tight but I feel as if this is the similar to most airlinesâ€¦
The AirTransat rep at the resort was also great, he met with us the day after we arrived and went through their usual run-down of resort features and day trips offered and then answered any questions our group had. A bunch of our family members booked a private trip to Dunnâ€™s River Falls and the shopping with the rep and loved it.
Iberostar Rose Hall Suites â€“ Resort Review:
Ok, let me start of by saying that Iâ€™m not usually an all-inclusive type of vacationer. I prefer smaller hotels that make you â€˜feelâ€™ more like a local but since it was for our wedding and we were bringing family members with young children, many of which have not travelled before we decided that a resort was the right choice.
Check-in â€“ C: 38 of us arrived at the resort around 9:30pm on Saturday night, the check-in was a bit slow but they were fairly efficient and provided us with drinks while we waited. One negative comment regarding check-in was the lack of directions for guests on how to get to their rooms (and the resort can be a bit complicated when you first arrived) and the lack of help with luggage, especially to our family members that had small children and to some of the older guests. In fact, I found the front desk staff to not the least friendly of all of the staff at the resort.
The Resort â€“A-: The resort is beautiful and incredibly well kept and although weâ€™re usually ocean people we loved the infinity pool and swim-up bar. The beach was generally well-kept although a bit rocky at times however the entire week we were there it was quite windy which could be why we tended to stay at the pool in the afternoons. The kids in our party also loved the Waterpark and it was great they had shaded loungers for the parents so they could sit and watch the kids. My only complaint about the resort is the lack of open-air restaurants and patios to enjoy in the evenings, although I appreciate the air conditioning our group would have preferred more areas that were outdoors, especially at night when we wanted to get together after dinner.
Room â€“ A+: We booked an oceanview room and were upgraded to oceanfront. The room was huge and beautifully furnished and had the most amazing view! We also arrived to a fruit basket and bottle of wine which was a nice touch J
Food & Restaurants â€“ A+: We canâ€™t say enough good things about the food, we loved, loved, loved it and we had many picky eaters with us! My fianc© and I personally only had time to try the Steakhouse and the Gourmet both of which were delicious and comparable to high-end restaurants in Toronto. Our guests also tried the Mexican and the Mare Nostrum Restaurants and loved them. Most days we ate lunch at the Steakhouse as we loved that it was open air and though the food wasnâ€™t as heavy as the options at the buffet restaurant. I.e. the steakhouse had hamburgers, hotdogs, jerk chicken, etc, while the lunch buffet tended to be similar to what youâ€™d see at dinner time. We also ordered room service the day of the wedding which came relatively quickly (45 mins) and was delicious.
Entertainment â€“ B-: Although we loved the entertainment staff most of our guests didnâ€™t like the Nightly Shows they held in the Theatre, it seemed a bit amateur and not as interactive as Iâ€™ve seen at other resorts. The other events at the resort however were all great, this includes pool-side entertainment, daytime activities, childrenâ€™s activities and the band and singers they had most evenings in either the lobby bar or the Blue Moon Music Bar.
Wedding Coordinator Review â€“ B-:
We arrived at the Suites on a Saturday evening and went down to Nicoleâ€™s office on the Sunday morning to find out when weâ€™d be meeting to go over the wedding plans and to confirm our rehearsal dinner. When we arrived Nicoleâ€™s assistant Simone was there and she immediately got our file and setup a meeting time for the following day with Nicole, she also confirmed our Rehearsal Dinner Reservations.
We met Nicole Monday morning and she went through our final details sheet with us to make sure she understood all of our instructions. She was fast and efficient and we felt as ease immediately with her. The only issue we had was regarding the 2012 vs. the 2013 pricings. When we signed our contract with the hotel in November 2012 we received the 2013 package prices however when Nicole sent us our Final Details Sheet the week before the wedding it had the 2012 packages on it. Since we preferred the 2013 packages we asked that we receive those but Nicole explained that since we did not pay a deposit that we could only get the 2012 packages; this is because the 2012 packages didnâ€™t require a deposit... So this didnâ€™t make sense to us and we tried to reason with her but to no avail.
Our only other issue with Nicole was regarding our fire lanterns, when we met with her we told her that we wanted to set off the lanterns after our wedding but when 10:30pm arrived Nicole was nowhere to be found and our guests eventually left. Apparently around midnight someone saw Nicole running through the lobby asking where we were because she had the lanterns, of course by this time it was too late as our guests were already in their rooms or elsewhere for the evening. This also bothered me because we had our photographer booked for another hour after our reception to photograph us lighting the lanterns. When we went to see Nicole the next day she didnâ€™t apologize but we did manage to set-off the lanterns with Simoneâ€™s help on our last evening at the resort.
Wedding Vendor Reviews:
Misha Earle â€“ A+:
We fell in love with Mishaâ€™s photos ever since we saw them on her website. She was amazing right from the start, responded very quickly to our email inquiries and worked with us so we could determine the package that suited us most. We also Skyped with her a couple weeks before the wedding and she answered many of our questions and concerns.
On our wedding day, Misha and her crew guided us through our photos during our ceremony and took candid's of our wedding party throughout the reception. We also had the pleasure of using Misha's photo booth during our reception, which was widely used by our guests and one of the most talked about features of the night! We were really surprised how excited our guests were to use the booth and even our shyest guests put on some costumes to participate. We also really enjoyed that the guest received copies of their photos immediately after they were taken and it was nice to see them sharing and laughing at them together. We are definitely glad we included the photo booth for our wedding day and we canâ€™t wait to receive our wedding day photos for Misha!
DJ Kevan â€“ A+
We booked DJ Kevan after seeing the positive reviews on Facebook. When we met with Nicole she made sure to call Kevan and setup a time for us to meet with him to discuss the reception and what we were looking for. When we met with him he asked us a series of questions and we went through the types of music weâ€™d like to hear. The night of the wedding he was nothing short of amazing! Heâ€™s a great DJ and MC and I donâ€™t think our guests stopped dancing the entire night!
Cover Me Up Rentals â€“ A+
We also found Cover Me Up Rentals through positive reviews on Facebook. Conrad responded to our emails and worked with us on pricing. The night of the wedding the tent looked beautiful and our guests couldnâ€™t stop talking about it!
Tai Flora â€“ B:
We reached out to Tai Flora about 2 months before the wedding and after waiting for more than a month for a response from them we also emailed Janâ€™s Flowers and Floral Fantasies. We received both quotes back and we were about to choose Floral Fantasies when Tai Flora responded back (about 2 weeks before we were to leave for the wedding). Since the quote was similarly priced we decided to go with them to avoid any possible vendor fees and to make things easier. We did upgrade the flowers from the package and they worked within our budget to determine what would work best for us. When the flowers showed up on the wedding day they were so beautiful and exactly as we had envisioned.