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Jamaica vs. Mexico vs. Puerto Rico

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#1 jello

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    Posted 20 February 2012 - 08:43 AM

    Hi there,


    I am newly engaged and we just started looking at destinations for our 2013 wedding.  I could use some advice!


    We (and most of our friends) live in NYC, while our families both live in the DC area, so I started by searching for places that have plenty of direct flights from both NYC and DC.  That narrowed the list to Jamaica, the Riviera Maya in Mexico, and Puerto Rico.  We're probably going to have around 50-60 people, including children, so any resort that is adults-only is out.  Finally, we're looking for something more secluded and natural; all-inclusive megaresorts just aren't our style.  


    Based on these criteria, I came up with the following list:


    Negril, Jamaica

    Tensing Pen

    Round Hill


    Vieques, Puerto Rico

    W Vieques


    Tulum, Mexico

    Cabanas La Luna

    Nueva Vida

    La Zebra

    Las Ranitas


    I've been to Vieques, but I've never been to Jamaica or Tulum / Riviera Maya area.  Can anyone tell me about the general feel of these two places — are they very touristy?  Crowded?  Is it a "spring break" kind of environment, or more rustic and natural?  


    Also, are there any other places that I've missed?  Thank you so much in advance!



    #2 TammyWright


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    Posted 20 February 2012 - 08:52 AM

    have you considered Le Reve?  It is a boutique resort and with your group of people, you cna do a buy out and have the resort just for your group.


    Le Reve


    They are also having a great promo with del sol photography for a discount on rates and photography services. (if i remember correctly)

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    #3 Akumal Bride

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      Posted 20 February 2012 - 09:27 AM

      I can't weigh in on those places in Jamaica or DR, but I've spent a fair amount of time in Tulum. It's a gorgeous place for a wedding. I would just caution that the Eco-resorts you are looking at are fairly rustic cabanas on the beach without A/C. Depending on the time of year, it could be tough on elderly guests or people with young kids. Great for most adults, though. Tulum is definetly laid back and not spring break-ish.

      #4 jello

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        Posted 20 February 2012 - 03:15 PM

        Thanks, Tammy!  Good to know about the discount.  I'll add Le Reve to the list...

        #5 Moments That Matter

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          Posted 21 February 2012 - 09:45 AM

          I will be shooting Le Reve next week... so stay tuned for some fantastic images!!!

          Tulum is very laid back and the furthest thing from Spring Break you can get and still be in a tourist zone. Commercial buildings and resorts are second to small boutique style hotels and the beaches are fantastic! If you love Mexico, don't like crowds but still want to be "civilized"... Tulum is your spot! You will love it there.






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          #6 Molly57

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            Posted 01 March 2012 - 11:29 AM

            I just booked Cabanas La Luna for my wedding in Feb 2013.  I visited the area in November.  I originally had planned my wedding at a big all-inclusive resort where we stayed and ended up driving down to Tulum and chose a whole different destination.  That area of Tulum feels undiscovered and much more relaxed. It was love at first sight!  Let me know if you have any questions.  Good luck!

            #7 Jessica4LUXE

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              Posted 01 March 2012 - 01:51 PM

              Hi Jello,


              All great options!


              One of my personal favorite destinations to travel is Tulum. Out of your choices I prefer La Zebra, the the Be Tulum is my favourite! The vibe in Tulum is very romantic and European in my opinion. The only problem is that with a large group, most guests will likely have to be scattered across various hotels which can become difficult to keep organized on your own!


              We are currently planning a wedding at the Round Hill Resort in Jamaica. They is something very old world and classic about this property. Not only is it beautiful, but the service is excellent. There is also the option of renting a private villa on the hill!


              Have you considered The Caves in Jamaica? Definitely Rustic. Or The Viceroy in the Mayan Riviera (formerly The Tides)?





              #8 Lala32

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                Posted 04 March 2012 - 06:47 PM

                Hey Jello! 


                Looks like we are searching for something similar :-) 


                I'm doing the same - kinda of searching everywhere looking for boutique hotels or villas that are private(ish) yet aren't too expensive from NY area (however with the airfares so high, it seems like $ is a crapshoot at the moment).  Maybe also look at Catcha Falling Star, Rockhouse and Moon Dance Cliffs/Villas in Negril ?



                #9 jello

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                  Posted 12 March 2012 - 09:29 PM

                  Thanks to everyone for the input!  I really appreciated it.  We just booked for June 2013 at Ana y Jose Beach Club in Tulum, Mexico.  We ended up emailing these places for their wedding details:




                  - Tensing Pen

                  - The Caves

                  - Half Moon



                  - Playa Azul in Tulum

                  - Playa Azul in Cozumel (not related to the other Playa Azul)

                  - Las Ranitas

                  - La Zebra

                  - Le Reve

                  - Hotel Jashita

                  - Ana y Jose


                  The Caves and Hotel Jashita never got back to us.  Le Reve was stunning, but unfortunately at $200 - $400 a night too expensive for our guests.  Danielle at Half Moon got back to me right away and was super professional, and I loved the villas that they have, but in the end we decided it was also too expensive for our guests.  Plus we weren't crazy about their wedding packages, which included lots of things like boutonnieres that we didn't want.  


                  Playa Azul, Las Ranitas, La Zebra, and Tensing Pen were all similarly priced, in the $100 - $300 range for hotel accommodations and right around the $100 pp mark for reception.  They all looked beautiful.  But in the end we went with Ana y Jose Beach Club.  It was a pretty easy decision — Ana y Jose had a gorgeous setting, total flexibility (they only mandate that you spend $3500 on food and beverages, everything else is optional), Jackie's professionalism, and the huge benefit that our guests can stay wherever they want. 


                  Whew!  I think nailing down the budget, guest list, venue and date will be the hardest part of wedding planning... or at least I hope so. :)

                  #10 Siberyachka

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                    Posted 06 April 2012 - 05:07 AM

                    Hi Molly, how many guests are you expecting on your wedding, any kids? How old is the youngest? Since you booked cabanas la Luna, are you going to ask your guest arrive and leave at specific day?

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