So I joined this forum about 9 months ago and I just got back from my wedding on February 5th, so I thought I would give back the reviews and some pics of the wedding seeing as though I got so much info from this website (thanks so much to all who have posted such great ideas and suggestions).
Flight: Air Transat
We flew with Air Transat First Class and it was well worth the money we spent. We received double the baggage allowance (if your a bride, this is well worth saving the extra expense trying to carry all your wedding stuff with a baggage allowance of only 44 pounds). The extra leg room, free bar service and meals were also well worth the extra money we paid. Very relaxing. I think we paid an extra $150 round trip each for first class.
Overall feeling of the resort is that it is huge and a bit overwhelming at first, until we got to know the short cuts. We stayed in the Presidential Suite which was absolutely worth it....beautiful!! The resort is very modern (not mexican really) but very nice and clean.
Tip - If you are wanting to get from one side (where one group of buildings are) to the other side, do not follow through all the buldings...it will take you in a big loop. Instead, go around the theatre. It will save you about 10 mins!! We realized this on the 2nd day of wondering looking for our guests as they were all staying in the opposite side of the resort.
The 2nd day we ate at the main buffet. The food was just okay. We actually preferred to eat at the pool buffet closer to the time share building and presidential suites (to the left of the lobby) as the food was WAY better here.
A la cartes
We ate at the Brazilian, Steak House and The French (Extra Fee of $35 each, but we got it included in our presidential package).
The Brazilian was good and so was the Steak House. The French was EXCELLENT! We had the rack of lamb and it was to die for! Defiantly suggest eating here if you can. Our guests also ate at the Mexican while we ate at the French the day after the wedding, and they all said it was the best a la carte of all the ones we have been to.
Pools and Beach
Pools were nice!, There are 2 pools with activites and pool bars (both situated at each side of resort), and one quiet pool near the beach. We didn't spend any time at the quiet pool, but it looked very nice and quiet. We spent the 2nd day with our group at the pool and it was a great time!! Probably our favorite day out of the week. It was a great place for all og our guests to let loose and have a good time, and it was way better for kids, as the beach is very rocky.
We usually aren't pool people, as we always spend our time at the beach, but this time around we were not very impressed with the beach. It is very nice to look at, but it was very very rocky but it does make for nice wedding pics (there is a ruin off the beach as well) so I would recommend for the wedding aspect. All in all, I would say that the beach was okay, but defiantly not nearly as nice as some of the resorts we have stayed in the Mayan Riviera.
We bought the Presidential Package which included the following:
Judge or Minister fees
Champagne toast and appetizers
Music during the ceremony
Romantic dinner in the French restaurant ( for the newlyweds*)
Romantically decorated wedding location
10 pictures from the ceremony
Premium wedding cake
Private Lobster dinner on the beach for 10 people
Personalized Check In and Check Out for Bride and Groom
Wedding breakfast served in the room
Fruit basket and bottle of wine
Exclusive Bell-Boy Service
VIP bathroom amenities
International beer and "Premium" mineral water
"Express" laundry service
Private transportation to the airport for 10 people
Room up-grade for Bride and Groom to Presidential Suite
24 hour room service with premium menu
Unlimited minibar refill
Full bar in the room
10% discount on all the hotel extras
Free internet for the week ( including WiFi )
Unlimited dinners at the A la carte restaurants for Bride and Groom
Mexican TrÃo, Violinist or Saxophonist for 45 minutes
Surprise premium gift from the management
SPA wedding package for Bride (Hair Style and Make up
SPA pass for 10 people ( One per stay )
Room at the SPA for 6 people (to get dress before the wedding)
Honey moon Ceremony for Groom and Bride at the SPA
Bubbles for the ceremony
"Gourmet Bites" as an additional night courtesy
Late Check-out until 2:00 p.m.
Choice of room cleaning hours
DJ ( 3 Hours with Lights )
The day of the wedding, we had some not so great experiences at the spa.
First, they tried booking my girls in for hair starting at 7:00 AM (the ceremony was at 3:00!!) They said this was because they only had one stylist, which in my opinion was a bit ridiculous for a resort that has daily weddings...but anyway we had this worked out after arguing for about a half hour and I had to remove the make up applications for my girls, which was not a too big of deal.
The lady did a very nice job on my hair and makeup. No complaints. Further into the morning, the spa tried kicking out my jr bridesmaid and flowergirl, saying there were no kids allowed in the spa, which they never previously told me. After much arguing on behalf of my bridesmaids, they were told that the kids had to wait downstairs...and after all that, my bridesmaid slipped while holding her baby and fell on the floor where the baby almost hit her head. Needless to say she did complain, and the manager ended up telling her that it was her fault that she fell!! How's that for customer service??? Anyway, she left it alone at that point, but just a heads up for those who have flowergirls or children in their wedding party. They were just very very unreasonable about that. Very disappointed!!
On a positive note, I might add, that the spa is excellent if you are wanting services done. I went twice during my stay. Once the day before the wedding with the girls for the water circut (which is included for 10 people if you book the presidential package) which was VERY GOOD. Followed by a chocolate wrap and a 60 minute relaxation massage. EXCELLENT! Then I went again with my husband the day after the wedding for our honeymoon ceremony (Which is also included in the presidential package) which included the steam room, aroma therapy bath, and a 60 minute hot stone massage. AMAZING!! One of the best massages I have ever had!
The ceremony was near the disco and palapa. It was beautiful and untouched. If I might add though, if you are going to take pictures around the water, there is alot of garbage which was a shame, but won't be noticeable in your pics. We hired our own guitarist, Alfonso, and he played really nice music, but we think he may have been drunk lol. He arrived late, set up late due to rain that stopped nearly a hour before our ceremony began, so therefore our ceremony was delayed by an hour.
I LOVED my ceremony set up. I paid extra for the rose petal runner, chair sashes and got them to have the tiffany chairs instead of the regular chairs with chair covers. We didn't have to pay the extra fee for the tiffany chairs because we had the presidential package.
After the ceremony, we had some champagne on the beach and a few snacks (appetizers were okay) and we took family pics with our photographer whom we flew down with us (which we would defiantly do again, because the pics from the resort photographer were not very good).
After the family pics, we went off literally chasing the sun because of the delay of the ceremony and took some pics down the beach where we had the ceremony.
The dinner was in the palapa. We had the entire place to ourselves. It was well worth it. The decor was beautiful! I paid extra for the centerpieces and they used the flowers from the ceremony as the head table centerpiece, which was nice to save money on that. We also paid extra to have the projector and screen for the slideshow.
Over all, the food was excellent. We had the beach menu which included:
1) .- LOBSTER CREAM
2) .- ASPARAGUS CREAM
3) .- FLORENTINE CREAM
1) .- GREEN SALAD WITH GOAT CHEESE
2) .- MIXED SALAD WITH VINAIGRETTE
3) .- TROPICAL SALAD (Lettuce and fruits)
1) .- SURF AND TURF WITH SHRIMP OR LOBSTER (ADDITIONAL COST)
2) .- STEAK WITH PANELA CHEESE
3) .- LOIN OF SALMON IN SAUCE CLAMS.
1) .- BROWNIE WITH VANILLA ICE CREAM
2) .- CHEESE CAKE WITH BLUEBERRIES
We chose the lobster cream soup and green salad with goat cheese. We chose the option of the Surf and Turf and Chicken with Panela Cheese (We changed it to chicken rather than steak), but almost everyone had the steak and lobster and loved it. The soup was good, but you have to like fish to like it and the salad was good as well. The cheese cake was excellent.
After the drinks and speeches, we got into the dancing which was fantasic! The bartenders got into it and starting bringing rounds and rounds of shots onto the dance floor and set up my guests on 2 chairs and started pouring shots into their mouths in pairs. It was so much fun! We also had a DJ set up for 3 hours (included in the package) and cake in the corner (which was very good). I also brought my ipod for the first dances. The reception went until about 10:30 and then all of the younger people went to the disco (which goes till 4am apparently). They all had a great time at the disco.
All in all. I loved my wedding and the week following up! I wouldn't change a thing. We loved having all of our friends and family there for that week and it made it truely special and intimate. It gave our guests lots of time to get to know each other and to this day they left with some close friends they never had before. Would defiantly do a group holiday again. Hope this info was helpful to those you seeking out info about grand sirenis. Ask if you have any questions or let me know if I have left anything out.
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