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Can't decide on resort for Mexico Wedding in 2013

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#1 JemmaD

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    Posted 07 June 2012 - 06:43 AM



    Me and my H2B are looking to get married in Mexico in June/July next year and there are too many resorts to choose from....!!! I am very indecisive and born worrier! 


    Every time I think I have decided on one, I get put off by something or a review on trip adviser.


    Just wondered whether any UK brides can recommend any resorts/travel agents??


    I am conscious of the cost due to wanting as many family members as possible to come and I can not have any adults only resorts as I have a 3 year old daughter (she will be 4 when we travel).


    I like the look of the Azul Sensatori Mexico - but there seems to be bad reviews about the beach...


    I also like the Riu Palace Riveria Maya and Moon Palace....


    Any advice or recommendations would be appreciated! 



    #2 2ndtimesacharm

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      Posted 07 June 2012 - 07:15 AM

      The issue with the beach at Azul Sensatori (and all those along that stretch between Puerto Morelos & Playa del Carmen) is that there is a reef perpendicular to this area.  It is a Mexican national treasure and wonderful for scuba diving and snorkeling.  It just doesn't result is a beautiful beach and often the water color is affected as well.  You will definitely need beach shoes with hard soles if you want to swim here and just be prepared for the seaweed that comes up all day every day.  Every resort along here battles the problem and Azul staff do a wonderful job clearing it daily but it will never be perfectly clean.


      I'm getting married at Azul Sensatori and I'm excited about it but probably would have chosen a different resort knowing what I know now. 

      1. Not cheap.  You're looking at a minimum of $150/person per night.

      2. Vendor fees.  As far as I can tell Karisma is the WORST resort chain wrt vendor fees.  $800 per vendor to get them on the property if you choose to use someone off their list.  Their list changes frequently because the vendors break their agreements when Karisma keeps upping the fees they charge them.  I personally didn't like the options I was given for photographers so I'm basically throwing away $800 and now can only afford 2 hours of photography time.  Sucks.  Those on these forums hiring DJs almost exclusively have paid the vendor fee to get a better DJ.  I just really feel like this is highway robbery and out of shear disgust would not choose this resort chain if I had to do it over again.  You may like the vendor options or may be bringing a photographer with you so this may be a moot point.


      On the plus side: There are LOTS of kid-friendly places up and down the coast but AS really does offer alot for families.  I'm looking forward to the good food and all the wonderful reviews of their wedding consultant staff make me confident that we'll have a relatively easy, stressfree day.


      It's not an easy decision!  Good luck!!

      Azul Sensatori ~ June 26, 2012

      #3 Tulumbride2013

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        Posted 29 August 2012 - 06:36 AM

        I'll say this.... As far as trip advisor goes it's definitely easy to get sucked into reading bad reviews. Just keep in mind people are more likely to post BAD reviews over good ones. Check the reviews on here:) I would also recommend asking your TA what resorts will be the nicest, have the best group deals, and then look into that resorts packages. You could also narrow down the list by figuring what environment you want to be in. Playa del Carmen , busier with bars ect. I'm getting married in Tulum, at a resort that's a bit remote. Happy planning:)

        #4 Moments That Matter

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          Posted 29 August 2012 - 08:32 AM

          Congrats JemmaD + welcome aboard the forum! For some helpful tips to help you choose which resort is best for you, visit our webpage here:



          Moon Palace........album link here: 

          Our Mayan Riviera beaches may vary a bit from resort to resort, but each has their own unique beauty, so you'll win with whichever one you choose........all the best with your plans :)





          Moments That Matter Photography , Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Mexico

          Canadian Award Winning Photojournalist serving the Riviera Maya


          Email: contact@momentsthatmatterphotography.com

          Why we're Ranked #1 ~ Scoop on what we do:  MTM Reviews

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          #5 LCB803

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            Posted 03 September 2012 - 01:21 PM

            Hi Jemma,


            I completely understand! I am indecisive AND have been navigating the kid conundrum. My fiance has two children, but most of our friends are either childless at this time, or have only infants. If you can't swing a planning trip to see what your options are like in person, then this forum is the next best thing. We visited in July and saw 17 different locations with two different wedding planners in 3.5 days! Half of these locations were in Cancun and the rest in Playa del Carmen. We settled on Hacienda Tres Rios (HTR) for our guests (family friendly, but not overrun by kids), and Playa del Secreto for the ceremony and reception.  Our ancillary events will be held at HTR (welcome cocktail, rehearsal dinner, and Sunday brunch) for roughly $1,200 per event (60 guests @ $20 supplement each).


            Cost control tips:

            • Cancun seemed generally cheaper than Playa del Carmen, but not exclusively. It's about a 25 min. drive south from the airport, but I don't know what the transfer fee is (I can ask our wedding planner and get back to you).  I definitely recommend considering Playa. Cancun seems pretty locked down by the "package" approach, which can be convenient, but may not offer you the best value and really limits your choices, and not in a good way. For example, you probably won't be able to bring in any of your own vendors; IF they allow it, it will be with a "vendor fee". In particular, I've heard lots of unfortunate stories about people who used the resort photographer or florist, and really regretted it.
            • Since you're so far away, DEFINITELY consider getting a wedding planning/coordinator. According to friends who have done DW's, travel agents are helpful for coordinating all the guests' travel, details, and issues, but they will not know the area like a Mexican planner/coordinator will. We met with Denise Courtney of Euforia events (and American) and Joss Morales of Unique Cancun Weddings (a Mexican). Both were excellent, but ultimately we went with the one that showed us the venue we liked best-- Joss Morales. Euforia works exclusively on commission (to a point), and Unique Cancun Weddings costs $850. A planner/coordinator will be able to offer you lots of vendors in a variety of price ranges for each service.
            • All-inclusive (AI) resorts/resort options may help maximize your guests' value-- and yours. Reception aside, AI resorts will often enable you to host ancillary events for a supplement fee for guests staying at the resort-- often around $15 and $20 per person. This will amount to enormous cost savings in the end.
            • If you do the reception off the resort, push your planner/coordinator to keep bringing things down. We've gone to Joss several times asking if there was any way to bring costs down, and each time she has managed to whittle out $100 here, $200 there, $80 here... altogether, these are big savings! And she has creative problem-solving ideas like buying the liquor at a store so we don't have to pay the high costs of the vendor's all-inclusive bar.
            • Avoid a reception venue that has a venue fee. We made the mistake of falling in love with our venue before we knew there was a $3,500 venue fee, but there was no going back!


            I would also recommend looking for a resort that has an adults side and a families side, so that both couples and families can essentially enjoy being in the same place. The Royal Cancun has an adults-only side as well as a family side. We visited it, but it was not for us (I can provide details if you are interested). Another resort with both was the Paradisus La Esmeralda in Playa del Carmen. It is a newer location, and gorgeous! So quiet, serene, comfortable, and luxurious, yet affordable. Unfortunately, if you plan to hold the reception or ceremony at the resort, and you plan to have children attend, then you are limited to options on the family side only. The adults-only side must stay adults-only, even for special events. If you plan to have the ceremony and reception off-resort (like we are), then it doesn't matter.


            Another option to consider is a small boutique hotel where you can rent out most or all of the rooms, so you can have as many kids as you want, and do what you please. Two good options are Le Reve (gorgeous!) and Omni Puerto Aventuras (so affordable! so much to do!), both in the Playa del Carmen area. (See my reviews of both here, at the bottom of the page.) Both offer either AI or EP (European Plan, where guests pay on consumption),but not both, i.e., all guests must be on one plan or the other, you can split the group up.


            Ultimately, if you only care about convenience and don't mind either sacrificing vision or paying for the convenience, then go with an AI resort and do all your events there. Keep in mind the packages they offer often contain a lot of "fluff" that you ordinarily wouldn't want/wouldn't want to pay for outright (rose petals on the B&G's bed, chocolate-covered strawberries, a commemorative 8x10 photo, etc.)  However, if you do a little extra work, you can have your vision and probably save money by going off-resort. Yes, you'll have to hire individual vendors, but a coordinator can help you with that; you will pay only for what you really want, and you may save money in the grand scheme.


            Good luck!



            #6 izrbttyoo

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              Posted 02 April 2013 - 09:40 PM

              THANK YOU, Lydia, for your comprehensive response. My H2B & I are looking into the two boutique hotels that you mentioned so that we can buy out the rooms for the duration of our wedding adventure. :-) We had not thought of doing that until I came across your post. I cannot thank you enough. I hope your wedding day was magical. God bless you.


              With gratitude,


              #7 lastminbride

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                Posted 23 September 2013 - 11:35 AM

                Hi Lydia,

                What a fantastic post.

                I see that your wedding is coming up in a few weeks, and you must be busy.

                My father is ill, and we need to do our wedding asap to make sure he is there (hopefully he will fully recovery, but this is his second bout with cancer, and I want to get the wedding done as soon as possible). Anyway, I am now planning for my wedding in late Nov early December.  I just spend TWO full weeks non-stop with the Membership Weddings dept at Moon Palace only to have all promises of benefits and extras magically 'evaporate' when it was time to sign a contract.  Just terrible.  


                I'm now back to square one and the time is ticking.


                Can you tell me what you didn't like about THE Royal? 

                Feel free to e-mail me privately if you prefer: hcwedding@comcast.net


                Thank you!


                #8 photoisforever

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                  Posted 23 September 2013 - 02:50 PM

                  You're so right, Hellen, about Lydia's post being chock full of great info......that's part of why this forum is such a wonderful resource for planning decisions!


                  Wishing everyone all the best with their plans, and that it all turns out Awesome - Enjoy !!!




                  Photography Is Forever Studios  

                  #9 Raquelita0715

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                  Posted 07 October 2013 - 07:04 PM

                  Wow great information!!!!

                  #10 Bride2b15

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                  Posted 07 September 2014 - 11:16 AM

                  Excellent information!

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