Yes, unfortunately we did have to pay the $60 pp for them to enter the resort. I think it was worth it though!
Yeah, before I visited the Occidental I was leaning towards the gazebo also because from the pictures they show you it looks like the better option. I did the site visit with my friend and we both agreed that the cliff side location was the hands down winner. My pros and cons are below (I like making lists LOL!)
BTW just for reference usually they put pedestals of flowers and a table for a sand ceremony but I decided to forego both because I didn't think it was necessary afterall nothing can outshine the ocean!
Palapa - Gazebo Location
Island Feel with the thatched roof palapa would look nice in photos.
Very close to Steak House cocktail reception area.
Not private looks over both the beach and the adult pool areas, when I asked the wedding planner Luz about on lookers she said that in all honestly people will usually stop and watch the ceremony and there really isn't any way to stop them since it is out in the open.
The grass area for the guests seating is right next to the side walk, it is also very small.
The location overlooks the ocean but is not right next to the ocean.
The groom will see you immediately when walking down.
Cliff Side - Ruin Location
Very private - there is a long wooded walk way that leads to the cliff side which they block off for you. The ceremony is behind the Mayan Ruin so no one will see you until you turn the corner into the ceremony area. It makes it really nice for lining up the bridesmaids and doing touchups before going down the aisle. Plus I liked how when they turned on the music I came around the corner.
People from the beach and the pool can't see you. It's literally like you are getting married on the edge of a cliff in the wilderness. It has a very nice feel!
Beach waves hit the cliff. It's totally gorgeous and even though it was somewhat hot the day we got married (in June) the temp was perfect because of the nice ocean breeze coming from the ocean.
Can I say gorgeous location once again??!!! Seriously, everyone commented on how pretty it was! lol
The Mayan Ruin will be behind you. It's pretty small and I like that kind of stuff but I know some people might have an issue with that.
Let me know if you have any other questions!