Originally Posted by brownsugarbride
I was talking with one of my friends about flying down to RM/Cancun to scout out wedding locations. We're trying to save money, so we would have to do everything in one trip. My concern is that by going down to scout out places, that wouldn't leave any opportunity to have a tasting. Since the food is one of our top priorities, this would NOT be good. On the other hand, I'm a little nervous about picking a hotel/AI site unseen, especially given comments about some hotels being much nicer than they appear in photos (or visa versa).
I would appreciate any thoughts, previous experiences, or other comments on this one!
My fiance and I scouted about 5 resorts in one day as part of our overall vacation/scouting trip to Moon Palace in May 2013. We kind of figured we were going to go with Moon Palace before we headed down to Mexico, which is why we booked out stay there. Our travel agent arranged for us to spend one whole day doing site inspections of other resorts up and down the Riviera - we did 2 in the Cancun hotel zone (Beach Palace and Sandos), 2 along the Riviera (Dreams Riviera and Azul Sensatori), and 1 in Playa del Carmen (Playacar Palace).
We rented a car and had a very tight schedule that we completely got off course from within the first two inspections! It was a very busy day and we ran extremely late for every appointment after the second one. Each inspection took at least an hour, and we did not do any food tastings except at one location, which in turn delayed us even further. That being said, it was good to sample the food at that spot because it demonstrated to us that while the food at the resort was pretty decent, the amount of time it took to get our food was ridiculous!
I would highly recommend doing site inspections in this fashion, because it allows you to see the different locations back-to-back, and allow for immediate comparisons. Plus you only have to rent the car for one day. Start early, allow enough time in between to get lost (it's actually really tough to get from one side of the highway to the other in some areas if the resort is not on the side you are currently driving on). Make sure you take your phones with you, and have them fully charged, because we took videos of EVERYTHING so that we could refer to them later.
With regard to tastings, we also placed food as a top priority at first, because we wanted traditional Indian food and wanted to make sure that the resorts could accommodate. Most of them cannot. Having been to Mexico before, we have always found resort food to be very disappointing. We are big foodies, and I am a vegetarian, so this is a big deal for us. That being said, in the end we decided that the location is the #1 priority, because if the scenery, rooms and staff are sub-par, no amount of yummy food can make up for that. Everyone is different in terms of their priorities, but for us, we definitely shifted the priority in favour of a location that would be the most fun for us and our guests, with the understanding that neither of us have really ever liked the food at a Mexican resort, and we probably never will. Doing a wedding in Mexico really comes with some compromises, and sometimes food is one of them.
I hope that helps! Congrats on your engagement and good luck with the planning