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Karla's Review

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    Posted 13 November 2006 - 07:39 PM

    Karla – Sunset Da Mona Lisa

    Georgina Espinosa at Cabo Dream Weddings – B
    In my opinion there are several things that Georgina did right and many others she did wrong. I was very happy with all the vendors she got for the wedding, but not always pleased with the level of service. I will point out at each event what was not satisfactory to us regarding her service.

    Dinner and Bonfire at Tabasco Beach Club – B+
    I wanted to give this an A so badly since the food, wait staff and margaritas were excellent. The location was absolutely perfect for our guests staying at the Pueblo Bonito Rose. We were able to walk out of the hotel onto the beach and you could see the restaurant. The big problem was with the dinner. We left dinner optional for our guests to join us before the bonfire. Before leaving for Cabo, I could not get Pablo, the owner to give me a fair per plate price for a group dinner. He originally quoted me $24 per person for a fajita plate. The a la carte price is around $13. The up charge was due to the trouble of having a large party there. I went and talked to Tony the manager the day I arrived in Cabo and we were able to work out $17 per person for a fajita buffet, which was by his calculations the a la carte menu price of fajitas + tax + service and I also had to have Georgina collect money from each person. They did not want to have to worry about who ordered what drink, etc… That was fine with me, and I hired Georgina to come for the dinner and bonfire to supervise, decorate and collect money from everybody at a fee of $50. We arrived at dinner and the buffet was excellent. They provided tostadas, rice, beans, chicken, beef and tortillas. The only bad thing is once the check came out, they were charging people $18.50 per person. It’s only $1.50, but come on! I was so upset since it made us look bad to our guests. They offered no apology or anything, so Tim politely asked them to explain. Turns out they had charged tax twice? and later on corrected the price to $17.50 per person… at that point we let it go, but still we were aggravated.

    The bonfire was a hit. Our original count was about 35 people and we negotiated a
    $500 minimum for the margaritas, drinks, etc… For different reasons our group ended up being much smaller, around 20 people. Late in the night and we were only at $270 into the bar tab, so we may not have hit the limit. Regardless, it was a blast and they were kind enough to let us stay after they closed to hang out and left plenty of wood for the bonfire. We partied until about 1 AM.

    I had given Georgina 40 luminaries and 60 candles to decorate the area with. The place looked great all lit up with the luminaries. Some of the luminaries went out early on in the night and when I looked in those bags, there were tea lights instead of the candles I had provided (even though I provided 20 more than necessary just in case they went out). I honestly think she kept some of the candles since candles in Cabo are expensive. I was so upset that Tim had to tell me to calm down and enjoy the bonfire. I never received any left over candles back. She also never collected the money from people, so I’m not sure why I paid her $50 in the first place.

    Rehearsal Dinner at Desperados (last minute change) - A
    I called Georgina to finalize all our plans on Monday afternoon10/30/2006 before I left for Cabo. At this point she told me that she had some bad news. The Friday before, the original Rehearsal dinner venue (Iguanas Restaurant) called her to tell her that the restaurant had flooded and they are now temporarily closed for renovations. The good news was that the owners of our original venue asked another restaurant nearby to honor the menu and price and hold the rehearsal dinner at Desperados Restaurant. Call me crazy but I was a bit upset that Georgina had known for days of this change and did not notify me. The good thing was that the change in venue was a blessing in disguise. The restaurant was great and the food was excellent. We had originally negotiated an outstandingly low price of $17 per person at Iguanas Restaurant which included a starter (soup or salad) an entrĀ©e (there were about 6 choices) a dessert and a drink. They honored the same menu and price and it surpassed our expectations. The only reason I can’t give them an A+ is because they charged everybody the first included drink and I had to scramble around trying to correct this, and something else I wished Georgina would have checked on. Regardless, I would highly recommend this restaurant.

    Sunset Da Mona Lisa – A
    We held the rehearsal at 10 AM on Friday 11/03/2006. This was the very first time that Tim and I had seen the restaurant in person, and let’s just say it was not a good first impression (I’ll explain the A rating later). The ride to the restaurant was awful. It is a dirt road through construction to get there. There is extensive construction going on beside the restaurant. What was before rolling green hills is now full of construction workers, dump trucks, etc… The jack hammering while we were there was almost unbearable. We arrived at the restaurant and they would not allow us inside since there were cruise ship groups coming in to take pictures. It appeared to me that Georgina had not confirmed any plans to have the rehearsal there that morning. After Georgina spoke to them, our party was allowed to come in, but the terraces were full of cruise ship people. We had to wait around for 45 minutes until the crowd died down considerably. We were forced to hold the rehearsal walking around the cruise ship people. I was NOT happy. Meanwhile the jack hammering never stopped. Of course, we were concerned regarding the construction but Georgina assured us that the restaurant had full control over the construction and that they would be stopping construction promptly at 1 PM on Saturday, the day of the wedding. We were setting up dinner in the salon in the restaurant. We went to see it and it was a mess. They were currently using it as a storage room. We were doubtful that it could be cleaned up in time.

    When I arrived the day of the wedding, I could still hear one construction worker hammering away. Tim later told me that he was so angry that construction was still going on, that he complained to Georgina. Georgina told him that it was not something that neither she nor the restaurant could control… even thought we had been told otherwise the day before. The construction beside the restaurant is visible from the terraces. It did not distract enough away from the beautiful views, but I still wished that they could have left the rolling green hills alone. I believe it is going to be a parking lot in the future, which unfortunately will be a big eye sore.

    I really think this restaurant truly shines during sunset and in the evening hours. The day of the wedding the place looked amazing. I walked into the salon and it had been transformed from storage room, to an elegant reception area. The views from the salon were spectacular. The entire restaurant is lit up with candles and these amazing light fixtures hanging from the palapa. We used 3 terraces for the wedding ceremony which ended up being a really nice setup. The wedding party was in a small terrace and the rest of the guests were divided into 2 other terraces with the Mexican Trio in the middle in a part of the terrace that jutted out a bit. The wait staff was great and one of the managers Luis has a great handle on the entire restaurant. We were greeted with margaritas and beer upon us walking out of the ceremony. The wait staff was already walking down to the terraces with drinks to start the cocktail hour.

    Due to the construction and the hurricanes the path to the beach from the restaurant is not accessible. The beach is only accessible if you go through the construction area with a 4 wheel drive vehicle. We had to pile the whole wedding party into 2 vehicles to go take pictures down there.

    The presentation and the taste of the food were amazing. I had the steak and it was so tender. The mashed potatoes were a very small serving, but so good! I asked around regarding all the dishes and everybody said they loved it. I took pictures of most of the dishes, so check the pictures folders.

    We chose to only serve wine during dinner. Tim took the time to choose 2 different reds and 2 different whites from the wine menu. They ended up serving Berringer brand, which was not what we chose. Tim was not happy since they asked us to take the time to choose something. I think this was another thing that Georgina should have taken care of.

    We were fortunate that the restaurant was virtually empty the night of our wedding. We did not do a full buyout so there were few spectators around, but the salon is enclosed and a bit removed from the rest of the restaurant. It is by the main entrance, so everybody coming into the restaurant can look in, but I rarely noticed it. I really believe that the season picks up a bit after the first week of November. We returned the following Saturday 11/11/06 to have our last dinner in Cabo there and the place was packed. There was another wedding being held there. They had their setup in the palapa area. The setup was beautiful but be aware that you must walk through that area to get to the terraces, and for people from the terraces to go to the restroom, etc. I took a picture of the setup for all brides interested in this area.

    This is where Georgina’s services truly shined. All the vendors she hired surpassed our expectations.

    Reverend Scott Parsons – A+
    He did a very good job with the ceremony. A couple of things did not go as we had planned, vows out of order, etc… but overall I think that was due to third party communication (from us to Georgina to him). He was not present during the rehearsal as we had expected, I believe Georgina did not coordinate that either. Overall we were very satisfied, but I would recommend for you to meet with whoever is holding the ceremony prior to the real deal.

    Classical Trio – A+
    Sorry I do not have the name of the trio, but they did a great job. I heard the exact songs I asked for during the wedding ceremony and it sounded beautiful. Tim said that the music was smooth, light and provided the perfect amount of ambiance for the ceremony. I highly recommend getting a classical trio for the ceremony.

    Flowers by Rossy – A++++++
    I opened the door to my hotel room and actually screamed when I saw the bouquet flowers. They were even BETTER than what I asked for. The flowers were fresh, the color was vibrant, and overall they were gorgeous. The centerpieces I ordered were also gorgeous. I look at the wedding pictures and still the first thing that comes out of my mouth is how much I loved the flowers!

    Francisco Estrada at Photomexico – A+
    Francisco really has a passion for his work and it shows during the time he spends taking your pictures. Our friends called him the photo ninja because he was everywhere during the ceremony to get all different shots. We did have to give him quite a bit of direction of what we wanted, but overall that was fine because we knew exactly the shots that we wanted and he was always open to our suggestions. We are extremely happy with our pictures and I highly recommend him! My only regret was that we did not hire him long enough. His 4 hours were over at the time we sat for dinner, so he missed the first dance, speeches, etc… He arrived on time to start taking pictures at the hotel and then stayed an extra 30 minutes to finish up some pictures we requested.

    D.J. Adan Mijares – A+
    Tim may disagree with this one since he did not play the exact list of music that he provided for the dinner hour. Again, I believe this is something Georgina did not communicate to him clearly. He mixed some of his own choices into the dinner music, but that was fine with me. He was not much of an MC, but that was fine since Georgina and one of our friends took up those responsibilities. He played a great mix of dance music incorporating the Spanish music, dance music and salsa. FYI, Adan Mijares knows about this forum and asked me to recommend him if I liked his work. Luckily, I was very happy with it and can honestly recommend him.

    Jennifer Hatton the Cake Diva – A+
    The cake was beautiful!! It looked exactly like I had ordered it. Except for the ribbon color was wrong. I had originally asked for blue then changed to chocolate brown. I believe Georgina never communicated the color change, but not a big deal. When we did the cake cutting and I had a taste of the chocolate with amaretto filling cake (thanks Janetta for the suggestion!) I actually exclaimed out loud “Wow, it’s actually good!” It was actually very good and our guests commented on the great taste. Another thing regarding the cake and Georgina... I provided cake boxes for guests to take the cake home. She had the cake cut and placed in the boxes, but never handed them out to guests.

    Hair by Karina at Pueblo Bonito Rose Spa – A+
    I had a hair trial on Thursday morning for $30. I brought in 5 pictures of examples of hair styles I wanted. I honestly had very low expectations, but she did a wonderful job. She somehow managed to give me a hairstyle that was prettier than the pictures I gave her. She also managed to get my hair up into that hairstyle in 45 minutes. The day of hairstyle was $100 and worth every penny. The hair was in place through sweating, dancing and 4 wheel driving!

    Miscellaneous Reviews

    Pueblo Bonito Rose – B–
    The resort was really nice. The rooms were clean and big. All rooms had a kitchenette area that was great for us and our guests to store drinks, food, etc. They were kind enough to upgrade us to a bigger room since we had told them we were honeymooners and they also gave us a complimentary bottle of very nice wine. The pool area was beautiful and always kept very clean. The beach area was also very nice and they had a great happy hour with 2 for 1 drinks. Breakfast was great and the views from the outdoor restaurant were beautiful. All other meals at the hotel were not as good as breakfast. The staff service was spotty at best. It was very obvious that a large number of the staff had no desire to be there or to help you out. One of the concierges was down right rude to many of our guests and the front desk was often not accommodating. There were always some exceptions, but overall we were not happy with the level of service.

    Marquis Los Cabos – A+
    Wow, this resort is amazing! We were greeted by a PR person to welcome us as newlyweds. Our room had been setup with turndown service of bubble bath and the swan sculptures. We also had a complimentary chilled bottle of Veuve Clicquot Champagne waiting for us in the room. The infinity pool took our breath away and it was great to hang out there and receive excellent service from the pool staff. We especially liked Estrella, one of the many kind wait staff by the pool. We ate at both restaurants there, Vista Ballenas and Canto Del Mar. I highly recommend both. The food was great and the service at Canto Del Mar was one of the best I have ever seen. The concierge was great and extremely accommodating. I highly recommend this resort for a wedding or for a honeymoon.

    Dinner Aqua in One and Only Palmilla – A+++
    When we were planning our honeymoon we were debating whether or not the Palmilla would be worth the money. After visiting for one evening, and even though we loved the Marquis, in my opinion staying there for the honeymoon would have been worth every penny. Upon our arrival we were greeted by a PR person and she escorted us from the valet parking around the property. She showed us different areas of the resort and finally we arrived at Aqua. Let me just say that having a PR person welcome guests not staying at the resort is SO smart. We felt welcomed, as valued costumers, and overall pampered. That set the tone for the whole evening, which just continued to be amazing. The Marquis concierge told them it was a special occasion, so they do tons of special things for you. I won’t spoil it to whoever goes, but if you want specifics, send me a private message. The bar there was also amazing, it was poolside and it had all these gorgeous Moroccan lamps. The staff was very friendly and even called us a golf cart to take us to C and gave us complimentary Evian bottles of water even though we were not hotel guests.

    Drinks at C – C
    After our dinner at Aqua, we wanted to check out C, the more upscale restaurant in the One and Only Palmilla. We decided to go have a drink there. The bar was okay, they had a very nice lounge singer, but the wine list was so expensive. We each got a glass of wine, $26 and $29 for each glass, total bill including tip, $70. In my opinion, the restaurant ambiance is not as romantic as Aqua. The only reason it was nice, was because we got to take our very expensive glass of wine in a plastic cup to the bonfire that is overlooking a rocky cliff. Now that was romantic (even with our plastic cup... ha ha).

    Drinks at Ventanas – A-
    We had originally planned on going there for dinner, but a couple we met at the Marquis had gone and did not recommend it for the wopping $600 price! So we opted for drinks instead. Ventanas was beautiful, but I honestly think One and Only was better overall. Not sure if the great dinner experience had something to do with my opinion. The Ventanas staff was surprisingly more relaxed and informal than at One and Only. They were equally as friendly, so it we were nice and relaxed and felt free to roam the property. The wine list was surprisngly more affordable, we chose something that we wanted and it was $16 each for a glass of wine.

    Sunset Cruise on The Princess II – A
    There was nothing particularly special about the cruise. The crew was nice and they provide an open bar. Overall a nice experience, but they just take you out to El Arco, watch the sunset and cruise around for 15 more minutes and then you cruise back.

    Snorkeling Cruise on The Spin Doctor – A
    I enjoyed this cruise a bit more than the sunset cruise. The crew was nice and they also have an open bar. The catamaran was pretty packed but it was still enjoyable. The snorkeling was just okay, I’ve seen a bigger variety of fish elsewhere.

    ATV tours with Salto Tours – A+
    Not surprisingly this was Tim’s favorite activity. They pick you up from you hotel and drive about 45 minutes out to the tour. There is a guided tour by a crazy driver through the mountains, streams and the san dunes, but then they let you play around the mountains and san dunes for about an hour. Definitely wear jeans like they recommend a shirt that you don’t mind getting mud on and tennis shoes.

    Cabo Dolphins – A+
    This was my favorite activity. The Cabo Dolphin area was clean and well maintained. The dolphins looked healthy and happy. There is an area you go to put your life vest on, and the dolphin holding tank is right beside it. The dolphins kept coming up to the edge to say hello and practically begging for you to play with them. You can tell that they enjoy the human interaction and attention. It was a once in a lifetime experience and I really recommend this activity!

    #2 TammyB

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      Posted 13 November 2006 - 07:46 PM

      Great review Karla and I'm loving your wedding pic at the end.. :-) Welcome back

      #3 TammyWright


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      Posted 13 November 2006 - 07:47 PM

      KARLA!!! you look like models in that picture! i want to see more!!!!

      the review was so thorough and awesome! sorry your WC seems to have dropped the ball...can you get the other information for Rosy?

      i am so glad you are back!

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      #4 Natalie Z

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        Posted 13 November 2006 - 07:48 PM

        Karla, your review was great! I'm so happy that everything worked out so well for you! I was so happy to see your reviews on the activites because those are the ones that my FI and I are looking at doing! You look absolutley amazing!!! I can't wait to see more pictures!!!!!

        #5 KARLA

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          Posted 13 November 2006 - 08:15 PM

          You guys are very welcome! I seriously have been working on the review all day long knowning that I'd go back to the crazy work schedule and not be able to post anything. I'm working on posting pics... I promise I'll give you some in a minute or two...

          Tammy, I'll try to get the information for Rossy. Those were really some great flowers! ha ha

          #6 Jessalyn

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            Posted 13 November 2006 - 08:16 PM

            Thanks for the great review!

            You both look so beautiful and happy.

            I love the way you had your hair done.
            My new man....Donovan

            Wedding photos and avatar by Jonathan Thrasher Photography - www.jthrasherphoto.com
            Our wedding slide show www.jthrasherphoto.com/slideshows/jessalynhttp://tickers.Ticke....k/27c1/age.png

            #7 Sarah


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              Posted 13 November 2006 - 08:30 PM

              Karla, thanks so much for such a thorough review! I am so sorry that the construction at Sunset DML was such an issue, although it sounds very similar to what we experienced in September. I am so glad you were still able to get to the beach for pics. Speaking of pics- the pic at the end of your post is absolutely breathtaking. You look so amazing!
              It sounds like you had several snags along the way, but got over it and still enjoyed your time. I'm so sorry you had such difficulty with vendors and your WC. It sounds like she dropped the ball on you quite a bit.
              I'm glad to hear the Palmilla was so good- we've thought of going there for a dinner during the honeymoon.
              Congrats, can't wait to see pics!

              #8 NABUMBAH

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                Posted 13 November 2006 - 08:33 PM

                excellent review and you look STUNNING!

                #9 A10CalGal

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                  Posted 13 November 2006 - 08:35 PM

                  Karla -
                  First off, STUNNING picture at the end of your post! It looks like it's out of a bridal mag.

                  Thank you for the detailed review. I'm sorry you had so many disappointments w/your coordinator. It does sound like you & your guests had a fab time though! Can't wait to see more pics.

                  #10 NHPT

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                    Posted 13 November 2006 - 08:54 PM

                    karla!!!! beautiful picture- i can not wait to see more!! congrats on a beautiful day- cant wait to hear more about it!
                    Destination Wedding Cabo San Lucas (3-29-07) Proud Momma to Avery (3-21-08) and Gracyn (10-12-10)

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