Hello all, my fiancé and I are looking into an August 2015 wedding and originally planned on Gran Carribe Real in Cancun. We fell in love with the chapel over looking the ocean but I'm sure we shouldn't base our wedding location on just the chapel. However, I have heard many great reviews on Playa Del Carmen so if any of you can give me some reviews/opinions on any great locations at Playa del Carmen or your thoughts of Gran Carribe Real in Cancun I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks!
Hi Samantha! Our stories are pretty similar. We went to Cancun specifically to visit Gran Caribe Real. We loved the terrace they had and their wedding packages seemed reasonable. When it was time to book, Gran Caribe put a lot of limits on things. We needed to put a $150 for every guest that we were inviting in order to reserve the rooms (non-refundable fee), they would give us only 1 free person every 20. When it came to the wedding, we couldn't split up the ceremony and reception (if there is time in between they charge you). Plus I had heard some bad reviews about the food and people getting sick. We decided to switch venues last minute and ended up at Azul Fives. The price was only about $100 more for our stay, the resort had amazing reviews, especially about their food, and they also have a terrace! My fiance and I only needed to put $150 for each of us and that held 30 spots for our guests for 3 months. Our TA was able to negotiate a free person every 11, which was much better than the 20.
They don't have wedding packages at the hotel we chose like Gran Caribe does. However, I still think we made the right choice, the hotel seems much nicer and just the quality of everything seems better. You choose everything pretty much from a menu and just add the costs. Some of the prices are crazy, but we're spending about the same amount for a wedding at Gran Caribe and getting a nicer wedding in my opinion.
Definitely shop around and don't limit yourself to only one hotel. The best thing for us was to talk with a travel agent and let her know what we wanted. When she found out about all of these limits she suggested a couple of other hotels to us. The TA would be able to tell you what other hotels in the Playa del Carmen area also have a chapel and then go from there. Some of my guests who have been to both Cancun and Playa said that Playa is nicer. I wished we had gone to a TA right away and it would have saved us the trip to visit a hotel that we didn't end up booking but oh well.