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Fogdog's Sheraton Hacienda del Mar (Cabo) Wedding Review


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#1 fogdog

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    Posted 26 November 2007 - 01:26 AM

    Hello All –
    We’re back from our wedding and vacation in Cabo! Our day was nothing short of magical and full of wonderful memories! We had such a great time and the only bad thing is how fast it all passes by! For those of you still planning, I hope the below review will help! Feel free to PM me with more specific questions, I’m happy to share whatever info would be useful to you!

    DJ Joaquin A-
    He was a complete professional and accommodated all of our requests. His system was ready to go so we could use his microphone during the ceremony (a last minute request) and play an ipod during dinner. It sounded like he played almost every song on our list and mixed in fabulous choices of his own. He was even ready to go when we left our first dance choices open until the very last minute (we decided during dinner!). When we wanted to continue the party beyond our allotted time, he stayed later at a very reasonable rate. The only reason I give him A- is that he did charge us $200 to use the microphone for the ceremony which I felt was a bit pricey and we had a screechy moment or 2 on the system.

    Suzanne Morel (Lea and Paulina) A
    They arrived on time and were perfectly organized and ready to go. I showed them photos of what I wanted, hair and makeup, and they reproduced it exactly. I did not have a trial and I was so happy with their work. They were quick but paid close attention to detail. I had been very worried about feeling artificial or overdone, but I felt really good with what they did. The makeup looked perfect all night. For hair, I used Edyta as my model (thanks, Edyta!) and would not suggest this style for those of you who are dancing fools and want your hair to still be totally in place at the end of the night; mine fell out a bit, but in a good way.

    Reverend Haven Boggs A+
    Another great recommendation by Illeana. Haven was so warm, friendly, and patient. He emailed us his script ahead of time and we loved it. We altered the vows slightly to reflect some personal preference and he got the changes exactly right. He came on Friday night for the rehearsal and had several great suggestions. And, he stayed after the ceremony to take photos with our group. His ceremony and voice were beautiful. He even gave us a reading list for homework and says he plans to check in to see how we did.

    Mariachi Los Cabos International C-
    The music was average and they lacked a bit in professionalism. They showed up late and one of the members was talking on her cell phone while waiting for the ceremony to start. This was not a recommendation from Illeana, rather a choice I made based on a very positive BDW review (and their slightly lower prices). Illeana said she will not work with them again, and I’d have to agree. The music sounded slow and sad and their appearance was lackluster. If I were to do it again, I would have paid a bit more and gone with Illeana’s recommendation.

    Flowers D
    This was a new place that Illeana tried (and I don't even know the name) because I complained about the high cost of the flowers. My huppa was $550 and made with artificial flowers that appeared a bit threadbare. If I had to choose again, I would forego flowers on the huppa and just use a plain structure with some tulle. The centerpieces were gorgeous (the only thing keeping me from giving a lower rating). The boutonni¨res were cartoonishly large. All the bouquets/ boutonni¨res had purple flowers and purple ribbons. At no point ever was purple one of my colors. I had specifically requested gold or turquoise ribbons and all white flowers. No purple - I don’t like purple. For the price I paid, I feel like this at least could have been right.

    Sheraton
    Setting A+
    We had the reception at the de Cortez restaurant and the ceremony right on the beach in front of it. I could not have dreamed of a more perfect venue. The wedding procession came down a stairway and across a bridge over the pool and walked out onto the sand. We were able to orient the ceremony to catch the light perfectly and the pictures so far look great! The terrace was right on the beach and perfect for cocktails – there is a fully equipped bar already out there and a fire pit! The whole area was lit with lanterns and there are planters all around. We were inside for dinner and the whole restaurant opens up so we had great views of the ocean. The restaurant d©cor is great and the table settings were very classy. While we had dinner they changed the terrace into a dance/lounge area where we continued the party after. Because we did a buy-out, we also had exclusive use of the restroom. Everything flowed smoothly and all the guests remarked about what a perfect setting it was.
    Food/Drinks A+
    All of it was incredibly delicious. PM me if you’d like to hear details on the menu choices but I don’t think you can go wrong. Again, loads of great comments from guests. The wines were also great and we got tons of compliments on those as well.
    Wait Staff A+
    The waiters at all the restaurants and bars were so professional, polite, friendly, and capable. They are all so eager to please and will go the extra mile to be helpful. We went back to de Cortez for dinner a few nights later and 3 waiters took turns entertaining my niece and nephew. Service was universally quick and attentive from the pool bar to our reception.
    Concierge (Angelina) A+
    I want to call her out specifically because she helped our group all week with reservations and suggestions. She is also very professional and prompt.
    Event Management (Anne) F
    I am sad to say that this was the one thing that was a big disappointment for me leading up to the wedding, the day of, and several days after, particularly in contrast to everything and everyone else at the Sheraton. She was extremely difficult to work and communicate with at every step of the way and, in contrast to the entire rest of the staff, a very distant and cold person.
    The first night we hosted a cocktail hour and she was unwilling to do anything special for our group – didn’t even tell me that if we did it an hour later in the same place it would be happy hour with 2 for 1 drinks. Then, after 1 hour, told us our bar bill was over $500 so we immediately cut it off only to find out in reality it was still less than $300.
    She showed up very briefly at the rehearsal but was not helpful.
    The night of the wedding, I’m not sure she was even there! I don’t remember even seeing her at all!
    The next morning, there was some confusion over the bill and, when the front desk called her, she didn’t even want to come down to talk with us in person. She couldn’t “find†our deposit. When she finally did come down, she met my mother for the first time – at checkout! So, I spent about an hour the morning after the wedding trying to sort it all out – the last thing we want to be doing. Then, when I get my bill our last night, there is a charge for several thousand dollars on my bill. I then spend about another hour on my last day of vacation again sorting things out. Again, she did not make an in-person appearance to try to explain or apologize for what turned out to be her “mistakeâ€. As if she could just sneak a few thousand extra on my bill and it would be ok! Thank God I had the credit to handle it. There should be no mistakes with a bill as large as ours, and, for that matter, for the amount of money we spent, I should not have had to waste hours of my vacation trying to figure out how and what they were charging us.
    At check-in, I had offered to pay for a room upgrade but she claimed the hotel was full and she couldn’t do it. Several friends checked in after us and got way nicer rooms – suites, ocean front, penthouse…hmmm.
    Through it all, I was always made to feel like “the bad guy†and had to continuously apologize to the front desk staff because I was so angry with her. Often times, all it takes is a thank you or quick apology to make things right. I’ve experienced more gratitude for buying my groceries at the Safeway than what I saw from her. At no point did she even say, “Thank you for your business. Thank you for choosing our hotel. Or, thank you for bringing all these guests who ate, drank, and stayed here all weekend.†Nothing.
    A few other things about the Sheraton and event planning that may or may not be due to Anne (but that she also did not help to facilitate or explain):
    For the night of the wedding, they “comp†you a suite. But, if you arrive early or stay later, you’ll need to check out of your room and then into another which involves packing up all your wedding crap (8 suitcases for us) and moving it. Do not expect anything so courteous as a late check-out or early check-in. If I were to do it over, I would just say no thanks – it was not worth the time spent. And, I left a few things in each room that were not returned to me.
    Also, rooms are quoted in $ but then charged in pesos, so expect to pay about $10 more per night than the quote. (I think there could be some credit card fee, but it worked out to about a 4% difference for me and I’ve never heard of a fee that high). If they bill in pesos, they should quote in pesos. Anything else is false advertising.
    A tip for your group block for future brides – you only need 10 room nights for the “benefits†(which really aren’t that much anyway). Get your 10 and have everyone else just book online directly or via hotels.com, etc. The $5/day charge for the maid service is only $4 if booked direct, the cancellation policy is 72 hours vs. the 60 days they give the group, and, most importantly, we found the online rates to be lower anyway.
    In sum, this was the only negative thing about my wedding and my suggestion for those that get married here is to be sure to get an outside coordinator, have that person do all the communicating with the Sheraton, and do not expect them to do anything special or go the extra mile to make your day special.

    Transcabo C
    I advised all my guests to book airport transportation with them. For the most part, they were reliable. But for a few people, they had “lost†their reservations and these people ended up paying double. Be absolutely sure you receive and print your email confirmation and it probably wouldn’t hurt to print your PayPal confirmation too. Since it happened to my 90-year-old grandparents and they were not treated very well, I have to lower the overall rating. Also, for future reference, a private cab from the Sheraton is only $45, compared to $14 pp for the Transcabo shuttle or $75 for a private car; it’s not worth using Transcabo on the way back.

    Tabasco A+
    We had our rehearsal dinner here and they put on an incredible event. The food was delicious, the service was polite and fast, and the setting was great! We had the whole place to ourselves with tables in the sand and just mingled, ate, and drank the night away. Pablo, the owner, did such a great job and was such a gracious and friendly host. He even made a bonfire for us and we were able to roast marshmallows after dinner! We had so much fun and will definitely go back here. I would highly recommend it if you are looking for a more casual and light-hearted event. It was a blast!


    Bridget and Brian
    Los Cabos 11/17/07

    #2 Sarah

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      Posted 26 November 2007 - 03:35 AM

      Congratulations Bridget! Great review! I'm so glad you had WC's that come through for you- it definitely sounds like the on-site coordinator leaves a lot to be desired.

      I was one that gave Mariachi Los Cabos International a good review. I'm sorry they did not live up to your expectations, however I must say that for my wedding it sounds like I had a different group- their attire was perfect, their music good (not phenomenal, but fun and appropriate), and they were there early. I'm sorry it didn't turn out that way for you.

      Can't wait to see your pictures- especially of your cartoonish flowers! lol

      #3 Leia78

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        Posted 26 November 2007 - 10:37 AM

        Great review! Thanks for sharing!

        #4 TammyB

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          Posted 26 November 2007 - 11:19 AM

          Can't wait to see your pictures, I was married at the same location so it's always fun to see more pics.. Congrats and welcome back.

          #5 MsShelley

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            Posted 26 November 2007 - 11:42 AM

            great review, I can't wait to see some photos!

            #6 fogdog

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              Posted 26 November 2007 - 01:52 PM

              I knew everyone would want photos...I was hoping the long review might distract you all but I should've known better
              My pro pics should be done this week so I'll try to add some when I get them!
              Bridget and Brian
              Los Cabos 11/17/07

              #7 fogdog

              fogdog
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                Posted 26 November 2007 - 01:53 PM

                and you can get a glimpse of the bouts in my sig picture - even though the picture is tiny, you can see that the flower takes up his entire lapel! brian is about 6'3'' and it looked huge even on him.
                Bridget and Brian
                Los Cabos 11/17/07

                #8 Jtds2713

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                  Posted 27 November 2007 - 05:36 PM

                  Congratulations! We have the same wedding day! We were at the Sheraton from 1:30 until almost 4 pm taking pictures on your wedding day but due to the confusion and excitement I didn't see you. I hope our party didn't get in your way. I am sorry to hear about your disappointment with the event planner at the Sheraton. Originally I wanted to have our wedding there too but I wasn't happy with their communication and attentiveness either. Plus we couldn't meet the 10 -room block. I am glad everything else went great with your wedding! Can't wait to see pictures!

                  P.S. I couldn't see your post on my review. Could you repost it perhaps?

                  #9 jak27

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                    Posted 29 November 2007 - 07:07 PM

                    Great review Bridget! I'm sorry you had such a terrible situation with Sheraton management, but it sounds like it was all worth it with such a beautiful and perfect wedding day.

                    And you totally had me rolling on the floor with the Cartoonish Bouts! Love it. At least you can look back and laugh at it! I pictured these bouts that were bright primary colors, about to spray water on you! That would have been really bad.

                    Anyway, just wanted to say that I'm so glad it all turned out beautifully! I'm so happy for you!

                    #10 michelle08

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                      Posted 01 January 2008 - 04:40 AM

                      Great review...I had totally missed this!!! Congrats! :)




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