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Riu Vallarta and RIU Jalisco Review


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#1 Celina

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    Posted 14 December 2007 - 11:24 AM

    Last Friday we had an appointment with Erika Cruz. She is one of the wedding coordinators at the RIU hotels in PV. We met her at 11:00. Since I was the one who chose the RIU Vallarta for our wedding sight unseen and soley based on the cost for wedding services and amenities, my fiance still had the final decision.

    So as we got out of our cab, I tried not to say anything and let him form his own opinion. When we pulled up the first thing I noticed was that the HUGE lobby was open aired. From the entrance you could see the back. There was an abundance of seating areas. People were playing cards, hanging out having cocktails, and it seemed very relaxed. The decor was sort of Art Deco-ish. The furniture was nice nothing there looked cheap. The lobby had a jewlery store, a little gift shop store, the bar and tons of seating. Everything looked very nice. My fiance said it reminded him of 1950's Cuba. He said all he needed was a cigar and he would be set. Needless to say, we were both very pleased with our first impression.

    We met with Erika who is this teeny tiny young lady. She brought us out her book and showed us some pictures. We went and did a walk through of the property. The rooms were a little far from the pool and beach area, but it wasn't bad at all. The pools seemed a little busy, but like I said, everyone there seemed to be having a great time. Since we chose to do our wedding on the beach and have our dinner at the Flamingo Steakhouse, we went to see where the wedding site was.

    They have a cordoned off area on the beach that she said would be raked, chairs set up, etc. The bride comes out from the back part of the steak house (I know it sounds weird, but really isn't). There is a ramp that leads to the beach area. From the ramp they lay down the jute carpets and you proceed to the ceremony area. The DJ sets up in the back by the ramp area and plays the music for the ceremony.

    Since our ceremony ends before the restaurant opens, we are going to have the guests go to the bar in the courtyard until we can be seated for dinner.

    The Flamingo restaurant is open aired as well. They have the huge buffet on the lower floor with food and cook stations. The restaurant has three levels. If you walk upstairs, they have an upper level that has a wonderful view of the ocean and palm trees. We will definitely be having our dinner upstairs! Also, upstairs it was much more private versus having it downstairs. It has the main floor where the buffet is set up. If you take a couple of steps down, there is a level that is closer to the beach.

    Erika said we could do a seating chart and they would arrange the tables to seat however we needed.

    We are renting out the pool bar for our reception and are bringing our own music on an Ipod and she said rental included the bar, bartenders and I believe it was an additional $40 per hour to have the sound system set up. The bar area has chairs and tables. The chairs are white with blue cushions and are small bistro type chairs with white tables. She said they arrange them along the edge and make an area for a dance floor in the middle.

    We are also having a cigar roller. She said he would be set up next to the bar. I think the pool area will be very intimate and we will have a wonderful reception!

    After touring the restaurant and pool areas we went up to check out some rooms. The rooms were all very nice and all came fully stocked with liquor, water, beer and I think soda as well. I believe she said that only the Jr. Suites and Suites had the patios on them. We saw some rooms that were semi connectd and that would work well for families with small kids who needed the extra room but still had privacy. The Suites had jacuzzis in the room and even had bidets!

    I was upset with myself for not staying there on this trip. Unfortunately we made our reservations before we decided on RIU, so we were bummed about that. It seemed to be well worth the money. The hotel looked like a great place to stay and as we walked away, I was happy with our choice to have the wedding at the RIU Vallarta.

    Thanks!
    Celina

    adding

    Okay,

    So we went to RIU Jalisco the day before we left. I knew my fiance was dead set and had his mind made up on RIU Vallarta, but I didn't want to leave any stone unturned and wanted to make sure we saw both of our options with the RIU properties. We just showed up at the hotel without an appointment. Unfortunately Erika was not available to show us around so I left my Drivers License and they let us tour the property without an escort.

    The property is older and has a lot of the Spanish Colonial charm with the blue tiles, wrought iron and terra cotta colors. The lobby was nice. They were putting in a christmas tree where the fountain is. There was a smaller lobby bar area than at RIU Vallarta.

    You could take the spiral staircase down to the pool and restaurant area or an elevator. The restaurants there were closed for lunch but we saw a mexican restaurant and a spanish steakhouse - I think it was something like a Rodizio Grill type.

    Down in the courtyard there is this stunning gazebo. I immediately fell in love with it. There were some restaurants, and an outdoor theater. I belive there were two pools and a kids area as well. The outdoor area seemed to be more spaced out than at RIU Vallarta. We didn't see the area on the beach where you get married. The main restaurant was busy with people so we didn't really check it out too much either.

    On our way back out of the hotel, we ran into some women who were on the same flight out as us. Ironically they were on the same flight home as us. We asked them how they liked the hotel, they said they loved it but were getting tired of the buffet food. They were on their way to take a tour of the RIU Vallarta.

    We saw the women again at the airport when we were waiting to board the plane. They told me that someone stole some of their things from the hotel room. They said that airport management was looking into it. (just thought I'd share)

    As we left the RIU Jalisco, I asked my fiance what he thought and he was still dead set on the RIU Vallarta. I liked both properties. The RIU Vallarta was newer, but he Spanish Colonial at RIU Jalisco was easy to fall in love with as well - and the gazebo was stunning. I took a lot of pictures of it and we plan to take pictures in front of it or on it if we can for our wedding.

    Thanks!
    Celina
    "Love is not who you live with...it's who you can't live without"

    #2 Yari

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      Posted 14 December 2007 - 02:12 PM

      Congrats Celina that is good news!

      #3 ~Melissa~

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      Posted 14 December 2007 - 02:26 PM

      Great review Celina. Erika was my wedding coordinator at the Jalisco in October. It must have been nice to see everything before deciding. It was all a surprise to me when we arrived and I was pretty stressed out.

      Their flower vendor does a wonderful job I thought. Be sure to take advantage of the bridesmaid bouquets and chose as many different flower types as possible. I did yellow roses, orchids and white calla lilies. They were gorgeous, I love them so much. But I saw other weddings whom just chose one type of flower ie roses and got 4 roses to make up the bouquet. So do take advantage.

      #4 Helen_S81

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        Posted 15 December 2007 - 07:45 AM

        I was so excited to read your review! I've passed the information onto my daughter, Katie.

        Great information! Thank you so much.

        #5 MsShelley

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          Posted 15 December 2007 - 10:44 AM

          great review, thanks!

          #6 Celina

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            Posted 16 December 2007 - 10:18 AM

            Yes - Your bouquets were the reason I decided to go with Cala Lillies. I was dead set against them and wanted to do roses, but after I saw your bouquets, I thought they were stunning! Actually we are still up in the air about our wedding colors anyway, so I am undecided on what other colors to go with for the flowers. What did your guys have for boutinneres?
            "Love is not who you live with...it's who you can't live without"

            #7 Christine

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            Posted 16 December 2007 - 12:22 PM

            I added the information you said you forgot to your review and deleted that thread so everyone can find all your great info in one place!
            Christine + Will (married 7/20/07) + Ainsleigh (born 6/25/08) + Nolan (born 11/9/10) + Delaney (born 12/31/13) = One Very Happy Family!

            #8 ~Melissa~

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            Posted 16 December 2007 - 01:54 PM

            Quote:
            Originally Posted by SoontobeMrsE
            Yes - Your bouquets were the reason I decided to go with Cala Lillies. I was dead set against them and wanted to do roses, but after I saw your bouquets, I thought they were stunning! Actually we are still up in the air about our wedding colors anyway, so I am undecided on what other colors to go with for the flowers. What did your guys have for boutinneres?
            Well no worries, I was undecided on colors too until 2 days before the wedding. Our guys had yellow roses as boutinneres. They looked really good against their white linen shirts. Do you have BM dresses yet? if so, what colors?

            #9 Leia78

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              Posted 16 December 2007 - 01:56 PM

              Thanks for the review!

              #10 Celina

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                Posted 17 December 2007 - 02:18 PM

                Quote:
                Originally Posted by Raeka
                Well no worries, I was undecided on colors too until 2 days before the wedding. Our guys had yellow roses as boutinneres. They looked really good against their white linen shirts. Do you have BM dresses yet? if so, what colors?
                No - they dont' have dresses yet. I have to post a thread on that one - I am in a huge dilema...stay posted!
                "Love is not who you live with...it's who you can't live without"




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