I would love to have a destination wedding next summer in the Riviera Maya or Playa del Carmen area. We think we will have approximately 50 guests (including children) and will need a room block of about 25 rooms. I have requested information from the following hotels: Occidental Grand Xcaret, Barcelo Maya Beach Resort, Barcelo Maya Palace Deluxe and Riu Palace Riviera Maya in Playa del Carmen. We have traveled to the area several times and typically stay at Riu or Barcelo hotels. Thus far, the Secrets Aura in Cozumel had the best packages and rates, but they are an adult-only hotel. Which hotels would you guys recommend in the area for destination weddings? Did you book directly through the hotel, a travel agent or on your own. Help! Any suggestions welcome :-)
My wife and I just got married at the Dreams Riviera Cancun Resort & Spa this past January and we cannot recommed this place enough. Everything about it was excellent- the food, the amenities, the people.. it was incredible, and one of the best weeks of our lives. I'd highly recommend at least requesting some information about this resort. We heard about it through a few people who had visited (including one who gone to eight different locations down there and chose this as her favorite), and everyone had nothing but positive things to say. It was kid-friendly as well and there are a host of other adult pools and activities to do as well.
We used a random travel agent thru destinationweddings.com and she was great, we found similar deals to what they offer on kayak or expedia, and gave us lots of useful advice. It's good to be aware that January is one of the busier times so hotels start to fill up and will sell out.
If you had any reservations at all, let them go. We were at first concerned about if we should do an at home wedding in New England since a lot of friends and family were in the area, but later decided we'd host a smaller local reception for anyone couldn't make it, and while that was fun, it just went by far too quick to catch up with everyone. Some friends I hadn't seen in ten years and we only got to speak briefly during the reception for a bit. With a destination wedding, everyone wins, most people stay for several days to a week so there's far more time to catch up, it's all inclusive- so all food and drinks are already included (actually much cheaper than paying to stay somewhere less and having to buy food and drinks individually), and everyone gets a vacation out of it. Truly one of the best experiences I can possibly recommend. And they take care of all the details! For indecisive people, this can be a lifesaver. We chose like the color of the flowers and some other preset designs they had in mind, and it was perfect. It can also be muuuuch (like tens of thousands of dollars) cheaper than a big wedding in New England, so we thought that was a much smarter way to start off our marriage.
One more bit of advice I'll offer (and I cannot recommend this enough), with all the extra money you're saving by having a destination wedding, take some of that and invest in a nice quality video. I absolutely recommend Jorge Ibarra - just Google him and watch some of his videos, I believe he's based out of Cabo but also serves Cancun/Riveria Maya. My wife was originally against the idea since one already came with the destination wedding package thru the resort, but I eventually convinced her and afterwards she said that was one of the best decisions we've ever made. The one the resort made was alright, but honestly it's probably something we wouldn't watch again, at least for awhile. Jorge captured everything perfectly with his work... friends and family we haven't seen in ages- the quality's incredible... and my wife has the video playing on a loop at our place, haha.
Above all- enjoy! You're going to have an incredible time.
My mom and stepfather always stay at the Grand Xcaret and love it.......and my mom is picky! I have stayed at Dreams resorts and really liked those (sorry.....none in Mexico so I can't speak to that). We usually book through AppleVacations. We do have a particular agent that we go through but even if she wasn't available we would book through Apple. They have agents on site if you have any problems. You would go to them instead of the hotel and let me tell you they will get it done! The very first time we used Apple we were in Jamaica where they didn't have apple juice at the resort. My 2 year old niece would drink nothing but that, of course. We asked our agent if she knew of anywhere close that we could take a taxi to and get some. Well, a few hours later she brought us 2 big bottles of apple juice. She had gone on her break to buy it and would not let us pay her for it. That right there cemented my loyalty to them! They tend to be a hundred dollars or so more than other sites I've found but they'll price match (which is why we use an agent......she does that for us). I will always travel with them to all inclusives! Good luck and congrats!
My neice had her wedding at the Now Jade in Puerto Morelos. It was a great venue, all inclusive, everything went off without any problems. They used an onsite wedding planner who was attentive to every detail.