Travel Dates: July 7 – 14, 2015
Weather: Sunny and hot all week (approximately 35°C, 95°F)
Room: Floor 2 – Junior Suite Ocean View
Our overall rating: 9/10
We looked for a long time to find the perfect destination for our beach wedding. We were happy with the results and wouldn’t change a thing about the wedding. We flew out of Toronto and paid just under $1600 each for the resort. We went with the complimentary wedding package.
We arrived early in the day and we were welcomed with cold towels and welcome drinks. The front desk was very accommodating to our requests. We wanted to see if we could get a complimentary upgrade as this was a trip for our wedding and we were given a junior suite ocean view room on the second floor. It was a nice big room with everything we needed. A flat-screen TV, a fridge, a big jacuzzi tub, his/her sinks, and a bathroom with Chi products. The balcony had a nice sun bed and a patio set. We were especially happy with the view from our room.
It was a hotel-style resort (not villa style) and everything was in one building. There were three pools, one with a bit more activity, and two quieter pools. The beach had nice sun beds with cushions and we never had trouble finding a spot even when we went a bit later in the day. Last summer, many countries in the Caribbean were having issues with the seaweed and this was no exception. There were days when there were less seaweed, but most days, there were always some on the shore (but there were always staff raking them up).
I guess because we were busy with our wedding and other activities, we didn’t really take too many photos of the hotel itself. Here are some photos taken from TripAdvisor.
They have a “Romantic Dinner” evening once a week. They gather up all couples getting married or on their honeymoon and have this dinner on the balcony of the hotel. I think ours was on the second night there. There were 5 other couples with us that night and it was very romantic. It starts right before sunset. There was a special menu with our names, as well as candles and roses. It went for about 2 hours.
When we got back to our room, the room was decorated with rose petals on the floor and the bed. There was also a new bottle of wine on the table for us. We really appreciated all the extra perks here.
We were in touch with Pamela, the wedding planner at the resort, before our arrival. We had picked in advance everything we wanted (flowers, colours, cake…) and after a quick meeting with her on the day of our arrival, we were ready to go! We spent a little bit of time talking to the photographers on site and decided to go with a package with them. It was a bit costly but we worked it out so we could use some of our resort credits towards the photography session. I think we paid just over $600 after the credit, which we were okay with, since our wedding was complimentary* with our stay.
*Note: It was just a symbolic wedding. If you want the real deal, you have to pay more and go through a more complicated process.
One other thing we should mention is that we made a big change at the last minute. We were supposed to have our wedding at Moon Palace, but decided to go with Sun Palace a few days before the wedding. They were able to facilitate everything for us and we were happy we made that decision. The beach aspect of our wedding was so important to us and Moon Palace did not have a beautiful beach – so much seaweed that it was impossible to even go in the water.
The wedding went really smoothly (although it was so hot that day) and we were very happy with it. The whole process took about 15 minutes. The pastor was very nice and spoke English well. We were very happy with the quality of the photos, too.
After our wedding (in the AM), we spent the rest of the day outside the resort and went back for our wedding dinner. Then, when we returned back to our room, there was another surprise waiting for us. It was a memorable day.
We received some free resort credits as a part of our 7 day stay (I believe you get some for shorter stays too). We used ours at the spa (there is a limit on how much you can spend there), and some excursions. We did an excursion to Tulum and a super fun excursion out to AquaWorld (a few minutes away by bus) where we got to experience the AquaTwister and go on a jungle tour. We just had to pay the tax on the resort credit used. The unused portion can be saved for next time.
For breakfast and lunch, there was only one buffet restaurant open but the service (seating, water, coffee, refills, etc.) was very efficient and there was a decent variety of meals and treats.
For dinner, there were 3 a la carte restaurants open with no reservations required. There was one casual steak/seafood buffet on the pool patio, but we did not go there. Sometimes, there were shows on the beach during dinner time and they were best viewed from the balcony (where the steak/seafood restaurant was).
We checked out all the a la carte restaurants during our stay.
La Tratto (Italian)
We chose to have our wedding dinner here. Exceptionally delicious meals, and so much choice that we had to go back a few nights later to try more! Wonderful pasta, fine steaks, delectable desserts, and flaming Mayan Coffee were highlights, as were the romantic live music and top-notch serving staff who went out of their way to make both visits heart-warmingly memorable.
El Alamo (Mexican)
They change the breakfast/lunch buffet to a Mexican restaurant at night. The atmosphere was nice but the food was not our favourite. Nothing special to note.
Oriental Lounge (Asian)
This was our favourite dinner restaurant of all, with its ultra-romantic vibe and exquisite cuisine, which ranged from high-end Asian fusion to the freshest and most beautifully prepared sea foods. Situated by pool (closed for dinner) and boasting a lovely ocean view, Oriental Lounge surprised and delighted us on three nights. Again, the cooking and service staff were meticulous in all areas.
What we loved the most about this resort was the fact that we had access to three other sister resorts in Cancun/Isla Mujeres. We visited Moon Palace, Beach Palace, and Isla Mujeres Palace. We will do a quick review of each of those resorts
in the near future. (complete! – click here to see the reviews) Please join our mailing list if you’d like to be notified when we have the sister resorts reviews up (menu bar -> Follow us!).