Destination Wedding in Los Cabos, Mexico
I was lucky enough be able to help plan and book my friend’s Destination Wedding to Los Cabos Mexico in October 2015 with her family and friends.
All-Inclusive destination weddings are extremely popular these days. This is a great option if you are looking for a fuss-free wedding where everything is handled for you. Most resorts have an on-site planner who will take care of every detail so you can relax and enjoy your big day. My friend, Amanda, decided to deal with the wedding planner direct so that she could make sure all the details that were important to her were taken care of.
We booked in May for an October wedding date, blocking group space with Sunwing Vacations. They offer a deal for destination weddings. They will hold up to 30 seats for a single $300.00 deposit. This gave Amanda enough time to get the invites out to her guests and still be able to pick a wedding date and time at the resort. While most resorts have a few times per day to pick from, if you are looking for a late afternoon ceremony time the sooner you book the better the chance. We were able to get the last spot on a Thursday late afternoon for the ceremony. Names of the guests travelling were due at final payment, we were able to offer a garden or ocean view rooms, based on single, double or triple rates. Any seats that were not filled with guests were put back into inventory free of charge.
All-Inclusive means that everything is included in your package: air, room, food, drinks, tips taxes and usually the basic ceremony. There are wedding package upgrades available and your wedding planner will walk you through those options. Keep in mind when choosing your destination and property that all-inclusive is just that if you are booking a 4-star everything will reflect the rating from the food and drinks to the activities and the rooms. A good starting point would be to consider your priorities. Affordability for your guests, great views, fantastic food, top-shelf drinks, pool service, kids clubs, direct flights, and pool bars are just some of the items worth considering.
We decided on The Riu Santa Fe, Los Cabos. This hotel offered a lot of what Amanda was looking for, including easy nonstop flights from Vancouver, free private transfers included with the group booking, lots of restaurants to choose from, 5 pools including a kids’ pool, beach location, and it was affordable for her friends and family. The flights left Vancouver on Monday October 5th, the wedding was booked for Thursday October 8th, giving the guests some time to relax and get acclimated before the big day. The Riu is very close to Cabo San Lucas, a 10 minute cab ride, and has stunning views of the Arc and cruise ships arriving daily.
The Riu Santa Fe has over 902 rooms spread out in 7 buildings, most of the activity takes place in Building 7, and this is the only building that offers the ocean view rooms. Building 7 does cost a bit more but the convenience of being closest to the ocean, the main pool and pool bars it also offers a concierge in the lobby to help with dinner reservations and whatever else you might need.
My oceanview room was on the top floor in building 7 and I had a large balcony with a beautiful view of the ocean and pools. The room was clean, nicely laid out, but very basic and nothing fancy. I did have a mini fridge that was filled daily with beer, water, and pop. Above the mini fridge you have a bar with tequila, rum, vodka, gin and brandy. The hotel offered free wifi in the common areas, I was lucky to be able to connect to the free wifi as my room as I overlooked the pool area.
The wedding planner was fantastic, and everything my friend asked for was taken care of. She was even allowed to bring her own wine for the dinner, a nice touch in an all-inclusive hotel. The dinner was ok, but it was the company that made it all worth it.
Dinner reservations were made for Flora Farms on Saturday October 10th for a group of us foodies and I do have to say it was the highlight of my trip. The location is dreamlike and the food was sublime. I would highly recommend anyone traveling to Los Cabos to go here http://www.flora-farms.com/. It is located about 15 minutes from the town of San Jose.
I also took a bit of a break from the festivities to check out the Hyatt Viva for 2 nights, it had just reopened after a year-long renovation repairing damage from Hurricane Odile in September 2014. The Hyatt is located in San Jose del Cabo, just a short distance from the town. It is stunning, the rooms are beautiful, but not nearly as beautiful as all the common spaces the hotel has to offer. I would not think twice about booking this hotel, you truly do get what you pay for and this hotel is worth the extra money. They have an adults-only section that is totally plush and private. They also have an amazing kids club and a pool with a water park, along with 2 other pools. There are 2 buffet and 5 a la carte restaurants that you do not have to make reservations to enjoy, a coffee shop, a sports bar and a lobby bar. There is a 24 hour snack bar, you have a mini bar in your room filled daily, 24 hour room service and you have pool service as well. This is truly a full service hotel.
My beautiful room had a huge bathroom with a soaker tub and a stand up shower, double sink, separate toilet, 2 double beds with soft linens and amazing fluffy pillows, a living area with a full couch and a desk, a large satellite TV, mini bar and a huge patio with 2 lounge chairs, and a table with 2 sitting chairs. I ordered room service on my first night that included a glass of wine. The room service attendant brought the bottle of wine opened and poured me a very generous glass.
I recommend Los Cabos to anyone looking for a beach getaway, unless it is a must to swim in the ocean. You cannot swim in the ocean in front of your hotels, it is dangerous, and in fact some nights the waves were so strong you could feel your hotel move. There are beaches that you can swim at in Cabo San Lucas, you can take a boat to get to Lovers Beach. You could also take a drive up coast to Todos Santos, La Paz, Loreto, Cerritos Beach, El Pescadero to name a few places that offer surf and swim beaches.