Monday, December 1, 2008

Jamaican Locations, Part Deux

Two years ago, my mom and step-dad married on the grounds at the Hibiscus Lodge Hotel in Ocho Rios. Ted and I were the sole wedding guests/witnesses/wedding party/etc. It was very special for all of us to share in this event together. We were sad that my other sisters and now step-sisters (Yes, you read that right – all sisters. Pete is a saint…6 women!) couldn’t make it, but school/work/life made it hard for everyone else to attend.

Anyway, the grounds of this little hotel are gorgeous & HUGE. We decided to check it out for our wedding as well, as it would be meaningful to me to get married at the same place my mom did. We also decided to stay the night at the hotel in order to “test” out the rooms (they are very cheap, which would be nice for our guests), the food, service and overall ambiance of the hotel. Well…let’s just say that what we experienced 2 years prior are some of the only redeeming qualities of the hotel. The grounds and food (very important, though). Our room was threadbare and awful – but we found out that we could still have the wedding and reception at the hotel and have our guests stay somewhere else in Ocho Rios.

Beautiful flowers

If they spent the same amount of resources on their rooms as they do their grounds, this would be a great little hotel!

Our next plan was to brave the drive to Negril to check out a smaller place called Rondel Village. Reviews on TripAdvisor were all over the board with regards to the hotel, but brides who had been married there loved it, and the price was right. Once we checked out of the Hibiscus Lodge, we just did not feel like spending the gorgeous day driving to Negril.

At this point we were both 100% sure of our choice – we decided that we would get married at the first stop on our research trip – Coyaba Resort. We hopped in the car and headed straight back to Coyaba. Once we drove through the gates, parked and headed into the gorgeous, open air lobby, we were greeted with the same cool towel, rum punch and a “Hey! Kristin and Ted! You’re back!”. We knew right then that we made the right decision. We then proceeded to meet with another member of the management team to discuss details, then spent the rest of the day on the beach (well, I did at least. Ted can sit still for about 4 ½ minutes before he is off and snorkeling/exploring/chatting up the locals/etc.).

What a fantastic vacation – oops, I did it again (I have nothing but love for you Britney!) – what a fantastic RESEARCH trip!

Like some brides and their wedding dress, did you spend a lot of time trying out numerous locations, only to end up choosing the first one?

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