i am going to preface this message by saying it has been well over 2 weeks that we have waited to make this post as we wanted to be as fair to all parties involved as possible, but needless to say we were VERY UNIMPRESSED with the WEDDING COORDINATOR FROM SAMSARA. I will not use her name publicly but if anyone is thinking about having a wedding at Samsara you can private message me and i will give you more details. This is our account of the situation and i can assure you we have many witnesses that can agree.
We had been planning our wedding at Samsara for well over a year and in that time i can say without hesitation NOTHING was simple!! I believe the final count on emails back and forth is over 120 so that gives you an idea of the amount of time and effort that was put into making this day what we wanted and i will honestly say 80% of the effort was on our end!! One of the reasons people choose destination weddings is so they can remove a lot of the stress associated with planning a wedding. Now we understand that planning a wedding away has other stresses we were left with many many unnecessary stresses leading up to the day. Things like sourcing WHITE CLOTH NAPKINS!!The only colours avail from the hotel were red and blue(the first colours i think of when i think tropical wedding!!lol!!) You cant tell me that no where on the island is there white cloth napkins to be had(we were willing to pay for them, but she could not find them!!!) Her other suggestion was to bring paper napkins as they come in a variety of colours, not much of a solution in my opinion, especially since she told me to bring them not that she would find them. We had to bring our own SEA SHELLS!! for the centre pieces, we had to bring our own candles for the centre pieces, We had to bring our own food colouring for the centre pieces. We had to bring the ribbon to add to the cake. If we had not put the effort into the decor that we did i can not imagine what we would have been left with!! I understand that i wanted something a little different than the standard package but i really feel more time and effort could have been put in on her end to make that happen!!!
We had a group of 28 that travelled for our wedding of that 28, 21 people booked their stay with either Samsara/Legends on the all inclusive package.(We were offered at 10% discount, but only if we had more than 8 rooms and each group stayed a minimum of 5 nights, which was not mentioned until one of our friends and her family were making their reservation in December, no restrictions had ever been mentioned prior to that.) We were charged Full Bar Prices on all guests at our wedding when in all reality we should have only had to pay for the guests that were not staying with them, for one extra hour of bar service(we were there until 1100 and all inclusive ends at 1000)and for our upgrade to bottled beer(my husband wanted the stubbies that night!!lol!), we paid for a dinner for 30 guests(buffet style) At the end of dinner there were left over's in the buffet, one of our guests was a local gentleman who wanted to bring a plate of food home for a friend who was hungry, he was told he could not!!!!!! It took my husband and our best man actually having to "get into it" with the wedding coordinator in order for him to get that food!!! Her reasoning was that we had only paid for 30 people and he had no right to the food, what if everyone had wanted seconds???? Would i have been charged for 60 people?? And wasn't that food on that buffet for our wedding??(there was another buffet line set up for the hotel guests and this was extremely confusing as we had been moved into the same dinning hall as the all inclusive guests due to rain and there was no one over seeing the buffet lines so some guests of ours were eating from the wrong buffet and some hotel guests were eating from our buffet, however our guest that was eating from the wrong line was entitled to since she was all inclusive at both legends/samsara) All being said and done we were charged for 31 people because of that extra plate of food(almost $50us,it was a choice of jerk chicken or escovitch fish , vegetables, rice and peas and pumpkins soup with a fruit plate for dessert. You tell me but if you were to go else where for that same meal would you be paying 50US, i wouldn't be!)
To top of dinner not only did our guests have to move tables and centre pieces from outside to inside when the rain started(the wedding coordinator came up to my mother and told her to go find guests to bring tables in!! She did not ask her she told her!)We had guests who had to go back downstairs once we were told to go upstairs because there was not enough room for them. By the time the wedding party was served our meal 80% of our guests were done there meals.
After dinner because of the small space we were in we would not have been able to have any type of party so we opted to move back outside and you guessed it, we were responsible for moving tables and centre pieces again! With a little bit of help from the staff(backwards no????)
We would have loved to had a conversation with the wedding coordinator at this point but she had gone home without even saying goodbye!!!! We were left to deal with someone we had never met who we were told was her replacement.
We had been given a room for the day to get ready in and were advised that as long as we did not sleep in the room there would be no fee for the room. We left samsara at approx 1130 at which time my husband spoke with the replacement wedding coordinator and asked her if we had to have all of our belongings out or if we would be able to come back first thing in the morning to gather our belongings, she assured us it would be fine to come back in the morning no charge. Low and behold i get billed for one nights stay at samsara and it took us having to prove to them we did not stay(the manager from legends had to call her and tell her that we were seen after the wedding at legends!!!) then they still charged us a 50usd security deposit for our stuff being locked in the room!!! If that is not the epitome of nickel and diming i am not sure what is!!! The real kicker, when we went back to get everything it all managed to reappear EXCEPT THE WHITE NAPKINS!!!! we had to make another special trip to get those later in the week because the wedding coordinator was going to charge us 10usd to have them shuttled to legends(where we were more tham happy to pick them up as we were still on the beach just at other resorts and no one was planning on being up on the cliffs again)
I saw the wedding coordinator a total of 5 times that day, of which twice she was yelling at me(we were running behind on getting ready like most weddings and she came to the room opened the door and told me to hurry up the reverend had another wedding and the rain is coming, and then turned around and walked away!!!) I was not a "bridezilla" and i had very real expectations of a destination wedding however the service we received from the wedding coordinator at Samsara was so far from acceptable that we felt we had to make this post in order to warn anyone thinking of planning with this resort. There are many beautiful resorts on the cliffs that could provide the same beautiful scenery without the all of the headaches!!!
She will not be how we remember our wedding and thanks to all the people i mentioned in my first post our day was still as amazing and as special as we had hoped, but it certainly is of no thanks to our wedding coordinator.
matt and michelle
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Unique oceanfront boutique hotel with 50 rooms catering to international clientele for over thirty years. Spectacular sea view and spacious sun deck with easy sea access for swimming and snorkeling. Amenities include sea view restaurant and bar, swimming pool, splash pool, tennis court, seaside massage center, billiards and table tennis, tennis court, gift shop, and free WiFi throughout hotel. Air-conditioned rooms range from traditional hotel rooms to tropical cottages and ocean front pillar huts (non a.c.). Daily maid service and free shuttle to sister hotel on the beach, Legends Beach Resort where guests enjoy exchange privileges. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Samsara Cliffs Hotel Negril
- Samsara Hotel Jamaica
- Samsara Cliffs Negril
- Samsara Cliff Resort