I just returned from my wedding weekend from Playa Fiesta (2/28/14) and had to leave a review before I get sucked back into real life.
A thousand time yes if you are thinking about hosting your wedding here. We booked it without visiting in advance based solely off of reviews and the type/size of wedding we wanted to have. I realize this is not for everyone but we couldn’t work it into our schedules to visit beforehand.
I won’t reiterate all of the amazing things (all true) about the rooms/staff/location/hotel which have been previously commented on but will touch upon the concerns that I had planning a destination wedding in a foreign country sight unseen:
How we decided on Playa Fiesta- we knew we wanted a 50-60 person wedding somewhere tropical, not too inconvenient or cost prohibitive for our guests to travel. Puerto Vallarta is an easy half day travel from the US west coast and appeared much safer than some of the other cities we were looking at (Acapulco) and not as overdone as others (Cabo). Other venues we looked at were too big and impersonal (mega resorts), or too small (private villas with 4-5 bedrooms) which would necessitate shuttling guests in from other hotels (read: a huge pain). The last thing you want to worry about on your wedding weekend is how your guests are going to get from Point A to Point B in Mexico. The clincher- we began our wedding planning at about 9pm on a Friday evening and I emailed the hotel to receive more information. I received an email back within 20 minutes, no exaggeration. And PV is 2 hours ahead of us. This continued through the entire wedding planning process.
I originally wanted to have a casual fun festive barefoot beach fiesta which morphed into a letterpressed invite/designer wedding gown/cocktail attire event during the planning phase (thanks Pinterest). I wasn’t sure that this was too formal for the establishment. It wasn’t, either event would have been equally happy in this setting. It was so interesting to see the pool deck with people lounging out in their swimsuits and floating on pool toys only hours before your beautiful, elegant wedding. The versatility is amazing even if you change your mind about style/decor/budget/etc. Which you will. About a million times. And they will find a way to make it work.
It is also possible to have a fantastic wedding on a limited budget although a hotel buy out (roughly 50-55 guests), open bar, the mariachi band and fireworks are highly recommended and add a definite wow factor. You really can pick and choose what is important to you to spend money on and the beauty of the venue really distracts from anything that you decide not to go all out on.
We had guests from Australia, Asia as well as the US, most of whom are exceptionally well traveled and have pretty discriminating taste. How were we going to keep everyone entertained for 4 days??? Our guests (50 adults, 7 kids) ranged in age from 4 months to 70 years of age. Not only did everything meet or exceed expectations (mainly the latter), everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves- from the families with babies to the single and ready to mingle crowd, newlywed couples to the seniors. It is truly a feat to gather all of your family and friends together in one place and it is the most wonderful thing as the hosts see them all have such a good time. Best of all, we were able to spend a lot of quality time with our guests over 4 days and all we had to do was walk downstairs.
Food- I think most people have fairly modest expectations for wedding/hotel food and I really only took a couple of bites on the wedding day but I had numerous guests specifically comment on how good the food was. We also hosted a welcome dinner which was the Taco Bar, simple but delicious and everyone loved it. You have the option to include as many scheduled meals and entertainment as you want; we elected to keep the schedule pretty open to allow people to go into town and enjoy local cuisine or go on excursions without feeling they had to be somewhere at a certain time. The open bar was a bonus and, as with everything else, you can go as high end as your budget will allow (i.e. open bar can include well only or top shelf drinks).
Another concern were the rooms since they are not all the same. I was pretty stressed about how this was going to work out but it really seemed to be minimally problematic. The “premium” rooms (depending on your perspective) were on the 4th floor. Beautiful view but also a major hike to get to from the pool/restaurant level. We put our guests who were younger without kids in these rooms and the vast majority of them spent all of their time by the pool or out in town anyway. The first/second floor rooms were great for guests with mobility issues and small mobile children. The floors with ocean views are great but they are louder (the crashing ocean waves aren’t soothing to everyone) and can be less private than the “less desirable rooms” since the balconies overlook other balconies or the terrace where they are setting up the wedding or massages. The non-ocean view rooms were actually great for our jet-lagged guests or guests that you know will not be spending any time in their rooms anyway. Maybe a wedding guest would be able to comment more candidly about this but it worked out well for us.
We had 7 kids (three under 1 year and four 2-7 years) who all had an incredible time. I don’t know where the comments regarding the kid un-friendliness comes from but there didn’t seem to be any serious concerns from the parents. I mean, you do have to watch them, it’s not a padded room and there is open water, steps and stairs that you have to be aware of but nothing excessive.
I’m not going to even start with Lindsay, this woman is amazing at what she does and that is all you need to know. They’ve got this wedding thing down pat, you can be as involved as you want to be or just give them the basics and they will do the rest and it will be wonderful. We had some other major events all happen simultaneously so I wasn’t able to be as wedding focused as I would have liked but it was all fine. As a bride, it takes so much stress off of you to know that your guests are happy and enjoying themselves, that everything is in place and that you have your own amazing personal assistant on your special day. It allows you to focus on enjoying your day and spend time with your friends and family.
Huge props to Charlie at the bar, he knew everyone’s name and drink of choice the first night. And Nacho, assistant wedding coordinator, went out to buy my fiance a toothbrush when he left his at home. Apparently this was not important to pack for his wedding. Neither was his passport but that’s a different story.
I have not seen a wedding run so smoothly. It was not without its snafus (unrelated to the venue/coordination/hotel) but all those issues were completely quashed by the amazing-ness of our overall wedding experience.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Playa Fiesta is unique in every sense of the word. A true gem situated on the South side of Puerto Vallarta right on the ocean with magnificent views of Banderas Bay. Playa Fiesta caters to Wedding groups & Vacationers. A quaint & intimate resort with full hotel amenities. The onsite Bar & Restaurant are open from 8am-11pm daily. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Playa Fiesta Beachclub And Hotel
- Playa Fiesta Beachclub Hotel Puerto Vallarta
- Hotel Playa Fiesta Beachclub