Beach Bum News
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Category Archives: Mexico

The Gourmet Inclusive Vacation Experience

By: Beach Bum Sarah

Picture this…you’re walking along the beach with the cool ocean breeze at your back, your toes are hitting the sand with each step you take and the water is splashing on your legs, you’ve got an ice cold beverage in hand and the love of your life is right beside you. You can feel the sun kissing your skin and life is good. Now this is a Beach Bum Vacation!

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Mexico’s beautiful Riviera Maya is home to a tried and true resort line that the Beach Bums frequent often. El Dorado Spa Resorts & Hotels by Karisma is an award winning Gourmet Inclusive brand for adults only. They offer the perfect escape for couples looking to get away and be pampered through a luxury vacation experience. El Dorado Spa Resorts are perfectly designed for destination weddings, honeymoons and anniversary getaways. From unique accommodations to Gourmet cuisine, this resort line has it all. El Dorado Maroma is a boutique resort that caters to the refined traveler looking for quiet seclusion on one of Travel Channel’s Top 10 Beaches in the World – Maroma Beach. El Dorado Seaside Suites is medium in size and oozes romance throughout their lovely lush gardens and beautiful suites. This resort has top notch personalized service combined with quiet nooks to get away. El Dorado Royale & Casitas Royale has something for everyone. For the couple looking to escape and be pampered, the Casita section is luxurious and secluded, and for the couple looking to engage in activities and enjoy fun nightlife, El Dorado Royale is perfect.

What defines Gourmet Inclusive? It’s certainly more than just the food. El Dorado Spa Resorts says it best – Gourmet Inclusive is designed to elevate all inclusive vacations to quality levels comparable to traditional luxury hotels. Gourmet services and amenities come standard at this resort – beach butlers, concierge, nightly turn-down service, 24-hour room service, premium beverages and Gourmet cuisine.

It all started with Gourmet Cuisine which has now become their trademark. El Dorado Spa Resorts take pride in their gourmet cuisine and they have won multiple awards such as the coveted Wine Spectator’s award of Excellence. Their talented chefs have been trained at some of the finest Michelin and Zagat rated restaurants around the world. Their motto is use the best ingredients and never be satisfied with good, always strive for great. El Dorado Royale is home to a 70,000 sq ft Greenhouse that produces  fresh fruits and veggies.

Gourmet suites with no detail left untouched. El Dorado Casitas Royale offers some of the most unique and romantic accommodations that will leave your jaw dropping. The Casita, which means small house in Spanish, offers romance and intimacy with authentic Mexican architecture. These palapa-roofed bungalows are spacious with vaulted wood planked ceilings, a jacuzzi tub with a view, king bed, outdoor roofless shower, balcony or patio complete with bistro table and chairs, a beach bed for two, and spectacular ocean views.

The Swim Up Casita Suite gives you direct access from your patio to a lagoon leading to the main pool where you can swim up for a fruity drink from the bar. For a more intimate setting you may like to experience the Infinity Pool Casita Suite. This second story haven has a private plunge pool on the balcony along with a beach bed for two and amazing views of the ocean. Want the best of both worlds? The Infinity Pool Swim Up Casita Suite offers just that. A ground floor Casita Suite with direct access to the lagoon from your patio and private plunge pool. It doesn’t get any better than this! Luxury defined.

The Beach Bums have traveled extensively throughout Mexico and the Caribbean and we can tell you from firsthand experience that El Dorado Resorts set the bar high and consistently deliver a fabulous Gourmet Inclusive vacation experience. If you’re looking for an adult getaway offering luxury, romance and top notch service the search is over. Contact your favorite Beach Bum today and take advantage of the incredible value these Gourmet Inclusive resorts offer! We can’t wait to send you to paradise!

Ryan and Denielle: After the I Do at The Royal Playa del Carmen

Ryan and Denielle tied the knot in paradise in April and we have the inside scoop!  Beach Bum Becky was instrumental in this amazing experience along with our partner, Real Resorts and their beautiful resort The Royal Playa del Carmen!

What some of the guests said:

The Royal Playa del Carmen was an absolutely beautiful resort. As we walked through the lobby and it overlooked the ocean I truly felt we were transported to paradise. The entire week was an amazing experience. The best part was watching our best friends get married in paradise. The wedding was absolutely beautiful. We wish nothing but the best for Denielle and Ryan and are truly grateful we were invited to share their special day with them in paradise! 

Kasey & Rob

Ryan and Denielle’s wedding was spectacular!   The resort was fabulous, as well.  The planning that Beach Bum Becky and Ryan and Denielle did was so well done!  There was a real “touch of class” throughout the ceremony and the resort. 

Everyone that attended appeared to be very happy, especially the wedding couple!  There was a lot of love that permeated throughout the group!  Ryan has married a beautiful young lady whose beauty is evident both inside and out!

I could not be prouder of my son and the girl that he married!  Her family is so nice and it is wonderful to have us all joined as one family now.  It was one of the best experiences of my life!

Rick Paynter
Father of the Groom

We want to thank this happy couple for the opportunity to share their Before and After the “I Do” wedding experience with us and wish them many years of joy!  We hope to send you two on many more Beach Bum Vacations!

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Please review the resort and overall wedding experience in as much detail as you wish:

Overall, our destination wedding was everything we could have hoped it would be and the resort was absolutely amazing.

The Royal Playa del Carmen is true paradise and I do not think that you can find better service anywhere. We’ve both been to several all-inclusives, and agree that The Royal Playa del Carmen was the best resort we’ve ever been to. The food & drink are plentiful, the service is the best you can get, there’s tons to do, and the rooms are fabulous. (One tip – spring for a swim up suite if you can! No “towel game” at the pool and we loved our suite! We would also order room service for lunch so we never had to leave the pool area!) Our favorite restaurant was Asiana for dinner, get the crepes at breakfast, and order room service – they’ll bring you anything you want! Venturing out to 5th Avenue is also a ton of fun – you cannot beat The Royal’s location!

My off-site wedding coordinator (Ana) and my on-site wedding coordinator (Lili) were both great – very detail oriented, organized, and friendly – exactly what you need in a wedding coordinator.

Our ceremony in the Oceanfront Gazebo was just breathtaking. The Royal’s staff set everything up for the ceremony and reception exactly how I wanted them, nothing was amiss! We loved having our own friend officiate the service so that we could write our own ceremony – for us, personal touches mean the most.

Our reception was more than we could have asked for!

Did anything drastically change from your original wedding plans once you arrived on property?  If so, what was it and why did it change?

The only drastic change was where our cocktail hour and reception was held. Due to impending rain clouds, we moved our cocktail hour and reception from the beach to a covered patio and a ballroom. The location of these events was not as important to me as the outdoor ceremony in the gazebo, so the change was really not a huge deal, and actually turned out to be a better option!

What was your favorite moment of your wedding trip?

Besides our ceremony, my favorite moment was our reception. The resort made the ballroom into what seemed like our own personal club, and all of our guests had a great time with amazing food, personalized service (the wait staff was awesome!), and fabulous music. Seeing everyone have a great time made everything worth it!

Did you go on any off-site excursions or sight-seeing trips?

We did not do any for our wedding in Mexico, although several of our guests did (ziplining, ATV, bicycle tours, visits to the ruins, etc.). Everyone enjoyed the off-site excursions.

We did offsite excursions once we relocated for our honeymoon at Couples Tower Isle in Ocho Rios, Jamaica. We enjoyed the Island Village shopping trip, Dunns River Falls, and the Catamaran Cruise.

What kind of feedback did you receive from guests?

Our guests absolutely fell in love with The Royal Playa del Carmen and the idea of destination weddings after they saw one for themselves. Many guests are already talking about return trips. 

If you used a resort photographer, what was your experience and feedback?

We used an off-site photographer (Juan Navarro Photography) for both our wedding and a Trash the Dress session the next day. Juan and his staff are true artists and absolutely amazing. Juan was able to provide me with advice about the weather when I was stressing about it on our wedding day, and he also made sure to get every single shot I wanted. His team is truly dedicated to their work!

What advice would you now give to another couple going through the destination wedding planning experience now that you have returned?

Read the online forums – there is a wealth of information there! I got so many great ideas from those forums.

Stay in constant communication with your Travel Agent. I was so thankful that I had daily access to Beach Bum Becky by email (or phone if I wanted). It made my Type-A OCD Planner personality happy, lol. She always answered questions promptly and always let me know I was important to her. I always tried to keep her informed of everything that I could; it’s great to have someone who is able to back you up on things and help organize the travelers.

Research! I was able to save a lot of money by using an outside florist, bringing my own chair sashes, and by doing a lot of planning. Also, research outside photographers and videographers and be aware of your resort’s vendor fees. I had vendor fees for both my photography team (Juan Navarro Photography) and my videography team (Cancun Wedding Video) but it was worth every penny to know that I was getting the service and style that I wanted to capture our wedding day moments.

Be organized and document everything! It helped when I had my meeting with our on-site coordinator before our wedding. I had notes of how I wanted everything, diagrams, and table seating charts. I brought a suitcase full of stuff and Lili & her team took it from there!

Don’t let the weather stress you out! I let the weather stress me out for the days leading up to my wedding, even though I already knew the resort had alternate options if bad weather did come. Enjoy yourself, your wedding will beautiful no matter what the weather – plus, rain on your wedding day is lucky and cloudy days make for better pictures!

If you are going to do out of town bags, give them out before you leave! We did a “travel document pickup” meeting where we gave everyone their travel documents and gave out the bags. That way, less for us to lug down, and the guests could figure out exactly what they wanted to bring with them on the trip.

Do the Trash the Dress photoshoot! It was a lot of fun (although very tiring), and they are such original pictures that you can’t get at a “regular” wedding.

Most of all, enjoy your day – it goes by SO fast!

Top 5 Favorite Beach Bum Sunsets

May 3rd, 2012 | By sarah | Posted in Beach Bum Vacation, Caribbean, Jamaica, Mexico | Leave a comment

Throughout our various travels we have seen some stunning sunsets and captured some gorgeous photos to remember the amazing moments. Here are our Top 5 Favorite Beach Bum Sunsets! Enjoy and be inspired! If you love sunsets we can recommend the best destination/resort in order for you to enjoy that perfect sunset each evening of your Beach Bum Vacation!

Kauai Sunset by Beach Bum Melissa

Montego Bay, Jamaica Sunset by Rich Miller, photographer to Beach Bum Marcie

Amazing Sunset in Ocho Rios, Jamaica captured by Beach Bum Nanda's clients

Italian Sunset on the Amalfi Coast by Beach Bum Becky

Sunset in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico by Beach Bum Jennifer


Bridal Spotlight: Before the “I Do” at Royal Playa del Carmen with Ryan and Denielle

April 24th, 2012 | By sarah | Posted in Destination Weddings, Mexico, Preferred Partners, Riviera Maya | 1 Comment

Beach Bum Becky has been working with an amazing destination wedding couple, Ryan and Denielle, for the last year to plan the wedding of their dreams in sunny Playa del Carmen, Mexico!  They contacted Becky for vacation plans about a year and a half ago and had such a wonderful Beach Bum Vacation experience, that they didn’t look back when it came time to plan their day in the sun! When they called to share the news of their engagement, Becky was thrilled that they contacted her again for help with planning their destination wedding and the most amazing day of their lives in Riviera Maya, Mexico!  They immediately started making plans just days after Ryan proposed to Denielle, because running off to get married in paradise was the perfect fit for this adventure-seeking couple.  Beach Bum Becky said, “It’s been an honor and a privilege to work with Ryan and Denielle, as well as their family and friends. On April 20, at 4:00PM, in the company of 45 of their closest family and friends, they will celebrate the beginning of their new life together at The Royal Playa del Carmen and I will be able to witness it myself, as they are sharing their amazing day with me as well!  I am so excited to be there for them in person along with my husband.”

Denielle and Ryan were gracious enough to share some of the more intimate details of their big day with us before they leave and will be telling us all about the experience when they return!  Check out their BEFORE the “I Do” and the advice they share with other couples!  Thank you to Beach Bum Becky and The Royale Playa del Carmen for taking such great care of our clients on one of the most important days of their lives!

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Why did you choose a destination wedding vs. a traditional “at home” wedding?
We, by nature, are travelers, as are most of our friends and family. We never saw ourselves doing a traditional wedding and figured that a vacation with those closest to us would be more fun and memorable.

How long have you been planning a destination wedding?
A little over a year.

What is the date of your wedding?
April 20, 2012

Why did you choose to work with Beach Bum Vacation?
Becky had arranged travel to the Caribbean for us before, and we loved her, so we figured she would be the best resource for us for our wedding.

Which resort did you choose and why?
We chose The Royal Playa del Carmen. We love the layout of the Royal, the cost was economical for our guests, they had great wedding packages, and I’d heard good reviews.

What were the three most important “must haves” when planning your destination wedding?
Must Have #1: Ability to have a private reception.
Must Have #2: Cost-efficient for our guests.
Must Have #3: Beautiful location.

How many guests were invited vs. how many are coming to celebrate your destination wedding?
# of Guests Invited – 150
# Actually Attended – 45

Are you bringing your own photographer or using the resort photographer?
We are using a local photographer down in Mexico.

Did you do a resort package or customize your own?
We did a resort package, but catered it to what we needed.

Regarding your wedding package – did you choose extras to add to the package (if any – reception, cocktail hour, upgraded flower, food or music options, things like that)?
Private reception, cocktail hour, and DJ services

Where on the resort are you planning your wedding (beach, sky terrace, garden) and why did you choose that location?
Oceanfront Gazebo for our ceremony, which offered more privacy than the beach. Our reception will be on the beach.

What are you most looking forward to on the day of your wedding?
Marrying the love of my life in front of our closest loved ones in paradise!

What advice would you give to a couple planning a destination wedding?
Start planning early, research your options, and look for ways to cut costs.

Congratulations to the happy couple!  We wish you many years of happiness and joy and of course, more Beach Bum Vacations!


Wedding Talk: Civil vs. Symbolic

By: Beach Bum Marcie

When a couple considers taking the destination wedding plunge and gets married away, there are several factors that must be considered. Generally the first few steps include choosing a location and resort.  It is not as easy as it sounds and allowing a Beach Bum to take you through our step-by-step process will eliminate much of the stress that can come along with making that decision, simply by talking to one of us and filling out our online questionnaire.  If you are not currently working with a Certified Travel Concierge, MEET THE BUMS HERE and choose the Beach Bum for you! In deciding on a country and resort, couples must consider all of the pros and cons that come along with a legal ceremony (civil) or a symbolic ceremony (non-legal). Please note, couples can LEGALLY tie the knot in ANY country but each country’s requirements and applicable fees must be factored into the decision, so there is a level of comfort prior to heading south of the border for the big day!

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Beach Bum Vacation’s Destination Wedding Specialists can guide and support you through the unique requirements of each country and match you up with a country and resort that meets your expectations for the perfect ceremony and fits what you are looking for based on the amount of time you wish to spend in a country before you are husband and wife, as well as, help you decide if having a symbolic ceremony is for you versus a legal ceremony. The Beach Bums often are asked “What is the difference between a Civil and Symbolic Wedding in another country?” It’s a great question!  The short answer is: “A CIVIL ceremony is legal and recognized in the United States, as well as, the country in which you marry, and SYMBOLIC is not recognized.”

Destination Wedding Couples have to decide for themselves if it is important to them to be LEGALLY married on their wedding day or if they are OK with possibly getting married at home privately and quietly in their church or with the Justice of the Peace, and then just having a ceremony on their chosen anniversary date at the resort. No one will be the wiser, which is why it’s good to consider both options, especially for Mexico and Punta Cana and other countries where the hoopla for legalized ceremonies can overshadow the fun of planning!  However, in countries like Antigua, Jamaica, Bahamas, and St. Lucia, it is so simple to be legally wed, there is no reason to get married at home first.

A symbolic ceremony allows the couple to experience their wedding just as they would if they were being married civilly/legally, and most couples do not share with their guests that they are having a symbolic ceremony; because to them, it is the OFFICIAL ceremony and as real to them as it would be if were legal.  This will be the day they celebrate as their wedding anniversary regardless of when they “legally” tie the knot at home.  There is a lot to be said for choosing this avenue to get married, especially when documents must be translated (Mexico and Punta Cana), blood tests are required (Mexico) and it’s difficult to confirm a local judge (Punta Cana).  Many couples also have their own priest, minister, rabbi or friend perform the ceremony, write their own vows and have a lot more flexibility to customize their ceremony without the legal vows/language instituted by the country.  In addition, residency requirements tend to be less strict allowing for less time between the arrival date into the country and their wedding. Couples just need to arrive in time to finalize wedding details, instead of meeting residency requirements.  This makes for a more relaxing overall wedding experience.

Wondering what kind of wedding ceremony is best for you?  Just ask your Beach Bum!  Knowing a country’s legal procedures is part of the free services we provide and we want to ensure you have everything at your fingertips to make the best decision for you! The Beach Bums are here to guide and support you all the way down the sandy aisle!

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