Our wedding was great. I found it challenging planning a destination wedding particularly in Sarasota where the vendors didn't seem to be as organized and detail oriented as I would have liked but everyone had a great time and commented how stunning the location was.
The setting was stunning and the weather perfect in April. There is a possible rain backup location now to the right of the mansion.
There are a lot of difficulties/rules that you will have to deal with with this venue including a high price with extra fees tacked on to every vendor bill, they are a little disorganized and the event planner seems to change constantly so there is no consistency (they didn't even show up for our scheduled walk through), and various frustrating rules regarding ceremony and reception times. But it is stunning so if you can put with all of that the venue will be memorable for all.
This was a really fun thing to do for an after wedding brunch/meetup. We rented a tent which seemed good but there were lots of ants/flys etc. trying to come to the food and it was pretty far away from the action. If you have a small group I would just get a cooler and go to the main area and if you have a big group go for the club house which is more central.
Two sets of guests stayed here. Their initial group rate was not comparable to the Hyatt and it took awhile to get a better rate. One set of our guests left after one night to move to a higher quality hotel. It does look pretty dated but at least is close to the beach.
We used the Hyatt as our headquarter hotel and held our rehearsal dinner/cockatil party there. They were in a word DISORGANIZED and somewhat incompetent. We dropped off 35 welcome boxes for gifts which they insisted on dropping off to the rooms after check-in (for a fee). And they didn't drop any off on the first night. I questioned what happened and was told they were going to fix it and the same thing happened throughout the weekend. I know of two guests that never received them (despite asking for them) and we also had a no show at the hotel and they didn't return the box to us. When you are charging for something you would think it would be done right.
In terms of the rehearsal spot, we were supposed to have an outdoor casual party by the pool but a storm blew through so we had to change it to the boat house (which is kind of dark and grimy and if i knew this was going to be the outcome I would have planned it elsewhere). This was not their fault however, but we dealt with Sarp trying to plan the menu which was completely frustrating. He couldn't understand the desire to have variety but at a reduced quantity so that we didn't have enough of every selection to feed everyone. Idiotic. So in the end we had too much food and spent too much money on something that looked like crap. The quality of the food itself though was quite good so I am giving them the second star.
Completely sketchy. Don't trust the pamphlet that they email to you. Don't stay here. I was dropping a friend off who booked there (sadly) and a crazy woman came lunging from the street and tried to get in our car. That's the kind of area this hotel is in. Not sure where the waterfront is.
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