Please note: This is a transcription of our original Interview about weddings at Palace Resorts and Le Blanc, which you can listen to here. We encourage you to listen to the audio so you can experience the candor and enthusiasm of our conversation.
Did you postpone your destination wedding this year? The silver lining may be that you have more time to plan the wedding of your dreams. So we wanted to know: What’s New with Destination Weddings at Palace Resorts and Le Blanc Spa Resorts?
Weddings at Palace Resorts and Le Blanc – Our Recent Interview with Cessie Cerrato of Palace Resorts
Donna/BAI: Thank you for joining us today. This is Donna Adinolfi with BestAllInclusive.com. And today I have the pleasure of speaking with Cessie Cerrato , Vice President of Public Relations for Palace Resorts. Thank you for joining us today.
Cessie/Palace: Hey, Donna, it’s so great to hear from you.
And thank you for having me. I’m really excited to be on here to chat a little bit about what we have going on.
BAI: So I know that Palace recently announced a number of Wedding Inspirations. And this year, so many people are putting off their weddings so I thought this would be a good time to talk about it. Will you just share a little bit more about the Wedding Inspirations?
Cessie: Yes, absolutely. So you know, in previous times, we had different wedding collections, right. And what we’re trying to do this time around is completely veer away from the collection idea that you have to pick one thing or the other. And I think that’s really what sets us apart from many other all inclusive resorts when it comes to the wedding selection process is that you can pretty much design the wedding of your dreams based on whatever your style is – the different things that you like. And there is no one size fits all.
That’s why we call them inspirations instead of collections. Because basically, these are just inspirations that can help guide brides if they’re really unsure which direction they want to go in terms of the look and feel. But for the most part, everything is completely customizable.
We really wanted to make sure that we zeroed in on what’s authentic to the region, what Le Blanc represents, which is pretty, it’s very classic, it’s very free flowing.
So those are the kinds of inspirations that you’re going to find it Le Blanc, you know, a very white, pure kind of elegance. That’s what you feel when you walk into Le Blanc – everything is white, everything is clean, everything is modern, and you kind of get that feel. And those are the different options that we have at La Blanc.
In terms of Palace Resorts – each property that you visit has its own character, right. So if you’re planning on a wedding for in Jamaica, we’re going to look at the island vibe, we’re going to look at what Jamaica itself stands for, you know, palm trees, seasonal tropical flowers and things like that.
And then when you go to Mexico, we really wanted to make sure that the local culture was very present. What do you think of with Mexico? Like Divine (inspiration) – You think of the Bohemian vibe, specifically in Riviera Maya.
So it’s kind of the inspiration behind these new collections, which, like I said, are not necessarily collections or just inspirations to help guide brides it’s really a canvas of decor that they have to work with.
BAI: You have so many – I just loved all the different descriptions, like you mentioned, the Divine and the Pure Paradise. And Le Blanc is one of my favorite resorts. I’ve only been to Cancun, hopefully I’ll get to Cabo one of these days. So just to let our listeners know, I’ll list all of the options, all of the inspirations on the post with this recording.
So can you tell me a little bit more about elegant beginnings at Le Blanc in Cancun and Cabo?
Cessie: Yeah, definitely. So Le Blanc is pretty much known for, you know, classic, elegant, it’s very luxurious, but it’s not, it’s not over the top, it’s very clean, like I said, very modern. So we wanted to make sure that the destination kind of led with the inspiration for each one. So because the dominant colors that we work with right now are white and neutral tones with a hint of metallic in both locations.
We just wanted to make sure that we went that route and of course adding a little bit of glitz and glam throughout because you know after all, you know Le Blanc is known for that high end luxury glitz and glam feel.
But you know, for example, at the Los Cabos location, because it is the desert, we wanted to really incorporate a lot of wood and white wooden arches and things like that and things that are very typical of what you’ll find in the desert region.
And then of course, in Cancun. We wanted to make sure that we went with things that are more on the tropical end since Cancun is actually Mexican Caribbean. So we went with a lot of seasonal blooms and teak benches, but at the same time giving you that inspiration of a chic beachy feel, if that makes sense.
BAI: Absolutely. So when people have their destination wedding at Palace or Le Blanc, they get a wedding coordinator, correct?
Cessie: Absolutely. They get assigned a wedding planner. And that wedding planner pretty much helps from every step of the way from the moment that, you know, you’ve inquired about the different collections picked a date and things like that.
And that wedding planner is with you throughout every single process and helps you kind of simplify so many things that we handle on property, from florals, to rentals to music to photography, I mean, you name it, and that wedding planner is your go to, until that moment when you’re walking down the aisle.
BAI: Have you noticed that a lot more weddings for Palace Resorts and Le Blanc have been booked for next year? Or is it just too soon to tell?
Cessie: You know, we’ve seen a really big increase with a lot of bookings that are going to take place for next year. But we’ve also had a lot of new bookings. And believe it or not, during the pandemic, we saw a couple of elopements as well, just because, you know, these brides had to cancel their big weddings, or in the States because of COVID. It was discouraged to host these big, large events and a lot in some cities, you know, specifically Miami and New York.
And you know, some of the major cities were actually restricted to the amount of people you could have at group events. So, you know, vendors were prohibited from offering their services, and things like that.
So a lot of couples said, you know, what, like, let’s just elope – we want to get married this year, and we don’t want covid to stop us and let’s just elope and so we just did a beautiful elopement in Los Cabos with an NFL reporter, MJ Acosta, and she had a big wedding plan in Miami with her family and her fiance. And you know, they just wanted to be married and not allow COVID to interrupt their plans for this year. And they just eloped, Just the two of them over to Le Blanc and Los Cabos. And it was absolutely beautiful.
Technology is a wonderful thing. And she had about 50 people on that zoom that probably would have been there in person. And, you know, they were able to be a part of that moment without actually having to stop that moment from happening this year, because of the circumstances that nobody really obviously saw coming.
BAI: Right. And that was the other thing, I was just thinking about all of the virtual weddings this year. So too soon to know how long they’ll continue to do them. But at least we know that’s a possibility. So as we go into the new year, if people do the same thing, they could at least invite their family to be a part of it in some way.
Cessie: Absolutely. And destination weddings are, you know, they’re a big, they’re very popular, they’re a lot of fun, just because you get to spend so much time with family over the course of a few days instead of just one day or a few hours.
But you know, at the same time, destination weddings are a commitment for your guests. And so a lot of the times, you know, sometimes the elderly can’t make it or just you know, for whatever reasons people can’t make it.
And so the technology has always been there, it’s always been something that we offer.
And it’s really exciting. Because there’s no reason why anybody that is important to you that wanted to be a part of your special day cannot attend because the technology that we have in place allows for people to be there and kind of streaming from all over the world. But we’ve definitely seen an increase in that this year.
BAI: But obviously, it (virtual weddings) came to the surface even more this year. So that’s really good to know.
Cessie: Yeah, absolutely.
BAI: With everything that is still going on, can you just briefly share some of the measures that Palace Resorts has put in place for health and safety of guests, whether you’re at a wedding or there for vacation?
Cessie: Absolutely. So you know, obviously guests returning to our hotels during such a strange moment in time is really just trust and and how comfortable they feel traveling.
We knew that we had to not just step it up because we’ve always had these insane cleanliness procedures (Purely Palace) (Purely Le Blanc) in place and we’ve always taken that part to the 10th degree, but here we had to really step it up even more when it came to, you know, help limit the spread of the virus and in order to do that we’ve we’ve upped our game and that means that from the moment you land in the airport and you get picked up from your transportation.
I mean we are doing everything we possibly can to avoid the spread of germs period and that means that your luggage, your shoes, everything is sanitized before you even get in that transportation.
Once you arrive to the hotel and you get to the lobby, you’re going to be greeted by our concierge and they immediately will be taking the temperature for everybody.
We have guests fill out a bill of health that means that they are certifying that they are in good health and that they are COVID and symptom free.
We’re also re-sanitizing other luggage there. We’ve revamped all the filters to meet the regulations of the government regulations for sanitary, all of our employees are mandatory wearing masks all the time, we have removed all the buffets, from restaurants, we’ve pretty much made everything seamless in terms of touchless menus.
You can pretty much arrive at any restaurant, you’re going to be able to order from our app, the Palace Resorts app is going to be your best friend when you get to any of our resorts because you can order room service. From there, you can book a spa appointment from there, you can look at the menu at the Lebanese restaurant, you can book a reservation.
So it’s really just like a one stop shop. And we eliminated paper menus, which also really helps the environment at the same time. So we’ve eliminated that completely, which is great. And then at the same time, it’s also minimizing the contact with people, if you don’t feel comfortable with, you know, going in person to book your spa appointment, or, you know, if you wanted to order room service and things like that everything now is completely done electronically.
And it’s a it’s a great avenue for us to really explore and it makes it seamless for guests, because once they’re there, they can do everything that they need to do they can even book tours off site excursions through the Palace resorts app, so it’s really a great thing.
BAI: Regarding tours – Does Palace/Le Blanc have their own tours that people can do?
Cessie: Whether they want to go to sailing or whatever excursions- they could basically do everything at a Palace Resort and they’re not sending them off to third party providers.
So what we have is the Palace vacation planners desk, so when you arrive you can sit down with the Palace vacation planners and we work with local tour operators, we are not the operators of the tours, we work with local tour operators in the region, but you book everything through us so we take care of everything whether it’s you know, you want to do a day trip to one of the seven wonders of the world.
Or if you want to spend the day in Tulum to visit some ancient Mayan ruins, maybe do some snorkeling and a cenote day and things like that everything we offer, um, you can book directly through your Palace vacation planner.
And also you can book it directly through the app as well.
BAI: Right. And you know that all of those tour companies have followed everything they need to follow for safety.
Cessie: Oh, absolutely. 100% we only work with very reputable local tour operators.
BAI: Right. And that’s just so important.
So I just want to let our listeners know that we will include the link for everything that Cessie is mentioning regarding weddings at Palace Resorts and Le Blanc.
BAI: Cessie, I just wanted to also ask you, is there anything new that you’d like to share – any new programs coming up? Any promotions on your radar?
Cessie: Yeah, definitely. So you know, we’ve really upped the ante when it comes to offering a lot of options that we have for brides when it comes to planning the ideal destination wedding. So we’ve added some really unique things like donut walls, we are incorporating a lot of the local cuisine because we wanted to be as authentic as possible.
So that means you can also incorporate an ice cream cart or a Yucatan cart, which also offers a variety of sweets. And you know, what’s more popular in Mexico than Mexican street corn. And so we have that as well.
And then in case you wanted to do like a Tequila Station, we have Tequila and Mezcal tastings, which is really popular because people want to have that authentic Mexican experience when they are at the resorts. So you know, we pretty much have something for everyone.
It doesn’t matter what the budget is, we have a lot of complimentary options, but we have a lot of offers.
A lot of options that allow brides to customize the things that they’re looking for and the prices vary and we work with the budget at the end of the day, we just want to make sure that everything meets the couple’s needs and their tastes and and we work with them to make that happen, regardless of whatever their budget is.
BAI: This all sounds fun. It really does – to be able to do all that like the Mexican street corn and the Tequila. So thanks for sharing all of this about weddings at Palace Resorts and Le Blanc.
Are there any other offers that are coming out, I believe there’s a something that’s good through next year.
Cessie: Yeah, so we’ve always offered the wedding essential. So you earn basically $20 per room per night and wedding credits. So, you know, that actually really helps. You know, for the bride and groom when it comes to those extras that you kind of want to add at the end, but you’re not really sure if you can fit them into the budget and things like that.
And that just really helps encourage, you know, because for every room they’re getting credit. And that credit can be used towards wedding essentials, like upgrading the wedding cake, maybe they want a really over the top floral arrangements, maybe they want to do some upgraded audio visual, lighting, and things like that.
And so that that promotion really allows the bride to get some extra upgraded wedding essentials and not having to take it out of the original budget. Right.
BAI: Cessie – thank you so much for doing this. We really appreciate it. And we’ll be sure to get this out. This was definitely all focused on weddings. Next time we get together, we will pick another topic and explore that further.
Cessie: Absolutely! Thank you.
BAI: And thank you to our listeners. Thank you for listening.