Our wedding reception was held at Hotel Caruso, Ravello in June 2010.
We initially planned to have the wedding dinner in Caruso's garden followed by dancing around the infinity pool but unfortunately due to bad weather we had to resort to staying in the Wagner Room all night.
The Wagner Room is nice but it's a standard reception room so I would recommend having dinner outside in the garden, followed by cutting of the cake and dancing by the infinity pool (there's an extra cost to hire the pool area) as the views and atmosphere are fantastic and it would be a unique experience your guests will never forget.
The food at Hotel Caruso was excellent and all our guests commented on the excellent quality and presentation - the lamb was superb! Some guests even said it was the best food they've ever had at a wedding.
Tiziana, our event manager, was extremely accommodating with all our requests for the wedding evening and did whatever she could to make our wedding perfect, which was greatly appreciated.
I would definitely recommend Hotel Caruso as a wedding venue. Although it is extremely expensive, you won't be disappointed.
The only negative we experienced was that the table service was a bit slow during the wedding dinner. For a 5 star hotel I would expect 4 or 5 waiters coming out and serving a whole table at once rather than only serving 2 guests at a time and then another 2 guests a few mins later. It was frustrating to see that one table had finished their meal whilst other tables were still waiting to be served as it delayed the time we had left for dancing. We only had 7 tables so it shouldn't have taken that long to serve everyone. We did have a couple of guests comment on the slow service, but this was only a minor thing and I'm sure Hotel Caruso will have changed their service methods.
Despite the above negative re slow service, I would still definitely recommend Hotel Caruso as a wedding venue. It truly is a stunning venue with excellent food, and if you can afford to hire the swimming pool area then I would recommend that option as it is unique, romantic and breathtaking - definitely a wedding your guests will always remember.
Regarding the other wedding services we used:
Wedding Planner: Anna Sorrentino - she was absolutely fantastic and I would highly recommend her services! She promptly answers your queries and gives very helpful advice. She is also very patient and knows how to calm a very stressed bride! ;)
Photographer: Massimo Amendola from Ae5 in Amalfi (www.Ae5.it). The package we chose was a CD only, which Massimo gave to us within 2 days. We were happy with his services but I did have to touch up some of his photos (mainly cropping) which I wouldn't expect to need to do for a professional photographer. I would still recommend Massimo though. He is a lovely guy who speaks English very well.
Florist: Francesca from Fiori d'Arancio. She doesn't have a website nor speak English (I used "google translate" to communicate with her). I would definitely recommend Francesca. She is MUCH cheaper than La Violetta in Amalfi and Armando from Malafronte in Ravello and we were very happy with the flowers she provided. She has a tiny shop in Ravello just past the church called Santa Maria di Gradillo. We had not heard of her and happened to stumble upon her shop when walking past.
Hairdresser: Gerardo Serretiello from totalhairdesign.com. I would recommend his services. In my opinion, he is a bit too expensive but he is apparently the best in Ravello and the only hairdresser I came across. I was very happy with the way he did my hair.
Makeup: Giselle (referred to me by Gerardo). Giselle was lovely and did my makeup exactly as I wanted. I would recommend her.
Music: Booked through Marco Cantarella - (http://www.weddingmusic.it/about_us.html). I would recommend Marco's services.
We booked a harp & violin for the church service (excellent and very romantic), followed by a Neopolitan Duo with guitar and mandolin to walk/dance around the streets of Ravello (lots of fun but perhaps more due to my Italian background). For dinner, we played our i-pod to save on costs and because we weren't sure what type of music an Italian DJ would choose to play. Our guests said the i-pod was a great idea as we played the songs we and our guests liked.
Car Transfers for our guests - booked with Giovanni Fortunato of Ravello Taxi Service - (http://www.ravellotaxiservice.it/vehicles.aspx). Giovanni was fantastic and such a lovely and friendly man. All our guests loved him. He speaks English very well. His prices were the most reasonable of all the taxi services I enquired with.
I'm happy to be contacted to answer any queries from potential brides considering having their wedding in Ravello as I know what it felt like when I was trying to organise our wedding and how difficult it was trying to find advice from people who had actually gotten married in Ravello.
I wish all you brides the best of luck!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Belmond Hotel Caruso is located in a former 11th century palace in charming Ravello, perched on a clifftop overlooking the spectacular Amalfi Coast. It boasts 50 splendidly restored rooms, of which 27 suites and 23 double rooms. Each room has its unique style and most boast a stunning sea view and private garden or terrace. Dining facilities include the Belvedere Restaurant with an elegant indoor dining room, an outdoor terrace adorned with ancient columns and an alfresco area close to the pool. It offers a superb selection of delicious Mediterranean food. The Pool Restaurant serves informal luncheons and drinks, as well as a salad buffet and original Neapolitan Pizza cooked in front of guests. Pizza-making lessons are also available. The Cocktail and Piano Bar is located on the first floor of the main building, decorated with original 18th century frescoes. Guests can swim in the incredible infinity swimming pool, seemingly suspended between sea and sky, join the Head Gardner for a special tour of the terraced gardens, relax with a signature treatment at the wellness centre or work out at the gym with a view of the coast. A complimentary shuttle service to Amalfi and Positano and a daily complimentary boat excursion along the coast during summer months are also available. ... more less
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