27 Reviews for Carefree Resort and Conference Center
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We were so excited for our wedding at Carefree Resort, but we found out from a family friend - NOT THE RESORT - that they were demolishing the building that we had booked for our wedding. We called them to confirm, only to have them tell us that they might refund our deposit. We did end up getting our money back, after they called to get our second payment. They could find our contact information when they needed our money, but not to tell us our wedding venue would be gone. We also found out via another vendor that they had known about this change for months and never told us... They no longer want to do weddings, so they no longer have our business.
The opera house is a beautiful venue for a wedding. The cost was lower than all the other venues we had check on. Food was great. Just a few minor check in issues. Not a lot of help from employees setting up the venue as we were told in the beginning. Over all we were satisfied with the way everything turned out.
Working with Jen W to plan our wedding was an absolute joy! She helped make every detail just perfect for the day. She was always quick to respond to any questions or concerns we had along the way. The venue itself is just gorgeous! Has a great Arizona/Southwestern feel but with a classy twist. Perfect backdrop for photos & was super fun for our out of town guests! Thanks Carefree Resort & Jen W for making our day beautiful & unforgettable!
We booked Carefree Resort for our April wedding. This was one of the only places we looked at and based on the value and the flexibility in meeting our budget we booked shortly thereafter. Jennifer was easy to work with and was like a friend immediately. She would customize things to meet our needs, if necessary. The staff the day of the wedding was amazing. They set up the sites better than I imagined and were there to help us immediately if we needed anything throughout the night. And I couldn't say more about Jennifer- she was there early in the day through a few hours before the reception ended. She kept in contact with our vendors to ensure every detail was taken care of and to keep us on track with our timelines thoughout the night. So happy we booked here!
Our event coordinator was Jennifer, if you are looking for venues GO SOMEWHERE ELSE. She was RUDE, took absolutely no responsibility for anything, and our whole weekend was stressful because things that should have been done, were not done unless we took it upon ourselves to get it done. They set-up our ceremony site on UNMOWED grass, Jennifer told us there was a lawn service that did not show up, and then after checking with the front desk a crew showed up to tend to the grass and plants. After sending her a new diagram two weeks in advance, again the day prior, and to the banquet captain she tried to blame me for the table arrangements being incorrect. It then took them 9 hours to correct the table arrangement. At our wedding, we had a hosted bar. The bartender tried to charge our guests for drinks. Then when they ran out of a specific brand, instead of obtaining more, they cut the guests off from that option. They then ran out of cups, and switched to smaller size cups later in the evening and charged full price. The food turned out very good and our guests were all very pleased with the steak. After having a stressful wedding weekend, and spending the amount of money we did, (20,000 for the event and MUCH more in resort rooms) I will be dealing with management to get my charges corrected for the week. We originally booked our event with Emily, and everything until her departure was handled promptly, efficiently and we had complete confidence in her abilities to provide a wonderful event. The staff change has HUGELY impacted this resort. I would advise to go elsewhere!
We originally signed a contract with Carefree Resort with one coordinator. However, a few months before our wedding, the coordinator left and the resort hired a new coordinator. I was very nervous about the situation, and the new coordinator did her best to put my nerves at ease. However, she never fully succeeded. I was never 100% comfortable with her. During our reception, she did a couple of things that honestly did not sit right with me. 1.) I have a cousin who is an event coordinator and at one point she cornered Jennifer to change timeline. Without consulting me, Jennifer changed the order that we had planned. I would have expected her to be more professional and deal with the person who is paying for the event, and not a guest. 2.) For our speeches we very strategically only had one person give a toast. I found out after the wedding, that she had cornered several members of the bridal party to try to pressure them into giving speeches as well. I feel words cannot do justice how unprofessional I feel this is. I am disgusted that someone who is hired to do a job goes against expressly stated agreements.
Other issues we had with the resort dealt with reserving rooms at the hotel. After signing an agreement and paying a down payment, I found out another bride (who was getting married at another location, but using the resort for her room block) had received a better rate. When I confronted the rooming coordinator about this information, he flat out lied to me and told me I was getting the best rate. I had to give him the name of the bride and groom (acquaintances of mine) before he admitted the other couple had a better rate. While they booked rooms a month before I did, I would have thought the person getting married at the resort would be better accommodated. This upset me a great deal, as I was spending tens of thousands of dollars at their resort, while someone who was spending significantly less there got a significantly b
Emily and the entire staff was AMAZING!!!! From the day we walked in to check the place out until the morning we left after the wedding, everyone at the resort was kind and professional! Our ceremony was outside and beautiful, they even ordered in special ingredients for our signature drink to have at the ceremony. It was very windy as things were getting set up in the afternoon, but Emily did a great job keeping me at ease making sure I knew they had it handled. It did end up raining and everything was moved inside red horse saloon, but the staff made it smooth and beautiful while we took pictures! The food was absolutely perfect! There was so much of it and our guests keep telling us how amazing it was! The honeymoon suite was huge and the views were beautiful. All in all, we had the perfect wedding and it was only possible because this place is perfect!!! I cant wait to go back for our anniversary!!
I worked with Emily Kix to plan my wedding. She was very helpful! The staff was awesome! We also stayed at the resort. Cory P. was very helpful blocking rooms. The food at the reception was awesome. The Chef came to the reception and congratulated us on our marriage. The staff was very helpful! It was an amazing experience!
Emily Kix and the entire staff at the Carefree Resort made our wedding so memorable! Emily kept us informed and truly eased my stress about getting things to come together. Plus, they were very accommodating to our room block and were friendly to our guests. The most incredible thing is how they handled what could have been a disaster...On the day of our wedding, there was a CRAZY storm that hit and caused a power outage for 2 hours...the staff of the Carefree Resort never let it get the best of them. They handled our guests with care and worked with diligence to get the problem fixed. Plus, Emily was able to keep my nerves at ease and kept the event flowing. The power eventually went back on and the ceremony was pulled into the Opera House. It's beauty shined through and our day, while not exactly as we planned, went on and was absolutely beautiful! Not only that, but because of the storm, time didn't allow us to take some pictures that we really wanted...they went above and beyond and allowed us to return a few weeks later, get a complimentary room for a couple of hours, and use the property to reshoot our pictures. They are top notch...your wedding is guaranteed to be beautiful and as seamless as possible!
The food was unbelievably good ,I cut my steak with a butter knife. The service was impeccable including the bartenders, waiters and waitresses . The facility is very clean and well maintained and the rooms are very large and comfortable. Thank You for providing such a great atmosphere and lovely venue.
Carefree Resort is amazing!! Our planner was Emily - she is fabulous! We planned our wedding in 8 weeks from start to finish and our guest were RAVING about the resort! From the food to the setting - every aspect of it was a HIT!! Two of my friends are not planning to have their weddings there as well and one of them is coming all the way from New Jersey! This is one of the few venues who took the time to work with me on a small wedding (45 guests) when other venues wouldn't even respond back. Menu was customized for our budget - turned out less than renting a hall and doing it all yourself! I highly recommend Carefree Resort and our pics from their grounds are amazing!!
I could not have been any happier with the way we were treated at this venue, everyone was beyond helpful and extremely professional. Every person in attendance commented on the natural beauty of the venue and how well they were treated. Also a huge shout out to the Head chef, holy wow was the food amazing!!! definitely not your typical 'wedding food'. We love you Emily Kix for coordinating our whole event and being there for us every step of the way.
Let me just say that I almost gave up on having a wedding in Arizona because the venues I was looking at either were unprofessional, didn't meet our needs, or were not in our price range. That all changed when I met Emily Kix at the Carefree Resort. I instantly fell in love with her as an event coordinator for our wedding. She literally walked me through every step of the planning process, kept me calm, and worked with me to create a custom package in order to stay under budget yet still have the wedding of my dreams. Also, I have never worked with anyone so responsive and upbeat all the time. She would literally email me back within a matter of minutes to hours every singe time. And, when she noticed I was stressing, she was there to calm me right down and step in to help me correct whatever issue was troubling me. In a sentence, you MUST BOOK WITH HER! My only regret is that I didn't go to her first for booking our wedding...although maybe if I had, I wouldn't have realized how great she really is at her job.
I would definitely recommend Carefree Resort for your wedding venue. It is a beautiful and unique location and was perfect for my rustic western wedding. The opera house is stunning and unique and the Kachina Courtyard was a visually stunning background for our ceremony. Two of the best things this resort has to offer, in addition to the scenery, are the wedding coordinator, Emily, and their amazing chef. Our guests raved about the food and the chef and wedding coordinator worked together to create a dinner menu that would be budget friendly but still delicious and theme fitting. Emily also fielded all of my endless emails and calls like a complete and total pro and was very helpful. The resort also does several nice things for you such as leaving fresh strawberries and champagne in the complimentary honeymoon suite (which is GORGEOUS) the night of the wedding and giving you a free one night stay on your anniversary. They also went above and beyond to let us use the beautiful Lariat chairs from their restaurant instead of the standard reception chairs and this change made all the difference. There is also a shuttle service that was quite nice and took my husband and I and all of our guests to the rehearsal dinner at El Encanto and back and even made trips to the bars late into the evening to retrieve guests.
While I would have loved to give the resort 5 stars because our wedding was perfect in my eyes, I gave it a 4 in the areas of quality of service, responsiveness, professionalism, and flexibility because the hotel staff (with the exception of the wedding planning employees and chef) were less than ideal. In the weeks after the wedding more of my family members have remarked about rude service from hotel staff regarding their rooms and lack of responsiveness for requests for rooms to be cleaned or air conditioning problems, ect. I also saw these habits the day after our wedding when myself and some of my family members were relaxing by the pool. The pool staff was unresponsive to us and never asked us if we needed beverages- but would gladly dote on the older patrons at the hotel- maybe seeing us as a younger crowd assumed we didn't deserve such service? Yet, when we went to grab our own beverages from our rooms in the scorching 100 degree temps we were scolded for not using the wait staff. I was also disappointed that the day before the wedding our wedding planner had arranged for our venue to be set with tables and chairs at noon so that we could set up and this was not done, so we had to ask numerous times to actually get this set up. I would also highly recommend hiring an MC because we had sort of expected the hotel staff to help make sure things stayed on schedule during the reception but it was up to us and things got a bit out of schedule and chaotic- nothing too crazy, but I think having an MC and a strict timeline for them to follow would have been beneficial.
Overall, the wedding the site was perfect and all things/staff regarding wedding were fabulous and I would recommend having your wedding there without a doubt! However, if you have guests that are very particular about hotel service, you may want to have them stay at a different location. Again- wedding staff and chef=fabulous! Hotel room staff= less than exemplary.
We wanted a venue true to our Arizona roots, and we found the perfect location at Carefree Resort. This was actually the first venu we visited and fell in love with it immediately. Mike O'Hearn was extremely helpful, dedicated to making our wedding spectacular and always pleasant to work with. These characteristics seemed to spread to the rest of the staff. We were never disappointed with anyone we interacted with.The food was aslo simply amazing. If you are looking for a cozy spot with multiple ceremony & reception locations, and breathtaking views, Carefree Resort is the ideal venu. Thank you to everyone was helped make our wedding perfect!
If you are considering the Carefree Resort please read this, it may be of help to you as this is the tale of two weddings. I had a small family wedding last fall for about 35 family members, and everyone had a great time. Marianne is amazing, and Rachelle was great also, but Rachelle left the week before the wedding. It rained heavily the day before the wedding, but Marianne stepped up and rearranged everything so that my guests never even knew that all the plans had changed just the day before! The food was awesome, the rooms large, and my guests were shuttled to and from two restaurants in Cave Creek. Then things took a change for the bizarre. We never received our champagne turndown or breakfast in bed, but hey, we were newleyweds and we didn't want to complain. Then they charged our credit card for over $1,000 in charges over and above the amount of our contract (we all agreed with the written statement provided by the resort the day before the ceremony). It took about a month to get any refund, even though they never disputed that they owed the money. I finally received most of the refund, and with the intervention of the BBB they agreed to pay the rest of the overcharge- but months later I have never received payment. If you are having an event here I strongly recommend paying in cash or by check, and do not give out your credit card number.
I cannot say enough good things about our experience with Carefree Resort and Conference Center. Rachelle and MaryAnn were our coordinators and they were AMAZING! They were flexible, professional, and worked to make our wedding exactly what we wanted. The food was amazing. Many of our out of state guest stayed at the resort for the whole weekend and they all commented on how much they enjoyed their stay. You will not be disappointed with this venue!!!
Brooke & Jeremy are so lucky to have had you plan their wedding! You did such a great job, the room was beautiful and the events were very well organized...even down to the song selections! We wish you and your family all the best and thank you again for allowing us to take part in such as special day!
Rachelle, Maryann & The Carefree Resort Team
Rachelle and the staff at Carefree helped make planning our wedding so much easier. They were flexible and professional throughout the entire process. Rachelle is a seasoned planner who thinks of everything! She was always a few steps ahead and willing to accomadate our needs up till the end of the reception.
Thank you so much for allowing Carefree Resort to take part in your wedding day! You and your guests were such a pleasure to have at the resort. It was such a fun event!
Rachelle, Maryann & the Carefree Resort Team
Carefree Resort did an excellent job organizing and planning our wedding event. They were always professional and responsive to our needs. Our guests loved the resort and we couldn't be happier with our wedding day.
Thank you so much! We enjoyed having you and your guests at the resort. Your reception was so beautiful and well put together!
All the best to you and Adrian!
This was a fantastic venue for a Wedding. The staff here were the best.
Carefree resort was the perfect location for our wedding! We live in Canada so I thought it would be difficult to plan a wedding from a different county, but the staff at Carefree made everything very easy! They answered all of my questions with a very quick response, usually within the hour, regardless of the day! I would highly recommend this resort to anyone wanting the perfect wedding!
On the day of, Carefree Resort was AWESOME!!! The only problems we had were in the preperations. The only two people who know what they are doing at the resort is Rachelle and Marianne. Everyone else can't seem to get answers to questions, won't communicate, and don't know what they are doing in general. One hand doesn't know what the other one is doing and nobody is on the same page. My personal belief is that because this is a huge commercial resort (they deal with a lot of business conference etc.) they have a different person to talk to for everything thing. and then of course, no one wants to take responsibilty for anything and doesn't communicate with anyone either; however, once we were able to get Rachelle and Marianne to communicate for us, we got everything we needed. Value wise, Carefree is not super high end, but they are also not economy class either. You get what you pay for. They offer quality products and services at a fair price.
Ryan & Christina,
Thank you for your feedback, we really appreciate it! We understand your difficulties throughout the planning process of your wedding and are happy to have turned your experience around for you by coming through, as promised, with a very successful event. It was a pleasure working with you and we wish you both happiness in your new life together!
Rachelle, Maryann & the entire Banquet Team at Carefree Resort!
From the very beginning in August, 2010, to the wedding day, April 16, 2011, I feel everyone we worked with at the Carefree Resort did an outstanding job for us and often went above and beyond expectations to make my daughters wedding a fantastic success. Everything they said they would do was done. We had guests from all around the U. S. and Europe. Many had never been to Arizona and fell in love with the resort and the surroundings. They were very discerning friends and relatives who have traveled this planet from top to bottom and felt the facilities and food were outstanding. Many said they plan to return to the resort for a vacation next year. I can not say enough about the Carefree Resort for their attention to this memorable family event.
Thank you for sharing your experience, we really appreciate it! Cara & Jordan's ceremony was beautiful; two lucky families now joined as one. We look forward to welcoming you and your guests back to the resort in the future and wish Cara and Jordan all the best in their future together.
Mike & the Team at Carefree Resort
We planned our wedding from across the country and found all resort staff to be helpful, flexible, and professional. All details were tended to and we felt very comfortable working with the staff by phone and email. The staff couldn't have been better to work with from beginning to end.
We considered options closer to downtown Scottsdale and Phoenix, but were so pleased we chose the Carefree Resort. Our guests - the majority from out of state - really appreciated the charm and character of the resort. We were so pleased to have our guests so close for the entire wedding weekend, which provided more opportunity to spend quality time with everyone.
We had both our ceremony and reception at the resort, and both were beautiful settings. Our ceremony was held on the lawn, which required little decoration thanks to the natural beauty of the desert vista. We used the Opera House for our reception site and found that we had many options for decoration, seating, room design, etc.
We can't speak highly enough of the professionalism of the resort staff, the wonderful setting - especially for out-of-town guests seeking a true Arizona experience - and the overall value of our wedding at the Carefree Resort. We are so pleased that we spent our wedding weekend at the Resort.
Thank you so much for your review! We are so happy to have taken part in your wedding weekend and wish you all the best in the years to come. Please visit us when you are in the area again.
Mike O'Hearn & the Team at Carefree Resort
We did everything at Carefree: room block, ceremony, and reception. All of our guests were from out of town so everyone stayed there. The Carefree resort was an absolutely perfect choice for us and I would highly recommend them. I don't live in AZ so most of the planning was done via phone or email. Lauren (our wedding coordinator) and everyone else we worked with were incredibly professional, responsive and flexible during the planning process. They had great suggestions while still listening to my vision for the day. During the weekend of, my guests kept commenting on how nice the rooms were, how beautiful the resort was and how great the pool and nearby Cave Creek were. Carefree got the big things right: excellent service, exceptional food (you could cut the steak with a butter knife!), and a beautiful ceremony and reception site. They also did a lot of little things that I wasn't expecting: a shuttle to and from my bachelorette party for my friends and I, wine and cheese in my parents room the night of the wedding, a separate drink and appetizer tray for the bridal party while we were taking pictures during cocktail hour (I could go on and on). In the end they were a perfect choice for a destination wedding and they really live up to their name; my wedding day was truly carefree!
Thank you so much for your review! We wish you and Mike all the best in your new journey together!
Lauren, Rachelle & the Team at Carefree Resort