Recommended by 91%
9 User photos
Jennie · Married on 11/13/2016
My husband and I got married at the Portofino just over two weeks ago, and it was a genuinely beautiful wedding! Because it was a Sunday, we had access to the whole wedding side of the property: our ceremony on the seaside lawn, our cocktail hour in a smaller ballroom, and our wedding in the larger room. Our guests complimented us a lot about the venue’s beauty, and sea lions barked along to our ceremony. (“The sea lions agree!” announced our officiant, at one point.)Sent on 11/30/2016
The catering was also really wonderful. Although we weren’t given an opportunity to taste the wedding food prior to signing the event contract, their excellent on-site restaurant Baleen caters all of their events. The food was spectacular, and our guests loved it!
We did have a few challenges with the venue. The most prominent one is that their first answer to most requests was “no”. Often they were able to make things work, but our main contact at the Portofino wasn’t very proactive in making suggestions as to how.
We felt a little bit misled as to the size of the venue: We had been told that it could easily accommodate 200 guests, but as RSVP’s started rolling in, it became clear that a 200 guest wedding and our 12 piece band (we highly recommend Rembrandt Band!) wouldn’t fit in the room with an adequately-sized dance floor. It all worked out in the end because our wedding ended up with about 185 guests, but there was a lot of nail-biting in the process.
There were a few day-of problems, the most prominent of which was the dance floor being smaller than we had agreed upon, but they made up for this with a generous refund after the fact.
Overall, we had a great experience with this venue and our wedding was absolutely magical - but if you’re thinking about getting married here, a superb month-of coordinator to play liason and make sure the details are all in order is a MUST! (We heartily recommend Amy Greenberg!)
User3181368 · 2+ years ago
Portofino Hotel is a quaint yet elegant hotel/ballroom that offers seaside views and floor to ceiling windows. Package includes wedding cake from 2 choices of bakeries which makes it helpful during the hectic planning phase. They told us that the ballroom could accommodate over 200 guests, however with the 150 that we had, the room was tight. The hor dourves were a hit with the guests. We only got to try two different kinds but they were wiped out. Dinner was fabulous and the views with the sunset made an awesome backdrop. The bar was run excellently and the drinks were made to order; they were neither too strong nor watered down, they were just right. Hotel is walking distance, so many guests were able to indulge themselves.Sent on 09/07/2014
Jessi · Married on 07/29/2017
We had our wedding at The Portofino Hotel & Marina (ceremony and reception) in late July. We had a few challenges with the room blocks early on and the lobby bar wasn't always staffed during our wedding weekend, but overall we had a great experience. The team was helpful, the food was great, and the venue was beautiful. Compared to similar venues in the area, the costs were reasonable. We would recommend The Portofino and have fond memories of our wedding day!Sent on 09/10/2017
Aqua · Married on 06/30/2012
We are happy with our wedding and Shelly is super professional, helpful, calming and knowledgeable, bless her! Try to speak with her as much as possible instead of her assistants like Meggie, from whom I heard a lot of "no". I usually let it go but on a couple things I did push her and got a positive response. So they are flexible, its just easier for someone with less authority to say no, so be aware of that at any venue you choose. (Also be aware, they're not too interested in hearing from you until its your month of... again, any venue.) Meggie, did however bend over backward to get me the napkin fold I requested, when, at the 11th hour, her staff discovered the napkins weren't starched enough. Could have been avoided by testing months earlier but she made it happen so I'm happy.Sent on 07/23/2012
In some ways, our venue really tried to help us out. We really appreciated that! They really wanted us to be happy and Shelly pursued our interests and heard us out, certainly.
A few minor details in our final order had to be edited several times - errors Meggie didn't catch. They're busy, but these are big bucks. My groom had just opened a new account too and because she didn't give him the total amount due, he had to wire final payment after taking time out to drive over in person (from Westwood) with a payment for what she initially told him. And on the day-of, part of the pre-ordered bridal party breakfast didn't arrive and the iron and ironing board were not clean as requested in advance. A smudge got on my gown. Meggie IMMEDIATELY had a replacement sent to the room. And she'd kindly provided me her personal cell number. So, not a big deal but it would be nice not to have to be on guard alllllllll the time when planning a wedding right up until getting dressed, geez. Trust is so key in relationships.
I WOULD CHOOSE Portofino again without question!!! You can see its mostly good and just few small sticky points but..
I feel I must mention I was particularly disappointed with one detail - It was very, very important to me and they didn't fulfill it as promised. I'd been told they would not allow cars to park in the section adjacent to the wedding garden. But it was full of cars and those cars are now in my expensive wedding photos. I'm also laying some responsibility on my coordinator - she had been aware of that request as well I believe. But it was something I'd repeatedly asked for from day 1 and since they didn't have any other events that day, it wasn't necessary to use those spaces. I really didn't want to see cars in a lot from my wedding alter. Drats!
On the other hand, in almost all the other ways, and certainly all the other ways that mattered, they did come through for us strongly. We really appreciated all the work and they 'yes' they put into making us happy!
Lisa · Married on 05/01/2011
We had our wedding here, and I wrote a review on there other weddingwire account for that. The food was so delicious; we could not have been happier with the taste. They even let us sub in a Waldorf salad and make little changes. Get mor eappetizers than you think you need, because we didn't have enough. They were kind of stingy with serving the wine; we had a lot left over and people may not have gotten enough. The waitstaff is wonderful. The alleged wedding "coordinator" was nowhere to be found, and the set-up was messed up--see my other review for more on her. Food is one of the determining factors for a good wedding, and we were very pleased with the food and food service provided by the Portofino!Sent on 07/15/2012
Claudine · Married on 11/06/2009
The wedding was beautiful, the food was delicious (how many people said it "wasn't wedding food") and they were very helpful. Unfortunately, we had some issues with the catering staff eating some extra favors (that were delicious, homemade cookies that we would have enjoyed for breakfast the next day) and they ate the leftover cake (we had 2 traditional French wedding cakes and one traditional American cake. We did get the top layer of the American cake, but any leftover of the French cake was gone). We purchased these cakes from separate venues, and they should have returned it to us or asked what we wanted to do with them.Sent on 12/03/2009
Carol · Married on 04/08/2006
Our wedding was in 2006, and since then they have remodeled the place they have increased their hotel costs by about $100 more. Knowing this, it can be assumed that their ceremony/reception/catering costs now may be higher as well.Sent on 10/28/2008
George · Married on 05/25/2019
Great venue, recently refreshed, but stay on top of your emails
We hosted our reception at the Pacific Ballroom. The venues were recently refreshed, with new chandeliers and flooring (I believe between November 2018 and February 2019). The location right by the water offers fantastic views, especially with sunsets. The food was excellent, and the wait staff did a fantastic job. Our Banquet Captain was very professional and continually checked in with us to make sure we had everything we needed. The events team were overall responsive to our questions during the year leading up to the event (though we did have to send a lot of follow up emails asking for response), allowing us to visit the venue multiple times to envision decor, take measurements, etc. We did have some problems negotiating the banquet order - either missed communications or typos meant we had to go back and forth multiple times before the correct prices were listed - this could have cost us a lot had we not been reading carefully! Additionally, we were told that the wedding concierge service would set up certain things we brought in - projector and photobooth in particular - but neither were set up when we arrived just before the start of the reception. My recommendation would be to meet with the concierge as early as possible and provide a detailed list of tasks if you choose to go that route.Sent on 06/18/2019
Rebeccah · Married on 05/25/2008
Sent on 06/03/2008
The hotel and its banquet venue are both beautiful, and the food was amazing. We did have some problems with the wedding coordinator, who had trouble remembering our information and requests despite multiple meetings, and I was surprised to discover, upon checking in my now-mother-in-law before the wedding, that guests are NOT guaranteed the type of bedding (i.e. queen, king, etc) they reserved -- depends on what's available when you check in. After making something of a fuss about it they upgraded my mother-in-law to a suite because the room they had available was not acceptable.
The good: The sushi bar offered is excellent; the hotel provides you with a large bride's room for preparation; an ocean-view room is included for the couple (but not a suite); the hotel is luxurious and beautiful.
Jenny · Married on 05/25/2019
Gorgeous Venue, Excellent Food, Serious Communication and Accounting Issues
Pros:Sent on 07/05/2019
Drop dead gorgeous venue, the backdrop of your reception is the ocean. The food is fantastic and high quality. The pricing overall is very reasonable all things considered.
1) We had serious communication, responsiveness, professionalism, and accounting issues with the team at the Portofino from the beginning through the end of the planning process. Every draft of our contract had oversights and major accounting errors that made finalizing our contract kind of a nightmare. (A combination of overcharging us and neglecting to include our requested changes into the new drafts of the contract .) It also became very clear early on that their team doesn't necessarily communicate with each other. Changes and requests made months ago would often not make it into the next drafts of contracts if you spoke to one person on their team vs another.
If you do choose the Portofino, I highly recommend going through every detail of your contract with a fine toothed comb. The day we submitted our final contract, I kid you not, we had to send it back and forth to the Portofino 5 or 6 times because their math was incorrect and on top of that they had put the wrong entree on our final menu. We were told that this would be corrected and on the day of the wedding reception, our entree was still wrong, which was a shame because I had really been looking forward to it =\ (but again, their food is good overall so it was fine.)
2) We had significant issues the day of the reception in terms of the room set-up - For the day of the reception, we had hired the Portofino's wedding concierge service to set up the room. We formally submitted a floor plan and walked him through how the room should be arranged in person the day before (with photo references and written instructions included.) We arrive at the Portofino after our wedding ceremony and guests are starting to arrive - half of the floor plan has been ignored and our photobooth is still in it's box. I was literally on the floor in my wedding dress with my bridesmaids frantically trying to assemble the photobooth and rearrange tables as our guests were outside drinking. Not off to a great start...
That all being said, despite all the issues we had with the Portofino, our overall experience with our wedding reception on the day was very good. This, however, was mostly due to our incredible DJ (DJ MichaelAngelo) and the food service staff and bartender being incredibly accommodating and thoughtful.
User3080359 · 2+ years ago
The Portofino Hotel & Marina is a very Beautiful venue for a wedding. I fell in love with it being so close to the water. It has always been my dream to have a waterfront venue. However, there were a few things that bothered me about The Portofino. They convinced us to book them for a really great price, they made us feel like we were getting all kinds of discounts from their original prices. But by the time we finished paying for our wedding, we ended up spending twice the amount we thought we were going to spend in the beginning. They charge you a Service Tax charge for every detail plus regular tax. They are very very unreachable throughout your entire wedding planning process. Every email I sent was never responded and every call I made I had to leave a voicemail and I never received a call back. This was very irritating and unprofessional. I'm a client so I should be tended to for any questions or concernes I may have, and I wasn't. They also scheduled another rehearsal at the same day and time as my rehearsal and forced me and my wedding party to wait. Then we got tge same treatment on the wedding day, they had a wedding the same day as mine and we weren't aware of that. So when we showed up early to decorate, we were forced to wait. Which made my ceremony not get decorated as much as I planned. Overall, the venue is beautiful but the service is horrible and absolutely would not recommend anyone to get married here.Sent on 07/20/2013
Alyssa · Married on 04/12/2014
Everything leading up to my wedding day went smoothly with this venue overall. I communicated with the catering coordinator mostly over email and a few times over the phone and in person and she was responsive. So the planning process was pretty straightforward and easy with this venue.Sent on 08/06/2014
The venue itself provided a beautiful backdrop for my ceremony and the reception with the ocean in the background. I think the pricing is reasonable for such a picturesque, oceanside location.
Most of my lower star rating is due to the day of the wedding. A lot of mishaps.
I was told at the rehearsal that I could come by as early as I liked to setup my decorations on my wedding day. I told them I would probably come by around 11am to start setting up and they said that would be no problem. So I arrive at 11am and carry some stuff over to the banquet room only to see that they are setting up for some meeting and looked really confused as to why I was there. I said I was getting married and needed to setup and the guys there up told me was a meeting being held here till 4pm. I was told that they don't do multiple events in the same room on the same day if there is a wedding booked there. I am mostly upset that my photographer could not go in there and take any pictures of all the decor I spent a lot of time on prior to the wedding. She could only get pics of everything after it had been picked apart a bit during the reception. My escort card table was empty by then so no pics of that. She was taking pics of me getting ready at 4pm and the wedding started at 5, so it left no time for a lot of the pics I wanted. So my advice is to double check and see if there is an event going on in your banquet room beforehand so you can plan around that. Even though I did ask if there was another event there and was told there wouldn't be.
I also did not see the coordinator at all on my wedding day. Good thing I hired a day of coordinator as I would have been lost without one.
Sarah · Married on 11/08/2008
We had our wedding and reception at the Portofino in Novemeber 2008. This location is beautiful, especially at sunset. Things to be aware of if you are having an expensive, detailed wedding-Sent on 02/17/2009
1. They do not always provide floor length linens. I went over this with them maybe 100 times and at my wedding some of the tables did not have it (I noticed this after in pictures). This was a big deal to me because the table legs just screams unfinished.
2. They do not have the capabilities for extensive lighting in both rooms. We told them time and time again that we planned on lighting both rooms and we were told it wouldn't be an issue. Well, come wedding day the fuse blew and only half the room could be lit and the DJ speakers kept going out! After they told us that were aware of the problem....What!?!
3. I was a very organized bride and knew how I wanted every detail. Many of my details were not followed correctly (I even drew them diagrams). I spent too much time and money on these details to have the overlooked by our venue.
4. They didn't show up for our rehearsal, set up any chairs, microphoes...nothing. We were alone in the room. The maintenance man had to get us some water!!!!
5. Thank goodness that we had our own planner...I never saw them once at the actual wedding.
6. They brought a couple into our wedding to sell the venue!!!! There were strangers watching our wedding.
If you are looking for a location you can trust to follow their word- you may want to keep looking.
Keith & Kathy · Married on 07/07/2012
The venue was beautiful. The waitstaff and the food were amazing! It is unfortunate that they have a problem retaining banquet coordinator staff. During the 18 months we planned our wedding they had 4 different banquet coordinators, we never knew who to ask for or if they would be there from one month to the next. It worked out ok for us because we had an amazing wedding planner, if not for her we would have been in trouble. We recommend the venue and the food but the staff, not so much.Sent on 07/17/2012
User4554561 · 2+ years ago
If your considering this venue for a wedding I would definitely reconsider...better yet if I knew I would go through everything I'm going through now I would have picked another venue.Sent on 11/17/2014
First off our bar tender Paco was miserable and it showed in the service we received. He was rude to my guests and broke multiple bottle or alcohol, which ended up ruining one of my guests dresses because he didn't clean the alcohol up.
Secondly these people totally ripped us off my bar was supposed to be open bar till 1030pm (covered by us) imagine how mortified I was when at 900pm-915pm my sister comes running to me telling me our guests are being charged for drinks! Not only that but my father in law added money so once open bar was done we could still continue drinking...this story gets better...when I confront the hotel (Shelley the wedding manager and Kim the hotels wedding coordinator) they blame it on my wedding coordinator, who handled everything perfectly, and denied any of the above ever happened...WOW REALLY...and of course they made it a cash bar so there is no receipts to prove they were charged, which they should know since that's how they handle it and shouldn't ask for receipts knowing that!
To top it all off I just got another charge for over 300$ FOR THE BAR!!!! What a joke this place is! Not only have I been humiliated in front of my guests who got charged for drinks so we have already been double charged but now they want to triple charge! I hope this helps another bride to not have to go through what I've been through!!! This had ruined my wedding and left a bad taste in my mouth!!!! BEWARE BOOK THIS PLACE AT YOUR OWN RISK (all this was in contract which they have completely disregarded)