The PRADO at Balboa Park Reviews

54 | San Diego, CA
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54 Reviews for The PRADO at Balboa Park

Recommended by 96%

54
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4.8 out of 5.0
  • Quality of service 4.9
  • Professionalism 4.9
  • Flexibility 4.7
  • Value 4.7
  • Average response time 4.8

7 User photos

The PRADO at Balboa Park 1
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  • J

    Jeremy · Married on 05/27/2012

    5.0
    • Quality of service:
      5.0
    • Responsiveness:
      5.0
    • Value:
      5.0
    • Flexibility:
      5.0
    • Professionalism:
      5.0

    Wedding locations do not get much more scenic than The Prado at Balboa Park! Anyone who has been there, knows it is in the heart of a lot of history and beauty overlooking downtown San Diego.
    We had our wedding and reception here, and both went so smoothly it was almost too good to be true. Completely flawless execution on the behalf of the The Prado, from the management to the serving crew. Clearly this is something they are prepared for, and do on a regular basis.
    The venue is just so unique, personal, and beautiful it is hard to get over. There may be occasional tourists looking on from afar, but that brings with it a special feel of excitement.
    Everything was handled very professionally, and there were many options available to us to help us make this venue work within our budget. Thanks again Prado!

    Sent on 01/05/2014
  • P

    PAULINA · Married on 03/31/2012

    5.0
    • Quality of service:
      5.0
    • Responsiveness:
      5.0
    • Value:
      5.0
    • Flexibility:
      5.0
    • Professionalism:
      5.0

    THE PRADO PROVIDED EVERYTHING WE NEEDED FOR THE BEST DAY OF OUR LIVES! EVERYTHING FROM THE FOOD, TO THE SERVICE WAS AMAZING!! DONT HAVE ENOUGHT WORDS TO EXPLAIN ALL THAT MARCY MELLEY DID FOR US! THE PRADO IS DEFINITELY THE PLACE TO HAVE YOUR WEDDING AT

    Sent on 06/25/2012
  • RWC

    Rebecca · Married on 02/19/2012

    5.0
    • Quality of service:
      5.0
    • Responsiveness:
      5.0
    • Value:
      5.0
    • Flexibility:
      5.0
    • Professionalism:
      5.0

    Honestly - choosing the Prado was one of the most important decisions we made. They had everything completely under control. The food is AMAZING (understandably as it comes from their fabulous restaurant), the staff was friendly, professional, and everything was just perfect. When we thought it might rain they worked with our coordinator to help make sure our backup plan was in place (though luckily we didn't need it).

    We used the Loggia room, for a smaller wedding, and the whole ambiance was just exactly what we were hoping for. Thanks so much!!

    Sent on 02/21/2012
  • B

    Robert · Married on 11/24/2010

    5.0
    • Quality of service:
      5.0
    • Responsiveness:
      5.0
    • Value:
      5.0
    • Flexibility:
      5.0
    • Professionalism:
      5.0

    Choosing a wedding venue can be more overwhelming than winning a spot in Hollywood on American Idol. And finding the perfect location in a destination city like San Diego can be even more daunting. A wedding will always be a memorable occasion, but picking the right location will only enhance it. One could get married at a place of worship, a private home, a restaurant, a hotel or the beach just to name a few areas (unless you are Prince William, where there may be a couple of additional choices!) so there are many factors that can go into making your final decision.

    After extensive research and visits to multiple locations, like the most powerful magnet, we kept getting attracted to The Prado at Balboa Park. And what a fantastic choice it was!

    Although The Prado has historical significance, each of the letters in the name has equal significance to us.

    The “P” stands for Presentation, Preparation, and Price (and who wouldn’t want those three items for anything, but especially for a wedding?!). Marcy Melley of the Prado was our contact and she made sure everything was to our detailed specifications. She was in constant contact with us and made sure this part of our wedding was stress-free. Her experience and professionalism was superb! Of course there are locations that are less expensive, but like the old adage says….. you get what you pay for!

    The “R” stands for Reception. The Reception room is one of the most important aspects of a wedding. All of us have been to at least one wedding where something has gone wrong with the reception (the room was too small, the chairs were uncomfortable, the temperature was too hot or cold, the lighting was bad, or the food was terrible). With our wedding EVERYTHING was perfect! The room was tailored to our party size and the attention to every little detail was unsurpassed.

    The “A” stands for Aesthetics. The beauty of The Prado is Amazing! With a wishing well and a beautiful fountain as the backdrop, our wedding could have been a scene out of the most romantic novel or movie. And for any bride and groom looking at a wedding magazine, it is likely you will find a picture of a wedding taking place at The Prado.

    The “D” stands for Dinner. Our dinner was one of the finest meals for any occasion! The Prado has been named one of America’s top 10 restaurants by Gourmet Magazine and they have received the coveted four star award by the California Restaurant writers’ association. We received the highest quality of food with the best service. Any food critic would give this restaurant and chef two big thumbs up! And of course the dish washers have the easiest job, because there is no food left on any plate!

    The “O” stands for Outstanding! A wedding is an event to remember for a lifetime, and The Prado has guaranteed this to happen. Indeed everything was outstanding!

    From the professionalism and experience of The Prado staff, to the exquisite meals, to the beauty of the surroundings The Prado is the perfect destination for any bride and groom!


    Sent on 01/30/2011
  • T

    Tammy · Married on 09/11/2010

    5.0
    • Quality of service:
      5.0
    • Responsiveness:
      5.0
    • Value:
      5.0
    • Flexibility:
      5.0
    • Professionalism:
      5.0

    WOW, the Prado is an amazing wedding venue and as soon as we got engaged, we knew we didn't want another venue. The architecture and setting is so beautiful and the surrounding area in Balboa Park is the perfect setting for a wedding. All our guests are still taking about the gorgeous ballroom, the beautiful courtyard (where we had cocktail hour), and the lovely outside setting of our ceremony. Also, we worked with Andrea, who was such a sweetheart and very attentive to my questions, but everyone we met there were very friendly and helpful. We also took most of our wedding pictures around the Prado and all over Balboa Park and I still love looking at how beautiful the setting is. Also, the food is delicious and our guests keep talking about how delicious everything was (we had the buffet!).

    Sent on 01/04/2011
  • M

    Jen · Married on 05/01/2010

    5.0
    • Quality of service:
      5.0
    • Responsiveness:
      5.0
    • Value:
      5.0
    • Flexibility:
      5.0
    • Professionalism:
      5.0

    The Prado was the perfect venue for our ceremony and reception, they did an outstanding job! Our guests raved about the ceremony setting, the amazing food (we did the filet and shrimp for dinner) and the gorgeous ballroom for our reception. Everyone at the Prado was great to work with, especially Sally who was our catering manager.

    Sent on 06/25/2010
  • S

    ERIKA · Married on 04/18/2009

    5.0
    • Quality of service:
      5.0
    • Responsiveness:
      5.0
    • Value:
      5.0
    • Flexibility:
      5.0
    • Professionalism:
      5.0

    GORGEOUS VENUE!!! Andrea Pena was a true professional!! She was so flexible and extremely attentive to our specific needs and requests. VERY MILITARY FRIENDLY!! Loggia room was perfect and the food was outstanding!!! A great price for an exquisite and elegant event. We could not have asked for a more perfect day!!

    Sent on 05/21/2009
  • B

    Sarafina · Married on 11/04/2008

    5.0
    • Quality of service:
      5.0
    • Responsiveness:
      5.0
    • Value:
      5.0
    • Flexibility:
      5.0
    • Professionalism:
      5.0

    I loved this vendor! The Prado is so easy to work with, the food was incredible and the space was beautiful. The coordinator Marcy Melley is a dream. She is always very quick to respond and helpful with suggestions! Amazing!! if you can afford it, do it! You won't regret it!

    Sent on 08/18/2009
  • J

    Jackie · Married on 06/23/2007

    5.0
    • Quality of service:
      5.0
    • Responsiveness:
      5.0
    • Value:
      5.0
    • Flexibility:
      5.0
    • Professionalism:
      5.0

    The most beautiful venue ever

    Sent on 07/25/2007
  • L

    Lindsey · Married on 05/16/2015

    4.8
    • Quality of service:
      5.0
    • Responsiveness:
      5.0
    • Value:
      4.5
    • Flexibility:
      5.0
    • Professionalism:
      5.0

    There are not enough words in the english language to express how thankful we are to the Prado for making our day absolutely perfect. The staff was so attentive the day of with the wedding coordinators. The food was simply magnificent, from the cocktail hour selections to the entrees (we did the filet and lobster tail, lemon chicken, and seabass) everything was cooked to perfection and soooo delicious. I had multiple people tell me that it was the BEST food they have ever had at a wedding!!! And the coordinated table service was a big thrill... the servers were exceptional.

    For our ceremony, we were a little hesitant having it in the Casa Del Rey Moro Gardens at the Prado because we thought the on-lookers dining on the balcony would be distracting, but I didn't even notice them at any point in the ceremony! None of my other guests noticed either so they must have been very quiet :)... and the gardens served as a beautiful backdrop.

    Lastly, Marcy, our catering manager was absolutely amazing! This woman will go above and beyond to make sure your day runs smoothly and that you have nothing to worry about the day of other than getting ready to marry the man of your dreams! Plus she will keep you on track in the planning process. I can't thank her enough for everything.

    Sent on 06/01/2015
  • T

    Tina · Married on 07/07/2011

    4.8
    • Quality of service:
      5.0
    • Responsiveness:
      5.0
    • Value:
      5.0
    • Flexibility:
      4.5
    • Professionalism:
      5.0

    Beautiful sight and great staff. Marcy is spectacular to work with!

    Sent on 08/02/2011
  • S

    Stephanie · Married on 08/27/2016

    4.8
    • Quality of service:
      5.0
    • Responsiveness:
      5.0
    • Value:
      4.0
    • Flexibility:
      5.0
    • Professionalism:
      5.0

    Couldn't have imagined a better experience in terms of our reception. We had a very intimate wedding of about 35, so we booked the Alhambra Room and it was perfect. The Prado has other spaces for larger parties, but our room was amazing for our wedding. It has a huge balcony overlooking their courtyard and was great for the cocktail hour.

    For the price, included was the cocktail hour with tray passed apps, a seated dinner that was fantastic, and a beautiful cake from Cute Cakes. We upgraded some dinner food items, had an open bar, dj, lighting, etc., and our wedding turned out to be more amazing than I had envisioned. We worked with Rachael Wilkerson at The Prado and she was incredibly responsive and helpful throughout the entire process. While this choice of venue is certainly not cheap, it makes for a truly beautiful and unforgettable wedding- Great service, great food, great atmosphere!

    Sent on 09/05/2016
  • J

    Jourdanne · Married on 11/02/2013

    4.8
    • Quality of service:
      5.0
    • Responsiveness:
      5.0
    • Value:
      5.0
    • Flexibility:
      4.0
    • Professionalism:
      5.0

    Marcy and the Prado Catering team provided excellent service to us during the planning process and to our guests during our reception. We are very happy with the outcome of our wedding reception and how beautiful the Ballroom was.

    Sent on 11/30/2013
  • User3599219 · 2+ years ago

    4.8
    • Quality of service:
      5.0
    • Responsiveness:
      5.0
    • Value:
      4.5
    • Flexibility:
      4.5
    • Professionalism:
      5.0

    The Prado is a great venue to have your ceremony. Its location in Balboa Park also makes it convenient for pictures with the bridal party. The package they offer with the cake, venue, and food helped simplify the wedding planning process. The staff was courteous and professional, and the food was top-notch.

    Sent on 10/12/2013
  • kristineclarinda

    Kristine · Married on 11/20/2010

    4.8
    • Quality of service:
      5.0
    • Responsiveness:
      5.0
    • Value:
      4.0
    • Flexibility:
      5.0
    • Professionalism:
      5.0

    We had our wedding reception at The Prado. It was the first and only place we looked at for our reception venue! I knew long before I was engaged that I wanted my reception there. At first glance, the grand ballroom looks rather simple and old. But once it is decorated and lit properly, it looks absolutely amazing. Our theme had a lot of Spanish-Italian influences, (since I am part Spanish and my husband is Italian) so the ambiance was perfect for our wedding style.

    Marcy Melley, our coordinator at The Prado, was amazing. We planned our entire wedding reception with her mostly over the phone and via email since we don't live in San Diego, and she ALWAYS responded right away and answered every single question I had about anything and everything at The Prado. And when we were finally in town for the wedding and met with her in person to discuss final details, she was always on point, professional, fun, and super helpful. She was even accommodating and patient when my husband's father (who was not so welcome in our wedding planning process but took it upon himself to talk to her) had some less than polite thoughts on our wedding reception and decided to tell her. (Talk about embarrassing!) Marcy is truly a professional and she made the wedding planning process infinitely easier and much more enjoyable.

    On our wedding day, it rained...A LOT. So things had to move around at the last minute and we didn't get to have our cocktail reception in the fountain courtyard like we had planned. But the staff at The Prado made it all work out and everyone had a grand time. There were two other events happening at the same time, and we were all confined to the building due to the rain, but somehow it all worked out perfectly.

    The synchronized service was fabulous, the banquet captain was attentive and introduced himself to my husband and I at the reception and checked in on us throughout the night, and our guests had nothing but praise for the wait staff. One guest couldn't eat the first course (lobster bisque) due to a food allergy, and without asking he was offered a salad instead.

    I somehow managed to leave behind our scrapbook from our photo booth, but the staff kept it safe and on Monday morning, Marcy notified us right away that she had it for us. *Whew!*

    Though The Prado is quite pricey, we have nothing but praise. Food was great, people were great, room was great, EVERYTHING was great. :)

    Sent on 02/01/2011
  • L

    Lily · Married on 05/23/2010

    4.8
    • Quality of service:
      4.0
    • Responsiveness:
      5.0
    • Value:
      5.0
    • Flexibility:
      5.0
    • Professionalism:
      5.0

    The Prado was so accomodating and great to work with. They were flexible with our requests. The only thing that I have to complain about is that I asked to be served all of my cake flavors, and it didn't happen. The team is very professional and really know what they are doing. The service was great and the food was wonderful. I couldn't be more pleased with how our reception went! It was beautiful!

    Sent on 06/18/2010
  • Jeni

    Jeni · Married on 04/13/2013

    4.6
    • Quality of service:
      5.0
    • Responsiveness:
      5.0
    • Value:
      4.0
    • Flexibility:
      4.5
    • Professionalism:
      5.0

    I narrowed down the reception venue choices from 10 to 2 for my (now) husband. He walked into the Prado and said - this is it. The grand ballroom offers a gorgeous, historic, and classically San Diego locale. The coordinator, Marcy was exceptionally responsive and upfront throughout the entire process. She had a tendency to give an overwhelming amount of information, but was very patient and explained things step by step as we reached milestones along the way.

    We were bummed we wouldn't get to taste the exact appetizers and entrees that would be served at our wedding. They did give us a voucher for a lunch at the Prado restaurant to get an idea of the quality of food we'd be eating. Knowing it's run by the Coen Restaurant group, we trusted them. Wow. We got raves for days. I had the salmon and my husband had the NY Strip. I liked the salmon better - the NY Strip was tasty, but it didn't have the Prado originality. They have a contract with Flour Power that included our wedding cake and all the services involved. That was a huge help as well. My only complaint would be the bar and menu selection and pricing was not at all straightforward. There's a separate cocktail reception and dinner reception section and it's unclear how the alcohol works. Thankfully Marcy was very patient with us and after several exchanges, we finally understood each other.

    The synchronized service was cool to watch. It sped up the dinner time and no one got cold food. Each table was served in synchronicity - that way each table was plated then immediately served. All the tables were served within about 15-20 min (that's 14 tables!) Everything went very smoothly, setup and take down were seamless and professional.

    We were very pleased with the entire planning experience with the Prado.

    Sent on 04/28/2013
  • C

    Christine · Married on 06/17/2005

    4.6
    • Quality of service:
      5.0
    • Responsiveness:
      3.5
    • Value:
      5.0
    • Flexibility:
      5.0
    • Professionalism:
      5.0

    Reception Dinner: The Prado Restaurant, Balboa Park
    Wow…the Prado went above and beyond expectation! Mind you, this is NOT the same as the package they have when you get married at the Prado, this is simply a "group dinner" you can have for any kind of party, not normally for weddings. We chose to go this route because we had a very small wedding (20 guests) and did not require the usual DJ/Dancing/Etc.

    They offered us four menus ranging in price from 35 to 50 dollars a plate. Each menu had a choice of appetizer, three main course choices (all looked delicious) and they substituted a wedding cake for a dessert choice. That’s right, substituted, not “charged extra” for it!

    We dealt with Rita, the manager. She was difficult to get a hold of, both by email and phone because she is so busy. We ended up choosing a $45 dollar menu offering top sirloin, pork osso buco (sp?) or mahi mahi. Oh my gosh I could eat there every day. The pastry chef, Penny Watkins made our cake just hours before the wedding and it was DELICIOUS. It was a simple chocolate cake with fruit between the layers and white frosting. It was topped with some stargazer lilies from my florist Eris Wilson.

    The Prado also gave us a private room for our dinner. It was out of the way from the main restaurant so we had plenty of privacy. The room was a bit dark but it was beautifully put together. I wouldn’t have changed a thing! Extremely classy venue.
    http://cohnrestaurants.com/cohn/pradobalboa/restaurant.html

    Sent on 09/24/2008
  • B

    Brittany · Married on 05/12/2012

    4.6
    • Quality of service:
      5.0
    • Responsiveness:
      5.0
    • Value:
      4.0
    • Flexibility:
      4.0
    • Professionalism:
      5.0

    We had our wedding on May 12, 2012 at the Prado. I had always dreamed of getting married there and still pinch myself that we actually did :) We booked the Loggia Room as we wanted a smaller guest list and because I absolutely fell in love with the balconies that overlook the park, WOW. Marcy at the Prado was professional and SO fun! She went above and beyond to answer all my questions in a timely manner... she even helped me with groomsmen attire advice among many other things haha! The pricing is a bit steep but SO much is included with that price so really it's a great deal. The food was fabulous, and so was the service. I can't tell you how many of our guests complimented our beautiful venue and the delicious food. I can't say enough good things about them, and really have no complaints. As a bonus, you get FABULOUS wedding pictures all over Balboa Park :)

    Sent on 05/29/2012
  • J

    Jacqueline · Married on 09/14/2008

    4.6
    • Quality of service:
      5.0
    • Responsiveness:
      5.0
    • Value:
      3.0
    • Flexibility:
      5.0
    • Professionalism:
      5.0

    This venue is wonderful for any events - the ballroom is gorgeous, and the service is impeccable. It is pricy, however it seems fairly reasonable for a venue of its caliber in the area.

    Sent on 10/07/2008
  • D

    Devon · Married on 10/21/2011

    4.4
    • Quality of service:
      4.5
    • Responsiveness:
      4.0
    • Value:
      4.0
    • Flexibility:
      5.0
    • Professionalism:
      5.0

    The Prado was an absolutely beautiful wedding venue. . . all of my guests agreed that it was the most beautiful wedding they had ever been to! The setting is absolutely amazing and allows for beautiful photos throughout Balboa Park, and the food is great. The ballroom is beautiful and offers plenty of space for big weddings. One downside is that anything extra that you may want to add on gets pretty pricey ($24 per person for late-night tacos!?!?), but the Prado staff was very flexible and allowed us to find ways to stay within our budget. We loved having our wedding at this venue and highly recommend it!

    Sent on 03/07/2012
  • B

    Beth · Married on 09/24/2011

    4.2
    • Quality of service:
      5.0
    • Responsiveness:
      3.0
    • Value:
      5.0
    • Flexibility:
      3.5
    • Professionalism:
      5.0

    We had our ceremony in Balboa Park at the Casa Del Prado, Patio A. It was a beautiful open ceiling venue! I fell in love with it instantly. You need to go through parks and recreation to get the permit, and it's very little hassle. The only issue we ran into was that we didn't have "San Diego" in our address, we live in Santee. But they immediately suggested using a family member or friend's address, which we did. The total cost after using my Aunt's address was $153, and the park set up 200 chairs for us included in the permit cost!

    The only issues I had were that it was a little hard for people to find, parking was kind of bad, especially for a Saturday afternoon, and there is noise from classrooms surrounding the patio. All the times we went before the ceremony the noise minimal, but the day of they let a class of children out on break right at the start of our ceremony and people couldn't hear well, but that's what is going to happen in a public area. It was still definitely worth it!

    Sent on 10/18/2011
  • V

    Vera · Married on 08/14/2010

    4.0
    • Quality of service:
      5.0
    • Responsiveness:
      5.0
    • Value:
      4.0
    • Flexibility:
      4.0
    • Professionalism:
      2.5

    Overall Prado provided very nice ceremony site, service quality, and catering service. We had a great beautiful wedding. The only thing to take note is that they may overcharge your beverage. They did so to us and we had to ask for detailed beverage consumption and got back to them. They did refund those over-charge.
    It's a wonderful spot to hold your wedding!

    Sent on 08/31/2010
  • L

    Lois · Married on 04/18/2009

    3.8
    • Quality of service:
      3.5
    • Responsiveness:
      4.0
    • Value:
      4.0
    • Flexibility:
      4.0
    • Professionalism:
      4.0

    My overall experience was good. The ballroom is amazing and the food is great. Their service was good, but I wish they would do a better job at explaining all the aspects and timeline better. If you don't ask, it won't be explained to you. Make sure you read the contract very carefully and that the price won't change for the year that your wedding takes place verses when you sign the contract. Mine did. We eventually got our original price, but it was another stressor that we hadn't expected that we had to take care of.

    Sent on 11/07/2009
  • Amanda

    Amanda · Married on 07/10/2011

    3.8
    • Quality of service:
      3.0
    • Responsiveness:
      4.0
    • Value:
      5.0
    • Flexibility:
      2.0
    • Professionalism:
      5.0

    Beautiful venue for the price! However, u are only provided chairs and not guarenteed sound (double check). Also, there is no real privacy....strangers love weddings too.

    Sent on 08/11/2012

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