The hotel looks old from the outside, but once you go in the lobby is nice. The grounds are beautiful. The pools are very clean. The beach was not over populated and clean. Lots of beach chairs. We didn’t have to reserve one in the morning. The staff was very friendly, with the exception of some of the front desk reception. A few of them were very rude. My husband is a picky eater, but he loved the food. There was alot of choices, and if you were missing home the snack bar had fries, pizza and chicken wings that were very good. Our room wasn’t 5 star quality but we weren’t in it often. We didn’t have hot water at all the entire stay and one day no water until supper time. But we had a great vacation. The food would make us go back again.
The men at the reception were friendly when we arrived. They upgraded our room to an oceanview when we told them it was our honeymoon. The bellhop took our bags to our room and was very friendly. They explained very well where the restaurants were.
I was a little disappointed when we first walked in our room. It was not modern or colorful. The bathroom had little bugs crawling on the counter. Bur we did have a king sized bed. We had two balconies that looked out onto the beach and the ocean. There was no fridge in the room, but when we asked for one they brought it to us.The television had alot of english channels, as well as spanish. If you are picky about pillows you should bring your own. They weren’t good. The maid kept the room very clean everyday. We didn’t use the safe and not one thing went missing. We even accidently forgot to close our money container one day and not one cent went missing. The shower didn’t have good pressure and it was cold everyday.
Restaurants and Bars: Ambar Buffet- Excellent variety. For breakfast you could have an omlette made in front of you. There was alot of variety to choose from. Try the guava jelly on their homemade rolls. Delicious!!! Their pasta was good. My husband loved their pork and chicken. Pepper was hard to find though. El Fogon (Dominican)- My husband loved this restaurant. Being a vegetarian, there was no main course option for we there, but the appetizer buffet was delicious. Santa Fe grill (mexican)- This was our favourite. It was open air. Good atmosphere. Good food. Very friendly staff and bartenders La Rigoletta(italian)- The food was good and the atmosphere was nice, but the staff was so rude we did not return to this restaurant. The wait was long getting in, then after our meal we went to sit and join friends at their table for a bottle of wine and they tried to tell us to leave and go outside to wait in line again.
Mango’s (snack bar)- The pizza and fries were good. My husband loved the chicken wings. But the burgers and hot dogs looked sketchy so he didn’t try them
Beach/Pools/Grounds: The beach was very nice. Clean, white sand. Lots of pretty shells if you look. There were lots of chairs and not alot of people. There were quite alot of topless women, so if you are taking your children keep that in mind. There were alot of vendors. They were nice and open to bargaining. If you want to be left alone take a book or pretend you are sleeping and they won’t bother you. The water was nice. There was a big stretch of beach so if you wanted a little privacy just go outside the roped in area a little ways. The pools were pretty and looked clean. We did not swim in them because we liked our privacy. The only downside was that they closed at 6 pm.
The grounds were beautiful. Lots of trees, bridges, fountains and a waterfall
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel: Wewent kayaking on the resort, but we weren’t adventuroud enough to go out past the reef. the waves were big out there, but the reef broke them so it was a calm ride for us. We also went snorkeling on the resort. We saw a few pretty white fish, but that was it. We found alot of pretty shells close to the shore though. They ahd water polo in the pool everyday. wWe didn’t play, but it looked like fun
We went on thre excursions of the resort. The first was a trip to Catalina island to go snorkeling. We LOVED it!!! We took a boat across to the island, which was beautiful. The drinks were free, the snorkeling was great (take an underwater camera or you’ll wish you had). Our second trip was horseback riding. It was only a 10 minute drive from the resort. They took us to a cave on horseback. It would have been a fun trip except for the fact that the horses were so skinny I was scared it would collapse under me. Our last trip was the jeep safari tour. It lasted 12 hours. We went to a sugarcane field, a small town to go to the market, and a church, we went to a local home where they showed us how they made coffee, a waterfall, which was beautiful, a cigar making demonstration, and finally a school. It was a very informative trip. There were lots of local children. We took lots of gifts for them. They went crazy over the hot wheels cars and play doh
It was a good trip aside from the cold shower. Unless you are just going for a tan I would suggest going on at least one excursion because there’s not alot to do during the day. The casino doesn’t open until 8. It’s not worth going to anyway. The drinks are not all inclusive inside. They have no texas hold em, just 3 card poker, carribean stud and black jack for card games. I am a poker player and I was severely dissapointed in the casino.