I have been to about 5 all inclusives in Dominican, Mayan and PV, and this one rates up there with the best. It’s hard to have a horrible time on any of these, what with the beach and pools and all, and so the negative comments I record should be taken in perspective as areas that could be improved, but by no means did they spoil my vacation or my good time. Positive comments-The hotel staff here are top notch. Never dealt with any staff with an attitude, they always went out of their way to help. I never felt like they were holding out better service for a tip, but I know tips were appreciated, and a $2 tip at the bar or on the buffet with a meal, or in the rooms, went a long ways. I read in the literature that gratuities are included in the price of the all inclusive, but I still felt compelled to leave $2 for the housekeeping staff, to tip for meals, and if I was at one of the poolside bars for any extended time. the bartenders there work really hard and deserve a tip I figure. Disappointing things: -There are 2 gift/souvenir shops on the resort with most of the amenities but no liquor. One may wonder why I would want to buy liquor with an all inclusive, but the bars don’t open until 11 AM and I consider it a convenience to have some liquor in my room. On the 3rd day I took a bicycle tour and found a strip mall about 10 minutes away and was able to buy some liquor, problem solved, but other resorts have a liquor store right on the resort, not sure why any resort wouldn’t do this, it seems like a guaranteed money maker. -In room safe-available for a modest charge of $14 for the week long stay, unfortunately it’s equipped with a key rather than a combination -In room fridge-stocked with water and soft drinks but no beer -Wireless internet-Available and coverage fairly good, download rates are decent, but very expensive. ($4 for 15 minutes)-Many other resorts I have stayed at this is free. The pools:-They have an adults only pool which is an excellent idea, but no swim up bar, the swim up bars are located at the pools that are shared with children
Watch out for shady time share salesmen at the airport. One of them claiming to be the West jet Rep diverted us to the parking lot to a designated stall to wait for our bus. After about 20 minutes in the hot sun I went back inside to double check, and found the real West Jet rep. We had already missed the shuttle van but he arranged for a cab to take us to the resort. This was only about a 1/2 hour diversion but it was a half hour extra ewe could have been on the beach, and thus annoying. The real West jet reps wear a uniform that says West jet on the sleeve. Look for this to avoid these type of annoyances.
Rooms: -There are 2 sides to this resort, the Club side and the grand side. If you enjoy the night life ask for a room on the Club side, if you prefer something quieter ask for a room on the Grand side. We stayed on the grand side and I don;t know this for certain but have been told tat the rooms on thee club side, especially next to the pizza bar, can be a little noisy at night. Also it looked to me like the rooms on the Club side were equipped with key locks, vs the rooms on the Grand side where we stayed, were equipped with card locks. -In room safe-available for a modest charge of $14 for the week long stay, unfortunately it’s equipped with a key rather than a combination, so one more thing you need to carry about with you, and risk losing. If you do lose the key, I’m sure the valuables can still be recovered, but not sure of the cost for this. I kept the key in my shoe and never lost it. but a combination lock is the way to go for in room safes
-In room fridge-stocked with water and soft drinks but no beer, this is extra, and this isn’t the hotel’s issue but something I should take up with West Jet vacations, as many all inclusive’s in the Mayan stock the fridge with beer. This is an important feature for my vacation.
Restaurants and Bars: 4 a la carte’s and the buffet as well as the snack bars. No danger of going hungry. I think the snack bars were 1100-1000 daily and the lobby bars were 1300-2400.
Beach/Pools/Grounds: -They have an adults only pool which is an excellent idea, but no swim up bar, the swim up bars are located at the pools that are shared with children, and at this resort there seemed to be a lot of children around. They tended to hang around the swim up bar with all their assorted water toys, order non alcohol drinks, spill them in the water and on each other (unattended children left alone at the pool will resort to horseplay). This was not that big a deal, but it seems to me the adult only pool should have a swim up bar, rather than the pool shared with children. Staff were very quick to keep unsupervised children out of the adult pool, but it’s unfortunate those travelling with children can;t respect the resort rules, and insist on bringing their children to the adults only pool areas. With at least 3 other pools where children are allowed, you’d think this would be a no brainer. This is not the resort’s fault so much as it is a lack of respect for the rules by adults who ought to know better.
While there were peddlers on the beach selling blankets, jewelry etc, they were very polite and not pushy at all.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
The only one I managed to get to was the bicycle tour. You don’t need to wait for an organized tour,you can rent the bikes any time during the day and take them wherever you want (free). I took the bike tour and because someone on the group had a child we wound up cycling to the zoo. Not my first choice of things to see but it was a fairly nice ride. After this I took the bikes out a few more times and just went on my own. Stay on the right hand side of the road and watch for traffic. Most drivers very polite and share the road but cyclists don’t necessarily have the right of way so be careful, especially at intersections.
Other Comments: I felt completely safe leaving the resort during the day. I wasn’t hassled by anybody and the only thing limiting some extensive walks off of the resort, was the intensity of the hot sun. I also did several walks along the beach in the morning shortly before sunrise, and again nobody bothered me.
Only other disappointment was at the airport on the way home. I have never been to an international airport before where it was impossible to cash an American express traveller’s check. I was unable to do this at any of the duty free shops or even the money exchange booth. Take cash, I guess, or use a credit card