Although we have vacationed at some great resorts we always felt we would be disappointed if we ever returned to one because it might not be as great as we remembered. Well we were wrong. After a great stay last year at the Majestic Elegance (ME) we decided to return for another 2 weeks from Jan 17- 31st. I would have to say stay number 2 was even better because we knew the pros and cons of the resort and what to expect. We were made to feel right at home throughout our whole stay. Our stay was for R & R and that is what we got; 2 whole weeks of stress free vacation time. Overall everything ran smoothly and we had no problems to speak of. We again chose the Elegance Club and feel for us it is well worth the extra cost. In fact we would never consider returning unless we could stay in the Elegance Club. We love the quiet adult only setting of the Club pool and lounge sections with the Bali Beds, bar service, and 3 club pools. We did get to try out the new swim-up bar once which was very nice, but being in the building closest to the beach we found it a little far for us to spend much time at. We preferred the pool area right outside our building especially once we got to know the friendly staff and they got to know us. It was so nice to come out each morning and receive a warm greeting from the bar, towel, lounge and even cleaning staff and some even dropped by our loungers to chat and see how our vacation was going. We have found a warm greeting and a smiling face on our part goes a long way and is always returned in kind. Even though the Club section has been expanded we didn’t notice a big difference with overcrowding in the Club section compared to last year. In fact our club lounge seemed less busy than I remember it being last year. Neither one of us ever had a problem getting access to a computer.
As you can tell though, we really like this resort and we are so glad we took the plunge and decided to return. We knew we had done the right thing within the first 24 hours. Who knows we may even return for a 3rd time next year. There are just too many things that we have found we like at this resort that we are afraid we would miss is we went elsewhere.
Ella Building # 5
Check-in and check-out were both quick and easy. We were given our Club bracelets and met our Butler in the new Club Check-in area off the main lobby. We told our Butler we did not need the tour of the resort this year and were therefore driven directly to the Ella Club lounge and taken up to our great room.
Last year we loved our room, 4334 but this year we received room 4336 which was even better. It was a 3rd floor end room in building 5 and overlooked the vacant lot, the upper deck bar and the ocean. You could even lie in bed and see people out walking the beach and the shipwreck in the distance. I would say it would have to be one of the best rooms in our room category. We had the best maid service we have ever had at a resort. We never lacked for anything in our room and it was always cleaned by noon, and usually before 10am. Turn down service was hit and miss but that was no biggie for us. Our mini fridge was always full and the 4 liquor bottles were always replaced on a regular basis often without us requesting it, and one day they even left a bottle of white wine. We never ran out of anything, shampoo, soap, towels, water, pop or drinks. Almost every day while getting ready to head out for dinner there would be a treat delivered to our room: Chocolate covered grapes, fruit plates, cheese plates, bottle of red wine to name a few. And of course there was a bottle of Champagne and a couple plates of goodies to greet us upon our arrival.
Restaurants and Bars: As far as restaurants and food goes everything was fine. We really received outstanding service at most of our visits to the restaurants, especially the buffet and the Italian Club a la carte. We had no problem getting bookings for the French or Japanese a la cartes around the time we wanted, usually 7 to 7:30ish. For dinner we ate at the Sea & See 4 times, the Steakhouse and the French 3 times each, the Italian 2 times and the Japanese once.We liked all the restaurants for different reasons. The French has great service and a more upscale feel to it (long pants and closed toed shoes required) but has a very limited menu, especially when there for 2 weeks.We also saw several couples be seated, look at the menu and then leave without ordering. The Steakhouse had some great steaks and nice baked potatoes, but could be hit or miss on the service cause it could get quite chaotic at times with the servers rushing around trying to keep things moving. The Italian (long pants and closed toed shoes) had some great dishes but my friend got sick after our 2nd visit so he really did not feel like going back even though everything was great service wise our 2 times there. The open air Sea & See, although the more casual of the a la cartes had a great menu, good food and some great service on 3 of our 4 visits. The 2nd time our order got mixed up and they tried to serve our main dishes before we had our appetizers and our glasses were not refilled. But this did not keep us from going back another 2 times. The Japanese is your typical tepanyaki tables with good food and service and a Sushi Bar for appetizers. For us though doing the Japanese thing once was enough. Some of the dishes we enjoyed were the Shrimp, the Crab Cake, and the Grouper at the Sea & See; the Grouper, the Gnocchi, the Lobster Spaghetti, the Stuffed Chicken and the Seafood Ragu at the Italian; the Shrimp/Grouper and the Tenderloin at the French; the Fillet Kabobs and the Chateaubriand at the Steakhouse; various soups at the buffet; and their Fried Chicken at the Sea & See at lunch, the bar at the Steakhouse, and the buffet. They also had a great selection of cheeses and breads. My friend also enjoyed a couple good hamburgers done to his liking by the grill chef at the buffet. I also enjoyed a nice hot cup of cappuccino at the various restaurants at lunch and dinner. The house wine was a Baron de Valac from France and was not bad at all. Note, that we did find some of the dishes a little salty for our tastes, but we also noticed others adding salt.
We ate most of our lunches at the buffet. The few times we ate at the Sea and See for lunch we found it quite chaotic where the buffet was never busy.We were also greeted with an Hola and asked how we were and/or how our trip was going. Sort of reminded me of the song from Cheers – ‘where everybody knows your name’; that’s the feeling we had at the buffet whenever we walked in.
Other Comments: Some of the outstanding features of this resort for us were: -a very good international drink selection throughout the resort -the Bali Beds at the Club pools especially at the Ella pool where most had a ‘canvas roof’ on them. Note that for the first ten days we had no problem finding a Bali Bed with a ‘roof ‘ in our favorite location no matter when we came out in the morning, but the last few days there was a group show up who started saving a group of beds at 5:30am – the nice quiet (most of the time) atmosphere of the Piano Bar which was our favorite spot after lunch and dinner – the Club Parties were a nice touch – the covered walkways from the club loungers all the way up to the lobby. These came in handy when ever there was a down pour – which we did have a few of this year – the friendly accommodating staff – the grandness of the lobby area – it is one of the grandest we have been to – nothing is far away – and it is very easy to find your way around this resort Things of note: -Last year they had daily treats they would bring around to those at the pool – this year they only did this a couple times – we missed the caramel/Choc drinks and I missed the freezer pops – they did have several beach parties at lunch time and a couple at night – they seemed popular although we did not go – just not our thing – although we only made the plaza bar area once during our stay we could hear the music up in the Piano Bar area – the upper deck club bar was open most nights this year – but it was never busy – re referred to the bartender there as the ‘Maytag Man’ – went over to the club beach section one afternoon and had no problem finding a lounger in the shade – between the buffet, the Sea & See and the snack bar in the Caribbean Street food is available almost 24 hours a day – guests were encouraged to use the hand sanitizers when entering all the restaurants – we did notice that the vibe of the resort is somewhat set by our fellow guests – most of the time the Club area was quiet but it only took one large noisy group to change this – or one large noisy group to come into an a la carte and start demanding personal service that kept the staff hopping – or one group who felt they needed to be together at the Club pool and started saving a bunch of loungers that were hardly ever used – or one table of smokers to ruin a dinner experience by chain smoking
Staff & Service:
One of the biggest pros at the ME for us is the staff and the level of service we received throughout the resort overall. Yes there were a few times when service was not top notch but that can happen anywhere. But in the long run looking back it is the outstanding service we received most of the time that stands out to us. Staff like Miriam at the Club a la carte; Joselito, Ana Marie, and Allagricia at the buffet; Kelvin and Clara at the club pool bar; the towel guys at our club pool; Narita, Francis and Roberto at the various lobby bars, and Dalton at the Steakhouse are some that stood out and really went out of their way to make us feel at home. On several occasions we had up to 6 different servers waiting on our table. The great service seemed to come from the top down cause we would always see the management out around the property checking up on things and even stepping in to serve whenever needed. Every time we ran into Jordi he was always asking how our vacation was going and looking for feedback on ways to improve.