Old Reviews – Hesperia Isla Margarita Island

We just returned from a fantastic 1-week vacation at the Hesperia Isla Margarita resort. Given the mixed reviews about this resort, we really didn’t know what to expect, however we were extremely satisfied with this resort. This is our 3rd trip to the Caribbean and our first trip to Margarita Island. Our other 2 trips were to Dominican Republic, Sirenis in Punta Cana & Sunscape in La Romana. This is our first review – we have found reviews so helpful in our vacation planning, so we thought we’d share our opinions. We booked our vacation with Go Travel Direct. This is our 3rd time using them so obviously they do a very good job. Only 8 people from Ottawa/Montreal went to this resort this week so our group was small (it’s usually about 30-40). Our rep didn’t stay at our hotel but showed up for an hour or so everyday. He was very friendly and knowledgable and did a terrific job. Now for the resort…

Check-in: We arrived at the hotel at approx. 5:00 pm and walked right up to the check-in counter. The entire process took about 5-10 minutes. I guess it all depends on the time of day and how big your tour group is. Every other resort we’ve been to has had a long check-in and from the reviews I expected a long check-in here as well. I guess we were lucky.

Rooms: The rooms are huge and very nice. The view from our room was amazing – ocean view with sunsets every day. This was a standard room -we couldn’t have asked for anything more. The plumbing in the washrooms was not great – take short showers and use toilet paper sparingly.

Food: The food was quite enjoyable at this resort. We mostly ate at the buffet but did try the a la carte restaurant once and the pasta restaurant once. The a la carte restaurant (Vandelvira) was very quiet, I guess most people eat at the buffet. The food at this restaurant was good, but very small portions. My entree was King Prawns and it consisted of 3 shrimps on 3 pieces of fruit! You do also get an appetizer and dessert but these were pretty small as well. Not that you would ever go hungry at this resort. The pasta place (Fogon) was good too – standard pastas and sauces, and the lasagna is very tasty. Our favourite meal of the day was breakfast by far because we loved the freshly made omelettes and smoothies – they were excellent. We also tried the beach restaurant (Caney) a couple of times – the fish & chips are delicious and just the right size for lunch. Now for the bad news, unfortunately I did get sick at this resort and it lasted about 48 hours. However, no one else in our group got sick so perhaps I just have a weak stomach. Luckily, it didn’t ruin our trip. Just make sure you bring the standard medicines.

Pool: The pool was alright. We’ve seen much nicer but we knew that when we booked. There was a handyman doing maintenance on a shower stall all week. The noise was noticeable every now and then but one learns to block it out. There were always plenty of lounge chairs and shade, except for Saturday which was busier than any other day. There seemed to be a big conference going on all week and I think these people got Saturday off so both the pool and the beach were packed. Lots of activities at the pool if you like that sort of thing. The Bingo was fun.

Beach: The beach was just alright too. It’s no Punta Cana! The water is pretty rough as other reviewers have said but we liked that about it. About 5 minutes from the resort beach is a small strip of beach that was totally secluded. My husband and I went there all the time because it was like having our own private beach. There were no chairs here so we just used our towels. The waves were better here than at the resort and depending on the day, you could body surf. 5 minutes further from this "private" beach was the Dunes Resort and it’s very long beach. We walked here but didn’t stay – looked nice though. To get to these 2 beaches, just head past the 18th hole on the golf course. There are paths to both beaches. Definitely worth checking out.

Shows: Our room was overlooking the theatre so we watched the shows from our room. The shows seemed a little weak and we don’t really expect much. There were no musicals and no Michael Jackson, just dance shows. The Animation team do try hard though and are very hard working.

Hotel Staff: We were very impressed with the staff at this hotel. Everyone was very friendly and very efficient. We’re used to laid back staff in Dominican but this was not the case in Venezuela. I also noticed that most staff speak english first, although Spanish is obviously their language. We have absolutely no complaints about the staff and this definitely made our trip much more enjoyable.

Spa: I thoroughly enjoyed a half-day package at the spa which included a massage, facial and face mask. The spa is beautiful and my esthetician was very good. The cost was $100US for this package – I thought the price was quite reasonable. A massage was $45US. I did have to exchange my money into Bolivars beforehand.

Tours: We went on the Jeep Safari tour and had a great time. We booked this tour through Go Travel and it cost $40US/person. Originally we had to cancel because I was sick but Go Travel and the Safari tour company allowed us to postpone our safari to the end of our trip – we were very grateful for this. This is a very full-day tour. It starts at 9:00 and you don’t get home until 7:00. Lots to see and do although the majority of the day is spent driving. You get to see the whole island on this tour. The off-roading was pretty cool. There are a lot of tours offered in Margarita and at really good prices.

Internet: There is a small computer room here where you can buy Internet time. 15 minutes is $1US. The hotel also has wireless internet in the lobby so we saw many people using their laptops here. We didn’t see this advertised anywhere but our tour rep told us this was the case and he would bring his laptop here.

Overall we loved this resort. I don’t think we’d go back to Margarita Island, only because we’d like to try other places. We would definitely recommend Margarita Island though for sure and the Hesperia Isla Margaita.

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