My family and I just got back from a week-long stay at the Reserve. We stayed in a master suite and had the family concierge service. The resort was generally very clean, beautifully landscaped, and the service was for the most part friendly. One warning--watch out for mosquitos!
The room was very large and clean, decorated in a nice contemporary style. There was plenty of room for a family of four. The bathroom was a highlight--there was a separate room with a large jacuzzi tub, two sinks and a closet. This part of the bathroom could be closed off from the bedroom and other part of the bathroom. It was large enough to fit a pack 'n play, so our baby slept well in there. However, there were performances near the pool several nights, and we could hear the loud music in our room, even though we were all the way down by the kidzone pool. There were some small flies in the bathroom, which were there every day that we were there. Maybe that's to be expected in the tropics, though.
The food was generally pretty good--there were three buffets we could choose from for breakfast and lunch, but it was frustrating that the lunch buffets did not open until 12:30. There were a couple of times where our kids were hungry at noon but we were near the beach and couldn't find a place nearby to feed them. There were always salads and plenty of lovely fresh fruit available, and in the morning you could have eggs cooked to order.
Our concierge made us dinner reservations at a different restaurants every night. They ranged from good to very good, but nothing was stellar. But then again--this is a resort in the Caribbean, not New York City. All considered, we were pretty happy with the food.
The beach was gorgeous, clean, and soft sand. The Reserve area of the beach had lovely palapas and drink service. Our concierge had a palapa reserved for us every day. The pools were fantastic too--the Reserve pool and the kids pools were always very clean and the staff was very friendly and diligent about tidying up. The regular pool was not as good in terms of service--there were drinks left all over the place and at times it was hard to find towels.
This is why I rated the resort 4 rather than 5 stars. Most of the staff was great, but keep in mind that we tipped generously. We tipped the maid every night, and tipped at all the restaurants and for drinks. I'm sure that helped a lot.
Unfortunately check-in was a confused mess and it took entirely too long to check in. There was some confusion because I paid for our reservation through a third-party vendor, this led to a long, frustrating check-in delay. The supervisor ultimately made it right for us but it should not have happened in the first place, especially after a very long day of travel with two toddlers. We had some confusion at checkout too. The front desk staff simply needs to be trained better.
Also, some of the trolley drivers are simply surly. We asked to be taken to the mangrove, which is clearly marked on the map. The driver scowled at us, scoffed and said "What is mangrove?" This same driver always looked pissed off. Unfortunately I did not get his name. Most of the other drivers were fine.
The kidzone staff seemed unhappy as well. We stopped by for a visit, and a couple of the ladies there seemed inattentive at best. We left my kids there for 30 minutes one day but I decided to come back and get them since I did not feel comfortable with the people working there. It's too bad because it's a lovely facility.
The family concierge was a nice touch. She prepared a bubble bath for the kids, made sure we had plenty of milk for them, and dropped off treats like milk and cookies and coloring books.
We only had two people bother us regarding the timeshare presentation, but it wasn't a big deal.
All in all it was a nice stay, and we would certainly consider going back again.
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