My boyfriend and I (ages 31 and 25 respectfully) stayed at this resort Dec 2-9th 2012, in the Preferred Club. As soon as you arrive you are greeted with champagne and a cold towel, a bell hop takes your bags straight away and you are escorted to your check in desk (which is actually in a different building for Preferred Club). The desk person gives you a quick rundown of the hotel and you are out of there in just a couple minutes. We didn't get a timeshare talk at check in like I was warned about, but they did call our room once about it, and after saying 'no thank you' we never heard about it again.
Now, for the biggest question.. Is it worth it to pay more for Preferred Club? My answer, maybe. It seems as though the biggest advantage to being in the Preferred Club is the private lounge. While it's not much to hang out in (I think it had two tables), and the food was meh (mostly teeny sandwiches and fruits, but sometimes had some awesome ribs), the bar service was awesome. There seemed to never be anyone in the lounge so service was instant, you got top shelf liquors, and when you get to know the bartender (I think we only saw two different bartenders the whole time) you get to say things like "I want like a french mojito but less mojito-y" or "you made me a peach thing a couple days ago... can I get that again?" and they know what you want. They understand you.
Rooms: Our room was on the 4th floor, ocean view (technically, but more facing inside the resort), was very very clean and spacious. We had no issues with A/C or lack of towels - and the robes and slippers were a nice treat. The biggest issue was trying to figure out which light switches control which lights, because there are MANY switches, and some in seemingly random places. The house keeping service was impeccable, and only once did we have to call down to get our mini bar refreshed. The jacuzzi on the balcony was big enough for two people and such a nice way to end the day.
Restaurants: I read a lot of people complaining about portion size, and it's true - the portions are itty bitty - however that is why you order yourself 1-2 appetizers, an entree, and a dessert. Always. Oceana was very good (the tuna medallion was amazing), and they do not enforce any kind of dress code (no beach wear? Please, EVERYONE is in beach cover-ups). The Mexican place was mediocre (funny how that works), but too loud for my taste - the mariachi band is fun, but not if they play throughout your entire dinner. We only did the table-side grill at the Japanese place, and our chef wasn't nearly as animated as the chef at the table next to us, so that's a little touchy. But, Bordeaux is the best. By far the best. I cannot say enough about it. It was so delicious that we ate here two nights in a row because we couldn't stop thinking about it. We would each order an appetizer, a soup, an entree and a dessert. The lobster bisque and the champagne salmon are insane, I still think about it. Oh, and there was the Market Buffet, which was very good too.
Room Service: Love love love! Amazing food, quick timing, never given a cold dish! My only complaint is that our do not disturb light would be on, so, obviously, put the food in the room service box, but no. They would knock every single time. That would be my biggest complaint of the entire vacation. PS - when you order the waffles, order two plates of them, because they are THAT good.
Service: The service was amazing! Everything from being greeted BY NAME every morning at breakfast when we walk in to being greeted BY NAME by the waiters out on the beach - they didn't miss a thing. I've never felt so catered to! We did tip everyone that did something for us a dollar or two (more at meals), so I don't know if that influenced anything, but if it did - do it! It's a small price to pay and these people work so hard that they deserve it.
Resort: The pools were great! Never too crowded, floaty things and towels in abundance. Everything is extremely clean, plenty of seating The swim up bar had just as good of cocktails as other bars (meaning they blend their blended drinks, they don't just add alcohol to some slushie machine like I've seen in other places). Every day you get a little newsletter that tells you what's happening that day. We did a few things like kayaking (so-so), rifle shooting (should call it hit metal squirrels with a pellet gun for 10 minutes), beach volleyball (fun! Even for me who sucks at it), and we played tennis one day, which was awesome (and I lost a ball and they didn't charge us..). Also in these newsletters they have a 'Drink of the Day' suggestion. I had nearly every suggested drink each day, and they were all delicious (kinda feel stupid asking for a Winnie-the-Pooh, but it tastes like happiness). The tennis court was beautiful, and the gym is only made for giants (machines do NOT adjust enough for a girls body), or people who love to run (enough treadmills?).
Beach: The beach was no good. Walking along the beach HURTS your feet, dont' go into the waves or they will CUT YOU with little rock shards. The sand is nice on the resort, but if you leave, prepare yourself for pain. Thankfully the resort beach stays pretty empty so you can sit in the sand in peace. The vendors know no bounds and will walk RIGHT up to you while you lounge on a resort chair. If you just shake your head, or ignore them, they walk right by without a fuss.
Adults Only: People complain that only half of the resort is adults only. Which is kinda true, and kinda not. It's more like two resorts side by side, but I never once, not ONCE heard a child, or saw a child (unless I walked into lobby of the other resort, but that's where the kids are alowed). Are the kids allowed in the restaurants? Apparently, but I never saw any. The little rocky-hill barrier thing is so tall (to separate the pools) that you can't see the other side.
I am extremely thankful that we stayed here before the price undoubtedly skyrockets. This place is quality and I loved it! If I could go back paying the same price I payed the first time, I'd be there in a heartbeat!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Romantic. Refined. Remarkable. Located on the golden sand beaches of the Pacific coast within walking distance of the famous El Malecon boardwalk, this vibrant oceanfront resort provides adults 24/7 access to amazing nightlife, non-stop entertainment and Unlimited-Luxury(R). ... more less
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