This is a one of a kind property, one of the oldest buildings in the area still in use. It was at one point a sugar cane processing and storage facility, and has a wide variety of startling and fascinating public spaces - some in a restored but open style, some more completely enclosed. Of course this doesn't apply to the guest rooms! The overall impression is of a gorgeous old ruin, turned into a luxury property. The landscaping is wonderfully designed, some very old and integrated into the architecture, some more traditional gardened areas. Impeccably cared for by many men who you will see very early in the mornings.
The property is located in an area that used to be "in the country" but has been surrounded by urban sprawl. You enter the rather small car drop off and wonder if you have made a terrible mistake. Then once you get inside the walls of the compound, you change your opinion pretty quickly. It is lovely. I'm sure a person could stay in a more central location or a better neighborhood, but you will never find this experience elsewhere.
There are two general types of rooms, ones in the older buildings which are two stories, and open onto the central courtyard, and a more modern tower with rooms that look out over the landscape. We stayed in one of the ground floor rooms in the older part of the hotel, which was perfectly adequate, but not luxurious. That's partially the reason for only four stars. The beds were excellent, the storage space adequate, and there's a coffee maker in the room. LCD television, good lighting. Our biggest problem with the room was the quirky bathroom. It has all the amenities you would expect, but was shaped like an elongated triangle with the shower at one end and the toilet at the other. A large person might have difficulty using the john. The shape and the strange blue fluorescent light made the bath less than stellar.
We were told by several people that the older rooms vary by large degree in size and shape, so if you aren't satisfied, ask about changing. We did not see any of the modern tower rooms. We did however hear that the tower rooms are exposed to the beautiful area used for weddings and that some of our traveling companions had to switch rooms or put up with the wedding band until 3am. I would ask if there are any large group events planned during your stay!
The restaurant is a wonderful room, essentially a glass topped old ruin with a tree growing up the walls and over the entire room. Definitely a first. Food was good but nothing special. We were a group of 30 friends and family always dining at approximately the same time, so we may have taxed the kitchen. Sunday brunch - wow. More variety than I have ever seen at this sort of thing.
To sum up, I'm very glad we stayed here. Far more memorable than any more conventional hotel would have been.
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