Although a Beach Front Room was actually booked and paid for, on arrival we were allocated a Tropical Waterfront Room instead.
Room was spacious, with a private balcony, located on the ocean edge and within a few metres of the main bar, pool, restaurants etc. recently refurbished, air con and a fridge. Excellent room.
Resort itself was fantastic, good food options with multiple restaurants, snack bar etc.
The beach is actually a public beach, however the resort is private (and has security guards protecting access to the resort from the beach). This does mean vendors can access the beach and will approach you, they are not too pushy and usually happily accept a polite "no thanks".
Despite what is posted on Trip Advisor etc. I personally would NOT book trips etc. through beach vendors such as (the seemingly famous) "marvellous Marvin". Firstly it is difficult to know if they are licensed/INSURED for these trips, secondly the resort appears to have dedicated taxi drivers etc. so you are really taking business from them rather than the resort. We met a couple who were on the their 5th/6th visit, and went with them to "Shirley's Heights" on the Sunday night for the sunset party. The taxi driver "Bos" was excellent, took us via Nelson's Dockyard and waited an hour or so, then took us up to a view point where you could see Eric Clapton's house, then up to the Heights for the night. All in all he was with us and driving us around for 7 hours - cost us $20 (US) per person, and a couple of cans of coke. We used the same driver for a trip to St. John's and our return trip to the airport.
Breakfast was fantastic (re: all the "birds" comments - yes they fly around, people do discourage with sticks, ultimately though a big resort has been dumped in their habitat - get over it!!!), lunch at Mary's and/or the snackbar was our usual choice as we didn't need a buffet lunch as well and were both really good.
Dinner in the buffet was perfectly nice with a decent enough variety, Chef Pietro was nice for a bit of variety as well, nice to mix it up.
Pineapple Grill was disappointing on our first visit as they had no steak, and the Italian sausage for the mixed grill was also out - when you only have 4 or 5 choices for main this makes things a little difficult! The service was excellent though and Jason was extremely attentive and eager to please. He did keep calling me "Mr Nigel" (rather than Neil) but I found it quite amusing and couldn't bring myself to correct him!
Our second visit to Pineapple Grill was better, all food options were available, unfortunately we got our order in after the table for 8 did so had a long wait for our mains (nearly an hour!)
The reality is, that as you're not paying extra for it, it is fine and makes a nice change from buffet etc. but if you were paying for it in the UK or elsewhere as an al a carte you would probably not be overly impressed.
Drinks were good and obviously free flowing, all bar staff speedy and attentive, occasionally you might be at the bar with a few people at the same time but they take orders from 3 people at a time and still get it right!
Remember - you are it the Caribbean on holiday, relax and chill out, don't stress about waiting 2 or 3 minutes for a drink!
All staff were incredibly friendly and helpful, the pool was lovely, beach beautiful, everything fantastic. Laid back atmosphere with generally lovely people, not a five star resort but a great price and offers all you could want. I fear that you would pay a lot more just for the finer details and potentially be met with a much more pretentious set up if you did!
In short, as long as you are travelling here knowing what to expect - a good standard, lovely people, fantastic beach and all the facilities you need, then you will be happy. If you go expecting 5* Sandals, you'll probably be unimpressed. This place has a real rustic charm to it, well worth a visit!
A quick note for those considering getting married here - we saw at least 3 or 4 weddings in the week we were here, there may have been even more. The one thing I would say is that whilst the resort etc. is absolutely lovely, any wedding will NOT come with much privacy at all. The wedding gazebo on the hill overlooking the resort and the sea is lovely, however it is on the path to "Mary's Outhouse" and this path is NOT closed during a wedding! A sign is placed to say a wedding is happening but nothing to stop inconsiderate people walking through if they want to! Additionally photos then taken in the gardens/beach etc. are not private areas so you can and will have people standing and staring, walking through the background etc.
All in all an extremely relaxing and enjoyable stay - we would definitely go back if there wasn't so much of the world left to see!
Having paid twice as much to visit the Maldives the past, the standard, service and location are pretty much the same!
p.s. look out for Bill's plaque on the main bar area, he was there when we were and is a top man! :)