I just got back from a week- long trip with a friend to the Tamarijn. While having a room that is literally on the beach was fabulous, the amenities and service were the poorest I have ever seen. I am shocked by all the people who rave about this hotel.
Let me walk you through some of the highlights of my experience. About a dozen people arrived with me from the airport to the hotel on a Sunday afternoon. They had exactly ONE person at the desk to check people in. I mentioned this to the bell captain, and when the line was down to three people, another person moseyed out from the back to help. Not a good start.
The room had no toiletries. It comes with a half-refrigerator that was completely empty, and which barely kept things cold. I called the front desk to ask if I could get some bottled water. Nope, we don't have bottled water. Can I buy some toothpaste (which I had forgotten to bring)? You can buy bottled water and toothpaste at the gift shop. Great, where is it? Right near the front desk, except it closes at noon on Sunday. Sigh.
What else? My TV remote control did not work. Despite several calls, they never fixed or replaced it. If I wanted to watch TV, I had to borrow my friend's remote. It was hardly worth the effort, anyway. Although they have satellite television, the quality of the TV picture in the rooms was what you would expect if you had a $10 pair of rabbit ears for an antenna and were time-travelling back to 1965. My digital clock had the wrong time on it. When I tried to adjust it, I discovered that I could change the hour setting but not the minutes. Cleverly, I waited until 9 PM, unplugged the clock, plugged it back it, and with the time now flashing 12:00, I quickly set the time to 9. Problem solved. Also, my nightstand had what looked like sand on it. I brushed it off, but a few hours later it magically reappeared. I came to realize that the plaster ceiling was disintegrating over that corner of the room. Once again, several mentions of this to the front desk throughout the week brought no response.
How about dining at Tamarijn? I have to say that the food quality for dinner at the on-location restaurants was decent. The service, however, leaves something to be desired. An unfortunate recurring theme is that they would bring you your appetizer and salad together, and when you were halfway through them, they would bring you your entree. One couple at an adjoining table, obviously wise to this distinctive serving style, told us that they only order one course at a time. Live and learn.
The breakfast buffet was a lot worse. The quality of food was not so great -- the juice from the dispensers tasted like Hi-C, and the scrambled eggs tasted like something, but not like eggs. Also, while the servers replenished certain items, like pancakes, throughout the morning, other things like fresh fruit were put out once, and that's it. My friend had to practically beg one of the servers to root around in the back to bring her an orange. You snooze, you lose-- that seems to be the Tamarijn's motto.
The icing on the cake, as it were, occurred on the day before I left. I wanted to print out my boarding pass, so I went over to the internet cafe. It was closed, so I asked at the ever-helpful front desk if there was someplace I could print it out. They called their sister hotel, the Divi, where we also have the privilege of being able to use their facilities, and I was told that I could get it done there. So I walked over to the Divi, and asked the woman at their front desk where the internet cafe was located. She pointed it out, but somewhat indignantly told me that I couldn't just use it. What do you mean, I said. She said that you have to pay for it. I said, ok how much? She said, you have to buy a token, $2.50 for every 10 minutes. I said, ok I will buy one token. She said, sorry, we don't have any tokens. Dunbstruck, I said, you mean to tell me that your internet cafe is open but I can't use it without a token, and you don't have any tokens? She said, that's right, come back tomorrow, we might have some then. I said to her, listen, I need to print out my boarding pass. Is there anyplace in this hotel that I can do that? And she replied, oh the internet cafe won't do you any good. We don't have a printer. I started to laugh and asked her, what kind of hotel is this, anyway? She kind of puffed out her chest and proclaimed, we think we are the very best!
In summary, if you ever have the urge to pay Ph.D. prices for G.E.D. level services, I highly recommend that you make your reservation at the Tamarijn.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.