This is my third review of this resort and I am going to start with the bad. There is much more good, but we had some problems at the beginning of our stay. We rented from a shareholder and received gold bracelets again. We took the helicopter to and from the resort as part of our package, which was wonderful. The problems started with our villa.
Bad: we were put in villa 2C, just like last time. We did not want this villa because we had had some problems in December. This time the air conditioning in the master bedroom didn't work. It is the only bedroom in the villa with a king size bed, so we were not happy. They came to fix it and said it was not on and would be fine in half an hour. It wasn't. We complained several times and it was not fixed until the following morning. We were very angry. They told us that the family we rented from had not requested anything, but the family forwarded us the emails recommending a newer villa. After a whole day of arguing and having them show us 2 other villas that were even older then the first one (one with no eating area indoors and one with no A/C in the main living area or on the same floor as the main living area), they finally moved us to villa E10, which was lovely. Everything in it worked fine. Although everything after that was much better, we really shouldn't have had to spend a whole day of our trip arguing.
We tried to order the turkey sandwich at VIP Pool and the sports bar, but they only had turkey ham, not regular turkey. My husband ordered it anyway and there was only one slice of turkey on it.
The Good: we liked the sandwiches at Serenity Beach as well as the Brazilian restaurant at Confresi. The food at Belini for lunch was good as well.
The Very Good: Breakfast cooked to order in the villa was always very good. Dinner at Simply Gourmet, which we had twice was very good as well. We really enjoyed dinner at Indochine. The weather was perfect and we looked over the pool toward the ocean. A man played guitar and another sang at our table-very romantic. Drinks at VIP Pool and the sports bar were very good and so was the Sunday night welcome party.
The Excellent: Dinner at Jazz was excellent both times. It was much better then it was in December. Our BBQ in the villa was excellent as well. They cooked and served fish, lobster, pork, steak and chicken as well as lots of sides. They brought dessert and some extra cookies for us to keep in the villa. We loved that.
The Amazing: Drinks and cool breezes at Serenity Beach, as before, were fantastic. There is a restaurant at Serenity called Oh Crepes, which was fantastic. We had either beef or chicken Crepes for lunch almost every day and chocolate, peanut butter and caramel or chocolate and strawberry Crepes, among others as a special treat there as well. This was by far our favorite food and dessert at the resort. Drinks at Serenity were better then those at Harmony and VIP Beach and VIP Pool. I am not sure why, but my husband and I both thought so.
Our second villa-E10 was amazing as well. What made it amazing was the total privacy. This was the very last villa on the street. There was nothing beyond it and nothing behind it. We swam in our villa pool every day. It was warm and clean and very pretty.
Excursions: We went to Ocean World, which as stated before, was a nice half day trip. It has birds, dolphins, sea lions, sharks and a man made reef to snorkel in. We walked back from there, on the beach, to the resort. It was a nice walk.
We did the half day "funny buggy" excursion as well. My husband really liked it. I hated the drive to the place. We had stops at two resorts to pick people up, which we did not know about. The buggy part was fun but the trip to a shopping area in a very poor community was heartbreaking. Seeing children pushing each other to get candy that was thrown to them made me very sad and the poor conditions that they live in is quite an eye opener. I thought I was prepaired for that, but as a parent I really wasn't. On the way back to the resort we went through different neighborhoods where children were coming home from school in their school uniforms. That was much better to see.
The resort has grown a tremendous amount over the last three years. Perhaps it is getting a bit too big for the management team. The changes are beautiful and there is always something more to see and do, so maybe they will hire more people and find a way to avoid pointless complications like the ones we had on our first day. The good far outweighs the bad here but it was a difficult start and it did not have to be.
Pricing: We flew using miles again so we payed about $110 round trip each from JFK to POP.
We took Jet Blue there and American Airlines back. No problems on Jet Blue. No problems from POP to MIA, but huge problems from Miami to JFK. Almost a three hour delay that was announced about five minutes after boarding time. Flight earlier had been canceled so people were desperate to get on the plane and there were not enough seats for everyone. They sent my suitcase to Texas and it took almost two days to get to NY. They were very difficult to deal with.
We payed $1160 for 8 nights in the villa and $100 each to upgrade to gold bracelets. ($1,360 total for 8 nights in the villa.
We payed $57.50pp per day for the all inclusive package ($920 total for 8 days-2 people)
Ocean World was included in our package.
Funny Buggy excursion $55pp ($110 total for 2 people)
We tipped $5 per day to our maid in the villa and a few dollars for tips each night. We tipped $10 each to the chef and server at our BBQ and about another $100 to various servers and staff.
I wish I could give 5 stars, but with the problems the first day I really can not. We may go back again, and I still recommend this resort very highly.
You can ask for whatever villa you want, but you get what you get unless there is a serious problem...
See more room tips
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thank you for taking your valuable time to share your experiences and mostly positive comments with us. Our ultimate aim is to provide service excellence; our guests’ feedback shifts our focus on any possible deficiencies that may exist throughout our Resort and helps us improve the quality of our services and facilities.
Report response as inappropriate
We apologize that this time we could not fully meet your expectations at the beginning of your stay, but hope that you will give us another opportunity and visit again in the near future. Please feel free to contact me for any assistance you may need.
Crown & Royal Villas Manager
Lifestyle Holidays Vacation Resort
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.