A wonderful vacation, would book again. We traveled with our 16 yr old daughter and her friend, and everyone had a great vacation. We booked 2 junior suites at the Reserve, one for the girls and one for us, we asked for rooms close together and the resort put us on the same floor - which worked very well.
1) The walls in the rooms are pretty thin, and neighboring guests could be very loud - slamming doors, loud voices, etc both in the corridor and in their rooms. One night the loud knocking and door slamming kept us up later than we planned. Not great, but not enough for us to complain to management.
2) The resort rooms are showing some signs of age and hard living - empty jack with no phone in the bathroom (who really needs a phone in the bathroom), some drawers that do not shut very well, but everything we needed/expected was there and functional, and we loved the space and amenities in our junior suite. The air conditioner worked really well in both suites, which was a major plus since it was pretty hot. The beds are very firm, which we liked, but this might not suit everyone.
3) Our room faced the pool, and we found that music they played woke us up every morning around 7. It was not obnoxious music, though, and we are very light sleepers. The music did not bother the girls, who were more tucked into the corner of the building (and sleep like teenagers).
1) The people who work at the resort are some of the nicest people on the planet. They work hard, are diligent, and if you are pleasant to them, they will try their best for you. Concierges Ada Morla and Nikel Lendor were available whenever we needed them, did not push the time shares on us, and were extremely personable and helpful. We were up front about not being interested in the time shares, and that was that. No hard feelings, no issues. They made reservations at the restaurants for us (and changed them when requested) and answered all our questions. We spent all our days at the beach, and the attendants there (Jose, Luis, Adolpho) were wonderful. It was very hot during the days, and they made constant rounds to make sure we always had cold drinks in hand. Jose by the Hydro grill was extremely nice and attentive too. We saw managers walking around checking on things at all times of the day and night. It is very well run. We did tip though, we brought a stack of $1 and passed them out for good service. It did not cost us much and the staff was really appreciative. We enjoyed making someone's day better by giving them a dollar or two for making our day better.
2) The food was very good - we always found something to eat at the buffets. We had breakfast at Gabi Beach every morning, they seemed to have the best selection of fruit juices and fresh fruit. Dinners at the restaurants were good, the selections were sometimes pretty limited and except for the steaks and some desserts, did not seem to be significantly higher quality than the buffets, but it was nice to sit in a pleasant restaurant after a day in the sun. Aqua and the Grill were our favorites. Steak anywhere at the restaurants was top notch. We drank the house wine everywhere, and it was very good.
3) The beach is beautiful - the sand is white and the water clear. A little bit of seaweed, more after a rainstorm, but that is nature. We loved the palabras and beach loungers - never had a problem finding a spot at the beach or getting towels. Comfortable and relaxing. The wifi works at the beach too, in case you want to surf the internet or answer an email (which I had to to do for work). Wifi at the rooms was dicier.
4) Though showing some signs of age (cracked paths, some exposed pipe work, etc...), the issues are being attended to, so in general, the grounds are well maintained. The landscaping is well-designed with small ponds and interesting trees/flowers. The lighting at night makes for a pleasant and relaxing experience. In some places was akin to walking a wide cart path on a nice golf course. You have the choice of walking to your destination or jumping on any of the cart trolleys passing by - a real blessing when it's raining.
Additional Points of Interest:
My husband is prone to digestion issues, and we had no issues with the water, salads, etc.
The resort's overall tone is one of low-key relaxation in a beautiful outdoor environment. The staff works hard to make it so. Be respectful of the staff and other guests' sensibilities and you will receive friendly, courteous, and prompt service from the staff and may meet some interesting fellow travelers.
A long review, but we since we read the reviews before booking, felt it appropriate to return the favor. We had a good vacation, hubby said he would have liked 3 more days there, and he can be pretty picky.
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