Upon arrival at our hotel, when we turned off the main road, i was a little concerned as to where we were being taken, once through and at the final approach to the hotel, my concerns disappeared, the entrance to our hotel was stunning!
The lobby bar area is huge, with areas to sit right around the bar, tables just away from the bar, and areas further away with comfy sofas to sit at.
We were given lovely cool face towels when were went in to reception and checked in with ease, given 2 towel cards and 2 room keys. We were given a room in block 9, and this was highlighted on the 'map' that we issued to us, along with a discount in the photo shop, harrisons and bowling voucher. We were wished a happy Honeymoon and sent on on our way!.
We had a wander down to our block, took a look around the grounds and were thoroughly impressed by how beautiful the grounds were and how well kept, the gardeners do an amazing job, they were always working to make sure that the grounds were kept tidy and neat.
It took us about 5 minutes to walk from reception to our room, so it really isn't a long walk from one end of the resort to the other.
When we arrived at our room, i was really very disappointed. I room requested ground floor in block 4 or 8 and was given top floor in block 9. I didn't mind too much, until i actually got in to the room. We had a nose around as you do and wasn't happy. There was tissue on the floor (clean), hair in the bath (i hadn't used it yet!) the bedding was dirty (looked like blood!) the sealant around the bath was mouldy and the shower head was so grimy not much water came out of it! As you can imagine, not what you would expect in a 5* hotel!
We went and spoke to Cristian at Guest Services, who found it very difficult to understand what were saying, i can't speak spanish, but i tried my best to get across what i meant. I mentioned that it was our honeymoon and although we hadn't booked Privilege or a honeymoon suite, the room standard was unacceptable. He spoke to his 'manager' in spanish and asked if we had our marriage certificate to which i replied no. I wasn't there to get anything, just to have a nice holiday. He offered us the romantic breakfast and dinner, and told us that we would be moved on the tuesday (4 nights time) to a much much nicer room, apologised and gave us the romantic menu to choose from, asked us when we would like our breakfast and dinner and made a note. It turns out he was off for the next few days which is why he would move us then. That and the fact that the Hotel was very busy (he says)
We went back to our room and it had been swept, the bedding had been changed but no other cleaning had been done. The following day we saw our rep, Evens, who got us moved that afternoon, so i'm not sure why guest services couldn't get us moved that quick. We were moved from block 9 to block 5, which is directly opposite, again on the top floor with a pool view, and i am so pleased we had top floor now as it was quiet up there with a full view of everything, i love sitting on a balcony and watching the world go by :)
We ate at most of the restaurants, and were very impressed by them, the main buffets were so clean, with plenty of space, although there didn't seem to be any air conditioning (?) Breakfast was brilliant, continental was available between 6 and 7 and after 7 it was all available, the selection was huge, ranging from omelette, cereal, waffles, pancakes, eggs (poached, fried, scrambled) and loads of other fruit, yoghurt, croissants, muffins etc, although there were a few odd selections such as stewed beef!
We didn't have many dinners in there, but when we went in it was normally a them night, if you didn't like what the theme was, there was still a great choice of un-themed food. My husband loved oriental night, they served sushi, i liked rodeo night, with wings and ribs etc,
We ate lunch in the beach restaurant, which was lovely, had pretty much the same food every day, with the odd something different thrown in daily. Food ranged from burgers, hot dogs, pizza and chips to pasta, nachos, baked chicken and a whole load of bread and soup. There was plenty of fruit and ice cream and cakes (which if i'm honest, didn't have much flavour!)
We had our romantic meal outside the French restaurant, and oh my word, it was lush, we had french onion soup ( i don't like soup) but this was out of this world, the onions simply melted! I had duck a l'orange and mash and my husband had surf n turf. I was expecting a fillet of duck and he expecting a thin steak and some prawns. What turned up was a beautiful steak and lobster tail and the most mouth watering piece of duck ever cooked! Pudding was pudding, tiramisu and cakes, nothing special!
We also ate at Route 66, there was a good selection of food, nice air con, very well decorated and the best tasting welcome drink! Food was a bit hit n miss, we spoke to a few people who ate in there and for our starters we had curly fries, other people didn't get any. Their food was greasy but ours was fine. I didn't really enjoy my food in there, but that was through the choices i made as my husband enjoyed his.
We ate at the steak house 3 times, this was lush, although it was very very hot in there, am not sure if the air con was off or broken! The starters are small, the mains a good size, and i only had one dessert, which was nice ;) Not as much selection here as at other a la cartes, but definitely worth a visit!
Our favourite a la carte was the Italian, we only ate here once, big mistake! I would have eaten here before, but my husband isn't a pizza or pasta fan, so only ate here on our last night, plenty to choose from and no sign of pizza. I loved it! I recommend the mozzarella and carbonara!
We can't comment on the mexican or inside the french as we didn't eat there.
We didn't go to the Beach Gala dinner but we did attend the beach 'bbq', which was held around the pool, this was lovely, although there were long queues to get the food as there was only one line to join. The was live entertainment, it was ok, and plenty of desserts, fruit and tasteless cakes again. A lot of effort was put in to it, the staff worked extremely hard to get everything ready and it looked so pretty. We also ate at the beach restaurant, which was a meal specially for Thomson/First Choice guests, this was also really nice and so much thought had gone in to it, the table cloths alternated red, white n blue, the plain posts decorated prettily and a great food selection, including lobster, sausage, steak, chicken and baked potatoes, with plenty of salads.
Food was also served daily by the pools, neither of us ate from here, but this was sometimes, paella, tacos, fish etc.
All bars were well staffed, sometimes took a while to get a drink, but never took too long at the pool bars, the busiest bar was the lobby, this had the most staff and busier nights is when it took longer to get served.
We didn't see any shows - so can't comment on these. We did get a chance to see fire dancers, this was fantastic, a brilliant display of technique and skill, a must see. The entertainment in the evenings was a bit hit n miss, the Ocean Duet, main lobby entertainment, weren't great, they also had a very talented saxophonist, violinist and a DJ. Most of the music was aimed at 'local' people, or spanish background, even though there were a large number of english speaking guests, the music wasn't really aimed at keeping them entertained, which is a shame! Would have been a lot more enjoyable if it had been split a bit more evenly. Music at the bar starts in english but later in the day it changes to latino (?)
There are a few shops on site, items are good, but expensive, i burnt using factor 50 so i went in to buy a bottle of a higher factor, and got a nivea factor 60 for $35, there were cheaper, but i trust nivea, there was also creams available up to factor 100. The shop stocks a lot of stuff, including drinks, nic nacks, bags, t shirts, caps, souvenirs, cigarettes, toiletries, snacks and medicines.
The mini bar is stocked with water, 7 up, pepsi, diet pepsi and presidente and presidente light and there is also a coffee maker, with a great coffee. The bathrooms have shower cap, dental kit, shaving kit, shower gel, mouth wash, shampoo and conditioner and plenty of towels.
The casino was fun, spent a good few hours in there, not spending too much money! there was the option to spend a lot, but i stuck to the machines spending 1 cent a go and i won, not a lot, but probably broke even. I saw winners on the roulette table and bigger winners on the slots too. There was a raffle while we were in there with a chance to win 1500$, turned out that you had to go in to a box and grab as much money as you could in a certain amount of time that was blown up (crystal maze style) from the floor and post it through a slot, the guy we saw won $49, not bad for a free raffle i guess.
There is also a little bus/train that goes round that you can jump on, which we did use, when it is so hot and you don't want to get too hot, hop on this, it doesn't hurt!
Mikes Coffee is also great, they have lovely coffee, i only had the cold one's so can't comment on the hot ones, and 'pastries' were more often the same cakes as in the buffets, but every now and then they had cookies and doughnuts, which were delicious!
The staff in general were pretty good, the majority of them were fantastic, always happy, smiling and they work so so hard for such long hours, one or two could do with cheering up a bit, even though we smiled at them it was difficult to raise a smile from them. The entertainers were brilliant, Jack, Wili Wonka, Mini-Me, Alejandro and Jennifer amongst others work very very hard to keep guests happy, entertained and involved. Even on our last day Jack was there putting a smile on our faces! Wili took a shine to my husband, which was nice, i know they are employed to do this, but they really did make our holiday great, without them making us laugh and smile, it wouldn't have been the same, special recognition should go to Jack, he was brilliant with everyone he interacted with, even with the youngest of guests.
Some of the other guests were very disrespectful to other guests and staff, and some guests also had an issue using the bins and ash trays, there are plenty of them around and absolutely no need for them to leave rubbish laying around!
The hotel in general needs a bit of updating, maintenance, decorating and furniture wise, Whilst we were there our beds were replaced and we saw decorating and furniture updating in the closed blocks, whether these are full refurbishments or not are another matter, but something was being done, which was great to see. Other maintenance is necessary, the canopy over one of the balcony's was ripped and missing so when it rained heavy our landing got flooded and painting work needs doing. Some maintenance was carried out on the pool (replacing tiles) while we were there also.
Overall, this hotel and holiday was amazing. It only doesn't get a 5 due to the work that is required on the rooms and the fact that our first room was dirty.
I have a tip for british guests, if you're interested, get in touch!
Block 5 or 9 are right next to the pools
Block 1 or 7 are closest to restaurants/lobby area
See more room tips
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.