My wife and I stayed at EdenH from April 26-May 1. Overall we had a fantastic time and much of that can be credited to the fun, positive guests and staff with whom we shared this experience.
In broad strokes, the resort is great looking with a modern, tropical-Zen look and feel. Food was good, room was good, pools, beach, sand, drinks… all very good. There were a few things from our experience that stood out from other reviews so I’ll focus on those and hopefully they’ll be helpful:
“The Up-Sell” - We paid for a regular Deluxe room with green bracelets through an online travel site. When we checked in, we asked if we could have a room facing the pools area and on an upper floor. The “U”-shaped resort layout is such that rooms will either face the interior pools area or the exterior neighboring/development areas a.k.a. the "black fence”. Upper floor rooms on both sides afford ocean views. We wanted an upper room on the internal pools side.
Despite my friendliest attempt, we were told we could only get a room on the first floor exterior facing the fence. No upper floor. No ocean view. No pool view. Front Desk said we could get a room on the fourth floor facing the pools but that would cost an additional $80 per day. Based on our 5 night stay that would be $400. We offered $100 total for the upgrade, and eventually settled on $200. A little annoying but not enough to put us off our vacation. However, then they wanted to charge us an additional $100 each for the VIP pink bracelets that apparently goes with this room. We settled on $50 for both of us. So to sum up, we paid an additional $250 total to get a better view and the pink bracelets for two people. The room was the same deluxe room size/layout that we would have gotten on the first floor, except it had a better view. I’m not sure the room upgrade was necessarily worth it considering we rarely spent any time there. My wife absolutely thought it was worth it. As a sidebar, I initially tried to slip the front desk guy a $20 then $40 to upgrade us to a better room. He didn’t go for it.
“The Pink Bracelets” - Most reviews said there was no difference in the green and pink bracelets and therefore we didn’t initially plan on upgrading to the pinks. However, we were very glad we did. The pinks give you access to two smaller VIP pools with bars. At first glance they may not look like much because they’re smaller, but we loved them. The VIP pool bars seemed to serve tastier and stronger drinks than the regular bars. Since there were very few people, there was no waiting and the bartenders knew our drinks and served us quickly. Also, instead of draft beer, they also served beer in cans and bottles. You could also get cold bottles of water, which I heard were unavailable at the regular bars. There were always lounge chairs, tables and umbrellas available at any time of day. The pinks also get you into the Italian restaurant for breakfast. You will have the place mostly to yourselves. A la carte menu with attentive service and the food is hotter than the buffet. However, if you’re into omelets, Felix in the buffet area makes better ones.
The pinks get you brand name alcohol. I did not see green bracelets get Absolut vodka and other so-called “premium” alcohol, although I saw quite a few get turned down.
More pink features: You get access to a VIP lounge next to the lobby where you can use the internet for free. The lounge also has a private self-serve bar where you can make your own drinks and get all the bottled water and bottled soda you want.
Overall, we felt $50 for two pink bracelets was well worth it. However, I’m not sold on the two-tier bracelet system. I saw guests with green bracelets get turned away from some areas/services and get embarrassed… that’s a bit flawed.
“Chair Situation” – Based on the negative reviews, we dreaded this going in, but really did not see what the fuss was about when we got there. At issue is not so much the beach chairs, as is the beach palapas. The prime palapas went by 7a every morning, but you could sometimes find ones further away from the water as late as 9:30a. One morning, I saw a few palapas unoccupied all day. If you don’t want shade (not advised), you could almost always find a couple unoccupied/unsaved chairs at the beach. I wake up early anyway, so getting to the beach by 6:30a to reserve a palapa was not a chore. There are joggers and other early birds to see and meet, and the whole “saving” situation was very civil. I did not see any tension because of this. At all pools, chairs were available pretty much all day long.
“A la cartes” – We are completely bewildered by reviewers who said they HAD to line up at 5p with their tales of hardship. We ate at the French, Italian, Asian (twice) and never spent more than a few minutes in line. We went for the 7:30p sitting every night and it was easy and organized. The most popular sitting at any of the a la cartes was the hibachi grill at the Asian. For that we went to the restaurant at 7p. The hostess wrote our name on a list, gave us a coaster on which she jotted our names and scheduled sitting time (7:30p) and that was it. We went to the lobby bar for a couple drinks, came back at 7:30p and were seated right on schedule. The French: 7:15p no line, no wait. The Italian: 7:30p, 2 groups ahead of us, 3 minute wait. And if you just want sushi and tempura, you can just walk directly into the Asian sushi bar… no line up whatsoever. However, on a couple nights we did see some people complaining to the hostesses about something or other, but you can sense that those people may “invite” bad situations with their attitudes.
As for the food, we actually liked the Italian the best, although most people we talked to enjoyed the Asian hibachi most. We didn’t care much for the French. Considering it’s an all-inclusive resort, we thought the food overall (including the buffet) was very good.
“Mosquito situation” – Did not see any in our room (4th floor, pool view) the entire trip and never got bit. However, we did hear from people on the first floor that this was a problem. Getting away from the mosquitoes was possibly the best thing about the room upgrade to the 4th floor. Beyond our rooms, the breeze was slightly on the strong side during our stay and we did not use insect repellant once during our trip.
“Tipping” – we generally tip often giving a dollar for every two drinks or one round, $4 for breakfast, $5 for lunch and dinner, and $2 for housekeeping. Giving tips, smiling and making attempts to engage the staff – based on our experience - go a long way to make your stay better. And I think, they do spread the word. After a few days, we always had extra beverages in our fridge, we got washcloths, our breakfasts came out steaming hot, our drinks were amazing and even in the buffet, we’d get drinks brought to us before we even asked for another. However as other reviewers have mentioned, this is not a wealthy country. So giving tips had a “worth” beyond any improvement in service we may have received. That said, my wife ordered breakfast room service on our last day. The food arrived hot in 20 minutes. When she asked the attendant for hot sauce, he came back (out of breath) with a brand new bottle of Tabasco in less than 5 min. Considering how far the restaurants are, it was shocking how fast he came back. Overall, the staff and service were good.
“The Problems” – just in case you think our stay was perfect there were some “problems”: Our drink orders got mixed up a few times. One set of elevators did not work very often. There were regular 2-5 min blackouts. When I ordered eggs over easy, they’d come out sunny side up. I’d ask for steak medium rare, and it would come out blue. I’d ask for no bacon, and I’d get bacon. I’d order a beer for dinner and not get one (actually that was a little weird). Those and other (frequent) mistakes were barely an inconvenience and certainly not what we considered problems. Considering where we were and the reason we were there, those were more a source of amusement than annoyance. And every time an issue was mentioned, they were fixed quickly and with an apology. (Except for the beer at dinner… still wondering whatever happened to that).
My final two cents… I think the main source of the problems and the bad reviews is that the resort is at capacity and there is an underlying competitiveness among some guests, some of which we were initially guilty of too. “Gotta get a room with a nice view”… “Gotta get a nice spot at the beach”… “Gotta get a nice table at dinner”… etc. Once we became aware of how we were thinking - about 1 hour into the trip - we quickly switched gears. Is it a five star in the class of the Mandarin Oriental in New York? Of course not. But isn’t a true “five star” and “all-inclusive” a little beyond reasonable expectations? We stayed away from people fixated on those things and fortunately found positive, funny people who went there for the same reasons we were there… to chill out and have a good time. And we did.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.