I researched this Hotel from Trip Advisor members and they recommended staying in the tower on the higher floors. I emailed the hotel early on and requested the tower. We also got an email saying that the hotel would pick us up. Found out that the bus that was picking us up was time share people. Found it hard to say no to their sales pitch since we were already on the bus on their tab. The representative was very nice of course.... she offered a free breakfast the following day with that 90 minute sales pitch that turned into 2 hours plus discounts on any trips and all-inclusive meal plans. Again, thought it wouldn't be to painful because of the discounts. We decided to take the Stone Island tour the city tour and buy 4 days of all-inclusive food/drink plan.
On arrival we checked in and again I reminded them of a high floor. They gave us the rooms on the 27th floor, one more floor up was the penthouse! The Bell-hop took us to our rooms had we had a breathtaking view of the ocean! We had a two bedroom unit that had windows with three different views! The room was not the remodeled unit. We know this because beside our room they left the door open for people to see the newly remodeled version. NO big deal though, our view made everything else not mater! Plus, the shower flow was very impressive! The televisions were the old style and not HD so, you really counted your blessings when you are home watching your favorite NFL team playing! The kitchen in the unit was only good for making coffee and storing water bottles in the fridge. It had a 2 burner stovetop with no oven but, you got a toaster oven. SInce we did not know the area we did not venture out to find a super-market plus, we were getting a discount on the meal plan from the timeshare people which was $36. per person a day from $69. per person.
After surviving the timeshare presentation they hounded us several other times which was annoying but tolerable. The El Cid was very big at first, it would have been nice to have a better blueprint of the facility. The food was good but we did get sick eating at their (new) poolside dinner restaurant. We narrowed it down to the salad with blue cheese crumbles on it. STAY AWAY from the blue cheese!
The first tour we signed up for was the Stone Island tour. They shuttled you over to their sister hotel El Cid Marina and you got on a catamaran which sailed you over. This was very nice trip. You sailed pass Bird and Deer Island and the Light House. We even ran into a school of dauphins! Once you got to Stone Island (which is not really an Island) you boarded a wagon which took you through a village and you ended up at a restaurant on the beach. We went horseback riding and had a blast and did it twice! They cooked you lunch but, you had to get bombarded again with vendors and timeshare people. Everyone has something to sell. The next tour we took was the city tour which was through the timeshare people. They took you to two leather shops, two jewelry shops a candy store then finally to the old church in town then to their restaurant where they made you buy lunch. Didn't expect that agenda. But, again everyone has to make a buck.... plus, we didn't know the area and felt safe in numbers.
Being on the top floor we had a spectacular view of the ocean and we also saw everything from up there....too much maybe! We saw too many large Sting Rays swim by close to the shoreline which made us NOT get in the water. Also, the vendors were relentless. We were always at the pool where the service was awesome. If you were laying on chairs at the beach you would not have peace. On fifth day into our week, the hotel staff put up a fence to keep them out but, it did not work because there was no one to enforce it. It was humorous to watch the vendors walk inside the fence like it was even there. We could not even walk or go to the hotel wall without them harassing you. Glad we had that great room with the view!