Hi Guys -- I am actually writing this from our room here at the hotel because I don't want to forget anything when life in the U.S. comes crashing back in to our consciousness! :)
There were three things I was really worried about before coming here: Would the beach be as nice as I think it will be? Will the suite be smaller than it looks in the pics? Would the bed be comfy?
Firstly, the beach is gorgeous. We walked up and down the beach many times, and they take such good care of this beachfront. The sand is soft and white and exactly what you would expect when laying out on a beach. Lots of beach chairs and umbrellas to relax in all day long. They also have outdoor showers so you can cool off without going into the ocean, which happened to be very rough when we were here -- although that didn't stop anyone except me because I can't swim. ;)
I was SO pleasantly surprised with the size of our suite. Lots and lots of space to spread out. Really, you get SO MUCH room for your money. The pictures actually make everything look smaller than it is! We met quite a few people during our trip who were staying in the "lock off" rooms on the property (the smaller hotel-like rooms attached to the suites), and when they would come up to our suite they were wowed by how big they were!
The bed in our suite was GIGANTIC and nice and firm, but not hard. The pillows were very supportive and comfy so your head just sinks in and you fall off to sleep.
You should know that many people think they can just come here and open the patio doors to let fresh air in. But it is SOOOO HUMID here that you will wake up and floors and the cushions on the couch and chairs and the floors will be wet!
So if you DO open the doors, do it for short amounts of time, and shut your air con off when you do -- because if you don't, then it makes the air con system wet and then they end up with a mildew situation that is difficult to get rid of. So if you open your doors, shut off the air. People with mildew allergies like me will thank you for doing this! :)
We really loved that we didn't have to carry cash, just our key card to charge stuff. The happy hours rocked! Half price or two-for-one. The Islander's happy hours were 3p-6p -- discovered that the Mayan's happy hours lasted until 7p. So you can drink for cheap from 3-7p, take a break for dindin, and then go to the next happy hour at Islander from 9p-10p! Truly a money saver! Although not the best for your liver. :)
I have to run to shower and get ready to leave (sooo sad we have to go!) but just wanted to point out a couple more things.
Firstly, the WiFi works great if you are in the right room. The higher up you go, or the further away from the lobby you get, the worse your reception. The building is situated like this: Buildings 1 and 7 are beach front. Then behind building 1 you have building 2, then behind that is building 3, etc, all the way around the pool until you get to building 7 again. The lobby is located below building 4 -- and the modem must be somewhere around there. We stayed in building 6 on the 7th floor when we first got here and the WiFi sucked. Then we moved to building 3 on the 4th floor and the WiFi was excellent on the patio and very good inside at the dining room table. For those of us who have to work online while we are away, this is important to know. :)
Another good thing to know is buildings 2, 3, and half of 4 face the sun, and buildings 5 and 6 and again half of 4 are always in the shade. Ocean fronts get morning sun.
Two outstanding customer service peeps I would like to point out:
1. Ismael, the front desk manager. Patience of a saint. I had an allergy that caused me to have to move from our first room, and he worked very closely with me to make sure that the room I was moved to worked for me -- which it did. Ismael, you are the best!
2. Ross, our concierge. So friendly and helpful. I have read some reviews that have talked about their concierge being a pain in the bleeeeep, but Ross was never a pain to us. He always listened carefully to what we asked, always provided answers and assistance to us in whatever way we needed, and did it all with a smile. Truly a super duper nice person. Ross, we were very happy you were our Concierge! Thank you for EVERYTHING! :)
We would love to come back here, but they are going to switch to all-inclusive, for members only. Very sad. If you can book yourself in this resort before they make that switch, do it! :)