Let me preface this by saying I'm going to give a true review based on more than just the service we received. We have stayed anywhere from dumps during my horse show years all the way up to 5 Diamond so I think we have enough variety of stays to give a good review. Having read many of the previous reviews and looking at guest pictures, we knew what we were getting into. We arrived to cool cloths, a carnation and fruity drink. Check in was pretty painless however I tried to upgrade to conceirge level however none were available so only able to upgrade to Jr. Suite. This was disappointing as we knew we wouldn't use our credits for excursions as we have been to the area many times over the last 22 years. In addition, I wanted to avoid the time share guys but the front desk was pretty evasive about which staff they were so we were not able to avoid. The time share staff is directly across from the front desk. I do have to say, they were not as pushy as some folks led to believe through their reviews. All they do is go over what is available for your credits but then you have to do it all over again when you actually meet with the staff that will schedule those services. So if you have no interest in the time share just ask to be directed to who can schedule those appointments. They are right around the corner from the front desk staff.
One of the things that surprised me the most was how small the hotel was. Other than the number of rooms they offer I would have considered this a boutique hotel. It looks much bigger in the pictures and that's because the properties on both sides look very similiar to the Palace so you think its all one big property however those are not part of the Palace properties. This was fine as I knew we were going to a small property. One thing I was disappointed in was how plain this property is. If you put the inside of the building anywhere other than the staff you would have no idea this was a Mexican property. There was nill to no artwork and the places we have stayed previously have had absolutely gorgeous Paintings and pieces of art that we spent time enjoying. This made the property very bland and basic for me. I didn't feel it was the spectacular property that rates a 5 star property meaning the best. Don't get me wrong it was very well maintained but just basic in terms of its restaurants and rooms.
The rooms were a nice size, used nice linens and where cleaned very well. The view was outstanding which was one of the major reasons we chose this property. Our refrigerator was stocked with exactly what we asked for and we tipped well for that as well as too our cleaning gal. Both did a fantastic job and where very nice folks. Was it the nicest room I've ever been in and would I consider it a 5 star probably not. I can say the beds were very comfortable which was a nice surprise as they are generally like a buck board. We did not use the jacuzzi so can't speak to that other than I took up a lot of room and was kind of in a weird location but that was by no means a deal breaker for me. As mentioned in previous reviews the halls do echo and you can here everything in you room from the halls. But there was basically no room to room noise which was very nice. So other than those coming in at 1 am yelling yahoo... we didn't notice this to be an issue.
The food was a nice surprise. Expected it to be the typical all inclusive fare however it was surprising tasty. Nothing spectacular but better than the average all inclusive. My issue was the fact it was pretty repetitive after a few days. Would have liked a little better variety but again not a deal breaker.
The pools were small but nice and was so nice that they were heated. Thoroughly enjoyed our time in the pools and laying in the sun watching the boats go by which was one of the main reasons we chose this property. We were here from Nov 4-11 and we always come down this time of year because it is off season and we generally stay on the Riveria Maya side and its always been quiet. Well famous last thoughts, the Palace was at capacity and way busier than I like especially since the area for all guests to congregate is very small. Because of this, I didn't find the time as relaxing as what I normally do. As I mentioned watching the boats was fantastic and it was like watching 696 into Detroit at rush hour. It was very windy and red flagged most of the time so was able to snorkle much but there wasn't much too see when I did. My husband had his inner ear removed this spring and found he wasn't ready for the movement of the water yet so he didn't snorkle. But I guess we're spoiled from where we normally stay which has exceptional snorkling right off the beach.
Now regarding the service. I found this to be a very interesting topic of discussion during the week. We were their as hotel guests not timeshare owners so keep this in mind as I give my opinion and its just that my opinion. I felt the restaurants was seriously hit or miss in terms of the service. Some meals were the best service we've ever received just about anywhere. Other meals we barely had service and had to look for someone to get us something to drink. But I will tell you that certainly doesn't bother us as we are the type of guests who would rather have less than more. As for the pool service it was almost obnoxious. There were times I just wanted to relax on the lounger and it was continious interruptions asking if we wanted drinks. This might have been because we are good tippers. I think we probably gave $150-$200 in tips for the week. So maybe we caused some of that. However we noticed those who were Timeshare owners for the most part did not tip. In addition, those owners who were diamond level received signs and many extra's which well they should as they are paying good money for it. However what I felt was obnoxious about that was management practically came running out of the building to fawn all over them. Staff was also trained to absolutely kiss their butts which this I have a problem with. All guests should be treated well but I do not feel staff should have to "suck" up to the owners the way they did. In my eyes its demeaning. Most of the diamond owners were very nice but some were absolutely ruthless in their demands and how they treated staff. Shame on them and kudos to the staff for tolerating it, they are better souls than I.
Kudos to Roger by the pool, you did an exceptional job and were very sincere in your efforts and we appreciated it. The drinks were awesome and we met some really nice folks. Scott, Carol and Becky from the Kansas City area, a family from Seattle and the parents who were temporarily located to Salt Lake City. A couple from California near Reno etc. Its always fun to pass time with fun people and share stories. Had a great volleyball game with a fun couple who's names I didn't catch but sure showed me how out of shape I am.
Ariana who did a fantastic job with the photography and we were constantly bugging to snap some photo's. I'm so sorry if I get the name wrong but I believe I had Vanessa in the Spa where I had a facial and a message which were both exceptionally well done. So over all we had a lovely stay. My husband and I decided we probably wouldn't come back for a whole week but would come for a long weekend instead.
Just an FYI, its very expensive to rent vehicles through the hotel. We rented a jeep for less than half the cost of the hotel through Thrifty as Isis who we usually use didn't have any. We toured around the Island twice as it just doesn't get much prettier. Will be doing reviews on Coconuts, LaLobsteria, Punta Sur, Playa Palancar etc under the appropriate trip advisor sections.
We were 3rd floor over the infinity pool which is awesome for the shows and view.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.