I vacationed here with my wife and nine year old daughter in February of this year. I had read a ton of reviews ahead of time as we booked quite early and were eager to know what to expect. As is often the case we determined that the worst of the reviews were largely unfounded, or at least unusual circumstances. I had originally planned on refuting individual silly claims, but it would have taken too long. I will instead briefly describe our experience. Our room was on the 3rd floor in building 7 (7313). It wasn't a big room and had a full width balcony rather than the half width with alcove. We overlooked the front of the empty lot next door and had an amazing beach and ocean view. The sound of the waves crashing on the beach was wonderful at night. We liked not facing into the center of the resort, and the place is not so big that it was inconveniently located. Breakfast at Nappa was great, especially the fresh omelettes. The resort got busier as our stay went on, and the line-up for them got unbearable. Lunch at this same restaurant was also quite good. As this is not a large resort the amount of choices on the buffet at any one time are limited, but things here were generally good and more than adequate for all but the fussiest of diners. Dinner at the outdoor buffet was not always as good as the breakfast and lunch offerings, but not bad enough to entice me to waste my time waiting in line for an a la carte booking. Table service at Nappa was almost always good, especially once you figured out whose section to sit in. Service and food temperature were my two biggest complaints with the supper buffets. The more mature servers generally seemed like better bets. There is always something being cooked on the outdoor grill. The thin little beef steaks are actually quite tender and good if you get them medium rare, and the pork chops were ham-like and tasty. Lighting is poor and it can get quite cool. The entertainment was usually good and often a bit corny. My final comments on food regard the snack bar. The service is great and the hamburgers really are fantastic,and yes, you really can see whales while you sit there sometimes. We actually saw whales every day we stayed from the beach and often from our balcony. As stated in a lot of other reviews the staff at the resort are generally hard working and friendly. My wife would like me to acknowledge Rosio the activities pool director for the long hours she puts in to keep the crowds entertained. The grounds and buildings seemed to be worked on constantly for improvement the whole time we were there. Bar service at the pools was as fast as the amount of thirsty people allowed, and they really could have used more bartenders at peak times. This resort seems to want to limit the amount of free drinks being consumed compared to other all-inclusives, and hours of operation of the bars reflects that. Our housekeeper was a lovely lady. I used the internet to figure out Spanish translation and left her notes with special requests and such, as well as pleasantries. she seemed to appreciate it and we were well looked after. The internet connection, speaking of that, was a bit weak in our room, but there was a guy taking down the relevant equipment outside on the last day. I assume he was replacing or fixing it. Sleep quality was sometimes affected by how loud the hallway noise is in the rooms. This was not usually an issue, but some guests were raised without manners or common sense. The beach is absolutely huge and great for walking many relaxing miles. The estuary is beautiful and the town, which is a nice walk, is very inviting. Lots of places to spend tourist dollars, and we even got off the beaten path a bit and felt comfortable. I got a haircut at a local shop, which turned out great despite the language barrier. Sorry that my brief comments have gone on at such length. In closing let me say that for the price we payed (under $4100 Canadian from Saskatoon, peak season, two weeks, for two adults and one child), I don't think we could have expected anything more. It was very relaxing and enjoyable, and for the value we would consider returning in the future.
Loved the view from 7313, and it was quiet.
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We have a gardener fredheadsaskatoon that's brave enough to climb up on all the palm trees inside the property (and there are quite a few as you might remember!) to manicure them, and bring down the occasional coconut for our guests (it's a very tasty treat!). And regarding our bar hours, we have service from 10 am to 12 am, so that's 14 hours of thirst quenching deliciously prepared drinks! Doesn't sound that bad right? Just beware, not all bars are open all the time, but there's always at least one bar open during that time window.
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