Length of Stay: 7 days, 6 nights from April 12-18, 2013
The grounds are breathtaking. They spend a lot of time manicuring the lawns and keeping the grounds clean and orderly, including raking the beach and resetting the pool and beach chairs for the next day. They also keep a schedule of daily activities on a board by the towel hut, and listed in the elevator. This is helpful if you're looking for anything to do.
Customer service was hit or miss. We arrived on the property after spending close to 24 hours in airports to get there. Less than five minutes after we checked in, we were escorted into a VIP room to make arrangements for setting us up for an "invitation" to "tour" their facilities, with the hopes that we would buy a "membership" in their resort. We politely declined. But then we spent the next several days having to continue to decline an "invitation."
My boyfriend was sick on arrival. Our package included meals, but no room service. Daniela, the restaurant manager for the main restaurant (The Palms Terrace), allowed me to have a bowl of soup packaged to bring back to the room for him since he couldn't join me for dinner.
Our room was supposed to include an unlimited minibar, to be refilled daily. We reported to the front desk that it wasn't refilled, on three separate occasions, three days in a row. They never restocked the minibar, for the entire time we were there. Instead, for 3 days, they delivered a small dessert plate to our room, which we discovered after dinner upon returning to the room.
Our package included a bottle of sparkling wine on arrival. We had to ask for it a day later when it never arrived.
Our package included a romantic dinner for two on the beach. After dinner one evening, we stopped by the front desk to ask to set it up. We were instructed that the person capable of booking the dinner, Ruth, was not working but would be back the next morning. When we stopped by the front desk the next morning to set up the romantic dinner, Ruth it made it feel like it was an imposition to set it up for us at all. Then, they ended up double-booking our romantic dinner with another couple for the same venue. We had to wait an additional 20 minutes for our romantic dinner to be set up. This was another save by Daniela, whom rallied the staff to set up the table and chairs, including place settings, on the beach itself.
The room was tiny, which was a slight misrepresentation from the pictures on the website. The AC working was hit or miss. Most nights we had to open the window because it was cooler outside than inside the room. On our last night there, the AC was so cold we had to open the window to prevent putting on a full sweatsuit. We were informed via a placard in our room that Esmerelda was responsible for our room being maintained. The scope of the hotel staff cleaning the room included remaking the bed and providing fresh towels. We had to ask for wash clothes from the front desk staff when none appeared in our room for 3 days in a row. There was no taking away of dirty dishes. They finally cleared dirty dishes that had been sitting in our room from day 1 on day 4, only to leave the dishes for the next three days sitting out on the walkway.
The breakfast was mediocre every morning. We tried two different dishes every day at the Palms Terrace. Nothing spectacular. We ate dinner two different nights in the Palms Terrace. Again, nothing spectacular. The steak was tough, undercooked, and poorly prepared. The romantic dinner for two was a fixed menu, with food coming from the same kitchen as the Palms Terrace. We were a little skeptical after two mediocre dinners already. It was surprisingly phenomenal. Isaiah was our server and he was fantastic. We also ate dinner one evening in the sushi and martini bar on the premises. The fish in the sushi was very fresh and the drinks for the first time tasted like they actually had alcohol in them. The open bar, which was included in our package, was mediocre. There was no natural fruit in any of the tropical fruit drinks. They used mass produced sugar and fruit mixes. They often forgot the alcohol in the drinks themselves. We had one server admit that the bartender forgot to add alcohol when he delivered a second round that tasted like they doubled the alcohol in it to make up for the virgin set of margaritas. The menu left a lot to be desired, focusing on fried American foods for lunch time, and an Italian based menu in the evening. For being in Mexico, it was awfully difficult to find a taco.
The wifi was very slow and patchy. It cuts out anytime your wireless device hibernates. You can't play any videos at all, not even a quick two minute one.
They called a cab for us anytime we needed to head out of the hotel. This was super helpful, since we were often running at least 10 minutes late.
Our flight did not leave until 4 p.m. the day of our check out. We asked the night before if we could have a late check out of 1 p.m. We were informed this was not possible by the front desk staff. But the next day, they offered to hold our bags for us from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. after we needed to check out but while we strolled the beach one last time.
All in all, the best time we had on our vacation was the time we spent outside of the resort exploring the rest of the Banderas Bay and neighboring areas. We wouldn't recommend anyone stay here, and we won't be returning.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.