Stayed here for 8 nights with my wife as part of our 3 week honeymoon. Overall we had a great time and the hotel was good, however there are quite a few things that dont really function/make it the true 5 star it is advertised as.
Having read alot of the reviews on here and the responses from the management team, it seems our views are pretty much shared by a few people who have stayed here. So here we go:
- Rooms: We had an upgrade to an ocean front villa (from our holiday company not the hotel). Room was spacious, very clean, full of mod cons (TV, coffee machine, ipod deck, loads of storage), so tick for 5 star standard. However, the toilet is contained in a glass cubicle that can be seen into it! The bathroom is not separated off by a door and one can be seen doing what they do in the toilet! this we found very weird. we are a young couple and open minded but this was odd. Surely this must have been considered when designing it?! Overall we slept well, but the shutters onto the windows to the main path didn't block the light out, given that there was a light outside the window this wasnt helpful to a good nights sleep. I raised this to see if it could be turned off (remove the bulb - simple), but just got a blank look! we ended up draping a blanket over the shutters. Also our door to the fridge was broken, raised on first day and wasnt fixed till day before we left
Facilities - Couldn't be faulted across the hotel. Spacious, lots to do, pools are nice/big, beach huge and always able to sit somewhere without being hassled by other guests.
Spa - Both had treatments and couldn't be faulted, 5 star!
Restaurants/food - Hmmm, very average! we stayed in some decent hotels across the world with a similar operation and this was below the standard. The Italian is literally pizza/pasta, Japanese was ok with average sushi and expected dishes. Chinese was simply rice/noodles and main dishes, nothing special. Buffet was fine, good mix of food, a little over cooked/dry as it is left out. By far the best restaurant was tides, good mix of dishes and best location on the beach.
Cost/value - We where on a fully inclusive package, which in my experience should mean fully inclusive, NOT as it was a small selection of the foods/drinks on the menu that we iuld have without extra cost! The wine we could have was below average, since we have been backed i have checked and you can buy the pearly bay for £5 online. A small selection of spirits and cocktails. Food wise, you could have the main dishes but the better dishes where quoted as with "supplement", this is where it becomes even more confusing. A supplement should be a cost to pay on top, this wasnt the case, the cost was for the whole dish. IE if i am having dinner and want a main that isnt in the package, why do I need to pay £30 not the cost of a main inclusive plus a fee on top? Very strange costing policy. Having seen comments on here, that the management try to explain this, is still isnt good enough. Makes you feel consistently like you are having the "free" stuff and not the top level service. We did pay for alot of extras as we wanted to have the better food, but was very pricey! £40 a head for lobster, £50 a head for the japanese (Not worth it as i say above!)
Service - This is where they fail. 2 of the service team (Dario and Dany), where exceptional. Overall you get a feeling that the staff are only interested in tips. The service is slow, you have to repeat yourself a few times to get orders (Wine and teas/coffees in the am - very tough to get!), on one occasion in the buffet we where completely ignored for 30 mins. I managed to speak to someone else (maybe a manager to ask for a drink) and watched as he went over to give the waiter a rollicking. Dario was a star, from the first day he helped us order some fries at the bar (had been said we couldnt have as it was late past 9?!) and on every occasion we saw him he would take the time to speak & ensure we had what we needed. Dany too, we spent alot of time at Tides bar and enjoyed Dany's top service. The rest of the team should have thorough training, it was noticed when a manager was around (breakfast) it went alot more smoothly. Check out was a bad experience. No one offered to pick our bags ( we called to request), then they wherent picked up! This was check out on 24th Nov, 2 other couples had the same problem. Then the check out bill was wrong. No offer of a drink/take away breakfast etc. very average
on a whole the place has loads of potential. Has a great facility, just needs the operational and overall quality lifted. We are experienced travellers and this is written in comparison with other hotels we have stayed at across the globe.