Still got the tan from our lovely honeymoon stay at Long Beach, but we took both good and bad memories home with us.
The resort is truly a little slice of paradise with some of the most stylish design and tasteful planting and landscaping I've seen anywhere, this place is kept in immaculate condition with it's army of staff attending to every dead leaf and empty glass, but some of the staff training leaves a little to be desired. For example, there were mistakes and confusion once or twice over food orders as some of the staff lacked the necessary front-of-house skills, and tea & coffee was amusingly hard to come each day by without waving down staff at breakfast, it became a bit of a standard joke, odd as there were dozens of staff everywhere at all times.
In all cases it was apparent that this was a training, not a staffing issue and I hope this feedback gets communicated. That said, the staff were extremely charming and cheerful, but then, in our experience that seems to go for almost everyone on this fascinating island. Sad to have to say the staff on reception were the exception to this rule who we found to be a mixture of reluctant and miserable for the most part.
Our biggest gripe was with drinks prices - they were extortionate. A vodka and coke will cost you £10. A small water bottle will cost you £3-£6 and a small beer £5-£8. Compounding this was the fact that tap water, for your safety, was undrinkable, so basic survival on bottled water simply to keep your fluids up would cost you a fortune. You're each given a complimentary half litre a day in your room. I think this is in bad taste, and money-grabbing. The coffee in your room will cost you £1.50 per cup too. Sadly it's little things like this that can really get under your skin. 5 star or not, these are basics that should not be chargeable.
We solved this on day 4 by hiring a car to explore the island and stocked up on drinks and large kegs of water. We also learned whilst exploring that these drinks prices were not indicative of elsewhere, it's just Long Beach. I guess 5 star denotes high prices wherever you go, but we were shocked nonetheless.
Food prices were more reasonable though. We had some fantastic food from a wide variety of countries. Highlight was the lobster BBQ special on the friday night, fabulous, low point was the Japanese restaurant taster menu which was very average for a flagship meal of a renowned restaurant.
Rooms were extremely luxurious with the style and attention to detail that typifies the resort. The beach was pristine and the calm lagoon was inviting, though there's a lack of sandy shallows to wallow as there are rocks and dead coral covering almost all of the designated swimming areas. We did the snorkel and glass-bottom boat trips into the lagoon. The glass-bottom boat doesn't do the outer reef justice as it's a fantastic snorkel with loads to see but you don't get this impression from the boat. I mention this purely to recommend taking the snorkelling which, unlike the majority of the hundreds of leisure options at Long Beach, happens to be free of charge.
Overall we loved our stay, though it was occasionally marred by the points I've outlined above. We won't be coming here again, but then that was never all that likely whatever the standard. I think we're more the 3-4 star types in truth, we missed the personal touch that is hard to find in such an enormous resort as Long Beach. The images and brochures don't come near to impressing on you the sheer size of the place, but we'll take away some fantastic memories.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Your comments with regards to the service at the restaurant and drinks prices have been well noted. It is unfortunate that you receive such a bad experience and we can only apologise for the inconveniences you encountered during your honeymoon stay. The Management wish to reassure you that training plans have been scheduled for our team members which will be very useful and therefore could deliver professional services. Indeed, we are grateful to you for informing us about your dissatisfaction and your positive feedback.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.