We live in Venezuela and had never been in Margarita Island for holiday season so we decided to go this year. We own timeshare on the island but have been exchanging it for other destinations and had not been in Margarita for over 4 years.
Margabella Suites were a wonderful choice and I think we would return, but can see why many guests may not. Our priorities, when travelling as a family with small children, are basically the following: kitchenette or complete kitchen, clean rooms and swimming pool and clean comfortable beds. So, based on this, Margabella Suites satisfied our priorities. Front desk staff was nice and helpful.
We were in unit 604. All rooms have wonderful ocean views and the location is quiet and you can walk to Avenida Santiago Marino, which has a lot of nice stores although most people choose the Sambil, Rattan Plaza, Ciudad Traki or Centro Comercial La Vela (the latter being the most recent one) for shopping. We found the size of the rooms and bathroom ok. It consisted of a 1 BR unit with decent closet space and a TV inside the bedroom, and a separate living room that has an L shaped sofa, that turns into 3 single sofabeds which was nice. Furniture is clean although outdated. Bathroom had an old vanity set and a curtain you could practically see through because it was so thin, but otherwise clean. The A/C unit worked fine during our stay. There is a National Guard post right next to the hotel so we felt safe.
Kitchen was just ok, with 2 burners which worked but were rusty. No oven, but a nice microwave and a blender. A small refrigerator that worked perfectly. The funny thing (and as Venezuelans I guess we are used to these “little details” but can see why it could bother others) is that the room, according to RCI, is supposed to be for 4 guests, but unit kitchens only have 2 place mats and 3 chairs (I guess they are counting an extra stool in the bedroom’s vanity set as the 4th chair??). You have to buy/take your own dish soap and sponge (most resorts offer them for free). Some pans were worn out although clean. The rusty burners were ugly although worked fine. The electric blender cup did not have a matching lid (2 different brands) so you had to be careful because anything could spill out of it when turned on. We had rented a car so we went to a Central Madeirense (supermarket) for basic groceries, usually only used the kitchen for breakfast or a late snack so we tried not to be bothered by these nuisances.
The resort pool is small but very clean. The main setback is that there are few lounge chairs and tables. They offer 2 beach towels per room that you can change daily (although we were 4 guests, the person in charge of towels refused to give us 4 beach towels which was annoying, saying the limit was 2 per room no matter what). There is a small public beach you can use but no one from the resort was using it, mostly local fishermen and their kids, although it is clean (no services at all..I would suggest you leave valuables in the resort and just take your room key and beach towel if you go to this beach).
We had dinner in La Terraza, in Margabella Suite’s 10th floor. It was one of the best things we did during our trip. Not only were we greeted by the owner, Chef Alberto, but the food was superb. They offer a wide range of Italian dishes and seafood. The restaurant has a 360 degree view of the city and I am unaware if there are others that can say the same, but La Terraza has one of the best views you can imagine. In clear nights, you can see the Peninsula de Paria (Sucre State, Venezuela), flights departing/landing in Margarita’s airport (Aeropuerto Internacional Santiago Marino), the downtown area and the sea. Another dining option is Pizzeria El Paseo, next to Margabella, with tables outdoors and they make the best pizza we’ve had so far in Margarita. The restaurant has been around for aver 30 years and although it is very low key, locals love it.
Margarita was very pleasant and although most popular beaches were packed, we found the streets to be clean. Personal security is an issue in Venezuela over all, so avoid walking around at night, avoid flashy jewelry and carrying US $$ around with you. Try to stick to daytime shopping if you decide to walk the Santiago Marino or downtown stores (good prices but watch out for knockoffs offered by “buhoneros” or street vendors), and at night you will be safe in any of the large shopping centers I mentioned earlier. Avoid leaving valuables in your car and always use a taxi service you can trust (all hotels, resorts and shopping centers have trustworthy taxi services or can call them upon request), but you should avoid taking any taxi from the street yourself.
In summary, we would return to Margabella given its location, beautiful rooms and clean rooms. We’d give it probable a 2.5 star rating based on American standards but still we would recommend it if you are o.k. with the negative aspects I just mentioned. Keep in mind you’re in a different country and standards are not the same when you travel abroad.
- Also Known As:
- Margabella Suites Margarita Island, Venezuela - Porlamar