THINGS YOU WANT/NEED TO KNOW:
Explanation of rating: I listed this as average because for a 4 star hotel which wants to move to 5 star I would have expected better.
We were in the ocean front rooms right by the pools so the below applies to those rooms only.
1. Hair dryer
2. Large in-room safe (works by digital number pad)
3. Plenty of electrical outlets (be sure and check the base of the lamps, they have 1 or 2 plugs on them)
4. Keurig Coffee maker with assorted t-cups (Newman’s own regular and decaf, Celestial herbal and English breakfast teas)
5. Comfortable beds
6. Large Flat screen TV
7. In-room refrigerator (it fits quite a few bottles of water and soda and I even squeezed a ½ gallon of milk in the door)
8. Amenities, shampoo, body lotion, conditioner, bath cap (however the particular items changed daily – see below for more on this)
9. Air conditioning worked very well and is adjustable
10. Ceiling fan
11. Sleeper sofa
12. Ice machine on floors 2 and 4 only (however the one on floor 4 was broken the entire time we were there)
13. Soda and snack machines located near the entrance to the pool
14. No turn down service but excellent chocolates left when the room is cleaned
15. No makeup mirror
16. Large closet with hangers
17. Iron and Ironing board
18. Full length mirror
19. Makeup area outside of the bathroom (stool is a bit low at least for me – I had to sit on a pillow)
20. Umbrella’s at the pool to provide shade (see discussion below for more information)
21. Extra pillow and blanked is located on the shelf in the closet.
22. Upper floors have a balcony with 2 chairs and a little table. The balcony is lighted and the switch is to the light is on the wall next to the desk.
23. Bottom floor has a walkout to the pool. It has a child safety gate from each room to access the pool.
24. Elevator is available to access floors 2 – 4. You can also use stairs
25. Outdoor lunch area - they've added a patio area for additional seating for lunch service. The tables have umbrellas and the area is quite nice.
Where to begin. Let’s start with the cons and please realize I hate to complain. I heard that the hotel, which is privately owned, wants to up their rating to 5 stars. If they really plan to do this then they really need to take care of the things listed below.
1. The first night we were there housekeeping did not leave me a bath cap. I know for the gents this doesn’t sound important but any lady can appreciate not having one available. I didn't bring mine from home as I expected one to be in the bathroom. I spoke to the housekeeper the next day and one was left for me.
2. The first night we had bath products from Bath and Body works then all the rest of the days we were given Gilchrist & Soames products which are nicer. It was almost as if they had run out of the Gilchrist & Soames and so they went and bought the samples from Bath and Body Works. The bath soap that was left the first night was a facial bar. The next night we were given the Gilchrist & Soames Cleansing oatmeal bar and then on another day another cleansing bar.
3. The first night we had 2 chocolates left on our bed the next night 1 and none after that. I did ask about this and was told that they had run out.
4. My friend’s room one day did not get cleaned and by 4:00 she finally called and they sent housekeeping up to her room. She was told that they were short housekeepers.
Seems like they were short of quite a few thing…Hmmmm….!
5. We called the desk the night before we left and asked for a late check out and was told to call back in the morning that the night people could not help us. So my husband went down in person the next morning and asked for an extra hour for check out and was told absolutely “no”. He was told they were sold out and they couldn’t allow us to stay any longer. My husband had been in meetings the entire visit and it would have been nice not to have to rush the last morning. Check out is at 11:00, no exceptions.
6. Seriously, No Makeup Mirror – What striving for 5-Star resort doesn’t have makeup mirrors in their rooms. According to the front desk, they had been requested by many guests who were coming for the meeting we were attending. I’ve written about and requested mirrors for 6 years now and still nothing! I still have to bring my own from home. King and Prince are you listening?!
7. BEWARE the “Umbrella Police”. The first day we were there my friend and I rolled an umbrella from one side of a raised platform where we were sitting to have 2 umbrellas to cover 4 people. The 2 of us and our husbands. We lay there all day with no problems. The next day we did the same thing. All of a sudden the “Umbrella Policeman” arrives and tells us that the umbrellas are not to be moved and that they need to be "EVENLY SPACED". He proceeds to move the one covering my friend and me to the opposite side of the platform. I asked him to not do this and to get the manager. He told me to go get the manager myself and then he moved the umbrella. He also moved an umbrella covering another lady from one side of her chair to the other so that they would be “evenly spaced”. He moved our umbrella and then did go and get the manager. The manager told us that the umbrellas were not to be moved by the guests. I asked him to please show me where there was a sign saying that and of course there wasn’t one. I told him to either take off the wheels which shout “umbrellas can be moved” or put a sign up saying “please ask for assistance when relocating the umbrellas”. He didn’t like that idea. He then said that we could not have 2 umbrella’s covering 4 people. So I said to him, “then it would be ok for my girlfriend and I to go to the far side of the platform and lay under the umbrella there and our husbands could lay under the umbrella on the other side which equals 4 people under 2 umbrellas but we couldn’t lay together which would be 4 people under 2 umbrellas. He said that was correct. In the end he did move our umbrella back to us.
But the next morning they decided to fix our little red wagon and overnight had removed one of the umbrellas from the platform. By the way the pool was not crowded during any of the above mentioned events and no one had complained about us. Talk about ruining your relaxing day. Also, people were moving the umbrellas during the rest of our stay right and left. You have to in order to keep up with the movement of the sun otherwise you aren’t in the shade anymore. Duh! Well what did they expect when they put wheels on them?!
8. BEWARE the “Bracelet Police”. We were also daily approached by the Bracelet Policeman. He had to make sure that we were really guests at the hotel and not locals crashing the pool. He checked our names and room numbers and gave us colored paper bracelets to wear. It made me feel like I was back at camp and everyone had to be accounted for. I never put the bracelet on but if I didn’t have them showing in some manner he would stop by and remind me to make sure it showed. The color of the bracelet changed every day. I asked him if this really was a problem and he said yes and that he had kicked out 30 people just last week from the pool one day and that they lose pool towels by the dozens. I guess I understand their situation but there has just got to be a better way.
How is a girl to get some relaxation around there with people constantly yacking at you about this or that!
NOW FOR SOME IMPROVEMENTS SINCE OUR LAST VISIT.
1. The wait staff at the pool fell all over themselves to be of assistance. They were giving out cups with lemon and ice water to everyone. One day they even brought around free iced tea. I was always asked if I needed water or ice and the waiter was pleasant and helpful. A special shout out to Joe. He was always smiling and willing to help in anyway. He always knocked himself out to be helpful and could be seen running around helping people.
2. Over the winter they bulldozed the entire pool area and upgraded it. They put in 3 new pools, one of which was a dedicated baby pool with a frog fountain in the middle. They put in all new plantings and stonework. It really is lovely. They purchased new lounge chairs, tables and chairs and some umbrellas on wheels.
3. They have more and nicer umbrellas but they apparently need many more since they are required to be “evenly spaced”. There is very little shade at the pool so the umbrellas are needed. This is however, a vast improvement from 6 years ago where they had no umbrellas and no shade. At that time I had to bring my own umbrella. Well at least I’m down to just bringing the lighted makeup mirror.
4. The staff seemed to make an effort to say hello or good morning.
5. They offered activities for the children in the afternoon (i.e.: ping pong, ice cream)
CONSTRUCTIVE SUGGESTIONS FOR THE HOTEL:
1. Be a sport and purchase more umbrellas or don’t complain when paying guests move them. If you don’t want the guests to move them then have enough staff running around moving them for the guests. We have to move them in order to stay in the shade.
2. Please, Please put lighted makeup mirrors in the rooms
3. Please have an in-service with your staff on customer service (i.e.: if a guest requests a manager go and get one)
4. It would be nice to have a couple of bottles of water in the refrigerator upon arrival
5. Don’t run out of everything (i.e.: bathroom amenities, chocolates, housekeepers). Someone is not doing their job if you are running out of so many things.
6. Be consistent with the amenities put in the bathroom. Someone needs to be checking the rooms to make sure that what’s left is appropriate (i.e.: facial bar for bath soap, no bath cap, different products on different days). If someone is checking they are not doing a good job.
6. Offer turn down service
7. Figure out a better way to police the pool for unwanted guests or just prevent them from entering in the first place.
8. Allow a reasonable late check out when requested. Even if you extend it by something as little as a ½ hour it would have been appreciated
I think that I’ve probably used up enough space for this review.. Yes we will be going back next year for the same convention (I'm not sure why they keep it there though). The room rates have been going up by $10 per day every year and after 6 years that adds up to quite a bit.
I’ll be glad to answer any questions just email me.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.