This is a beautiful, clean, and well-tended resort property. There are multiple pools on property, beach access, daily activities, terrace bar and restaurant overlooking the water, central location, and a friendly, accommodating staff eager to assist at every turn.
That is, if you book The Mansion - NOT the Village.
Both are highlighted on the website, which features a large hero photo of a wooden walking path meandering out to a secluded section of sandy seafront. This and the name of the property combine to imply that the hotel is a Mansion on the edge of the ocean. Which is only half true.
If you don't book the Mansion specifically, and are unaware there is a difference, you will find that your room is neither at a Mansion nor at the ocean's edge. It is, instead, a quarter mile down the road, across the highway, and a short drive (not a walk) to the beach. In fact, village units don't even enjoy access to the Mansion's private beach, either, making your ocean escape a shuttle ride away. Book accordingly.
Upon discovering that our room was not at The Mansion, as we had mistakenly presumed from resort photography, and a Google map of the property, and the NAME of the resort, we expressed our disappointment with a friendly desk representative who informed us that this distinction confuses lots people.
This revelation was, of course, at the moment of check-in, of little consolation to us, and even less consoling to our son who'd been eagerly anticipating frequent trips between the beach and the pool. The unit we had been assigned, we then learned, didn't even have a pool adjacent to it. Again - the shuttle would have to take us there.
The desk rep was very pleasant in explaining that all of these details are spelled out on the website. But that if you book through a third party service, which I imagine most comparison shoppers do, the difference between The Mansion and the Village becomes even muddier, as such critical booking details become even harder to find.
And that is the whole point to this review. We ended up paying a considerable amount more to "upgrade" to a room we thought we had booked at a much lower rate. I do not think this is a bait and switch necessarily, or intentionally deceitful, but one can't help but feel disappointed when expectations are so completely misaligned with the experience.
Yes, the resort is beautiful. The rooms were some of the nicest we've seen anywhere. The private beach was a few-minute walk away and very pleasant. And I've awarded it four stars on the merit of it being an exceptional property – but truthfully, I've paid less to stay at the Fairmont Maui. So, in terms of value for the money, I can't say we felt we got what we paid for.
One final note that soured our otherwise pleasant stay: the stated $25/day "resort fee" is a mandatory charge they tack on for all kinds of inclusive perks and activities, like pool access and "free" wifi (as it was advertised on hotels.com). I really wish these properties would be more transparent and just charge more for the room than bury these surcharges with meaningless terms like "resort fee." Yes, I understand these are fairly common in the industry...but it's not like you can opt out of them. So why not just add this cost to the cost of the room in the rate that's quoted up front so people know exactly what the true cost is going to be? Bottom line: You can't advertise that you have pools and beach access and "free" wifi as part of the package, and then tack on another $25/day at the end of the trip. It's dishonest.
But if you have the disposable income and only settle for the best, this is the place to stay near Brewster - no question about it.