We went over July 4 weekend to celebrate my daughter's 24th birthday. Since it was a holiday weekend, there were NO discounts offered & the room was EXPENSIVE!! I will say, though, that the lady who helped me reserve the room was as helpful as she could be & said, while she couldn't offer me a discount, she could (and did) bump me up to an upgraded room.
The room was very nice & well decorated. The balcony was HUGE...largest I've ever seen, below a suite level...and the view was spectacular. The in-room fireplace was gorgeous & our room was chilly enough that the fireplace actually felt nice (in July, no less!!). The bathroom was quite large & clean. The bath products were wonderful & I intend to seek out the brand. The beds were not very firm, but not unbearable. I never, ever sleep well away from home anyway. The only real complaints I have about the room were the shower & fridge. The shower did not drain well & we had to wait a long time for the standing water to drain before the next one could use it (3 women...so you can imagine how long that took!). I couldn't finish the HUGE portion of food I received at the sports bar at lunch, so I carried the to-go container back to the room, to save for later. I was disappointed to learn that the refrigerator they had advertised in the room was one of those "honor bars" and there was NO way to put something else in there. Everything edible in the room (except two bottles of water) were on sensors, so we didn't dare budge them, because you are charged if the sensors go off, whether you actually consume it or not.
The only restaurants we ate at were the sports bar & Mika (for breakfast). The staff was very friendly, but terribly understaffed & frazzled, trying to adequately & timely serve everyone. Still, they are to be commended for their friendliness. The breakfast was quite tasty, as was the sports bar fare, though I made the mistake of not realizing how spicy the green sauce on my burrito was, and...oh, ouch!! If you like spicy food, it will be a delight, but be forewarned, if you don't. Still, it was tasty enough to make me want to soldier through the pain.
Now...the main reason we went...the casino. It was not the worst experience I've ever had, by a long shot, but it was just average, at best. They had very few of the really popular games, & the ones they did were frequently occupied. They didn't pay out very well at all. I held my own, but my daughter lost money hand over fist. The reward program is VERY stingy, so I didn't get the normal satisfaction of at least knowing some of our losses were being recouped in comp points. I will say, however, that they do drawings for prizes very frequently, so that was pretty exciting, though we never won. :-( I was disappointed at the beverage service. If you wanted anything to drink, you had to get up and get it yourself, as it was highly unlikely you would see a cart pass by.
I do need to give props to the nice lady running the liquor store. She was so pleasant and friendly, it was a delight to interact with her.
We were going to go swimming, but our first attempt at the outdoor pool was met with a pool chock full of kids (I don't blame the parents, as there was really NOTHING else there to entertain kids). Later, it began raining, so our second attempt was met with all of the same kids, packed into the indoor pool, including the hot tub (couldn't you at least have left THAT for the adults???). Also, the floors in the dressing room (which you had to go through to get to the pool) were absolutely covered in water. I understand that is a hard thing to constantly patrol, but it was definitely a slip and fall hazard. I will say, though, that the outdoor pool is GORGEOUS at night...the lights change colors & there are flames on top of the canopy thing. It's nice to look at, even if you don't use the pool, so be sure to check it out.
Overall, it was not an unpleasant experience, & I want to give the resort its fair due. It is a gorgeous facility & the staff is friendly, but for the HIGHLY overinflated price, you would expect just a little...I don't know...comparative amount of "extra special." I could have gotten the same experience at a LOT cheaper hotel. With as much money as we left in hotel room cost and in their machines, they should be offering their guests the latest machines, at a decent payout, and an "over the top" experience.
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- Hilton Santa Fe Golf Resort & Spa At Buffalo Thunder Hotel Santa Fe
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