I read every review from this and other sites and vowed to write my own when I got back. I went there with my boyfriend - we are both 25 years old from Massachusetts. We both travel a lot and I have a 5-star timeshare in Cancun that I was comparing it to - and I shouldn't have.
Food: The buffet had a lot of variety - probably not good for people with severe allergies - breakfast had an omelette station - only had bacon one morning - cream cheese one morning - plenty of fresh fruit, always eggs of some sort, sausage mostly, Juice is good. I'm not a coffee drinker but heard people complain that they had this great coffee machine in their room but was almost impossible to get the coffee itself from the hotel staff. Lunch was better for me down by the pool - snacks like nachos, chicken wings, pasta, fries, and also a variety of daily specials - burgers cooked to order. Up top the food is very authentic so if you're not a picky eater you might like that as well. Dinner at the Italian restaurant is GREAT - order 2 entrees though. The white wine in the restaurants is so much better than bars. Very accommodating - only supposed to go there once, but we went 3 times. Oriental restaurant is very good as well - but TINY dishes and the "Hibachi" is just for show - they don't actually use it. False advertisement. Make as many reservations as you can for the restaurants - push for more than 2. The dinner buffet was hit or miss - they have a theme every night (Italian, Asian, Mexican, Seafood, etc). They only had ice cream one night. No room service for non-club members. No food after 9pm - after getting back from the club/bar we were hungry - buy some snacks in the shop ahead of time. Drinks at the bar are brand name - some said they were watered down but I don't think so. Tip them first $1 and you're set for the night.
Room: We got put in building 14 the first night - it was OK but there were tiny crabs everywhere in the morning - in our room. We ended up switching to building 20 - I think it was the best one there - good view, spacious and renovated room, and there were howler monkeys in the trees right outside. Make sure you ask the staff for comfy pillows otherwise you'll be stuck with these huge firm things that give you a stiff neck the next day. Shower was great - AC worked great - TV was great - ironing board and hair dryer - make sure you ask for more water every day from the front desk or they will only give you 2 bottles the whole week. It's all inclusive - you just have to ask for what you want (more beer and water in the fridge, more comfy pillows, coffee).
The Grounds: We took the shuttle to and from the lobby all the time - it comes promptly - makes it very easy. The stairs to get up and down to the pool are a workout. I got it down to a science though - I would get a ride up to breakfast, take the stairs down to the pool, eat lunch by the pool, and walk up the path in the back instead of going back up the stairs to my room. The beach is quaint - didn't spend much time at all down there. Pool is where the action is - volleyball and always enough chairs.
Atmosphere: There was a good variety of age and areas of the world people were from. However, this is not a spot you want to go with if you're single and looking to mingle. It's couple's haven. Kids were there but only like 3 - and there's not a lot for them to do. We met a ton of couples and had a great time with them. There are weddings there a few nights of the week too. The Coati are so cute and sweet - they are like timid dogs. They love to eat fruit and pretty much anything you feed them. You can't really pick them up or pet them - but don't be scared of them either - they won't bother you - they are cat like and adorable. I let a few in my room to eat an apple.
Excursions: We only went on the Jungle Tour through CAT (Central American Tours) - where we took an hour ride in an AC van to the river and then got on a boat and went around the river to see the lizards, birds, crocodiles, monkeys, and bats. We didn't see any Capuchin but the next day's tour did - bring a banana on the tour (they say you're not allowed to, but do it anyway) and the Capuchin might come on the boat to get it from you. Worth the money - but the ride back was long. We heard that zip lines were great but one woman at our hotel did it and crashed into the tree and had to have her ear sewn back on - so just be careful.
OVERALL: I wouldn't go back but I'm super picky - it's a cheap price for what you get - just go with the intention of making the best of things and you'll be good. If you're not as picky as I am, you'll love it. Either way, It was a great vacation and I don't regret going there - saw Costa Rica and had a good vacation without breaking the bank. Recommendation: only upgrade to the Club package if you're a big drinker - that's the only perk - top shelf liquor - but it's super expensive to upgrade so if you're not that obsessed with what you drink don't upgrade.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.