Sorry but I have to disagree with most of the positive reviews of this place. It has some lovely features (which we enjoyed) but overall, I felt we'd been taken by the hype. The website makes it look and sound like a posh resort. We don't usually stay at places like this, typically preferring smaller, more midrange guesthouses, but we thought the splurge would be fun for a few days. This place did not meet our expectations.
Here are the positives: Our villa was wonderfully spacious to the point where we didn't know what to do with all the space; the rooms and beds were comfortable; the games room up near the restaurant was a hit with the kids, especially the pool table; and the view from the pool really is spectacular. The pool itself is considerably smaller than I'd expected but it was very clean and well-maintained, and I think it may have been a saltwater pool. The front desk staff were friendly and helpful and spoke very good English. The kitchen in our villa was immaculate and we were thrilled to be able to make our own coffee early in the mornings.
On the downside: This place was completely out of sync with our expectations based on the (outdated) guidebook write-up and the resort's website. On the lake side of the road, where there used to be a restaurant, a pool and lake access, the pool was green and had a tarp over it, the restaurant closed at 5 pm each day (so no dinner), and the beach was all pebbles and no sand, and skinny, with no dock or other pleasant way to get into the water or sit at the beach. Apparently you can rent kayaks for $10/hour, but that's a total rip-off given the price you are already paying for the room, and most other places along the laguna offer kayaks to guests for free. We were a family of four, so it would have been $40 to go out for one hour; we didn't do it.
On the other side of the road, the rest of the resort seemed to be in the process of being rebuilt/improved, and this is where our villa was located. The villas are all built into the side of a mountain, with the restaurant and pool near the top -- quite a hike, or you can ask for a ride. The food selection at the restaurant is minimal and unexciting after you've been there 1 day. There is no wifi at the pool or restaurant or in the villas -- you have to trek down to reception for that. A suggestion would be to offer wifi at the restaurant area at least.
But I think what gave us the worst impression of all is that it seemed a bit like a ghost town....like a place that had once been grand and elegant, but had gone steeply downhill and been deserted, and was only starting to come back to life. Our villa was nearly the size of our home, a massive place for four people, but there wasn't even anywhere to sit on the main floor except at the kitchen table or on a stone bench built into the wall (with no cushions on top). It actually echoed. There was a locking armoir in the bedrooms, but we didn't have the key. There are full kitchens so you can cook your own food, but only if you had the wherewithal to pick it up first in Granada; the little "supply shop" at reception didn't sell anything that we could imagine transforming into dinner. A cab to Granada is $20 each way, which is an expensive method of grocery shopping (and it turns out that another resort down the road can get you a cab for $10 each way). The warm water showers were a nice luxury but the setup of capped wires springing straight out of the showerhead would terrify most electricians. Most of the taps everywhere look like they need replacing. The rooms had no screens, no mosquito nets and not even any ceiling fans, so you were obligated to shut all the windows at night and use the air conditioning (and as a result, our rooms had a distinctly musty smell when we first entered). A shame because the nights were actually pleasantly cool and breezy.
A lot of these problems are things we would normally never even notice or care about, given our typical preference for more "backpackerish" places. At $30 or $50 a night, I don't mind paint and drywall splotches on the tiles, uncomfortable furniture, trekking up half a mountain to dinner every night, or looking out on other villas whose roofs have caved in. But at $137 (what we paid, including taxes, for a 2-bdrm.), I do mind. I definitely expected better.
I think this place has a lot of potential, and I hate to write a review that will discourage people from going, as it does have some good points. I just think it's overpriced for what it's offering right now as it rebuilds.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thanks so much for taking the time to write a review. I appreciate your frank and honest comments.
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In regards to the lakefront area, restaurant and pool, this is not part of The Villas but is owned privately so we have no control over the condition. You are correct in stating that The Villas are in the process of being improved. We would love to have ceiling fans and screens in all units and hope to do so in the future but at this time, this is available only in our Deluxe villas.
Just to be clear, there is a truck on site that will take you up and down the hill in the event that the walk is too difficult. We also offer roundtrip transportation with our private van to Granada, twice daily, for $10 per person.
Unfortunately, Wi-Fi at the restaurant is not possile due to the jungle surrounding us as reception is not possible.
I am sorry you felt the value was out of line with your expectations. It is our goal to meet and exceed expectations and we are working hard to do so. We hope the next time you are the area, you will stop by and see our progress.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.