This was our 10th visit to this resort. Last year I wrote a review giving the experience 3 stars. The year before the experience was so bad I couldn't even bring myself to write a review. We returned because my husband loves the casitas and the bar, restaurant and pool staff provide outstanding service. This year we returned for my 50th birthday and, as a surprise, some friends joined us.
First of all, our concierge, Charlie, was the best we have had. She was friendly, helpful and not pushy. We don't want a timeshare as each year, we don't know if or when we will be able to go and eventually we plan to buy our own apartment. She brought it up and then left it alone.
We had 4 casitas in the same section which the resort arranged last minute. Charlie also managed to arrange dinner reservations for all of us for all nights on our first day. Last year it was an argument to get any reservations that weren't at 6:00 for any restaurant on any night for 2 people.
On my birthday, 2 days after arrival, we had an amazing dinner at D'Italia Casitas and were given the private dining room for which I was very thankful. Our group can be loud and would not be appreciated by other diners! We are from different parts of the US and Canada and rarely get together so it can definitely be overwhelming to others. Our server was Silver and he was clearly a seasoned server. He took excellent care of us mainly by himself. The manager of D'Italia Casitas, whose name escapes me right now, was excellent! He could easily step into any 5 star restaurant. He worked very hard to make sure we were happy and comfortable. The whole staff came in at dessert and sang happy birthday. Amazing birthday dinner.
Upon returning to our room that night, there was a birthday cake made out of towels and flowers and rose petals all over the bed and floor. The whole day made for the most amazing birthday ever.
Because our casita was the only one on the ground floor, the entire group often ordered lunch to our room from room service. Again, overwhelming for staff but they all handled it with professionalism and a big smile.
I can't explain to you how fantastic Fecundo and the other bar and beach staff were. They never missed an opportunity to make sure we were all taken care of all the time.
The casitas themselves have all been renovated since our visit last year and they have been beautifully done - especially the bathrooms.
I was still only able to give 4 stars in this review because of a few small things which may or may not be important to others. Firstly, upon checkin, they still asked us if it was our first time there. Issac, Fecundo, Juan (at the front) and other bar and wait staff know us by our first names and welcome us like family each year. I have joined the returning guest programme, twice. And yet, the casitas check-in can't figure it out. Secondly, we ordered breakfast from room service on 6 mornings. It was only correct once. Always close enough that it's not worth complaining about. It's always been like this and we expect it. Finally, housekeeping is hit or miss. We received fifteen conditioners over the course of seven days while one of our friends received none. Maybe they were trying to tell me something! One night we didn't receive turndown service. We also did not have a book in the room with resort info, tv channel guide and room service menu. Of the four casitas, only two had books. We shared when we had to, but after so many visits we made do with memory.
One last thing, when we checked-in, we were told we would get free wifi as a birthday present. Upon check-out, we were charged for it while our friends we not. After some explaining back and forth, the wifi was removed from bill.
All in all, because of this year's service improvements, I will return again and will recommend to friends. Every year, whether it was a good experience or bad, the bar staff, wait staff and others have been beyond reproach. Our issues have always arisen from middle management. Everyone really went out of their way to make this entire week, not just my birthday, very, very special.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.