We just returned from a wonderful stay at Iberostar Grand with another couple. I have never been so spoiled! By far, the friendlist staff from top to bottom that I have ever encounterd. Always asking how you were doing, if you needed anything, and always with a smile.
ROOMS: The rooms are large and have plenty of storage. The porch has a sofa and coffee table, and a large wicker swing seat that is so comfortable you could nap in it. The mini-bar is stocked with sodas, water, beer & small wine bottles, along with mini liquor bottles. It is all complimentary, and just let the butler know what you want more of or less of, and they will stock it accordingly.
POOL AREA: The pool and beach areas are beautiful and so well maintained. There are 3 pools, with the infinity pool at the end toward the beach with a swim up bar. We LOVED the bartenders at the swim-up bar, especially Sentillmen (the gentleman), Keifer and ONeil. There are always 4 or more bartenders, and they all have their own tropical drink specialty. Just ask them for something good, and they will take care of you. The drinks are NOT watered down, in fact, they are usually pretty strong. We especially liked Sentillmen's Wicky-Wacky-Woo, and the Jamaican Smile. But never had a bad drink. Staff also come around in the morning with mimosas and iced tea, and take drink orders all during the day.
The "Star Friends" staff make sure there are things to do all day long, if you want to. They are the hardest working and sweetest young staff you will ever meet. Get to know Stella. She is a riot! Activities are going on all day long, starting late morning with water aerobics. They vary from day to day, but include dance lessons (with a steel drum band one day), wine & cheese tasting, darts, horse shoes, football toss, volleyball, bingo and yoga. There are 2 ping pong tables near the towel shed, and there were several lunch buffets set up out on the beach (every other day). Also by the towel area, they have all kinds of different sunscreens for you to use, and you will need them!
The pool chairs do get reserved early, but mostly the ones in the sun. But there are plenty of chairs all around the area, and if we had to do it over, we would have gotten ones in the shade, because we all got a little too much sun by about the third day. It's best to get your sun while you are in the pool or on the beach, and have a shady spot to cool off for awhile. The sun is strong! The pools are never overcrowded. They are all large and kept just cool enough. They also bring out a big trash can filled with those swimming noodles for the pool, which are great for just floating around on. So get your sun that way, and don't get burned like we did.
BUTLERS: A BIG thank you to our amazing butlers, Denston and Kevin. These guys took such good care of us! If you need something, just ask them. An example: I got the above mentioned sunburn. It was the burning and itching kind, and was driving me crazy. I came out of my room to go to the shops to see if I could find something for it. Denston asked how I was doing, and when I told him about the sunburn, he said to just wait in my room and he would see what he could find. He came back with a new bottle of after-sun aloe gel, and told me it was complimentary. Later, Kevin brought me up about 6 more water bottles (to keep hydrated), and some hydrocortizone cream for the itching. By that evening, I was feeling much better and I couldn't thank them enough. (Hint: bring hydrocordizone cream 1% along, just in case. It saved me from that awful itching!).
RESTAURANTS: The 4 specialty restaurants take reservations 1 week in advance. You can email email@example.com to send in your requests.(Use this email to direct your questions on anything. They even hooked us up with transportation to and from airport for $40 each way). Restaurants are small, so reservations fill up fast. We ate at the Surf & Turf, the Italian & the Japanese restaurants. There is a dress code for these. Men have to wear long pants and collared shirts. The Surf & Turf was our favorite, both for the food and the service. The steak there was so good! If you can't get reservations, the 2 buffets are amazing! Actually, I think I prefered them, as you can go on your own schedule and they have EVERYTHING you could possibly want to eat. Or grab a plate and take it to your room. And all of it is good! I especially loved the jerk chicken. Also, they offer 24 hour room service, which is also really good. You can leave your breakfast request on your door at night, and it will be delivered on time in the morning.
NIGHTIME ENTERTAINMENT: The staff have nightly shows in the theater that begin around 9:45. One night, they had a pirate party on the beach. There is a disco, a karake bar (at adjoining hotel), game room with slot machines, pool tables, a cigar bar, and the lobby bar, which usually has a guitar or piano player.
TIPPING: While it isn't required, these people are working hard and they deserve it. Best advice we got was to bring a hundred one dollar bills, and maybe 10-20 five dollar bills. American money is totally acceptable.
BEER: Very limited selection. Red Stripe & Red Stripe light are the beers of choice. It's actually pretty good. They also have limited amounts of Miller Light, Guiness & Heineken.
WINE: Ok, so this is our only issue (though not a big deal) but...the wine selection is not very good. For reds, Merlot & Cabernet. For whites, only chardonnay. My friend likes sweet white wines, such as Reisling, Pinot Grigio or Moscato. They have NONE of these. This led to an issue we had on our last night at the Italian Restaurant. We asked our waiter about wine choices. He asked if we'd like to see a wine list, which sounded great. They didn't have what we were looking for, so my friend asked if maybe they had a white zinfindel (since they do have mini-bottles of it in the room). He came back with a red zinfandel, and we just said fine..we would both have that. At the end of our meal, he hands me a room charge bill to sign for $50. We asked what this was for, as we had never been billed for anything our entire stay. He said it was for the wine we ordered off the wine list! He never told us that those wines were not included, and he apologized for not making that clear, but still charged us. He seemed new, so we didn't want to get him in trouble and just signed for it. But we did tell the desk staff when we checked out the next day that we didn't think it was right that we were charged for this, but they just apologized for the misunderstanding. SO..be warned. If they hand you a wine list, those are NOT free!!
Overall, this is an incredible place to stay! Take advantage of what they have to offer, and get to know the staff, because they make this place special.
Rooms on the 3rd & 4th floors have great views. Lower floors may be slightly blocked by palm tre...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.