I just got back from a week at this hotel and will give you an honest breakdown below.
Very easy and pleasant. The girl behind the front desk had a big smile and an equally big personality. She made check-in and out a pleasure.
The hotel consists of five stories – four stories of rooms and the fifth being the roof top deck. None of the rooms have a decent view so don’t plan on getting a higher floor for a better view, it simply isn’t there. The roof top deck is beautiful and does have a decent view. Unfortunately, it is never used. It is set up to be used as a bar/restaurant; however it didn’t function as such while I was there. Pity! We did make use out of it on our last day by bringing a few beers up from the beach bar and sitting in the pool while watching the sunset.
The rooms are nice and clean. They are sparsely decorated with only a bed, two night tables, and desk. The desk contains a bar fridge complete with two bottles of water, nothing else. This water is not replenished at any time during your stay. If you need more water, and you will, it is available at either bar, most of the time. The room did not have a foldy-suitcase-rack thing to set your suitcase upon. This meant I had to unpack, fortunately, the closet was quite large. There is no clock in the room – I had to get wake-up calls for early morning excursions. The balconies are a decent size with two faux wicker chairs and a table. The bathroom was nice but small. The shower was tiny and at no time had hot water; it was room temperature at best. The water pressure was lousy – I have more water pressure… The toilet paper felt like #30 sandpaper. When you have tummy issues, and you will if you stay here, you will be wishing you brought a role or two from home.
The beach is long but only 40 feet wide (I measured it). It is an adequate size, for the size of the hotel during low season. I had no problems getting a chair under a palapa. The beach is full of mosquitoes and sand fleas at all times of the day. I wore Deep Woods Off and still managed to get hundreds of bites. Although unsightly, if you take Benadryl, they won’t itch. Just off the shore is the most beautiful reef I have ever seen. I still can’t get over how much living coral there was. You don’t have to stay at this resort to access the reef as all the AI hotels in this area have access to it.
The hotel has a gentleman on the beach working as security. He takes his job very seriously. If you don't want vendors bothering you, he will ensure that they leave you alone. When you go into the ocean, he watches your belongings like a hawk. I have never felt so comfortable leaving my belongings unattended.
Food and Beverages
Though the hotel and Sunwing claim that this hotel offers an all-inclusive plan, I will assure you they do not. Breakfast was four chafing dishes of crap with very little fresh fruit on the side. It was served from 7-9 am, however if you got there after 8am very little was left and nothing was replenished. Lunch (12-2 pm) and dinner (7-9 pm) were pretty much the same story. The food was brought to the service area cold, and then warmed in the chafing dishes. If you got to the restaurant early you had plenty of food but it was cold – if you got there later, it was warm slim pickings. I have worked in the food safety industry and know that their failure to maintain the food at an adequate temperature can lead to food bourne illness. I suggest it was this practice which was responsible for making everyone at the resort ill.
When I finally tired of fighting for what should be included, I began buying my lunch and/or breakfast at one of the a la carte restaurants. For the most part, the food is reasonably priced and shockingly good. I am shocked because all of the food at this resort comes from one kitchen. Clearly, someone back there is a decent cook. It is a shame that their efforts were not realized in the buffet.
The Sunwing ad suggests you get 1 buffet at the Buffalo restaurant (which no longer exists) and 1 a la carte per week. The hotel staff informed me that a la carte was not part of the all inclusive plan. It was only after complaining to them, their general manager, and the Sunwing rep that they begrudgingly gave me one a la carte. The Sunwing ad also suggests you get snacks. Snacks here are typically a plate of tortilla chips, left uncovered on the beach bar for the flies to enjoy, once per day. No food is served anywhere on the resort after 9:30 pm.
Beverages are 5 varieties of local beer and a slim selection of hard liquor – there is no Baileys or Kahlua or any other liqueur included. The “house wine” which is the only one that is included, and then only 2 glasses with dinner, is some pink concoction which nobody enjoyed. Alcohol is only served until 9:30 pm.
Again I complained to the Sunwing rep about their food and beverage service and she commiserated with me before telling me that one of the advantages of this hotels crappy AI plan is that I can go to other resorts near-by and pay for lunch and/or drinks. If anyone understands how this is an advantage, please let me know as I am still a little befuddled.
The day we left, Sunwing ushered most of the guests out of the hotel at 11 am to catch their 3 pm flight. As the airport is dismal and only a half hour away, a group of us decided to find our own way to the airport. This allowed us extra beach time and some lunch before our flight back. The general manager found us waiting for lunch in the buffet restaurant at 11:50 am. He had a few words with his lunch staff and coincidently, the chafing dishes were not out on this day until after 12:30 pm.
Most of my complaints are really quite minor. I could easily overlook them and would otherwise gladly return. However, to me, the biggest advantage of an AI resort is that you have no worries, if you’re hungry there is always food available, if you want a drink, name your poison and someone will be all to happy to pour it for you. It isn’t the case here. I ate very little buffet food and quickly tired of drinking the swill they pass off as alcohol. I feel like I have been swindled by both the hotel and Sunwing. I will neither return nor use Sunwing in the future.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.