Hi all. I have lurked round this forum for a while since just after we made the decision to treat ourselves- My wife, self and nine year old son, to go to Beaches T&C.
You can't imagine my horror at the negative comments I read here just after booking it..... to say we lowered our expectations is an understatement.
Well now we have been and having just got back we can say this, if I could afford to go again next year again I definitely would- no question. In over 20 years of overseas holidays this has without doubt been the best yet.
Any negative things I can think of are really minor quibbles.
We flew BA from LHR to PLS- about a 12 hour flight including the stop in Nassau, great flight, good films and service, literally flew in.
We stayed in a "basic" Turquoise Deluxe Room- 281 if you need to know. Its probably the furthest out room from the main reception area, but it was quiet, and not a problem. (apart from one night when some guy next door locked himself out of his room and proceeded to shout on his obviously sleeping child who must have been left alone in the room, to open the door!- we joined in the shouting eventually it was quite funny! Why he did not just go to reception and get another key I have no idea- it struck me as dodgy leaving a youngster alone in the room though)
Room was very nice- it had a fridge (empty- when everything is included not sure why it would need to be filled anyway- you can go get anything you like) and was nicely decorated. The cleaners visited twice a day- once to tidy up then again in the evening to turn down the beds- they usually changed any dirty towels again then too- without us asking. They were very friendly and courteous and room was well kept. The plumbing was a bit dodgy, the toilet needed to be unblocked twice while we were there, not sure why- but don't think it was anything we had done that blocked it. In both cases it was sorted very quickly- once without us even reporting it. Anyone who complains about these rooms has never been to Greece!
Restaurants- no major complaints other than the naff "casual/elegant" dress codes in Sapodillas and the French place. As a result we never ate there- I don't go on holidays with long trousers and shoes (yes I do own trousers- we don't all wear kilts all the time over here!) I don't like French food much anyway so no great loss. The only two issues with food we had was-
The desserts never change- its always some sort of cake thing- and whats up don't they eat cream with these type things over there?
And the service was a bit slow in Arizonas a couple of times but there was one very nice waitress called Maria who was very good. That said there was no rush so slow service just meant you went to the bar a few more times! Otherwise food was excellent, we found there was quite a lot of variety and it was of a good standard.
Bars- great- no problems getting served ever. There were even ladies who served drinks all the time on the beach, and some days cold towels!
Beaches and pools were always kept tidy by a squad of guys who remove cups, towels and rubbish all day long- you can get towels each morning at a booth, from trolleys or on some li los at some pools.
Our son had a great time at the kids club which appeared to cater a little more for kids a wee bit younger than him in most ways but he still had fun there, he loved the xbox oasis (of course) and I have to say I had a few shots at Project Gotham 2)- OK more than a few look for a profile called Kenny, its about half way through the game. This place was good for getting out of the midday heat.
Activities: the pools were well kept- anyone letting there kids puke, crap or otherwise dirty the pool and it was immediately closed and cleaned, OK its a pain to find a pool closed but I think the complaints would be greater if you ended up ill. Blame the parents of the kids who made the mess in my opinion.
The beach activities were good- pedaloes, kayaks and wind surf boards as well as dinghies and snorkelling all free. The Diving was good if a little conservative at times but I guess dealing with a lot of inexperienced divers they cater for the majority so I just went along with it- when its "free" its hard to complain.
There were always loads of games on somewhere too- like volleyball aquarobics etc.
Any other Complaints- Don't like getting hassled for tips, and this only happened by the guy who collected us from the airport to take us to the resort in a rather clapped out old van, when you have just stepped off a long haul flight and don't have a lot of the local currency in small denominations on you its a pain for someone to turn round and hold their hand out and ask for a tip. No one in the resort ever looked for a tip though I was tempted to give one a few times as some of the people workingthere were so helpful, but I rarely had any money on me anyway.
Some eejit at the kids pool opened a bucket of pool cleaning powder which got blown up and over everyone near him, me and my family included, this led to a rather unpleasant hour of initially choking, then coughing and stingy eyes. It was a stupid thing to do but it was an accident in the end and we lived- some one will probably sue but live an let live I reckon hopefully he won't do it again.
So that was us- I would love to go again just don't know if we can afford to, yes its not a cheap holiday but I don't think its any dearer than a Room only then pay as you go arrangement you usually seem to get over that way. If i went again I would not bother paying more for a French Village room or a suite, I could not see what the attraction of these was- you spend so little time in the room anyway.
I have stayed in various places in Florida, reputedly 4 and 5 star and also Atlantis in the Bahamas, and Beaches wiped the floor with them all in our estimation- Atlantis was great but stupidly expensive- and in every case you were always being chased for tips which I hate- if I want to tip I will but don't expect to be hustled for one even when the service is "normal". I hope this wee write up helps someone else who might be having doubts.
The only thing that would hold me back other than money is that I usually like to go somewhere different every holiday- if anyone knows anywhere comparable to this place let me know!