We are regular yearly visitors to the SRLM,and there are always slight changes to the hotel and things seen round about each year.
The best booze was found at the Luna bar. Mares had the cheaper versions apart from vodka.The Luna pool being out of action during our stay the bar was somewhat quieter. They have set up a serving hut for the pig roasts near the Mares pool. The new manager has kept up the tradition of the last one and makes his presence all around the hotel at most times day and evening. However, we did not see much of the catering manager doing his rounds and the catering is slipping a bit in so much as we always dine late of the evening and encounted cold soup once and a couple of times when the main roast had run out it was not replaced with anything else. I did complain on the second occasion to be told "It is Finished". Normally they would replace the missing item with say a large cooked fish,and on the second time of complaining they put some fried fillets of fish out,but you could have got this from the grill anyway. We did see a couple of people taking samples of all the food on display at the buffet eagerly being watched by the catering staff and could only assume that some long awaited checks of the same are now being carried out. Also, this is the first holiday there that we heard no complaints of sickness and the trots.[Cannot spell diarrhoe'e]. As it was low season a lot of the staff were on short time and we did not get to see some of our old friends [Nicholas,Roald and others] Rene who used to regularly serve at the Nina bar left at Christmas .Speaking of the Nina bar, we often like a couple of pre lunch beers and the first time we used it this year it came in the plastic cups. The following day I went up to the Mares bar and took a couple of glasses down to drink out off. The message seems to have got through and by the end of the same week they had a small supply of glasses for the sots like the wife and I.
The sand has come back to the Mares end of the beach and you can get to the headland without wading ,as you had to do for the last two or three years. We saw a Slipper Lobster on the Oro reef but no small sea snakes this year. A large snake [Boa?] was seen on the rocks at the Mares end of the beach,but I only got a glimpse of part of it. A chap got a video of if it and he estimated its length as about 8 feet!.
We never register as returning guests,but it was surprising to see that a lot of the guests were returning visitors as they have a different coloured wrist band.
The Mares pool was very regularly cleaned and tested every day ,and the Mares bar furniture scrubbed clean from top to bottom on a weekly basis.
On the whole the hotel still comes top IMHO for price for what you get.