My best friend and I try to meet once every two years for a special vacation and this was the second time we used an AM property (my 3rd time). Due to busy schedules and living in different states we can only manage to stay for 5 nights. So, needless to say, every minute counts. I'll start with the extremely irritating points first...
We had booked an ocean view, Jr suite in the preferred tower. While we were being escorted to the preferred tower for check in we were advised that the resort was "maybe 20% full." This was just FINE with us. Our next point of contact was Johann at the preferred tower. He assigned us a Jr suite on the 8th floor. The wonderful bell man showed us all the room features, etc and as soon as he left we noticed the room was very warm and the balcony was a partial ocean view with the ocean facing wall being solid. There was no breeze on the balcony, it felt closed in and added with the warm temperature in the room we decided to go right back downstairs, talk to Johann and request a room change. We were advised there were no other available Jr suites and there "might" be one open "tomorrow after 1pm." We spoke to a supervisor and were told there were upgraded suites available for $300+ additional PER NIGHT or we could "downgrade" to another room with no mention of any type of refund. We were disappointed but decided to wait on the "possible" available room the next day. We decided not to unpack or get settled because we were pretty sure they'd move us. This was close to 5pm. We went back to the warm room and decided to make the best of it and wander around a bit and have dinner. The place was EMPTY! And that's not bad! We loved it. No waiting, no lines, maybe 2 other couples in the restaurant where we had dinner. Certainly got plenty of personal attention wherever we went and our pick of any seats in any restaurant, at the pool and beach. The next day at about 3pm we were assigned another Jr suite on the 6th floor and it was a HUGE difference. Glass walls on both sides of the balcony, a more available ocean view and ac that was icy cold. We were so happy to unpack and get settled. My thought is, the place was empty - we should have been moved immediately even if it was to an upgraded room at no cost. We were not seeking an upgrade, but were certainly not happy with where we were placed. One night out of five - over. It could have been so much better and nicer and sadly it slightly soured my experience and certainly my feelings about Johann.
Now the good stuff. The staff was awesome! So sweet and attentive. Especially Alejandro at the pool. He met me by name every morning, prepared my chair and brought me a cold bottle of water before I even opened my book or applied sun screen. I decided I wanted to parasail and one of Alejandro's beach server friends, Martin brokered the deal with the parasailing company and saved me about $20. Very sweet. I loved my flight.
Beach vendors are very pushy. Best way to deal with this for us was to stay at the pool. I can see how it would hinder people from loving any true beach serenity.
The restaurants were great. My favorite was Himitsu (the Japanese restaurant). Great show at the table and very fresh food. Loved the French and Oceana as well. Buffetts were so/so for me. Much preferred the cooked to order meals. Room service was FAST and accurate. Secrets box is a great touch.
Beautiful lobby with amazing views and very comfy chairs. Sat there almost every night after dinner and met some really nice people to chat with.
Very laid back, chill vacation.
I felt no pressure to tip, but we did tip almost everyone. These men and women work so hard and in low season (is June low season?) I was more than happy to spend a few dollars to show my appreciation.
Like I said, close to perfect. Not 100% sure I'd return after the room hassle situation, but time might heal that wound. :)
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Romantic. Refined. Remarkable. Located on the golden sand beaches of the Pacific coast within walking distance of the famous El Malecon boardwalk, this vibrant oceanfront resort provides adults 24/7 access to amazing nightlife, non-stop entertainment and Unlimited-Luxury(R). ... more less
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