On arrival at the hotel in the rain, we were initially very disappointed as we felt it didnt justify the high room rate we were paying ($185 inc taxes for half board). Given that we still feel it was vastly overpriced we did enjoy our time here. It is set right on the beach with a gate to keep the beach sellers away although they do still call through the fence and try to attract your attention! The pool staff were very helpful and attentive and there seemed to be plenty of loungers available - most comfortable ones are around the pool! The room was of adequate size and had a nice terrace. There was a safe in the room and a fan but no mosquito net. The bathroom was fine but could have done with some renovation.
We are keen snorkellers and were pleasantly surprised by the quantity and size of fish in the swimming area just to the right of the hotel. We were persuaded to go on a "catamaran" out to the rocks to the left of the hotel but there really wasn't anything extra to see there and wasnt worth it. Our highlight was swimming with 2 huge leatherback turtles just off the beach!
Breakfast and evening meals were both buffets and very pleasant with lots of choice. The waiting staff and reception staff were also very attentive and helpful.
There are some tourist shops along the road outside the hotel (mainly to the right) but it is worth bearing in mind that it is a main road with no pavement so you do need to take care. There are always tuk tuk drivers out the front as well who can take you whereever you want. We were fortunate to meet one called Aloha who was an enterprising young man with his own scrap book to show us what was availlable in the local area. His English was really good and would thoroughly recommend him - you can't miss him, his tuk tuk has Aloha on the front and back and he is a lovely young man. He took us to the turtle sanctuary about 25 mins away but was happy to stop and let us take photos and tell us about the Tsunami memorial etc. As we had been away for over a month and our laundry was building up he also took us to the local laundry to get it done as we were having trouble finding one and hotel laundry was very expensive!
One of our complaints about the hotel was that they did not seem to make any effort to control the mosquitos. Having come from Bali where hotels spray regularly to try to keep the mosquitos down we were surprised by the number of mosquitos everywhere. As wifi was only really available in the reception area, everytime we sat there we were bitten quite badly despite wearing repellent. We did ask for our room to be sprayed each night which was done and seemed to help a little. I know mosquitos are a fact of life in tropical climates but when you are a mosquito magnet as I am it is really annoying.
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