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“Exceptionally... Amazing... Fantastic...” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Royal Isabela

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Royal Isabela
Ranked #1 of 6 Hotels in Isabela
Certificate of Excellence
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Exceptionally... Amazing... Fantastic...”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 25, 2014 via mobile

Great customer service from A to Z. The staff made me feel part of the family not another guest.

Top notch experience...

Romantic = Royal Isabela

Ideal for a quietly romantic night full of great experiences.

Best hotel in Puerto Rico

  • Stayed June 2014
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Gerardo S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paolo R, Manager at Royal Isabela, responded to this review, October 8, 2014
Thank you for writing about your Royal Isabela experience! We always want to ensure that our guests have a wonderful and relaxing time in this beautiful and protected place. We strive to provide a serene environment where there is no room for worry, and where words like “stress” and “hassle” completely lose their meaning.

At Royal Isabela we promote a different standard of enjoyment for all our members and visitors. Visit us again soon for some more one-of-a-kind R&R!

The Royal Isabela Family
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

271 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (69)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 16, 2014 via mobile

The place is beautiful. The scenery is impeccable. The accommodations are pristine. Everything is 5-star except for the catch: their service. For the price and rating of the resort I had fairly high expectations. My expectations were met except for one major category. The personal service. They boast of service including complementary valet parking and being available 24/7. One of the concierge gentlemen was outstanding, Eric Rivera. He met is at check in, gave us a brief tour, drove us to our casita, and was very helpful with local recommendations for beaches and restaurants.

However, the rest of the staff left much to be desired. One of the bell men was asked to give us a tour of the golf course and the entire grounds. He spoke maybe 5 words to us the entire tour. It was very awkward. Each evening as we returned from the beach/city there was no sign of a valet and half the time there was nobody at their front desk. If they were there, they were behind closed doors and failed To ever greet us. Our car was just left parked in their driveway most nights. If I ever needed anything I had to knock on the door and wait like a schoolchild. It was not convenient. So I tried calling them on the phone when I needed something but had to wait 2 minutes each time for anyone to answer. One of the times I was given wrong information about their own resort! I asked if they had a spa to go soak in and they said it was by the pool. So we went to the pool...not there. I called from the pool and they said it was at the lap pool on the other side of the property in the fitness center. We went there...doesn't exist. They don't have one, or if they do, the person at the desk has no idea where it is. I have other examples of poor service we received but I'll wrap up the review.

The accommodations are amazingly comfortable and beautiful. If every bellman and concierge were like Eric Riviera, the resort would be incredible. But for the price and service received, it's not worth it.

Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
11 Thank Matthew B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paolo R, Manager at Royal Isabela, responded to this review, October 8, 2014
Thank you for taking the time to write such an inspiring review. We’re honored that your stay with us was everything you expected and more. It is our pleasure to ensure that all our guests feel like they’ve entered a welcoming and protected place. We intend to safeguard this natural sanctuary for future generations to enjoy as well.

We truly appreciate the time you took to write your kind review, and we hope you will visit us again soon!

The Royal Isabela Family
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pembroke Pines, Florida
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 14, 2014

I travel all over the World and have stayed in many beautiful resorts and have played in many beautiful courses. This must be right at the top of my list if not at the top. The service from the check in to the check out was top notch. The course is one of the most challenging and the most beautiful I have ever played on. I can't wait to go back.

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank JRS551
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paolo R, General Manager at Royal Isabela, responded to this review, November 20, 2014
Thank you for your wonderful and thoughtful review. Every guest who writes about their outstanding experience helps us renew our commitment to making Royal Isabela a unique and unrivaled experience, and reinforces our vows to keep it as a pristine and beautiful haven for all our members and visitors to enjoy today, as well as for the generations to come.

At Royal Isabela, we strive to be the ideal location for people who don’t just enjoy golf, but who also truly love nature and believe the principles of luxurious living can go hand-in-hand with a deep respect for the environment. We hope you will visit us again soon!

The Royal Isabela Family
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Argyle, Texas
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 10, 2014

Last year I took four business clients to Royal Isabela and it was a perfect 10 and I could not wait to come back. This year, I brought eight clients to the resort and it did not live up to the same standard. Don't get me wrong, Royal Isabela is the purest golf experience you will find anywhere, and the condition of the course was even better than last year. Here is where they missed the mark and hopefully this review will help them get back on track.

1) First of all we booked the trip 60 days in advance and everything was in order. A few weeks before the trip my travel agent reached out to the resort to iron out a few tee time details and we were informed that we could not play golf Saturday afternoon because they were having an memorial for the designer of the course. The problem is that we only had two full days to get all of the golf in we could and in the blink of an eye we were limited to three rounds of golf vs. four. Obviously at this point there was nothing we could do about it, but try to work around the event the best we could. I understand the memorial was appropriate considering the importance of the individual, however the gentlemen who the memorial was being held for passed away a year earlier, therefor they already had this planned and they did not mention it when we booked the trip. When you are spending this kind of money($25k) on a trip for clients you expect to get 100% out of it. The final concession was that we(all eight) would play until noon on Saturday, six would peel off and head out on a fishing charter and two would stay behind and play until 4:30 when the memorial was scheduled to start.

2) Come to find out when we got the resort we were informed that not only did they have a memorial at 4:30 on Saturday they also had a memorial golf tournament scheduled with a shotgun start at 9am. They then proceeded to tell us that we could only play nine holes in the morning and that the only way the other two players could play in the afternoon was if they joined in on the tournament? We were able to get them to let them play as planned, but it was not without significant attitude and very little customer service. In fact, Paul, the gentlemen that runs the golf portion of the resort, needs to get a better understanding of the importance of customer service and needs to be a heck of a lot friendlier to the people that are fortifying his weekly salary. It was like everyone involved with golf were pissed at us because they were having to work around us being there. Very, very irritating!

3) To try and help the conflict in the golf tournament on Friday I offered too pay the Caddies to get to the course early(7:30am) so that we could tee off at 8am and even though the Caddies were 100% on board with this play, the folks managing the golf course put the ca-bash to it without even considering the gracious option. Again, it was like we were such an inconvenience to them!

4) Some other things related to the golf side was that they were out of cigars the entire weekend, they had lots of golf shirts but were out of large in almost every single style/brand, they did not have enough cash to break a $100 bill both days, and the in 36 holes they had to replace the cart three times because they ran out of battery power.

5) In the restaurant, the first night we were given two menus(main menu & brick fired pizza menu) and we ordered from both. The second and third nights they would not let us order pizza and said it was because of the memorial event? They also ran out of CAB steak the second night....keep in mind the menu is fairly limited so no steak was a big deal. They ran out of several other key components of the menu as well, but can'ts remember off hand what they were. The food service was fairly slow and the quality of the food was definitely not as good as it was last year.

6) The rooms were fabulous but the first morning I carried one of the coffee cups up the restaurant while I was drinking my morning cup and they never replaced it the entire time we were there....? Not a big deal, but for a resort of this nature, this kind of detail is not up to par.

7) Overall the folks that work at Royal Isabela are not very friendly(was probably my only complaint last year). Stanley, one of the Owners, is very friendly and I hope he reads this review and takes it to heart because this clearly is a problem with the employees. Cuddos to the friendliness of Nelson(golf), Kelly(golf), Vanessa, Ileanna, and Ruben(Golf)....I am sure I am missing a couple more, but obviously these folks stood out to all of us!


Suggestion: Considering the sun rises around 5:30 in Puerto Rico, I would seriously consider starting tee times earlier than 9am.....7:30am or even 8:00am would be much more appropriate for a resort golf course.....a 9am tee time makes it very hard to play 36 holes with a foursome!


Despite the issues noted above, this resort is second to none in Puerto Rico....the course is unbelievable, the casita's are nicest i have ever stayed in, the main pool is very well done, the landscaping is perfect, and the overall experience was great. The bottom line is that the level of service was recognizably sub-par from a year ago and if the trend continues, they will not make it because this resort clearly relies on word of mouth. They need to be more flexible and understand that they should always put their customers first!

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
16 Thank pjl0509
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dallas, Texas
Level Contributor
16 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 9, 2014

The good:
We stayed in casita 4 and it was beautiful (everything was high quality). Perfect size bedroom, living area, and bathroom. The view and pool were absolutely amazing.

Areas for Improvement:
- The resort felt understaffed although we only saw 3 other couples our entire stay.
- Room service arrived room temperature at best. This resort would benefit from an additional restaurant on the property. The menu gets a bit boring.
- I had to call concierge multiple times before someone picked up the phone on our last morning when trying to check out.
- We got a golf cart ride to the path to the beach. The path is very steep. Going down was fine, but coming back up was a bit of a challenge. Also, we weren't sure if we should have followed the road at the end of the path or cut across the brush to get to the beach. We ended up cutting across the brush, but it would have been helpful to be given this information on the best route to take.
- There was also construction going on which was annoying while trying to relax
- The continental breakfast that is included consisted of various breads which they toast for you (mine came back burnt twice) a variety of homemade jams (which were excellent), cold cuts, boiled eggs, yogurt and toppings. An omelet station or something similar would have been nice.
- I know this is a golf resort, but families would benefit from beach services. Some amenities on the beach would have been nice: chairs, umbrellas, etc. without having to pay an additional $50 for setup.

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank QueenCreole777
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 4, 2014

I have no words to explain my experience at Royal Isabela I can only say it's a dream! Excellent Service,! Amazing food! Facilities in excellent condition! The staff is very attentive and friendly. I will come back soon thanks for the experience

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Sergio G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paolo R, Manager at Royal Isabela, responded to this review, December 17, 2014
Thank you for writing about your Royal Isabela experience! We always want to ensure that our guests have a wonderful and relaxing time in this beautiful and protected place. We strive to provide a serene environment where there is no room for worry, and where words like “stress” and “hassle” completely lose their meaning.

At Royal Isabela we promote a different standard of enjoyment for all our members and visitors. Visit us again soon for some more one-of-a-kind R&R!

The Royal Isabela Family
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 2, 2014

Overall, 3.5 stars (but rounded up). The views from the casitas are stunning, and the accommodations are beautiful (great bathrooms w/ waterfall shower). It was amazing to wake up in the morning and look out into the Atlantic. The private plunge pool was such a lovely amenity, as was the fridge stocked with drinks. Furthermore, my husband really enjoyed the back 9 of the golf course and his caddy, Paul. They really had a terrific time on the course. Also, Johanna made our last dinner very memorable by going off-menu and having the chef prepare Puerto Rican dishes and drinks - something the menu sorely needs!

However, the service really lacked. We expected a level of service comparable to a Relais & Chateaux property, but we continually had to wait extended periods of time for our food, drinks and assistance. There was also no turn-down service in the evening, and we weren't provided with our own golf cart for our stay (amenities listed on their website). Also, greater attention could have been made to the pool area, where I saw the same empty can of Pepsi by a chair and a straw in the pool for two days in a row. Also, the video misled us into believing that kayaking was an onsite activity, but it was really an offsite tour that had to be arranged.

Service must be stepped up in order to bring this hotel into a 5-star establishment. Also, we were surprised that there was no drink menu featuring fruits from the island & garden; I was shocked when I saw a frozen carton of daiquiri mix being used for drinks when there are beautiful fresh fruits available. The menu could also use some diversification; after 3 days of dining there, we were hoping for something different - and something Puerto Rican, for goodness sake! On another note, I ordered the lobster one night and unfortunately, it was served partially raw; at $35/lb, I had expected more. Being pregnant, I was definitely turned off by this. And after repeated calls to the front desk, no one would take our room service trays away until cleaning came by the next day - at 3pm. We even set them outside the door, making it easier for them to pick up, or at least notice!

Management really needs to work with staff in order to bring the level of service up to match the beauty of this resort. It's a shame there's such a dissonance between to the two - it really has the potential to be a remarkable spot.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Hillary K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Royal Isabela

Property: Royal Isabela
Address: 396 Ave Noel Estrada, Isabela 00662-3279, Puerto Rico
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Puerto Rico > Isabela
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 6 Hotels in Isabela
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Royal Isabela 4.5*
Number of rooms: 20
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Royal Isabela greets guests with much more than suite accommodations. Located just steps from The Restaurant at La Casa, 20 freestanding Casitas are true "little houses" designed for the ultimate in Puerto Rican resort stays. Each Casita encompasses 1,500 square feet of indoor and outdoor space and is sited to best catch Royal Isabela's stunning ocean vistas with minimal impact to the environment. ... more   less 
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