Travel operator: First Choice
welcoming, friendly and helpful. We were greeted with a fruit punch as we checked in, and some traditional dancers entertained us. The check in procedure was straight froward, the security safe key was given to us (free) along with tokens for our beach towels.
Our room was in block 35 which is one of 3 separate buildings surrounding a picturesque garden area located a 10 minute walk away from reception. There is an excellent regular shuttle service running 24 hours a day between this area and the main hotel, and transfer of our luggage was efficiently done by the bell boys using this shuttle as we travelled with them. There is no lift in these buildings and there are 3 storeys, so I was thankful for the 'bell boys' who also did security duties.
We had a balcony overlooking the pleasant gardens with a view of the lighthouse on the hillside in front. I suspect that not many rooms would have a sea view from here due to geography, and there are some unfinished (abandoned? ) accommodation buildings to the rear of this site which would not have been a pleasant view for those in the rear rooms opposite them.
The lighting in the rooms and indeed everywhere in the resort is low key, some would say dingy. We had 2
bedside table lamps each with 15 watt low energy bulbs and opaque (yes opaque ) shades fitted. This was the only lighting in the main part of the room. we had to resort to laying the lamps down if we wanted to do any reading, and we heard others had completely removed the shades ! We also had a problem with the wardrobe where half of the 'captive' coat hangers had broken off and most of the others were so badly worn such that when my wife hung up her dresses, they collapsed in a heap on the floor. This meant we couldn't unpack until maintenance had been to sort it, and the chap they sent (in common with all maintenance staff and maids ) couldn't speak a word of English. This delayed any proper action until we reported in person to reception (shuttle bus) and made ourselves understood. It was the following morning before we could hang up our clothes. It definitely pays to speak Spanish here - trust me !
We don't think there would have been much of a problem changing our room (which we considered) but we were near friends so stayed put. There really wasn't much storage space for clothes, three shallow small drawers on the dresser, two shallow small drawers in the bedside tables and wardrobe. The most useful stacking area was in front of the safe in the wardrobe, very inconvenient. There is also a refigerator and we got a bottle of water supplied each day to our room.
The air conditioning was VERY efficient in fact our room was like an ice box. The controls were such that if you wanted to have a quiet night and not have the fan start up with a loud 'twang' every 5 minutes, you either turned it OFF or you tweaked it to low temperatures to keep it running all night. We tried turning it off a couple of nights but my wife woke up bitten by something in the night.
The First Choice courier Anna Marie (excellent by the way) told us that you had to have the air conditioning
running to avoid being bitten by mosquitos. They dont like draughts or cold. We did after that search
our room and catch a couple of mozzies ! By the way the standard Uk 240v plug in mozzie killer we took
was useless as it didn't heat up enough on the 110v supply to make any difference. However the 'freeze
em to death' strategy worked and we had no more trouble even though it was chilly if you got up in the night. Funnily enough we all recieved a letter the following week stating that according to law, our
rooms had to be fumigated regularly. This was done on the day before we came home.
The building was just within earshot of the disco and you could just make out the thump of the bass notes unless the air conditioning was running.
Apart from this our room was a decent size, had a HUGE king size bed and the bathroom was excellent,
with a large shower , plenty of hot water nice modern wc , vanity unit with hair dryer. The water was
frequently discoloured, but wasn't a problem unless you rinsed out some clothing which became tainted a
There was a coffee making machine in the room, with filters and ground coffee - but you never got milk,
you had to buy your own in the shop. The TV had 27 channels, most in Spanish but there was BBC world and
CNN, and Deuche Welle (English speaking) available. A couple of subtitled english speaking film channels also could be found.
The room was kept clean by the maids daily, towels changed when you threw them on the floor and you got
the occasional swan design made from your duvet. They did sometimes forget to service the coffee machine
with filters and coffee etc.
The whole building and complex was very secure, with security men on site 24 hours, they were very
friendly happy people.
The main buffet style restaurant had themed nights e.g oriental, international,barbecue, Peruvian etc.
Some of the dishes may not appeal to everyone but there was always delicious soups, salads, pastas available. There was always a savoury rice in keeping with the theme too. I found that I could always find something nice even if at the first attempt I made the wrong choice. Beer , wine etc waiter service was at your table.
Tuesday night is in the open air (weather permitting) and you dine alongside the main pool whilst the open air show is performed in front of you.
Breakfast was good, you could get omlettes cooked to your specification whilst you wait, fried eggs, scrambled eggs, toast, pancakes, cheese, ham, rolls, preserves, croissants and something called 'oatmeal' porrige ? which I didn't try. The coffee was good, but the tea not quite so good (water wasn't boiling). Bacon was variable, some days you could rummage through and find a fairly lean crispily cooked rasher, which is how I like it.
You are allowed one visit per week to this restaurant. We found it better than the buffet for quality, and we thought we got good service on the Saturday night. However when we went on a Tuesday night we were treated like VIP's - the service was in a different league. I assume the quieter nights they have more time for you.
Handy on the beach for lunch. Hot dogs, Hamburgers, sandwiches - ham-chicken-salad with or with out chips. The chicken and the hamburgers were very good. You can even have a grilled steak or a chop.
in addition to drinks- and you got waiter service around the pool you could get a hot dog in the
Situated right next to the beach, you walked just a few yards from the pool area to the beach. Plenty of
shade, plenty of sunbeds and a nice clean beach. Drinks available at the beach bar and waiter sevice
along the beach. There is a beach shop for clothing mainly etc (no bartering) .
All beaches in Margerita by law are public beaches, which means that even sitting in front of the Dunes
you will be approached by beach traders selling necklaces and souvenirs. There are lots of them, but if you just say no they will respect your privacy and not bother you if you do not wish to purchase. If you
do decide to show interest, you will be expected to haggle, the first price they will ask is $30 for
something you may well end up paying $7 for. Be aware that if you don't give them exact change they will
try to do a deal for more sales rather than give you change. Be ready !
The sea is quite rough with a very strong undertow. It is NOT safe for swimming. Waist high is about all
you will manage without risking being dragged out to sea.
La Mantaraya Bar
is the bar behind reception, which we didn't use too much despite its popularity. It was too hot for us
relying only on natural ventilation. We also had a problem with the service, which for us was poor. At times there was only one man behind the bar - with a long queue of people wanting complicated cocktails mixing. A bit irritating when you only want a beer. I think tipping was the key to getting served here.
They had Karaoke here on Mondays Weds and Fridays, I believe.
La Cubos - Music bar
Was well chilled temperature wise. In fact many people walked in, stopped, shivered and walked out. We liked it because it was cool. Because we were early birds , leaving by 11pm we never found out if it livened up, but it always seemed pretty empty. Van Dexter was the resident group appearing 3 times a week. They were good, but wasted on an empty bar.
Up to 9-30 pm it was childrens entertainment, always seemed the same. Come up on stage and do the
birdie song, time warp. Agadoo , Hokey Cokey.
Later on for the adults the Entertainment team tried hard miming or dancing to some background music, it was different every night and they did dress up well and have a different stage setting to match. I liked the African night if only for the music and the wooden elephant covered in canvas on wheels which they pushed alongside the pool whilst fire eating. I was dying for it to catch fire and for them to push it in the pool, but it never happenned. Full marks for trying, but it certainly isn't top class entertainment.
We only used the main very large pool which is L shaped and about 50 metres along each leg. It is about 4 metres deep on the deep side running down to about a metre in the corner of the L. The water is always kept clean, even to the extent of a man snorkelling with a long net to clean the bottom. The temperature is lovely too.
There are plenty of sunbeds and if you want a cushion you have to hire it at $1 per day. You can take this to the beach if you later move. There is plenty of shade available if you need it.
What you cannot avoid are the loud pool games , pool aerobics to very loud thumping music which goes
with it ! When the activities team pick up their microphone tweak up the amp to 110 decibels and say " Ok we are totally ready to RRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR...... (Ruin your peace and quiet) , you may wish to use your earplugs. However lots of people like this sort of thing and the shallow end was full of happy bouncing people.
A few people noticed red spots appearing on their legs etc when round the pool, and it took a while to realise these were insect bites. Whilst there are lots of black ants about which are harmless, we suspected tiny red ants and one or two flies as prime suspects. They are no big deal, dont hurt and wont spoil anyones fun.
You could either use the booths to either side of the reception entrance, tell reception what number to
dial and they would connect for you. Calls to the UK cost about 50p per minute. You could pay as you go
or put it on your room number. Better still , if you give them an imprint of your credit card they will
enable you to dial abroad from your room. The price is exactly the same =50p per min to the UK, no extra
There is an internet room, cost was about
Travel operator: First choice
The Hotel was very large a huge complex with a small open bus to ferry guests around. It was fairly clean and the accommodation was average. It would not be classed as a four star hotel in Europe due to the decor and cleanliness however the more I saw of other Hotels and local establishments, the better the hotel began to look.
The staff however were exceptional and could not do enough for you, they were extremely friendly and I felt they genuinely wanted you to have a good time.
The rooms were noisy and very dimly lit. The beds were huge but often our sheets were not big enough for the bed and they ended up in a lump in the middle. The pillows were extremely hard and lumpy. The shower was big enough to hold a party in and there was plenty hot water.
The food was absolutely fine and was entirely edible.
Entertainment, well forget it, dancing on a theme, same dancers each night looked like same dance, different costumes. Not for us, very poor. Karaoke was in Spanish and we couldn't join in. Lots of Venezuelan timeshare families there that seemed to love the karaoke.
Location was on the beach. We wouldn't go again it was a bit too big and noisy but we did have a good holiday.
Travel operator: first choice
Our room was (I think) a junior siute as we had a kitchenette with a fridge which stocked daily with 2x 1 litre bottles of mineral water, the air conditioning was a wee bit noisy but very welcome.
The staff were wonderful and always helpful, the location was right on our own beach with a small beach bar and a very good lunch restaurant. The entertainment for us was poor as we didn`t much like the nightly shows, the karaoke was very dissapointing as was the Disco. The Music Bar was cool and had live music on twice a week.
The food, on the main, was excellent as the hotel do `theme` nights I.E Italian/Mexican/Caribbean/Seafood etc, they even had live musicians most nights in the main restaurant.
The pools (3 in number )were clean (the small round pool did have too much debris in it as it was too close to the trees) ,the main pool was very large indeed plus they have a kiddies pool with a play area.
The hotel was always being cleaned or the gardens kept in trim. All in all we had a brilliant time there BUT it was just too hot for my wife.
Travel operator: Hayes & Jarvis
Found large pool to be clean and well used. Small pool was dirty. Gardens well tended.
The hotel was right on the beach front. The beach was very clean and un populated.
The lunch resturant on the beach was great.
Found staff to be helpful and polite.
Evening entertainment was generally poor.Good fun at poolside during the day.
A la carte resturant was good.
Beauty salon was good value for money.
Very good value for money hotel - would recommend.
Travel operator: First Choice
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