Travel operator: Thomson
On arival the first thing you notice is the building site, leading down to the main reception gate. Don't be put off by this as you soon realise the sheer scale of this hotel, and that there is no chance of any interuptions. This is without doubt one of the biggest hotels I have stayed in. To walk from the reception area to the beach could take you a good ten minutes. If the Mexican heat was taking it's toll there were golf buggies you could hitch a ride on.
The hotel is kept very clean, with cleaning staff apparently on hand 24 hours a day. The same can be said of your room, cleaned every day and the mini bar re-stocked without fail. The rooms were modern in style with a large bathroom, walk in shower an seperate toilet along with a Jacuzzi style bath (which the kids loved). Two double beds, hard but comfortable, with a 2 seater sofa and walk in wardrobe. The room comes with a balcony or terrace area, and a seperate insect cover for your patio doors. The room had a 26 inch lcd tv, but be warned limited choice for English speakers, couple of english film channels.
The food was great, but repetative, they seem to carter everything for people only staying 7 days, in the main this was the case as most of the guests were either American or Canadian. You could not fault the quality of the food, fantastic steaks that filled your plate on their own, good choice of salads and vegetarians were well catered for. The food however could sometimes be luke warm. For kids each evening was the same, burgers, hot dogs, chicken nuggets and sometimes pizza and french fries. The nights were as in most all inclusive resorts themed, the chinese night was especially good, and if you fancy something different on Mexican evening you could try Chicken with Mole! Lunchtimes again were good, various pasta dishes and more kids favourites. Scattered around the hotel were hot dog carts, and on the bar areas around the pool were ice cream machines. Also located around and about were coffee containers, and in the evening there was a boozy coffee stand, which drew many admirers for the flaming alcahol being pored onto the coffee and cream. If you wanted freshly prepared snacks like burgers etc, the American Sports bar was available 24 hours.
The hotel was situated on a nice stretch of white sandy beach. The sea itself was surprisingly choppy at times, and the walk in is dodgy if you don't own a pair of beach shoes, as it is very rocky underfoot. As you walk in there is a shelf so be prepared for a quick drop of a couple of feet or so, once in you can walk out some distance before the water gets waist high, also the area for use is marked in bouys so no fear of going to far. Another good point about the hotel is the number of life guards, they were everywhere. If you enter the sea in front of the lifeguard station and continue out 30 or so yardas there are some great snorkelling areas, with plenty of colourful fish, while we were ther turtles also came onto the beach.
The pools are large and very warm, with jacuzzi pools place around the site. The deepest pool depth I came across was 4ft so not to bad for kids, but steps were not that common so you had to heave yourself out. One complaint with the pools was that because of the size of the place some areas would not get cleaned that often, resulting in grass and some suicidal insects left floating. Around the pool during the day would be mainly adult activities such as beer drinking contests and Tequila Volleyball.
The staff were always smiling and helpful, and also very laid back. Felix and Javier who worked in the pool bar around the main activity pool were great fun, and always made the kids laugh, if you like your cocktails then a Felix special can be recommended as well as a Banana Monkey (Baileys based), beer was Corona, very nice, if spirits are your thing all the well known brands are there, not just the local stuff.
The Animation team were an energetic bunch, always on the go.They tried their hardest during the day but at times it was just too hot to be messing around out of the pool. The evening entertainment is again on a weekly loop, so if you see it all in week 1 you may be slightly bored in the evenings during your second week. The Animation team put on shows, which in the main were miming to pop hits or Broadway songs, but the Grease show was good. In the main plaza most nights were traditional Mexican bands and a trio playing a selection of easy listening material, great Sax player.
I would definitely visit here again, but probably without young kids. There is a kids club, but again the activities seemed to be the same each day. we were supposed to be going to the Holiday Village at Cozumel, and this was offered as the next best thing, but it fell short in that area.
We did the Dolphin trip, however 4 of us through First choice it was going to cost just under $900. Instead we went to see the tour operator in the hotel, Best Day Travel. Here we got the Dolphin Experience and all day in the Cancun Wet n Wild WaterPark for $360. Be warned though if you do a dolphin swim or experience the cost of dvd or pictures is high. We had the dvd this cost $60 and lasts only 9 minutes.
Our time here was enjoyable, but the hotel was only half open, with numerous resteraunts shut due to staff shortages post swine flu. Also despite being only half open and 40% populated the resteraunts did struggle to keep up with demand at times. It would be intersting to see how it would cope if all 1500+ rooms were open.
Travel operator: First Choice
Travel operator: Thomson
There where numerous resturants all of which where good, breakfast was again good with a wide selection.
All drinks where international brands, i.e smirnoff. In the platinum lounge I even got bailey's and budwiser.
The pool areas again where large and clean.
Entertainment in the evenings was ok (kids enjoyed it) but was repeated in the second week.
The beach was nice and you could collect lovely shells etc from the shore.
All in whole we had a lovely holiday and I would recommend the hotel to anyone.
Travel operator: First choice
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