Date of visit: May 25, 2012 to May 29, 2012.
On Site Reservation: The reservation process and the person I talked to representing the resort performed a perfect process. I was quite impressed.
Resort Check In: Check in was fast and somewhat efficient in speed. I did notice that the clerks may have failed to fully complete the check in process. I suspect it might be the computer screens that they have to work with because I notice that their faces seem to struggle with what was displayed. For example, we requested an upgrade if one was available but we did not know if we got the upgrade until we visited our room.
It would be more professional to have the hotel ask if small children are going to be using the room and if the answer is yes, put that family on the ground floor. We were given a room on the ground floor of a two story building. During our stay we had children run back and forth constantly overhead, most annoying.
Some hallways smelled musty.
Hardware items were loose such as inside bathroom handle, hot water knob, reading light base, fire alarm/sensor, etc.
Construction detail had minor deficiencies. The front door needed to be pulled away from the jam before I could apply the lock to the door. The door would latch but not the inside lock. To unlock the door, I had to pull the door away from the jam to unlock the second lock bolt.
A very common problem of most commercial hotels, and motels is there is no means to open a window to get fresh air. This resort also fails this item.
The bathroom seemed to have no venting and the walls and mirror fogged up. The bathroom was a decent size. I loved the shower because the shower curtain was curved out from the tub to allow better movement. The shower curtain was constructed to allowed one to see out into the room by looking over the opaque bottom two thirds of the curtain. The shower head was perfect soft and large spray. The hot water was available very quickly.
A very common problem with most large room hotels and resorts is the lack of enough AC outlets and properly placed. In our family, three out of four family members typically use laptops. We all like to run our laptops with house power. We found that our room failed to offer enough wall outlets:
- Power should be available to both sides of each bed. I had to run my power cable for my laptop out of the closet used for the coffee pot and refrigerator.
- Every room offers a very nice balcony or ground floor lanai but you will not find any AC power for your laptop.
The doorway to and from the outdoor lanai uses a sliding patio door. The bottom floor threshold offers a rather high metal plate about two inches high that one might step on or trip on. I tripped twice on it.
This sliding glass patio door offers a security latch that is attached with rivets which, in our room, were so loose that the door might easily be forced open.
In summary, it seemed that a possible pattern of deferred maintenance was in play because of the door and fire alarm problems listed above.
The menu selections are a bit strange in that there is a child’s menu and adult menu but not a teen or very young adult menu. I have two young adult family members; one 19 and the other 23 years of age. My son failed to see any menu item he liked on the adult menu and did not want to see the child’s menu. What was missing was hamburgers, pizza and sandwiches.
I had to ask for bread to be provided to our table and once it arrived, it was very good.
The adult menu offered gourmet items and the kitchen provided excellent delivery of those dishes. The portions seemed small but we were all very full at the end of the meal.
The service was good once the bread was sent to our table.
I signed up for a package deal where I paid ahead for 2 breakfast buffet meals, parking, and Internet while we stayed at the resort. A fantastic waitress, named Maria, served our table two times out of our stay of 4 days. When she looked at our voucher for two buffet meals she thought that was strange because there were 4 of us in the room. She made a call to some mysterious person and zeroed out the bill for us both days. For me, she was a reason to return to this resort again. I told her I would then on refer to her as awesome as per her request.
The Internet service was pathetic if not downright awful.
The room has a DSL modem box with a single Ethernet cable ready to attach to a single computer. I added a Macintosh wireless unit. I was not impressed with the resulting service.
The internet service to our room appeared to exhibit up and down speed but overall quite a low speed, even stalling at times. My son told me he could not download UTube videos. I tried to conduct an Internet speed test and the web site would not load. Then later I got it to work. Here the results of that test and I think these numbers were at the high point and NOT typical of the near standstill speeds we experienced most of the time.
- Download speed: 1.22 mbps
- Upload speed: .62 mbps
We were charged $14.95 for each day of Internet service but we never were offered any price reduction for the dreadful service when we checked out and paid our bill even though I complained about this item.
I tried Internet in the lobby area and I could not get my cell phone to work with Internet. Because the dates of our stay was during Memorial Day, the cell phone (T-Mobile) really tanked in performance too.
NOTE: We were told that the Internet and TV signal service was undergoing improvement. I was told that a new company took over providing both TV and Internet service. However, we can not accept unverified claims so we can not tell you that this problem has been taken care of.
I was very satisfied with the work out facilities. Treadmills and elliptical work out machines offer independent televisions on each of those machiines for your use. I just love diversions from the pain. The fitness room had a good selection of different types of work out machines, free weights, and other accessories.
Room and Support Service:
A very common problem with most every hotel, motel and resort is when a room accepts four people, the support items do not scale upward to support that many people. This resort falls squarely in the middle of this category.
We needed a large bath towel for my son and called for one. We were told it would arrive within 10 minutes. It never arrived.
One of the vanity florescent lights went out on the left side of the bathroom mirror. I called and a wonderful guy from engineering showed up and replaced the bulb within 15 minutes; very impressive.
The person(s) who clean our room seemed to be most efficient.
The television reception was pitiful. The image broke up into pixels quite frequently. Overall one could almost properly view the TV shows but the image break up was most annoying. The audio was always good. The performance of the large flat screen TV was very good. The problem was the signal to the TV was dreadful.
It is a terrific added feature of this resort to offer a place to buy fresh coffee drinks and small breakfast items. I rate this facility just OK. The reason is that I had to throw away my zebra “mocha” because the barista put only coffee and no milk in the drink. Our other drinks were properly made.
The smoky smell mystery:
Each evening we detected a slight smell of smoke in our room. Sea World is very close and they do offer fireworks each night close to 10PM, which might explain the smoke smell. But, we started to smell this faint smoke earlier. We now think that because the bay is on the west side of this resort that individuals use the fire rings at night and the smoke flows into the complex and reaches some rooms. The prevailing breeze is almost always west (ocean) to east (land). We are not sure about this.
My impression was mixed. I was disappointed when I first arrived because the place just looked aged and not kept up to my level of expectation. The room seemed small. Over time I acclimated to my surroundings somewhat. Our room cost over $300 a night and for just the room, it was vastly over priced. When you start to calculate the added offerings, the calculation changes. But not much. The wireless “service” added no value and was a very significant negative. The fitness center, on site restaurant, and wonderful location raised its score but one might argue that the price did not match value.