The word that comes to mind with the hotel is weird. Enough that we made a list during our stay:
- When we arrived around 12:30pm the two men at the front desk seemed confused to see us and even more perplexed when we handed them our reservation confirmation from Booking.com. We were told to sit after being handed a welcome drink and cool towel and eventually one guy came over to show us to our room, #206, a garden view suite. No explanation (or apology) was given as to why they were confused.
- I emailed them the day before our arrival and asked them to make us a dinner reservation. I got a polite reply back that I should ask the front desk when I arrived the next day. This was a clue as to the attitude during our stay. The same reception guy looked completely put-out upon this simple request and asked if I had the phone number. He waited for me to look it up on my phone, then called for me. Fast forward to the next afternoon when I asked a young lady at the front desk to make a dinner reservation for me and she tried to charge me 5,000 rupiah for a phone call! What? After I told her I wasn’t charged for the call yesterday, she reluctantly agreed to call and this time I had the number ready.
- Along with our room key, we were given a towel card to exchange for two towels with a note that lost towels would be $20 US (how very Cancun of them) and a breakfast card with a warning that we would not be served breakfast without it. In fact, the card was checked each morning. Upon re-checking the website, all room rates are supposed to include breakfast so I am still a bit baffled as to why that was necessary?
- There are drink offerings on displays at the bar for around 50,000-65,000 but all the drinks listed in the proper menu book are 80,000-100,000. Happy hour is 25% off drinks and starts at 5pm – 6pm. Of course, there is a 21% tax and service charge added to everything so it’s really a small discount.
- We had several clothes items laundered and even though a service charge is added into the price, the delivery woman stood around in our room expecting a tip. This delivery also happened after the front desk called and asked us to pick up our laundry. Sigh.
- Notes in the room requesting no outside food be brought into the resort (unless it was room service).
- After laughing at the prices the hotel was charging for diving, we hired a guy with a traditional fishing boat on the beach to take us snorkeling. The resort wanted over twice that amount for EACH of the locations we visited.
The grounds were rather nice, and the exterior of our room was quite Balinese.
We found it rather odd that the front door didn’t have a latch, so we couldn’t keep the front door closed without locking it. At least the space between the door and the ground let our resident gecko outside to sun during the day :) The room itself was fine, spacious with a separate closet area, though a bit shabby looking and an odd layout. Also worth noting that the wifi signal was weak in our room, and is really only good in the lobby and pool area.
When we booked we knew the entire bathroom was outside, and this was as weird as we expected. You could seriously get a sunburn sitting on the toilet between 3-4pm, plus, you can hear your neighbors toilet flush or shower running because the bathrooms are clustered in the middle of four separate rooms. I don’t mind an outdoor shower, but I think this feature could have been designed better. Oddly, the door to our bathroom was more sturdy than the exterior door.
Each morning we had breakfast in the outdoor restaurant, and it was pretty good with several hot buffet items, some pastries, fresh fruit and an omelet station. Once again, it did not compare well to the other hotels we choose on this trip.
On our first afternoon we also tried the pool bar for a juice drink and cocktail plus a margarita pizza. The pizza was really cheese and sauce with a crazy thin cracker-like crust but it tasted okay; we stuck to happy hour cocktails and went out to in-town restaurants after that though.
This place was the top-ranked in Candidasa and while the basics were okay, we felt like the owners were a bit cheap and that the staff were constantly looking for tips, unlike every other hotel we stayed in on this trip. I doubt we would return.