My thoughts on the Holiday Inn can be summed up by saying you get what you pay for. This was our second stay at Holiday Inn in two years. I love the location and you canít beat the value, but I think next year we may change it up, if our budget allows. I usually say who cares about the room, I am only there to sleep and shower, and while the bed was comfy, the shower was cold most of the time.
Here are some things that jumped out at me:
∑ Check-in is still slow and there really is no explanation for it, but who cares, youíre on vacation, start relaxing! Talk to other people in line, get ideas for what to do and see.
∑ I do not recommend all-inclusive here. We did it year 1, but not year 2. The food is below average compared to other places on the island. There are limited options so we found that even though we had pre-paid for our meals, we double dipped by going off the resort for better variety and flavor last year. We like to drink on vacation, but we actually spent less by not having all inclusive this year. For AI here, the only beer option is draft Balashi and house brand liquors. We brought duty free liquor with us and then purchased mixers and can beer and a small collapsible cooler for the beach.
∑ We booked through a 3rd party travel site, not Holiday Inn directly. We asked for a king sized bed at check in and were told they only had them in Superior Ocean View rooms which would be $50 more per night. This threw a red flag Ė good thing I had my paperwork Ė we paid for a Superior Ocean View room so what was the issue? Turns out Holiday Inn was going to put us in a lower room than we paid for. Had it not been for the double beds, we may never have known. Keep your paperwork with you and make sure to verify you are getting the room you paid for. The front desk staff took care of correcting the room assignment with no problem and we were satisfied.
∑ Hot water is hit or miss. Some days we just had to deal with cool or lukewarm showers. We called but they just told us to try moving the handle of the shower to the cold side then back to hot. We tried earlier and later, mornings seemed to be the hardest time to get a warm shower and we are early risers Ė Iím talking 5-6am so I canít imagine it was a volume issue.
∑ Good job to Holiday Inn for taking out the rain shower/mushroom thing from the adults only pool. It seemed to attract kids, this year we really never noticed children in the adults pool.
∑ Palapa sign up is now in the afternoon at 4pm. The problem is people start lining up at 1-1:30. I donít get this. What is the point of even getting a palapa if you are going to leave it in the middle of the day to go stay in line? This is not the hotelís fault though. I guess the only thing they could do is not allow people to line up until 3pm. I know I am in the minority, but I preferred the morning sign up Ė at least waiting in line then, you didnít ruin your whole afternoon. They also line up around the building, so there is no shade or chairs unless you bring your own. The old line went down the sidewalk where there are benches.
∑ Some of the palapas should just be removed. For example Ė Number 1 is bumping up against a watersports rental, you canít even get two chairs under it. There were others in odd locations but I didnít get the numbers. Number 2 view is completely blocked by watersports rentals and almost on top of the beach volleyball court Ė keep your head up here, but not as bad as number 1.
∑ There was a lot of seaweed on the beach, didnít appear to be cleaned or raked like some other places.
∑ The hot tubs are not hot Ė at all, not even warm really.
∑ Beach chairs are starting to get really worn. It appeared that some had been replaced, but they have a long way to go.
∑ Room was fairly clean, but could have been better. I did notice dust in the corners specifically the bathroom floor looked clean, but not as well as I would have liked.
∑ Beds are comfy, air conditioning works well. Sheets and towels are decent quality, not the best, but bright white and clean.