on January 19, 2006
The tour group was already buzzing about this hotel before we arrived due to a radio story about how the Hilton had been downgraded from a 5- to a 4-star hotel. Needless to say, we were all a bit worried, having had at least one crappy hotel experience during our tour.We had absolutely nothing to worry about. Why this recently-refurbished hotel was downgraded, I’ll never know. The lobby was beautiful, with plenty of seating space, designed with a modern flair (we called them Star Trek seats), and also featuring a coffee bar. Just off the lobby was the dining room and near the front desk there was a small gift shop. The rooms were well-apportioned and featured outstanding tropical views of Trinity Bay. The staff was also very helpful and attentive. The business center was fairly large, and Internet access was provided at $5 for 15 minutes. (Though a quick walk up the street was an Internet café that had a price of $1 for 20 minutes, so use it only for convenience.)The pool access was from the third floor, until we realized that we could walk through the dining room. You needed your room key at all times to get you into the pool area. It was a large pool, spilling out over the edges, with a shallow end and a deep end that had seating around the side. Noodles for floating aimlessly were provided. But watch your head, the local birds liked to swoop down for drinks!Only twice did I run into any incidents. One day, our room didn’t get cleaned until very late in the day, which wasn’t a huge deal. On the day we went to the reef, we were told we could get towels to take with us at the front desk – for a $3 fee. You could take them from your room for free, but that was the day our room hadn’t been cleaned until late, so we didn’t have any clean towels to take. (The reef tour, by the way, departs at the dock just outside the hotel.) On a separate day, the front desk also provided us with umbrellas at no cost. Our breakfast was included, and featured the standard fare. The kitchen could also prepare omelets, etc. There was a lot of choice, and it was one of the better buffets we’d had. All of the shops and restaurants on the Esplanade were within easy walking distance, and the casino was right across the street. For a similar Saturday-Monday stay, rates started at $190. Breakfast is $30 extra. Though there are lots of nearby cafes that offered a breakfast under $10.It was a 5-star hotel in my book anyway. I wouldn’t hesitate to send a friend here.
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