Stayed at La Source for two weeks Nov/Dec 2010.
Sara and I do the Caribbean every year at this time and have the same holiday spec :- Adults only All inclusive, previous destinations include :
Aventura Spa Palace Mexico
Secrets Excellence DR
Sandals Cuba (x2)
Sandals St Lucia
Galley Bay Antigua
Arrival by BA service from Gatwick North, tedious 2 hour stopover in Barbados, BA cabin crew are some of the most unfriendly in the industry (IMHO).
Pick-up from airport in Limo, 5 mins transfer to resort.
Check-in simple and within 10 mins we were in our room (2202) which was to be our home for the next two weeks... bags arrived within 15 mins.
Room spotless, good clean bathroom with toiletries and loads of towels (including beach towels replaced every day), coffee maker, radio/alarm, NO telly (who needs one?), safe, Iron and board, balcony with sea view – all great!
(most rooms have sea view, but NOT those on the ground and first floors of block 2... 20?? and 21??)
Daily maid service did a first class job.
Turndown service and distribution of newsletter with tomorrow’s activities.
Grounds immaculate, well maintained, on-going work every day whilst we were there...
Main lobby bar opens around 6 in the evenings... area where the entertainment plays at night. Some waited-on table service and efficient counter service.
Beach bar opens at 10 in mornings, open all day and closes circa 2100 when Oscars beach restaurant closes... if Oscars isn’t open then the beach bar closes at six.
Piano bar – variable opening times, mostly shut whilst we were there... see later.
OSCAR’s beach restaurant, open for a la carte lunch every day from 12:30.. usual stuff (burgers, kebabs and grills – they do a great fish and chips!)
Open most nights (weather permitting) has to be reserved at customer relations... I was able to get a table whenever I wanted one, even booking on the day....evening menu to suit all tastes.
GARDEN ROOM, Open daily for buffet breakfast and they have an egg station for your fries and omelettes etc... more than enough to keep you going for the day....
Open for lunch daily from 12:30, buffet lunch, different theme each day (Oriental, Mexican,Barbeque,English roast on Sunday... salads, soups and hot stuff.......) Sweets and puddings to die for!!
Evening opening variable according to occupancy (closed most evenings whilst we were there)
GREAT HOUSE, (the reverse side of the garden room) – open for a la carte evening meals, waited on service and they’ll leave the bottle of wine on your table! Menu to suit all tastes.
DELI BAR, open for breakfast but never tried it... serves lunches (sandwiches, paninis etc) Afternoon teas including sandwiches, cakes and scones/jam and cream! Drinks: teas/coffees/chocolate/smoothies... NO alcoholic drinks.
We found this to be bit "hit and miss" – good salads, great breakfasts, buffet usually well-stocked with some tasty soups and great desserts... We were more disappointed with the a la carte restaurants in the evening... I don’t know what they do to their meat (including the chicken) but by and large it was overcooked and utterly without taste... I had a loin of lamb one evening that I had really been looking forward to, but it certainly didn’t taste like the New Zealand lamb that it was advertised as.
Fairly small, approx 100m from end to end, 20 m from tide to hedges in front of block #1... plenty of loungers, some in a bit of disrepair, limited amount of palapas/tables which get "booked" very early in the morning with towels/books etc.
Not enough lounger cushions to go round.
The hotel has created an artificial "lagoon" from Oscars which goes out about 20m and along the front for about 70 yds to the water sports shack – acts as a good wave break and in this area the sand slopes away gently so safe for swimming/snorkelling... there are loads of fish that will come up to you in the water, they love to be fed bits of bread!
Loads of drink rounds from the beach bar throughout the day and very welcome! "Flag in the sand" service also available.
Non-motorised water sports including Hobiecats (x2) free and we were even told that you can do some waterskiing for free...
Lively pool area, again, plenty of loungers with cushions, most with shade, but once again the "prime spots" are claimed early in the morning...
Pool water not refrigerated and at a good temperature.
Again, plenty of drinks given out during the day and there is a "help yourself" facility next to Oscars. (tea/coffee/water/lime squash)
On the whole efficient and polite. Very few, however could be described as happy or friendly... pretty dour in the main with only a few exceptions...
Shirley-Ann (nice!, nice!), always a star....
Devon (who made our beach dinner memorable)
Kevin (pronounced KEEvin) – he’s lively!
All members of the activities team (they work to get you going!)
Special word for the general manager Mr Adolf, he’s all over and very happy to listen to guests’ opinions... he’s only there for a few months more before a new GM is appointed.
One included every day... some very pleasurable, some that the guys might not appreciate (facials, hand/foot massage)... you are given your "timetable" on arrival, but you can try and negotiate some alterations if you’re booked on an excursion etc.
Again, by and large I found the staff to be fairly "stand-offish" and attempts to strike up a conversation led to one word answers most of the time...
As in many other AI deals, the "top shelf" stuff is limited... in particular Baileys, which Sara likes at the end of an evening....all too often it was "unavailable" when we knew that there was a bottle under the bar... NOT acceptable.
Decent house wines available.. no need to pay for the more expensive stuff
Plenty for everyone, starting with Tai Chi on the beach at 0700, activities every hour for those that need them.
Also a fully equipped gym, a library of books, board games, a TV room and internet access via 3 free PCs.
Nightly, mostly local bands (steel drums, Keyboard, Vocals, horns)... One night a disco (a bit too loud)... all in all it got a bit "samey" and by the end of the first week we often found ourselves crossing to the other side of the pool to sit in Oscars lounge area to have a quiet drink. This was OK, but with the beach bar closed it meant a bit of a trek every time we wanted a fresh drink.
1) Rationing of premium drinks.... as mentioned above... NOT acceptable
2) Lounge bar only facility open in evenings...they need an option for those who just want a quiet evening
3) Staff should try to be a bit friendlier
4) Lounge bar closes promptly at MN... no chance of a late drink
5) They need some WC facilities down by the beach bar
So, all in all a great holiday and one that we’d be happy to repeat. Probably won’t go back for a few years as there are still some islands that we haven’t been to, but it’s easy to see why they get so many repeat guests (one couple we met were on their FOURTEENTH visit!)
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