Stay 24/03/12 – 03/04/12 – La Perla - Room Royal Service
Having read the posts before we left we know the first thing you want to know is: Is it worth it. Answer, Oh so very definitely YES,YES,YES. Okay, so you don’t need to read more, but here is what we thought.
A bit of background first. We read the trip posts, having booked directly with the hotel at Xmas, only two months after opening and three months before we left, (we even had a contingency to fly off to America if it wasn’t what we expected). Nothing could be further from those first slightly negative posts we read, this hotel is going to become very popular if it keeps up the service we experienced. I hope the following gives you a balanced view; I’ll do it in themes, as it will be a longer review you can skip to the bits of interest to you:
Access to hotel. Yes it is through some housing (at the moment) but there are new in roads being built, this really isn’t a problem (it’s only an entrance to a fantastic place at the end of the day!), anyone who has visited the Far East, Thailand etc will see this as normal, it’s a small town, with open fronted shops. We really couldn’t see a complaint here at all . The complex is so completely quiet and set back you won’t notice this at all once you are ‘installed’.
Reception / Butler Service. We were taken to the separate Royal Service check-in by golf cart, the check in was slick (all the normal credit card/ passport checks) and we were welcomed with a glass of sparkling wine by one of our butlers, Karen. Some nice touches here, the wrist bands for Royal Service are in a wooden bracelet style, the fact that our suitcases were already in the room and the way in which Karen explained the layout and what they could do was good and not over exaggerated. We had had a 20 hour day travelling, arriving about 6pm Mexico time, so we ordered room service, it is very good and came promptly. We had it again after a trip to Chitzen Itza, also a long day (13hrs) and again it was very good.
We didn’t use our butlers too much, mostly to book our restaurant reservations (see eating later), and I wanted gin in the mini bar, which they arranged, the standard setup seemed to be Vodka, Dark Rum, Tequila & Jack Daniels, with lager, coke, sprite, juice and bottled water in the fridge (restocked daily), there are also two small 300ml bottles of water each day in the bathroom (brushing teeth). They offered to unpack/pack for you, press one item of clothing per day (although the room also has an iron/ironing board) and you have access to a mobile phone to contact them at anytime. For us, (we don’t like too much ‘fuss’) the contact was just right, they found us once a day around the pool or left a voicemail to see if we were okay. We are sure that they would pick up on, and know, the level of contact that would suit you.
On two nights we came back to our room to find the bath already run with rose petals and bubbles, on another, a towel swan was on the bed. On checking in we were asked if we had any special occasions during our stay, as it happened my husband had had his birthday in the few days before we arrived, on one night we came back to find an individual birthday cake and a bottle of cava, completely unexpected and a really lovely touch.
Everything they said they would do was done.
Room Facilities. WOW, WOW, WOW, a spacious room with a large, two basin bathroom, large bath and double rainfall shower, closed off with sliding screen doors that can be left open or closed. Separate toilet. Two double wardrobes, one of which contains a room safe, (slightly larger than normal hotel size I would say, I could put our IPad and similar sized items in it easily. Set of 4 drawers and a then one under each bedside/tv table.
The bed (ours was a US King size) is soooo comfortable. We asked for feather pillows, but you can have a choice including aromatherapy, foam etc.
There was also a sitting area with sofa and coffee table, the entire decor is very nice and contemporary. The balcony had a further Jacuzzi bath, two chairs and small table. A TV and IPod dock are also in the room. (No clock, but alarm call available on telephone). The only slight criticism is that there was no English room directory, so knowing all of the useful background stuff, i.e. about wifi use (it’s free), or if the restaurants use filtered water (it is) wasn’t quickly readable, but the butlers know all of this and if you can read Spanish you’ll be ok.
Restaurants. On our first morning we walked around the complex and looked at all of the menus, we then booked the first five days with our butler, booking the further five a few days later once we had an idea of what we liked. Without fail the food is fabulous, being royal service we used La Palapa for breakfast and some evening meals, but we also ate in Vento, the Grill (the salad bar is scrummy) and had the buffet in the main area for breakfast on a couple of occasions. The food is top quality gastro/top class bistro style and very well presented, the choice is excellent.
For lunch we mostly had a snack around the pool, again, you could choose from the La Palapa menu, or from the other poolside menus, you could also go to the buffet or have sit down, but we tended to eat lite, sharing a club sandwich, wings or ceasar salad, etc (there were also chicken and beef burgers, nachos etc).
Staff. Staff really make this hotel and couldn’t be nicer, nothing is too much trouble. Those that stand out are Arturo and Emmanuel, poolside bar and poolside concierge service, who didn’t stop all day and who have to be singled out for simply the best customer service. They also pay great attention to detail (look at the way in which the pool beds are laid out and cabanas made up if you go). They have a really good grip on the royal service area, several times we saw them quietly but firmly turn away guests that weren’t in royal service.
The staff in all of the restaurants are really friendly and will often greet you by name, considering the size of this hotel, it is something that you would find in something more boutique. During the day you will often be greeted with a hello or how are you – allowing you to engage in the amount of conversation that suits your personality.
Landscaping & other areas. Considering how large this complex is, you wouldn’t know it was only opened in November 2011, the plants are beginning to become established, and the landscaping is very well done, they are obviously taking a great deal of trouble over these, it is nicely lit at night and we particularly liked the boardwalk to the beech through the fauna. (Some posts have been critical of this as ‘you can’t see the beach’, the natural environment adds a nice break between the hotel and beach. There are beds and sunshades on the beach if you want to use them.
The pool, with its bali benches (loungers sculptured into the pool) and swim up bar is very nice and not overcrowded. There are plenty of loungers with cover around the pool, but the cabanas do get taken early.
All of the general areas, bars, lounge sitting areas and walkways are very nicely appointed with good furniture and decoration. They said they were 92% occupancy during our stay, but everywhere felt open and spacious.
Are there any areas to be improved? You would have to be very very picky to say yes, and we wouldn’t want to, okay, so one morning I order just scrambled egg and it came with the bacon as on the menu, sometimes the waiter would leave the tea pot and other times they would come and fill your cup for you, once we didn’t get turndown .... Is that a complaint, I don’t think so.
To end, we think that if it keeps up these standards this hotel will probably become very well known..... Go now whilst you can afford it!!!!
Other info - Transfers to & from. We used the link from the hotel site, also recommended by trip posters. The company, hotel beds for the individual transfer (it’s very slightly cheaper if you are prepared to share, but for an extra £10.00, $15.00 it’s worth it for a straight journey after a long day), they were easy to find on arrival; look for the black tee-shirts with a pink logo, your name will be on a board. We were then taken to a minivan, so lots of space. The journey was quick at about 45 minutes. Our return was also fine and prompt, they arrived on time, again in a spacious mini van. Although, one small point here, they said they would be at the hotel the next morning at 11, my husband went to meet them and possibly book tours with them, but they weren’t there. We rang them and they said the hotel doesn’t let them into the La Perla complex. So we booked our tour through the onsite company. We did also have to ring them to confirm our pick up as they hadn’t contacted us as arranged. The concierge did this with them for us no problem.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC