“Relaxing. Fun with kids...”
We took our 4 year old twin boys here for 2 nights. Had a very nice, relaxing time. Our room was overlooking Splashtopia, on the 2nd floor. Noise was never a problem as they open the lazy river so late and close so early.
The resort was not busy. JUST how I like it.
In our room, milk and cookies awaited us. And a tray of fruits and nuts. There was also a voice mail welcoming us. Nice touch.
Room: Loved it. Very large with a large bathroom. Turn down service was, interesting. The first night, chocolates were placed neatly on the sheets, logos facing up. On the second night, she must have been in a rush, because the chocolates were thrown onto the bed, scattered, upside down, and the sheets were just kind of thrown over the side. Not a big deal I guess.
(Seems that the view of the golf course is a better choice than the pool view if you do not mind a short walk. From our balcony, we looked at the pool and the other building. The golf course view had mountains etc...)
Beds were comfortable. We had a King bed and a fold out couch. I have to say this: The couch may have been more comfortable than the King bed! No joke! Not that the King was uncomfortable, but they did an AMAZING job on those couch beds! There is a large plasma TV in the room as well.
HUGE $28.00 "resort fee". So why do they charge $7 for a bottle of water in the room! Grrrr. I have said this many times before, THROW IN A BOTTLE OF WATER, seriously. What does it cost them, $1.00?
Better drink the coffee in your room unless you want to pay $4 for a cup at BlueEmbers.
We had the package with the $50 breakfast credit. I have to say that I am NOT picky when it comes to breakfast. But the food I had, other than the fruit, sucked. The restaurant and views were gorgeous. But my breakfast, both mornings, although it LOOKED amazing, it was bland. I mean BLAND. Absolutely no taste to it. Bummer.
Grounds are very well manicured. Flowers and hummingbirds everywhere. Lots of birds singing. Not as many open places for kids to roam around as I had thought. Mostly just a paved path from Splashtopia to the lobby and restaurant. We walked a bit along the golf course, but it seemed like we were intruding on guests who had a golf course view.
I have been to many resorts. One big problem area I found with Rancho Las Palmas was the staff that worked outside of the lobby and restaurant. Normally, staff greets you with a smile and a "hello". At least some form of eye contact. I found this not to be true here. 90% of the staff we came into contact with at the pool, or around the pool/walkways, seemed to act like we did not exist. Only a couple staff members went out of their way to say hello and smile at us. Most seemed unhappy to be working. Most seem to not care. This was especially true of the pool staff.
Example: At 7:30pm, on our way back from a walk, our little boys had to use the bathroom. We stopped at the pool bathroom. There were 3 staff members cleaning up. 2 of them were "flirting" with each other near the towel stand. They did not even acknowledge our presence. They did not bother to make eye contact. They continued flirting with each other, right in front of us. 1 of the 3 (The non flirting guy) did stop what he was doing to wish us a goodnight while the other 2 continued to ignore us. It was pretty bad. So unless you plan on sleeping in the lobby and not visiting any other area, be prepared for unhappy, uncaring staff members.
The pool: We asked what time the lazy river opened and we were told 11:00am by the front desk. The lazy river actually opened at 10:00am. We thought the lazy river closed at 6:00pm. It closed at 4:00pm. Hours were not posted anywhere we could find and I think they change the hours when they feel like it.
A lazy river is ALWAYS fun. As the resort was pretty empty, we never had any issues with not being able to find a chair or a tube. I can not IMAGINE what this place must be like at full capacity. Must be a nightmare.
Most of the rules at the pool/lazy river seem designed for mass crowds. There were no crowds, so it seemed a bit overkill with the rules. I felt like mom and dad (lifeguards) were watching me play in the lazy river, but would not let me have any fun. But wait, I am the dad and I have the kids. Strange to have an 18 year old telling me basically all I can do is lay on a tube and float.
You are required to be IN A TUBE at all times and you are not allowed to do much more than that. The lazy river is safe, VERY safe. The lifeguard will actually walk along side you as you float by them. I get it. Safety. But when the river is empty, and you are playing with your own children that have safety floats on, maybe it is ok to float outside the tube.
The water was too warm. It was hot outside, so you want to cool off in the pool, right? Well, the water in the pool must have been close to 80 degree's. Do not bother with a cabana unless the resort is packed and you can not find shade anywhere.
There was food left outside our room overnight and into the next day. Birds were attacking it for hours. I know the property is large, but that should have been picked up by someone, anyone, so that we did not have to look at it for a day.
This place is not cheap. You can have a very nice time with your family here. But it is far from perfect. I would return if the prices were reduced by half. Outside of the very strict lazy river, I see no reason to return and that river is NOT worth the extra $$.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC