Overwhelming Globalist Treatment - great resort!

100   Recommended

Room 6423 , Ocean Front Suite
July 27, 2021 by
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Room 6423

Ocean Front Suite

Liked:
Location
Service
Food
Amenities
Room

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Room
Ocean Front Suite

We had an overall excellent stay here for 12 nights. 7 nights were paid with 25k points/night and I used a TSU to upgrade to a Ocean View suite. A further 5 nights we paid cash for the Ocean View Suite. As a LT Globalist, we were further upgraded to an Ocean Front suite in building “6”, top (4th) floor for the entire stay at least a week in advance, which I noticed via a pre-arrival e-mail a week ahead.

I had arranged for airport transportation from PUJ via the hotel. Upon arrival, we had to sanitize our shoes and disinfect our hands. Unsure what that walking over 2 mats really did… we were then escorted directly to the club lounge for check-in, so they already knew who we were. Baggage was taken care of and later delivered to the room very soon after check-in completed, while we were still being oriented by Rafael, the butler.

I estimated the hotel to be full to about 30% only during the week, mayby 60% on the weekends. Currently (June/July 2021), the hotels are legally allowed only 80% capacity.

Check In

We had used the app check-in and were asked if we’d want daily housekeeping, which we gladly accepted. We could chose between housekeeping before or after noon. We chose the morning, as we are early getter-uppers. I presume this was only available to WOH members. Check-in itself was good, received a welcome drink and had to fill in a couple of documents related to COVID, testing, et all. We declined all, as we are vaccinated, and no testing was required for returning to Switzerland in our case. Our butler Rafael escorted us to our room and explained everything.

Room

Very nice room. Comfortable beds. I could not connect my iPad via HDMI to the TV, although it was indicated to connect via an appliance "beside the desk" - there was nothing. We called "guest services" and someone came by, dismounted the TV and connected the HDMI cable.

The only slightly negative point was housekeeping. This the hotel needs to sort out. Although we requested housekeeping in the morning, our room was not done at 4pm after our first night. Rafael inquired about housekeeping and we said: “nope, didn’t work”. He sorted that out and the room was done every morning for the rest of the stay. Somehow however, they simply never were able to replace all the towels. Although we do not need new towels every day, the were taken away, but not replaced. On one day we had 6 huge shower towels, but missing the hand towel and/or face towel, the floor mats were gone, sometimes only 1 face towel was replaced, the other just taken away. Really weird. Something to improve.

In the night, lights were controlled by motion detecors. We do not like them, and they were WAY to bright. 1 light in the toilet, 1 light below each sink. They could not be turned off (even asked Rafael if that was possible - but no). My wife is just wide awake in the night, if lights go on. I then stuffed a towel in the ceiling to at least cover up the light in the toilet. Only at home, I realized I had not removed the towel... so anybody occupying this room... my appoligies! :D

 

Service

++ Service in general was really overwhelming. Everyone was so caring and helpful, really doing everything for us to feel comfortable and so that we enjoyed our stay. Even though drinks at the pool were obviously included, they stopped by multiple times a day, I’d say around 8-10x. in other resorts, where drink were to be paid, I often had to “fight” to be served…

Service at the restaurants was also extremely attentive. More in the “Dining” section.

We were assigned Rafael as our butler. Over the next couple of days, we realized that Rafael was really extraordinarily great. Really “useful”, compared to the Ziva Cancun we stay a couple years earlier. There the butler was useless.

Rafael took good care of us, stopped by the pool a couple of times a day to check on us. He arranged a Nespresso machine for us, fresh milk, stuffed our bar with water, made dinner reservations every evening, too.  The handover to another butler (won't mention the name) worked, he was aware of our needs, but after only twice stopped by to ask for reservations, which did not completely work out to our desire.

Dining

Dinner

We understand that a dining experience can vary based on expectations and food preference. As we were a couple in the mid-fifties, we wanted it, for dinner, to be  peaceful, romantic, quiet, a nice atmosphere, and (obviously) no kids, hence the Zilara in general. Below a listing of our favourites in sequence of preference.

Service at all Zilara restaurants was really great. I was always greeted as a LT Globalist, and everytime the restaurant manager stopped by and in 2 occasions we were served by the restaurant manager himself.

Dinner

Waves (2 visits)

(++) atmosphere, outside seating, excellent food, great service, special LT Globalist recognition

(-) nil

Brandos (3 visits)

(++) atmosphere, romantic, excellent food, great service, special LT Globalist recognition

(-) nil

Noodle & Thread (2 visits)

(+) atmosphere (resembling the Italian fashion industry), excellent food, good service, special LT Globalist recognition

(-) as it’s on the Ziva side and children are there, it can obviously be a bit hectic and slightly louder, but it was fine, else we would not have gone twice

Navigator Grill (1 visit)

(+) atmosphere with outside seating

(- -) extremely loud with all the kids, service nothing great, disappointed with the menu. We had checked the internet for the menu and were looking forward to try a couple of dishes. The effective menu was then completely different

Tempest Table (1 visit, 2nd visit abandoned prior to ordering)

(+) Sushi is excellent

(- - -) service disappointing, rushing us through dinner (Teppan table), extremely loud

For our first visit we were at the Teppan table. There was a family of 4, another mother and daughter, plus my wife and I. We just sat down punctually at 7.30pm, and the cook already started. We could not understand the waiter, could not order any cocktails. Food was so la la. Also way too much. Beef was well done, no preference asked (rare, medium rare etc), as I am used to the Teppan tables. We were rushed through dinner. Then around 8:10 pm the other guests left, we were still having our desert. Then the waiters removed all the chairs, and replaced them with other chairs (without arm rest), so 1-2 chairs more per side were prepared. Apparently they were expecting a large group I’d say at 8:30pm. A no-go while still having dinner.

2nd visit was for Sushi. We requested a table far away from the Teppan tables. We ended up in the crossway of all the people and waiters. Beside us children screeming, one refused to wear his flip flops and so forth. We stood up and walked away, explaining the situation to the Concierge and restaurant manager. We simply wanted a quieter atmosphere, so it was actually our own problem.

On the positive side, the concierge and manager were extremely helpful and ran after us outside the restaurant and wanted to make a reservation somewhere else, but we needed time to decide where.

 

Journeys

(+) atmosphere (in the train)

(- -) food not very tasty, not warm, slow service. We were the 2nd party in the train, then 4 other parties came and they were served their food all before us. I guess they let ours stand a while and hence it was not warm any more?

 

Breakfast and Lunch

We mostly had breakfast and lunch at “The Pier”, which has an excellent buffet! “Shutters” and “Chinola” were both excellent as well. The Pier was closed for dinner, but did not want to have dinner at “El Mercado”, as this was pretty noisy as well, when we once had lunch. But food at El Mercado was very good as well. Unlike others have stated, the lunch selection is different at El Mercado and The Pier.

To our sursprise, and again unlike others have stated, the Pizzas are really good. Nice and thin with crispy crust!

Globalist Recognition

Lifetime Globalist (and probably Globalist as well) recognition is exceptional. They really take good care of you. Globalist received a wrist band, which also serves as room key. I only noticed after a couple of days, that my wife and I were practically the only ones with these bands. That's when I asked in the club lounge why we were the only ones. They told us, only the Globalists and VIPs get them, so they can be recognized.

When signing in at the restaurants, they always highlighted my name, and in most restaurants were personally greeted by the F&B manager, the kitchen chef, in 3 instances personally served by the F&B manager. They went beyond and sometimes "upgraded" our meals after checking what we had ordered.

As a Lifetime Globalist, we received a welcome letter with the benefits (30% off at spa, wines, 20% off at the gift shop, etc, plus 4pm check-out! I had lost the letter and asked for a reprint, then "only" Globalist was mentioned and with a 2pm check-out. I am sure though, that Globalist could also request that if available.

At the gift shop, we were immediately recognized as Globalists and were given the 20% discount without having to ask.

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Beach

The beach was very nice. Although there were issues with algae, but this is common in the warmer summer months (July) and on beaches facing the East. The staff were permanently removing the algae. It was a short walk through a bit of algae and behind that the water was just fantastic.

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The below picture was taken on the day hurricane Elsa passed DR. So the water was a bit more filled with algae. They had also removed all beach and pool chairs on that one day.

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Pool

Pool was great. We were always at the Club Pool as this area was quieter (less music). as early risers with jet lag, we were around 8:30 at the pool, and mostly alone until around 10:30/11:00 am.

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