This was my Wife and I's first time flying international and to Mexico. Upon landing, headed through Mexico customs which wasn't a problem at all, be sure to fill out the top AND bottom portion of the form either on the plane or while waiting in line. (*Don't stop to fill the form out in the hallway, go straight to the customs line!)
Andres was our concierge and he absolutely made us feel like royalty. A rose for my wife and glasses of champagne. His cheerful attitude was so welcoming and set the tone for our whole trip of first class customer service. He checked in on us daily and any question or needs we had, he had an outstanding graciousness and enthusiasm to help. He is an asset to Sandos and truly cares about his clients. Andres, thank you for making our trip wonderfully amazing.
Breakfast at Zango is ABSOLUTELY PHENOMENAL. By far the best food of any meal. Try the fresh juices.Ivan, thank you for helping me learn and your warm greetings every morning. Ivan's remarkable customer service was absolutely appreciated. For every lunch we ate by the pool at St. Trop, try it all, stick with what you like. We enjoyed the Calamari, Fish Tacos, and nutella crepes! (Was not a fan of the burger) And lots of Blue Hawaiians...haha.
Tip: Bring LOTS of your own sunscreen. In the hotel gift shop it was $22- $24 U.S. NOT exaggerating. If you do forget, there's a little convenience store at the bottom of the hill outside the hotel entrance, literally outside the gate. Also, in the hotel gift shop the designer sunglasses are marked up $50 over retail (source: sunglass hut website) and they have a $50 off coupon, do your due diligence on price.
Cell service: We have Sprint. The hotel Wi-Fi worked great the entire time, it was noticeably fast and seamless. I was able to call sprint for Global cell service so I could text/call without extra fees. Call your phone provider before leaving. No issues using phone.
The Pool and beach wait staff were attentive and friendly. Shout out to Luis (Wuicho!) & Sergio who took great attention to us. We tipped when we were served because they work hard. They don't expect a lot and after talking to a few other guests, I'd recommend a dollar per item ordered or a 5 at the beginning of the day and they'll take care of you. US dollars are well accepted, we did not need any pesos. (Rule of thumb, anytime someone brought me something, I had a least a $1 for them. Budget $60- $80 total for exceptional attentiveness.) Worth it. We are not drinkers but "obliged" at many offers for lots of drinks/shots. No complaints on the drinks or food. It's all included so if we didn't like it we just ordered something else! We ate every lunch by the pool so I cant speak to the lunch options inside.
All my wife and I wanted to do for this vacation was read by the pool, beach, and lounge. What's great is the entertainment staff had activities for us to participate, completely optional and no pressure, but made it fun nonetheless. Shout out to ADAN (in English, Adam), Valeria, Veronica, Liz & Eduardo.
Adan literally remembered our names on first introduction and addressed us with a fun, excited attitude all day, every day. We aren't into yoga but I heard it's great! I did play a lot of water volleyball and had a total blast. We had engaging conversations and Adan, THANK YOU for making our trip UNFORGETTABLE. He is an asset to Sandos and the customer experience.
Valeria is the sweetest and we truly appreciate your kindness throughout the week. Thank you for making us want to come back. Valeria - you're the best!!
My wife had a "Sandos Experience" spa session, it was an 80 minute variety massage they had a special on for $129 US. The Spa accepts pesos or CC ONLY. The Spa is pretty much the only thing you can not pay for with US dollars. It was $4 CC transaction fee to pay the international exchange for spa. She absolutely loved it and said it was better than any Spa/service visited state-side. Highly recommended.
The dinners were excellent, our first night was at Zango (buffet), second was at Seasons - pants required for men. It was a point of contention for some but it's a very upscale feel to the restaurant and does not require a reservation. We ate later, around 8 and it was not busy. The next night was at the Japanese Steakhouse which was delicious. Reservation required for Gaijin (Japanese), it's limited seating and also - Do NOT arrive late, otherwise you're delaying potentially 2-8 other people's meal and can be turned away. Our last night we chose to go outside of the resort to Ruth's Chris steakhouse at the recommendation of a friend. If you do, take the R1 bus, it's $1 per ride/per person and it'll take you into the mall & shopping area as well.
Every night there were AWESOME entertainment events (of course drinks always flowing). Professional dancers one night, Lady Gaga, & FIRE DANCERS!!! Everything was very impressive, as a professional arts background- we were impressed and pleasantly surprised by the quality and diversity of live entertainment. Big points for the Saxophone player also!
The room was beautiful, we were fortunate to get exactly what I requested-king bed with ocean view & balcony. It is a "chic" boutique, classy feel to the rooms which were cleaned and restocked daily. There was construction improvements on the exterior of the building but it looked like they were almost done. I would expect by the end of the month the construction noise will have subsided. It wasn't obtrusive, and there was the resident DJ that played mostly House & Deep House during the day by the pool. We happen to love that genre so it was very enjoyable/relaxing. Hardly audible by the beach in case that's not your style.
The front desk staff will break up your dollars for tip money but dont count on it every day. They're not a bank. Also, if there's something you need, ask your concierge. The concierges seem to be much more helpful for anything other than check in/check out.
Addressing some concerns I read about: The music is music, they added other genres for some time and it didn't ruin the atmosphere in any way. The upper and lower pools were warm, but it's 90 degrees, what do you expect? The middle level pool was noticeably and enjoyable cooler (perhaps because it's larger?) Secrets hotel shadow, we had full sun until about 4p.m or 5p.m at which point half of the pool area was shaded and the other half had sun, after being out since the mid-morning, the shade was welcomed! (I guess winter months have a different location for sun exposure.) The room had very hot water available at all times and the A/C worked very well. The resort is absolutely making progressive improvements towards increasing customer satisfaction and actually implementing many changes based on suggestions made by previous guests.
Thank you Andres, Adan, Ivan, & Valeria for making our second wedding anniversary celebration picture perfect.
I would highly recommend BookVIP& Sandos Luxury Experience Resort.
Review about: Bookvip Vacation Package.
Reason of review: Good quality.