Hacienda Tres Rios
We recently took a vacation--the kind where you just buy the pkg, get flights and go. No-brainer thing; and all-inclusive dream.
Hacienda Tres Rios offers some very dreamy beds, slick accommodations (lots of marble/tile, oceanview balcony/jacuzzi, internet, room service...)
The pools are lovely and inviting until you realize to get to the restaurant or banos, you have to wind around other pools, over a bridge or two...)
Our stay was in the midst of the swine-flu "nondemic" in May, so the weather was good, water was cool, flights were a breeze and there were no lines at the airport!
Our package included several fabulous items, some of which were not so fabulous. First issue was the res dept. Even with phone calls to their mgr, we had to email the concierge to get confirmations and pass our emails to the res mgr, who, for some reason, had difficulty replying w/out the concierge's help. We got incomplete answers to our questions and repeatedly asked for clarifications.
One of which was: is the Spa open? YES the email said. On arrival the promised world-class spa is not open; they use guest rooms for treatments, which were acceptable, but not stellar (regular price would have been over $100/person).
The only spa facilities available were the non-working steam room and a closet-sized sauna unit. very disappointing.
Our Luna Maya Dinner was the most fascinating mystery. Being a bit of a foodie, I was really anxious to know about this special event!! I finally got a copy of the menu from the concierge--it read like gourmet fare and showed usual prices (insanely high for Mexico) but it was included in our LL deal. The photo of the Luna May dinner location is shown on the LL home page today--secluded table for two out on a wood walkway--SWEEET!!
well, not quite. Ours was set up in between the 2 main pools; not far from the outdoor grill restaurant, where everyone could watch our romantic interlude. We had 2 guitarists to entertain us and that part was very good.
The personalized menus were impressive--the food was, as well, even with a few glitches, like bay instead of sea
scallops, and a flambe'd dessert that never saw a spark of fire. The chef came by to check on our service, which could hardly be faulted. It was all just a bit weird. Certainly not as pictured...
The general service at HTR is excellent. I was very impressed with the English language skills of the staff--waiters in particular. I wondered if they interviewed them bi-lingually? Our housekeeping was timely and efficient. The beverages and food were superior to the typical all-inclusive fare at other upscale resorts. Restaurant choices were good--they only had one buffet and we only had breakfast there. By far the food was the best I've ever had in an all-inclusive resort. Champagne available every morning. The 24 hour room service was good for champagne refills throughout my day and the resort even arranged to stock Coke Zero (my husband's favorite!) in our room. The pool service was a bit late opening but keep our needs filled--sandwiches and lunches available for hours--poolside appetizers delivered by the kitchen--treats and tastings to tease and tantalize). They have a wood-fired oven pizzeria by the pool. One of the best parts of pool service is that the towels are already rolled and placed on every other lounge chair--early in the morning--and you can use 2 per person!!--both pools were supplied with towels despite the lack of guests.
This was the type of place where you could do nothing----OR----they have bikes and tours and walks and natural cenotes and fresh rivers to swim and snorkel and kayak--ALL INCLUDED. Supposedly, games and sports, but there were only about 50 people at the resort our first days, then about another hundred trickled in from sister hotels in towns like Playa del Carmen and Cancun. Probably being pitched for the "destination sales presentations or whatever term they use now for time share. We were approached once and offered a "tour" (read into that what you will) but were never hassled again. I wish I had asked the concierge (either Hector or Diana were very attentive) for a regular tour of the grounds ( a few hundred acres all together).
The biggest fault of Hacienda Tres Rios is the lack of entertainment and bar space. The only "bar" is the sports one in the lobby--way too many lights and TV's and noise--no atmosphere whatsoever. I think that will most likely change in the near future and it will converted to something more conducive to lounging--maybe with some live music. (currently there's a white player grand piano in the lobby)
I'm sure that with time and more guests, Hacienda Tres Rios will blossom into a fine resort. Even our disappointments will not keep us from looking at the new LL pkg for 3 nights if we want a short, luxury getaway--all or nothing...