Friday, March 27, 2009

'The Inn' Robert's Grove

This is where we stayed for the last four nights of our vacation, The Inn at Robert's Grove. This is the main building with the restaurant, bar and reception. We stayed in an out building to the left and set back from the water.

We had a wonderful apartment for our stay. Chaa Creek was a very rustic and camplike affair with one room, five cots, no electricity and shared bathrooms and showers. Here, we had two bedrooms and a big living room. All the kids had beds, and Cath and I had a bed IN A SEPARATE ROOM. The housekeeping staff took away dirty laundry and brought it back, magically cleaned and folded. We also had a second floor deck with a table, lounge chairs and a hammock. Much of the early part of this blog was written on the deck at Robert's Grove.

Unfortunately, our apartment was the best part of The Inn. We read many five star reviews and spoke with many people who raved about this resort for a family location but our experience was more average.

The three pools were beautiful but all were 4.5 feet deep. There was not a single place for Lyra to play where one of us didn't have to get in a swimsuit and get all the way in with her. Even Eva (almost 9 and tall) had trouble standing comfortably in the pool. The edge of the sea, while shallow, was very choppy because of the wind, so Lyra needed very close supervision there too. If you have small children, this is probably not the place for you.

Excursions for snorkeling, horseback riding etc. are very expensive compared with nearby alternatives. Horseback riding at Chaa Creek was $45/person for 2.5 hours. It was $110/person at the Inn. A half day of snorkeling was $77/person at the Inn but $30/person locally.

We wish the menu had more variety. There were only two kinds of fish and few local dishes on the menu. However the guac was the BEST and the mangoes at breakfast were exquisite.

Mostly, we wish the service was more personal and attentive. I think it was the owner who was so kind and gracious when Will was stung by the jellyfish, but the rest of the staff was not on board. It's not that the service was bad; it wasn't. But we had to tell the same server every day about Eva's nut allergy and ask (again) what food was safe. They did not really engage with us, try to remember our names or preferences, or offer a special level of service. It would have been so easy for them to remember that Eva loved hot chocolate, had a food allergy, and bring a hot chocolate and an update on safe food every morning without being asked. We have vacationed at other places that provide this level of service, so our expectations may be different from the average Joe.

I could go on, but this is not meant to be a review. We enjoyed our stay at Robert's Grove, but not enough to justify the high price or attract us to return.

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