OK I'm posting this here so people can access it better, since there seem to be a lot of questions on the message board about it. Pictures can be seen on the Isla Builds Board, under Trip reports. http://www.islabuild.com/
This is a cut and paste with minor revisions to my long report after my July 21-28 stay at Plaza A. I will be staying there again in March, with our Gang of 8 again!
about the noise issue... Rooms # 1 and 2 (where my friends stayed) had blasting music until 4am from Bamboo's several nights out of 8 nights! I was in room #3 and heard nothing-- but I might be a heavier sleeper. Bamboos is closed at this time Sept 2006-- check with Donna when it re-opens for season-- if it does
I was told the second floor rooms will be complete by November. Most of them faced the street and I don't know what the room numbers will be. Those will be higher priced, larger and with a king bed and Jacuzzi tub. They may also have a little balcony facing either the courtyard or street. If you are doing those rooms ask for one closest to Aqua Adventures-- the north side of hotel.
In late July there noise around the hotel pool each day from all the kids. There were a lot of Mexican families staying there then with lots of kids. The pool was not a relaxing place to hang out for me. Way too much kid noise that time of year.
I believe it is not this way during the winter months. The grass around the pool is soft and beautiful. **Important** I did NOT hear any pool noise when I was in my room with doors closed.
The patios are nice with 2 chairs and a table each. The rooms also have a small table and 2 chairs inside. Big closet and nice digital safe.
Milton and Polo work at the front desk and both speak English. Alas Carlos has moved on to Nautibeach. They can arrange for a 20 L/5 gallon water bottle to be delivered to your room, either 60 or 70 pesos with a 30 peso return for the empty bottle. He will also arrange to have the guy go to the Navy Store and buy you a pump for about 40 pesos. The pump is yours to keep-- very useful thingie.
Tip the delivery guy and also desk folks if they arrange things for you.
They provide large and nice pool towels at front desk-- but don't want you to take them to the beach. Bring beach towels with you.
Bath towels are thick and new, but not huge.
Refrig, coffeepot, micro, all worked excellent. Also cups and plates etc for 2 in cabinet.
Showers were good with plenty of hot water. A/C and ceiling fan-- very cold and nice. As of now there are now reading lights next to bedside-- a plus in my opinion-- buy I just used the overhead with switch next to bed or my little lite I brought with.
TV had many English channels, including CNN International which is much better news coverage then CNN in the US. Channel 24 or 25 had lots of ER re-runs all day and night !
I did not watch TV except for the news at 6am and then late at night or when I was getting ready for dinner. I did fall asleep to ER a few nights. my favorite TV program-- otherwise I do not watch TV even at home.
Cleaning staff was great. Rooms were impeccably clean. Lourdes was on our side and certainly put up with a lot, given that we had 3 and then 4 rooms-- with our mess of kids who had a zillion conch shells and dead coral they picked up on the beach along airport strip. They decorated our patios with them to the point where we couldn't walk without tripping ! Yesterday they brought most of them back to the beach. since Carlos advised them that they had too many and would be stopped at the airport leaving the country. LOL. I brought back a small handful of beach glass I found.
They have internet access in the lobby for free from 7 am to 11 pm. Although I had to fight the college students for it, several times. They sat around instant messaging their friends for hours. That problem will be taken care of when the rates go up in December.
They have a cooler in the lobby where they have sell cokes and bottled (small) water for sale.
Overall Hotel Plaza Almendros is very nice.