Once we were in our room we unpacked and ordered room service. Zung and I ordered chips with guacamole and salsa. In Mexico they call it “sauce”. It is tomatoes and onions chopped up. It is not soupy like jarred salsas. Both the guac and sauce are quite yum. It is not on the room service menu but they will bring it if you ask. They brought two enormous plates of guac, so you might want to tell them to just bring one plate of guac. The kids ordered Kobe burgers and sandwiches. Everyone was happy with their food. It usually gets delivered in 30-40 minutes. Remember to tip the guy who brings it to you!
The room service menu only takes up two pages but that does not include breakfast. There is a very good selection. Zung and I don’t do room service that often but the kids do it every day. I think it is their favorite thing about going on vacation to Mexico. Because it is part of the all-inclusive they can order it as many times as they want. It is available 24 hours a day.
Our butler, Alphonso, arrived shortly after we got in our room. We didn’t need him to show us the room. If we haven’t figured it out by visit number 4 we are pretty much hopeless. Happily, we have figured it out. Butlers are another thing that generate lots of discussion on the various forums. Some people’s butlers are never even seen (I know of two people who literally never saw their butler) and some people talk about butlers that unpack for them and surprise them with bubble baths with rose petals. We have had a variety of experiences with butlers that I will tell about throughout my posts. This butler was at our door within 15 minutes of our arrival. He had a coupon for each room for 10% off the hotel store, I requested a down pillow and a bottle of Havana Club rum (HC). I asked if we could get a rollaway for the kids room. He said yes to the down pillow and explained he had checked our file from previous visits and it had listed the two pillows he had ready in the room when we arrived, but he was happy to bring a down pillow. The other two pillows were firm foamy pillows that Zung had requested. I guess my down pillow didn’t make the list (?). He said yes to the Havana Club (HC). This is something that I have never had them just say yes to. They will bring full bottles if liquor to your room when requested. The first visit I asked and the butler said yes, but never brought it until my third request and it was only 1/3 of a bottle. Second visit he said he would have to check because usually they only bring full bottles of the brands that are in your mini bar, but it was delivered shortly after that and the third time I asked the concierge (because our butler never showed up) and she said she had to call and find out if they could bring a full bottle of HC, but they did. I was happy that this time he said, “No problem.” he asked Zung if he wanted anything, but we planned to share the HC. He said they did not have rollaways. I understand why. This is a hotel geared to couples. But I also know they have them at the Lindo and Maya and if they had wanted they could have brought one over. I didn’t ask them to though. The boys did not want to sleep together in a double bed so they brought the cushions in from the loveseat and one of them slept on that.
The kids requested a bottle of Don Julio tequila and Alphonso said he couldn’t bring Don Julio, but he brought them Jose Cuervo. Actually it is room service that brings it and they also brought them a plate of limes.
Alphonso was a great butler. We never asked him to do anything after those first requests. However, we saw him every day he was there, several times a day. He would always ask how things were, did we need anything and inquire what our plans for the day were. We definitely felt like he was ready to meet a request had we made one. The last day he worked he commented that we made his job too easy. I don’t really know what someone might ask of their butler. He had several days off our last three days. Whoever replaced him was a mystery to us because we never saw a butler after that. Well, that’s not entirely true. We saw one hanging out by the concierge’s desk all the time. That was on the first floor and we were on the second floor, so I don’t now if he was our butler or not.
After we ate we walked around so we could show the kids the resort. We took them to the spa where there is a great pool. You will see pictures of the pool in later posts.
We went to the beach.
You can see dark areas in the water. These are rocks. Most of the water in front of the Grand is rocky, but there are areas suitable for swimming at the northern end and a great area a little bit past the southern end. This picture is looking south. There is an unfinished development just to the south and then nothing for about 20-30 minutes worth of walking and then you come to Maroma beach and the hotels there.
We stopped and checked out the beach loungers. There are two ocean front buildings and each building has two areas of chairs in front for a total of four. One area has these wicker, padded chairs. The other areas have nice mesh chairs and there are some pads available for them. Most hotels have mesh chairs that I personally find incredibly uncomfortable. Most of the high end hotels have nice chairs by the pool but often have the crummy torture-loungers on the beach. The quality and comfort of beach chairs is of utmost importance to me because of the vast number of hours I spend laying on the beach.
We went by the tranquility pool.
We then went to the lobby area and used our 10% off the hotel store coupon on a pair of flip flops for Patrick. The hotel store has a huge variety of stuff in a small area. There is clothing, flip flops, sundries, magazines, knick knacks. I think there is even tequila.
We then returned to our room to get ready for dinner at Toni’s Surf and Turf.