There is a pillow menu (see Menu page), but we decided to see how the pillows were that were on the bed. This is one of the things your butler will do for you, bring you pillows of your choice. On trip # 4, our butler Alberto checked what we had requested before and had them in the room when we arrived. I like the down pillow. Zung likes a firmer pillow. (What I really like is a memory foam pillow, but that’s not on the menu).
Our butler gave us a tour of our room and shortly after we arrived the mini-bar stocking guy showed up. The mini-bar has little bottles (picture airplane sized bottles) of light and dark rum (Bacardi), tequilla and vodka. There are also several types of beer (no Corona), water, juice and different kinds of soda. There is also white and red wine. They had little cans of Pringles, plain and sour cream, and bottles of 2 kinds of nuts.
Update: they no longer have cans of Pringles or bottles of nuts. They have bags of chips and bags of peanuts.
There is also a coffee and tea maker. (I personally find these unacceptable for making tea because the water is always coffee tasting). There was a selection of tea’s. There were two cups for hot beverages. There is also a cabinet that has different types of glasses for different types of adult beverages. Ours was not completely stocked and the butler commented that it needed to be stocked when he did our room tour. They did that the next day.
The mini-bar guy asked if we wanted anything specific. NOw, I had done my homework and people had commented how they would bring you full bottles of liquor, so I asked for some Havana rum. I had been dreaming about having a whole bottle of Havana rum for the last couple months.
So, here is the Havana rum story. He returns with a rolling table, complete with white linen table-cloth. There was a bottle of Havana rum, Coke and water and glasses. He asked how we wanted it. We asked for it neat. He poured two glasses and then rolled the table out of the room and left – with the bottle of Havana! I was so surprised that he didn’t leave the bottle. I wanted to yell, “Wait! Leave the rum!” But I just stood there with my mouth hanging open. (A very attractive look, I’m sure). When we left for dinner we saw him and he asked how the rum was. I said, “Fantastic!” He asked, “Do you want a whole bottle?”
I didn’t have to think about that twice. YES!
“Shall I bring it tonight or is tomorrow okay?” I said tomorrow was okay. That was a mistake. He never brought it. On the third day, I asked our butler for a bottle and he said, “I don’t know if you can have a whole bottle of Havana. But I’ll check.” No bottle was in our room by the end of the day. I’m a slow learner, so the next day I asked a different butler. (My kids used to get in trouble for asking a different parent if they didn’t like the answer they got from the first one they asked. However, this time it worked. Hmm, it probably worked for my kids too). When we returned from the beach that day, there was a bottle of Havana that was about 1/3 full. That was enough for the rest of our stay and made me very happy. Every trip since I have been able to get a full bottle right from the start.
So, there is the Havana rum story.
Back to day one of my trip report.
The restocking of the mini bar was inconsistent. They never restocked the mini liquor bottles, but they were pretty good about everything else. I imagine if I had asked for more mini liquor bottles, they would have provided it. Every day, except one, the water bottles were restocked. That day the butler had even asked if we needed anything and I had said water because we were out, but it didn’t get restocked until we asked a different butler later in the day.
Overall, I will give the point to the Grand because the Royal Hideaway only has water and soda in their mini-bar. The point also goes to the Grand for ice. They have an insulated bucket (so it stays “ice”) that they refill at least a couple of times a day. They have an ice machine, so you can get yourself more if needed. At RH you can only get ice from room service and it can take up to 30 minutes for it to be delivered. (Update: ice bucket refilling has been inconsistent our last trips).
I had read reports about the rooms having two insulated cups with the Iberostar logo on them, but our room did not have them. I saw people with them, so I asked our butler about them. It took two requests to get them. (Update: they have been in our room only once in our last three trips).
Okay, now I’m really going to get back to our first day. For really reals.
We unpacked. I was dying to get my toes in some sand, so we headed our to check out the beach and the rest of the resort. It was gorgeous. Inside and out. Point for the Grand. It was lavish, with marble and ceiling murals and lush landscaping. It was immaculate. After our quick walk around, we went back to our room to get ready for dinner.