Check-in was pretty quick and painless. We were banded with silver bracelets. ‘Cept for Patrick, cause he’s a kid, so his was white. Susie was excited to get her first adult bracelet. We were given Welcome drinks. They were fruity, juicy drinks. Where’s the rum?
(I have to confess, looking at these pics makes me think – why didn’t someone tell me how awful this hairstyle was?)
I asked for a roll-away for the kid’s room. She said “rollerbed – wheeee?” I think there was a communication problem, because we didn’t get the roll-away that day. I asked the concierge the next day, and then we got it. I had emailed a request ahead of time for the rooms to be near each other, one have a king, the other to have 2 doubles, and be near the beach. They were right next to each other, with the requested beds, and they were in building 51, second closest to the beach. Our rooms faced the pool. Because of how the resort is laid out and where the Lindo is. I can’t imagine you would end up with a bad view. No comfy sofa on the patio like the Grand though. (Ooops, that was a comparison, wasn’t it? Won’t happen again.)
The bell boy, who would meet us with our luggage, sent us to our building. It was a long, hot walk (in jeans) to our building. The rooms were nice and cool when we arrived.
Each room was supposed to have a fruit basket, and did, and robes, only Zung’s and mine did (but they weren’t that nice, so we never used them). What we weren’t expecting were the beautiful fresh flower arrangements in each room.
We unpacked and changed. I went to the concierge and made dinner reservations for the first three nights. Next we headed out to the beach. Zung and I had our first Miami Vices.
We walked the beach a bit.
I will confess, when the Grand first came in to view, I felt that longing, and said, “Ohhhh, the Grand.” But I didn’t have many of those moments because for the most part this was a damn great family vacation.
That said, if all our kids were 18, AND we could afford it, we would stay at the Grand. Our kids really enjoy spending time with each other and don’t need other people their age to have a good time. They enjoy very good food and I know they wouldn’t be bored. So, once we win the lottery – and Patrick turns 18 – it’s going to be the Grand. (Of course, if you’ve read my other trip reports, you know we did this as soon as Patrick turned 18, literally within weeks of his 18th birthday – see the Milestones in Mexico trip report).
We went back to get ready for dinner. Zung and I headed to the lobby bar for some pre-dinner drinks.
He had a Margarita. I asked for Havana rum and coke, but I didn’t think there was any rum in it. This was supposed to be the bar that provided strong drinks – what’s the deal? It must have been an aberration because all my other drinks were fine. In fact, the drinks everywhere were pretty strong most of the time (this was contrary to many reports I had read).
I had perfected the request “Mas fuertes.” Could that be why?
Our first nights dinner was at the Oriental restaurant. I had read this restaurant was pretty mediocre, but it was the only one I could get at a reasonable time. Probably because IT WAS pretty average. But the service was really, really good. So we enjoyed our meal and our waiters. (For anyone reading this who is planning to go to the Lindo soon, this restaurant is now gone).
I had to laugh, because when we were first seated the waiter put Susie’s napkin on her lap. If you read my trip report from the Grand (comparing it to the Royal Hideaway) you might remember I commented that at RH they ALWAYS put your napkin on your lap. And if you get to it before they do, they apologize. So, at the Grand I kept waiting for this, and it NEVER happened. So I had to chuckle when the first restaurant at the Lindo, Susie gets this done. It never happened again, but it did make me laugh.
After dinner we went to the lobby bar. We sat outside. The lobby bar has a big round aquarium in the center, but it has a horrible smoky smell. We ended up sitting outside most of the time because of this. We loved the sound of the fountains and it was a great place to people watch.
We had a waitress who became one of our favorite Iberostar friends. She was so cute, a great waitress, and just adorable. She is behind Nicholas in this picture.
Again, if you’ve read my other trip reports, you will recognize her as Ahleli. She now works at the Grand. She is one of the people I look for as soon as I get there.
I introduced Nicholas to Havanna rum (is that a bad thing for a mother to do?) and he agreed, it’s to die for. We had such a nice evening. I decided if we had to end our vacation that night, it was a success because we were enjoying our time together so much. It didn’t stay that perfect the whole week (now, there’s a surprise), but overall it was such good quality family time together. I went to sleep a very happy camper. (On the firm, but not uncomfortably so, mattress and the ridiculously flat pillows). The kids ordered room service for the first time. They really liked this part of the all-inclusive.
We were all looking forward to our first day enjoying the sun and beach, tomorrow.