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We arrived on Nov. 7 in the late afternoon. This is a departure for us as we usually arrange our flights to arrive as early as possible. Due to complicated logistics, we ended up getting in between 3 and 4pm. This was a Wed. and I did not expect immigration to be so crowded, but it was about a 25 minute wait to get through. Canada Transfers was waiting for us with a cool towel and a bottle of champagne on ice. It was a delightful trip to the resort with a good bottle of bubbly. We arrived at the resort around 5:45pm. Check-in was quick, but we never got our welcome drink! No problem, my sister went to the bar and got us each a glass of champagne. We had requested a room in the original Royal section with a room on the second floor. We were put in Building 71 with a room at the end of the hall. Our view was the lagoon and a couple of the Romance Suites. Our butler, greeted us and showed us all about the room. The bottles of alcohol that we had requested with the eButler were exactly as ordered and our mini-bar also had the requested tonic and mango juice. A bit more on that later. The distilled water I requested for my CPAP machine was also in the room. We had previously asked if the butler could unpack our luggage for us and Daniel confirmed that it would be done. We put the valuables in the safe, changed clothes, then went to the TRS Courtyard bar to meet up with stillbillmd and begin our vacation.
I have divided the review into sections and I will give the good and the not so good.
Food: We had our first dinner at La Dahlia Buffet. I wasn't impressed, but we went back there for one lunch and one breakfast and had better food. We had the most marvelous dinner at La Boheme. The onion soup is a meal in itself. The service was top notch. We had dinner at Tentazione on our second night. We had no reservations and the wait was about 20 mins. We were stuck in a corner and the service was slow. The restaurant was quite busy, so it was no surprise. While we waited for our table, we did the wine-tasting. They had several bottles out, but were only tasting two of them. It turned out to be a sales pitch to purchase a bottle for dinner. The wine was really good, so we did splurge on that one. The food was decent, but not spectacular. We skipped El Gaucho due to spotty reviews. We also ate at La Adelita (one of our favorites) and Portofino. I love the pizza there. We absolutely loved going to Helios for any meal. The setting is amazing and the food choices are plentiful and delicious. For dinner, we had the surf and turf; a wonderful steak with the "to-die-for" coconut shrimp. For breakfast, we mostly went to Capricho and ordered off the menu. It was one of my favorite places. We also did a buffet breakfast at Hacienda one morning.
Chic Cabaret: What can I say that hasn't already been said. This show is fabulous. From beginning to end, it constantly amazed me. I loved the food and our waiter kept our wine glasses full. What more can one ask for? I would have loved to go again, but decided to savor it for this year and look forward to next year's show.
Room: We had a Jr. Suite in Building 71, second floor. This was our first time in building 71 and I did like the location. It was an easy walk to La Terraza pool, the restaurants (except Helios) and over the bridge to the Infinity Pool. We were at the end of the hallway facing the lagoon. The balcony was set back, so it was very private, but it also got no breeze at all and the weather was so hot that week. The balcony became stifling except very late at night. I love the new rooms. The open closet and extra drawer space was a much-needed fix from the old rooms. As others have mentioned, there are some design flaws. The bathroom needs a small shelf just under the mirror and the lighting needs to be much better. The other thing that threw me off was having the door to the toilet open in the wrong direction. I'm sure it was done that way so the open door would not block the sink, but there were many times (in the dark, in the middle of the night) when I struggled with that door!
Butlers and Mini-Bar: Our butler was very prompt when we checked in. We had previously arranged for him to unpack our suitcases and I am so glad we did. We put the valuables away in the safe and our toiletries on the sink and asked that they only unpack our dresses. We like to dress up at night and we bring a lot of dresses! When we returned that night, all the dresses were hung up as requested.
After that, we only saw that butler one other time. During the day, a younger man was manning the desk. We used his services a couple of times to make dinner reservations, but generally, he was either busy or not at the desk when we needed him. One thing I noticed was that whenever we requested something, he never needed to ask us our room number. That was impressive!
Now for the mini-bar...we had requested certain items in the mini-bar, specifically tonic, to make cocktails in the room. We requested no beer and lots of tonic. After day 1, the tonic (2 small bottles) was gone and was not replaced. Instead, we got extra Pepsi Lite and more beer. On day 2, my sister left a tip and a note (in Spanish) requesting tonic. They only left more water. By day 4, we finally had to ask our butler to have 4 bottles of tonic delivered to the mini-bar.
Bars: I was really not impressed with the new lobby bar at TRS. It is definitely not a gathering spot for the evening and we only used it when we wanted a basic drink. In the past, we used to end our day at the Royal Lobby Bar for a Mexican Coffee. We tried that at the new TRS Lobby Bar and the bartender had no idea what we were talking about. We ended up going all the way to Hemingway's where Luis would make a Mexican Coffee for us. On his day off, we skipped it. The Full Moon terrace bar was nice, but very busy and the drinks were weak. On a recommendation from another Addict, we sought out Tomas at the White Sand bar and had him make us special shots. We spent more than a few hours at the Gaia Pool Bar at the Infinity Pool. There was a young bartender there who put on a good show, but his drinks were so-so. We also tried out the Io Pool Bar. It isn't quite as sheltered from the sun, but the drinks were good.
Pools: We had so many pools to choose from and so little time!! The new Infinity Pool is glorious. I'm not sure I liked how the loungers were set up so close together, but I'm sure one could carve out a spot. We got to the pool about 8:00am one morning and were able to snag a Bali Bed. They are so comfortable, but I do miss the old palapas.
We also spent some time at the Adult Pool, the Secret Pool and Las Rocas (the saltwater pool). The La Terraza pool is still a great spot for a relaxing day. I do wish they still offered the poolside BBQ. They have it at the Infinity Pool, now, and it really isn't needed there since Helios is there. Our favorite spot, the Royal Beach, isn't really a pool, but I'm adding it to this section anyway. Both of us love that area. Fernanda always takes such good care of the guests and the atmosphere is quiet and relaxing.
Spa: We were able to get a 2-for-1 deal on a 90-minute hot stone massage by booking with a spa rep who found us at the pool. We arrived early to enjoy the wet area and were pleasantly surprised to find that the pool was heated! We had David and Lena (sp?) for our massage and it was the best either of us has ever had there. We would definitely ask for them again. We normally get two treatments during our stay, but we decided to save our second treatment for our stay at TRS Coral. In hindsight, it wasn't the best idea.
We did have one disappointment during our stay. This was my 11th time to GPRM and my sister's 19th visit. For the past few years, we have always gotten a bottle of champagne delivered to the room sometime during our stay. We also have gotten various treats delivered during the day, such as chocolate-covered strawberries, cheese trays or chocolate trays. This year, we received a very clever sardine tin with fish cookies on our first night. That was all we got for the rest of our stay. We never got champagne or any other treats. In fact, the plate with the empty sardine can sat on our table for 3 days before we finally put it outside to be picked up. We were going to mention it to the butler or at least ask if the practice had been done away with, but I felt really petty asking why we weren't getting special food delivered to our room! As if we didn't get enough to eat and drink all day!!
So, that about sums up our 7-night stay at TRS Yucatan for 2018. We had a wonderful time as usual. We enjoyed meeting stillbillmd at last and had fun doing shots of Xtabentun with him. The weather was nice and hot and we so enjoyed returning to our "home".