Trip Start Mar 07, 2011
1Trip End Mar 11, 2011
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Where I stayed
NH Royal Beach
My girlfriend and I had arrived at the airport mid-afternoon on a Monday. The line for passport control was a little slow-moving but it didn't bother us a bit. We were just happy to feel that warm breeze blowing through the palapa-style terminal, which was a fine contrast to the frigid temperatures we had left behind in Minnesota
So sometime later, maybe an hour (maybe two), seated there outside at our table with a view, I can truthfully declare that from that moment forward into the remainder of our stay, the parallel grins never resigned from our faces. While perhaps a statement like that may be somewhat skewed by the company we were in, there is no doubt that the backdrop of hospitable staff, meticulously cared for grounds, and a seemingly endless assortment of activities at our disposal, didn't somehow make it all the more easy to enjoy ourselves. We certainly didn't do all there was to do, nor see all there was to see, but we certainly took pleasure in a fair share of them. Though there were very few to begin with, any of the criticisms I had read about this place seemed rather trivial and isolated, and we would be digging to find something even worth mentioning now. There were no damp or musty odors in the room, nor were the lounge chairs on the beach ever in short supply
To play a devil's advocate for a second, sure, I suppose there is a faint chance that we just happened to land and stay on the perfect week. We never did see a drop of rain until the day we left and it was brief, though it did make it slightly less painful to say goodbye. Perhaps all the staff had just returned the week before from their own vacations and were fresh, recharged, and ready to return to work. Maybe somehow even the tides managed to wash all the seaweed and other vegetation clear from our sight for this week only, but seriously, I'd have to state that as being a rather unlikely tale. Instead I'd say the story is much more solid than that. The blueprints for an idyllic "all-inclusive" holiday are here, but it's up to you and those you are with as to whether or not you'll know how to read them
Lastly, the only hint or suggestion that I had read about in previous reviews that really hung about in my mind were concerning guests tipping the staff. This will also serve as the only truly useful submission that I can pass along to any future vacationers of this place or any other comparable setting. That is, by no means is tipping here expected from anyone. Everyone understands that the monetary price you pay for your stay is heavy, but seriously, in a country where the average wage for a common worker is $86 to $172 USD a month, a few extra bucks spent on reciprocating the smiles they are providing you with is at the very least, kind, respectful, and positively appreciated. I went with $140 USD in single bills and tipped everyone from the shuttle driver to the concierge, and housekeeping to the servers and I swear, my only regret was having not brought more. So, for others before me, thank you, and to those arriving tomorrow, you're welcome. Pay it forward, literally, and enjoy yourself. Cheers!