Shockingly Bad Resort
THE CONCEPT: This is a very large property. The website doesn't describe how it's run as multiple separate resorts (Grand Oasis / Oasis Cancun / Oasis Palm Beach) with some shared services and multiple classes of guests entitled to use only a portion of the overall services. To upgrade your class (your bracelet color) they'll shake you down for an extra $20 per person per night. The staff to guest ratio is kept to a minimum through this use of shared services. Bars/restaurants are opened only when all others are at extreme over-capacity.
FOOD/DRINK: You'll work very hard to take advantage of the "all-inclusive" benefits. The entire service plan is designed to save money by making it difficult for guests to find food/drink and to discourage them further by inserting artificially long wait times before serving any menu order. By day two I was already making shopping runs off resort to bring back food and drink for our rooms. The bad service becomes dangerous due to the difficulty in obtaining water. On random days each room receives a maximum of 1 liter of bottled water (not nearly enough for two people in the Mexican sun). For an extra cup of water you'll need to deal with the bar/restaurant issues described below.
FOOD. What the website doesn't tell you about their 7 restaurants is that most of them are closed at any given time, some of them are closed all the time, and at some times all of them are closed. Also, depending on your bracelet color you can not be served at many of them. For most of my 10-day stay the closest food was a 1/2 mile walk across the entire resort. Restaurants are open for only 2 or 3 hours before closing down so you'll spend much time wandering the resort trying to figure out where to find food or drink at any given time. If you sleep past 10:30 AM you've missed your chance at breakfast and will have to wait until 12 noon lunch. They do sometimes have a snack bar open between meals that has a very limited menu of low-quality foods (fries and nasty burgers). Even at the snack bar you'll have to wait 30-45 minutes for your snack that really doesn't require more than 3-4 minutes to cook in their deep fryer. For a sit-down dinner you'll find yourself playing the reservation game. The one guy who takes reservations has limited hours, is often not there even when he is supposed to be, and the undersized restaurants are already fully booked if you don't catch the reservation guy early each morning to make your reservation.
DRINKS. Same issues as the food. The bar closest to my room was beach view and could have been very convenient--but it never opened during my 10-day stay. The next closest bar required the $20 per day VIP upgrade charge. The next closest bar was a pool bar that would not serve you unless you were in the pool. About a 1/4 mile away was the main bar that was open most daytime hours but was chaos with 1 or 2 bartenders trying to serve mobs of guests with empty cups. If you want to get your drink on for a day you'll need to hang out near this main bar and deal with the obnoxiously loud club music that will make your ears ring.
ROOMS: The rooms look like they were originally built well but then run down due to lack of maintenance. My bathtub didn't drain and it smelled like sewage, the toilet didn't function properly, the air conditioner functioned only well enough to make the temperature tolerable but the fan made an awful noise. There is no sound-proofing between the rooms and halls so at all hours of the night you'll eavesdrop on drunk guys in the hall trying to talk their way into some girl's room. Rooms have a mini-fridges but they don't seem to cool anything more than a few degrees below room temperature. Buckets are used to catch leaks from ceilings in the rooms and common areas. You can always feel better about your room by going to a bar area and listening to the horror stories of other guests who have it worse.
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