My wife and I wanted to get away for a week and play golf. Palmas del Mar offers two-championship 18-hole golf courses that are in excellent condition. The apartment at The Plaza Resort was big and pleasant to be in, exactly what we were looking for after four hours playing golf in the sun. A small swimming pool on the premises was just right for what we needed to refresh ourselves. A leisure walk on the beach in the morning was a great starter for the day, enough exercise to stretch and be prepared for our golf game. The Palmas del Mar Country Club is a nice place to settle down for a drink and a snack after our game. Fine dining at French restaurant, Chez Daniel, near the marina was the right choice for Saturday evening. This is a great resort atmosphere. We even went horseback riding through the property down to the beach. It was fun. We'll do it again next year.
The "Plaza Restort" is actually a 22-unit furnished apartment building. It has no amenities that you would expect of a hotel or timeshare (e.g., maid service, travel assistance or recommendations, hotel pool, etc...). It is located in a 2500-acre gated community that is primarily residential. On top of that, the units have not been renovated in ~ 25 years, so they are worn out. the only positive is that the units are big with full kitchens. The Palmas del Mar area has a quiet beach that is not swimmable for children (waves), but is approximately 100 yards from the "resort". There is no night life in the area and few restaurants. We were only 1 of 2 occupied units during our stay (3/12 - 3/20 2004). My children (9 and 11) were bored stif until we finally met another child their age at the timeshare across the street.
So, if you're looking for a peaceful vacation and plan on simply lying on the beach or travelling around the island, and you don't mind staying in an apartment, then this my be OK for you. Otherwise, avoid this place.
Note that there is considerable construction going on across the street (7 AM - 3 PM), so it is not a quiet or private place at this point in time. My guess is that the construction will be going on for at least another year.
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