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Sandals Royal Hicacos femaleowl64 Sheffield England

We arrived at Sandals Royal Hicacos after a 2 hour drive from Havana after a 3 night stay. at about 3pm in the afternoon. On the whole this resort is a 4+ star resort possibly a 5 star but not the Sandals resort we expected.

Check in was swift as there were only 2 couples, we were given a glass of champagne and our amenity pack In total it took about 10 minutes to arrive and then get to our room complete with luggage.

We were impressed with the setting of the resort beautiful gardens and the water features around the resort were unique.

I'll explain the reasons for the comments above as I go along.

We experienced rain at 4pm on that first day and found that on our first visit to the lobby bar that you struggled to get served and there were no waiters about to bring drinks to the tables. Once the drinks were obtained they were great. My comments on this are that they need to employ more staff as the bar its self is in a lovely setting and would work well with more staff. We found that even on an evening service was very slow and the staff that was there worked hard but could not cope with the amounts of people. Again could be sorted with more staff.

Piano Bar What a place to go at night this bar saved the holiday for us Middray and Janet the waitresses here could do no wrong. Rodney behind the bar is brilliant and drinks are served immediately. Say hello to them for me should you go. This was the only place for us at night due to the friendly staff and good company. James was the Canadian pianist who played every night except Sunday. He encouraged you to join in with the songs. Before James went on there was a gentleman and women playing alternate nights very pleasant to listen too.

We experienced rain as I said on the first day and the second and I have to comment that the sulphur smell was very noticeable for about 12 hours after a rainfall. The smell is really bad but you can get used to it.

The rooms great, always clean with plenty of towels, the bed was comfy, and we had a room in block 4 at the far end of the resort overlooking the giant chessboard. This room is a bit of a walk from the main resort but ok.

Restaurants: The booking system or the speciallity buffet is a joke, we discovered that u have to be in the queue at 8am or you struggle to get into a restaurant before 9.30 in the evening. We discovered also that you were limited to once restaurant per week. This is not what I expect from a Sandals resort. We then found that if you had paid for an upgrade the restaurants were booked for you and you could go anytime as many times as you like. We felt like second-class citizens with regards to this aspect.

Royal Hicacos Buffet . Food ok about the same as a 3 star we stayed in. Breakfast food was good but the service of the staff was poor. They never seemed to clear tables and seemed to be chatting with each other when work need to be done. The selection at night in this restaurant was poor and you did not feel special it felt a bit like a school canteen

La Moralas Seafood restaurant this has to be the best restaurant on the resort. Very romantic tables only for 2 and service and food excellent. On our final night they served fresh lobster

La Caribe: Caribbean restaurant very good on staff always very friendly

Don Pasquaro Itallian we went here a few times for lunch and the food was really good. They do great pizzas at lunchtime. Staff in here go out of their way to help you.

Beach Grill was good, there are a lot of combinations on the menu, on both occasions we went I had the surf and turf that consists of lobster and steak, but if you want a bit of 2 options just let them know and they will cater for you tastes. I had extra lobster and the question was how many pieces. Staff here are good too. Used this for lunch but the service was sometimes really slow on one occasion we waited 45 minutes for cooked chicken. This grill needs more staff at lunch to cater for the amount of people that use it.

The beach is excellent but in the 11 days we were there the wooden walkway had broken slats and was extremely dangerous. It took a few days each time for them to even board over the broken ones. There is only one toilet at the beach grill to be used during the day and neither the menís nor ladies had a lock on the door. Not what youíd expect from sandals.

Toilet facilities on the whole were the same and locks were missing from a lot of the doors, the resort is poorly maintained for such a new resort and as previously said they need more staff.

Donít think that we didnít enjoy this holiday it was fantastic but not what I expected from a Sandals ultra all-inclusive for the price we paid.