Holiday Inn Sunspree (MoBay) 01/07/03
Reviewers Rating: Good
We spend the 2002 Christmas week there. Overall it was OK, but we've seen much better.
The first room we've got was pretty bad, so we asked for a change and we got a better one the next day. This required several visits to the reception desk, to show we are not giving up.
The cleaning lady was OK, but we left her a dollar on the table everyday. They never pick it up, unless you tell them. She was comming late, but this was OK with us.
I read in previous reviews that there was a problme with the water pressure at the upper floors. Rest assured, it's pretty bad on the first floor also. If you take your shower late, there is not enough hot water, so your choice is between a trickle of warm water or a little bit more, but cold !
The food was OK, but nothing special. The only things I can recommend were the bananas(awesome) the pineapple, the croissant and the peanut cookies. I also liked the curry chiken. The best though was the jerk chicken at the jerk bar on the beach. I give that one a 10.
We also ate at the three table service restaurants. The italian one was the best. There is always a lineup to book it, but if you don't mind eating late,I think they generally have some places left after the line is over. You can always get a snack (or dessert) at the buffet before or after.
I strongly recommend the snorkeling trip. You have to book early, but you can go on it as many times as you want. It is worth trying anyway, as people sometimes book and don't show up. Snorkeling along the shore is not good at all.
The glass bottom boat tour is a very poor substitute.
They have good quality drinks too, like Martini, sherry, Campary. I prefer those to the very sweet cocktails that they make. They will mix anything you want for you, if available. We taught them to make banana milkshakes for our son.The red wine was OK; I didn't like the white, but it was necessary with the italian seafood dinner. You can also ask for plain juice: orange, tomato, pineapple, cranberry or grapefruit.
The beach next to sea-breeze is the best and very quiet, but no drinks and no swimming.
Beach towels: if you pass by during the day you'll probably notice some people waiting and a sign saying "gone to get towels". Avoid this, by exchanging your towels after dark. Don't bother with cards (I just exchanged my towels every evening and got the cards back the last day) and don't worry if you miss a towel. The guy doesn't care !
There is hardly any swimming possible and the sea is often rough, so the boat rides and and kayaks are not available. When it's relatively quiet you can only swim among boats, something that I find dangerous because most people who take boats out in a resort don't have a clue what they are doing.It gets very quiet though after 4pm.
To swim, try the areas around the boat piers. You can only swim on the length of the beach, and the water can get very shallow (ankle deep !).
If you are a swimmer, choose another hotel ! You can't pass the shallow area to get to deep water !
The biggest problem we encountered was the cold drink availability. Except for meal times, you can only get one at a bar, so no wonder there is almost always a long wait! I always ask for2-3drinks at a time. If I'm pass by a bar and the lineup is not too lomg, I always get something. Make sure that the guy who cleans up doesn't throw it a minute later !
During the day use the lobby or jerk bar, at night use the beach bar. The adult bar should be also not too full and has one side accessible to kids.
The piano bar is very nice when there is a pianist (not every day!).
The entertainment is lacking. There are some better days; I guess the local dance troupe was one of them.
It is all over by 10:30.
Some of the kids activities never happen (like the ping-pong or mini-golf tournaments)
You must be very patient with the bar tenders and waiters. They work very hard. It's not their fault that there are not enough of them. They should have at least some drinks available for self service!
By the way, you can help yourself with coffee and tea. It's by the soft drink machine in the dinning room.
If you kids long for a chocolate or a sprite, cross the street and take the road next to the gas station. There is a supermarket just behind where a 2L bottle of coke is aprox. $1US (vs $3.5 at the hotel!) It stays open later than the market and accepts credit cards.
I hope that with all these tips, you're well prepared to have a very nice trip, as we did!
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