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Puerto Rico Hotel, Resort & Villa Reviews
Aquarius Resort 04/26/2003
Reviewers Rating: Good
BEWARE OF AQUARIUS VACATION RESORT (TIMESHARE) AT EMBASSY SUITES IN DORADO, PUERTO RICO.

Just got back from a week at the Aquarius Vacation Resort, which is the timeshare resort attached to the Embassy Suites and Golf Club Resort in Dorado, Puerto Rico. We exchanged into this timeshare through Interval International. My husband and I would not stay here again, and would not recommend it to anyone else. Here is our review of the resort, and of our week in Puerto Rico – these are strictly our opinions, our experiences, and our observations, (we aren’t fans of “political correctness” – we call it like we see it).

Resort: The Aquarius Resort is located about a hour’s drive from the airport in San Juan. The directions we were given by II were better than the directions given to us by Hertz Rental Car, but any directions are confusing in Puerto Rico. We had to check in at the front desk of Embassy Suites; check in took over one hour, and there were only about 5 people in front of me in the check in line. (This should have been a sign of things to come). We did not receive any usual timeshare welcome package ( i.e. calendar of activities; welcome orientation meeting; notification of Manager’s Cocktail party, etc.) When I inquired about this later, I was told they would put a package together for me, and would call me when it was ready; I had to ask about it again later that evening, and I was finally referred to the timeshares sales desk, where they proceeded to give me some literature about Puerto Rico, and the good old time share pitch. In other words, there was NO welcome orientation meeting, NO Manager’s Cocktail party, and NO scheduled activities for timeshare exchangers at this resort. IF you were staying at the Embassy Suites Hotel portion of the complex (for an advertised price of approx $200 a night) then you received a free breakfast buffet every morning, along with a free open bar and snack fest from 5-7pm every evening. Since we were the “dreaded timeshare exchangers” (this is how we were treated) we didn’t get squat. We were informed that we could pay $10 per person per day, if we wanted the breakfast and two tickets for two drinks at the bar (which I remind you was wide open for as many drinks as you wanted in 2 hours for everyone else) in the evening. Considering that, as we later found out, drinks at the bar were $4 for beer and $6 for a frozen drink, the $10 offer wasn’t bad – we never took them up on this offer because of the principle of the idea that all guests were not being treated equally (there is more, I will get to this later).

Room: We were assigned a room which was one floor higher than the room noted on our II exchange confirmation. This was actually a good thing, because we had a better view from our balcony because of it. We were in room 2460; it had a beautiful view overlooking the pool and the beach from a side angle. We had a one bedroom lockout, which amounts to the equivalent of a hotel room with a small kitchen insert (mini fridge, small microwave, sink, two glasses, two coffee cups (no coffee maker), two plates, two bowls, two forks and two spoons. There were two double beds, satellite TV with on-screen room charge review options, a clock radio, and extra chair. The bathroom had a built-in hair dryer, normal tub and shower. You do not receive maid service every day; only on Wednesday’s. If you want fresh towels, you have to call housekeeping and ask for them (the two-bedroom accommodations have washer/dryer so you can wash your own). We called for fresh towels about every other day; one time we called and got sheets delivered instead; one time we got a blanket instead…we had to call back and advise of the mistake in order to finally get our clean towels. They are not big on wash cloths here; I think I got a total of three all week – take your own, if you really want them. And the “clean” towels weren’t always real “clean” (stains, hair, etc.). The beds looked like someone had just thrown the bed sheets/covers together in a real hurry on the day we arrived; I was not impressed. On Wednesday, when we actually got maid service, I have to say that the beds were made up and turned down for us beautifully, and the bathroom was cleaned and arranged nicely. We heard other people (Americans from the States) down at the beach complain about broken door knobs, mildew in the bathroom, no coffee pot, broken safe lock, and broken front lock in their rooms at the Aquarius. Oh yes, the room does have a safe in the closet (which we had a heck of a time getting a lock and key for (three times to the front desk before we got the issue straighten out), and for which they charge you $50, that is reimbursable upon your return of the key. There was also an ironing board and iron in the closet too.

Beach: The beach looks like it was man-made. They put breakwater rock barriers out in the Atlantic (yes, the resort is on the Atlantic, not the Caribbean side) to create a little cove which makes the beach at the resort. The beach and pool area are shared by the Embassy Suites and the Aquarius Resort. There are workers who rake the beach every morning, and if you walk on the beach or in the water you will understand why. You really need to wear water footies if your feet are not tough as nails; the beach is rocky in spots and it is also rocky in spots in the water – you really have to watch where you are stepping. My hubby did some snorkeling in the beach area; he said that there is an old tire (?) in the water not far off the shore, that all kinds of fish were swimming around. I guess they put the tire there on purpose for a makeshift reef, I don’t know. The beach is beautiful to look at, with the waves crashing against the breakers and all, but it’s a little tough on the tootsies! There are beach chairs for use on the beach (yes, even the dreaded time-share exchangers get to use them for free), but there are no umbrellas and very little shade on the beach itself.

Pool: The pool area was very nice. The pool was BIG; it was separated into different sections; there was a small walkway through the middle of it so that you didn’t have to walk around the whole thing all the time. There was a portion that was like a beach shore entry (no steps); there were concrete sitting ledges around some sides of the pool so that you could sit in about 6 inches of water and cool off. There was a kiddy pool with a fountain, which never seemed to be used because most of the kids were using the big pool. You could get beach towels at a little hut beside the pool (you had to give them your name and room number) and you had to return the towels to the same location or they charged you ($10 or $20, I’m not sure, for the non-return of the towel). You could also rent these BIG blown up water toys at the same hut…the kids loved these. There were a lot of kids in the pool, which generated a lot of noise, and left considerably less wading/swimming room for the adults because of all the water toys in use. They would let you use your own water toys in the pool if you brought them with you.

valmouse

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