Wonderful but not perfect.
I would give this resort 4.5 stars if I could but I’m giving it 4 due to a few areas of improvement I will outline below. We traveled to EPM during the second week of October. It rained pretty much the entire time. The only time we saw blue sky was our first evening. I would normally say a raining day at a lovely resort is better than a standard day anytime; however, I would be lying if I didn’t admit it was pretty depressing having never cleared up. If I could rate the weather for our stay I would only give it a single star (zero being an all out hurricane) but that in no way reflects my rating for the resort. That’s what we get for taking a risk and going during the raining season. This was our second trip to EPM. We went last September and the weather was PERFECT. The first night we were there they were overbooked and we were put in a room with 2 double beds instead of a king. The front desk assured us that they would fix the situation the following day so we didn’t make a fuss. Martin, our bellmen was very sweet, apologetic and accommodating. The following day the resort stuck to its word and we were in fact upgraded, which was a nice surprise. Martin was once again there to move us and explained the upgrade was their way of apologizing for the mishap the night before. We LOVED the two bartenders at Kafe Kafe, Pablo and Juan! They were so wonderful. They were everything you could ask for in a bartender and I wish I had a place here in the states where I got the same service. These guys work very hard and really deserve praise. Despite the damp/rainy weather, we spent our nights hanging out there. The martini bar was nice as well but we had more fun outside with our new found friends. Luis was our waiter around the pool area and was very wonderful. If the weather had allowed, the Excellence Club Beach would have been very nice. We tried to go down there on two different days and Priscilla was out there in this terrible wind wrapping chairs still with a smile on her face. She was very helpful and sweet. I kind of felt bad for only being able to stick it out for an hour. Raquel was really great too, serving drinks in the elements. The Excellence Club Lounge had a very nice selection of top shelf alcohol, including the illusive Don Julio along with some tasty snacks. It was a great place to get a pre-dinner drink or a fast cup of coffee but it was a little too quiet to do much more than that, in my opinion. We loved the buffet for breakfast and lunch. There was such vast a selection, pretty much anything you could ever want and all very tasty. We were disappointed in the Grill and the Lobster House for lunch and to be honest our experience with the room service was pretty bad. To be fair with the weather, I think that room service was probably pretty slammed all week long but by the time our food got there, (1 hour +) it was just not worth the wait. My suggestion is to get out of your room and enjoy what the resort has to offer. For dinner, Agave, Spice, and Chez Isabelle were all really fantastic. We liked Basmati but wished our waiter was a little bit more knowledgeable about the menu. There were some things that we were not familiar with and there were other waiters there that seemed to be describing the dishes in a little more detail. The Flavor Market was just ok for me. Last year we spent so much time in the beautiful pools and lying on the beach. This year was very different but EPM really did their best to make everyone’s stay as enjoyable as possible despite the weather. They offered a lot of “rainy day activities” to keep everyone busy. There is one other thing I have to mention, the roof tops could repair. Granted, it rained A LOT but there were a number of leaks in various areas of the hotel. They did their best to “contain” them. My husband and I kept joking to one another saying, “We need more buckets!” I am hoping there are plans to repair it as soon as they can. On a side note to those of you reading this and planning a trip… Yes, this is an all-inclusive. Yes, tipping is optional but the staff work really hard. Please tip them! Some make less in a day then some of us make in an hour. They have families, go to school and have very little time off. If you can afford to come here, you can afford to tip something. Also, please be kind and treat the staff with the respect that they treat you. Some of the guests were so ugly toward the employees, I was shocked. Overall, we still really enjoyed our trip. There resort is absolutely beautiful and has so much to do (especially on a sunny day). I would say that the staff is what really makes this place something special. Everyone is so kind and genuine it makes a difference. If we could change anything it would be the time we booked. I had expected a little rain since it was the raining season but by no means expected it to rain our entire stay. When we are able to return again we will be going in the spring. Thank you so much to everyone who helped make our stay wonderful.
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