7 Days in Paradise
“I chose Hidden Beach because it was a place my late wife and I really wanted to visit when she got better. Well sadly she didn’t get better, and so I went as a memorial to her and to try and move forward (the week I spent there was the 1st anniversary of her passing). From the moment I walked through the big wooden door, I was made to feel special, and that anything I wanted was possible. My room was very comfortable and roomy with all the high end amenities one would expect. Everything worked without issue including the Jacuzzi in the corner. I’m not sure it would accommodate two, however, it would be fun to try.
The bar was impressive. The shelf brands were all top notch, but I’m sure I could have ordered my favorites if I felt it important. And funny enough there was way too much beer in the small fridge. Again I’m sure I could have requested something different such as some cans of juices, or tonic water, but again it was my decision to leave well enough alone. If I were designing the hotel buildings, I would have made sure all room above the first floor would have a small balcony. That was the ONLY disappointment I had from a room standpoint, but certainly not a big issue.
The food was incredible. Breakfast was pretty much the ‘standard’ resort fare, although all very good and presented beautifully. A highlight for me was ordering eggs benedict and watching the cook very professionally prepare the Holandaise Sauce by hand. For lunch, you have the menu option, or the pool side grill. Unlike many resort ‘grills’, this one was a full cooking line. Three or four grilled proteins, exotic salads, and a buffet line with a wide array of selections. And trust me it certainly wasn’t the typical mushy buffet food. Lastly dinner was always a treat. It was always menu service, a very varied range of offerings, and would include a menu to match the theme night venue. I’m a big fan of grouper, and it was the first restaurant dinner I had, and it melted in my mouth. The filet of beef was excellent as well. I also did room service while there; once for breakfast, once dinner (my first meal). Breakfast was wonderful; I had my first lobster omelet. Talk about indulgence. My dinner was good, I just didn’t understand that it was all ala carte. So when my delicious burrito appeared, that’s all there was. Now I could have ordered more since room service is 24/7, but it was my first day, and with travel time, I was tired. Long story short, I couldn’t find any shortcomings in the dining experience.
The resort is a ‘green’ property. Constantly being cleaned, trimmed, transplanted. Apparently a hurricane had hit a couple of years ago, and had devastated many of the coconut palms. The resort chose to use coconuts off of what trees were left, and created ‘mini’ palm farms. They lined the walk ways with young palms growing out of the nuts. Whenever they needed a fresh tree, they would take one from the walkways and plant it elsewhere, then replace the used one with a new one. Everything is cleaned constantly, the buildings, walkways, and especially the beach. The beach insofar as covering is concerned, is quite nice. The surf is a bit rough and consequently a lot of flotsam/jetsam washes up on shore. The staff is constantly cleaning this up so it is seldom an eyesore. The water area is both rough, and rocky. I would not venture out into the water without beach shoes, and even then I would be cautious (I still have a splinter of coral in my foot).
I did not experience the entertainment. Wasn’t sure, given my situation, if I was ready for much in the way of social interacting And now for the au naturel part of the review. My wife and I cut our teeth on the au naturel life style at a couple of other resorts, and so I was not terribly uncomfortable with the prospect. My only concern was how far did the nudity concept. The website could be somewhat ambiguous, and a conversation I had with my travel company yielded the same result. So here’s my take on the whole thing. With very little exception, everyone is clothes free on the beach, by the pool, and at the hot tubs. Meals are a bit of a personal preference. Breakfast and lunch are probably 99.9% nude. Dinner is where the ambiguity came into play. My personal solution was to wear my bathrobe (provided by the resort) down to dinner. If several people showed up clothed, I would simply leave my robe closed out of respect (although there would be other people nude so again personal preference). If the ‘audience’ was mostly nude, I would disrobe and be comfortable.
STAFF. Ok besides the uniqueness of the au naturel experience, what stands this resort apart from just about every other resort I have visited in Mexico/Caribbean (13+ to date) is the STAFF. First not once did any of the staff ever make me feel uncomfortable while in my birthday suit. More importantly, after a mere hour or two, they knew your name and after that another day they will know your preferences in food, booze, water, colas. Not only brands/types but even WHEN you prefer them. For having only one dedicated bar, the service was never very delayed. The only minor exception was the beach service. BUT they had one very delightful woman providing service to the entire beach, the pool, the hot tub, and God knows what other areas, so if my glass of Sauvignon Blanc didn’t come for a bit, so what. The time delay was never more than 45 minutes.
Housekeeping was efficient and thorough. And the reception/front desk staff are warm, thoughtful, and very professional. I’m not sure where they hire the staff from, or what criteria they use, but it works. Long story short (too late). When I got home, I immediately started planning my next trip to Hidden Beach (a short one, but a few days in Eden are better than none). I could (and just might) make this my permanent winter spot. I know I would not be disappointed. Keep up the great work Hidden Beach.