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Reviews (5,391)
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Reviewed 9 August 2008

We are extremely suspicious about the 'good' reviews as our experience was entirely different and so were many other peoples experience. as when we were there the reps ran out of complaints forms!!! This place is awful and not 4 star, more like 2 at the most. We have stayed in good and bad hotels through the years but this was definately the worse.

The food was disgusting with little choice and what choice there was either had flies on or was 'off looking'. on our first night we had chips the only safe looking food. We have since found out since coming home that companys are asking people who have suffered from food poisoning whilst at HVWS to contact them. This probably indicates a big problem, do you think? Look on google.

The pool that was open covered you in blue paint, the other was closed, so we had no pool apart from the kids splash pool. not really a place for a 13 year old. The splash pool was good for little ones but care must be taken with some of the base of the splash pool as not finished off very well. People were getting cuts on their feet from it.

Our room was worse than we expected. It was basic and unhygienic. Yellow material around toilet, cracked unfinished tiles and sink. Mouldy ceiling etc etc. We dont mind basic but unhygienic is totally unacceptable!!!

A funny smell throughout the hotel and room. Tap water and pool water smelt exactly the same..

etc etc.........................................

In short dont go if you can help it!!!!!

  • Stayed: July 2008, travelled with family
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3  Thank EnglandInthesun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 August 2008

I got back from the White Sands about a week ago and I have to say that I found it a really enjoyable holiday.
I know that there were a lot of concerns before we went, and I have no idea why the previous poster wasnt advised about the relaxation pool being shut, as there was a standard letter sent out?
Anyhow we didnt notice the pool that was out of action as there were 2 others there, and the hotel is built on the beach front so you can always dip into the sea!
The accomodation is basic, but then what do you expect when you go long haul for 2 weeks AI for under a grand??Look up the price of a flight to cozumel and you will see just how cheap the accomodation works out!!
I loved the rooms, they were much more traditional and mexican feeling than the generic rooms that you get elsewhere.We had a top floor room and I loved the rush roof, but I guess its each to his own. We were there when hurricane Dolly hit and our room stayed dry, the air con worked really well and the chambermaids made the most amazing creatures for the kids each night out of the towels.
The resident iguanas are FANTASTIC they chill out on the grassed areas, and get fed into a semi-coma by all of the kids (my daughter assures me that hot-dogs are their favorites!!LOL)
I found the food to be fine, there was never a night when we couldnt find anything that we liked and the fresh cooked pasta went down a storm with my kids! There is always a good choice and they have a kiddie section with the obligitory nuggets etc so that the little ones are happy. I didnt hear of anyone getting a bad tum while we were there, and we were all fine.
The beach bar staff werent the quickest, but the rest of them were a cheery bunch and used to make sure that they served the kids that were waiting , unlike some resorts that I have stayed in.
There is loads going on during the day for the kiddies, and the splash pool is superb, there is a play park right by it that is all shaded , which is where the kids used to head to when they got too hot.
Hire a jeep and get out for the day, there is LOADS to see!
If you get chance go and swim with the dolphins in the park just down the road, all 6 of us chose the Royal experience and it is AMAZING!!! You get to spend about 45 minutes in the water with the dolphins and it blows your mind! My little one was too small to do the foot ride so they got the dolphin to lay on its back and he climbed on its tummy, held onto its flippers and it shot off on its back and gave him a tummy ride, his expression was just magical..... buy the DVD its worth every penny, we have watched it about 10 times already!!
I didnt see any of the shows, its not really my thing, but other people round the pool seemed to really enjoy it.
One thing that I must stress take a jungle strength MOSQUITIO REPELLENT!! We got savaged and we had boots own Tropical strength with deet!!!
This is a FAMILY resort and is very much geared towards kids, if you are a young couple/singles then it may not work for you, but if you want a family holiday with loads of memories - go for it!

  • Stayed: July 2008, travelled with family
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2  Thank mumof6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 August 2008

I have just returned on 4th August from a family holiday at the White Sands, with my husband and 3 children, twins aged 8 and 5 years old.

I had read the bad reviews on tripadviser from holiday makers slating the hotel and first choice and was really worried what the hotel/resort was going to be like. I decided to go with an open mind and form my own opinion

But I need not have worried we all had a fabulous time. There was something to keep us all amused/occupied.

We had a family room which was 2 adjoining rooms with 2 bathrooms. This although was basic was clean and very spacious.

The food was mainly buffet style and was really nice, there was usually something to suit us all. The kids especially liked being able to get their own 'cocktails' and the readily available popcorn at the bar. The service was a little slow but hey I guess we are in Mexico and its a different pace of life than back home.

The main pool was closed during our stay, this didnt really spoil things as I dont think we would have used it anyway. There is a fabulous splash pool for the kids with slides and water shooters and the other activity pool which we mainly used.

First choice did a fantastic job of entertaining both the adults and the children. My children had swimming lessons with Lisa and Anthony - thank you! The children also went into the kids club and had a super time, they especially enjoyed the late night ones such as sweetie bingo and chocolate party.

We joined in with the daytime activities such as daily quiz, beach volley ball and having salsa dancing lessons - thank you cool carlos! the evening entertainment was fantastic starting with kids disco, bingo, quiz then a show. All of E3 worked extremly hard to put on a fantastic show under the extremly hot conditions.

The beach is really nice and very safe for the children. the dive shop on site are really helpful, where you can hire out boats, snorkelling stuff, and go on trips out. My husband had catamaran lessons and was then able to take it out when he wanted, he also snorkelled on his own and with the children.
There is also a spa on site where you can have lovely massages and treatments.

The downside of the location of the hotel (for a shopaholic like myself) is that it is quite away from the town. You have to pay 15usd one way for a taxi to go to the town/shopping mall and supermarket. there is a small shop in the hotel but the prices are rediculously expensive as they have a captive audience.

If you are looking for a relaxing family holiday on the beach, with lots for the children to do then I would certainly recommend the White Sands Hotel

  • Stayed: July 2008, travelled with family
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5  Thank michelle_houghton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 August 2008

I read, with horror, all the negative reviews before we went. I am so glad we ignored them. I travelled myself with two children (13 & 9) and we had a fantastic time. The staff, both local and First Choice reps couldn't have been more helpful, especially when I had to call a doctor out to my son. As in previous reviews, it does help if you tip a little here and there. A dollar a day for the maid and once in a while for bar & restaurant staff really does go a long way.

We upgraded to Premier Star Class on the flight which I would highly recommend. Friendly staff, priority check in, extra space, good meals & free drinks.

The room was fairly basic but included two good sized beds, a TV (not many English speaking channels - which was great & got the children away from the TV for a fortnight!), sufficient storage, a fan and air conditioning and a good, powerful shower in a reasonable sized bathroom. There was no fridge but the maid left plenty of fresh bottled water on each visit. Every day also, the maid left a 'towel' animal surrounded by fresh flowers. My children loved guessing what the animal would be each time.

Ah, the splash pool, subject of many a bad review. Yes, the alarm goes off often and yes it is full of children, but....it's a children's splah pool! My two, and all of the other children there, had a fantastic time in it. If the adult's don't like it, there's two other pools and the beach to go to.

I have read many complaints about the local wildlife. Surely if you are going to an island such as this (only 3% populated remember) you must expect that there will be some wildlife. My children loved to see the iguanas, crabs, lizards and whatever else happened by. They named all the iguanas and loved to see what they were up to and where they were each day.

The food?? I have never been all inclusive before and didn't know what to expect, although from all the bad reviews, I expected second rate food and a sore stomach!! Nothing could be further from the truth. The food was plentiful and varied. If you wanted to tavel to Mexico and eat only pizza, hot dogs and curly fries, well, you could. If, however, you wanted to eat local dishes, fresh fruit and frsh grilled meat and fish, well you could do that too.

Again, I have read many bad reviews about the entertainment staff. I would agree it is very biased towards the British guests, but each night we did see many American, German etc guests giving it a go and joining in. I have no idea why people would say the staff had no talent though. The shows were great, holiday entertainment and had the right balance of children and grown up entertainement.

I can't believe that the people who wrote the bad reviews went to the same resort as us.

What am I saying? Your holiday is what you make it. If you are determined to go and have a bad time you will. We decided to go with an open mind and had a fantastic time. Perhaps all the 'bad' reviewers really had a great time, but by writing a bad review hope to get their money back or some other compensation.

Top tips though:
* Take plenty of insect repellant. The mosquitoes are fierce.
* Tip the staff
* Visit the Eco Park & swim with the dolphins. Lovely days out
* Make sure you take a taxi into town and have lunch in Carlos & Charlies. You won't forget it!l
* Embrace the wildlife. It really is a sight to behold.
* Enjoy it!

  • Stayed: July 2008, travelled with family
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8  Thank whiterose28
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 August 2008

We have been going to the Allegro or now White Sands, for 12 years. We have been members (First Club) for 8 of those years.
My wife and I have seen our children grow up in this wonderfull place, but I'm sorry to say that the "changes" that have taken place are not for the better. The resort has been pretty much been invaded by the British, a part of the beach is roped off for them, and saw some topless women that should think twice about taking their top off. Don't get me wrong we met some very nice English people, very polite and friendly.
Through out the years we have met people from all nationalities,
and I'm sorry to say the most unruly have always been Texans.
So the Brits don't bother me, but doing away with that wonderfull Mexican activity staff was a huge MISTAKE. Replacing them with a British staff, took away one of the things we loved about the Allegro. We definetaly felt like outsiders, all games catered to them, No more fun activities by the pool, boring shows at night, and not having a volleyball to play was unforgivable. I guess one good thing about that, after 10 years of never leaving the resort, is that now we actually seen the rest of the island. Yes, it's true the food has gotten better, the grounds are inmaculate, the rooms are fine, and the beach as gorgeous as always. The staff was friendly, maybe a little discouraged with the lack of tips, (Americans tip better). In the end, we went with the flow and made our vacation as relaxing and fun. I hope they make some more changes and try to bring back some of the old Allegro. Every year we have rated this resort as Excellent, this time Above average at best.

  • Stayed: July 2008, travelled with family
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1  Thank GuapoDallas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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