Fabulous all-inclusive resort for family fun & relaxation
I recently returned from a week-long stay at the All Ritmo with a friend and my 11-year-old daughter. Before going, I researched the resort and found very mixed reviews with few details. I believe knowledge is power, so below is an in-depth review of our stay. The first things you need to know is at All Ritmo is a family resort and it is several miles from downtown/ hotel zone. There were very few guests there without children. If you are not traveling with children and do not want to spend your vacation with children, this is probably not the place for you. We arrived and the hotel looked like many of the pictures online. The staff was friendly and they checked us in early. We were not asked to provide a credit card or any other form of deposit. We were issued wristbands that identified us as guests and gave us access to the all-inclusive services. I was somewhat surprised that we were issued an actual room key and that we only had one key for the room. We were told that we would not be able to get an additional key.We had an oceanfront Jr. suite and I was pleasantly surprised by the room. Our room had two queen beds (though they felt a little small for a queen), a spacious seating area with a kitchen area that included a sink, small refrigerator, and microwave. We had a rather large balcony with an amazing view of the beach and pool. The bathroom had a vanity area with a closet and a separate tub with shower & toilet area. Our room was clean upon arrival and the staff did a great job of daily cleaning. I don’t know how they did it, but there was no sand residue in the room after the cleaning staff visited. We did have to ask daily for extra towels and a blanket for the sofa in the seating area because my daughter was using it for her bed. After getting settled, we headed down for lunch and to get a feel for the resort lay-out. Lunch was delicious and I was impressed with the selection and variety. My daughter is a vegetarian and there were plenty of options for her. After lunch, we made reservation for one of the dinner restaurants. Dinner reservations can only be made day-of between 11am-1pm. All three restaurants are not open each night. There is a rotating schedule and you can view the menus at the concierge desk (where you make reservations.) We only are at the Mexican restaurant and it was delicious both times. The restaurants also change location, so make sure you check the site.It’s not necessarily clear from pictures and reviews, but the resort is located on opposite sides of a street. There is a tunnel connecting both sides, so you do not have to worry about crossing the highway. The main part of the resort is on the “ocean side” and the water park, dinner theater, some of the recreational areas, a pool, and additional rooms are on the other side of the street. The main resort has a large lobby/bar area where nightly entertainment takes place. In case of rain, some of the daily activities are in the lobby. Twice during our stay, the resort had local venders/artist on site with booths set up in the lobby. It was nice to be able to do some souvenir shopping on site. The venders were friendly and not pushy. Off of the lobby, there is a “hospitality” area where representatives from tour/travel agencies are available for booking excursion. We did not book any excursions during our stay. If you are looking to book excursions and you do not book them before you leave, make sure you do research about what you should expect to pay. On the other side of the lobby is a gift shop/convenience store. The hotel supplies shampoo, lotion, and soap. If you forget any other toiletries or need any essentials during your stay, you will need to get them from the shop. Be prepared to pay convenience prices, but the store does accept US money. A word of caution, throughout the lobby, there are representatives from Lifestyle Holidays Vacation Club who will invite you to “VIP” breakfast or lunch. All I will say is do your research before you go and decide if a “VIP meal” and small bottle of tequila are worth it. Also on the main side of the resort is the large pool that has a swim up bar, shallow kids pool, and three sunken “hot tubs.” The pool is a hot spot for gathering and activities. There are several lounge chairs around the pool and they are first-come, first-serve. When you check in, you will receive a towel card for each person in your party. You turn in your card to get a pool towel and get your card back at the end of the day when you turn your towel in. You can exchange towels during the day, but you will only get one per person. Off the pool is the game room and the snack bar area. We only ate at the snack bar once, but there is a variety of food (fresh fruit, French fries, hamburgers, hot dogs, nachos, etc.) There is also a snack bar and bar at the water park (water park is open 10am-5pm M, W-Sun.) We only went to the water park once and it was not crowded at all, but it is geared toward younger kids. After riding the slides a few times, my daughter was ready to head back to the beach. The main resort is located on the beach and there are plenty of options for relaxing. There are uncovered beach chairs, covered beach chairs, large raised “beds” with covers, swinging beds under a cabana, and round beds with roofs. All are first-come, first-serve. We spent most of our time on the beach in the swinging cabana and had wonderful beverage serve from Alejandro. I can’t say how wonderful he was! By day 2, he knew our drink orders and had them delivered to us within minutes of arriving at the beach. Alejandro also brought us drinks when hung out in the pool…when we were not taking advantage of the swim up bar. Several guest brought “Yeti” style cups and I wish we had done this! The beach is private, but does share some water space with a marina. The first several days we were there, the seaweed was bad and piling up on the beach. Staff raked the seaweed, but there was just so much of is. On day 3-4, the water cleared up and the seaweed was not a problem. The resort also has a variety of non-motorized water craft for guests. We did not use any of these, but we saw lots of other guests use them. They also had staff available to assist and provided life jackets. I’m saving the best for last…the food and service! As a foodie from Louisiana, I had concerns/reservations about the food. The food was delicious! With the exception of three meals, we ate at the main restaurant. We never had to wait to be seated for a meal, but we did see some larger parties have to wait 5-10 minutes to be seated. For all meals, the set-up is buffet style and there is a huge selection of food. There are cook-to-order stations at every meal and sometimes there were multiple stations set up. Dinners are “themed” with a focus on specific cuisine (BBQ, Italian, Asian, etc.,) but they also have a variety of other main dishes and side dishes. Ice cream is available at lunch and dinner and there is a large selection of desserts. We quickly fell in love with the crepe station! Alcoholic beverages are available at all meals and there is a mimosa bar for breakfast.We received great services from all staff and I do encourage you to tip the staff/servers. We tipped at meals ($2-$5) at the bar ($5 for the first round and $1-$2 about every other round.) As I said, we had drinks delivered to us within minutes of arriving at the beach and, at meals, our server brought drinks before we asked for them. Tipping is not required or expected, but it was appreciated and ensured we received excellent service. Overall, we had an excellent experience, but there was one issue during our stay. On the 4th day, a big storm blew in and brought in a massive swarm of mosquitoes. The hotel was not prepared to deal with this! There were mosquitoes EVERYWHERE. We could not use our balcony for several days and you would literally get covered with mosquitoes walking around the resort (including inside.) I came home with over 100 bites and many guests were complaining about the mosquitoes. Other than the mosquitoes, our week at the All Ritmo was close to perfect.