Although I was worried after reading previous reports on this resort on the Isle of Margarite, Venezuela, I must report a wonderful experience. The staff was happy & helpful, the meals good with great variety and a good selection of indigenous fruits and vegetables, the activities fun and varied.
As we were the only 2 Americans in the resort of 500 rooms, I was welcomed warmly and made to feel at home. This was my first 'all-inclusive' venture and what a value!!!!! I highly recommend this resort for a fun relaxing vacation.
This was the worst vacation I've EVER been on. It was my first time to the Carribean too! First off, Travel.com did not confirm a tour guide with the hotel and the hotel did not have any spare tour guides, so we were stuck with someone who really wasn't even supposed to be touring us. He turned out to be alright though. Secondly, BEAUTIFUL island, but never again if i were given the choice to go there, i WOULD NOT stay at the Portofino Mare. For an all inclusive resort, they sucked. There were 3 restaraunts, but only one was open for breakfast, from 7-9! HAVE THEY EVER HEARD OF VACATION ADN SLEEPING IN?!?! the 3 restarautns were open for lunch at 12 so of course we ate then and we were starving and it turns out the food was HORRIBLE! I would have rather ate a million plates of brussel sptouts then eat their food. At 3pm, all restaraunts closed down until 7 and no food was sered at all. So if u were at the beach all afternoon and morning and came up to get a snack at lets sya 4 or 5 nothing was there to be offered to you! Bottom line, the food sucked. REALLY SUCKED. The beer was terrible and around every bar threr were bees and flys and it smelt like piss because nobody ever cleaned up around there! I got stung by bees a few times. The mixed drinks were decent, but the bar smelt so bad, it was hard to go up there..the cups they served drinks to you in were terrible as well. they gave you a tinyyyy plastic cup..i felt like i was 5! Definetly dont go there if you are a blonde because all the staff will do is hit on you and when youre an american girl and a bunch of people are hollering lines in spanish at you its a bit terrifying. The beach and ocean seemed nice, but i couldnt enjoy it much because about the 4th day there i passed out from heat exhaustion and almost had to be hospitalized. It was due to a mixture of not being able to eat when i was hungry and then when they had food i didnt want it and a mixture of being dehydrated due to not bwing able to drink their water. it wasnt safe to drink. The maids cleaned daily and did a decent job, but the beds were basically slabs of cement with a tinyyyy mattress on top and carboard for a blanket basically. Very unconfortable. The bathroom was teeny tiny with only as stand up shower wiht low water pressure and there was no lid on the toilet seat. When we arrived to the hotel, they told up there would be no hot water until the next day and we arrived at the hotel at about 9am. The pools were nice, they really were, there was a sunning pool, were it was like a ramp going in and u could layout basically in the water so you wouldnt get too hott in the sun. I didnt spend much time at the 'big pool' bc there was too many people hooting and hollering at the DJ who was there and played reject 80's songs from the US. When our tour guide took up to the mall and into town it was nice. The malled showed me that there was SOME normalcy down there and the town reminded me of one of the towns, Lahina in Maui, Hawaii with little interesting shops, but not many places to eat. The jewelry shops treated up like queens they shut their entire shop down for us and served up drinks and food. The hotel staff was rude they were terrible. Never followed through with any of our requests and our air conditioner died several times and we had to call matinence like 10 times until they finally came up to fix it (this was at night, mind you) We were also told it NEVER rains in Margarita Island..it rained 4 out of the 7 nights we were there adn the power went out every single one of them!! ughhhhh! there was a flood in the rain storm on our way to the airport and the engine onf the ar was flooded so we almost missed out flight! to top it all off we were kicked out of our rooms at 10am and our car did not come to pick us up until 3pm they made us sit out in the hot heat and there was no reasoning with them. Please dont visit portofino mare. Its like pergatory, really. margarita island is nice to visit, beautiful, but dont stay at the PORTOFINO MARE!
In July 2001, My new wife and I spent our honeymoon at the Portofino Mare Hotel in Margarita . The whole affair was a great disappointment for the following reasons:
i) The food served was of poor quality. The main restaurant was too hot to sit comfortably in and resembled a school dinner hall. Lunch and dinner was served to you and you were frown upon if you wanted more than you were served. Not good for All Inclusive hotel.
ii) The lager served was weak. One of the bar men confirmed this off the record. Also, one of the local guides admitted that this hotel only uses the cheapest food and drink.
iii) There is a two tier service where the locals are looked after better than forgeiners. The staff's attitude was, i'll serve you when i'm ready!!!
iv) Only one out of the three pools were open for the first week.
v) The beach had black algae on it. This was never cleaned up and therefore had big black flies buzzing round it.
vi) One of the two lifts never worked. The other one was out of order several times. Not funny being on the fifth floor!!!
vii) I had booked some trips on my credit card and was charged an extra 9% for using the credit card. Then my slip was lost by First Choice so I had to cancel my card.
viii) After reminding the hotel, we received our complimentary honeymoon bottle of wine. However, we never got to drink it was we never got a corkscrew despite several requests.
Please do not waste your money and go to this hotel. I would not return even if I was given a free holiday. I wrote to First Choice in July to complain. I did not get a replay until early November and that was only because ABTA told them to write to me or else. Their reply was a joke, not ansewering the letter and just really saying sorry you didn't enjoy yourself but this happens sometimes. The matter is currently in the hands of a solicitor. Please spend a little bit extra and keep away from this hotel.
If you want any further information, please do not hesitate to e mail me.
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