We found paradise in the form of CN. What an experience! After reading the message board for a few months, I will admit, my expectations were pretty high – the actual experience was even better. Here goes my attempt at a review from a newbie's perspective. We were there 4/4/10-4/11/10 – not long enough.
Arrival: We arrived at the resort around 9:30pm, to a wonderfully nice receptionist, glass of champaign, and a cool towel (insert deep relaxing breath here). After signing the bits of paperwork, we were taken to our Deluxe Garden room. Now, I was fully expecting to get the shaft on the room since we were arriving so late at night, but not so...from the patio of 2101 you could see the ocean! Bonus! I was so glad we didn't spend the extra money on the upgraded room. We quickly unpacked and headed to the grill's bar for a cocktail and a burger. Don't know exactly what it is about hamburgers in foreign countries, but something always gets lost in translation. However, we were starving and it was hot, so whatever.
Accommodations: Wonderful spot for a room, adequate size and layout. Loved the mini bar. Bed was comfortable and the pillows were too. Again, I was pleasantly surprised. Housekeeping was great, never saw a bug anywhere and we were on the first floor. Ladies with long hair, bring extra conditioner and a hair dryer.
Food: We ate at all of the restaurants and really thought they were all very good overall and the service was outstanding. Our least favorite was Lychee. My husband and I are huge fans of all types of Asian cooking, but while we felt Lychee tried really hard to fix the different dishes well, it came up a little short. The Lychee martini however was so yummy! We ate at Otaheite on two nights, once by ourselves and the last night we shared a table with a lovely couple from New York (hello, Jeff and Shelley!). Before anyone freaks out – we decided to share the table because that was the only reservation left at the time we wanted, and we really wanted to eat there again before we left. I'm so glad we did. I would highly recommend it; we had a delightful evening and got to know a very nice couple we might not otherwise have met.
Drinks: Someone on the message board, maybe Pamela, mentioned a Vodka Slush as a great drink, so I thought I'd try it. She was right. It is awesome, something you can definitely drink all day since it's not too sweet. My hubby was fond of the dirty bananas.
Water sports/SCUBA: My husband really enjoyed the Cat cruise and swimming in the cave; I thought it was okay, but I wouldn't do it again. We both liked the snorkeling. I got stung by a jellyfish, but it really didn't hurt. The next day we took the Discover SCUBA class with Sugar (the BEST instructor). Wow – it was amazing...everyone should do this! Richard took us on our dive and showed us all sorts of marine life. It was like swimming in a giant aquarium. We enjoyed it so much that we decided to get our certification while we were there – so thankful we did – priced it here in Atlanta and it was double what we paid at CN. We dove three other times and would like to thank Scuba Dog for showing us the sea snake and seahorse!
Beach/Pool: The beach is incredible...tons of chairs, shade and sun, fluffy sand and crystal clear water. We spent most of our days here because it was so relaxing. The pool is very pretty as well, took a few dips in it too and saddled up to the bar for a few drinks.
We both thought CN was the best trip we'd ever taken, including Amalfi, Italy, Paris, the shoe resort in Ochi, cruises, and the like. We came back relaxed and renewed. Reservations for next year have already been made. We can't wait to go home again!