> Destinations > Venezuela > Trip Reports > Trip Report
February 17/05 to March 4/05
We reserved this hotel for 2 weeks with Tour Mont Royal and the flight was with Air Transat out of Montreal. Departure and return was more or less on time with a flight without any incidents to note. Duration of flight is approximately 5 hours 15 minutes both ways.
Upon arrival at the Polamar airport we had to wait for our baggage and once all of our bags were retrieved we had to go through a security check. Immigration asked to open one of our bags and within a few minutes we were on our way to the bus for the transfer to the hotel. It is quite easy to find your way at the airport and all the Tour Representatives are located just outside the main doors.
The return portion was extremely long and seemed very much disorganised. After arriving at the airport we had to wait in line to get to the check in counter, and then wait in line to pay the departure tax. At check in they give you a form to fill before clearing security where you also wait in line to get to the departure lounge. This whole process took more than one hour of our time.
Please be advised that after the check in on the return, security do a full body check. A male employee does a full body search to the men and a female employee does the same to the women. Many travellers found this a bit disturbing however all travellers are treated equally.
Also important to note, is that on the day of departure the Venezuelan Government decided to devaluate the Bolivar and increased the departure tax from 87,000 Bolivars to 94,000 Bolivars per person. For the people paying in Bolivars purchased prior to the change this was and additional expense of $3.00US. However if you paid all the tax in US dollars the cost remained the same at $46.00US.
Transfer between the airport and the hotel and return is approximately 30 minutes and TMR has modern and air conditioned buses. Going to the hotel we were 13 passengers and on the return 22 passengers.
The temperature does not vary much on this island. At night it is 29/30 Celsius and during the day, in the shade it is 31/32 Celsius with little or no rain. During the day it is very hot with hardly any clouds in the sky. It is recommended to use a sunscreen with a high factor and apply several times during the day.
The ocean water temperature varies very little and it is always very comfortable to swim, which we did for several hours every day. The pool water is approximately 30 Celsius and never really varies day or night.
The hotel has many 3 story buildings spread over a large complex. There are a total of 405 rooms divided in three categories. There are 81 suites quite big with a balcony or terrace and 243 standard rooms about half the size of a suite, also with a balcony or terrace.
There are also 81 economy rooms with no balcony or terrace, and in my opinion these rooms are good for a single person or for 2 children travelling with parents located in a different room.
All 405 rooms have air conditioning, satellite TV, telephone, small fridge, shower with no bath and a small safe for valuables.
The reception is well staffed and check in and check out is no problem. There are many bars located on the site and all are well stocked with beer and liquor. The have beer on tap and in bottles (Polar / Brahma) as well as white and red wines that's quite good.
This is usually the most difficult section to evaluate however in my opinion this is one of the better places for food. It is better than Cuba and most of the hotels visited in the Dominican Republic.
There is the main buffet Las Brisas with a very large selection of food choices. It is open from 07:00 to 10:30 for breakfast, from 12:00 to 14:00 for lunch and from 18:00 to 21:00 for diner.
There is also the beach restaurant La Boquita open from 12:00 to 17:00 with a buffet service that is quite good. They also have very good burgers and fries. At night this restaurant becomes the Mexican with reservations required.
The last restaurant is Don Alfredo, with a good selection of food, open at night only and with reservations. This is the only restaurant on the site with air conditioning.
All these restaurants are part of the ''all inclusive'' therefore at no additional charge to guests. There is only one exception and that is on Saturday night for the Caribbean Night. Once a week the La Boquita is used for this event and it is an all you can eat buffet of prawns, shrimps, scallops, oysters, fish, roast pork and roast of beef. This diner is really very good and cost $10.00US per person. Reserve early because it is very popular and filled to capacity.
I believe this is one of the biggest pools in Margarita with many sections interconnecting together. In the center of the pools there is a covered bar accessible by several bridges and furnished with tables and chairs. There is also a portion of the bar accessible from the pool with 10 or so stools in the water. The pool bar is an ideal location for a quiet drink at night.
The pools are very clean and chlorinated and the hotel has many employees working full time to keep this area very clean. The pool area is always very busy during the day.
The beach is private and the LTI is the only hotel on this beach. It is approximately 2 kilometres in length and the sand is fine and golden in colour. It is very easy and comfortable to walk to both ends and as most beaches in Margarita they have good waves on most days.
There are many Palapas for shade but definitely not enough when the hotel is filled to capacity. There are no problems for getting chairs at the beach however past 10:00 at the pool it is quite difficult to get seating.
There are many to do however the two most important are the catamaran trip to Coche Island and the Jeep tour of the Island. Both excursions last all day.
For our catamaran we left at 09:00 in the morning and returned just before 17:00 in the evening. Included in the price were a light breakfast aboard and a full lunch including wine at the restaurant on the island. At all times we also had available cold beer and rum.
For those interested in shopping it is quite easy and cheap to get to the large Polamar flea market or the smaller one in Juan Griego. Prices are really good and you have to bargain before buying. The city of Juan Griego is located about 10 minutes from the LTI hotel and one can find just about anything you need. We purchased a bottle of top quality Cacique Anejo Rum for $2.75US. The island is considered a ''Tax Free'' zone so no taxes on any of the goods purchased.
In all the trips we have taken, this is one of the best ever. The people are very nice and friendly, the hotel is well located, and the food was very good, all in all a trip to remember. We are definitely planning in returning at the end of February 2006 and we even are considering making a group to get the best possible prices.
For those that are interested I have pictures on the Webshots site at the following address: http://community.webshots.com/album/288128125AUCbFi
Thanks to Denis for this trip report ...