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Reviewed 22 July 2012

My boyfriend and I stayed from July 13 to July 20, 2012. Prior to vacation, we were dismayed by the negative reviews of the resort. We were happily surprised when we arrived and found the resort to be well-maintained and clean, and the staff to be at least polite and generally helpful, though I would not say overly friendly or informative. First, check-in was a breeze. We were given a packet of information from the desk clerk, but not a lot of information personally from her. Next we were sent to a concierge who books activities/tours through Lucaya Watersports. Do not book any tours through them (more on that later). Then a very friendly young man carried our bags to our room. We had a studio in the Marlin. The room was clean and well-equipped with amenities. Rooms are not cleaned during the week, which suited us just fine. Once we needed toilet paper, which we had no problem getting ourselves from housekeeping. Previous reviews complained about appliances not working. The microwave and refrigerator worked. The toaster did not. That was all we used. I am a stickler for a clean bed and bathroom. Both met my satisfaction. I do have to say, I agree with previous reviews regarding the sheets – very pilly and uncomfortable, but I was too tired after the day’s activities to worry about it. The restaurant on the resort is serviceable. We ate there our first night and ordered breakfast to go one morning. Food was just okay; service was a little slow but friendly staff. The resort provides a van to the market a few days a week. A very nice option, which we used. The resort is on Taino Beach; we walked the beach but did not swim there. A few stormy nights brought in a lot of seaweed so we stuck to the pool. I honestly cannot say enough positives about the pool area. We spent hours every day lounging in the lazy river (yes, tubes are in short supply so bring your own if you have to have one), going down the slide (was on daily), and of course, enjoying beverages at the swim-up bar. Lara, the pool bar bartender, was one of the friendliest people we met on vacation.

Regarding the staff, all were fairly polite though some more than others. No one went out of their way for us, but it seemed that staff was friendlier with returning guests. We relied on other guests, cab drivers, and a few of the more friendly staff to get information. There was an orientation at the Welcome Center on Friday morning, but we arrived Friday afternoon and left the following Friday morning. A representative contacted us the first morning to make an appointment to listen to a timeshare presentation. We politely declined and were no longer contacted which I appreciated.

For entertainment and most meals, we took the water ferry to Port Lucaya. Tickets are available at the front desk. Port Lucaya is a pretty low key area. Some good and some not so good restaurants. Go to Cappucino, Flying Fish, Agave, Zorbas and Dive-in. Avoid After Deck (worst meal we had). Shops seemed to be either high end or tourist/souvenir shops. Do not go to the visitor information center; it is a ruse to get people to go to timeshare presentations. The representatives do not take no for an answer and one day got pretty hostile. We avoided the shops around it because we were tired of being hassled. We enjoyed the arts and crafts center over the straw market.

As previously stated, Lucaya Watersports is located in the resort lobby. I cannot stay anything good about this company or the representative. A 10% discount is offered on most activities booked the first day. Frankly, one can get a better deal booking the same activities with other more reputable companies online several weeks or even days prior to arrival. We booked three activities. We probably would not have booked the bonfire if we knew what to expect. The bulk of the time guests are in the pavilion by the beach engaged group games and dances. Half way through the night, a buffet dinner is served, which was fine. After the buffet, a bonfire is lit on the beach, but the entire group is directed back into the pavilion for more games, which seemed odd to us. The actual bonfire seemed like an afterthought. The guests that actually participated in the activities seemed to sincerely enjoy themselves; it just wasn’t for us. We also booked the island tour because we wanted to see the island but were not comfortable driving on the “wrong” side of the road. The bus driver arrived 45 minutes late with an already overfull bus. He tried to squeeze us all on. We declined as we didn’t want to sit on an overcrowded bus for 4 ½ hours. We got a refund with no problem. After those two experiences, we tried to get a refund for the wine and cheese cruise. The first time was when we got our refund for the island tour. We were told to come back the day of the cruise. The morning of the cruise we tried again and were told that tours are nonrefundable unless the company cancels due to weather. That evening we rushed out of the pool to get to the cruise. We arrived at the Welcome Center ten minutes before the cruise was to begin. We double checked where the group was to meet and were told the cruise was canceled due to weather and low numbers. We received no explanation as to why we were not contacted or when this decision was made. We were told to come back the following morning to get our refund; we came back in the morning before we were going to catch the water ferry to Port Lucaya, and the Lucaya Watersports representative couldn’t find the paperwork so we had to come again that afternoon. We did finally receive a refund.

Overall, we enjoyed our time at Taino Beach Resort and Clubs. If you are a low-maintenance self-sufficient traveler who enjoys relaxing by a beautiful pool and does not need a lot of night life, I would highly recommend this resort. Great place for a family vacation.

Room Tip: Stay in the Marlin; updated rooms.
  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank Julele
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 July 2012

Let's just say I was pleasantly surprised with this resort after carefully reading all of the reviews on various sites. I started by upgrading my reservation from The Ocean to The Marlin building directly through the resort for a very small fee even though I booked through RCI. The sales person took 3 or 4 painfully excruciating days to email me the confirmation for this transaction after various calls to do so. I was NOT going to stay at The Ocean after what I had read. When we arrived, we had to wait a few hours in the lobby as they are very firm about the 4:00 check-in and will not budge so plan accordingly. We went to the 5:15 supermarket trip that is provided to guests and we were never picked up by our driver. We were left there with our 3 children, 3 other guests, our melting ice cream and about $300 worth of groceries. Caution, groceries are costly because they must import the majority of their products. We had to call a taxi and pay out of pocket after waiting in front of the store for about an hour. No apologies from the resort but taxis are a whole different animal in this island we soon learned (along with many of the locals). Let's just say that by the time we got back to our rooms we had lost a whole day of our vacation. We stayed in a one bedroom that connected to a studio. It was extremely comfortable for us. Both rooms were in very good condition and furnished/equipped nicely for our week. It didnt feel "clean clean" but not dirty. We had AC trouble in the one bedroom unit. The hotel staff was very nice and helpful the whole time we stayed. The pool is gorgeous and big enough where you have your privacy and space. The lazy river and water slide were on daily until about 5 or 6 pm. We brought our own inner-tubes but some were supplied by the resort. Fresh towels are available at housekeeping as long as you bring your dirty ones in exchange. The beach was nice too. It had some seaweed but we had some very nice beach days the last two days we were there. We ate-in a lot as eating out at the island got very expensive, and disappointing. The hotel restaurant is very nice if you eat outside on the beach. The food was good. We did lunches, a breakfast, and dessert after dinner in the room. We loved Marie, she's adorable! There isn't much to do in the island to be honest. We went to Lucaya Marketplace a couple of times and the International Bazaar (not impressed). The food at Zorbas was pretty bad, but then again we should have stuck to local foods because their Snapper w/ peas and rice was awesome! We went to the Wednesday Fish Fry and waited about an hour in line. The food was mediocre, over-priced, and the Bahamian locals are rude to the tourists. Try to venture out at the fish fry area and not where the taxis drop-off area is. We made that mistake and realized that there were many other places to eat as we were driven back to our resort. The highlight of our trip was the day we went to the Lucaya National Park to see the caves and hang out the beach. This beach is breathtaking! The entrance is $5 per person but the taxi driver charged us $150 for the day to take us there and back. So in summary, the resort is outstanding when you consider how dumpy the island is. Grand Bahama is in desperate need of attention from the Bahamian government if they want to appeal to tourists. We had been to Nassau Atlantis Resort and wanted a more intimate island experience this time. I don't think we would return, and we travel frequently. Its a shame because we live close by to Freeport and getting there is convenient. Definitely rent a car if you want to leave the resort and venture out. Ask the taxi drivers UP FRONT what they will charge because they will take advantage of you. If all you want to do is sunbathe, fish, and snorkel, this is the place for you. I didn't appreciate the 9 AM phone calls from my "concierge", so I took the phones off the hooks the whole time we were there. She came by one of the last days we were there knocking on the door and ringing the door bells around 9 AM. Maybe her job was to try to give the old timeshare sales pitch - not sure. We didn't bite, anyway we already have a timeshare and one is enough for us!

Room Tip: Marlin building
  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled with family
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4  Thank Natasha R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 July 2012 via mobile

I felt like a lot of the people that worked there were very very rude. Hotel was decent. The beach was wonderful. Food was poor my hash browns tasted like fish which was really gross to me since I don't eat fish.

  • Stayed: January 2012
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3  Thank KatharineTheresa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 July 2012

We just got back from spending another great week at Taino Beach. We were there from June 30-July 7 so we got to spend the 4th of July on Island which was pretty cool.

As I was prepping for this review, I did read a very negative / spiteful review and I want to address some of those negatives with a more objective viewpoint.

A little background before I start. We have been coming to Taino since our Honeymoon in 2004, so we’ve seen quite a bit of change in that time good and bad…so on with the review.

This resort is an RCI affiliated timeshare and has won commendations for their service from RCI. I will tell you that this is not an “all-inclusive” resort nor is it an “american style” hotel with room service and daily maid service. If that is what you are looking for, then you need to keep looking . This is kind of like a hybrid, apartment/hotel where the room is yours for the week. If you want fresh towels / linens everyday, go to housekeeping and they will replace them for you.

CHECK-IN

Like most places on the island, check-in time is 4pm which is pretty firm. The women that check you in cannot release your room until housekeeping clears it. Also, they are not the person who assigned your room. Reservations assigned your room and you are on a list. (Members generally get the room that they request, but on occasion that can’t happen.)

Once your room is ready, a bell captain, will gather your luggage and escort you to your room. He will also check your room keys to make sure they work. (I find it Odd in the other review that there was no one to help them with their luggage and the fact that they wandered around the resort for 30 minutes looking for their room. Everytime we’ve been there, there was someone that took our bags to our room, as well, we did not have an option to take our own bags.)

If you arrive on the Island before the 4pm check in, you have several options.

1. On your way to the resort, have your cab driver stop at the grocery store to get your non-perishable items and bottled water. (the water from the tap is ok to drink, but most people prefer bottled water)

2. Hang out in the lobby…they have free Wifi and fruit punch and Rum punch to enjoy. It is an air-conditioned space with comfortable chairs….and the punch is good

3. Go for a dip in the pool or the ocean (there are changing rooms in the lobby with showers, so bring a towel and your swimsuit in your carryon)

4. Grab a bite to eat in the restaurant (I will say, it used to be hit or miss at Taino by the Sea but it has been getting better, for a safe bet, try the hamburger it’s pretty good)

THE ROOMS

The resort is made up of 3 different Units, The Ocean, The Coral & The Marlin. Here is a breakdown of the units.

THE OCEAN:
The Ocean was opened in 1997. Complete upgrades and improvements were completed in January 2007. it is the oldest unit that is still at the resort (the original units Taino 1 and Taino 2 were damaged by hurricane Francis and torn down.)
These units are the closest to the ocean but they are still close to the Pool.
(We request to stay in these units when we go, since we like to be closer to the ocean)

THE CORAL:
The Coral, formally "Coral Suites" was opened in 1999. they are nice and have huge balconies that overlook the pool. (We've stayed in these units too)

THE MARLIN:
The Marlin was originally scheduled to be opened July 2007. However, they actually opened a little ahead of schedule. these are the newest units and have the most up to date facilities. these are adjacent to the welcome center and they are the farthest away from the beach.
(I have not stayed in these, but have taken tours and seen the rooms.)

All of the 1 bedroom studio rooms face the Pool/Ocean. All of the efficiency rooms face the parking lot.

Since 2004 these units have faced 3 major hurricanes and I’d say they have held up fairly well.

Now about the plunge pools, In 2004, about ½ the pools were working, and since then they have taken the pumps away from all of them. Only the Coral and Ocean units have the pools. I believe the next renovation will be the removal of those pools for additional balcony space.

We have never had bugs in our room, and to be honest, I couldn’t tell you if the hinges were crooked or if the sink was corroded. We are in the Caribbean and the humidity takes it’s toll on everything. We are the type of travelers that go with the flow and to not let unimportant details ruin our vacation. Everything worked in our room so we were happy. If you want stainless steel appliances and newer units, spend the money and upgrade to the Marlin. The room to me is a place to sleep and eat and the Ocean serves that purpose.

I have made several friends with the staff and look forward to seeing them and enjoying their hospitality every time we go.

From what i can figure out, the resort numbering goes like this:
every room has 4 numbers and the breakdown is something like this:
I believe, that the Marlin is building 1, the Coral is building 2 and the Ocean is building 3

example: we were in 3104
which is building 3 (the ocean)
room 104 (first floor)

Room Tip: If you want a newer room book into the Marlin (studio rooms face the pool while efficiency units face the parking lot) with a first floor room you could walk right out to the pool.
  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled with family
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22  Thank aggieguy93
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 July 2012

First of all, if you are expecting a five star resort experience, this is not the place for you. This is an RCI timeshare with no housekeeping service, but really a self-serve situation, which suits my husband and I just fine.

Check-in is at 4:00 and is firm. However, you can put your bags in a secure room and go have a drink at the restaurant or go upstairs in the check-in area (they have shower/changing facility) and go to the pool or beach. When we did check in to the room, we were pleasantly surprised. We had a one bedroom in the Marlin wing and it was great. Large living area, two sofas. Galley style kitchen with stainless steel appliances. Beautiful balcony overlooking the pool and a view of the ocean.

The pool - the pictures say it all. The beach - it was great for the first few days and then a load of seaweed washed up that was not removed for two days. We walked over to the public beach at Taino (one-half mile) and the next day went over to Lucaya Beach. No big deal, but a bit disappointing that they didn't do something about it more quickly.

We played a lot of tennis and the court is in great shape by Caribbean standards.

They have a business center where you can use the internet for free, which we did daily to check email.

If you need towels, linens, etc., just go to the laundry area and they will gladly exchange. Nice.

This resort draws both families, young couples and older people, so a nice mix. People were very friendly and seemed to be having a great time.

I am looking forward to our next trip back!

  • Stayed: June 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank cookiecArlington
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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