on Jan 5, 2020
I can’t say enough good things about my stay at Mandala. The staff is wonderful. They were very accommodating. I had a room over the water. It was cool enough at night that the fan was perfect. I didn’t even miss AC. Bugs were not bad at night. I enjoyed the outdoor shower. There was a great little porch with chairs to sit outside in the evening with a glass of wine. The pool is nice. You do need to get out early or have them reserve a spot as others start coming early from outside the resort just for the day. Things get quiet again in the evening. Food is fantastic! They can connect you with a local tour guide named Rivas who can pretty much arrange anything you desire-hiking, horseback riding, coffee plantations, food tour, etc. Thank you all for a great stay! El Salvador far exceeded my expectations. I will be back!
Before you go: read this
on Dec 30, 2019
The good stuff: Hotel looks pretty much as it does in the pictures, so no harm there. We stayed at a big villa that fit 5 but you could probably comfortably fit 6 in there. The villa was big and the beds were comfortable, and everything was clean. The food was good, but very undersalted. Funnily enough I had heard this from some of my friends that had visited prior and boy were they right. Nothing easily fixed though.... We had the shrimp pizza, the coconut shrimp, two different tacos, and ceviche salvadoreño - enjoyed them all.
The only bad things about the room: the screen on one of the windows was entirely unattached in our room, meaning we had to fully close it (quite a problem with no a/c) or let bugs in at night. Luckily the room was big enough where it fell rather airy. The bathroom was fully out of shampoo and conditioner when we arrived, and we had to go request more that night as they hadn't checked.
Now what was wrong with the rest: first of, we arrived at 1pm (check in is at 3) and hoped to just wait around the restaurant prior to getting our room. However, there were no tables left for us to sit at (until we noticed a family of 9 was using two tables). We found it rather odd that they have no way to prioritize a sitting area or something of the sort for those paying for a night of stay over those that are just there for lunch, and it seems a bit ridiculous to think that you can get to the hotel you paid a room at and not be seated because others are taking up space and probably only spending the $ minimum and leaving after. Other hotels like this have areas that can only be accessed by hotel guests, therefore always allowing them a place to sit/hang... So, not a deal breaker but keep it in mind if u're going on a crowded day. When we were assigned a table by the only person in the hotel that actually helped during our stay (a woman whose name I unfortunately forgot) - she took part of our order. Everything went downhill from there - ordering drinks, dinner, etc required me following a server every single time because they'd never come to our table or by the pool or really anywhere we were. I literally chased a server down to order piZZA for dinner at some point... Quite ridiculous. At breakfast, not only did I have to again walk towards the corner where the server was just standing to order (after we'd been sitting at the table for a while), but I also had to go ask like 20min later for the coffee and drinks to be brought to us (as is done anywhere else). Even then food arrived prior to drinks and while the head of kitchen apologized after I complained, the server acted annoyed that I had pointed it out. Additionally, my sister found two hairs in her tortillas and the server didn't apologize but said "we'll let the kitchen know". Since I didn't hear anything in response for a while, I went to complain to the kitchen - They said that they buy tortillas from a lady in town and don't actually make them, but I feel like we should've gotten a little more of an apology than "thanks we'll get the kitchen know".
Honestly, if all you want is a pretty place with a pool, go for it. If you're looking for good service, run away. I'd never give another cent to this hotel if this is how guests are treated. People that come for lunch seem to get priority over hotel guests, or at least that's how it went for us yesterday... So what's the point of spending a good amount of money in stay and consumption for such a bad experience?
BAD SERVICE AND EXPERIENCE
on Dec 23, 2019
This review is exclusively about the hotel's restaurant as that is where we visited. Our bad experience started at the gate. The guard was reluctant to let me and my girlfriend in, asking questions such as: "Oh, and do you want to come in? Do you know that there is a $20 - per - person minimum consumption to come in? You want to park inside? Because I have no parking space." and questions like those that made me feel as if my business was not welcomed.
After, we went in and at the restaurant asked a waiter if there was a problem if I moved one of the tables from the back to the front, closer to the pool, and I was told not to, as they were "already dispositioned in a specific order"....even though there was enough space closer to the pool.
After, we were advised that there was a $20 per-person minimum consumption to be there (despite the fact that the guard and a sign at the entrance stated so too) plus an extra 15% service surcharge (although a 10% tip is accustomed in El Salvador). Once again, I said we were fine with that and proceeded to order some beers and asked for time to check out the menu for food.
Then, the next mistake; Every beer we ordered off the menu, they didn't have it available. Finally we settled for a local beer but 3 minutes later, the waiter came back to advise that the beers weren't cold.
That is when we finally decided to leave as we never felt welcomed, plus the view from the restaurant is very disappointing.
Excellent meal and service
on Oct 7, 2019
We were invited to lunch by our friends at Mandala, there were five of us. We ordered the fish special which was spectacular. A good sized red snapper wrapped in plantain leaves and smoked. It was served with rice, lime, avocado, pico de Gallo and fried belly pork. It was delicious. The service was friendly.
The setting is so relaxing and calm, watching the waves and enjoying a dip in the pool.
Be careful not safe.
on Jun 6, 2019
The bungalow for 4 people,the Bathroom is outside the unit.
The entrance to the hotel is very bad road and not safe, the units need taking care.
The beach you can not swim is full of rocks.
The staff was rude. when I told him the beach is not even close to what the picture show,he told me if i didn't like I could go away from the resort to swim.
Airport transportation is very expensive.