I recently got back from a 7 night stay at the Viva Wyndham Fortuna Beach, all inclusive resort. Now as much as I adored the island, the gorgeous turquoise waters, and the atmosphere at the resort, there were in fact some issues with the resort I should discuss.
Believe me, I could write a glowing review, because I had an awesome time. For those though looking for the whole enchilada on the hotel, than I knew I had to add in the negatives, as well as the positives.
First I will say that the hotel is privately nestled by surrounding tropical forests, with not much else around.
In order to get around you can rent cars, jeeps, mopeds, or large vans all for a fee. We found that taxi cabs don't come to over $20.00 no matter where you are going (except for Gold Rock Beach! That's a $40.00 ride away).
The hotel itself is clean, and filled with some friendly staff, while others were not so welcoming, nor accommodating.
When we first arrived, we were told we could not get the rewards that a normal by request member would get due to the fact that we booked our stay through a third party online site. (Travelocity). Basically by not being allowed the rewards this meant we had to buy our own drinks to stock in the fridge, which was very unaccommodating! I feel anyone staying should be granted the same welcome.
The room we were given which was in the Bimini 3 building was gorgeous. A second story room with 2 queen beds, and a balcony overlooking the gorgeous clear blue bay.
The beds were cleaned daily, and the hotel comes with a fridge, coffee pot, coffee bags, tea bags, a TV, small desk, and 2 lamps. It was nothing spectacular, but we didn't come to lounge around in the room, we came for the beach, and the beach was simply stunning!
White sands, clear blue water, and a reef no less than a few feet off shore! I was amazed at all of the marine life just a step into the water. You can bring bread into the water and feed large angel fish, or you could bring a snorkel and mask in, and swim out to the reef to view larger fish. We saw so many different things, and truly the underwater views will forever be embedded into my memory.
The one upsetting thing about the beautiful reefs located out in the water though was the fact that there were some uneducated dirt bags who were stepping on the coral. I wish the resort would add a sign to let idiots know that CORAL IS ALIVE, and that you should not step on it. Seriously now folks.... besides that though, some coral is poisonous... so you live, you learn.
Every morning the hotels staff rakes the beach, and sets up lounge chairs under umbrellas or palm trees. There was always plenty of room, and seeing how we went on the off season, we mostly had the entire beach to ourselves!
Now the resort claims that it is kid friendly, which is true, because at the resort you can find a kids club where kids can go and play. However on the beach we did happen to see a few topless sunbathers, which I'm sure some parents wouldn't appreciate. Seeing that no one can own beaches in the Bahamas, there is nothing the resort can do about it.
Fair warning for parents thinking of bringing young children. You are bound to see a boob at the beach no matter where you stay on the island.
It did not happen often though, but it did happen, and it was off season, so...
Some staying at the hotel consider the beach vendors annoying, which is semi true- however when you tell them no thanks, they mainly leave you alone for the rest of the day. They will though ask you if you want your hair braided, or if you'd like jewelery or shells every other day.
The food here at Wyndham is all included, but tipping is appreciated, and we found that leaving tips after each meal, that staff were quick to ask us if we wanted drink refills, or wine... a hell of a lot faster than they would someone who didn't leave tips the day before. I didn't mind, and appreciated the extra special services.
Food can be found at the junkanoo, or 2 other restaurants located on the resort. One is Italian, and the other is Oriental cuisine. I preferred the most though the junkanoo. You would have to make reservations for the other restaurants, and I didn't really like the food.
On the beach, there is also a small snack shack where you can get a burger, chicken nuggets or fries. On the other side of the beach grill is a small bar where you can order any alcoholic beverage of your choice. If you go, you have got to try a Bahama Mamma!
The most annoying thing about the hotel was the fact that timeshare employees work right at the resort, and they will, and do bother you daily. We ended up nearly missing an excursion because we were so annoyed at answering our phone and having the person on the other end be a timeshare. Due to a schedule change in an excursion and not picking up the phone, we almost missed it thanks to the timeshares non stop ringing in on us! I found it very invasive, very annoying, and at times some of them acted like NO was not the right answer and would continue to pester us to join them for their 90 minute presentation. YEAH OKAY! AFTER YOU GIVE ME A 5 NIGHT STAY FOR FREE- FIRST.
Besides the awful non-stop timeshares calling you, and stopping you whenever you pass them at the resort, one thing did bother me, and it is something that definitely needs to be mentioned. Most people when they go to a resort lock up their wallet, passport's and other important documents. We did this, but a few days in and my cell phone ran out of power, so I had no choice but to leave it plugged in in the room. I did not think ANYTHING of this.
However a few weeks since being back, I decide to check out my phones bill. It turned out our cleaning lady, managed to make 6 phone calls, and send out 157 texts from my phone since I had been there. Thankfully my phone carrier was gracious enough to drop the extremely high charges!
This was actually a little heartbreaking because I loved the extremely high sort. I loved the beaches, and liked many of the friendly staff. We also left tips for the cleaning lady everyday, and this was sort of like a slap in the face. I planned on coming back next year, but this time I will be more cautious of my frigging cell phone. The phone though is something I am sure a lot of people don't even think about- if you come here- be wary of it!
Overall I loved the place. It is not a resort for everyone though. They don't go too far to accommodate unless you leave a lot of tips, nor can you trust your belongings not being tampered with when you leave the room, which is a major disappointment. However if you are careful with your things, the resort has everything that you will need for your stay. Free food, drinks, and a beach that seriously you will never want to leave. A reef just busy with life, and beauty so remarkable its as if it came out of a travel channel documentary.
Our 7 night stay came to $1700 for two. It was well worth it. I will go back again next year, but do hope that whomever used my phone ends up getting fired. Someone on the island would be desperate to have that job.