Ok, so here goes… As usual, USA Transfers was great, had a cooler full of beer waiting for me. A couple beers later, I’m pulling up to the happiest place on earth. First impression, looks pretty cool. Got a cool damp scented cloth before check-in. Can’t really comment to the check-in process since the room wasn’t in my name. Signed some papers, got my bracelet and – the premier vultures. This time seemed like more pressure than usual, still not horrible, but definitely a lot more “no’s” required, plus more the next day. Then off to the room. Ocean view, old 5000’s building, could see both the ocean and the sexy pool, first floor. Great location. Room seemed about the same size, but definitely felt smaller with the new wall closets. No chairs or table inside the room. The shiny black wall unit had some shelving, a decent enough closet with hangers, I think there was a drawer? I live out of my suitcase, so this wasn’t an issue to me. The doors are the push-release to open type, and have automatic lights, however about half of the lights inside remained on even when closed, so if you’re the type of person who needs total darkness to sleep, I could see it being an issue. You will push on them a few times to open, and it’s hard to tell I you’re pushing in the right spot or on the hinge for the next one – a little etch mark would solve this easily. Personally not a fan of the auto shade on the window. I like to have the side slide/curtains. These could be partially opened, but it would only be at the bottom. It opens every time the room door opens, and when the maid leaves, they stay open giving everyone a full view of your entire room. Plus one day we had no power – so blinds up to stay, which on an upper floor might not be as big of an issue, but anyone walking by… which sounds fun at first, but gets old when you want an afternoon nap. Bathroom has a lighted make-up mirror which was really nice, there’s a second shelf for bathroom stuff. Shower was large, rainfall shower head. Already had part of the ceiling coming down in the shower. A panel over the toilet leaked – not just when raining – we just put down a towel. All slick tiles in the room (shower wasn’t as bad), so watch when walking with wet feet. There are large gaps around the room door which let in mosquitos, who had a field day feasting at night. TV controls were a little annoying until you got the hang of it. *Thought* we ordered room service, but after a few hours, when nothing came we just called the order in. Can screen cast to the TV, and was able to watch Netflix (on non-premier wifi). A/C was great… nice & cold the entire time. Funky wall paper provided some good laughs, and was already peeling at one wall corner. Beds are HARD, so if you like stiff mattresses, you’re be in heaven, I like them softer, but whatever. A friend was staying in the room I stayed in my last trip, so I got to make a good comparison. IMO – looked like the same room with different décor. They had no A/C the whole trip. Not to stir the pot, but not really much improvement from before (IMO). Bottom line, room was fine, I don’t consider it any better than before, with the few new added nuisances. TV’s have HDMI ports and other types too – easily accessible. Sexy Pool is HUGE! Standing at one end & looking at the other, it was really stunning how large it feels. It is deeper than before. I’m 5’3” & my boobs were completely submerged. There’s no changing the level because the filtration system is the overflow type, so it has to remain full. Pool depth didn’t faze me one way or the other. Pool Bar service was great, and of course Saby around the pool was awesome as usual. It’s nice to not have to worry about returning towels or getting charged, they just hand them out – no more room number. There are a couple big screens around the bar that had mostly sports. There are a lot of wavy shaped and multi-level steps all around the sides – be aware of where you are walking when getting in or out. There are no railings of any kind into the pool. The pool being larger definitely spreads people out more, so it is more effort to socialize… no biggie (IMO) just a little more exercise. The bathrooms are on the right – behind what used to be the Asian restaurant. The tiles to it are VERY slippery when wet – so watch your step. Verify there is toilet paper – There was a stranded lady literally every time I went in. If you’re hanging out in the fun holes (old location – there are now holes on both sides), the bathrooms are far. Fortunately with our room being right there, I just went to the room instead. With the pool that large, bathrooms on each end would be nice – but the layout doesn’t really allow for it. Again, not a huge issue. Plenty of seats around the bar, but I also noticed they weren’t being used much this time. The towers are not an issue for blocking the sun, but there is also enough shade in the pool with the overhang roof. There were a few floaties, if you want to bring one. Seemed to be ok on chair quantity, we never really used them. They are comfortable for laying on your back, mine had a cushion, so not sure how they were on their own. Good luck laying on your stomach. The chairs in the water were comfy, but same – not meant for back tanning. Never went into the quiet pool. Looked the same. They have a live rock band (Saturday maybe?) that was ok, although not sure Pink Floyd is a good fit for the Sexy Pool time. Foam party (Thurs @ 2:30) was as expected… a little more challenging with the deeper pool, but not a big deal. Games are still the same more or less. Belly flop, beer drinking, crazy couples, etc. Still collected bottoms, and even got to see someone chase JJ around the pool naked as punishment – I will not name names. New ent. guy Pedro seems like he will do very well there – and not bad on the eyes. The rest were good too, just more in the background. However, they are now getting in the pool to mingle with people, which I thought was really cool. Still had music trivia (yay!) Bottom line, like the new sexy pool. Food. Buffet was good – a little better than before IMO, breakfast omelette bar, a meat grill station. Nice selection of fruits & breads. I was happy with it. Asian. Didn’t try the hibachi. Menu items were really good. Tom Yum soup was excellent the first time, was still very good but different the second try... Sushi was really good. Italian. Excellent all the way around, filet was tender and cooked perfectly, potato soup was incredible, mushroom risotto was so good. Of course the sexy coffee, a little differently prepared than before, but still a great show & yummy. Seafood. Pretty good, ceviche was really good. Had steak… lol My steak was meh, but I got to taste the meat skewers – with some kind of awesome marinade – amazing. Didn’t go to She this time, heard the usual mixed reviews. Also didn’t try the steak house – heard not so great reviews, and the steak at the Italian was phenomenal, so didn’t really have the urge to try it. Ordered room service our last night. The ordering control on the TV is odd, and doesn’t really give any kind of confirmation that your order was placed, so after a couple hours, we just called in an order. Had pizza, burger & wings. All really good. It $5 per order regardless of how much is ordered. Nice for a chill last night. Bottom line, food is better to much better across the board. I would say definitely try the poolside mashed potatoes, but I think that was a service exclusive to our group… sorry! Wine. Let me start by telling you my wine personality so you can get a feel for reference. I usually drink red Zinfandel, but I love any nice bold red. Prefer red to white, but like a nice dry white too (Sauv Blanc, Pinot Grig). So… Merlot, a bit on the thin side, but better than before. Drinkable. Cab Sauv, better than the merlot (and I prefer Merlot to CS). A little more complex, more flavor. Not bad, ordered a few times and will order again. Sauv Blanc. Just plain awful IMO. I actually just had them take it away, and I will usually choke down anything. Had the same response from others at the table. And this was multiple nights, so it’s not just like that particular bottle was bad. Chardonnay – way better than the SB, and I usually never order Chard. It doesn’t taste much like a Chard – probably why I liked it – it didn’t have the buttery oaked flavor to it, it was on the thin side and almost had the acid of SB – again, probably why I liked it. Champagne, just ok – never had it outside of mimosas before, so can’t really compare. Bottom line, better than before, but still nothing that I’d voluntary buy back home. More drinkable than before. I didn’t purchase any wines, these were all the included ones. Coffee Bar – excellent! Expresso to keep you going, nice quick take-away sandwiches & breads/pastries. Great for a quick bite. Definitely a nice addition. Bash. Not bad. Definitely bigger with a great view of the ocean. Seemed cooler than Paty’os was. Bar stools had a very hard edge, sit down cautiously or you’ll have a nice bruise line. The high-top sets had more comfy seating but the tables have tapered down ends, if you don’t set your drink close to center, it will slide off. Waffle butt from all the other seating. Personally I think there is too much furniture in there, it really constricts dancing to smaller groups, and was rarely used while I was there. Plus it being at crotch level kinda made you feel out of the party if you sat down. There is a raised stage (maybe 2.5 ft) that has no railings (as of yet) so dance with caution. As we were leaving they were putting mirrored flooring on it (re: probably horribly slick), so I would think (hope) they’ll be adding a rail around the sides. Drinks were quick. They have the little curtained seating areas that I’d imagine will eventually become premier only, but as of our trip were open to all. Dress code – I saw everything from normal club wear to completely sheer to pasties & panties. They’ll make you put your top back on if you’re being obvious, but I saw a few that were topless (no pasties) that were “overlooked”. Music wasn’t bad, some of the stuff from before, but more EDM & Spanish music. It’s nice that the lobby bar is right there, so you can pop in to get a drink & cool off. Be careful – inside tile is slick, and the little ramps at the doors has an odd edge where I could see someone easily rolling their ankle if they turn too quick. Same type of late night food, meats on a stick, and of course the burgers & fries and a few small dessert plates. Bottom line, not bad. Somethings are for the better, others not so much. Still a great place to party, and they are definitely still working on stuff. Bash Hot Tub – lovingly named the “Not” Tub. Not hot. At all. But nice to cool off after a night of dancing, and definitely a place where late night fun can (and was) had. I liked it, but I could see how in the later months it will get colder & potentially not get used much. Sports Bar, way nicer than before. Raised stage with pole, and definitely a little loose on the dress code rules. It’s gonna be too small for a complete alternate on rainy days, but definitely still fun. Beach. Is still the beach, it’s there. Even went in it this time. It is what it is – which is exactly what it was before. Meh. Whatever, don’t go for the beach. Watch where you walk, everywhere. Not everything is slippery, but you never know when it will be. Edges are not clearly visible, so it’s easy to miss a step. Had a friend fall (not even drunk yet) and break her arm. Just pay attention when you’re walking. I didn’t see anything in the tower, so can’t comment to any of that. Didn’t go in the shop, salon, or spa. Overall, for the most part, things are better. The coffee bar is a great addition and the food, I feel, has improved overall. Seemed like bar service was faster all around. The vibe is definitely still there. You can keep your bracelet (cut in half) at check out for a souvenir. Bottom line, still had an amazing time, as always. Some of the new is good, some not so much. Nothing that would prevent me from going back, as evident by the fact that I’ll be back in 6 weeks. The party is what matters, and of course, the people. I don’t know if I can justify what I’m seeing for the 2018 prices though. There are lots of changes (obviously) but a lot of them are just cosmetic, and I don’t go for appearance. I don’t see them sustaining the $400-$500/ night price for the old reno’d rooms. Maybe that’s just me. Not trying to stir up trouble, just my opinion. And it may change when I go back in Nov & they have more done. It’s still too early to call. I met some wonderful people from the Octoberbreast group, they accepted me as one of their own. <3 I got to check off some things from my “Fuck-it” list, and even a few that I didn’t even know were on it! I had a great time, and recommend everyone at least go back once & see it for yourselves. Ask away, I’ll answer everything I can!