By way of background, my wife and I had stayed at the Caribbean Princess last year, on the first floor and had an excellent time; such that we decided to return this year for 2 weeks as well. That year, the onsite manager, Angie, was an absolute delight!!!
On our last day last year we were shown a 2nd floor renovated unit and fell in love with it, largely due to the amazing view of the ocean. With taxes, it would come to over $5000 for 2 weeks, which would have represented good value had everything gone as hoped for.
Upon our arrival, the evening of March 3, 2012, we immediately noticed the following deficiencies:
1)One of the sliding doors to the balcony was fully open at least 3 feet(unable to close), overpowering the AC units and allowing in heat, humidity and RAIN!!! Not to mention causing security issues. When I called the property manager on her cell phone, she said "Oh yes, I forgot to tell you about the door. We can't get anyone to fix it until the beginning of the week". At no time did she offer to move us temporarily into a vacant unit.
2)The AC unit in the second bedroom wasn't working, and was dripping all over the floor.
3)The walls were totally barren, without any pictures or decor whatsoever; and painted hospital white.
We endured the open door and the heat, humidity and rain for 3 full nights, during which time my wife had to clean up the wet floors each night, while her asthma and allergies suffered from lack of air-conditioning. When the repair man finally came on day 4 to fix the door, he admitted he didn't come the previous day (as promised), as the manager wasn't available to let him in. He was able to fix the door to the extent that it could be closed but not opened, and it remained this way for the duration of the 2 weeks.
Although the AC in the second bedroom was fixed on day 4, it continued to shower water on the floor resulting in my falling on the wet floor on one occasion hurting my hip, and damaging a suitcase.
Naturally I complained to the rental agent , Ted Demeritte, of St. Martin Reservation Center and ODRC(Owners Direct Rental Center) as well as to Joanne from his staff. I want to emphasize that they did their UTMOST to have the property manager rectify the problems, as well as fighting with the property manager Sylyie, on our behalf for fair compensation for having 3-4 days of our holiday spoiled. I have nothing but great things to say about Ted and Joanne; and have already contacted them in regards to our next few vacations. They are the ultimate professionals!
When Sylvie came on our final day to offer a one day refund for 3 days of grief, it was clear that nothing was going to change her mind. I might have well been trying to reason with a 2 year old having a temper tantrum. I reminded her that we had 3 days of grief on what was supposed to be a stress free holiday; however she seemed to feel that she was more than generous in offering one day. She also responded by saying that we should be grateful for the fact that she upgraded us at no charge to a 3 bedroom unit (which really made no differnce to us at it was just the 2 of us); while admitting at the same time that the renovations hadn't been completed prior to our arrival; thus explaining the barren hospital walls. We did had the opportunity to look through the windows of adjacent units which were beautifully decorated. I even went so far as to tell her that we were considering coming back in the summer and next winter, hoping it would motivate her to do more for us. CLEARLY SHE IS NOT AWARE OF THE POWER OF THE INTERNET AND TRIP ADVISOR!!
Other minor nuisances included broken glass on the grounds, the smell of cat urine in the hallways, no lounge chairs on the balcony(unlike last year), and no face clothes(maybe the French don't wash their faces).
I could go on but I think you are beginning to understand our frustration. It is unfortunate because if not for all the grief, we would be going back next year and indefinitely for years to come. Sylvie has permanently tainted the Caribbean Princess in our eyes, and we won't be back or be recommending it to anyone - unless there is a change in management. BRING BACK ANGIE!!
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- Also Known As:
- Caribbean Princess Hotel St. Maarten/St. Martin