“Unethical behaviour at the Mini Club? plus other short comings .. Stay Away”
We stayed for a second time at the Club Med Yucatan Cancun resort for 9 days in mid-November and have stayed more than 20 nights overall in the last year.
This is an attempt at an objective review with a stronger emphasis on the second stay (bad experience). I start with the positives of both stays:
1. The location is very, very nice. Beach is beautiful and the lagoon is too.
2. For the most part the GOs go out of their way to make your vacation better.
3. Activities are varied. In low season water skiing has almost no wait. Tennis courts need to be redone. Snorkeling is extremely good with coral reef next to the resort. Sailing is also good. All activities are very busy during high season.
4. Food is ok for a few days, but it is repetitive and usually the same so after a while it may not appeal the more ‘foodie’ type of guest.
The positives listed above convinced us to visit this location again this year, a mistake that I intend not to do again. We arrived in mid-November, low season and with an occupancy of 15-20%. The first ‘problem’ was the room assignment. They gave us one of the farthest rooms in the complex despite having Silver status with Club Med (I honestly didn’t even know Club Med had a loyalty program nor were we informed, or recognized upon arrival as such, until other events happened) and no ‘welcome back’ letter/package. I did not think that was an issue at all; alas, the subsequent events, slowly but surely unveiled that this was not a one off oversight but rather a massive quality, service and operational mess at this location and of things to come. Chronologically:
1. The first day I had to print a confidential document, sign it, scan it and send it. I understand we are at a vacation resort, but sometimes we still need to respond to the demands of our jobs, especially in this day and age, so I was appalled to learn that the so called “Business Center” possesses PCs with internet access only, no printer and no scanner. More incredible was the absolute lack of initiative or knowledge by the front desk on how to solve this. Someone suggested to take a cab downtown (really??), a three hour proposition and probably $100 in taxis and other fees. When pressed, no one at the front desk showed the initiative to solve my issue and no one knew if there was a scanner in the premises (unbelievable). In the end I sent the confidential document to the back office, went inside their offices, printed the file myself, hopefully deleted the file forever, and started my search for a scanner in the premises (turns out there is one in the Tours office, I was able to find it on my own, and no one in the front desk even attempted to help me look for it!).
2. We had, initially, two connecting rooms. The keys never worked properly, so the first time I had an issue I went to the front desk and had them re issued. Came back; same problem. I go back; front desk assures me the keys are fine. May be, I suggest, it is the door. I get a stern response that the door is fine. We try again; same problem. In the end, and after at least one more coming and going, it was a faulty door and front desk had to send maintenance to solve the problem. No major issue, but the trend is that front desk does not seem too care much for my time and is at this time borderline disinterested in my stay.
3. Towels seemed to be several years old (both in the room, and at the pool/beach). Towels were not restocked in the room unless we left them on the floor on purpose.
4. My booking had the first 5 nights in a connecting room and 3 in separate rooms. During our time I asked to remain in the connecting room to no avail (front desk citing a full resort). No problems as this was what I had purchased; I had also purchased and had Club Med pre travel agreement to have the new room/s ready so we didn’t have to check out and check in a few hours afterwards (this to me was very important and would not have proceeded otherwise). One day before check out I receive a letter offering me a late check out for $50 (approx.); I don’t even think about it considering my agreement with Club Med. Front desk asks us to check out by 11, and check in by 3 (Front desk asked us to leave our belongings packed, and they would make sure that we had them in the new rooms). In the end, after arguing extensively, we are provided with one room. I wonder what would have happened if I had paid the $50 for the late check-out. The second room was delivered late.
5. Also during this odyssey I found out that I had attained Silver category with Club Med. “Why didn’t you know?” I inquired. Front desk recommended that I call upon my return and ask them my CM member #. I did find the member card that was sent to me last year: it says member thru 12/31/2012 which now makes me wonder why was I charged member fees when I booked? There must surely be a CM explanation for charging fees, there always is, no matter how irrational.
6. Now the BIGGEST ISSUE I had during our stay, and the sole reason I will never come back to this place ever again and recommend others to also consider not doing is that my toddlers where, at best, left behind during an activity (or worst case scenario, deliberately mistreated, not sure why but please read on). CM prides itself, it appears, on caring for the whole family. For the most part GOs where great. In our previous visit Luisi, Solene, Banana Put Put (?) and many others, etc always cared for our kids. During this visit everything seemed to be following this pattern until I left the kids at night to participate in a Game Night at the Theater. After half an hour I go back to check on them and this is the sequence after I see them sitting alone, sobbing and watching everyone else play (they are under 5, by the way):
a. Why aren’t you playing? It is not our turn
b. Have you played already? (I saw no one else sitting with them). Not yet, it is not our turn yet.
c. Who said it is not your turn? One of my kids points to a GO (Sara, or Sandra) on the stage. My kid then proceeds to walk up the stage, on her own initiative, and I see from the distance how Sara points in the direction of the chairs where we were sitting. She return upset that permission to play has not been granted.
d. Now they are really crying. No one even attempts to approach us, or them, to console them. Or to see what is going on.
e. I ask Sara why they are not including my kids. I hear some babbling about how she hasn’t seen them. My wife is now with the kids.
f. My wife later asks sara the same question. Response: we did not know they had been signed in to the night’s activities, while she produced papers that clearly showed that I had signed them in. This is a blatant lie! And what an embarrassment.
g. I decide to ask for a supervisor at the closest place, unfortunately this is front desk. Apparently, somewhere, the new General Manager (GM) of the resort (Asis) is being sworn in, and no matter, not even a serious mismanagement by a Club Med employee warrants his attention or somebody else’s.
h. I insist that I would like to discuss this with someone. Out of the corner of my eye, the first front desk employee, the one that told me that the new GM or any of his reports is too busy to attend this, I see him(Hassam K), laughing. I pause. Every time I speak, he laughs. OK. Is there anything funny about what is happening to my kids?, I query. He responds something like: “nobody is going to talk to you tonight, they are too busy with Asis”. And that justifies you laughing at me? Please show me some respect. Astonishingly he responds: “you respect me, man”. Dumbfounded at this and done with Hassan K, I leave. I encounter on my way to the restaurant, by chance, the departing acting GM (Zani). I tell her the experience. She at least apologizes and follows up with Glenn from Belgium, who is in charge of entertainment.
i. Glenn comes to where we are having dinner. By now I don’t want to maximize this event in my kids’ eyes.
j. Glenn apologizes. I asked him what he is apologizing for. He responds he apologizes if I feel something was wrong. What? I ask him if he feels that there was something was wrong. He says no, to best of his knowledge everything was fine, that Sara and the other tried to integrate my kids in the activities (by the way my kids had been to the activities for a number of days and had integrated perfectly). So why weren’t they allowed to play for half an hour? No response. Why did Sara say that she did not have records of my kids being signed in for the night activities? No response.
k. What did I expect? Honestly, I think the team there is very inexperienced. I understand if a mistake is made. In this case, someone thinking quick on their feet would have grabbed the kids by their hands say something funny, hug them, and bring them in. The constant perception was that the entertainment group was defensive, for whatever reason.
l. Alas, I commend Glenn for his corporate attitude and skills, specially the ‘cover my behind’ skills that are so important in personal development in these type of corporations. Glenn, I wish you grow really fast in Club Med’s structure and management track, and stay far away from young kids. I am sure that you will.
m. I believe it is unethical and unprofessional to allow two toddlers, under any circumstance, and specially under your supervision, without any supervision and sobbing and not responding to them. If there was any problem with the kids then they should have contacted us, the parents, immediately, that is their responsibility. The thought that Sara actually believes that two kids were sitting there not signed in, and no one in his team even bothered to ask what was going on is even more troublesome. And the fact that Glenn blatantly lies to the parents’ face has no justification whatsoever. So you Glenn had sobbing kids that were being integrated: why were they crying? If they continued to cry and sob as they were when I arrived why didn’t you contact us since this is your protocol? Specially since 30’ had gone by. Again no responses from Glenn, or CM.
7. Some other miscellaneous matters include absolutely no entertainment/shows during the first few days before thanksgiving. Again, Glenn, congratulations on reducing the overall expense of the resort, yet another magnificent skill that will serve you well as you continue to strive in this organization.
8. Tours offered by CM at the resort. They are very pricey. You are better off organizing them yourself prior or during your stay.
9. Internet connection is horrible.
10. Repetitive food.
11. If you don’t speak French expect to sometimes receive second class citizen treatment.
12. It would be unfair to criticize Asis, the new GM, as he only took his position while we were there. But comparing the resort from last year (when Eduardo, who I understand is now in Punta Cana and took away with him most of the GOs we had a great experience with, was running the resort) to this year, the ambiance was completely different. This year there was no control on anything whatsoever.
Summing up, chances are you will not experience most of the things we did. If that is the case, the place is good. Some people really work their tails off to make your stay better, others lack attitude (front desk, Glenn). Unfortunately for us guests, it seems the latter are running the show at Club Med. For us, the total disregard for the proper treatment of our kids makes our decision not to return to CM easy.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.