Four of us returned yesterday from a week-from-hell at Adventura Spa. Let me begin by saying my wife and I joined Palace Resorts in 2002 and have visited at least 8-10 times during that period. It had always been an enjoyable week. Once we took our four adult children for a birthday celebration. So, for the first time, we invited friends of ours who we had discussed Adventura as a true destination experience and they finally agreed to go. Now the story:
Pickup: We arrived in Cancun and waded through the crowd of time-share sales people to Palace Resorts representatives who told us our wait would be '12' minutes since there were six more people to pick-up. After 20 minutes we questioned one of the reps, who said if we wanted to get there quickly we should catch a cab, which would cost $140. I curiously asked several other drivers standing around and was quoted a price of $100 to $120. The Palace Resorts reps saw me asking and moved us about thirty to where they stated was our van. We again waited for 20 minutes while the rep was 'looking' for our van. Finally the two of them boarded us and drove to Terminal II and picked-up six other passengers, which made us fully loaded like a can of saedines. To our surprise the other six passengers had arrived about the same time as us and had been waiting in Terminal II with Adventura Spa reps for the same forty minutes. In effect, they knew we had all arrived since our pick-up had been reserved and our names on their clipboards. So why did they make us wait and try to sale us an independent cab?..........
The Van Ride: We discovered from our other van mates, that Palace Resorts had recently introduced a 50% discount on a weeks trip which is why they were coming on short notice. We had booked ealrier in the summer and were not aware. Since there are no cancellation policies with Palace Resorts (just reschedule), we requested the 50% discount when we arrived and were told they could not do it, even for a member who had been coming for 10 years.
Reservations: My wife had called earlier in the week to remind them that we wanted to stay on the Spa side (where we always had stayed) in a Presidential Suite 2601. We arrived and checked in to discover we were housed on the Cove side which is for families with children. Two days later we were offered a move to the Spa side. In the interim, we were interim we were seated in the VIP (?) reception area just to be told that all the Spa times were reserved up to the day before our departure, so here we are with $3,000 in credits and not able to use them. We had called a week ealier and were given one scenario that you had to be on-site to schedule spa treatments and a second scenario that you had to send an email to spa reservations and they would get back to you to schedule serivces. Neither happened and now we were being told that not onlu did others get a 50% discount on their resort stay but had been allowed to pre-reserve spa treatments. A day later we met with Julia and Jose Blanco, who got involved and forced some dates for spa treatments.
Spa Treatments: Each day was a comedy of errors. Becaused our appointments had been forced on the schedule, each day we discovered an appointment had been cancelled/rescheduled/double scheduled/etc. Not one day passed where we did not have to give precious 'sun' time to negotiating with staff(s) over errors. We ended up missing our 'free' manicures and pedicures (mis-scheduled even though we had the appointment papers), cancelling double scheduled massages and being sorely disappointed with the confusion. Also, one appointment had our friends first name and my wifes last name, so we gave that appointment to our guest and my wife was told they did not have her scheduled---who was that other combined-name person??
Creidts: We discoverd that management had added an 11% tax on your $1500 credit which had to be paid in cash, so your $1500 credit, if you can use it, will cost you $165 cash (a major change from last year-2011). We were told that the credits could be used in the gift shop but, another change, is that you can only buy the prepackaged Tequila for $100 in credits and probably is worth no more than $20 bucks on the market in Mexico. Also, we were told that the credits can be used to buy jewelry. I went in with $400 in credits in the store-owner said jewelry purchased with credits had to be priced over $1500 and only $100 could be used for the purchase of a watch. We were also told that credits could be used in the spa for skin care products, which was really only one product that cost $300 in credits. we also spent considerable time having our credits readjusted due to mistakes made in one location and not passed to all other parties.
Restaurants: The food from one restaurant to the other tasted the same. In fact, we requested a special dinner for the four of us, the chef came to our table explaining the 'special' dinner, and it turned out to be the same items we had been served on previous evenings. Our friends are steak lovers and were consistently disappointed with their preparations and constantly had to take a few bites and pass on it. But one of the most galling experiences was when we one evening requested a ballon wine glass with our bottle of wine and were told (twice) that the ballon glasses were reserved for tables that "Purchased" a bottle of wine, not for 10 year VIP members who were drinking a house wine at an all-inclusive resort!!
The Other Guest: Looked like they had been picked-up from every and any corner. If you are a long term member, you will not recognize any of this lot of new 'members'.
Excuses: Constantly we were told how challenging things have become with the planned conversion with of this property to Hard Rock. So many employees said they had been at Adventura for less than a week. Everyone was apologetic and promised to look into making our stay better and bare minimum was only achieved with kicking and screaming. We met with everyone from Mr Del Toro (nice man) to Jose Blonco (noce man) to Julia (nice lady) to Mayra ( nice lady) to on and on and on.
So, you make the choice. I had scheduled to visit Punta Cana in January but now, for the first time, I believe the property has decided that Customer Service is not necessary after you sign the contract.
P.S. They changed my wifes name to two names and she on the original contract!!
Presidential Suites are the best choices
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dear WillieNana, allow me to start off by saying thank you for your 10 years of loyalty to Palace Resorts. We highly appreciate and value you as a member and guest. We greatly regret to hear the inconveniences that you encountered on your hard earned vacation. We are deeply saddened that you did not enjoy the restaurants and could not fully enjoy our wonderful spa treatments and services. These are two services within Aventura Spa Palace that keep guests returning year after year and we wish that you could of experienced this in a better way. We are sorry that you were not able to take advantage of one of our promotions, these promotions are offered certain times throughout the year and only valid if reserved in that specific booking window. Please be informed, we are in no way, taking your dissatisfaction lightly we regret to know about your perception however you may rest assured that your comments have been shared as well with key Staff in our organization, most importantly including our Management Team. We will be sending you a private message to follow up with this case.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.