My husband and I just returned from a long weekend (Thurs-Sunday) at the Zoetry. This was our first getaway since having a baby 7 months ago. We did lots of research (including reading MANY reviews on here) and we worked with a travel agent who has helped us book 3 trips (including our honeymoon 3 years ago). We selected the Zoetry instead of returning to our honeymoon location which we LOVED (El Dorado Casitas Royale) because we wanted to try something different. As a small business owner and someone that works in the service industry, I had high hopes for this vacation. Unfortunately, both my husband and I left the resort feeling disappointed and underwhelmed. We will not return and we will not recommend to friends/family. On the morning of our first full day there, I called my travel agent and asked if it was possible to check out and go to El Dorado. Since the trip was pre-paid, the answer was no. He sent an email to Carlos that morning (I believe his contact at the resort) about some of the issues and he copied me on it. I responded and elaborated to Carlos and also sent an email to Karla (who I had seen responds to reviews on here). Unfortunately, I did not hear from either during our stay. Just this one piece of follow up from anyone while we were there would have made such difference in our stay.
Below are my thoughts:
Upon arrival, we attempted to book the sunset cruise before even seeing our room as this was something i was very excited about. We were told the sunset cruise was booked for the duration of our stay but there was a 3pm available that day so we took it (Thanks to Rafa at the concierge for at least helping us get on the cruise at all). It was nice but I had my heart set on the sunset cruise. We checked again each morning and there is still no availability. If you are going to this resort, try and book the cruise before your arrival.
There are NOT enough chairs or beach beds at the pool or on the beach. We were out there every morning by 8am (because I read previous reviews on this issue) and placed towels on chairs before going to eat breakfast. Everyone else did this too because all of the 6 (yes, only 6) beach cabanas were taken every morning before 8am. We never got one of these. We saw many couples who came down after 10am making circles around the pool trying to find a place to sit. Frustrating experience.
We also visited the entertainment hut to inquire about snorkeling. The gentleman there told us it was 5 minutes away by boat and to just show up prior to the 10 or 2pm departure. He never mentioned a fee so incorrectly, we assumed this was included as part of the "Endless Priviledges" and this was my oversight. When we arrived to go that morning, that's when a $55 per person fee was first mentioned...10 minutes before we left. That sucked. We opted not to go and then after discussing it further, we discussed it and decided to go the next day. The next morning when we attempted to go, he said there had to be a minimum of 4 people signed up (and there wasn't) and so he wasn't sure if it would go out at all that day. He asked me to check back at lunchtime and again at 1 to see if anyone had signed up, We ended up being able to go but didn't know up until the last minute if it was available.
We had an issue with ants on our patio - said something to the concierge and they said they would spray but don't think it ever happened based on the lack of follow up in other areas.
Apparently they no longer offer the daily shopping trip by boat or at least (as the concierge explained) it is not available this month for some reason. This was something we were interested in doing.
Maid service is NOT three times a day as advertised. Upon arrival (we got there at 11:30am), we were given a 2 welcome tea drinks as we were escorted to our room, Rafael from concierge did a great job showing us the property. We were told maid service was 3 times a day. However, we did not see any attendants and our welcome glasses sat in our room all day and night. After inquiring w the concierge the next morning, he mentioned there is only turn down and no maid service on the day you arrive. This made sense to us after it was explained, however, unfortunately, our room was still dirty at 1pm the next day (what happened to maid service 3 times a day) and the dirty welcome drink glasses were just moved outside our room (and not removed) until a day and half into our stay.
As mentioned above, on day 1 we went down to the beach at 7:45 to reserve a cabana but all 6 are already booked so we chose chair and an umbrella. We attempted to order drinks at 9am (it was vacation). The waiter took our order but 20 min later we saw him walking by with no drinks. When I asked him, he said the bar was not open yet but he would get them for us now. Another 15 minutes go by and no drinks...so I got up and walked to the bar myself and ordered the drinks. The waiter came over and I asked him if he forgot about us. He said no... The bar still was not open yet (while I am holding the drinks the bartender just made for me..?). Unfortunately, we ended up with this server for the next 2 days and he was not the best. He was nice but getting drinks to a look a long time and was not as friendly as some of the other servers we encountered. Even still, we tipped him with every drink because I hoped this might help improve the service.
Bars close at 11pm and there is no nightly entertainment. No, we didn't want a crazy, loud resort with a lot going on since we were getting away for rest and relaxation but believe it or not, it was just too quiet and nothing to do after dinner...no shows, no live music, no nothing. The last night, we took advantage of the sister resort and paid a $10 cab ($10 each way) to go over to one of their more livelier sister resorts and got to see one of the live shows over there which was nice.
There was a 15 month old there our entire stay. He was well behaved so not a big deal. The last 2 days there were two small children (around 4 and 6) there and they loved to yell across the pool and splash and just generally be kids. This resort is geared towards "adults only" but they do allow children so be prepared to be enjoying your drink at the pool while listening to kids scream ..."Mommy!! Hey MOMMY! Look at ME!!".
If you're going, by all means do NOT forget to pack sunscreen. We packed two small travel tubes since we were only doing carry on bags but this was not enough. The CHEAPEST sunscreen in the gift shop is............ $35! Rip off. Tip: Ask one of the servers if they have any you can buy off of them... we did this and got some for $10.
Wireless Internet (advertised as available in all rooms) did not work very well around the resort or really at all in our room. The concierge apologized for this and said this sometimes happens w iPhones and iPads in the room. Not a huge deal to us but something to note. Again, being away from our new baby, we needed and wanted to easily stay connected back home.
Dinner at La Canoa...service was great. Most dishes were good but both of our entrees took way too long and ended up being overcooked. I ordered a filet medium and it came out well done. My husbands fish was very tough and had bones in it. On night two with dinner at the other restaurant Kaax, service was great but entrees were underwhelming and again many pin bones in the fish entrees.
Overall, it is a very beautiful resort and we encountered some great service staff (and had some great food experiences at the sushi bar and at breakfast). But there was miscommunication (and lack of follow up by management) which led to some disappointment. As mentioned above, having worked in the service industry myself and being a small business owner where customer service is what keeps my business going, I had high expectations for an amazing vacation with top notch service. This was a trip we put a lot of thought and planning into and I now I wish we had not opted to go there and had instead gone back to the El Dorado Casitas where we stayed for 6 days and everything was perfect. This was definitely not the experience at Zoetry.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
February 21, 2013
Dear Megan G,
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Thank you for your time to post a review. This feedback allows us to identify our opportunity areas and make the proper corrective actions. This way we can guarantee the highest standards of service and facilities which always have distinguished us.
We regret to know that we didn´t met your expectations. We will take the requierd actions regarding the missunderstanding about the snorkeling, this activity is offered at our Marine for an additional charge, and guests can decide if they take the shred tour of private.
Our on site activities like Sunset Catamaran needs to be booked during the guests stay, we know that this is one of our guests preferred activity, however availability will depend on the occupancy of the day. You can be sure that we always make everything possible to reserve a space for every requests, even for last time when other guests do not show up.
We apologize for the discomfort caused by the chairs being reserved very early, we try to control this situation letting know to every guest that the chairs must not be reserved leaving towels or other personal items, however sometimes this is difficult to control.
Actions have been taken about your reports of the suite cleanliness, fumigation and the waiter service drinks by the beach. This is not normal in our daily operations and it goes against our standards which have made us to win the AAA 5 Diamonds award for 10th consecutive year.
We regret to know that our entertainment activities did not met your expectations, our resort has a different orientation of these activities because of the unique wellness and cultural ambiance. However our guests always have the opportunity to take advantage of the Sip Savor & See program to visit other sisters properties and enjoy the night shows, food and drinks.
We regret to know that we have not met your expectations on the different areas you mentioned. Please be certain that our head departments had revised your case and we are Applying corrective measures, following your kind remarks.
We sincerely hope to welcome you to Zoetry Paraiso de la Bonita on a future occasion so we can have the opportunity to redeem ourselves providing you with the service you deserve.
Social Media Coordinator & E-Concierge
Zoetry Paraiso de la Bonita
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.