We stayed here for 4 nights in December and it was so disappointing! The rooms were beautiful and the location was great but the service was abominable! We never thought that service mattered but we were in the beachfront villas so spending a lot of money and it was just one stuff up after another!
The room wasn't ready when we got there which was fine but after a couple of hours our 'butler' called us to say that it was ready and that he would meet us at the temporary room where they had put our bags. We went to the temporary room and waited for 45 mins and he never came, we then called reception who said to go to reception to sort it out, we went to reception then they said to go back to the room and they would call the butler so we ended up waiting over an hour to even get shown our room! The 'butler' service was a joke- it says to call them to get them to book your activities etc but we tried 4 or 5 times and every time it either rang out or got diverted to reception. It was like everything there- promised the world but it just doesn't happen!
It was also interesting the level of 'assumed prior knowledge'. In our couple of hours before the room was ready, we thought we would go exploring, there was no map in the room so we wondered around until we found the trip planning place and asked them for a map, they didn't have one so told us to go to reception and then started talking to the next people. We walked outside then looked at each other and said 'well where the hell is reception!'. This was pretty common, they would just say meet at 'the formal gardens' or 'activities' for a tour but wouldn't tell you where that was. I have a feeling our butler was supposed to do an introduction and explain everything but think we missed out on that! We also tried to go on one of the walking trails but the maps were terrible and we ended up in some bat forrest covered in guano with bats screaching everywhere! We talked to 3 other couples who had done exactly the same thing!
The food was almost a joke, and incredibly expensive- I would have to say it is the first 'vegetarian' caesar salad I have ever had with chicken and bacon! When they brought it back it just had lettuce and some parmesan cheese out of a shaker- $26... Not very impressed! They got my drink wrong too and despite them saying that being vegetarian wouldn't be a problem, lunches were an issue- they looked at me like I had 2 heads when I said I was vegetarian and I ended up paying some huge amount for 4 toothpicks with some cheese and pickled onions! The dinners were better, the Trattoria restaurant was great and quite reasonably priced and the asian one was good too. The Azure buffet was terrible and hugely expensive- I am vegetarian so paid $120 for a plate of salad but even my husband who eats everything said it was pretty terrible.
The 'guided tours' were also a joke. We went on a 'guided walk and snorkel'. It was clearly written in the program that it started at 9:30am so we got there just before, we waited for a while then around 9:50 someone turns up saying 'you're early'- he thought it was meant to start at 10am... Anyway, then we set off and he was telling us how plants 'synthesise' to get energy from the sun (I think he meant photosynthesise....) and how this 'moss stuff' is made up of a fungus and an algae and 'one feeds the other and one does something.... ah I forgot....oh well lets keep going'. Then we get to the snorkelling bit and he is saying how it has taken over an hour to walk there and looking at his watch and obviously very keen to go, we were good swimmers so said we didn't mind if he needed to head back. Within 5 seconds flat he was back at the track then stopped, looked out at the water, asked us 'is that a shark?'. We looked and said it looked like a snorkeller but it was pretty far out and we couldn't really see, so he said 'oh well I'm sure your eyes are better than mine' and walked off! So we just looked at each other- we were over an hours walk from the resort, we weren't left with anything- no mobile phone and there was no one around so if it was a shark and we had been bitten we would have been stuffed! We couldn't believe a 'GUIDED walk and snorkel' could be so disorganised and badly run!
It was a shame as the rooms were nice, very spacious and the plunge pool was really cool but the whole thing just seemed to be run by people who had no idea what they were doing! It is as if there was no management at all, and the same guy would be a waiter one day then a bell boy the next then driving the train the next with apparently no training in any of them! The water activities were the exception- anything involving a boat and you could pretty much count on someone being there to take you but everything else expecting, turned to hoping turned to disappointment! It became a bit of a running joke after a while, seeing if it was possible to actually get both meals and drinks that we had ordered, we learnt pretty quickly that you didn't want to ask for anything diferent than exactly what was on the menu, if you got them to change something all hell broke loose and an hour later you still wouldn't have a meal and what you ended up with was not what you asked for!
Another thing they didn't warn us about was they freeze the money you have spent that day on the credit card which is fine, but then at the end they took out the entire amount again without 'unfreezing' the rest! We then had to madly transfer money from other accounts to be able to pay for the rest of our holiday, it was bloody lucky we happened to have a spare $6000 on the card or it would have bounced! It slowly unfroze after a week but we were pretty pissed off and had to live pretty carefully when we got back until the money came back!
When Qualia is so close I don't know why you would spend the money. If we hadn't spent so much on the holiday it would almost be funny looking back on all the stuff ups but it was such an expensive 4 days it is just so disappointing.
The beach front villas are very nice but not worth the money when the service is so terrible.
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Thank you for your constructive feedback. It is very disappointing to read of some of your negative experiences. I would very much like to further discuss these concerns with you if you would like to contact me directly.
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