We spent our "babymoon" at the St Regis this past weekend and I wanted to write a review while the experience was fresh in my mind.
I picked up a lot of tips and set some of my expectations based upon the reviews of the seasoned travelers. Also, I am SPG gold so I was entitled to some perks that really enhanced my stay (late checkout of 4pm, option to upgrade to a St Regis suite for $200 a night, welcome gift of reduced resort rate from $25 to $15 per day). So I'll start with check-in...My room was not ready at 4 pm, the standard check-in time. I had tried to check in earlier at 2:30 but the room was not ready (which is fair) but I did expect my room to be ready at 4 pm. I went to the front desk at 4pm , my room wasn't ready and they couldn't give me an estimate of when it would be ready. I am 8 months pregnant and I stated that I was very exhausted and I really needed to lie down and rest and expressed my disappointment at them not meeting their end of the bargain by having the room ready by check-in time. The front desk woman did not apologize, just stated that it takes a while to clean a room the size of the St Regis suite and that once I get into the room, I will see what she means and not be disappointed with how luxurious the suite is. I usually don't like to play the sympathy card because I'm pregnant, but really that was your response to my situation? Five-star resorts should train their staff better than that. Just apologize for not having the room ready instead of making excuses and making me feel lucky to have a suite at your property!
The best service we got was at the pool, although we did rent a cabana ($300 per day). Almost all the pool staff were super attentive, courteous and pleasant. Our attendant, Daniel, exemplified how five star resort employees should be. Service at the restaurants met expectations, but the pool employees (mostly in their 20's by the way) gave exemplary service. Front desk employees need to learn from them.
Since we stayed in a suite, we were assigned a butler. This sounds better than it is. You do get complimentary coffee service, shoes shined, 2 items pressed and packing and unpacking service. However, the reliability and efficiency of the butlers were unpredictable. One morning it took an hour and three phone calls for our coffee to be delivered (a few reviewers had this problem too). One day the newspaper was delivered and the other day we had to call down for it. The butler brings the requested ice and glasses but knows nothing of the coffee we ordered 2 times. And the excuse for the mix-up is that things got lost in cyber space...Hmmm, ok.
My check-out bill was also delivered a day early and had multiple errors. I was double charged for the suite upgrade and my resort fee was not adjusted for the discount given to Gold members. This was simple accounting that did not require much of a brain to put together. Was the person in charge of it half asleep when he prepared my bill or did he not take the 5 minutes to really evaluate that my account was in proper order? The bill was hastily put together and the burden placed on me to make sure they were doing their job properly.
My friend checked out on Sunday and waited 45 minutes for valet to bring his car up. This is something that multiple reviewers have mentioned and obviously management has not fixed. As a result of this ridiculous wait time, my friend was late to a work appointment that he otherwise would have been early at. He did complain to management and they comp'd him the parking fee, but he was late to an appointment with his clients!!!!! The $35 credit is crap compared to the bad will he just generated for his business.
I know alot of this sounds like knit picking, but when you have major glitches in your service that people have been complaining about for years, it really leaves a bad taste in your mouth. You wonder, does management not care??? You would think they would since high end hoteliers like the Four Seasons, the Ritz and Aman resorts certainly do. My husband and I are both business people and we cannot understand why management has not taken the feedback of reviewers seriously and implemented changes that will make them more competitive with the surrounding competing properties (the Ritz and Montage). It really blows my mind why this place can't get things quite right. Take a look at the reviews for the Ritz and you will not see the volume and type of negative feedback that the St Regis gets.
In summary, if you are going to spend $500 plus for a room, don't spend it here. Go the the Ritz or Montage. If you're using points or a free night award, be glad that you didn't use any of your money to pay for a room at a resort with sub-par service.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Thank you for your review on The St. Regis Monarch Beach, and congratulations on your pregnancy. We apologize for the late check-in, and the customer service at the front desk and butler service. New systems are currently in place that will fast-track check in and make sure rooms are available at the check-in time. We are happy to hear you enjoyed your time at the pool. Best wishes on your pregnancy.
The Executive Offices
The St. Regis Monarch Beach
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.