I just returned from a very nice vacation at Canyon Ranch. I went with two girlfriends and we enjoyed ourselves. There are some strong positives, but a few equally strong negatives that I think are worth pointing out when a room costs $900 a night.
On the positive side- the beach is much prettier than I expected. I had not spent any time in Miami and wasn't expecting much. So I was pleasantly surprised. The property is nice and having multiple pool options is great. The spa is wonderful. I am six months pregnant and had a pre-natal massage that was amazing. They have a lot of offerings in the spa, which I wasn’t able to take advantage of due to my pregnancy, but my friends really enjoyed it. We liked our room. It was a great suite with a fabulous ocean view that was so nice to wake up to. It was great to have the living room and kitchen. We took several classes and enjoyed most of them- yoga, water strength class, core strength- all were good.
But here's where the negatives come in. The biggest problem is the lack of service. Check in and check out were fine and the service at the spa was very attentive. Also, one waiter that we had a couple times in the restaurant, Matt, was excellent. But other than that, don't expect much service at the hotel. Here are some examples of the poor service we got:
1. One day we went up to the roof top pool. There was no sun at the other pools because the sun sets over the building in the afternoon and there is only shade. Not a great design. So we went to the roof pool. At that pool, there was basically only one spot on the deck with any sun. So we moved chairs into this spot. I am six months pregnant and picked up a heavy lounger and moved it while the attendant at the pool stood there and watched me. He didn't offer any assistance, just stood by and watched. But then after we had moved the chairs and were arranging ourselves, he came over to tell us that we couldn't sit there because we were too close to the exit. I know chivalry is dead, but when you work as the pool attendant, how could you watch a pregnant woman move a lounge chair and not be bothered to offer help and then wait until afterwards to tell her that she can't sit there??
2. At the cabana pool, the first day at 4:45 pm we tried to order beverages. The waitress said they close at 5pm so she didn't think we could get anything. We weren't asking for cooked food and last time I poured some beverages it didn’t take me 15 minutes, so we put up a fuss. She finally agreed to get us beverages. On our second day at the pool we asked this same waitress for water and a food menu during the middle of the day. She walked by us many, many times serving others. After 35 minutes we asked again and instead of apologizing, she seemed pissed off that we would dare ask her again. It seems like the waiters and waitresses prefer waiting on the owners who are regulars and ignore the hotel guests.
3. We called down from our room one evening to ask for a cab. We were told by the concierge that it's first come, first serve on the cabs. So we went downstairs. After waiting for a cab for more than 15 minutes and complaining to the attendants outside, one said, "why didn't you call ahead of time?" We told them the concierge told us we couldn't. They said the concierge didn't know and we were supposed to call them directly. They gave us a special phone number. This is just stupid because how would a guest know to call a parking attendant outside if that isn't one of the button choices on the phone. I went back inside to speak to the concierge. He was on a personal call, which he didn't immediately get off of and he didn’t really acknowledge me standing there. He just continued his conversation, which ended with I love you, so clearly not helping another guest. I found this pretty shocking. When I asked him if he could call us a cab and why we were told cabs could not be called in advance, he seemed confused, like we hadn’t spoken to him. I’m pretty sure he was the same person we had spoken to 25 minutes earlier since there were no other concierges working. I just got the impression that he was too busy with his personal life to really be bothered.
4. We paid a lot of money for the room and were charged extra because we were three people sharing. If the hotel charges by the person, then there should be 3 of everything in the room- 3 robes, 3 slippers, 3 waters, etc. When we checked in we had to call multiple times to get them to come and give us the third set of everything. We also had to call multiple times to get all of our bags delivered to the room. Initially they just delivered one set of bags for one of us.
5. The hostess at the restaurant seemed somewhat irritable and overwhelmed if more than one customer walked into the restaurant at a time.
Overall the service is just SLOW, unresponsive, untrained, and uninterested in the guests. If the rate was far, far less this level of service wouldn’t bother me. I had a great time anyway, but when you’re paying that much money for a room, you expect phenomenal, attentive service, which this definitely was not.
Some other negatives:
1. The lounge chairs at the cabana pool are horribly uncomfortable. They need to add cushions, like they have at the beach.
2. The furniture in the living room of the suite is nice looking but also uncomfortable. We stayed in one night to watch the oscars and all had to go into the bedroom because we couldn’t sit in the living room that long on the thing that works as a couch but is really more like a bench with a cushion on it.
3. The male yoga teacher seemed miserable. He appeared annoyed that a pregnant woman would take his class. He didn’t introduce himself or ask our names when we came. He offered no variations for pregnancy, which was fine because I am a certified yoga instructor and know how to vary my practice for my pregnancy. But he didn’t know that I am a certified teacher. It just seemed like he didn’t want to have to work a little harder. He also only focused on one student, who is a regular and ignored the other three students, so I guess it wasn’t just me that he was ignoring. He was humorless, intense, and grumpy. He also made us wipe down our mats at the end of class. This is canyon ranch!! The rooms cost your customers a fortune- you should clean the mats for your students, not have them cleaning for you!! Just another indication of the very poor customer service. Also odd because the other yoga teachers put the used mats to the side and didn’t ask us to clean them.
4. Food- breakfast was good, but lunch was bad. The artichoke fries taste pretty good, but we all got indigestion from them. Also chopped salad?? not chopped. maybe they brough tme the wrong thing?
We had a very nice vacation, but given some of the shortcomings and the price tag, I’m not sure I would visit again. I think I’d consider staying in an owner’s residence because it’s much more affordable and the service is so poor, so you wouldn’t be missing much on that end.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.