My wife and I had just arrived from your new resort at Ocean Blue Golf and Beach Club at Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. We were at this resort from March 16 - March 24, 2005.We were in room 1519. We would like to inform you of some unfortunate experiences we have had in this particular resort.
First of all, let me inform you that when we arrived in the resort, which was at 10:00a.m. March 16, 2005, we did not get our room assignments until 4:00p.m. The front desk did have a room for us at 3:00p.m but it was the villa farthest from the beach at Villa # 3. When we checked in, my wife had specially requested the front desk customer representative that we would like a room closest to the beach. We were informed that we could have this request but had to wait until 4:00p.m. Since my wife was looking forward to a room where she could see a view of the ocean we opted to wait rather than ruin our whole holiday by having a room so far from the beach. When we finally got our room at Villa 5, when we tried to open the lamps on the night tables, there was no light. Again we reported this. After three hours, some men came to change the light bulb but still there was no light. They then realized that there was no electricity running in the electric outlets in the room! They had to call electricians to do electrical work in our outlets!
On our first night, as we were getting to retire on our bed, when my wife sat on the bed to get ready to get into the bed, our bed broke. There was a big bang sound and the center of our bed caved in! This was about 10:00p.m. I immediately called Front Desk or Reception Desk through our bedroom phone. I tried and tried for almost 8 times but no one was answering the phone. We waited for another half hour and tried to call the front desk/reception desk and still there was no answer.We were quite surprised since we frequently travel all over the world and in all the resorts and hotels that we stay in, the reception and front desk answers the phone 24 hours a day!!
Since we have been so tired from our 7 hours flight from Vancouver, we decided to sleep in the lopsided bed which was caved in the middle! The next morning, I called the front desk to again report the broken bed. This time someone answered and informed us that someone was going to be sent to our room immediately. 2 hours passed and no one came to our room. Thus, when Julie, the representative of tour operator came to meet our group, I reported the broken bed to Julie. It was Julie that informed the staff in the reception desk. It was only when Julie had reported our broken bed to the front desk staff, that was the only time someone was sent to change our bed.
To our surprise, the other members of our Group also had problems in their first night just as we did. One family complained to Julie that they were 5 in the room (with their young children) and they had no blankets, pillows and beddings in their rooms on their first night. They too were calling the reception/front desk that night to request for these items. Just like us, they informed our whole group that no one was answering their numerous calls to the Reception/ Front desk. Since they too were tired from the 7 hours flight, they opted to sleep without bed sheets, blankets and pillows!! One couple in our group complained they did not have water in their bathroom. They too were calling the reception/front desk that night and again no one was answering the phone!!
We have to inform you that we noticed that the rooms were not cleaned efficiently. When we first entered our room, we noticed some marks on the mirror of the closet. My wife noticed this immediately and wondered why the mark was there if the room had been cleaned. The next day, after the room was cleaned, we noticed the mark on the mirror the day before was still there. We did not tell the cleaning staff since we were observing when they will realize to clean this mirror. It was only on the 3rd day that the mark disappeared from the mirror. We also noticed that the floor of the room was not cleaned efficiently. Oftentimes, we would notice sand still on the floor as soon as we enter the room.
The concierge in our building was often not in his place. There would often be a sign that if he was not by his desk he would be in Villa 6. We would go to Villa 6 and still no concierge to be found.
Other members of our group were given vouchers by their concierge for free catamaran and free massages to compensate for the unfinished facilities of the resort. When my wife requested our concierge for said vouchers, the concierge informed her that as of noon time of that day, upper management had given them instructions not to give out vouchers. Reason being is that we had known previous to our arrival that the resort was not fully finished! My wife went to the office of Sandra the Guest Relations Officer. Unfortunately, it was her day off and it was the Assistant Guest Relations Officer who my wife had talked to. My wife explained why she was requesting for a voucher, stating that the other members of our group had received said vouchers from their concierge. We felt it was just fair that we also received the same privileges. The male assistant Guest Relation Officer rudely told my wife that upper management had given orders that no more vouchers were to be distributed. My wife quietly explained that when we booked our holiday our choice of resort was based on the amenities listed on the website. This assistant of Sandra told my wife in the most disrespectful manner, "Well, the tour operators were informed that we had not finished all the facilities." My wife informed him that our son, who owns a travel agency in Vancouver was the one who booked us in your resort. We had booked our holiday in December 2004. At that time, my son's travel agency was informed that Ocean Blue Golf and Beach Resort would be completely finished by March 1, 2005. Since our scheduled holiday was from March 16 - March 24, we all concluded that the whole resort would be completely finished as promised. It was only on the 2nd week of March when some of their clients had returned from your resort that they realized so many amenities were not finished as promised with the date of March 1, 2005. By then it was too late for my husband and I to change our accommodations since we were leaving in three days! My wife explained this to the Assistant of Sandra. He just shrugged his shoulder.
Honestly, for someone who is the Assistant Guest Relation Officer, he lacked Public Relations Skills 100%!! If he was working for me, he is fired. In my company, customer is always dealt with to give them the utmost satisfaction!! Specially for a resort that has just opened....I think public relations is very, very important.
The booking system for the specialty restaurant is compeletely absurd!! We have been to so many resorts and your resort is the only one that requires its clients to wake up at 7:00a.m. on a holiday just to book a table with a specialty restaurant!! I have to tell you in the bus on our way back to the airport on our departure from Punta Cana, all the other member of our group were complaining of this booking system. We are all on holiday....why does your resort require us to wake up at 7:00a.m to book for the specialty restaurants? Let me ask you sir, when you are on a holiday or vacation, would you want to have to wake up at 7:00 a.m.? Does this not defeat the purpose of a relaxed holiday? We have traveled to different resorts, and it is only your resort that requires this. In the other resorts, we could book tables for specialty restaurants for the whole week in advance. To add insult to injury, one morning I woke up at 6:00 a.m and was the first person in line for booking for the specialty restaurant. The person who was in charge of the bookings was not even by his desk yet. When he finally arrived and sat on his desk, with me as the first person in line, to my surprise there were already room numbers listed on his sheet! I asked him how come there were room numbers already listed on the booking sheet when I was the very first person in line. He did not answer me and was trying to hide his sheet from me. Another thing, whenever we had dinner in the specialty restaurants, the restaurants were never completely full for each of the time booked. This surprised us since there were times we would book for a 6:30 dinner in one of the specialty restaurants and we were informed the time we were requesting were all booked. But when we go to the restaurants, there were so many empty tables! This was also the same comments of the other guests we talked to in the resort. Everyone was complaining why bookings were not accepted when there were so many empty tables.
On Monday, March 21. I called the front desk to send someone to my building to pick up my golf set since I was informed that this was the procedure. I had booked to play golf on this day. No one came to assist me with my golf clubs.I waited and waited for someone to come to my villa and no one came. Thus I had to carry my whole golf set and walked all the way to the lobby. Upon my arrival in the lobby, I saw a Canadian couple who was in the same Transat group that I was in. They informed me that the golf course was not 18 holes. They informed me that the golf course was less than 9 holes. Because of this they decided not to play golf. I went to the reception desk and ask them how come I was not informed when I booked my golf that the golf course was less than 9 holes. The front desk representative answered me, "What is the difference whether its 18 holes or 9 holes!" Again saying this to me in a very indifferent manner. I explained to them it makes a big difference if a golf course is 18 holes or less than 9 holes!! I was so upset since I was really looking forward to my golf game. I then decided I wanted to see the golf course before deciding if I should pursue playing. They informed me since I had not made up my mind whether to play golf or not, they will not provide me shuttle to the golf club! They informed me I had to walk from the lobby to the golf club!! They informed me that I will only be provided a shuttle from the lobby to the golf club if I had made a decision to play. Now, I ask you Mr. President, would you play golf in that situation? Hearing the information of the unfinished golf course, I wanted to check it out myself. And because of this, I was not to be provided with a shuttle or golf cart from the lobby to the golf club. And to make matters worse I was instructed to walk carrying my golf set from the lobby to the golf course!!
Lastly, on our last day March 24. When we came back to our room from breakfast to our surprise there was no water running in the faucets in our bathroom. We called front desk and they informed us that they had sent someone to check the problem. We explained to the front desk that we were concerned since we wanted to spend some time in the beach before we checked out. We were worried that we would not be able to take a shower and pack up on time for check out if there was no water. We were wondering if we could request for extended check out time in case the water problem was not solved immediately. They assured us that we would have water in time for us to prepare for check out. When we returned to our room at 11:30 there still was no water! We were frantic and asked how were we to bathe and prepare for check out. At first the lady concierge informed us that she was instructed to give my husband and I a bottle of water to brush our teeth! I explained to her we needed to bathe before checking out. She was nice enough to help locate a room for us to bathe at Villa 7. But in our mind, we wondered why the front desk would not allow us to extend our check out time since it was not our fault that there was no water.
Before I end this letter I do have to commend your Guest Relations Officer whose name is Sandra. She had the public relation skills in dealing with the customers. Everybody in the resort only wanted to talk to her. We all knew that if we talked to her, then whatever complains we had was immediately dealt with. She knew how to say things in the most respectful manner and handled all the complaints efficiently.
It is because of the above occurrences that made our holiday less than what we had hoped for. Instead of a relaxed and enjoyable vacation, it turned out to be very stressful. It was a very, very disappointing holiday for us.