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Royal Porto Real....Excellent but beware!

In cooperation with: Visit Mexico
Houston
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Royal Porto Real....Excellent but beware!

I have been a lurker for a long time and I have only posted a few times. Myself and my family just got back yesterday from Royal Porto Real and I wanted to give you a somewhat of a different prospective than most reports. I am posting this in the forums because I would love to answer any questions that anyone has.

March 13....our flight on Continental Airlines from Houston to Cancun was stuck on the runway for over an hour with no reports from the Captain...not the best way to start for my claustrophobic wife! We finally landed in Cancun and made the mad house dash to the customs line. At 2 pm the place was insane. There is just not enough room around the luggage area and the "stop light" area. People were backed up 20 deep in the "stop light" line and 5 deep and the luggage area. By the way it is quite humorous watching the "one piece at a time" unloading or the luggage containers. A lot of tension in the area to say the least.

Got our luggage and made it thru the typical sales pitches and luggage pitches. We got outside to the FunJet/Loomis reps and he showed us to the van site ( first tip of the vacation by the way). Of course a corona for the wife and a Negro Modelo for myself helped the wait( not really cheap at the airport booths outside by the way...I think it was $9 for 2). We made it on the van and of course our driver decided to drop off the Playacar people before the Playa Del Carmen people....a little longer of a ride but the "2 for $5 ice cold Coronas made the trip better. We were dropped off in front of the Royal Porto Real and thats where the interesting stories begin!

Our family of 3 reserved a master suite over 6 months ago. I did a tremendous amout of research to find out the best rooms, locations, etc. I even emailed Carlos Gustavo Serrano Ojeda at gustavorvas@realresorts.com.mx a couple of times. It did no good what so ever in making sure we got our master suite. I have read reports in the past about the over booking issues and....guess what...the reports are right. We walked up to the reservation counter and gave then our name. The lady comes back and tells us that "SORRY" we are over booked and we do not have the master suite for you but we are going to give the a junior suite that has just as good of a view. SURE.....NO PROBLEM....WE WOULD LOVE TO DOWN GRADE AND BE JUST HAPPY AS HELL ABOUT IT!!! The way she said it was like we should be just happy as can be about the down grade.....that was a major mistake.

After a 1/2 hour of wonder conversation she finally got the next level of management to assist us. The day manager is named Isabella. At first she really didn't want to help but by the end of the 6 days we really became quite good friends. Isabella offered us a $100 line of resort credit, 3 lobster dinners and 3-25 minute massages. Since we did not have enough alcohol in us yet I and my wife could not agree to this (I can get all of this in Houston!) After another 30 minutes of conversation (I use that term loosely) I finally got a Loomis travel rep to assist me. He tried to talk to them but to no avail. Basically the Loomis rep said go to your room get some drinks, dinner, etc. and come back in the morning and "I will make it all better"...yea right!

We went to our room which was #637. It was a ocean front 1st level room. A very nice room but the built up sand dunes in front of the room prevented any views what so ever. Being the glutins for punishment that we are we decided to go back to the front desk to ask for a room higher up. Believe me...they really loved to see us walking up to the front desk again. We explained the situation and ask for a 3rd floor with a hammock but all they had was a 2nd floor middle room without a hammock so we took it and moved everything up to the second floor. After that I proceded to enjoy the beverages in the room just to settle down and start enjoying the vacation.

You may already think that we are picky SOB's and I don't blame you. But after being told for 6 months that we had a master suite and also taking our money it was quite depressing and maddening to arrive and find out that we won't get our room and they don't seem to be very concerned about admitting and correcting their internal problems. Trust me....at the end of the 6th day we were in love with Royal Porto Real and all the employees. They are truly wonderful but that is for latter in the report.

Our room..( for tonight) was #737 which is a 2nd level middle of the building ocean front room. The patio had a table and 2 chairs but no hammock. ( a little tip....the 2 middle rooms have a completely over head covering which prevents any rain on the patio. The 2 end rooms only have a partial covering and the patio gets very wet if it rains. The rooms are great! The 2 person hot tub is great! The small fridge is stocked with cokes. diet cokes, chocolate leche, mango juice, V8, water, mineral water and most importantly Dos Equis. Next to the fridge we had full size bottles of Tequila, J&B scotch and Barcardi rum but you can call and they will bring you any bottle that you would prefer. The TV is very nice with all sorts of different progamming. Some stations in French some in Spanish, some in English, cartoons for the kids, etc. We had 2 queen size beds that are very comfortable compared the all the resorts that we have been to in Playacar. Every night we had a wonderful lady knock on our door and offer us mini Hersey chocolate candies. Not to bad with Dos Equis! The room was excellent and I will get more into that later. One other item. They have finished there construction on their new wing which is on the north side of the complex. Looks the same as the other two wings but are very quite due to they are far away from the pool/bar/plays areas. It is the #800 building.

Back to the room issues. The next day we went back to the reservations desk at 9 am. We met with the Loomis manger rep that came in from Playacar. He pleaded with the front desk and made some phone calls but he came up with no hopes of us getting our master suite. He told us to come back at noon at we would meet with the operations manager with the Rotal Porto. We had lunch and came back.

Ivan Garcia is the operations manager and he is a very nice gentleman.(Trust me...by the end of all this I have all sorts of contact people, phone numbers, fax numbers, email addresses, etc. for the Royal Porto) We sat and talked to him for 30 minutes and he finally offered us fair compensation. The Royal would give us the previous offer and also a free 3 nights/4 day stay free of charge to be used by the end of this year. We knew that there was no chance of getting our master suite so we accepted the deal and Ivan promised us a letter for what he just offered us( it took 3 days to get the letter but that is for latter in this saga..lol)

So we were finally settled in our room, glad to be over the stress and anger of the past 36 hours trying to relax, be happy and enjoy the wonderful Mexican Riveria and the people that we have met or soon to meet.

My fingers are worn out for now. But in a day or two I would love to talk about the wonderful resort as far as food, drink, employees, people, etc. The lack of harrassment from the Royal club people....I think they were scared of use after all the trips to the front desk. Also I want to let you all know about the excellent cigars at La Casa Del Habanos, the perfect margaritas at the Tequila Barrel, the "3rd time its a charm" shopping at Siete Detalles( a wonderful locally owned store with beautiful people, walking 5th street from Little Italy all the way down to the Harley store(numerous times over 6 days), of course stopping by Pachamama's, walking all the way down Avenida Constituyentes looking for the "famous" coffeee guy...I never found him but I sure did walk into some non touristy areas in the process....pretty exciting for this gringo who speaks very, very, very little espanol.

Enough for tonight. Thanks for bearing with me on this very long report.

Tequila

Blanco....of course

ontario
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11. Re: Royal Porto Real....Excellent but beware!

We just came back from a week at the RPR. If they could make two or three changes, I think this resort would be a great one. Firstly, the front desk staff need to be completely replaced. Every one of them. As your first impression of the resort itself, they suck (the champagne is a nice touch tho). No personality at all and they seem to be unhappy to be there. The other two things are pretty easy; it would be nice to see more foilage around the resort and I'm sure that will come with time. Planting more palms would be a lovely touch and lastly, and I know this is in the works for next year, but a kid's club on site would be another bonus. We were also told that they are planning a mini golf area beside the new wing. Other than those three things, we had an awesome time. Fortunately, we did not have any major room issues....sorry to hear about that.

Lombard, Illinois
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30 posts
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12. Re: Royal Porto Real....Excellent but beware!

Tequilaoreporfavor,

Do you have Ivan Garcia's email address? We just got back yesterday and had some problems with our room that we need addressed. They happened our last evening there, and he wasn't coming in until after we left for the airport. I do have Gustavo's email, and already emailed him, but would really like Ivan's email address. Thanks so much.

Sharon

Houston
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13. Re: Royal Porto Real....Excellent but beware!

Runner32, Ivan Garcia is the operations manager and his email address igarcia@real.com.mx

The general manager is Monica Roberts. She is the one who made us the fomal compensation offer after our master suite was over booked. I would think that it would be the same as Ivans but with mroberts in front.

Sorry to hear about room problems especially on your last night.

Hope this info helps. Let me know if you need anything else.

Tequila

Lombard, Illinois
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30 posts
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14. Re: Royal Porto Real....Excellent but beware!

Thanks Tequila,

I just sent off both emails to Ivan and Monica. I'll post my review once our situation is resolved. In short, we really liked the place and would go back.

PA.
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15. Re: Royal Porto Real....Excellent but beware!

Could you please send us any contact info for the RPR Resort in Playa del Carmen. My husband and I are celebrating our 30th anniversqry and we paid extra for a direct oceanfront room. I would like to get in toch with someone regarding the room loction. This was the main reason we chose the RPR,as most of the other resorts did not have direct ocean front rooms. We leave the monday after Easter and I would lke to contact someone (preferably by phone) as soon as possible.

Thank you,

Abylane@adelphia.net

Lombard, Illinois
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30 posts
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16. Re: Royal Porto Real....Excellent but beware!

I don't have a phone number, but I emailed Gustavo at:

gustavorvas@realresorts.com.mx

It took a few days for him to reply and he said that he would do his best. We only had a royal junior suite, so you might have more luck since you have an ocean front room.

The place is GREAT, enjoy yourself and have fun. It's a great location and I really liked the restaurants. The hotel is beautiful, the beach is great, the pool is nice, I didn't think it was too cold. I wish I was going back soon!!

Charlotte, North...
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17. Re: Royal Porto Real....Excellent but beware!

We have been to the Gran Porto Real three times and wanted to change to the Royal. I have e-mailed a man named "Rigo" for rates (and he did respond). Does anyone recognize the name and would it be better to e-mail the Garcia man?? In other words, who has more "pull" with the rates??

Menasha WI
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18. Re: Royal Porto Real....Excellent but beware!

I do realize that when you pay the kind of money you have to pay for the Royal you want things to be perfect but in defense of the Real Resorts, they are not the only resort that overbooks, this is actually a common practice at most of the large AI resorts.

As far as requesting a specific room, all AI's will tell you they will put it down but can make you no promises. I do agree that if you pay for an oceanview you should get an oceanview but as far as a specific room by room number, thats expecting a little much.

We have stayed at the Gran Porto and the Real Playa del Carmen, both resorts were well kept and the staff was very friendly and as accomodating as possible. I couldn't bring myself to pay the prices at the Royal as the only time spent in my room is sleeping, showering and changing clothes, it just isn't worth the extra money to have a two person jacuzzi in my room that will not ever get used. The one thing I will agree with is the front desk staff can be a little stand offish. I will even give them a break as I have heard some pretty rude people complaining about some pretty petty things. This year I saw two women at the front desk complaining that their lights kept going out on them that morning and they wanted it taken care of right away. The young girl behind the desk looked a little confused as to what they were asking and just shook her head yes and took down their romm number. I did finally tell the women that everyones electricity had gone off a few times that morning, it appeared to be affecting the whole north end of town, so I didn't think the resort could do much about the problem.

My sister and brother in-law kept complaining that their air conditioning wasn't working, when I finally realized what the problem was the poor people at the resort must have thought she was a lunatic, she had the air conditioner turned as high as it would go (temp was set at 80)rather than as low as it would go, (60 degrees) she was basically heating the air with the air conditioner. When she finally turned the temp down the air conditioner worked just fine.

Just remember if you do run into problems, you catch more fly's with sugar than vinegar.

Be persitant but be polite and they will probably respond faster to your problem.

Houston
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19. Re: Royal Porto Real....Excellent but beware!

Hola, I wanted to finally post an update on my Royal Porto Real fiasco that my family and I went thru back in March. As I mentioned in my first post, the Royal finally decided to give us a free 3 night stay to be used by the end of 2006. From March until today we have been trying to get our free 3 nights by means of phone calls, faxes, emails and then finally travel agencies.

The letter informed us that we had to use dates between April-July or August-December 20th. In April we requested the middle of November and I faxed and emailed our request to every number we collected from our first time there. 5 days later Monica Roberts responded back informing us that there available days have changed. Now we could choose from August 20-October 31 or December 3 - December 20. Boy, they sure did shrink my dates! They also informed us that our room would be a standard room instead of the ocean front we had the first time. If we wanted to go back to ocean front it would cost an additional $120 a night.

We tried another round 2 weeks later with the new dates in the 3rd week in December and were informed that nothing was available then. Another week taken away from the dates origanally provided. Frustration set in so we decided to see if a travel agent would go beyond the normal expected services and see if they could help us get our free nights and other items.

We finally got a travel agent to assist us. Last week we finally heard back and she has written confirmation from the Royal Porto for 3 free nights and 1 added additional night(at our cost) for the end of September. They even gave written confirmation of an upgrade to the ocean front junior suite for the 4 nights (upgrade at our cost). Things are finally looking up!

After all this we could not arrange a package deal so we had to set up the airfare, transfers, insurance ourselves and I am sure we will also have to pay the fees to leave Mexico.

So tonight it "appears" we are all set to leave at the end of Sept. for some rest, relaxation & tequila( no final confirmation yet...hopefully tomorrow). I have to say that it has been a long and somewhat learning experience that, honestly, I thought we would never actually win at.

Watchout... Margaritas at the Tequila Barrel on 5th, Tequila bar at the Royal and the Cohibas at the Las Casa del Habana.........and of course....the beach. Aaaaaaaaahhhhhh!!!!

Fenelon Falls, ON
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20. Re: Royal Porto Real....Excellent but beware!

I too have been very concerned about the room location issue. I think we have decided just to book an oceanview room so I guess my only fear is ending up on the noisy street side.

We are very picky about room location because my husband and I do like to enjoy our time relaxing in the room occasionaly with a view. We would really like an ocean front room but for the extra $400 it would cost plus the apparant risk of possible not even getting it after spending the $ then I guess we will settle for oceanview. I have heard that a lot of the ocean view rooms really have not much of a view at all but I guess that is a risk we will have to take.

I am really looking forward to RPR, From what everyone has said it seems the only real problem there is this whole room location issue.