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Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort & Spa
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Reviewed June 23, 2013

If you are planning a relaxing vacation to the “Land of Enchantment” and are considering the Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort and Spa, do yourself a favor and stay elsewhere! This was our third visit to the Tamaya and needless to say, our final one. During our prior stays we found this Hyatt Regency Hotel to be a welcoming place for convention goers, business travelers, and leisure seekers alike and felt surrounded by enthusiastic service, eager to make sure our needs were met.

During our four day stay beginning June 6, 2013, we encountered many problems with the front desk, housekeeping, the Rio Grande Lounge, and events management (that is, the hotel manager). After our stay I read many reviews on TripAdvisor, and to my surprise our recent experiences were repetitions of prior uncorrected posted complaints. Sadly, I found humor in the Public Relations Manager response to many of them: “Thank you for bring the details of your stay to our attention. We will examine these matters further and use your feedback to improve our services for future guests.” (Not!)

I believe replacing the hotel manager and public relations persons would be the first step in returning the Tamaya to its former glory. Once replaced, the Hyatt quality assurance team could train the staff in the real meaning of Regency hospitality. Otherwise, this Property should lose its Regency status and be renamed the Hyatt Tamaya Wedding and Small Conference Center. The more significant problems are as follows.

After having traveled most of the day from Maryland, our series of misadventures began upon our late check-in. We were assured by the front desk that our room had the sitting balcony overlooking the Sandia Mountains that we had booked using Hyatt reward points back in December, and called the day before to reconfirm. Since our last meal was lunch, we were informed that the Rio Grande’s Kitchen was still serving diner but was getting ready to close. We quickly went to our room to drop off our bags and rushed to the Rio Grande to enjoy a light meal.

Our dinner at the Rio Grande was surprisingly disappointing. The menu had been recently changed by the hotel manager and was now dominated by barbeque & nachos plates. Gone were the Shrimp Cocktail and other lite fare. The brisket we ordered had no smoky flavor but was magically transformed into “barbeque” by slathering-on the commercially prepared sauce provided in dime store plastic squeeze bottles. Similar to other posted reviews, my wife’s Silver Coin Margarita (Bar’s signature drink) tasted like a diluted sour mix with a hint of tequila. My draft beer tasted skunky - the line between the keg and tap obviously had not been cleaned in some time. The drinks served in Mason jars were reminiscent of the Cracker Barrel.

The next morning we opened our drapes to find a “French” balcony (narrow with no sitting area). The check-in manager either had lied or was not familiar with the room layouts. Having read other about similar front desk problems, I firmly believe the real reason for this “mistake” was our use of Hyatt points to pay for a portion of our stay.

Later that day we walked around the property with our daughter and son-in-law (recently arrived from New York). We noticed that the property has not been improved and poorly maintained since our visit a few years ago. We were told by multiple staff that the renovation monies were being directed to the construction of a new 8000 sq ft. Pavilion for the Wedding & Convention business and to the multiple renovations of the hotel manager’s office. The good news was that the rest of the hotel is scheduled to be renovated in 2015. My experience is that the impact of a worn facility can be mitigated by a well trained and highly motivated service staff. Otherwise, the deteriorating appearance of the plant only accentuates problems created by a handful of poorly motivated and/or surly staff.

By the end of our stay we had to become experts in managing the Housekeeping process. Several times we returned after 5:00 PM to find housekeeping had missed cleaning our room. Other calls to housekeeping included requests (1) to borrow convenience items (such as, a lighted make-up mirror) normally found in the room, (2) to have clean towels (hotel recently went green), and (3) to change our bed linens prior to our departure. Finally, the housekeeping staff would not remove used food trays, plates and glasses unless place outside our door.

Now back to my adventures at the Rio Grande. On Saturday afternoon, I was meeting my son-in-law for cocktails while our wives were having Spa treatments. The Rio Grande area consists of the Living Room; the adjacent Bar & Lounge; and the outside Terrace (estimated 2000 sq ft) with connecting walkways to the Bosque. I arrived about an hour early to enjoy the serenity of the Living Room and was slightly disturbed by the staff setting up for a wedding event.

We were planning to have our cocktails outside but encountered a sign stating the Terrace was closed for a wedding. We found a quiet table in the Bar & Lounge and ordered some basic mixed drinks (no signature ones). Over the next two hours, the Rio Grande was quickly taken over by the gregarious wedding party (say 100-150 guests). The guests filled the Living Room and the overflow packed the Bar & Lounge. We were surrounded by a sea of noisy party-goers that made any table side conversation impossible.

Once the wedding guests moved to the separate and distinct Wedding Chapel area, I requested the check and complained to the waiter. Without apologizing the waiter explained “the Reception was only for a couple hours” and “this will be corrected upon the completion of the Pavilion being built in the Bosque”. He was echoing the hotel manager’s party line and was trying to make the manager’s problem (double booking of the Rio Grande space), my problem.

I paid the check and we proceeded to the Terrace (which was never used by the group, and not being used then). As soon as I opened the Terrace door I was blocked by someone. He refused our entrance even though I explained we were trying to access the walkways to the Bosque. I asked him to get the Hotel Manager to which he loudly responded “I am the Manager!” Obviously this person took his job of protecting the absentee wedding guests from the hotel quests quite seriously.

After calming down in my room, I decided to return to the Terrace to voice my outrage. I wanted to know why wedding guests (many who probably are not staying at the Hotel) have priority over Hotel Guests; why the Terrace was closed (since is was not being used) and, more importantly why there was no advanced notice that Rio Grande space was being restricted?

The wedding party was now enjoying their cocktails in the Ballroom area. Since the Manager had disappeared I went to the front desk and learned the person confronting me was not the Hotel Manager (she was offsite the entire weekend). I was asked to explain my frustrations and in return I heard the same party-line excuses again. At this point, I decided my next actions would be a letter to the Hyatt’s corporate office and this posting to TripAdvisors.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with family
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3  Thank Lovemountains19
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
jmm12, Public Relations Manager at Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded June 28, 2013

Hello Lovemountains19, thank you for your feedback. We will be calling you directly to discuss.

Sincerely,
Jena Marquez
Public Relations Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 18, 2013

We are currently staying at Hyatt Regency Tamaya and couldn't be happier that we decided to stop here for a few days during our long drive from Chicago to San Diego. The place is big and small at the same time in that there is a lot of open land and I'm glad Hyatt maintained it the way it is rather than trying to embellish it with a lot of artificial touches. There are plenty of things for kids and the family to do - from bike riding, horseback riding, and making s'mores by the campfire. The main pool with the water slide was just the right size and perhaps we lucked out by coming here early enough in the summer but I liked that it wasn't crowded and that there weren't crazy people trying to fight for a pool chair.

The only suggestion I would have is to perhaps include more complimentary activities. Pizza making, campfire cookouts, and gourd painting can add up and I may not mind paying a few extra dollars if it meant more options for the family and the children to do together.

Every staff member we met was friendly and courteous and the rooms were comfortable and well maintained. What a find for us! We will definitely be back!

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank Rowena M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
jmm12, Public Relations Manager at Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded June 19, 2013

Dear Rowena M.,

We are delighted you and your family are staying with us! It is wonderful to hear you have enjoyed our property. Thank you for your suggestion on our activities. We appreciate our guests' input and will use your feedback to continuously improve what we offer. We hope you enjoy the rest of your stay. Safe travels to San Diego, and we hope to have you with us again in the future.

Sincerely,
Jena Marquez,
Public Relations Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 17, 2013 via mobile

We've stayed at this hotel at least once every year since it opened and I'm disheartened that this last visit was our worst. Multiple missteps from the staff (accusatory tone when switching rooms, our most awkward checkin, relentless valet who couldn't leave us alone even when we were leaving), wonky room upkeep (disheveled curtain that we fixed ourselves and an ADA door attached to a "regular" room, etc.), and less than optimal food at their trading post (a muffin that looks like a failed soufflé). The mountain remains beautiful and the great room is as relaxing as ever, but when I'm just looking for mediocre accommodations to enjoy these and the staff and place fail even that, it looks like we may not return anymore. The "acting manager" had mentioned they would address our concerns, but when you can't even fake sincerity to an upset customer, then you've lost future business.

  • Stayed: June 2013
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5  Thank Soujourner7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
jmm12, Public Relations Manager at Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded June 19, 2013

Thank you for your feedback. We are sorry to hear about your experience. This is not typical of our resort and we assure you that these matters will be looked into further. We take all of our guests feedback seriously and will utilize yours to improve our operation. We hope we will have the opportunity to remedy your experience in a future stay.

Sincerely,

Jena Marquez
Public Relations Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 17, 2013

Just returned from spending a week at this wonderful property and I was not ready to leave yet. Our stay began with an upgrade to the Sandia Mountain view which was so worth it! The balcony that was enclosed on the sides made for a very private feel while sitting on the balcony taking in the views. Being on the second floor allowed for the best view of the mountains without seeing the highway.
During our stay we tried most of the restaurants. Our package included a free breakfast at the Santa Anna restaurant. We ate the breakfast buffet every morning. Would still be worth the $17 even if it wasn't free. The selections were wonderful including some New Mexican casseroles, made to order omelets, fresh fruit and pastries, smoked salmon, and even gluten free and vegetarian options. Sitting outside in the cool of the morning and taking in the beautiful gardens and birds made for a great way to start each day. We did eat the dinner buffet here one night and it was average.
To celebrate our anniversary, we had dinner at the Corn Maiden one evening sitting outside with the mountain view at sunset. Can't say enough fabulous things about this restaurant. Food and service were impeccable. They offered us complimentary champagne and dessert. This was a highlight of our stay!
We had dessert at the Rio Grande Lounge one evening. They have rocking chairs overlooking the mountain view and served a s'more parfait in a jar that was fun! This place was popular every evening as a place to sit and watch the watermelon glow on the mountains at sunset.
We also used the Trading Post one night to grab some quick sandwiches when we were in a hurry. This was a great option for those wanting a cheaper option.
We enjoyed some of the resort activities. There were so many to choose from! Make sure you grab a list of activities because most of them require you to register. We enjoyed the mountain bike ride in the morning. They offered nice quality bikes and helmets. The guide took us on a paved road for about 2 miles and than down a unpaved road for another 2 miles with great views. It was so fun going down! We did the rodeo one night which offered a nice hayride down to the stables and a fun evening that involved the audience with games and offered petting of some of the baby animals as well as traditional rodeo. We did the s'mores around the fire one evening as well. We also tried the yoga class which was great. We were the only ones in there and it was like having a private class. We passed on the spa since there were no co-ed options. We also borrowed the beach cruiser bikes one morning to enjoy the nature trail. This was best done in the cool of the morning since things warmed up quickly. We did see one very long snake slither off on the trail. They also allowed us to rent a golf cart to see the entire golf course since we were not golfing. It was spectacular views and such a treat!
Other perks included the infused water stations with different fruits every day! The staff was so friendly and seemed to really enjoy their jobs. We've stayed at many Hyatt resorts and the staff here was our favorite:)
There was also an Albertson's and Walmart nearby for last minute things forgotten or if you wanted a few snacks to keep in the fridge in your room.
Even though this hotel was booked with conferences the whole time, we felt like it was so uncrowded and such a peaceful and relaxing place. On Friday, things picked up and they actually had you wear a bracelet to signify you were a hotel guest around the pool area.
The grounds were wonderful to walk around and so many different things to do. We even enjoyed playing checkers on the leather game tables in the main area.
Can't wait to go back!
The locations was great. Easy to get from the Alburqueque airport-25 minutes and only 45 minutes to Santa Fe. We also made day trips to Banderlier, Tent Rocks (amazing!), Jimez mountains (only partially due to forest fires), and Ponderosa Winery.

Room Tip: Mountain view on second floor
  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Texans112
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
jmm12, Public Relations Manager at Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded June 27, 2013

Hello Texans112, We are so glad to hear you had a wonderful stay at our Resort and you consider our staff your favorite! What a great compliment! We are also happy to know you were able to participate in so many of our activities and you enjoyed our scenery. There are so many aspects of our Resort we love our guests to take part of and it is great you not only enjoyed your dining experiences but you participated in the Bike Rides, Rodeo, S'mores, and Yoga class! We hope we will see you again soon, wishing you safe and happy travels!

Sincerely,
Jena Marquez
Public Relations Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 16, 2013

This is one of the best resorts that I have been to. I love architecture and unique cultural experiences and those are strengths at this hotel. This is no cookie-cutter resort. I love the Southwestern decor - it is prettier than the photos and I love the native american music, lectures, etc. There are great pools, free bikes, games, sports, etc. I think the resort fee is well worth it here. The landscaping is also fantastic. I had a fantastic trail ride - got to ride into the Rio Grand river (because we were a small group). The Tamaya has the best all around staff I ever recall at any hotel or restaurant anywhere - especially Casey at the front desk. The breakfast buffet was fantastic. The ONLY thing that could use improvement is the Lounge bar. We ate dinner there each night because it had a fantastic view out toward the river, however the food was weak. However, that was a minor part of our experience. I heard the fine dining restaurant - the Corn Maiden is great. It is a really fantastic resort for families or for couples. Highly recommended. P.S. - My husband had a massage at the spa and said it was his best ever. The spa is highly rated.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank travelchicavida
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
jmm12, Public Relations Manager at Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded June 17, 2013

Hello Trarvelchica, we are delighted to hear we are one of your favorite Resorts, what a compliment! We are happy to hear you enjoyed our decor, surroundings and were able to experience some of our Resort activities. There's nothing quite like a trail ride in the Rio Grande River! Thank you for your feedback on your dining experiences as well. We will look into this. We hope to have you with us again soon, safe travels to you and your husband!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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