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“Beautiful hotel, great design, poor service”

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DPNY Beach Hotel & Spa
Ranked #2 of 23 Hotels in Ilhabela
Certificate of Excellence
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
24 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
“Beautiful hotel, great design, poor service”
Reviewed December 2, 2011

We just got back from DPNY. The hotel is amazing, beautiful location, great design and decoration and breathtaking views. However the hotel stuff needs training in customer service and client satisfaction. The receptionist at the hotel was very rude to us on our welcome. She told us that we had to leave our suitcases in our car until check in time, since the hotel did not have a storage for luggage. Later on, the bell boy told us she was "confused" and the hotel indeed had storage for luggage. The hotel is amazing as said before but do not expect 5 star service. Also there is no fitness center

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Monts2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
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  • Service
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  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (31)
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English first
São Paulo
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed November 6, 2011

The Hotel is very beautiful, not only the beach and location but the arquitecture and decoration. One of the most beautiful hotels I have ever seen, as good as the hotels in Asia (Tailand, Singapore, Bali, etc.)
However, being such a chique the service has to be good.
Every time I go there I am told about their internal rules. I have even asked if I can have a copy of the "hotel rules".
Yesterday I asked for a Caipirinha with a basic cachaça, Sagatiba (15 reals at Pão de Açucar). When I get the bill I am charged with a premuim cachaça. I question the fact and the "caixa" tells me that their rules is to concider this cachaça Sagatiba a premuim cachaça. When I tell him that that does not make any sence he almost ofered to beat me up. I imediatlly asked to speak to the person in charge of the bar, and instead of person in charge of the bar (a very beautiful Italian girl), an enoumous mauiri time guy tells me that I have to respect the hotels rules about cachaças with a face that was telling me if I did not he would beat me up.
Think Global, treating all your customers well, and act local, charging the obvious price for local cachaças.
Please correct the service so I can continue enjoying the hotel.
João Lima
[---]

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank joaopedrosolima
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Errol, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
135 reviews
63 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 243 helpful votes
Reviewed October 29, 2011

Where to start!

We stayed here for four nights from 12th October as part of a large group who were all there to celebrate the wedding of close friends of ours. They were getting married at another venue on the island, but we based ourselves at DPNY for the duration of our stay. It didn't help that the heavens opened on our first night and it rained for pretty much the whole time we were there, but being Brits, it didn't deter us, we 'rainbathed' on the beach and swam in the pool regardless, much to the amusement of the locals.

The venue is stunning and the first impressions were wonderful. The way that the place has been designed, the decor, styling etc is excellent. There's a real cool, chic vibe about the place, the palm trees, the white linens and loungers, the buddhist/Eastern influence, the thatched roof beach bar and covered lounging areas, the tipis on the beach..............all thumbs up and top banana.

They have their own sushi bar and WOW - the sushi is amazing. We were distraught one day when the sushi was not available, but we found out that it was because the chef was not satisfied with the quality of the fish that had been delivered that morning. We really respected that and would rather have gone without the sushi than be served something that was substandard.

Because we were there for our friends’ wedding, and because they had chosen the hotel personally, it became difficult and awkward for us when we started to experience problems with the place and with the staff there. We felt so sorry for the couple because the last few days before your wedding should be as stress-free as possible, but they seemed to spend too much of their time trying to solve problems and having arguments with the management, rather than sitting back and relaxing. At the end of the day we would have had a blast regardless of where we were staying, simply because we were with our friends and were enjoying catching up with those that we had not seen for a long time. But service is such an important aspect of any hotel, and when you are claiming to be a luxury/chic beach hotel and crowing about being awarded "best beach hotel in South America 2010" then service is not just important, it's absolutely critical.

The DPNY wristband policy is ludicrous. White for a day guest, orange for a residential guest, gold for an evening/event guest................and on and on............we ended up looking like a bunch of Glastonbury lifers and a dayglo orange wrist band is hardly the thing that you want to have as a lasting memory in your wedding photos. I know the theory behind it, but it doesn't work. The charging is all over the place and the check out process was just laughably dreadful because things had been billed all over the place, to the wrong rooms, the wrong amounts, the wrong things and some of the stuff had just disappeared altogether. The dinner we had on our first night descended into chaos when the food arrived for different people randomly in no order over an excruciatingly long period of time which ended with us walking away from the table because we were just so embarrassed by the arguments going on between the staff and guests, some of which went to bed hungry and probably would have still not got their food to this day.

For us, the light and hope came in the form of a random accent we overheard whilst enjoying a Bohemia at the beach bar. When you fly thousands of miles and hear a Scottish accent it stands out a mile. Jamie, the accent’s owner, has arrived in DPNY – by his own admission – via a chance encounter and random knock on the door, to give the place a shake and get it back on its sunkissed, freshly pampered feet. During our brief chat at the bar, we were immediately reassured that things were on the up for DPNY and Jamie is absolutely the best person to take them there.

The staff need to have confidence in their own abilities, they scuttle around with a look of panic on their faces bumping into each other and the hotel policy of making them personally liable for their bills means that they will literally chase you around the pool to get you to sign for two beers, despite you being a known guest at the hotel.

The place has so much going for it, and it just needs a few tweaks to bring it up to where it should be. Please fix the smelly drains by the beach bar and stop storing bags of garbage under the open deck of the Troia Restaurant. Please put plug-in mosquito repellent diffusers in the room. And whatever you do, PLEASE sort out the wrist bands and the customer service and the charging. But at the same time, please don’t stop serving the best sushi in Brazil and please don’t stop hand-pouring the caipirinhas! Don’t change the temperature of the pool, it’s perfect. And don’t stop trying to be the best beach resort on South America. You’re not quite there yet, but listen to Jamie and take his advice. You never know………it might just work!

Room Tip: no preference as you spend all of your time on the beach or by the pool, so room location is not vit...
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank superali99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
21 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed September 1, 2011

We stayed for 5 days and very much enjoyed the king sized beds everywhere- at the beach, by the pool, in the spa. It was very relaxing. The hotel staff is young and inexperienced and in need of supervision , but everyone was very helpful and smiling. The problem is the so called "gourmet" restaurant. It is anything but special and the manager is rude. The waiters for the most part were friendly. One night a half bottle of wine was recommended to us and it was undrinkable. The rice that accompanied the main dish was obviously old and reheated. The next night the highly recommended local fish dish was vastly undercooked and inedible. The restaurant prices are incredibly and unreasonably high. The breakfasts were good except that the orange juice was not freshly squeezed, which is what you would expect at these prices. The relaxation we achieved during the day was unfortunately partially offset by the problems with the dinners. The management needs to have an experienced person to supervise the staff and restaurant personnel.

Room Tip: Our room was closest to the road and we had some traffic noise but it was tolerable.
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  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Steven W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
176 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 211 helpful votes
Reviewed August 16, 2011

Two of our best friends got married in Ilhabela so we all stayed at this property for 3-4 nights (their suggestion...they had been before). It is by far the most beautiful place I have ever stayed (though will never stay again because it is absurdly expensive, even with a wedding discount...about $375 US per night). They have lounge beds with canopies on the beach, free paddle boards and kayaks (so fun), a huge, beautiful pool, two beautiful hot tubs, a bar, loads of outdoor seating, an elaborate breakfast buffet that is included (worth getting up for even if you have the worst hangover of your life), free valet parking, hundreds of places for perfect photos, and the most intricately designed rooms I have ever seen (thousands of mosaic tiles throughout the bathroom and shower). You get what you pay for. However, they wouldn't even let a group of us hit a small inflatable ball back and forth in the pool, even though we were quiet and the only ones in the pool at the time. For what we were paying, they should let us do almost anything we want! They actually took the ball away from us. The groom ran into an enormous problem with the front desk staff at one point as well, and the man did not seem to care--shocking, considering that the groom was from Brazil and spoke perfect Portuguese, was a repeat customer, and filled up their entire hotel for 3-4 nights. The hotel did, however, really come through for the bride and groom one night, so I can't bash them entirely...a restaurant down the street was supposed to host the wedding rehearsal dinner (the menu had been decided and reservations made and checked twice) but simply decided to be closed that night. So, DPNY called all-hands-on-deck and somehow figured out seating, food, and drinks for a party of 75-85 people on a moment's notice (and it was delicious). Prepare to pay a lot, but you will be living in paradise for the time while you are there. The 'downtown' and shopping/restaurant area is 20 minutes away through a curvy road so designate a driver or take a cab if you plan to drink. You don't ever really need to leave the property though, unless you are taking a day trip of which there are many! Hiking, waterfalls, boat rides, etc. And wear bug spray the second you arrive...the borrachudos will eat you alive!

Room Tip: Get a room overlooking the pool!
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  • Stayed April 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank kpcharlier
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
cfk906
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed July 10, 2011

This is a unique hotel, quite beautiful, and well-appointed. However, we have stayed there now a few times and I can unequivocally say that this hotel has the rudest & least customer-oriented staff of any hotel I have ever stayed at.

Room Tip: Don't stay here.
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  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
16 Thank cfk906
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sao Paulo, SP
Level Contributor
131 reviews
42 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 81 helpful votes
Reviewed July 1, 2011

Me and my wife stayed here on september 2009 during the week. We stayed at Bangalô Piscina Beach and this room is simply amazing!!!! Lots of space with huge flat screen tv, double tub a really king bed with 2 leather sofas. And the best is that you have a front view from the beautiful pool and great beach and are just a few steps from all this. Lounge music during the day with really good drinks made from the young and helpful staff. And last but not least the Tróia restaurant, nice wines very good food in a trendy place.

Room Tip: Enjoy the pool and vibe
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  • Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank LucasSantos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about DPNY Beach Hotel & Spa

Property: DPNY Beach Hotel & Spa
Address: Av. Jose Pacheco do Nascimento, 7668 | Praia do Curral, Ilhabela, State of Sao Paulo 11630-000, Brazil
Location: Brazil > State of Sao Paulo > Ilhabela
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Ski-In / Ski-Out Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#1 Spa Hotel in Ilhabela
#1 Luxury Hotel in Ilhabela
#1 Family Hotel in Ilhabela
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Ilhabela
#2 Romantic Hotel in Ilhabela
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — DPNY Beach Hotel & Spa 4.5*
Number of rooms: 83
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
DPNY Beach Hotel & Spa Ilhabela, Brazil

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