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“Beautiful hotel with terrible service”

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DPNY Beach Hotel & Spa
Ranked #2 of 27 Hotels in Ilhabela
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 9, 2012

The hotel lives up to its promise to be hip chic, but it lacks basic service standards. For example, our room wasn't ready when we arrived and they didn't have a place to store our luggage. They said we needed to carry our luggage to change and then take it back to our car while we waited for the room. The reception desk staff was rude and unprepared. For the rates they charge they need to improve their service! On the positive note, the restaurant was good with great food. They didn't have a lot of the wines on the list but the food helped overcome that.

  • Stayed: October 2011
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5  Thank poliana23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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104 - 110 of 2,868 reviews

Reviewed December 30, 2011

I went in January of 2011 with my mother. I thought the place was fun, the island okay, not the most stunning place on the Sao Paulo coastline.

The breakfasts were the highlight of our stay, delicious food, endless choice, it was really fabulous.

I think if you are looking for a boutique type hotel this is not your place, but it is fun and good for kids, the decoration is hilarious in places! Leopard skin,mixed with terra-cotta Mexican design. At times I wasn't sure which country or era I was in.

  • Stayed: January 2011, traveled with family
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2  Thank RioLondonLove
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 29, 2011

Paradise is there. Arriving, the beauty quite impressive. The lighting and music is something that turns the place into something mystical. The soundtrack is absolutely surreal.

The pool is deep blue, and night, LEDs make it especially beautiful.

The room is huge, the bed is huge, the Jacuzzi bath is huge. The blind is electric. Special bedlinen. The air conditioner is perfect. Art everywhere. Details taken seriously.

The sea view is something that I would never forget. In fact, sea, mountain and pool appear to be part of each other.

Always very well treated by all staff who are kind and helpful.

Even the city of Ilhabela has numerous waterfalls, beaches and stunning landscapes, it is very difficult to leave the hotel.

The high gastronomy restaurant, gave us unforgettable dinners. Mix of tastes and textures are perfect.

DPNY is certainly a place that I want to visit again.

December 2011.

  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank Rodrigo C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 12, 2011

My wife and I just spent a great weekend in Ilha Bela @ DPNY. It has amazing scenery, a wonderful staff and a great overall atmosphere. The entire staff made us "Americans" feel at home even though we did not speak Portuguese. While most staff did not speak English they were quick to locate someone who did and were very patient and dedicated to helping us meld into the awesome Brazilian beach culture.

I have read a few negative reviews of the service at the hotel. In my experience, Brazilian style of service differs a bit from several other places in the world (US especially). They tend to wait for you to give them some sort of "sign" that you want/need service. If you are not experienced with this style of service it can be confused as "aloof" or not caring. If you go, don't be shy to tell them when you need something.....from our experience they will respond.

We also found that if you don't speak Portuguese and English will be your means of communication, let them know that upfront and be patient.... they will typically locate someone who speaks enough so that you can communicate what you would like.

Typically if the staff member does not speak English we found them to be shy and "standoffish" which again can be confused for not caring which many times was exactly the opposite. Several times we witnessed that person walking to the other side of the resort to locate someone who spoke some English, to come help them make sure our needs were well attended to.

DPNY is not a huge place but cosy enough to feel like you are in an exclusive resort. It has a private feel and definitely is not "touristy". If you like lounge, beach chill and smooth house music this is a great spot for you. The "vibe" of DPNY centers around the music which plays a pivotal role in helping set the mood for each time of the day. While we were there, the resident DJ spent significant time walking around the resort making sure the music matched they type of atmosphere (for example....a little more house on the beach but more chill by the pool)

The rooms are clean, private and provide all the necessary comforts without being opulent. If you can, try to get one on the beach/pool side of the hotel. Check in is at 3 PM but they will give you arm band so you can use the facilities while you wait. Check out is 6 PM which is great as it gives you all day to enjoy the place before showering and heading out.

There are a lot of good food options from Duck, Fish & Meat to Pasta, Sushi and lots of Tapas style foods to "munch" on the beach or around the pool. They also have a great breakfast buffet....I can assure you will not go hungry.

Drinks are served throughout the day which helps to add to the fun/hip/chilled atmosphere. Everywhere you look someone is drinking refreshing coconut water (out of a coconut), a well mixed fruit smoothie (w/ or w/out alchol), sparkling wine, champagne or nicely chilled Stella Artois.

Getting to DPNY was pretty easy. We rented a car from Hertz at Congonhas Airport and made the 3 1/2 hour drive w/out any issues (make sure you get a GPS as getting out of the city can be a bit hectic). Depending on when you go, the main bottleneck will be the Dersa Ferry to/from Ilha Bela. Lines can be long and traffic hectic if you are there for weekend or during a holiday. If you have a flight out of Sao Paulo, ask the hotel when you should leave. They can monitor the ferry lines via the Dersa website and give you an idea of how long the lines are before you leave.

One word of caution....there are a lot of mosquito's so if you plan to travel to IB, make sure you bring strong bug spray (none of the fruity stuff :)

We see why this is such a popular spot with Paulista's and is a great opportunity for you to see Brazilian Beach culture at its best.

Desfrutar!!

Room Tip: Ask for a room on the beach side.
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  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank adamsdunn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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1  Thank Monts2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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7  Thank joaopedrosolima
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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6  Thank superali99
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

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 On the Beach Hotel in Ilhabela
#1 Luxury Hotel in Ilhabela
#1 Spa Hotel in Ilhabela
#2 Romantic Hotel in Ilhabela
Price Range: $221 - $372 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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