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★★★☆☆

“Unexceptional hotel with too many problems”

Written on: 21/05/2018 by upCarver80 (1 review written)

We booked our 7-night stay at this resort hotel many months ahead on the basis of what turned out to be overgenerous reviews elsewhere. Despite its well-manicured lawns and impressive-looking foyer-cum-dining area and swimming pool area, the hotel does not live up to its publicity.

The view of the Caribbean from our first floor room was impressive, especially at night. The swimming pool area is pleasant with comfortable loungers. You can also swim in the sea or lie on the narrow black sand beach, which is pretty clean. The hotel restaurant does very good lunches, especially its seafood au gratin and the Saturday night BBQ, and has good bar and restaurant staff, but its menu is very limited (Definitely avoid the rubber chicken).

However, we encountered some serious problems. Communication is poor. The staff do not answer emails and when I called international I was put me on hold to answer another call! Indeed, some of the front desk staff are unprofessional, one particularly with a condescending/surly attitude problem. Another giggled to her mate, schoolgirl style, after giving us incorrect information about the proximity of the local supermarket; we returned drenched from a supposedly 5-minute walk. Fortunately, however, a colleague helped us manoeuvre heavy luggage over hosepipes in the corridor to our room. Thankfully, the bar, restaurant staff, as well a number of managers we encountered, were friendly, efficient, helpful and gracious.
Built in the early 1970s, the hotel shows signs of its age, poor workmanship and maintenance. First, we could not get the key into our room door lock, and when we managed to insert it, we could not extract it. The picture on every TV channel was grossly distorted, and the hairdryer did not work. Throughout our stay, substantial, unannounced, renovation work was underway affecting our corridor and room. Every time we left or returned to our room we had to negotiate construction work and toxic smells regularly continuing until 8pm. The patio door locks on two sides of our first floor room overlooking the public beach were worn making locking and unlocking them extremely difficult, and sometimes impossible. Folding doors to the closet had come out of its runner so I had to force it back in order to access our clothes. A socket in which we plugged in a power strip to use our electronic devices also did not work until the maintenance guy told us we had to turn on a light switch to make it work! Oh, and one of the other power sockets in the room was hanging off the wall. The hotel water was cut off one day so when we returned to our room we found the washbasin taps had been left full on flooding the bathroom. Commendably, a manager came with bucket and mop and cleaned up the bathroom.

Well, by our third day, we were fed up with these problems and spoke with the manager, a professional person who acknowledge what she called “a comedy of errors”, apologized repeatedly, told us she would speak with the front desk staff as a group, and comped us a night. Even so, by our last day, we were more than ready to leave. Our stay had been disappointing. Besides the problems we encountered, the hotel’s primary focus is on its conference centre rather than tourists – with negative consequences for individual guests. The resort has no concierge and the front desk staff gave us blank looks when we asked about tours and travel guidance. So, the experiences might be good for conferees and weddings, but for individual travellers it is not.

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