Cap Juluca Review

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  • Value For Money

helimurf's review of Cap Juluca


Cap Juluca Resort - a review by 2 middle-aged Brits...”

Written on: 25/03/2004 by helimurf (1 review written)

Cap Juluca Resort - a review by 2 middle-aged Brits (2004)

I am submitting this, following a review by Genevieve Fox in the Daily Mail last Saturday, 20th March.

As prices start at £1990 per person per week, I feel that people should hear what else they might be letting themselves in for, in our opinion, at this resort, since Ms. Fox would appear to be very forgiving and laid back in her attitude towards the quality of holiday one might expect at those sort of prices.

Any up-market travel agencies currently involved with Anguilla, might wish to send someone undercover, rather soon, to see if the service they should expect, both from their representatives on the island and from the Cap Juluca itself, is actually up to scratch .

This was our first trip to Anguilla, where we were to be looked after by a travel agent who shall be nameless, and were booked to stay at the Cap Juluca resort.

On arrival, shortly after 11 a.m. we were met at the airport by no less than two ladies, one from the resort and, let us call her Jane (not her real name) from the travel agency. Why they couldn't have liased to avoid the inefficiency of both of them being there, we don't know.

Anyway, Jane directed us to bring our bags to a large Limousine, where we had to load our own luggage into the boot (which we didn't mind, but could be difficult for someone elderly etc.) and she then drove us to the hotel with an occasional cursory remark thrown over her shoulder about such as, "maybe you wanna take a trip around the island, well the hotel can arrange that if yo axe 'em" and not much else. When we arrived at the resort, Jane drove off without a word.

The travel agency must surely have known that one cannot check into one's room at the Cap Juluca before 1500 hours and yet we were delivered and abandoned with some three hours to kick our heels before we could begin to enjoy our holiday. Had they simply had the thoughtfulness or courtesy to have warned us about this in advance, then we could so easily have packed in our carry-on bags what we would have needed to start enjoying the beach on arrival at the hotel, without any urgency to obtain access to our room. But no. Perhaps that would be testing the travel agency's abilities or intelligence a yard or so too far?

Now then, to say that the front of house staff at Cap Juluca were untrained would be a dangerous euphemism.

When my wife expressed a desire to obtain a change of clothes and other items from her main luggage and for us to prepare ourselves for the beach while waiting for our room to be made available, she was offered, not, as might reasonably be expected, a small but private room to use, but, instead, she was presented with the opportunity to return to the front steps of the hotel entrance, where our luggage was still piled, and invited to open her bag in front of a mass of guests and staff so as to help herself to what might be needed, and to then change in the ladies' lavatory in the foyer!

It was interesting that the hotel seemed to hold training seminars each morning at nine-thirty for almost all its staff in the main guest's reception room. Surely, almost any other time and/or place would have been more appropriate? We could not fail to notice that the highlighted and blackboard-displayed subject title of the staff seminar was, "Providing Exceptional Service" !!!!

Their biggest problem is that they simply do not listen to what the guest is saying or asking, but just keep on with the ghastly, parrot-fashion clich s such as, "you have to relax, you are on vacation, just take your time" and so on and on and on and on.

Afternoon Tea. Without going into much detail, this performance was ludicrous. Tepid water for the tea and marmalade only for the scones (which, in fairness, were beautifully baked and light and tasty) with "clotted" cream, (actually whipped cream)

It was all served, quite unnecessarily, in a cramped and totally awkward location. Even the American guests were embarrassed with the awkwardness of it and to which the front of house staff were clearly oblivious as they led guests through the line of would-be tea customers, to and from the main guest reception room !

We have to say that the architecture of the hotel rooms and suites along the beach is really stunning. They are highly imaginative and most cleverly varied, - very attractive in their "moorish" style and also superbly accommodating. The beach itself is also exquisite and we most definitely wish to commend the housekeeping staff. They were excellent. Most helpful and entirely unobtrusive.

Now to our "Pimms" experience. (The restaurant in the hotel grounds)

We had booked a table and arrived to be told by a receptionist, "Your hostess is up there." We could see, up a flight of steps, and with her back to us while talking on a mobile telephone, a large, older lady. We declined the invitation to climb up towards her, which was met with a shrug, and eventually this lady commenced a descent, directing a deeply sincere expression towards us. Then, to our utter astonishment, and hastily concealed horror, she proceeded to KISS us, both, on both cheeks, while announcing, it seemed almost with tears in her eyes, "Welcome to my home" !!!!!!!!!!

We at first presumed that she had unfortunately mistaken us for long lost friends or relations, until we saw, to our amazement, that all the arriving dinner guests underwent the same excruciating embraces. Having seated us, she took no further interest in us through what transpired to be a highly expensive but really mediocre meal, compared to what could be obtained in many other restaurants on the island.

On another night, whilst trying to reach our seats at a restaurant next door to Pimms, this same hostess, mistakenly thinking we were heading to Pimms for a return match, grabbed me and subjected me to the same smothering and quite startling treatment before I could react, but my wife managed to fend her off with a swift and skilful movement that would have impressed even Johnny Wilkinson!

We know the lady hostess meant well but surely someone could put her right?

While the rooms were truly excellent in many ways, there was no clock, nor radio and, had we wished to check CNN for a few minutes of news each evening, we were told that we would have to pay an extra one hundred and forty dollars a week to have a television in our room!

There is a television room where they show a video for all the hotel guests each evening at nine. However, if the advertised one is a recent release, be prepared to find that it has been replaced by an older movie, since the advertised one has mysteriously been mislaid, temporarily, and with apologies from the front of house staff, if you are really lucky.

The seating consists of three double sofas and a couple of pouffes. Unless you camp out from the late afternoon, the video audience consists of a few, sprawled, noisy youngsters and their unembarrassed parents.

The same room has the "Internet Access" console competing for distraction, with people coming and going constantly (and talking loudly, of course) in the vain hope of being able to check their e-mail in public, assuming the one and only screen and keyboard might be free.

I found that I had no difficulty logging on at any time between three thirty and five thirty in the morning, however.

When the formidable Jane arrived to take us back to the airport in the Limousine, she failed to heave her bulk out from behind the wheel, neither when our luggage was being loaded and we were getting into the car, nor when we alighted at the airport and we were unloading our own luggage. She chewed gum throughout and said not a word, until she told us that she would be back in due course to make sure that we left without complication.

When she did reappear, it was not to see if everything was alright for us, but to tell us in no uncertain terms that we needed to tip the porter who had brought our bags a good few yards into the terminal. Having supervised the payment of my two dollars to her porter friend, she rolled on out of the terminal and was later observed swooping away in the Limousine, still chewing remorselessly.

With professionally trained staff, we are sure that both the travel agency and the front of house at Cap Juluca could provide the discerning traveller with a truly rewarding and memorable experience.

For us it was a memorable experience, but we do emphasise that every other aspect of our holiday in the Caribbean this year was really quite superb.

[ In particular we would like to commend Marlene from Suntours in Antigua, who was the representative detailed to attend to us while we were on that island. She was quite the absolute best of any possible representative, in every way, hugely helpful and tremendous fun. ]

So, Cap Juluca. The rooms and the beach are superb. The prices can in no way be justified as things are in early 2004 with the rest of this potentially wonderful resort.

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