My husband and I recently hosted our wedding at Beaches Turks & Caicos Resort. Our stay was from Sunday, May 19th, through Sunday, May 26th, 2013. We had two rooms reserved (one for us and one for our wedding party). We had a horrible experience at the resort. Ultimately, the issues we encountered ruined our wedding and vacation, and branded the company as the poorest choice for a hotel, which offers the lowest level of customer service possible. What should have been the most enjoyable week of our lives was an absolute wreck.
I will start explaining the problems we encountered during our vacation with what was wrong with the hotel service in general- things that would be taken care of without hesitation, or would never be a problem at any Marriott, Four Seasons, Hilton, etc. Our rooms were incredibly dirty. There was sand on the floor after the maid had supposedly been there, the blinds didn't work properly, the glassware was dirty, and the sheets were stained, there were no robes in our closets, and even after requests for them, we never received any. The beds were old, hard, lumpy, and uncomfortable. The staff was incredibly unfriendly and unaccommodating with even the most simple, polite requests. It felt like no one wanted to be there to help you, and there often was no one available to help you. The intercommunication between the staff was absolutely embarrassing: we made appointments and paid ahead of time, and our names weren't on the reservations or vouchers, the appointments we made in advance were not scheduled properly or recognized by the staff, the hotel and spa would change our appointment times and not tell us, and we were made to wait at appointments for 15 or more minutes almost every time. On a new note, 2 out of the 6 people in our group (including my husband) got food poisoning so terribly they were vomiting and suffering from diarrhea for at least 24 hours, causing us to miss out on planned group expeditions. The food was awful. We never left a meal feeling satisfied, or that it was even good. I have stayed at several all-inclusives previously, but never have I had such greasy, poorly cooked food at a hotel. The liquor was cheap, and quite poor. I don't pay the extra money to stay at an all-inclusive so I can be served bottom-shelf liquor all week, and have to tip a bartender just so I can get mid-grade vodka in my drink. All of the service was slow, and no one was very attentive or caring- especially at the restaurants, we were made to wait for food for 45 minutes to an hour at a time.
The next level of problems were ones that happened in relation to our wedding and its' surrounding events. I will try to go chronologically, so you can understand how things gradually became much worse with each issue. To start, my pre-paid and pre-scheduled hair and make-up trial was cancelled, and no one told me until I asked when it was. When I asked about it, I was told I never scheduled it: false. Once they did re-schedule my hair and make-up trial, they made it for the wrong day and time, and told me something different. So, when I showed up at the spa, they told me I was wrong, and when I asked them to change it to that present day (because I already had other appointments scheduled the other day), I had to wait, and they treated me as though I was creating tons of problems for them by requesting the change. My bridesmaids' flower colors were wrong. In advance, I had booked 3 separate, private candlelight dinners in for each couple in our wedding party (including my husband and I) for two days before the wedding. When the evening for the dinners came, we were all seated at one table together, and I was told that I had requested that seating- I NEVER requested that. We dropped off all of our wedding attire at the Wedding Office at 8:45 a.m. on Wednesday, May 22nd, to be pressed and delivered to our room by 7 p.m. the same day. They lost our clothes, didn't get them pressed, and they weren't done or delivered until 2 hours before our wedding the next day. The spa moved around our appointments 3 times, and no one really knew when they were actually set for. The salon staff seemed very annoyed with us the day of the wedding during our hair and makeup appointments, and we really were not demanding or difficult. They played the wrong music during our ceremony, after we had specifically picked out what we wanted to be played. I had set-up and paid an extra $300 for the star lanterns in the gazebo for our reception, and when we got there, 3 of the lanterns were burnt out. Our cake was set out much too early, and therefore melted within an hour of us being there. I had picked a menu in advance for a 3 hour reception dinner. After waiting in our gazebo for 2 hours with no dinner service, I inquired about the time they would begin serving our dinner, and was told I cancelled it. I NEVER cancelled my own wedding reception!!! I had to beg for them to bring us regular food in replacement of our expensive, 4 course menu I had picked out. After much arguing, I was told that the kitchens were closing but they'd try to find us something. They ended up bring us the cold, slimy, tasteless leftovers from one of the recently closed kitchens. It was horrid. I had requested, in advance, a sound system with an iPod hookup for our reception. When we arrived at the gazebo, there was none- and but for our friend running back to her room to get her little travel speaker, we wouldn't have had a first dance. (I was also told that I never asked for that: FALSE). Our honeymoon breakfast was brought an hour earlier than requested, startling us, and waking us up unnecessarily early. We were then made to wait at our wedding photography appointment for 20 minutes before starting, and were mistakenly double-booked with another couple. Also, because no one could really help us, we were stuck in our appointment for over 2 hours, causing us to miss eating lunch. After they made our CD's of our wedding photos, we went to pick them up, and they misplaced them for a day.
This brings me to our final set of problems: the poor excuse for what they consider "customer service." We talked to a lower level manager about everything we encountered throughout our week on Sunday, May 26th, prior to our departure. I was told I'd get a phone call by end of day Monday, for certain. I didn't get called back until Tuesday afternoon. In that phone call, I was told all of the wedding errors were my fault, that I made the decisions, and I must not remember, and they couldn't do anything to make up for the problems because they only did what I told them. This was shockingly rude. I am an incredibly organized person, and I have records of all of the decisions I made. Even though they made decisions for me I never authorized, I was still blamed for everything. We were comped for only one spa appointment (because they admitted to messing up the scheduling for that one), but none of the others that they rescheduled or moved and didn't tell us. She told us the wedding attire mishap was only a problem because we didn't deliver it in time to the Wedding Office- when I argued that we did drop it off in plenty of time, she blamed it on someone else and finally comped us for it. She said that we were sat at only one table for the candlelight dinners because I asked for that in lieu of a reception dinner. First of all, I NEVER ASKED FOR THAT, and secondly, why on earth would I make a reception dinner 2 days before my wedding?! The amount of excuses for all of the problems were just unreal, and they were all centered around the problems being our fault: it was us who misunderstood, it was me who didn't specify that, it was us who changed that, etc. It seems that no one at the company has ever heard of the philosophy that "the customer is always right," or if they have, they do not exercise that point. EVER. It was horrible to be treated like an unvalued number, as opposed to a valued person. I spent a significant amount of money to have a 6-person wedding week at the resort, and not once did we ever feel special or important. No one apologized for anything, or went out of their way to make up for the mistakes they made. The pre-travel planning was a complete joke. Why should we have spent the time making decisions, paying for things, and telling the representative exactly what we wanted if they didn't listen, made assumptions, put things down incorrectly, and never made any final confirmations. It was a complete waste of time and energy, and only made for further disappointments when arriving at the resort and nothing was correct. No one on the staff was organized, and there was no communication between any of the staff. No one knew what was going on, and when we'd ask questions about things that should have already been done, were pre-planned, or were just simple questions, no one had the answer- they would have to check on it and get back to us, and usually wouldn't get back to us. If any of the staff had any questions for us about our plans or events, no one called or asked, they just went ahead and made incorrect assumptions and changes, and then said it was our fault, or our decision.
All of these problems caused us to have a stressful, disappointing, horrible week. It was not fun- it was not really a vacation. Instead of going home and being able to tell everyone was a beautiful, perfect wedding I had, this is what I got.
I was finally called by a higher-level customer service manager from Sandals, Inc., and apologized to, and offered some free nights. When they sent us the agreement, it said that we would be comped only 2 free nights, and only if we agreed to take down any negative comments written online about the company. Obviously, we did not accept the terms of that agreement, and we will not ever be returning to one of their resorts, nor will we encourage anyone to stay at them. I also discourage anyone from having their wedding at one of their resorts.
Directions: Grace Bay Beach