"unDesirable" vacation from hell
During the months of August and September, we were researching the various websites for possible destination resorts for our 2003 Christmas vacation. Having spent 3 weeks during the months of July 2003 and July 2002 at Hedonism III we were contemplating our choices of returning to Hedonism III or visiting Desire Resorts as promoted by the Desire Resorts web site and Lifestyles Tour and Travel. Prior to our visiting Hedonism III, we spent several years, with a minimum stay of 3 weeks during July, at Eden Resort, Loreto, Mexico.
After many hours of comparing the accommodations, services provided, and rates between Desire Resorts and Hedonism III we made the decision, based on the pictures, descriptions, and video of Desire Resorts. We believed that from the Desire Resorts web site pictures and description, we were going to visit a “new” resort, which offered more and better upscale accommodations and services than Hedonism III. By studying the Desire Resorts website, we believed that we would be staying in accommodations that offered architecturally, modern, clean, white designed rooms with pillars, marble floors, new linens/bedding, drapes, mattresses and furniture. (Further discussed)
From the pictures of the dining room, we also believed that we would be enjoying the finest of dining experiences, knowing what we experienced at Hedonism III in their Main Dining room, Italian and Japanese restaurants.
We truly believed that Desire Resorts was above Hedonism III, but not to the same high standards of Grand Lido.
We asked our travel agent, Kristin, owner of Tri Link Travel in Vancouver, to make all our arrangements for booking both airfare and accommodations at Desire Resorts. The accommodations were reserved through Lifestyles Tour and Travel, Anaheim, California.
In December, three weeks prior to our departure, we had learned from members of New Horizons, Lynnwood, Washington, guests of Desire Resorts, who came down with food poisoning.
Knowing from previous personal experience with food poisoning in Loreto, we knew that food poisoning can be a likelihood at any resort.
Arriving in Cancun, Mexico, Sunday, December 21, 2003, 2:45 p.m. we had to wait over a half an hour for our arranged transportation to the resort.
Upon arriving at the resort, we were greeted by Frank, the resort bellhop, who directed us to our check in and transported our luggage to our room. Prior to showing us to our room, 1111, Frank gave us a quick tour of the Resort.
Frank then took us to our room, whereby, he did a very quick check to see if the lights were working properly. When we saw our room, we were shocked and dismayed to find a room that was not as shown and publicized on the website. Instead of finding a clean, white, architecturally designed room with pillars, we were given a very old looking and poorly constructed room that had a wooden ceiling: grey/black slate flooring; old, dark and dingy small bathroom; very little drawer or closet space. As the weather was very cold and windy, the double doors to the balcony did not properly close together, resulting in the cold and wind to blow into the room through the large gaps between and around the doors. As the rooms did not have any heating, we had to place towels by the bottom of the doors to minimize the amount of cold air into the rooms and prevent the curtains from blowing around and the doors banging.
We were not happy with the accommodations. Our first reaction was that we were at “Camp Desire” and that we had a “Desire to leave the resort and find new accommodations in Cancun.” This was only after 5 minutes of being taken to our room. However, we believed that because of the Christmas/New Years season, we would not be able to find other accommodations. In all of the many years of traveling, we have never experienced worse conditions. Because the resort offered “au naturel sun tanning”, and tennis court, we believed that we could make the best of the situation.
The “VACATION FROM HELL” was about to begin. Because of the conditions of the room, we were very concerned about putting away our clothing. The drawers were too small, to put away all of our clothing. There were not enough hangers provided for our clothing, which we had to “stack” a number of articles onto the hangars. As it became dark in the room, we found that three light bulbs needed to replacing, as they were not working. There were ants all over the vanity and sink, as if the room had not been properly cleaned or sanitized. There was no shelving or space in the bathroom/shower for personal items such as shampoo, conditioner, shaving cream, razor, etc.
After trying to find the room for all our clothing and personal items, and once the suitcases, which were on the bed, were put away, we discovered that the bed was as hard as rock. There was no give to the bed as the mattress was placed directly on top of a cement base. We also noted that the blanket had a number of cigarette holes. We were becoming even more discouraged and disheartened as we expected clean linens/blankets and comfortable bed. Our concern was how we were going to be able to sleep on a rock, hard mattress.
After a long day of flying, beginning at 4:00 a.m. PST, we thought it best to eat dinner and try to calm down and relax.
Visiting the main dining room, we found there to be a good selection of food. However, we were dismayed when we found our “hot” entrees to be cold. As we discovered during our two-week stay, except for breakfast, which we normally do not eat, the food offered was not very good, nor was it ever very warm. Although though the food was presented in stainless steel chafing dishes, supposedly over hot water, it appeared that either the water was not hot, or the food was sitting for a length of time before being presented. We were not impressed, as we have always experienced very good food and selection when traveling. We were also disappointed in the quality of the house wine offered. As we enjoy fine wines with our meals on a daily basis, we believed, that we would be offered a better quality of wine. We did not expect to be purchasing a bottle of wine everyday with our meal. At Hedonism III, David, the dining room manager, went out of his way to make sure that there was a good selection of wines, for which there was not any additional expense to the guests.
There was also the problem that ordered white wine or champagne from the wine list would always come warm. We later learned that the wines and champagnes were stored in a very warm room at the back of the restaurant. When eating dinner, we should not have to wait half an hour or more for the wine or champagne to chill.
After our first dinner at the resort, we decided to call it a night. Because of the long day of traveling and how tired, we were feeling, we thought that we would try to get a good night sleep. Unfortunately, with the bed being very hard it was difficult to get comfortable. As it became early morning light, we discovered that the walls of the room, especially those facing the water, did not meet the ceiling. As a result, the light was shining through the holes between the ceiling and walls making the room very bright. We also discovered that there were holes between the ceiling and walls on the opposite side of the rooms. What was happening every morning was our waking up, before the sunrise, because of the light shining through the holes. As we also found out, these holes allowed an entry into the room for insects and geckos.
We also discovered that the white canopy above the bed was very dirty and was covered with dead ants and bugs.
Not only did we have to contend with the unexpected light in the room, we found ants crawling on our headboard and sheets. Jumping out of bed, we discovered that our bodies were aching and sore from the hard bed. We never expected our vacation to being this way.
We contacted the front desk to ask that maintenance replace the burned light bulbs and for housekeeping to better clean our room, including the headboard.
Later in the morning, maintenance arrived and replaced only two burned light bulbs. The maintenance man also repaired the wiring for the light fixture over the sink and vanity, as well as, repositioned the sconce to provide better lighting. Why the maintenance man could not replace the third light still remains a mystery. Could the resort not afford to replace burned our light bulbs?
We took a tour on the other side of the resort where the Spa/weight room facilities and tennis court were located. We were very pleased to see the modern Spa/weight room facilities but were very disappointed in the condition of the tennis court. As per the advertising of the resort on their website, we expected the tennis court to be in excellent condition. Nothing was further from the truth. The court was damaged, as the playing surface had holes, unevenness, and paint peeling off over a wide area. The court had considerable debris… needles and leaves from trees, seagull droppings, which made for very unsafe playing conditions. There was also a concern because the wired fence, at the one end of the court, was not fastened securely on the bottom, allowing balls to easily roll under the fence. Having played professional tennis, plus the fact that we always bring our own rackets and tennis balls, the conditions were not as expected.
We spoke to Silvina, (Laura), member of the activity team, about the conditions of the tennis court and having maintenance sweep and clean the courts. She had stated that since she had been working at the resort, we were the first guests who wanted to use the tennis court. She then would ask maintenance to clean the courts while we changed into our tennis clothing.
Approximately forty minutes later, we returned to the tennis court only to find that the court had not been cleaned. We were very annoyed that maintenance had not done as they were told. As per the Desire Resort Guidelines given to guests upon arrival, “If we can provide you with better service feel free to contact any “Desire” staff member.”
Silvina did her best by trying to provide “better service”, however, her requests went unanswered.
We eventually had to find a broom, whereby, we had to spend our vacation, at an upscale resort, sweeping off the tennis court. A maid, from whom we borrowed a broom, found another broom to help us. This is not our job, nor the job of the maid, but of the maintenance personnel to provide safe, clean conditions for which facilities the guests are to use.
After tennis, we went to relax on the “au naturel” beach. Believing that the “au naturel” beach was private, as per Hedonism III, we were very disturbed that the resort/beach was on a public beach. Believing that we could suntan “au naturel”, we had guests, including young children, from other nearby resorts, walking the beach and wearing bathing suits/clothes, as they passed through the “au naturel” area. Also other guests satisfied their “voyeuristic tendencies” by wearing clothes in an “au naturel” area. If this is to be a “au naturel” beach then there should be better supervising/policing as to make it more comfortable and enjoyable for those guests who are paying for and expecting a “au naturel” vacation.
It was also very uncomfortable to be lying “au naturel” on the beach and have the military walk past the guests/resort on a regular basis. We know that we are in Mexico, but if the Lifestyles Organization is to become part of a Lifestyle resort, then there should be more consideration given to the privacy that Lifestyle guests expect when visiting such a resort. This should be indicated on the Desire Resort & spa website and in any “Lifestyle” advertising.
We also found that there were inadequate quantities of “beach towels” available for the guests during the day. This was never more evident when hotel management decided to implement a new policy, with guest capacity at 80%, when there were no beach towels available for the guests. If management is aware of the number of guests staying at the hotel, there should never be a shortage of towels. In addition, you do not implement a “towel usage” policy when a large number of guests have arrived for New Year’s Eve. When the majority of guests are complaining to the activity team staff and hotel management, there should be immediate solutions to the problems. It took management several days before they received a shipment of new beach towels, to help with the demand by the guests.
We were also upset with the attitude of the bartenders by the lobby, specifically, Edgar who made the guests feel very uncomfortable with comments about how little they were paid. If this is to be a “no tipping” resort, guests should not have to feel the need to have to tip the bartenders, because they are not paid very well.
The bartenders also displayed rudeness, when they would deliberately turn up the volume of the stereo, making it very difficult for guests to enjoy a conversation with each other. During our two weeks stay, we experienced a number of guests, complaining about the loudness of either the music or talk shows on the radio/stereo. There was also the problems of the quality of sound from the stereo sound system, whether it be in the main dining room, spa, or bar areas, resulting in ear piercing distortion (static and crackle), which was very annoying when for the guests who were eating, conversing with other guests, or trying to enjoy a relaxing massage.
The night of December 28, we awoke in the middle of the night in a tangle of bed sheets.
Having to remake the bed, we discovered that the flat sheet provided, was too small for the king size bed. At 3:15 A.M., we tried as best as we could to cover as much of the mattress, with the flat sheet, so we would not be lying directly on the filthy mattress.
The next morning we wanted to point out to housekeeping, the problem with the mattress not covered with the proper size sheet. However, because the house cleaner did not understand English, she did not fully understand what was being requested of her. This was another problem that we had to worry about, as we did not know, on a daily basis, if our bed would be made with the correct size of sheet. The last thing we wanted to do on our vacation was to have to make up our own bed or worry!
We experienced this problem again on January 1, 2004, upon returning to our room late in the afternoon. We phoned to the front desk, at 5:00 P.M. to ask to have our small sheets on the bed changed to sheets that would fit and cover our king size bed. At 7:30 P.M., prior to dinner, housekeeping did not arrive as per our request. We visited the front desk and spoke to the man at reception who, in his best English, said that he would have someone attend to the problem, within 10 minutes. We did not return to the room until 2:15 A.M. when we discovered that the sheets were still not properly changed. We also found a gecko sitting on the wall above our bed. We called and complained to the man at the front desk about our sheets not changed, plus, having the gecko removed from our room. Again, we were told that someone would be promptly to our room. Fifteen minutes had passed, when we called front desk again and demanded for someone to visit our room. Finally, at 2:45 A.M., a man from maintenance came with laundered sheets and attempted to make the bed. The man, who did not speak any English, had brought with him sheets that had holes, as well as, a mattress pad that was too small for the king size bed.
It took the man three separate trips to housekeeping, before he was able to find a king size sheet that would fit the king size bed. With the man’s help, we finally fit the foul smelling sheets on the king size bed.
Then the man had a difficult time in trying to determine a way in which to catch the gecko. Fortunately, for us, the gecko, who seemed to know his way around the room and ceiling, found his own way through the holes of the ceiling and walls. Finally, at 3:45 A.M., we were able to go to sleep.
This never should have been a concern for us while on holidays! Fearful of having housekeeping put small sheets on the bed again, we asked Silvina, (Laura), staff member, to explain in Spanish to the maid, not to change our bed sheets. We explained that we had made the bed that morning as we had the correct size of bed sheets. The maid explained to Laura that she was very embarrassed because the resort did not have enough king size linens and bedding. For a so-called, new resort, it is hard to imagine a problem of not having enough linens. For a resort catering to the Lifestyle, where sheets have the likelihood of becoming soiled, excess clean linens and bedding should be available 24 hours a day.
The worst experience of our holidays, for not only ourselves, but “all” the guests, was the arrangements or lack of organizational planning for the New Year’s dinner/celebration.
The dinner/evening as planned by management was a total disaster. In the morning/early afternoon, the guests were provided with a pamphlet describing the times for cocktails and dinner, plus menu choices. Management made the decision to have all 180 plus guests, seated for dinner at one sitting. Since the resort opened in early spring, the management of the resort has never experienced the planning of seating and serving such a large group of guests at one seating. Not to mention that the restaurant management also tried to seat 7 individuals at tables that the majority only seated 6. It does not take a lot of thought, that with this resort being a “couples only” resort, tables should accommodate 6, 8 or 10 individuals, and not seven.
As the guests entered the dining room, the problems greatly increased with each passing minute. There was a wait of more than one hour as most of the guests lined up at the salad/appetizer buffet island. In addition, the waiting time, increased as the supply of various selections was exhausted and restaurant staff took too long to adequately and replace the finished items. Another major complaint was the shortage of crab legs that were offered for a select few guests who were the first to be in line. Knowing how bad the food was offered each day/night, of course the first food item to be taken would be the crab legs. If crab legs are to be offered for dinner, then the resort should make sure that there is an adequate supply for all guests or do not serve this at all!
Having stood in line for an hour, and then another after another half hour to eat our salad/appetizer, our table, consisting of ourselves and two other couples, had not been serviced by any service personnel, so that we could order our entrees. Jean finally approached the restaurant manager to see if he could provide a complimentary bottle of wine for our table as no one at our table had been opportunity of being offered any crab legs, plus the long waits to order dinner. He said he could not provide a complimentary bottle of wine, as he did not have the authority. The bottle of wine, which we always ordered and had to pay additional monies each night, was, again, served warm and was not drinkable.
Many of the guests left in disgust and frustration at not being served their dinners after almost three hours of waiting. When our dinner finally arrived, after another one-hour wait, and by having another perturbed guest at our table talk to the manager, the dinner was served cold and tasted terrible. A number of guests did not receive their choice of meal as the kitchen had run out of food. As a result, they also angrily left the dining room.
It was very unfortunate that members of the activity team were forced to listen to all of the complaints and anger of the guests who were quickly exiting the dining room. What was to have been an exceptional party to celebrate Desire’s first New Year’s Eve event, actually turned out to be celebration of Hell for the resort and management.
The management did provide a very good group for the guest entertaining and dancing pleasures. However, as most had earlier left the dining room and did not return, there weren’t too many guests who stayed to enjoy the group and bring in the New Year.
After exchanging New Year’s greetings with the activity team, we chose to enjoy an aperitif with friends at the main bar. We were rudely serviced by the bartender, Edgar, who wanted to close the bar early (1:00 A.M.) in order that he could enjoy spending New Year’s Eve with family and friends. He did everything he could by increasing the volume level on the stereo to changing the station to a “talk” radio station. He also took his time to provide service to all guests who were present at the bar. The service was so bad, that one of the guests who waited for almost 15 minutes to be served a drink, finally picked up a bottle of Kahlua from the bar and checked to see how much alcohol remained in the bottle. When she was satisfied that it was almost a full bottle, she left the bar to go back to her room to be with her ailing husband who experienced food poisoning at that evening’s dinner. Neither of the bartenders realized that they were missing a bottle of Kahlua.
Once the bar did close at 2:00 A.M., the guests who were still socializing and partying found all the bars on the resort closed. This was another major problem as there should always be one bar open after hours, especially in the hot tub area. This was a common complaint for a “Lifestyle” resort as guests want to, and expect to party after hours, especially when the Disco closes. This is a resort for adults who expect to be able to enjoy receiving bar service until the early morning hours. All other visited resorts, Hedonism II, Hedonism III, Grand Lido, offer bar service 24 hours a day. This is not a resort a family oriented resort. We and our friends, observed guests who had found a way of getting into a locked liquor cabinet by the hot tub as they were still wanting to party. As we were told, this was a common occurrence each night when the bartenders closed at 2:00 A.M. After they left, the guests would “break” into the bar and imbibe on their favorite alcoholic beverage. Is this resort catering to the paying guests or to the employees?
Next morning the problems carried forward, when guests continued to “***” and voice their displeasure, about the previous New Year’s arrangements, lack and quality of food, inadequate service, and warm champagne served at midnight. This was the major topic of conversation around the pool and on the beach for the next few days. We spoke to a gentleman who traveled with a Lifestyle group from England who was very upset with his experience and time at the resort. He encountered the same problems, as with us and the other guests, with the lack of English communication of the front office personnel. It is very difficult to ask for assistance or for information, when the staff is unable to understand or speak the English language of the majority of guests. This gentleman tried, on three attempts, to arrange an appointment at the front desk, with the general manager. Each time, the appointment was cancelled, as the general manager was unavailable.
To add to the problems, all the guests learned, that a majority of the staff phoned the resort to report that they would not be coming to work that day. This was quite evident from the lack of service, by both the dining room staff and housekeeping. If the owner or management staff of Desire Resort is unable to provide the high quality of service for the guests, seven days/nights a week, including holidays, then all the guests are entitled to a full refund. This is totally unacceptable.
Because of a lack of staff, Silvina and Enrique, activity team members were asked by us to have the tennis court cleaned, again, (which was a daily occurrence during our 2 week stay.) As we always tried to play in the morning, when the weather was cooler, we had to wait, after several attempts by Silvina and Enrique, to have maintenance clean the court. Unfortunately, it was not until 3 hours later when the maintenance cleaned the tennis court and we had to play early afternoon when it was hotter.
The next day, we had a lengthy discussion with both Silvina and Enrique, at separate times, about our “Vacation from Hell”. They admitted that they were fed up, and tired, of the constant, daily, complaints from guests, regarding problems encountered, while on holidays. They stated that management/owner would not listen to them, at their weekly meetings, when they related the guest problems and unhappiness.
Later that morning, Enrique asked, if we could meet with the General Manager, Miguel Soto. Enrique mentioned that he met with Miguel with whom he discussed our complaints about our 2-week stay. We were more than willing to donate our holiday time to discuss our complaint with the General Manager, knowing that other guests were unable to meet with him.
We experienced a 2-hour meeting with Miguel, which on any other holiday, would have never taken place. We discussed all of the problems we encountered, as well as, the concerns of other guests. Miguel was very cordial, and during our meeting, made note of over 30 problems and concerns that we encountered during our two-week stay. We also explained our reasoning for choosing Desire Resort and discussed our total pleasure in our 3-week visit to Hedonism III where we were treated like family.
He mentioned to us that he would be visiting Hedonism III at the end of January to observe how the administration of the resort and see what changes could be incorporated to Desire Resort to make it a better resort.
We observed on the paper that Miguel was making notes, that he already had a list of guest problems to contend. He also mentioned that there were a number of problems and issues with the lack support and direction from ownership in regards to resolving management decisions for the comfort of the guests.
He also admitted that there needed to be a considerable number of changes, and have not been implemented, since the resort opened. He stated that he that at least 50% of the staff needed to be dismissed and replaced, beginning with the head chef and dining room manager.
When suggesting to Miguel that he make himself more visible to the guests by wearing his distinctive name tag and walking through the resort to meet with guest, he admitted, again, that he was too embarrassed to do so. He feared that he would have to listen to too many complaints, and even though he would have to deal with these complaints, he would not get the support of the Operations Manager or Owner of Desire Resort. He mentioned that he had a meeting scheduled that afternoon with the Operations Manager in Cancun. We even offered to accompany him to the meeting if we could be of assistance in voicing the complaints of ourselves and the other guest.
It is not up to us to have to act as consultants on our vacation, as we are looking to escape from our work environment. As mentioned to Miguel, we have over 360 professional clients, with whom we work very closely in analyzing and marketing their businesses, and for which we charge $350.00 for our services.
We never expect to have to “work” and “consult” when on holidays.
Miguel asked what it would take to have us return to Desire Resort. We mentioned to Miguel that we truly believed in the concept of Desire Resort, but if changes were not made to satisfy the needs of the guests, there would not be a resort in 6 months. We discussed how, with friends, we had to spend extra monies to travel into Cancun by taxi on two different occasions, just to be able to enjoy a “good” dinner, which we expected on a daily basis at the resort. We never intended to spend extra monies for dinners outside the resort. We expected, as our visit to Hedonism III, that as we had paid our monies for all inclusive, that we would enjoy and experience good, quality meals. The two visits to Lorenzillo’s Restaurant in Cancun, during our two week visit, cost us an extra $700 USD for taxi and meals and gratuities. This was not in our original budget plans.
To answer Miguel’s question, we stated that the resort would have to experience a complete upgrade in quality and service, plus, we would have to hear positive feed back from other resort guests, via the various Lifestyle web sites and chat rooms, before any consideration to return to Desire Resort. The false advertising of the resort, the overall cost of our trip and “Vacation from Hell” experience would not have us considering our return to Desire Resort.
There were several select staff, who deserve considerable recognition and thanks for their professionalism and making our two week stay as enjoyable as possible.
Many thanks should extend to the following excellent staff members:
Silvina ( Laura) Modolo who went out of her way in making sure that the guests enjoyed participating in the various daily activities, whether it be participating with the guest playing horseshoes, playing pool or beach volleyball, organizing evening activities for the guests, i.e. Karaoke, games, Disco, or playing board games.
Unfortunately, she has a very difficult job in trying to encourage guests, who were not interested in participating, to become involved and having fun. She always had a big, smile on her face, even when she took daily abuse from guests regarding their stay at the resort. She definitely should be activity team manager as she has excellent organizational skills, very high energy level, excellent people skills, a strong desire to make guests comfortable, relaxed and happy, plus a love for her job.
Itzel Chavel Luna and Felix Ramirez were always smiling, friendly and very helpful in their professional presentation when dining at Il’Piacere Restaurant.
Conchita, (Buffet/Main Restaurant), who was always very friendly and appreciated our attempt in trying to communicate and learn Spanish. We also appreciated her working long hours, especially January 1, 2004, when most of the staff did not report to work. She worked not only the morning hours, but she was very much working during the dinner hours. Being short staffed, she was very willing to learn how to open and properly pour a bottle of wine. Her willingness and desire to do an excellent job for the guests, was very much appreciated.
The pool bar staff, Daniel, Osmar and Charly, were always very friendly and efficient, whether servicing by the pool or at the “au naturel” beach.
Frank, the Bell Hop, was always smiling and very helpful in greeting and assisting the guests on a daily basis.
Mayra, concierge, who was very pleasant, smiling and helpful, when we, or other guests, required information or assistance in arranging taxi’s or restaurant reservations.
We were never so excited to go home after our vacation. Simply put, we were glad our 2-week “working” vacation or “Vacation from Hell” at “Camp” Desire resort was now over.
In all the years of taking three and four week vacations at resorts, have we been excited to be leaving. Our three week vacations, the past two years at Hedonism III was a very sad goodbye to both management and staff, as we totally enjoyed our stay and would have stayed longer, if time permitted.
In conversing with other departing resort guests, the comment always heard was the fact that they had no “desire” to return to Desire Resorts. They also indicated that they would inform their acquaintances and advise them not to consider vacation plans to this resort. What was advertised as an upscale resort was nothing more than a mediocre, concept resort. This was far from the truth, when guests expectations were of high standards of accommodations and service, when making reservations through their individual travel agents.
We also discovered, through conversations with guests from Las Vegas, their friend advised them, not to visit Desire Resort. What had happened was their friend had organized a group of 23 Lifestyle couples to visit Desire Resort in late spring. The majority of couples, after 2 days, checked out of Desire Resort and moved to other hotels in Cancun. Their reason for leaving was a result of bad accommodations, poor food and service. Nothing had changed, as this was the major complaints of all the guests during our 2-week vacation.
We will never recommend the resort to any of our friends, especially those we have met from various Lifestyle clubs in the U.S., Canada, and Europe, nor will we ever return to Desire Resort.
The brochures and internet advertising are very misleading and a misrepresentation of what the resort is all about and has to offer. This was not what we expected from Lifestyles Tours and Travel, recognized as a very worldly, high profile and distinguished travel agency.
Although we have been longtime members in the Lifestyle, and members of New Horizons, Lynnwood, Washington, we were expecting to enjoy a “unique” Lifestyle experience. Every guest has their own expectations of a resort, what they want to experience, with whom they want to experience. However, a “Lifestyle” resort needs to provide the different types of guests who visit the resort, the overall comfort, dining, facilities experience that they are expecting in an all-inclusive resort. The guests who spend considerable monies for their five, six, seven days or more vacation want and expect to have memorable experiences.
For ourselves, we are not like the majority of guests who view the resort as a “Free for All”, where they have paid for a one week or less vacation, and look forward to drinking as much alcohol they can consume and meet and “party” with as many people as possible.
Our vacations, as stated in the beginning of this e-mail is based on enjoying experience, where we can enjoy the comforts and facilities of the resort, while enjoying a “good” dining experience. We are very fortunate in that we are able to holiday a minimum of two weeks. However, unlike most of the other guests, we are very light social drinkers, so we do not get our monies worth from the alcohol. In fact, we had to spend extra monies every day for a “good” bottle of wine from the wine list, in order to make our dinners more palatable. The problem was that the bottle of wine, especially the white wines, were always served too warm to drink with our meals.
To enjoy the same “good” wines from other resorts would have been at no additional charge.
Not once did we ever make use of the hot tub. Every health conscious person knows that when guests are using the hot tub from the opening at 2:00 p.m. to closing, the quality of the water conditions are unsafe. (Where does everyone go to the bathroom, when they have been drinking for hours and are never seen going to the bathroom?)
As discussed with the activity members and Miguel, is the problem with the lack of ventilation in the Disco. As non smokers, as with a number of guests we met, we were unable to enjoy spending time in the Disco because of the heavy smoke in the air, which resulted in our eyes watering, experiencing sore throats, and then having our clothes and hair smell of cigarette/cigar smoke. It would be just as easy to note on the welcoming brochure, as well as, posting signs on the disco door and in the disco of a “NO SMOKING” policy. This could be a positive experience for smokers as most guests reside in states/provinces/cities where this is a law in public areas.
Why should the majority of guests, who do not smoke, have to be inconvenienced by the minority who do smoke? We are all, supposedly, paying the same rates for services/facilities provided by the all-inclusive resort.
Having to be a “sight seeing” tourist attraction on the public “Au Naturel” beach is not our idea of a fun vacation.
We have attached a response from Miguel who apologized for our “bad experience on Desire”, and “right now we are working to hard on all details to fix starting at 1111 room…….plus 30 additional points from you….. I hope you be again with us, plan the trip with 4 free nights from Desire.” We appreciate Miguel’s offer but after our two week experience, we find the offer very insulting.
We already know that “advertising”, whether it be for the good or bad, is what makes or breaks a business. Prior to our return, we communicated by e-mail to friends, who are members of a large Lifestyle Club in Chicago, and briefly described our horrific vacation. They in turn have made the decision not to travel to Desire Resort and will let other members of Lifestyle groups in Chicago consider other travel alternative.
Since our return, we have also researched the internet regarding other guest experiences at Desire Resort and have attached the remarks of another guest who itemized the various concerns that we experienced on “Denny” web site. If we had found his remarks prior to our departure, we would have definitely cancelled our travel plans. His remarks indicated that Desire Resort owner/management is not interested in correcting concerns and problems indicated by previous guests. We know that there will be many guests, who will be chatting on the various Lifestyle web sites, and letting other potential guests, their bad experiences. The World has become very small because of the internet, and the quickness in the way (bad) information travels.
Because of the misleading advertising and misrepresentations by Lifestyle Tours and Travels, we are demanding a full refund for our trip. We would like to resolve this issue in a timely and amicable manner through our travel agent, Kristen, of Tri Link Travels, with whom the vacation reservations were made.