More about The Cliff House Resort & Spa
One more time
I have been going to the Cliff House for 15 years, back when there were only two buildings. The view is spectacular and cannot be matched anywhere but the service, cleanliness and overall hotel experience has gotten worse each time we go. We now return only for the view and if this time matches our last we will never go back again. My suggestion is to stay only in the new spa rooms which are not yet filthy and run down only because they are too new. The owners seem to care more about building more and more than updating and caring for the accomodations they already have. All concerns fall on deaf ears so don't expect anyone to address the problem if your room is filthy but the trade off is having outside your room some of the most spectacular scenary I have ever seen.
identity crisis resort
this inn/resort is in a difficult state of flux-it was an old fashioned- hotel, it is now attempting, without it would seem hotel/spa specialists to turn themselves into a "luxury resort" with spa... there are many problems, architectually, visually, and most importantly environmentally--the coastline becomes lost amidst the raised outdoor whirlpool--the vanishing edge or infinity pool misses the whole idea by not looking out to the ocean, but onto the chairs of other guests and a chain link fence separates us and ruins the view---i could go on, but it would be gratuitous criticism-this is not working and it's a shame....don't bother find a nice cozy spot and go for a local massage.
not a spa/resort
The parking is very bad, it has no room service, the staff is rude and we almost got run over walking between the construction and buildings.
I have never stayed in a worse hotel than this one and would never go back. They take being rude to another whole level.
In my opinion ony, it is a terrible stay. I guess the ranki9ng of dead last in Oqunquit says it all.
The Cliff House is neither Resort or Spa
The following was my letter to the Cliff House:
My fiancé and I were recent (arrival 7/7/04, departure 7/10/04) guests at your resort. Given your exquisite brochure and my fiancé’s strong recommendation, we highly anticipated our visit. In fact, we were planning to procure reservations for October during our summer stay. Given the events that have transpired, our return visit is in jeopardy.
We checked into the resort later than anticipated on the evening of July 7, 2004 due to dinner with family in Ogunquit. Upon our arrival in the Cliff Top Building, we were greeted with a room in very poor condition. Specifically, the bathroom had hair on the floor, bathtub, and commode. There was obvious dirt on the floor of the bathroom and in the bathtub. A barrette was found on the floor near the commode. Additionally, there was dust on the furniture and the floor had obviously not been vacuumed (e.g. lint and small pieces of paper were evident). Realizing that anyone can have an off day, we contacted the front desk manager on duty (MOD) who offered to move our room with an added cost to us or have someone clean our room appropriately. At no point did they come to the room to see the condition or offer to move the room without an additional cost. Frankly, money was not the issue; it was the handling of the situation that was not congruent with your reputation as a first class resort and spa and it was the principal of the matter. At that point, we opted to look at two available rooms (both with an additional cost). We were told that someone would be there “shortly” to show us the other accommodations. After approximately thirty minutes, the front desk called to say the person had “an issue” and would arrive “shortly”. Following another ten minutes, the maintenance man picked us up and took us to the other rooms. The other options did not have the view that our room had nor were they a significant upgrade for the additional cost so we opted to have our room cleaned. We called the front desk and they indicated that they’d “send someone shortly.” Approximately 10 minutes later (10:45 pm at this point) the same maintenance man arrived with a bottle of Windex and a rag. At any rate, I’m certain you’ll agree that the handling of this was poor to say the least and not commensurate with your reputation or the category of resort in which you compete. In sum, the majority of our initial night was consumed with these issues.
The following day, we contacted the day shift MOD who, to her credit, apologized for the situation and the resort’s response to the problems. She indicated that we should have been moved immediately to the alternate room on our floor without any increased compensation on our part. She offered to move us to the corner room without additional cost, but we felt that enough of our limited time at The Cliff House was consumed with these problems and we opted to stay in the room. Moving at that point would have represented another inconvenience and we simply weren’t up to the task. When she asked what else could be done to remedy the situation, I suggested that the resort make an adjustment to my bill for the first evening. In particular, I suggested that they adjust the bill 60$ to account for the nightly twenty dollar surcharge already conceded in the corner room offer. The MOD informed me that she was not authorized to make that adjustment and that she would speak to the manager who would “get back to me the following day”.
When I didn’t receive so much as a response the following day, I inquired about the situation with yet another MOD. This individual listened to the situation and again told me that he’d have a manager or someone authorized to make this decision contact me. I informed him that I was checking out the following morning and would prefer to deal with this situation before my departure. He told me that he’d “do his best”. I never heard from anyone with respect to this situation. I have to tell you that I was surprised that an MOD didn’t have the authority to make such a modest adjustment to the bill. I was asking for what I believed to be a very reasonable request, one that the dayshift MOD essentially conceded during our discussion. I certainly could understand if I was asking for a significant adjustment but in this case I wasn’t and I assumed it would have been easy to make this simple accommodation.
Finally, and perhaps the most significant catalyst in the production of this letter was the poor communication and handling of my calls since my stay at your resort. I have placed approximately four calls asking to speak to a manager. Please understand that these calls were placed in an effort to communicate my experiences and my concerns. In each instance I was told that I would receive a call back. Despite this, I never received such a call. On the fifth attempt, I was rudely instructed to write a letter and informed that was the “only way” to reach a manager. While time is a precious commodity for me and I feel that I have some ability to communicate my thoughts in written form, it would have been nice to know this during any one of my multiple calls to the resort. I’m not in the hospitality business, but I am in the people business. Through hard work and dedication, I have a life which affords me the ability to stay at many nice resorts such as yours. My understanding of the hospitality industry, particularly at luxury resorts, is that an effort is made at customer service. Though my work is very different, we certainly make every effort at the latter despite very hectic schedules, exhaustion, and competing interests for our time. I must tell you that I have not experienced even a basic level of service with respect to this situation and your staff’s handling of it. It is my hope that you’ll at least read this document. I’ve never responded in this manner to an incident such as this because I have perspective and I’m aware that there are real problems in the world. However, I felt the circumstances dictated a comprehensive response and if I were the owner of The Cliff House I would want to hear feedback from my patrons. I hope to hear something from you with respect to this communication.
As many have said, the response from Ms. Weare was not only rude but also failed to address any of the noted concerns. I would save my money for a real resort and spa where hospitality is valued and the accomodations are consistent with the brochure and price.
40th Birthday Sister
I must concur with my sister, and go a few steps further. What she didn't mention, that as a top-level marketing executive with a worldwide financial firm, and because of her job, has stayed at some of the best spas and hotels around the country and the world, and some of the places you'd walk out of if corporate hadn't booked the place. My husband and I have also travelled extensively for our jobs, and have stayed at quite an assortment of establishments; so we all have a bit of experience from which to draw. We are truly not snobs, but I do know that my husband wanted to make my 40th a special occasion (particularly since I've been laid off from my job, and I've been home taking care of our now 3 1/2 year old twins, and I haven't been feeling like the most beautiful girl in the world,) he had planning secretly with my sister via email to find a relaxing yet fun place to celebrate my birthday. We all love Ogunquit, and when they found the Cliff House on the internet, they thought they had found the perfect balance.
The Cliff House had made a big deal about their restaurant. Men must be in coat and tie, and reservations would definitley be required. No problem, we brought our best clothes, and I looked forward to blowng the dust off my little black dress and celebrating my scariest birthday with French service and watching and hearing wht waves crashing on the rocks. What we got was NOBODY to greet us at the door, an empty restaurant, save for one other table besides us, a table by the kitchen, an inexperienced waitress who had no idea about the menu OR how to open a bottle of wine we ordered (which showed up about half an hour after we ordered it). My sister detailed the truly appalling food. It was truly inedible, and I regularly eat with 3 year olds, so I can stomach pretty much anything. The "fresh raw bar" platter my husband and my sister's boyfriend literally arrived on a hot platter with no ice, lemon or cocktail sauce. The raw oysters - oysters, clams were WARM and shrimp tasted freezer burned, and then like they had been hanging around in the fridge too long. Yuck! None of this was the poor waitress's fault. She was working the entire room - the other table was a rather large party, and she clearly was not given any training - not even how to open a wine bottle.
Meanwhile, my husband had been trying to contact the catering manager all day trying to arrange a surprise birthday cake for me after our dinner. Every time my husband called he was told that this person was busy, but would definitley call my husband back. No call backs. When we finally left for the drive to Maine my husband again called the catering manager and was again told he was not available but would call back ASAP. My husband again left his cell phone number, and never received a return call....we had a good signal the entire trip, so we didn't miss any calls. When we checked in (honestly it was like watching a "What not to do When Checking in Guests" movie for new hotel guest clerks!) my husband AGAIN asked to speak to the catering manager, and was again told he was unavailable, but would call our room or my husband's cell phone......you're guessing the ending here right? No phone call! So, no birthday cake. I know many of you reading this are probably reading this and thinking what a spoiled brat I am...could be, on the other hand, come and spend a few days at my house with my three and a half year old twins, and you'll be writing the sequel to War and Peace too. I don't feel bad about not getting my cake - much. I mostly feel bad for my husband who I know spent MONTHS planning this trip spending lots of time on the phone and internet thinking he'd found the perfect place and had worked everything out down to the very last detail, only to get there and discover that the Cliff House treats guests poorly from the minute they walk in the door to check in by surly front desk staff, to the yucky restaurant that they tout as "fine dining" all the way to having to pay extra to use the gym and having showers that don't work. It took four or five phone calls for my sister to get someone to come to her room to fix her shower, and even when they showed up, nobody even apologized for the inconvenience!! She ended up showering in my room, but you shouldn't have to trek all over the hotel to find a place to take a decent shower when you're paying over $250. a night for a luxury spa vacation! I did get a lovely pedicure and facial at the spa. The people who worked at the spa were very nice and professional, and the atmosphere was relaxing and as you would expect a spa to be.
Best View, Worst Service in town...
After my second stay recently at the Cliff House (my first one was 26 years ago), all I have to say is that the Cliff House obviously does not need your patronage as these poor conditions (restaurant, service, dirty rooms, rude staff) have prevailed there for many years. Most of their clientele, unsuspecting guests passing through on summer vacations, keep them very busy - and they obviously don't care if you ever come back. The summer mobs are only passing through for the most part. The view is beautiful but that's about it. There are very nice inns and motels nearer to town that are less expensive and give much better value for your money. I am a local and have heard many similar poor reviews from others.
The Cliff House-A Great Place to Stay
My husband and I have been staying at the Cliff House for the past seven years and we have been more than satisfied-great food, good service and wonderful accomadations at the Spa. We book for the following year on the day of our departure and will continue to do so-love the pool, the view, the spa services and the location away from the 'hustle-and-bustle' of Perkins Cove and downtown Oqunquit and route 1. We find it to be a totally relaxing experience sitting on the deck, reading, relaxing overlooking the cliffs and listening to the pounding of the waves against the surf during the night. We don't even find it necessary to use the room air conditioner as the ocean breeze is more than adequate.
We are looking forward to many more stays at this delightful resort!
This property came highly recommended when we could not get into a hotel last minute in Ogunquit in September 2004. Check in took a long time even without a line of people waiting. The first room we were given was in the basement...literally, near all the conference rooms. We told the front desk how disappointed we were and were given a first floor room instead. Considering the price, this was a very large room but sparsely decorated and very disappointing. There was a beautiful lobby area overlooking the ocean where you can get a drink.....this never happened because we could not get anyone to wait on us. We went into dinner and waited 15 minutes to even be acknowledged. The single woman at the next table had waited 30 minutes. We flagged down a waiter who indicated there was a wedding going on and they were short staffed (not our problem). We left and DROVE into town for a lovely meal. When we returned, the young lady that checked us in said she made a mistake and wanted $38 more for our room at which point my husband said NO. We were in touch with the manager on duty who was basically the audit staff who proceeded to tell us we were in the less than 1% who ever complained of service at the Cliff House. We offered to leave at 8:45 pm and he offered to refund the room rate. So, we left and found another place to stay that night. We were very happy to leave and will not return.
Hated it so much - we didn't even check in!!!
My boyfriend and I are planning a much anticipated trip to Maine. While surfing the internet, we came across The Cliff House. I was so excited - it seemed to be everything we were looking for.
I called and booked a room. We were doing one of their package deals. The man quoted me a price and I said "Are you sure - I seem to remember your website indicating that the room would be more." "No, mam he said - this is the price" ($270 a night I might add). "Ok I said - the check is in the mail".
After having the check cashed, I received a call from The Cliff House reservations department. I called them back and I met a VERY rude gentleman. He informed me that I needed to pay an extra $20 a night - ironically it was the exact charge I had asked about when booking my reservation. I explained that I felt that was wrong. I had been quoted a charge, the check was cashed, and I had a confirmation number. He quipped back that paying it was my only alternative. Not once did he apologize for the confusion or admit The Cliff House was in error. At one point when I was completely fed up with his rudeness and obvious lack of customer service training, I asked him "Is everyone at The Cliff House like you". He said "Yes". At that point I asked him to to cancel my reservation.
I then asked to speak to the supervisor. He said he was the supervisor. I asked then to speak to the hotel's general manager, and he informed me that Ms. Weare had been staning there the ENTIRE time. I asked him to hand her the phone so that I could discuss this with her but was informed transferring the phone is "against hotel policy" (whatever that means).
We have now booked at a charming B & B in Kennebunkport. Frankly, I am glad I have been spared the trouble and my vacation has been rescued from the ruin it was surley fated for.