ocean Varadero El Patriarca / Ignorance of Management
I would like to share with your my recent experience at Ocean Varadero El Patriarca.
My husband, two daughters and I arrived at the hotel on September 27, 2014 at about 3:30 pm. We were put in a very nice room, close to the beach and pool and, most importantly, we had 3 double beds, so everyone had their own bed. We were over the moon to have this option.
We had nothing to complain about until younger daughter Victoria started to vomit at about 1:30 am, and continued throughout the night every 2-3 hours. In the morning she looked tired, didn’t want to eat, we didn’t want to stress about it, since I thought it could be from being in the sun. She managed to nibble on a bit of pizza at lunch, after which point, at about 3:30pm, she had a nap.
At about, 5:30 she woke up from her nap, vomiting again. I called the extension on our room phone for doctor, and no one answered. I called reception and was told there was no doctor available. We were given the option to call a doctor from a nearby clinic to come, at a charge to us. We ultimately decided to have her seen by a doctor to be safe. We went to reception, and asked for doctor, at which point we were told the doctor is only on site until 5:00pm. We ended up calling the clinic to come. I do not understand why we need to pay extra if the doctor is available but not on site?
We asked to speak to a manager after the person with whom we were dealing at reception started to give us attitude, asking “Do you WANT ME to CALL OR NO??” in a rude tone.
I asked her to call and then asked to speak to a manager, at which point I was told there was no one available. By this point it was 6:30pm and we were shocked to find out there was no manager on site who could speak to us.
The doctor from the clinic came and recommended we give my daughter a shot of Gravol. As the doctor had warned us, once she was given her dose our daughter became very sleepy.
We paid $75Cuban Pesos, (90$ Canadian) for my daughter to be treated.
In the morning, Victoria woke up and was quite weak. I took her for second opinion to the doctor at the resort who was available at 9:00am. She was examined by the doctor who agreed that she seemed weak, and because of her age the doctor suggested we rush our baby to the clinic for them to look at her and she would notify them that we were coming.
We took our passports, money, ordered taxi and off we went to the clinic. We got there in about 20 minutes and the pediatrician was waiting for us. The doctor examined her, and immediately ordered an ultrasound. The specialist looked at her tummy, and said she has lots of fluid and warned us that she would likely suffer from diarrhea soon for couple of days. After visiting with the doctor we took our daughter for blood test. Twenty minutes later the doctor came to tell us that our daughter had an intestinal infection from food and water.
The doctor provided us with medication to help aid her with digestion. We paid $240 US for the medication (bill attached).
When we arrived back at the hotel, I saw the Vilma, the West jet representative at reception and I told her I wanted to book my VIP for the airport for our return home. While speaking with Vilma, the Public Relations receptionist walked by and saw us speaking and asked about Victoria. I advised her that we had just returned from the clinic and that she had food poisoning. Both ladies seemed surprised by this news. The Public Relations representative told me that was not possible. I showed her the bill and statement that I received from the doctor.
Then my husband arrived and demanded to speak to the manager who was in a meeting. I took my daughter upstairs for a nap and she crashed for six hours. My husband waited until the manager was out of his meeting.
My husband finally spoke to the manager who summoned all of the hotel’s chefs into the manager’s office. For our trouble, we were offered a menu for kids, and an upgraded room. We were happy with our room and didn’t want nor need an upgrade. My husband instead asked for the hotel to compensate us for 5 days of hotel stay. We would buy the flight tickets to return in next 6 months. The manager offered to think about it and to give us his decision at 11am the following day.
We came around 11-12 pm the next day and the manager was nowhere to be seen. We were told he was in Varadero for a meeting. This continued for a few days. On Thursday morning at noon we were sitting in Privilege area of the beach, which we felt was a less desirable beach, but we chose there because of the proximity to the washrooms and the beach bar for drinks for the children. We were told to go there by Beach Personnel, a man named Frank, because the area is always empty (Please see attached pictures).
All of the sudden Frank came by and told us that the next day they were getting 87 people coming for Privilege area and that we could not be there (never mind that the area only has about 15 lounge chairs). Our friend asked him why he was telling us to leave, and asked if he owns the area. He advised us we were not supposed to be there at all. Our friend then pointed out that he was the one who put us in the area in the first place and that he was all too happy to take a tip from us when he did. Frank then threatened to call security on us. Instead, we called the manager to come, but of course, yet again, no manager was on site. Instead, secretary Yanet told us that we can’t be there because it’s a VIP area and that there should be a guard checking bracelets. We pointed out that you can access the VIP area from any corner without seeing the signs that indicate it’s a VIP beach. We also pointed out that we were put there by their own staff. We were fuming.
As well as earlier the other day, we came to the beach it seemed like all lounge chairs have been taken, Beach staff came and asked us where we would like to sit, we said would be great to be on the end closer to the bar and washrooms, Frank, takes his slippers and towel off the lounge chairs and puts on himself and says here you go, we were devastated. Beach area looks all booked up with T-Shirts and Slippers.
After Lunch, we went to main buffet for the menu we were promised. I asked the waiter to let Ceasar know that we’re here and kids are waiting for their soup. He came back and told me it’s either soup or chicken. I informed him that I expected both, as per my conversation with public relations.
We waited about 40 min for soup to come, which was nothing like what I ordered (I asked for No Salt, it was salted).
My menu was: Chicken Soup with Potatoes, Carrot, Noodles or Rice
Diced Tomatoes and Cucumber with Olive oil and Lime or Lemon Juice
Grilled Chicken Breast Plain NO SALT with French Fries.
I didn’t make a fuss about it. As long as the kids ate it, I was happy.
When I returned to my room I got a call from Public Relations office, Yanet told me the managers wanted to meet with me at 8pm that evening. .
At 7:50pm we go into Public Relations to let them know we’re here, Yanet Says OHH Manager had an emergency he’s in Varadero. Again. Apparently my sick daughter was not an emergency to him.
We were extremely annoyed that we missed our dinner and they didn’t even have the decency to let us know the manager wasn’t’ coming. We asked for the manager of West Jet, and Roberto was at the hotel less than 5 minutes ready to talk to us. We were pleasantly shocked how seriously our call was taken.
We explained the whole situation above to Roberto, and I asked him if we could be on the Friday flight home. Unfortunately we had missed the cut off to get on that flight.
Roberto promised us he will be at hotel at 11am to speak with management. We were in the lobby next morning about 10:30am and Roberto was ready to talk to the management about the whole experience.
Management told us they could not offer us free hotel stays but they would upgrade us to Privilege if we book a return trip. As if after all this we will be paying to come back?
Later that same day, my older daughter Katherine told us that her belly hurt. We gave her Pepto Bismol and she appeared to be okay.
At about 7:30 we went to the buffet, and I ordered the soup for kids to get ready and asked it to be with rice. As we walked around to see what was available for dinner, I see the waiter scooping up the rice (which wasn’t plain rice it was with spices) in to the plate and bringing it back to kitchen. Not exactlyt he nice and fresh, salt-free spice-free rice we asked for for our kids.
Moments later, Katherine started throwing up and crying hysterically. I give her water, and asked the waiter for the manager to come and see what they swore was not food poisoning. My child that gets sick very rarely, never missed one day of school from illness, was vomiting uncontrollably.
The manager never came. Instead he sent his PR assistant who seemed to be pretty annoyed and so was I.
I asked for Roberto from West Jet to come and was there quickly.
The General Manager and Rep from H10 were standing in the front, having a good chit chat. I approached the GM and demanded he pay for the doctor to come to see my daughter. I advised him that after 3 days of trying to get their attention and being ignored, I would not be paying for my daughter to be seen.
Meanwhile my daughter is throwing up non-stop and no one seems to care enough to even offer to grab her a bottle of water.
We waited over 45 minutes for the doctor to come and we were told to take her to our room. My daughter weighs 50lbs and couldn’t stop vomiting. There was no way I could carry her the 10 minute walk to my room. I asked for a ride. I was told no.
We took my daughter to the Public Relations office, not the infirmary, which I was under the understanding was supposed to be available for situations exactly like this.
Instead, we were brought to an unsanitary, office, where my child got examined by the doctor who gave her a shot of Gravol. She passed out 10 minutes later. (Video Attached)
Because he was stressed, my husband accidentally dropped a glass on the floor. A sick kid doesn’t appear to be an emergency, waiting 45 minutes to get a doctor. But wow, drop a glass and it’s all managers and reps on deck. We were screamed at and told the police were being called.
Three minutes later, the police are on site and we and all of our friends are being told to pack and get out. We’re all being kicked out.
Roberto from West Jet gets on the phone to get us somewhere to stay until our flights leave.
My husband is told by police he is facing arrest. I demand they call the Canadian Embassy and for the Canadian Consular to be present while my husband gets arrested and to demand he be told exactly what he’s being arrested for.
Apparently he’s being arrested for breaking glass.
Next thing we know they go in for yet another “Meeting.” Ten minutes later we’re told they are new in the business and that they are willing to let us stay in the hotel until our flights. But, we are also told not to provoke the other tourists in the hotel and to not leave our hotel rooms.
Management did end up paying for the fees of the doctor. I asked for the report of the procedure, told them to put on report hotel paid for service so that I know exactly what was given to my child, on paper, to show my doctor back home.
As we were leaving next morning not one manager or personnel came by to ask how my daughter is doing. They walked by with total ignorance on their faces and, lo and behold, the regular manager is back on site. It appeared to me that he was scarce, just waiting for us to leave the hotel!
I’ve been to many resorts in last 15 years including Cuba, and have never experienced such terrible service, such arrogance and such poor treatment.
Not one person asked how my super sick children were. It is not normal for little kids to vomit uncontrollably like that. It’s not like they were hung over adults. They were very sick children.
In light of the forgoing, the horrible treatment which concluded with a completely outrageous and unjustified call to police and the threat of arrest, I demand a complete refund for my stay, including flight. I understand, as you said, you are news in this business. Rest assured that if you do not provide me with a full refund, I will not hesitate to post all of the videos, pictures and the stories behind them all over the internet. I trust you know how devastating that would be for your business.
This is not the quality of excellence in management I expected! It is, most certainly, not the service I paid good money for.
Since my return I have taken my children to the hospital, as they were still vomiting and experiencing diarrhea. On the report, which I am attaching, the doctor determined they were both suffering from food poisoning.
I look forward to your timely response.