Sandals Ocho Rios Jamaica — concierge service paid for and was not provided
Numerous attempts to resolve, sandals no recompense!
To: sandals corporation: 5/24/17
In response to request for online survey of our recent stay re: (booking #8340265- hallett 5/8/17 – 5/15/17 room #2023) sandals ochi beach resort gc-honeymoon hideaway luxury club level villa room. included 1) complimentary sunset catamaran cruise for two; and 2) $125 spa credit.
Having stayed at this resort in the past (10/13-15-10/20/15) with excellent results, the wife and I rebooked for the above dates/reservation to celebrate our anniversary. needless to say, this go around was totally disappointing and quite lacking in services advertised and paid for as will be explained below. the best way I can describe the lack of attention to detail and service is to give a chronology of events as they transpired throughout the entire week.
Day 1 (mon)- upon check-in around 2pm on monday 5/8, we were advised our room would not be ready for about another hour and were invited to lunch at the sky view terrace. I inquired about making dinner reservations as I knew there were several excellent restaurants which required advance arrangements and was advised this could not happen until room assignment. this was entirely reasonable and we took a relaxed lunch. upon return to the concierge/check-in office around 3pm ish, we were escorted to our accommodations. our escort showed us the room, explained the all-inclusive package and asked if there was anything we needed. we respectfully requested tonic water and bucket of ice and were told those would be brought to us right away. it was also mentioned to our escort it was our anniversary stay and he remarked we could probably expect a little something special like a mini cake or so, and were advised the international dinner buffet would be beachside at approximately 6pm. I inquired about concierge service for dinner reservations and was told to dial 7000 to set up the weekly planner. the wife and I declined the tour of the property as we had been here before and knew our way around. after unpacking, I dialed the concierge and was asked to enter extension number (there is none). I attempted multiple times and became stuck in a phone loop getting nowhere. I then proceeded back to the concierge desk in person to inquire about reservations and planning events. while there, several other guests showed up in queue with the same concerns about the phone concierge number not working properly. the concierge (justin) was helpful in assisting in planning our events, and booked the sunset cruise for friday and indicated the boarding voucher would be delivered to our room prior to the event. dinner reservations were made for valentino’s on saturday, however, legourmond up the hill was not available for sunday bookings as of yet. we were advised sunday bookings would be available on wednesday morning and to check back when the concierge opened at 8 am. the wife and I took a stroll and upon returning to our room to prepare for dinner around 6pm, no ice, no tonic. at the dinner buffet bar table, there were bottles of tonic, so I decided to take one back to the room after dinner. it was late, but I phoned the concierge for bucket of ice for the next day.
Day 2 (tue) – room service brought breakfast, albeit about an hour later than requested with ice delivered (a glass of ice). understandable, maybe. the wife and I set out to begin our day, and upon return to the room later in the afternoon still no tonic. (okay, I still had a little left over from the night before). I contacted concierge and requested another bottle of champagne and ice and then off to the manager host party for returning guests up at the high mountain deck for cocktails and dinner. the loyalty / travel hostess (breneka) was at our table and very engaging and knowledgeable about sandals resorts and we scheduled an appointment with her for wednesday evening.
Day 3 (wed) – awoke at 8 am to contact concierge as instructed on day 1 for sunday dinner reservation and was told they not available until 9am so I made my request (justin) for sunday at 7pm first choice, and that if not available then anytime between 6:30-7:30 as an alternate, to allow him room to work with me on an acceptable time. he advised me he would stay on it, and get back to me. room service breakfast delivered as requested, however only one clean coffee cup was found on the credenza, vice two. upon return to our room early evening to prepare for dinner, there it was – a bucket of ice, no tonic, no champagne. after dinner, we proceeded up the hill to the loyalty travel office to speak with breneka. we shared some of our anniversary plans and excitement of the resort and the disappointments with her up to this time. she shared with us a link (sandals. blazeloop.com) whereby we could make compliments/concerns/requests on line. she also stated that what we had experienced was a bit unacceptable and “... we will take care of that from here.” results of the discussion led us to rebook with sandals royal dl (caribbean deluxe), montego bay, (w100471772262448) for 7 nights 10/18/18-10/25/18. standard room, no concierge, no room service as I did not feel the additional expense was worth it based upon events up to this point.
Day 4 (thu) – room service breakfast delivered as requested. I checked in with concierge to see where we stood with sunday dinner reservations we requested yesterday and was told sunday reservation bookings don’t open until thursday day for the upcoming week. well, we were told it was wednesday, so will go in a holding pattern and wait to hear from you. we enjoyed the resort throughout the day. champagne arrived in afternoon, albeit warm, sitting on the credenza. concierge (justin) contacted us in the room this evening and advised he had secured a sunday dinner reservation for us at 6pm at legourmand. I told him that was too early as we had prior engagements, and that if that was the best he could do, we’d take it but would show up late. after dinner, I took the room ice bucket to the lobby bar and requested it be filled and returned to room.
Day 5 (fri) – we spent the afternoon up the hill and since we had still not seen the boarding pass we were told would be delivered to our room for the sunset cruise, decided it best to go to concierge and inquire. this was about 2:30pm. concierge could not find our name on the list for the cruise, had no boarding paper, and showed no reservation had been made. the lady (name forgotten) advised there was a charge. I informed her it was included in our package and told her I would retrieve my booking confirmation in the room and return. while in the room, the phone rang and concierge management (kenosha) wanted to schedule to speak with us regards the posting on blazeloop to address our concerns. we advised her we were leaving in 30 minutes but perhaps could speak with her upon our return. I went back to the concierge desk with my sandals booking papers and showed the complimentary cruise for 2 to the agent at the desk. she had me fill out a paper and then went to the events booking desk in the lobby. she returned and advised me no one was at the desk and could I have a seat until they returned. I had mentioned to her I had reserved with (justin) on day 1 (mon) and couldn’t understand why we were not on the list. I sat right across from him on monday when he booked it. at about 3:15 she returned to me in the lobby with the boarding papers, for the cruise that was set to depart at 3:30. upon our return, we met with (kenosha) and sat with her in the lobby for about an hour discussing the blazeloop posting. she told us as soon as it was posted her manager (miss karen???) told her to get with us right away. she was apologetic for the concierge phone issue, tonic, ice, dinner reservation snafu, and most recently the cruise boarding issue. she stated “we don’t keep too much tonic water because it expires and was in limited quantity”. she also shared with us some staff in the office were new, and that they should not take personally what guests might complain or have concerns about, and that it is their duty to make things right and learn from it. that they should take this as learning tool, and do whatever possible to assist the guest. she advised us she would personally take care of the tonic water and sunday dinner reservation and be in touch with us. I was so relieved when I heard all of this and am so thankful I could assist in her staff (s) training – not! at this point in our stay, the matter is no longer about tonic water! upon returning to the room there was already an envelope and card for sunday dinner reservations for 7:45 pm at legourmond.
Day 6 (sat) – room service breakfast delivered as requested. we enjoyed the resort throughout the day and the dive shop (alicia) was very helpful with our snuba experience. we requested another bucket of ice and champagne before heading to dinner at 5:30pm. we had a rather relaxed evening at valentino’s as our waiter (jenthrow) was very accommodating and informative of the menu items. he shared with us sandals educational opportunities and schooling of italian languages so pronunciation of the menu would be in concert with the decorum. upon return to the room, a card with sunday dinner reservations was on the credenza (kenosha) indicating an 8 pm seating. question – if her staff had already seated us at 7:45 the day before, why would she have not known that when that reservation card was already in our room prior to meeting with us?. now is dinner at 745 or 8 or can I just show up at 7 which I originally requested on day 1 – monday? does someone want to roll the dice here? upon return to our room ice = yes, champagne = no, and oh my gosh a six pack of tonic water (compliments of kenosha no doubt); almost an insult at this point.
Day 7 (sun) – room service breakfast delivered as requested, we also had requested mimosas since no champagne had been delivered. room service advised us they could send glasses of mimosas but champagne bottles required 24 hours notification. wow, okay, so at the end of our stay I learn the champagne rules of engagement. dinner at legourmand was exceptional, once we were seated at 8pm. upon return to the room, checkout envelope was waiting for us as well as a small fruit plate with a mother’s day message card from our daughter. the wife sent a thank you and picture via text to the daughter and found out she had ordered on line cheese/cracker plate with chocolate dipped fruit as a mother’s day gift.
Day 8 (mon) – room service breakfast delivered as requested. wife went to concierge in the morning to register complaint about delivered gift and request daughter be given a full refund.in spite of resorts efforts, what was ordered and paid for ($35.00) did not reflect what was delivered. the fruit plate was nothing different than what we had been ordering from room service for regular breakfast (s). we were told a full refund would be processed immediately. as of this writing, refund of monies has not been received. wife also inquired as some kind of compensation if we could be afforded use of the mombay club at the airport prior to departure. she was told, “no, they are not associated with sandals and we cannot do that.” we departed the resort as scheduled.
In summary, I hope this provides insight into examples of things that need your immediate attention. if concierge services are paid for there should be no reason I should have to check daily on issues or scheduled events. if each example of disappointment is taken individually, I would say, no problem, things happen. but – when you look at the totality of the experience, it not only falls short of the high bar you attempt to set at your resort for exemplary service to your guests, in this case there isn’t even a bar around to set on the stanchions.in addition, at no point, anywhere, was there concern or discussion of any recompense the resort could do to make our club level stay on par with what is advertised.
In closing, we would love to give a “shout out” to the following for their personalized service:
Alicia/carmela – the mariners seaside grill; jentrhow – valentino’s; wilson – soy sushi; vanecia/josh – dive shop; breneka – travel loyalty desk.
Regards – kirk and denise hallett
Second message. after offer of points to account declined.
Although I can appreciate your attention to the matter, I would suggest since club level concierge service was purchased and not provided for throughout the stay, the acceptable compensation and the right thing to do would be to award the same cub level service at my next booked standard stay.
Regards - kirk
Third message after no acceptable dispute resolution
To: bryanne evans
In light of the ongoing dialogue, I find the most recent response from sandals ochorios management lacking in appropriately and satisfactorily addressing the issue. their final response does not pass the “straight face test”, nor the spirit and intent of the “fairness doctrine”. it is not a matter of my “…displeasure…” rather the issue here continues to be payment for services not delivered during our recent stay. I request the matter be elevated to the appropriate level so it may receive the attention it deserves for dispute resolution acceptable to both parties.
Good morning mr. hallet,
Thank you for your further correspondence. we sincerely apologize that your expectations as it relates to club level services were not met whilst vacationing with us. here at sandals we always strive to ensure that our guest’s expectations are met resulting in total satisfaction with services rendered.
We duly note your feelings of dissatisfaction that the issues you faced were not thoroughly addressed. hence, it would be our pleasure to extend as a goodwill gesture complimentary club level services upon your return to us at sandals ochi beach resort.
Regrettably, we would not be able to extend said services at other properties since our jurisdiction only extends to sandals ochi beach resort.