Sarkiki Reef Resort — Misrepresentation of property
We stayed at the Sarkiki Reef Resort from 2/10/16-2/17/16. When considering a property to stay at in Hopkins, we were looking for a 2 bedroom unit for 2 couples in a "Resort" that had, most importantly, a swim up pool bar. We enjoy spending the majority of our time in the pool and at the pool bar drinking and meeting other people from around the world. Pool bars have a fun inviting vibe and we have met many friends at the pool bar while traveling. We are professionals who like to unwind and enjoy the money we work hard for and do not need to worry about the "high cost of a drink" as the owner referred to in the correspondence below.
The Sarkiki's website claims they have a pool bar, shows a picture of people drinking at a swim up pool bar, yet does not state that the pool bar is empty and unstaffed. The website states "But if you prefer a deck chair on the patio, a dip in the pristine saltwater pool and a refresher at the swim-up bar, the choice is yours." When speaking on the phone with Linda, the owner, I verified that there was in fact a swim up pool bar. Her reply to me was "yes, we have a pool bar but do not have a restaurant. The restaurant next door closed." She did not state that the pool bar was unstaffed and empty. I feel she mislead me intentionally as she could have easily stated that it was not staffed at that time.
Photos also show pictures of another bar, with people drinking and dancing. That too implies that there is an actual bar.
We were so disappointed that we tried to find different accommodations after we arrived, but because it was a holiday weekend all suitable accommodations were full. Had we been given honest information regarding the Sarkiki from the start, we would not have stayed there and would have stayed in a resort that had the amenities we were looking for.
The misrepresentation of this amenity had a very negative impact on the quality of our vacation.
As you can see in the correspondence below, I have asked for a full refund but will accept a 50% refund which would be $872. Considering the impact it had on our trip, I feel this is more than fair.
You may email me at [protected]@yahoo.com or call me at [protected] should you have any questions. This is the first time we have used VRBO. I actually asked Linda in earlier correspondence if she did bookings any other way because we were uncomfortable paying the entire amount upfront not knowing for sure what we were getting. I hope that VRBO is able to rectify this situation.
On Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 6:53 PM, Mott Nancy wrote:
As you know we booked a 2 bedroom room at the Sarkiki from 2/10-2/17. We were very disappointed in the accommodations and feel that the property was misrepresented online.
First of all your website is misleading. It shows a pool bar and implies that it is staffed, yet it sits there empty. You even told me there was a pool bar, but no restaurant. A space designed to be a bar but empty-is not a bar. We would not have considered your property if we had known there was not a pool bar.
The website does not state that the rooms do not include housekeeping. Again, we would not have stayed at the Sarkiki if we had known this.
Your "Managers" who are actually just people staying there to get a free vacation, are not very good. When asking for more toilet paper, we were told that we could only have one roll at a time. Christina barked at us one morning as she walked by in the morning because the patio light was on. We were not asked nicely. We arrived late on 2/10 and were greeted by Christina. Once in the room she said she would give us a key tomorrow. She replied that we did not need to lock the door because there was no crime. We insisted on a key and made sure we got one the next morning as we were told both managers would be gone all day.
There were folding lounge chairs on our patio. We took them out to use them and they were rusted, and disgusting.
The misrepresentation of your property seriously impacted the quality of our trip. We tried to find different accommodations to move to but everything was booked.
Due to the misrepresentation of the property, and the negative impact it had on our vacation, we feel that a 50% refund should be credited back to our credit card.
Please reply once the refund has been credited.
From: Linda Allen
To: Mott Nancy
Sent: Friday, February 19, 2016 9:16 AM
Subject: Re: Our Stay 2/10-2/17
I am very concerned about your comments. We are just leaving this morning for Belize and will be at the property later tomorrow afternoon and I will follow up with staff and get back to you by Sunday.
From: Linda Allen
To: Mott Nancy
Sent: Sunday, February 21, 2016 2:36 PM
Subject: Re: Our Stay 2/10-2/17
As mentioned I would get back to you today. I notice that Peter posted a review and I'm sorry that the place was not has you expected. Jim and Christine have been at the property four years in a row in our absence. Epi is our manager and Jim and Christine are there to help out however possible and provide guests with information, meet them when they arrive especially later in the evening when Epi has gone for the day. To be honest, I wanted to arrive back here before responding for fear that things had changed significantly in the four weeks we were gone. They have not and every guest I have talked to seems happy and I have not had any complaints.
The website says that we are self catering - as such we have not had guests expect daily housekeeping and in fact have had many inquire if we have sheets and towels or if they have to bring them so we don't feel that we had misrepresented the place on that level. I did inquire of a couple of guests here if things are as expected and they said that yes, they understood it to be self catering.
We have pool bars but, in that we are self catering, and everyone has fridges, no one is willing to pay a high price for a drink when they can walk 30 steps to their room to get one Hopkins is in general a quiet area as is much of Belize and we have to assume that guests have done a certain amount of research on the country they are visiting. Belize is a 3rd world country and we are designed for those looking for a self-catering, individually driven holiday experience in a beautiful undeveloped corner of the world. For full service, you would have been looking at places like Hamanasi (priced between $398 and $690 per night for two) and Belizean Dreams (prices between $295 and $695 per night for two). We feel that we are in line with our pricing and most guests expectations are met with what we provide.
Mott Nancy Feb 22 at 8:07 AM
This was our third trip to Belize and we know exactly what to expect. We stayed at your property with reasonable expectations and they were not met. Your website is misleading as I stated. You really need to change the wording. I did see that we were not the only recent negative reviews and they all basically stated the same disappointments as we experienced. If you are so confident in what you offer, then you should make your website very clear instead of making statements like "But if you prefer a deck chair on the patio, a dip in the pristine saltwater pool and a refresher at the swim-up bar, the choice is yours." It should say "get out of the pool, dry off, walk to your room, make a drink, and then return to the pool and sit at the seats inside the water. Your pictures show people sitting at the "pool bar" with drinks in the background that makes it appear to be a "real pool bar". You should change your wording to say "unstaffed pool bar". The Sarkiki really should not be called a "Resort" that implies services that don't exist. It should be Sarkiki vacation condos because that is really what you are selling.
As for your "property manager". We were never given information for EPI or any one to contact other than Christine and Jim. In fact she is the one who told us that "the next manager coming in was just a guest and is now coming in as a manager".
We certainly would have stayed at the Hamanasi, Belezian Dreams, Jaguar Reef, or Almond Resort had we known the truth about your property. We would not have even inquired about availability at Sarkiki. We didn't care about the price difference, we just wanted to stay at that end of town as we stayed at Hopkins Bay last time we were there and were interested in buying property on the south end of town.
We are expecting a refund due to the misrepresentation of your property. We will accept one half of the total amount paid instead of a full refund because we did stay the week as we could not find a vacancy in another resort.