FlyerTalk Forums - View Single Post - Rancho Pescadero Unbound - REVIEW MASTER THREAD (CLOSED 18 June for investigation)
Old Jun 18, 23, 8:00 pm
Join Date: Apr 2021
Location: New York City
Programs: Virtuoso, AMAN, FS PP, RW Elite, MO Fanclub, RC STARS, Belmond Bellini, Peninsula PC, Hyatt Privé
Posts: 195
I had two clients staying at Ranchero Pescadero in the beachfront villa during this tragic incident. My experience, first hand, dealing with Rancho Pescadero was an absolute nightmare, surpassing any previous experiences I've had as an advisor. I cannot stress enough the gravity of the situation and the complete failure on the part of the hotel / management to address it adequately - leaving me helpless and fearful for my client’s well being.

To begin with, it is beyond my comprehension that hotel management never bothered to reach out to any of the guests or myself as their travel advisor at the onset of this incident. Shockingly, my clients were kept in the dark and allowed to sleep in their villa after they returned to the hotel the evening the victims’ bodies were discovered. While I understand that investigations require some secrecy, I would have expected immediate communication to inform us of what had happened, potential harm and next steps.

The following morning, I learned about the incident from news reports and industry contacts, and I was confronted with horrifying reality of what had happened. The press reported two Americans had died at Rancho Pescadero, and since my clients are American, I was traumatized, fearing it could have been them, looked through my inbox, no communication from the hotel. I urgently contacted my client around 8 AM, and thank god he answered, but he had NO CLUE about what had unfolded the night before.

Taking immediate action, we organized an alternative stay for my client at Four Seasons Los Cabos who gracefully understood our concern and with great tenacity facilitated the means for a tentative/ standby transfer & accomodation for our clients. However, this nightmare only worsened when I discovered that the Rancho Pescadero general manager had initiated a separate WhatsApp conversation with my client, downplaying matters, claiming it was safe and "under investigation," and persuading him that the property was still secure and that there were no signs to believe otherwise. My client can’t stand confrontation and wanted to give her the benefit of the doubt — this put me in a stressful situation, wanting him to leave immediately as I feared for the worst. He stayed additional nights and I implored him to keep the sliding doors and windows open to allow for ventilation.

What was even more shocking, was that in spite of all the danger, the alleged reports of previous gas leak complaints, the general manager decided to put out a statement to the press before informing my clients and other guests at the hotel about what had happened.

That is unacceptable, and speaks volumes about the lack of regard for guest safety and the priority being the hotel’s reputation. I had no choice at this point but to advise my client to leave ASAP.

I demanded clear answers from the general manager in several communications via email and WhatsApp. Specifically, I asked the team to confirm that the carbon monoxide detectors were in proper working condition and that my client was out of harm's way. However, instead of addressing my concerns, the general manager evaded the question and went so far as to gaslight me and make me question my own sanity. At one point, she even sent me playful monkey emojis via WhatsApp while I was genuinely worried about my client's life. I had to repeatedly remind her of the seriousness of the matter and plead with her to confirm the functionality of the carbon monoxide detectors, but I received no answer in regards the CO safety. This terrified me and made me realize the something was very suspicious. Needless to say, I never received any confirmation of the detectors working. She ignored my inquiry into the issue regarding the potential gas leak and told me she would wait for my client to make a remark, intending to deal with my client directly via WhatsApp as if to marginalize my involvement and dismiss my concerns. I reminded her that the safety of my client is my number one priority, to which she responded that guest safety was her top priority and there was no reason to believe the hotel was unsafe, which is laughable given everything we've learned.

This appalling lack of transparency, accountability, concern for the safety of guests is utterly deplorable. The next day, my clients woke up to a large group of protestors who appeared to be sympathetic to the employees and acted in protest of the working conditions of the hotel. The protestors were shouting, “We Hate you (name of GM)” “We demand better working conditions”, and “We won’t allow this abuse to continue”.

As an advisor, I expected professionalism and transparent communication from management, but what I encountered instead was a complete disregard for the health and safety of my clients, not to mention, a blatant attempt to sweep the entire incident (globally covered on the news), under the rug. This experience has left me shaken by the reckless display put on by management on all levels. Given the seriousness of this event, and the unresponsiveness of the GM, I reached out to the global team, and I’ve yet to even receive a proper response explaining why this occurred, especially given the fact my client decided to stay an additional few nights at the property.

I cannot, in good conscience, recommend Rancho Pescadero at this point to anyone after witnessing their egregious mishandling of such a lethal situation that could’ve killed my clients.

Update: If the reports are true that it was room 210, my clients were upgraded to a villa, and could’ve easily been in that room. Truly a game of Russian roulette staying at this hotel that week. So upsetting.

Last edited by luxefarer; Jun 21, 23 at 10:15 pm
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