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St Regis Punta Mita Resort, Mexico [Master Thread]

St Regis Punta Mita Resort, Mexico [Master Thread]

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Old Jul 15, 19, 5:14 am   -   Wikipost
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Wiki Link
Expert Review (posted in Luxury Forum) from Jan 2018 from Villa stay:

https://www.flyertalk.com/hotel-revi...encounter-2352

Restrictions on the Acceptance of US Currency

Due to recent local regulations, the acceptance of US Dollars in cash is now restricted across Mexico. Payments with credit/debit cards remain unaffected. Please provide arrangements to settle your accounts and other expenses with a credit card or in Mexican Pesos. We apologize in advance for any inconvenience this may cause our guests.
FYI - the hotel also can't exchange USD<>MXN but they do have an ATM near the lobby (downstairs by the meeting rooms) that dispenses Pesos.
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Old Jan 1, 09, 5:30 pm
  #1  
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Post St Regis Punta Mita Resort, Mexico - appalling [Master Thread]

I unfortunately begin the first trip report with a letter to corporate customer service. As you will see, I was extremely upset with our experience. I'm happy to answer questions too if people have them. As experienced travellers, your reactions to my letter would be most interesting.


January 1, 2009


Dear Starwood Customer Service,

It gives me no pleasure to write to you about a recent stay at the St. Regis Punta Mita Mexico from December X- Y, 2008 (Confirmation Numbers X and Y). The stay at this resort was entirely unsatisfactory, indeed the stay was nothing short of abysmal. As a Starwood Platinum member who at last count logged 70 nights in your hotels this past year, I believe I am familiar with service at many of your hotels. Our stay costing almost $10,000 for two rooms at the St. Regis Punta Mita recently was simply unacceptable by any standard, let alone what is supposed to be one of the finest resorts in the world.
While the resort itself is inredibly beatiful, the hotel’s service and staff are virtually dysfunctional. Below is a list of significant issues and problems with the resort in our 4 night stay:

1) We arrived at the hotel on December 26th and room rates had been adjusted significantly upwards. It took the greater part of an hour, despite the presentation of Starwood confirmations showing the correct room rates to rectify the situation.
2) The hotel placed us in rooms that were not the category of room that we booked. One of the rooms was a Junior Suite Ocean view room. The room we were initially placed into had no such view. When I contacted the manager about this, he insisted this was an ocean view room. In all of my travels, I have never been offered an ocean view room that did not have a view of the ocean. How this was even contested by the management was simply ridiculous. It took another hour before he even agreed to make some effort to look into a true ocean view room.
3) The hotel made absolutely no effort to do any kind of platinum upgrade. In fact, it was unclear to me if the hotel and its management even understood the Starwood program and the fact that the hotel was supposed to make some effort to recognize the company’s best customers. Even if the hotel could not upgrade us to a better room category, some effort to at least put us in the correct category room or a nice location on the property in the category of room booked , would seem to be the minimum a hotel could do for a platinum member.
4) Wake-up calls were not given despite requests 3 days in a row. The Butler’s response was that the hotel would “look into it.” How non-receipt of wake-up calls on even one day was acceptable to a 5-star hotel, simply baffled me. The hotel was never able to give us a wake-up call during our entire stay, nor was any apology issued by the mangement.
5) The rooms included a butler service which typically brought morning tea or coffee. Despite repeated requests to deliver the tea or coffee promptly, the hotel’s average time to deliver the coffee was 42 minutes over the course of our stay. I note the exact average because the service was so abysmal that it became a frequent joke in our family to record the time for any request made from the butler service.
6) Furthermore, despite the advertised benefit of morning coffee or tea being included with the butler service, the hotel charged us every time for the service.
7) Ordering lunches by the pool frequently took 1-1.5 hours to get food. How this is deemed acceptable by any hotel is beyond me. We received nothing more than a brief apology for these long waits which happened with frequency.
8) Spa appointments were made on the first day we arrived. These appointments frequently went missing. That is, I would show up at the spa at the designated time and the hotel would have no record of my appointment.
9) The hotel’s phone system violates privacy and confidentiality. From any phone in the hotel one can dial another room number which immediately lists the occupant (first and last name) of the person in that room. This is simply unacceptable.
10) The hot-tub in the men’s spa was luke-warm on two of the days we stayed there. The other two it was freezing cold. Alerted to the lack of heat in the tub the first day I arrived, the hotel was apparently unable to remedy the issue in the 4 days I was there.
11) Misinformation was provided by the concierge about events going in town. The concierge sent us to an event on a particular day, when in fact the meeting was to be held the following day.
12) The concierge charges a 15% premium on any service it books. It DOES NOT inform its guests of such. For instance, if you book the tennis courts for an hour use, the concierge chages 15% on top of the quoted rate without telling the patron. This is entirely unacceptable.
13) The bathroom in the men’s spa has no lock. When I commented on this, the spa attendant indicated that many guests had this same complaint. How the hotel in its 2 months of existence has been unable to hire a locksmith to attend to this minor issue is beyond me.
14) Room service food was presented in the room with used bottles of jam and other items. The food was frequently incorrect (the wrong item) or cold. It was unclear to me if the hotel staff understood basic hygene. This was also evident in the men’s spa where a 1 liter bottle of listerine was present without cups. Were guests supposed to share the bottle with each other?
15) The hotel’s bill format is simply unacceptable. The charges are not nearly specific enough. For instance, a swedish massage given to one member of my family was simply listed as “health club.” The bill did not list the patron, nor the type of service offered. This was a significant issue as the hotel charged us almost $700 for services that some other person had requested. Until I requested that the hotel pull every receipt for services rendered, the hotel staff believed I was lying to them about these extra charges. It was only once they had pulled the bill and learned that the services had not been provided to me, that they finally removed these charges fro m the bill. Again, the hotel must detail the type of service and individual receiving the service on the final bill.
16) There are also significant safety issues with the night lighting at the resort. Even for those of us with perfect vision, the resort is so dark that I tripped and fell several times. Let me reiterate that it was so dark, I could not see where I was going. This is a major issue which needs to be addressed.

In summary, the resort was nothing of the sort anticipated for the sum of money paid. The hotel felt like it was run dysfunctionally. Clearly what is needed is for management to send several individual’s as guests into the hotel to see the errors and problems associated with a patron’s stay. Furthermore, despite many of these issues that I have mentioned being brought to the hotel’s attention, the mangement, butler service, and the concierge made simply no effort to do anything about them. Furthermore, nothing was done to acknowledge this abysmal stay. Nor was any compensation offered despite my repeated efforts to explain the issues to various individuals at the hotel. My expectation is that the hotel will provide significant compensation given this terrible vacation and the ruining of what would have been a positive family vacation.
I hope not only to receive some compensation, but that Starwood and the hotel management will make every effort to remedy these serious problems.



Sincerely,
UAPREMIER
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Old Jan 1, 09, 8:31 pm
  #2  
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Wow. What a terrible and unfortunate stay. Thank you for posting. We were thinking of staying at the St. Regis Punta Minta very soon (since I am SPG Plat) and now will stay at the 4Seasons instead.

I hope you get some serious apologies/compensation for your stay!
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Old Jan 1, 09, 9:08 pm
  #3  
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uapremier, next time there is an FS/etc fairly close, you might consider moving.

hope you get a decent response from starwood.
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Old Jan 2, 09, 1:01 am
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Wow. Great letter. Very thourough. What a horrible stay! Keep us posted!
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Old Jan 2, 09, 8:56 am
  #5  
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Originally Posted by Kagehitokiri View Post
uapremier, next time there is an FS/etc fairly close, you might consider moving.
On 26 December? Punta Mita FS was totally full for Festive.
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Old Jan 2, 09, 9:05 am
  #6  
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uapremier sounds like you had an awful time at the resort and it seemed that you did everything that was necessary including trying to fix things on the spot when you were at the resort. A lot of times members on here complain about specific issues but only after the fact. Not once did they bring it up to managment or CS when at the particular offending property. But like I said, you did all the right things when you were at the resort. Please let us know what the outcome of your letter to CS.
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Old Jan 2, 09, 9:16 am
  #7  
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See post No. 19 in regard to room descriptions.

St. Regis Punta Mita Resort, Mexico, opened Nov 2008

uapremier, you posted in the thread above, so to me it appears you would know what the room types/descriptions are.

However, reading a descripton and physically seeing that there is no "view" are two different things. I'm surprised that you stayed, considering that in post no. 21 - prior to arrival - you were already fed up with the property. Seems like this was destined to be a bad trip.

Please keep us abreast of your dealing with Corporate Customer Service.

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Old Jan 2, 09, 9:53 am
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Well Hello There uapremier,

I'm sorry for your unpleasent stay at the St. Regis Punta Mita. It definitely sounds like there are quite of few kinks that need to be worked out. Especially regarding room types and upgrades for Platinums. They should have upgraded you and definitely not down graded you. Please let us know when you get a response from customer service.
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Old Jan 2, 09, 3:08 pm
  #9  
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Originally Posted by Cheap Elite View Post
See post No. 19 in regard to room descriptions.

St. Regis Punta Mita Resort, Mexico, opened Nov 2008

uapremier, you posted in the thread above, so to me it appears you would know what the room types/descriptions are.

However, reading a descripton and physically seeing that there is no "view" are two different things. I'm surprised that you stayed, considering that in post no. 21 - prior to arrival - you were already fed up with the property. Seems like this was destined to be a bad trip.

Please keep us abreast of your dealing with Corporate Customer Service.

I agree. Why continue with poor sevice for 4 days to the tune of 10,000 dollars. At the most, I would have given them 2 days. I am just not a glutton for punishment.
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Old Jan 2, 09, 3:42 pm
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Hi everybody,

Just to respond to those asking why I didn't leave. There were several reasons

A) the four seasons was full.
B) There are no other full service hotels near here that I was aware of
C) It was peak season and many hotels even in PVR (an hour away) were sold out.
D) Overall, it just didn't make sense with all the hassle, large family etc...
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Old Jan 2, 09, 4:10 pm
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Well, I won't be staying there! Especially with those rates, sheesh! I wonder if the new SR Mexico City will be this bad. That brand needs STRICT standards set and met, above all others, to be still considered the "top tier." Even management/staff at a "lesser" Ritz Carlton go through the same customer service training program.

This report is actually surprising to hear, since Mexico is typically so service-oriented.
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Old Jan 2, 09, 5:03 pm
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I fervidly second the emotion expressed in this post. My partner and I just returned from a six-day trip to Punta Mita and received the same downright awful service. After over 150 SPG stays in the last three years across geographical and brand spectrums, I'm finally brought to express my displeasure. This property taints the St. Regis and Starwood names. Quoth Will Ferrell as Alex Trebek, "Simply stunning."

Thought you readers would appreciate a helping of what we experienced at Punta Mita...though first, let me echo uapremier's sentiments that by the time we realized we were visiting a pig-with-lipstick, it just wasn't worth looking into switching properties (beyond the Four Seasons, which we did but couldn't find availability). Isolated, some of the anecdotes may seem trivial. Compounded by frequency and constant repetition of the same mistakes, they created a sort of Theater of the Absurd:

• The hotel did not attempt to offer us treatment approaching that which Platinums are afforded at most all of Starwood’s properties. We were given a standard room overlooking the pool (even though it was falsely billed by our concierge as an Ocean View). Three days later, when an excessively loud family of 4-5 people moved in next door, we realized we’d been given a room with an adjoining door to the family living room. After some insistence that only the room upstairs was available (even though the property itself was reportedly, and visually, half-filled), we were grudgingly given a much more lovely room that actually had an ocean view. Still, two other guests shared their amusement with me about management’s erroneous claims that upgrades were unavailable due to full booking.
• The waits for food, particularly for room and pool service, were obscenely ridiculous. We found that a one-hour wait was the standard. When we’d respectfully inquire what took so long, we were only afforded an apathetic apology. While we expressed our displeasure early and often to management, eventually, to ensure that we had fun, it wasn’t worth the fight and didn’t seem to be working anyway.
• The St. Regis must be the only high-end resort at which I’ve ever stayed where there’s no simple store for sundries. Go ahead, charge me 500% for mints and some aspirin - doesn’t this seem like a low-hanging fruit business to be in? That’s when we decided to take our first walk to the Four Seasons, where predictably there’s a full-service store.
• On the first night, my partner realized that she’d forgotten her brush. She called the butler and patiently described what she was looking for. Our butler arrived two hours later with a St. Regis-branded comb. He promised to find us a brush to purchase the following day…sure enough, upon returning from the pool at 5pm, there was no brush to be found. When we called the butler to investigate, he apologized that he’d forgotten to drop it by. Glad we called…and called again.
• While I understand that I was visiting a foreign country, the inability for key service providers to command basic English is unacceptable at any high-end North American resort. Once, when my partner’s poolside lobster club didn’t include the menu-stated mayonnaise it had previously come with (more on that later), she asked our waiter for mayonnaise, taking patient but extended pains to describe it. Twenty minutes later, he returned with a bowl of peanuts. Awesome. Would that happen at the Four Seasons Punta Mita…or at any other high-end Starwood property? I’d bet not.
• Before breakfast, I called to have my shoes shined for that night’s dinner. Upon returning from the ocean for the day, I found them still lying unshined in the same bag I’d placed them in. The same occurred another day with our laundry. Apparently there’s an unstated two-day turn-around on such services. We’d hoped these were isolated incidents and tried laughing them off. We were wrong.
• On one of our first nights, we dined at the resort’s signature “fine dining” establishment, Carolina, First, we were escorted to a distant corner of the half-filled restaurant and left in virtual darkness without menus or drinks for a solid 10 minutes. Then, my partner ordered the tuna entrée (priced around $45). After waiting 45 minutes between the appetizer and entrée courses, the tuna arrived lukewarm and – astonishingly – the chef apparently served us the tough-meated ends of the tuna (a culinary no-no), apparently giving a more deserving diner the filleted portion. By this point, we were angry and horrified and would have been at any price. We complained to the manager and he refunded our tuna, but the trouble had been exacted.
• At another meal at the Las Marietas restaurant, we ordered Seared Foie Gras because it had been one of the few brightspots of our previous meals at the resort. This time, however, it was not dressed in any of the vegetables or spices described on the menu (and enjoyed during a previous meal) and, worse, was not cooked at all (basically, it was cold paté). Again, the manager refunded this dish but our complaints were again treated with a shrugged shoulder indifference (“oh well, we tried”).
• Turndown service professionals would visit the room anytime between 5:15 and 10:15pm. Certainly this service is a luxury, but given the size of the resort’s labor force, would sticking to a 1 or 1.5 hour window, like other high-end resorts, be too much to ask?
• And now for the truly absurd: it was commonplace for waiters to not deliver upon requests for bottled water, drinks, bread, sugar for coffee, etc. It also became expected on a meal-by-meal basis that a key ingredient described on the menu would be omitted. But, as the week went on, we found that we could order the same meal three different times and receive three entirely different dishes. It was almost as if they employed seven different chefs each for each day of the week that had artistic license over each venue’s menu. For instance, the following are three grossly dissimilar ways my partner’s vegetable sandwich was prepared:

1) Slightly heated French baguette bread, grilled Portobello mushroom and other autumnal vegetables, Provolone cheese, mayonnaise (as described by the menu). It was actually a great sandwich.
2) Sourdough-ish roll, cold, raw cucumbers and lettuce, no mayonnaise (sent back)
3) Untoasted wheat bread, heated but ungrilled bell peppers, lettuce, mustard

I kid you not – it would be downright hilarious were we not paying inflated resort prices. We ordered the aforementioned lobster roll twice – it was served with two different types of bread, once with mayonnaise, once with avocado, another time with Spinach instead of lettuce. Shrimp cocktail might be the dish we all know, or served as small cooked shrimp swmming in tortilla soup (we know - we ordered the shrimp and soup together). Burgers were cooked anywhere from rare to medium well (and would only upon request be included with the menu-promising addition of avocado). An omelet was served with refried beans instead of the described black beans.

The stories are endless.
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Old Jan 2, 09, 7:16 pm
  #13  
 
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Wow. I was seriously considering staying at this property in 2009 with my wife for a holiday. I really appreciate the wave off. It seems that there is a systemic service issue at this property that badly needs to be addressed. I will avoid this property for a minimum of 18 months.
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Old Jan 2, 09, 8:05 pm
  #14  
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Originally Posted by mendycal View Post
I fervidly second the emotion expressed in this post. My partner and I just returned from a six-day trip to Punta Mita and received the same downright awful service. After over 150 SPG stays in the last three years across geographical and brand spectrums, I'm finally brought to express my displeasure. This property taints the St. Regis and Starwood names. Quoth Will Ferrell as Alex Trebek, "Simply stunning."

Thought you readers would appreciate a helping of what we experienced at Punta Mita...though first, let me echo uapremier's sentiments that by the time we realized we were visiting a pig-with-lipstick, it just wasn't worth looking into switching properties (beyond the Four Seasons, which we did but couldn't find availability). Isolated, some of the anecdotes may seem trivial. Compounded by frequency and constant repetition of the same mistakes, they created a sort of Theater of the Absurd:
So your telling me that there was no other lodging at ALL within 5 miles? Hell, a cardboard box seems more tempting than what you just described. I think after 2 days of that I could have found something. Anything. No way I would have stayed there for almost a week.
What a way to start your first post.
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Old Jan 2, 09, 8:21 pm
  #15  
 
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I know it sounds hard to believe, but others who've visited Punta Mita (a gated enclave 50 minutes from the Puerto Vallarta airport) will back me up: there are no other full-service luxury hotels (a requisite of my partner, given the special nature of our trip) within five miles that offered vacancy. We tided ourselves over by playing games like "Which type of fries will be served?" or "How many requests does it take to get a Diet Coke?".

It's a gorgeous piece of property with a world-class infrastructure. Too bad they haven't figured out the whole, you know, service thing. I can't urge others farther away and can't definitively say that about another single property in the Starwood empire.
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