Horrible, Terrible, Do Not Stay at Aventura Spa Palace
Horrible, Terrible, Do Not Stay at Aventura Spa Palace Playa Del Carmen Rivera Maya My wife and I saw over two thousand reviews on Tripadvisor.com with 87% being very positive so we figured we would have a great experience and enjoy our New Year holiday at a wonderful place like Aventura Spa Palace. Unfortunately for my wife and me this one week stay at Aventura Spa Palace turned out to be the absolute opposite of positive. In fact this tops as our least enjoyed vacation together. We were planning on celebrating New Years in Mexico and never in our previous experience did we want to go back home as much as on this visit. This was our first all inclusive trip and our first visit to Mexico after a recent one week trip to Maui Hawaii. Having already experienced first class service needless to say majority of Aventura Spa Palace staff left us with a very bitter experience. So our intent is to inform you, the reader, to consider other resorts and our experience when planning your trip to Mexico Rivera Maya and Playa Del Carmen area. We arrived on the 29th of December and considering that the resort was at approximate 30% occupancy (if not less) we were checked into the farthest room in the resort, not too far from where they keep horses for wedding celebrations. As we entered the room we immediately sensed the unmistakable smell of mold in combination with manure and other indescribable stench. The ceiling was stained with large ugly yellow spots throughout the living room and the bathroom area, but I guess placing visitors in rooms like these helps guests quickly make up their mind that they should be upgrading their rooms thus having to spend additional money. An up-sell attempt perhaps, maybe? Well since we had a $1,500 credit to go along with our package we spent $980 to upgrade our room to Aventura Spa Palace's highest room level available – "The Concierge Level" room. The perks of this top level room included an upgraded coffee maker which we did not use, a hair dryer which my wife really did not need since she brings her own and aroma oil. Additional "extras" included snacks that were brought to our room every night, but by the time we would get back to our room these sweets were completely infested with ants. These sweets looked good, but unfortunately we did not get a chance to try them out. ïŒ One evening we found a tiny black bug on our bed of unknown species, which I killed. That was my Mexican hunting experience. You can find bed bugs practically everywhere, but the ants were very annoying. On the third day of our stay we have learned purely by accident that as part of our Concierge Level upgrade we could actually request a "special" dinner at two of their restaurants (two restaurants, same "special" menu though). My wife and I found this out when we strolled into the "Family" side of the resort looking for something to eat. Very helpful Aventura Palace employee explained to us some other small extras that were included with our upgrade to Concierge Level. When we were discussing the upgrade with Aventura Palace service members in the "Adult" side of the resort this wasn't mentioned. Many guest service members and other staff on the "Adult" side of this resort were not helpful at all and sometimes even rude. Certainly this information would have helped when we got to resort instead of half way through our vacation. The overall food selection was sad considering the expectations and other reviews. At times we felt that we came to mid-to-low level all you can eat dinner. We ordered room service which offered decent selection, but this wasn't what we were expecting by far. Food was very disappointing. The upgraded mini bar in our room was a joke. Having seen the bar in our previous room and then in our upgraded room we saw that nothing was different and even the bottle of Vodka in our new room was completely empty when we got there. Our room service staff went to another room to bring new bottle after we realized our fridge needed to be restocked upon our first arrival. The room did not look like it was prepared to accept guests. From the moment we entered the Aventura Spa Palace hotel lobby we have been chased by a hotel activity planner who wanted to ensure we plan our stay and utilize our credit as much as we could. When we saw him the next day he was making rounds and fulfilling other duties (making rotations) so he could not answer a single question and sent us off. This was very awkward. Initially we thought vacation planning by guest services was done with good intentions until we later realized that the only focus of that representative was for us to book the tour of the hotel where they pitched us on purchasing their "memberships" insisting it is not timeshare. Call it what you want, but a timeshare is a timeshare no matter what you package it as especially if you are using the same pitch and the same sales tactics. By the way the price of this "non-timeshare" membership started at $42,000 which then quickly dropped to $26,000, then to $18,000 and then finally to $5,000 after speaking with 4 sales representatives. Every available tour that was offered, like a trip to Chechen Itza or Tulum, etc. includes an additional stop at a nearby resort where they also pitch you on a "non-timeshare" packages sponsored by Aventura Palace. This extra stop adds an additional two hours to these trips, as we learned later from other guests. Gust services planners intentionally forget to mention this detail during the booking of a tour. The tour schedule was also not very accommodating and we unfortunately did not make it to any of these amazing historic places. We encourage you to find more pleasant ways to explore them. I planned a day of diving on the 31st, but the waves were too high so it got rescheduled to 2nd. Nobody at guest services bothered to let me know about this change and if I haven't spoken to a person at diving facility where I called at 7am, I never would have known of the switch in schedule. Unfortunately I still had to cancel the diving trip, because I was congested on the 2nd so I called the diving facility to inform them that I won't be coming. They canceled my reservation without any additional questions letting me know that they wish to see me next time. When we were checking-out of Aventura Spa Palace I still had to pay $98 dollars for this diving trip, because I failed to notify hotel Guest Services that I won't be coming. So it's okay for them not to let me know that the dive won't happen, but if I make my own arrangements I have to let them know about the changes. I don't like to argue so I just pay. How that justifies a fee for service that wasn't provided is something I can't understand. Oh well, live and learn I guess. Even if you receive a $1,500 credit with your package, you can only allocate a limited amount towards the most common perks of this resort. For instance you can only use up to $300 on spa treatments and considering that an aroma therapy treatment is $189, if you decide to enjoy this with your wife or husband that leaves you with $80 out of pocket after your allowed credit. Every other perk has a limit too so don't think of this $1,500 as cash, because it isn't. My wife and I enjoyed their spa treatment services. Facility there and service was nice. Chances are you'll end up spending more than you planned once it's all said and done. For instance diving was a completely out of pocket expense so was all the shopping in the resort. There are a lot more things we could say about this vacation experience and our stay at Aventura Spa Palace, but most of them won't be good. Certainly there were pleasant people in the resort like the great bell boy service and all the guys there especially "Jay Leno" who is a king of all bell boys. We were leaving Aventura Spa Palace on the 4th and on that day we were absolutely shocked of the contrast we saw in service and food. Every empty service desk that we saw for seven days of our stay was occupied by a service representative who was ready to answer any questions you might have. It felt like the buzz in the resort was that some big shot is coming or there is a huge inspection going on. The place where we went for breakfast that day had more staff than we've ever seen. Cooks were standing around their areas ready to take any order and prepare the freshest food available. Surveys were given out where you could fill out comments and feedback about your stay. We were stunned! What happed that all of a sudden on last day of our stay service changed so much and food was fresh and enjoyable? Is it because New Year's period was expensive and fewer people were there and business starts to pick up after the holidays so let's not bother with lesser crowd? Is it because people were actually switching hotels in the middle of their stay going to other resorts and this got to the top management so they decided to fix the problem? Is it because many couples said that they have never experienced anything as awful as Aventura Palace and that got to top management? Whatever it was, the last day of our stay was a lot better than six previous days. That however will not make us come back there ever again. We hope you'll find our feedback helpful in making your decision about your trip to Mexican Rivera. If you do decide to stay at Aventura Spa Palace we hope you'll have a much better experience than we did so that you'll never have to say to yourself "We read about this and we should've listened". Consider other places that's what we suggest. Los Angeles
Los Angeles, California
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