I was not going to post about my experience at this property. I find myself still 'seething' almost a month after our stay. But, others (erc, alrenaissance) have asked about this property and I've decided to give the story of our stay. I'll report the 'good' things about this property in the beginning so those of you who don't want to read about 'negatives' can stop reading after the first paragraph.
We went to this 'island paradise' from December 5 thru 12. There is a shuttle boat service that takes guests to their 'private island'. The shuttle departs from inside the Marina Building just below the lobby bar and picks up guests from the Ocean Suites at a dock near that building. The private island is a small little island that has an 'adult' and 'family' side to the island. When you leave the boat shuttle, the sign points one in either direction. The adult side is the same as the family side except the family side has a restaurant and is larger in size. The adult side has pink flamingos in residence and fish ponds where you can watch the different species of fish swimming around in the water. The entire private island is very quiet so not sure why they have the 'distinct' difference of adult and family designations.
The hotel is located in the mall area and has all kinds of upscale shops and products of all varieties. Be warned...there are no pricing bargains in Aruba because everything that comes in from elsewhere is subjected to an import tax that actually (in many instances) makes the selling price higher than in the States. They will try and sell you on the 'no tax here' issue, but the price is still higher.
There are many restaurants located close by...the restaurants close to the manin road (Iguana Joe's, The Paddock, Cafe Plaza) are all tourist oriented. Faster service (than island slow time) and lousy service but they'll get you out so you can enjoy the island (ha,ha). If you go behind the scenes (behind the hotel away from the water) you can find local establishments that have excellent food and service. Que Pasa and Jemanja are a couple of classy local locations you can walk to from the hotel with great food.
That's it for the good. If you don't want the negative...stop reading.
The boat shuttle sometimes has 'wiseguys' that run on jet skis and splatter the boat with huge sprays (waves) of water while the shuttles go back and forth to the island. Apparently, the hotel doesn't know how to solve the problem because so many were talking about it happening regularly on the boat. It's quite dangerous when you see these jerks running at the boat and turning quickly just before getting to the boat to create this huge wall of water.
When we checked in to the Ocean Suites, we were given a room at the far end of the building on the water. The rooms and walkways are old and in need of an upgrade. My opinion....the place is 'dumpy'. An old Sonesta that was never updated. The internet service did not work in the room. It is hard wired (no wireless in rooms, but wireless in the lobby) and Platinums are entitled to the hard line service for no charge. It didn't work. I reported it and housekeeping brought me a new cable for connection. I noticed when replacing the cable that the jack on the wall had been tampered with and probably was the source of the problem. The new cable didn't work. I informed the front desk as we were leaving to meet friends. They sent maintenance there (I went back to meet them). I showed them the wall issue. They tried to fix it and couldn't. Said they's have to get a new cable and try that (cable # 3). Housekeeping brought another cable. It didn't work. Maintenance said they would have someone come the next day to fix the wall issue. I left. In the meantime, there were always folks sitting all over the lobby trying to connect to a bad internet feed in the lobby.
We returned and our key didn't work. had to go to front desk, show ID and get new ones. They worked. We went out for breakfast the next day. Came back, Keys don't work. had to go show ID, get new ones. Asked if anyone had come from service to fix the wall phone jack problem. Was told they would have no way of knowing. I asked if they could call maintenance and see...they did and told me they were coming now. We left before they came and when we returned there was a new cable connected to my computer (cable #4). It didn't work. I went down to front desk and tell them and they told me to call the computer company that handles the service. Asked how to do that and was told to use the room phone to call hotel operator and they would connect me. I did and waited 45 minutes on the phone for nobody to take me off hold. Left a message for a call back. We left.
We returned and, you guessed right, keys don't work. Went to front desk, showed ID...TOLD them that the light was coming on yellow when we put the key in the lock. They gave me new keys. I went back to the room and called the internet service again. Left a message to call me back. They did....at 12:15 AM. That's right....12:15AM. I could hear the guy clicking his keys on his computer and going 'uh-huh...uh-huh' for about twenty minutes or longer. I kept asking what he was finding. Nothing. I finally asked him if he could see my computer through the line into the room. He said no. I told him of the phone jack. He told me he couldn't fix the problem and said good bye. I gave up on having internet in the room. The worst part of this, beyond the total waste of my time (in hours) was that they BILLED me for calling the internet service to fix THEIR problem.
Now on Friday I go to the lobby and join the group connecting and get an e-mail that one of my pet dogs is ill. I ask them to call me in the room so we can discuss what to do. Go back to the room for the call and the keys don't work. I go and get new keys and my wife tells me she heard the phone ringing and we missed the call. I have to go BACK to the lobby and e-mail to call again as we are now in the room (my wife was). They called. We talked for 30 minutes about what to do and arranged for a follow up call, if serious and, if not, an update call on Monday morning with internet correspondence in between if necessary. I got internet mail that a 'sinus infection' was being treated. I'm OK with that.
We go about our day and every other time we returned to the room the key didn't work. I asked them what they were doing and they said they'd have maintenance check it. The next day (Sat) we went out for breakfast and returned. The keys didn't work. I went to the desk and told them of the 'yellow' light again and they said it was a bad battery issue. I asked them why that was MY problem as they hadn't fixed it from Wed to Sat. I took the new keys and they DIDN"T work. I went back to the front desk for another set and told them I was checking out as soon as I find other accomodations.
I get a call from a front desk supervisor about 15 minutes later asking if she could try and fix the problem by moving us to the Marina Bldg. I allowed her to do that. The room was arranged but wouldn't be ready until 5:30 or 6PM. I told her we had a 7:30 arrangement and that we had to get it done in time. She gave explicit instructions to the front desk people and told me a supervisor would call me by 6PM when the room was ready. They didn't. I called and asked the hotel operator what was going on. She had no idea. I asked to be connected to the front desk super. He's at dinner and won't be back until after 7PM. It's 6:30 now. I am VERY angry. I get a call from the front desk that she knows about our room and will send the 'golf cart' to get us and our belongings and told us to go immediately to the lobby. It never came. I asked the front desk to 'call' the golf cart and it came. After 7:15 now. I guess you can tell...we missed our 7:30 arrangement.
We were given an Ambassador Suite. The TV didn't work unless you unplugged and re-plugged the cable connection (I figured this out). I had e-mailed of our new room for the Mon update call. Mon AM...the phone rings once...nobody there. This happens anbout 7 times and then we finally have someone there on the phone. They told us that every time they were connected to the room the phone would disconnect after one ring. We arranged for a follow up vet call as the dog was responding OK, but, as we later found, it was just the drugs that were keeping him stable. I asked for a follow up call if ANYTHING was needed and arranged to be called at a specific time. We never got a call and the internet was LOUSY so I gave up trying to connect because it was just impossible. We went about our time.
Other issues: This hotel speaks about their 'bar' being the new 'hotspot' in Aruba. It is an outside place where they have a DJ who plays loud island music. They play video on the side of the hotel building. There were about 12 people there. The drinks come in cup sizes that are the same as you get when getting a drink from a water cooler...about 4 ounces...and they are PLASTIC cups that the side collapse if you pick them up wrong because they are so thin. And...speaking of drinks, I drink Gin and Tonic...and very frequently get soda instead of tonic. I never send it back and, if I get another, I ask them to make sure it is tonic. I got soda with my gin here. My wife and I were loking about it and she tasted it and the waitress came over and asked if there was a problem. My wife told her of the wrong mixer but said it was 'OK'. I have never experienced what happened next....the waitress got a straw, PUT IT IN MY DRINK TO TASTE IT and told us the mixer was correct!! We got up and left. Incredible.
We never got a call back about our dog. But, a maintenance worker came to the door and told us he had to check the phone because people were calling us and telling the front desk they couldn't get through to the room. When he left, I made a panic call home and was told that, at that time, it was too late to deal with the issue (untreatable now) but I was in time to have them put our pet to sleep. He had taken a bad turn for the worse when the drugs wore off. They had been trying to call and had left countless messages for me at the front desk........now, I'm not saying that it was their fault, but I'll never know if I had gotten a call in time if I could have arranged for a better outcome.
I could go on but I'm not. There's a lot more, but what's the point. I asked for a meeting with the GM and he wouldn't meet with me but sent the supervisor who handled the problem initially. She is the ONLY person who cared about doing things right there. I e-mailed her of my disappointment with the GM and she e-mailed back that he wanted to contact me and was glad to get the e-mail so he could. That was almost a month ago. very caring.
So, you decide if you want to stay here. I won't.
Thank you for the heartfelt, thorough write up. I have some juggling to do with my travel plans based on your valuable insights. But more importantly, my sincere condolences for the lost of your loved one. Words aren't adequate for expressing the feelings your writing evokes. Best wishes, erc
Thank you for the kind words. We still miss the little guy tremendously. I am sorry you had to change plans but, having stayed at all the Marriott properties on Aruba, I think the Marriott Stellaris is actually the best one. The Ocean Club next door is right with it, but that's a timeshare property.
Just a quick note about other restaurants.... Papiamento is a great spot with fantastic service and food. Also, Madame Janette's is another island favorite with good food and service.
Further on the Renaissance:
The pool at the Marina Bldg (the 'new' hotspot') has about 20 or 25 seats around the pool. There is no room for anybody to sit around the pool area. The pool at the Ocean Suites is much bigger with more seating but has a lot of 'flower petals and dead tree leaves' that you have to navigate when they don't clean the pool properly.
Booked my dinner reservation at Papiamento (couldn't find on line reservations options, so used credit card concierge service - worked great - sunset time, I'll keep an eye out for the tef birds' nest table).
Booked a reservation at Simply Fish (on beach thru Marriott) which has gotten some good marks.
Reserved the on property Hertz for a couple of days to see the island. Will go downtown to Yemanja for some wood grilled fresh fish. It neighbors the Renaissance, which I will steer clear of, so as to avoid the inevitable argument I would find myself in over your treatment. And will hit the sushi bar on site spending my $50 per day resort bonus - which I stumbled on by rechecking rates (it was relocation karma!). So thanks for all the tips. Enjoy Newport.
I think you'll really enjoy the dinner choices you've made. The table (king's nest as I call it...not high up just a couple or few steps above the general seating area) is a four seater off the side of the pool next to the building and to the right of where the entertainer is (if you are lookig at the entertainer) and surrounded by a trellis configuration (I think it's what they try to use for a more 'private' seating). It's a neat spot!
Quick note and something I didn't mention in the Renaissance rant.....go to the Hertz desk before the day you get the car and make sure they have your reservation AND that they will be there at the time you want to pick it up. Our reservation at the Renaissance was non-existent (they couldn't find it) and then told me it was probably because they wouldn't be there at the time I scheduled to pick it up (even though it was within the hours of operation as listed). When I asked them why they weren't going to be there and why would you just obliterate a customer's reservation...their reply was that they had decided not to work all day that day so I couldn't get the car anyway.....an 'island' answer if I ever heard one.
I am truly sorry to hear about your poor experience at this Marriott property along with the illness of your pet. There is absolutely no excuse for the continuing problems that you suffered through and the lack of any meaningful follow-up by the property managers. Thank you for taking the time to create such a detailed post. I will definitely add this to my list of properties to avoid (a very short list of three). This property may be a candidate for the "Hall of Shame".
Thank you for taking the time to share your nightmare experience at the Aruba Renaissance. I had a similar frustration with the room keys at the La Defense Renaissance, but it was minimal by comparison to your room key failures. Your entire scenario is beyond shocking, and I share in the sorrow at the (perhaps unnecessary?) loss of your beloved pet. It is a foregone conclusion that I will not ever set foot at this property. And not just as a precautionary measure against my own potentially bad vacation experience, but in abject protest to what you guys endured. Very sorry for this terrible experience.
I was going to ask myself how places like these can possibly stay in business, but I surmise that there are enough unsuspecting travelers in the world to keep them in business for some time. It's good to get the word out.
Thanks again for your nice and always kind thoughts. I agree places like this seem to go on despite the obvious flaws that frequent travelers like all of us see and the tourists generally don't. The issues here went beyond the pale for me even if I was just a one time visitor. Outrageous.
Tef6178...I will never stay at this hotel although I had been planning to go to Aruba this year. I am even reconsidering that decision. My condolences for your lost pet. My pet, Jasper, 14 years old passed away (had to be put to sleep) on 3 December 2012 so I know how difficult this must have been for you. I still miss my little Lhasa Apso and it has been a very difficult time for my family and I and are still in the grieving process!!!
I'm so sorry to hear about your pet Jasper as well. I too know how long we can grieve for pets that have made such a long close bond to us. So many fond memories of the love and pleasure they gave to us. Sometimes we just have to remember how much love we gave them too, and that they too enjoyed their lives from the mutual love and affection. I'm sure Jasper was no exception.
I know exactly how you feel about the loss of your little Jasper and how difficult it is. They are so much a part of our lives and it is so hard when we lose them. I can't express enough how badly I feel for you and how sorry I am that you also lost your little one. I share your sense of loss and only hope that time can heal the feeling of the loss you have experienced. Please accept my true and heartfelt condolences.
My heartfelt condolences again.
I am so glad you decided to do a review on this property. With this list of problems, it should definitely be put on the "Wall of Shame", and I will never stay there either. Hopefully GM's start learning that social media (I consider this a social media site also) can, and will make a difference to their bottom lines. The days of customers being treated poorly, and lots of other people not finding out about it, are coming to a close, I believe. Too bad it takes these kinds of measures before some of the GMs and brands get the idea.
This is beyond inexcusable. I don't believe that there would be anything that Marriott could do to make this better, much less right, if I were in your shoes. Arne could clean my rooms daily and take me to dinner nightly, but it wouldn't come close to righting that wrong. Having had sent all the "children" to their reward (and not being there for a few), I know precisely how it feels, and I'm not only terribly sorry for your loss, but angered beyond belief at how the property compounded that matter.
NathalieF should make the folks "upstairs" aware that the MRI community has a distinct and vested interest in this; because of this and other experiences recounted here there are a number of properties that we will not stay and make active recommendations to avoid. This bears directly and immediately on the brand reputation. I believe communications through this forum on general corrective actions taken are appropriate in addition to whatever recompense is made to tef6178 privately.
Thank you for the thoughts. Not sure what I would say to Arne if I had that chance, but it would be an earful....especially since a month away from the moment hasn't calmed the anger I still feel. There was no excuse for someone not getting a message to me about the phone calls until a maintenance guy showed up to check the phone. I just got my phone bill for the calls to me on Aruba from my phone line. Seventeen calls to the hotel to try and get me. Seventeen!! I did send a correspondence to customer care and they responded that they would forward it to the executive folks at the Renaissance for follow up! I don't expect I'll get one....
Incredible......You head out on what I'm sure was to be a relaxing, fun-filled vacation and the hotel can't get out of it's own way to ruin it....just incredible. We have been moving Aruba up the list for a few years now. There is one less hotel that is under consideration.
Sorry about your dog. It brings tears to eyes.
Well, we had hoped it was going to be relaxing and fun filled! One good part...we have many friends on the island (moved there from St. Maarten) who knew our little Roscoe. They spent time with us (after we had to put him to sleep) reminiscing about the fun we all had with him. He was quite a character! A world traveler too! We took him (and his brother) to St. Maarten with us when he was younger and we went there for six months at a time. They all thought the world of the little guy because he was always so entertaining when they were around him!
Thanks for the nice words and it's really nice to have so many Insiders say such nice things and give such support around this experience. It truly is a 'special' community!
I finally got the time to get organized for a decent period of time and got to do some in-depth reading of subjects that interest me here. ERC had given me a head's up that you would be posting, and here it is.
I like others, certainly feel terrible about the loss of your companion. I am sure it is a VERY hard situation to try and deal with the "what if...." factor with the whole thing. People often say they go on vacation to "get away from it all". Well in this day and age that is easier said then done. Either way, with technology being as advanced as it is, there is absolutely no excuse for the people that you needed to speak with not being able to get a hold of you to make the right choices for your dog friend. You should have been able to get in touch with them just as easily. This is totally unacceptable to me. Seriously. Aruba, from my last experience 10 years ago, is not exactly some backwards little town in the Ozarks or some sort of satellite country. Simply said, you should have been able to utilze basic communication tools during this time of need.
I am sure their electronic cash registers were working properly when you were being given your 4 oz drinks. And yes, I do know what you mean. Last time I went I stayed at the Hyatt in a top floor, key must be inserted in the slot to get to top floor deal, head free drinks and a good array of foods of the day were presented, and were great tasting. Other than that, I was facing the $7, 7 oz Rolling Rock pony bottle for the rest of the daya nd night. Other then the price gouging, with which there was no remorse or explanation offered (I had already been warned about this in advance) everything else on my trip was exquisite.
As I indicated, I have never been ro Aruba at a Marriott property. What I was expecting to hear, and frankly experience, was a fairly swanky time by sporting my Plat credentials, and had imagined if I did well at the Hyatt (which I was "Diamond" at the time in their program), that as a seasoned Marriott traveler now I would do at least as well. Actually better as I am a little older and wiser.
To now hear of this fiasco. and to be honest, your description was done very well. I was able to get a great deal of visualization, which is what I look for in this type of narrative or review. What I now have is a picture of a somewhat dilapitated old french/belgian colonial structure with ill fitted french doors, a lot of humidity, an air conditioner which probably smells of mildew, and a carpet whch probably smells the same. I am not happy about this, as I always try to make the most positive light imaginable before leaving on a trip.
But now between what you told me of the Renaissance, which I thought initially I could make something of, as I always have (thus the "ALRENAISSANCE" logon) has me disillusioned, in combination wth some of the terrible reports I have been getting about the Marriott up the main drag, I am not sure what to do. I am trying to think while I write this.
I certainly appreciate the brutal honesty. Me personally, I would have been hitting the ceiling after the 4th or 5th room lockout deal. I mean seriously. I am very patient, but when enough is enough of something as stupid as getting in the room continued to happen, I would have literally been exploding at the front desk. I give you credit for putting up with that for so many times and days. However my girlfriend, who is anyhitng but patient, would have been driving me insane right there in the middle of my little vacation. I am glad you ended up in the Ambassador suite, a little late for the Roscoe situation (for which I feel terrible ), but after you did, was everything (except tv) in working and acceptable condition?
I need to know where to set my goal right from the start. Like I said, I have always had exceptional and unique eperiences at the Rebaissance branded hotels, so I do not know if I should treat this as challenge or take it as a warning to heed.
My conundrem is that the girlfriend has never been to Aruba and her friends have her all worked up to go there. As for me, this is like I said a "repeat" type vacation, and I could just as easily head off somewhere else. I am already disillusioned about the Marriott proper, and now am totally head spun about the Renaissance.
I don't really care about some speeding idiots running the jetskis at the boat to get me wet. Is it possible to dash to the other side quickly to avoid the water based on boat superstructure protection? Where there is a will, there is a way. Is the island overall cool? Like is there fishing or something which cn be done in a relatively peaceful, enjoyable, tanning and swimming scene?
I can probably make my own conditions there which will meet my needs. I think as I have been writing this I actually talked my self into doing what I wanted to originally, and have stressed several other times here on the forum. I have no problem with grabbing my stuff quickly and leaving at a moment's notice. So what I am going to do is 4 days Rebnaissance and 4 days Marriott proper. that way I figure I can do the good stuff before getting so bored I will be head thrown into the bad. I will then do the same at th Marriott proper.
I guess in this way I will also be able to form an immediate opinion with which to tell others on here about. This is the way I have been planning to probably do it, and have stated so here for the last 3 months. I do appreciate all of your input, and you taking the time to put together this virtual "travel log". I will be referencing it many times, with a few others, to reinforce what to watch out for when I go in April. Now I know what to look out for, which gives me a signifucant advantage, and for that I thank you very much!
I may have to drop you a question or 2 before departure (or 3!) if that is OK with you. I will then afterwards try and piece together a decent compariosn based on a same week stay with which others can also use to reinforce that which you have written. Then together we will hopefully be able to somewhat close the doors on this whole Marriott Aruba thing.
So Tef, you actually have made me happy because I know that I have to go anyway, as that is what she wants to do, but yet I will be an informed "consumer tourist" which will make the best of both, and try to avoid the bad.
Concerning the nighlife, I never found any in Aruba. There is the little bar bus, but my best hours were found in the whirlpools with a couple of beverages.
Sorry I was so long winded about this, but what I actually did was talk myself into a course of action while writing, and as I said before I appreciate it very much! It is simply an issue I knew I was going to have to face as I promised her we would go. therefore I appriciate your time and effort spent here.
I'll try and answer some of the queries as best I can.
Regarding the jet skis running at the boat....the 'boat' is just a little tender. Ten people makes a crowded ship. You've got no place to go. It's not the water spray that's the problem. If the jet ski idiots miss their turn point and hit the boat, it's a serious accident brcause the jet ski would cut right through the boat if it hit it or go right over the boat (where everybody sits). I would think the hotel has to or has done something about this. We talked to quite a few folks who were complaining about this and said they had complained to the hotel after it happened. It's really dangerous.
The bar area is really a joke. It's an outside area, lousy ambiance, and bad service. The Ambassador Suite was a nice room and would have been good, but the phone and the TV didn't work. The phone didn't work when people called us from the lobby or another room. We would call our friends on the island and they would tell us they couldn't get thru to our room when they called. We had friends from the States (who we ran into in the lobby area) call us from their room and couldn't get thru to us. They came to our room and knocked on the door. The phone just didn't work. Period.
I have stayed at the Marriott Stellaris and it is a MUCH better property. We just decided this trip to give the downtown area a whirl since we had never stayed there before. A BIG mistake on our (my) part. The Marriott is down in Palm Beach (the high-rise hotel area) and does not have the 'city' feel attached to it. It's much more tranquil. By the way....thie Renaissance is in the middle of a refurbishing....we had to walk through (and around) workers and work staging to get to the elevators in the Marina Bldg.
If you have any questions you might think of, I'll be glad to answer if I can!
I see. Well now I shall reconsider again. What are some of the bad points of the Main Marriott, so I know what to expect and can weigh those factors as well? I do not think I can deal with another property under construction if that is what is going on at the Renaissance.
This is really inportant to me: What are the dining options at the Marriott? I know about the Ruth's Chris, but what else?
The Marriott has Ruth's Chris, Champions Bar, The Vista (B,L, & D as I recall) and I think they have an outdoor dining area. They also have a sushi bar inside the lobby area. However, if you walk along the beach (to the left of the hotel) there are a lot of restaurants all along the beach waterfront. Some are very good, others so-so. But, there's a bunch of them in walking distance from the hotel.
Are you renting a car? The Marriott has free parking and the Renaissance does not. If you have a car, you can experience some of the island's better and local restaurants. Upscale: Papiamentos, great food and ambiance. We ate there with a couple of our Aruban friends and were in kind of a King's nest (seating surrounded by trellises and leafy vines on the trellis overhand and sides) that sat us above the assembled folks eating at the tables around the pool. Our friends knew the owner.They also have inside seating, but why sit inside? White tablecloth place with excellent service and food. It's one of my favorites.
In addition, there is Madame Jeanette's, Yemanja, Que Pasa, and a lot of nice restaurants in the low-rise district.
I tend not to eat the hotel food unless I'm in some great spot like Villa Serbelloni (listed as one of the best hotels in the world in Bellagio on Lake Como in Italy) where they have a five star restaurant and you can get in to the restaurant because you are staying there (otherwise you can't).
Thank you Tef.
This is exactly the type of information I was looking for.
ERC has decided to go the Marriott route, so I will as well. I do like the hotel strip along the beach there.
I mauy ask you a few questions in the next several months if that is OK with you.
I appreciate it. You have been very helpful!
One more thing Tef. Tonite, of all nights, I went to a fairly expensive dinner, and ALL of the food was way too salty for somw strange and unexplained reason, and I sent my scallops back (honestly, never do this sort of stuff) and then she went to question the chicken Romano, and when doing this, the waitress actually said "can I try it" , so my girlfriend Holly cut her a piece which she tried, and said "no it does not seem salty" and did not take it back and keft it on her plate!!! Could not believe it!
Then the owner came out and said they do not add any salt (how did I even get into this discussion? Just take the food back!) and I asked for check, left the usual 15% tip, and took almost all of the food home. Then had her mother over, who tried the food without any soliciating about what had happened, and she said "Why is this so salty?
While leaving, the owner said "I hope this experience will not keep you from coming back"
$85 plus tip fot 2, omly one beverage each? Do not think so. pal.
I leave a tip as I try to be the better man, plus I am not sure really who is responsible where. I just figured leave a standard tip, and simply not go back. Usually I tip at least 20%. These situtions are awkward, and are becoming more common, like you said. I I was recently discussing with someone, no matter how much you pay for a meal, it will never guarantee good food or service anymore.
I certainly remember our conversation, and actually I wanted to hit Morton's this weekend, but instead had that bad other experioence where they were eating food off of my plate. Ouch!
I know that for sure Califonian. Remember I burned up $400 plus last time. Good mased potatoes though! LOL!
I might've taken it one step further and not even paid for the dish. If there's nothing wrong with the dish, it is prepared as described, and I just didn't care for it, that would've been one thing... but if it's barely edible and I was treated with a lack of respect for daring to bring it to light... I might not have paid for it.
Recently we dined at a restaurant that we hadn't visited in 15 years. We used to enjoy it when the kids were young. This visit, while my husband said his food was fine, my dish was unpleasant. It just didn't taste good, like one would expect, not how I remembered it, just either poor quality, poor ingredients or a poor recipe, and so I decided I wasn't going to eat it. When our server noticed that I wasn't eating, she inquired about it, and I told her I simply didn't care for the taste (I could've probably tolerated it, but didn't want to swallow a whole bunch of calories that I wouldn't enjoy or that were particularly unhealthy). She asked if I'd like something else, and I politely told her no (thinking that my husband would have been finished with his meal about the time the new one would have arrived, plus all of their dishes were made with the same marinara sauce). I wasn't mad or anything, just being pragmatic. She removed my plate, and when the bill came, the charge for the dish had also been removed. I apologized to her for not liking the food and said that she didn't have to take it off of the bill, but she was very sweet and kind about it. Of course this wasn't an expensive establishment...
What a difference in the two experiences.
Another time I ordered a dish I'd never tried at a favorite restaurant whose food we always enjoy. It was prepared exactly as described on the menu, I just didn't care for it... too much this, too little that... the server made me the same offer, and I told him no, I owned the problem, not the kitchen, as I simply tried something new, and it just didn't work out for me. I boxed it up, took it home, the next day I threw it in a skillet and added my own touches, and it was good. I just won't order it next time.
But in both cases, the service was great.
Tef, thanks again. Sorry if my report back is somewhat scatter-brained. I have had a long and crummy day overall. I just wanted to say, I realize that your icon picture is probably that of Roscoe, and I REALLY feel bad about the poor fellow. I have only had one pet in my life, my cat Mr. Boo, and as I never had kids I do spoil him to death. He just turned 12 last week, and I was thinking how devastated I would be if something happened to him right now. I can really empathize with how you guys are feeling.
Hi Tef- Reading your correspondence (and alrenaissance's as well) gave me the kick in the pants I needed to register with Insiders today. Previously I had only visited the site for quick info and had no idea what a great resource I've been missing out on. Yes, not all stays are perfect but what you went through was unnecessary with heartbreaking consequences. May all your future stays be a little easier on the soul. Thank you for your postings and my heartfelt condolences on the loss of Roscoe.
Welcome to the site. If you arecurious about anything, just ask. There are always people like me and Tef6178 floating around here looking to be socialites. Just ask! I think you will be amazed how many people there are on here and how quickly to will get a response.
Hope to see you again soon!
I see that you have meet some of the big guys. This is what attracted me to this site. So many people willing to help someone who they don't know like you did with me. You do fit too since you jumped in and offered me some good advice on setting aside old but still usable clothes and advice on packing.
That is very nice of you to say. "..He's a wealth a knowledge that is approaching JC (Jerrycoin) status".
That is some BIG shoes to fill! You know I try to convey some info and procedures at times (often unorthodox!) which I am very happy to hear sometimes works for folks on here, but I am very flattered to even be mentioned in the JC league. I will continue to try and do my best, and with motivation like you provide, it gives me even more incentive to keep trying harder. I appreciate your kind words!
Sledchick, PainedPlatinum has a good following as well. I am sure you can see that, and is certainly one of the key resources and go-to people you will find on this forum.
Like Pluto says, this site seems to really be getting better, is often a lot of fun, and is a great method for venting about travel and vacation woes when it seems nobody else in the world cares.
Most of us on here do a lot of traveling, but even for those who do limited or moderate amounts, there is always plenty of room for them to pick up a few pointers which can help in the short-term.
The camaraderie on here is exceptional. personal, warm, and fun!!!
Thanks PP and Sledchick, and I hope you have a good weekend!
You are way too kind! Your comments are appreciated.
Al, when you have been traveling most every week since 1969 (A traveling sales rep. for Chesebrough-Ponds) I got started on a career with a lot of travel.
Everyone that contributes to this site has something to add!
I am just glad that I have personally met three outstanding MRI contributors and look forward to meeting many more.
We are fortunate to have such a "Worldly" group supported by some MRI, who are also great "Technicians)
I don't mess with the best, and get hurt like the rest!
Hear the crowd outside the amphitheatre in Rome:
OR on the Springer show on the TV in daytime:
JERRY!, JERRY!, JERRY!, JERRY!, JERRY!, JERRY!, JERRY!, JERRY!, JERRY!, JERRY!
See, the evidence is unsurmountable!
You MUST lead your people to the promised trip!
Fullfill your destiny!
You have no choice, you are a volunteer!
Be good, or be good at it!
Read the writing on the wall!
Regardless of rank, either civilian or military, you have the authority!
Keep up the good work, my friend!
Your travel background is extensive as well as admirable.
You have seen some great stuff I will never get to see like Eastern Airlines, etc., etc.
I was only 1 year(s) old in 1969. Wow.
-Al Be Countin'
Post Script - You should have invested your hotel and airline miles into a good mutual fund since then. You would really be cranking up the points, and could somehow retire on them. I wish I could somehow, as I am not doing too bad! :!
I am really off-the-wall tonite. I think I need to visit my bed. The old delirious tired effect after too much time at work. I went in yesterday morning, and just got home tonite. Working on tax stuff. No hotel, just stuck in my office with 2 coffee pots going. Ouch!
You "Break me up"!
Thanks for giving me a "Smile" today, but I am having a bad morning at The Paradise Valley RI. A wonderful room, but the people below me have a barking dog, that has been barking most of the night. Have told the front desk and they said they will talk to the people.
If I wanted to stay in a kennel, I would have, and I enjoy dogs, but no one should let their dog bark for hours on end.
Al, we will hopefully have a laugh about this in St. Louis!
jerry, jerry, jerry my Insider Role Model
For the man who's eaten in more exotic places than Andrew Zimmern, has more cool photos than Trip Advisor's library, and is the top numismatist on Stan the Man's side of the Mississippi, you need a good brushing up on your pop culture (not your Shakespeare - Kiss Me Kate, no doubt through your numerous tours of the Globe Theatre).
Now before sledchick goes Emily Litella on us ("Nevermind"), I, avid viewer of SNL throughout the four decades, will inform you that it was a highly (and well earned) complimentary tribute to our 'Top Gun' on Insiders. One day our paths will cross (perhaps May in London) and I will bring you up to speed on the vast wasteland of 20th Century television and you can teach me the finer points of world travel.
PS - today's fun fact to know and tell - The original Billy Goat Tavern sketch (cheezborger, cheezborger) was "Pepsi, no Coke", but the owners (not doubt through a corporate sweetheart deal with Coca-Cola, changed it to be "Coke, No Pepsi").
JC- Thanks for the welcome! I hadn't been able to sign on for a little while so I'm glad erc was able to explain the SNL reference. It's not good to lose sleep over pop culture references when you can be losing sleep over barking dogs in a hotel... I was saddened to read about your experience as everyone deserves a good night's rest. I hope the RI management straightened out the situation and sucked up to you big-time for one of their four-legged guests keeping you up. Hope you were able to catch up on your ZZZs at some point.
Al- I would have to categorize myself as a moderate traveler and picking up pointers is one the the best things about this site! I am improving my travel awareness every time I log on. That's the truth. And the camaraderie is all you say and more. Thanks to all you "heavy hitters" out there for sharing your knowledge with us. -Sledchick P.S. It WAS a good weekend with a one night stay at TownPlace Suites for my son's hockey tournament (they came in second and I'm incredibly proud of the effort put forth by this young team). Hope you enjoyed yours as well.
I appreciate the thought and I'll also add a welcome to the site. This is a great resource for finding varying opinions on stays (both good and not so good) and a real kinship among the contributors. The information that can be gathered here is really a great resource.
Again, thank you for the thoughts and welcome!
My wife and I stayed at both the Marriott beach property and the Renaissance during the same trip a few years ago. What a difference! The Marriott beach location was what you would expect and the long beach wonderful! They allowed you to reserve a beach location if you got up early enough and stood in line.
But the Renaissance, what a difference. We booked a room at the main area where the shopping restaurants are located. Small room, noisy because our window looked out over the outside bar area. Couldn't move to another room cause it was full. We took the shuttle to the "private" beach area which was nice. From what we saw, the exterior of the area location closer to the ocean did appear a bit outdated but can't speak for the rooms. There were lots of bars and restaurants within easy walking distance but I would not stay again, and would without question stay at the Marriott.
We go to Aruba every year. A week at the beach property and a week at the Renn. The Renn is my favorite for a variety of reasons. Having said that, they DROPPED THE BALL HERE. Things happen. They happen at my favorite place in the world-the JW Phuket. But, its the reaction and response by the property that matters. I would absolutely email Marriott about this experience. I would want a boat load of points for this frustration.
Tker, that is originally what I wanted to do, a few at each property. Now I am deathly afraid to try it after my buddy Tef's horrible experience.
I need a guinie pig to go check things out for me in about a month, especially to make sure the construction at the Renaissance is done.
Being "AlRenaissance", on the forum here obviously shows that I have an affinity for Renaissance properties. I usually always have such a memorable time at them, and that is why they are my favorite overall Marriott property.
I would like to know what to do. I was thinking of maybe just trying 2-3 days of my stay at Renaissance just to get a personal feel for things.
Could you please give me a brief/quick few notes of why you like it so much there?
Surely! I like the "split personality" of the in town rooms and the private island. Although, sometimes we use a timeshare week to stay in the ocean suites, I like the hotel rooms the best. They are truly in town where the restaurants are. All adults. The pool and bar area is quite nice IMHO. The rooms can be on the small side. As a plat, I am usually upgraded to ocean facing. The atrium rooms would be fine, but not have a view. The ocean suites offer more room. But, the bedroom part has NO window. The windows are in the LR. The BR and LR are separated by the BR and kitchenette. Each section has its own check in. You do get full MR benefits. (No breakfast if Gold or Plat.)
The private island is wonderful. 2 beaches-one adults only. Great snorkeling. Service and just beautiful. We usually head out mid-morining to mid-afternoon. The adult side has 6 flamingos that interact with the sun bathers. Very charming. The beaches have rock walls protecting the swimming coves. You can snorkel out near those rocks. On the family side there is a break in the rocks. We swim through them then to the right down the adult side to a sunken barge. WOW. Thousands of fish. Hundreds of varieties.
I just find it a great vibe. I love the music from the DJ in the evening hours. (Doesn't go too late.) The food and shopping nearby is plentiful. The marina is a different experience than the beach front properties.
Obviously Tef had a terrible time. I imagine (and am not minimizing his time) that horror stories can be written about every property on the island. I think he should be compensated highly. I think his experience is the exception. Mine are always great and I cannot wait to get back.
Here are some links to Renn. FB albums. Should work for you.