Normally, I am not a stickler on compensation for a front desk person overlooking this. Especially when they, or the property, have been helpful or treating us well. Not the case at the Aruba Stellaris-a newly minted Cat 9. They need to polish the edges.
What prompted me to push the issue…then the story…
1) No upgrade offered. "None available-we are at full capacity" Meanwhile, all room categories are available for sale during our short two day stay. (We are ending 2 weeks in timeshare properties.) I showed the clerk this. Didn't make a difference.
2) Had to wait until 4pm for room. That's fair-4 is check in. However, when I went to get the keys, that room had 2 queen beds. Not the guaranteed king.
3) Finally got a king room overlooking a bit of the pool between hotel and ocean club. A generator near the room emits diesel fumes that prevents sitting on balcony while running.
4) Room had no towels in it whatsoever. They were not replenished when room was cleaned for new guests. This was found out when I needed to shower. The conversation with hotel was comical. "You just checked in, how can there be no towels?" Me: "Housekeeping didn't leave any.." them: "That cannot be possible…." finally got towels and hour later. This was in the evening. I couldn't track down housekeeping.
5) Built in fridge had all shelves and door apparatus removed. These little fridges need those to keep anything inside. This was just strange.
6) Coffee amenities in room had expired. Creamer was cement like. Could have withstood a hurricane. (petty, i know)
7) Got coffee and pastries to eat poolside. No lids for the coffees at coffee shop. They ran out. Everyone balancing hot drinks precariously. (Small thing, but again a Cat 9 property….)
8) Wife used gym. Few supplies in women's locker room. TP etc. out.
So, we weren't offered the plat arrival gift. After all of these things, I decided to get my $100.00 cash. NOT SO FAST…. They only give a credit here. No, I want CASH! Nope…they "aren't allowed to." I pulled up the benefits. Emailed them to a manager at the property for a manager. Showed them where cash was required except where prohibited by law or in Russia. (In those cases, MR points are given.) Nope….no good. Credit only. They called MR. MR told them AND me that cash was actually NOT permitted. It had to be a check MAILED to me. Whatever…like I am trusting that to happen. (Property wouldn't do a check anyway.)
"Elite Members who do not receive their Elite Benefits Guarantee or Ultimate Reservation Guarantee in Russia, any other country subject to currency restrictions or any country prohibited by law from compensating the Member in the form of a cash payment will be compensated with Rewards Program Points."
In the end, they gave us $150.00 credit towards our folio. But, this all took nearly an hour. This policy should NOT be difficult for the Plat member. This should be smooth and uneventful for us to invoke.
The property also shouldn't have a policy that is in conflict with MR benefits.
Currently staying at the Aruba Stellaris and agree that they dont seem to extend themselves or recognize Platinum members. I got a small upgrade, but the platinum amenity was stale bread and bad cheese. Called to let them know and they did nothing about it. Also fridge in room made constant loud noise that you couldn't sleep too. Called and let them know and they said that is how it is, sorry. They didn't replace it but offered a $50 credit. Just seem they are not too concerned with the loyalty. It is a nice place with many nice servers but they didn't seem to treat elite members with any extra priority.
Agree fully on the Stellaris. When my family and I arrived there for Spring Break in March we could immediately see that the Stellaris, rated at 4.5 stars on Trip Advisor versus the RItz at 4.0 stars was errant. We immediately shifted to the Ritz. It certainly cost more but it was well beyond worth it. The Stellaris is a fine experience if you come down in the right frame of mind for a couple days rather than a week vacation.
Thank you for taking the time to share your experience at this property with the community, hrs1972.
First off, I would like to welcome you to the community. My name is Deanna and I'm one of the community moderators along with KatieC, lindseyh and carat . The Insiders Community is a place where you can share your travel experiences, ideas, questions, concerns, etc. We encourage you to look around to see what kinds of topics are discussed, here is a good place to start: Getting Started Guide.
If you wouldn't mind sending me a private message with your rewards number, reservation number, and best contact information, I will share your experience at this property with our support team. Thanks again for posting.
Thanks for reaching out. My number is (has been hidden from public view) and I had 2 reservations (90103560 and 89777623). My email is the best way to contact me (also hidden from public view) . I did discuss my feedback with one of the managers as I left (Melinda) who helped resolve another issue where they had the wrong credit cards associated to wrong reservations. It appears we may have overlapped as I just returned yesterday. Please let me know if you need anyting else
hrs1972 I heard back from our team and they have advised that they emailed the hotel with your concerns and requested they reach out to you within 24-28 hours. Please let me or any of the other moderators know if you have not been contacted by the hotel in that timeframe!
In terms of the beach conditions at the Ritz vs. Stellaris, when my family and I were there to no surprise the Ritz beach simply got a lot less wear and tear on it in terms of people, towels, left over food etc. When you think about the beach its not just the sand and water its the chairs you sit in; the timely and quality drink and food service; access to umbrellas, etc. While I could only observe the conditions at Stellaris, there was a LOT less congestion. Again, you pay for it in points or dollars but for the one week per year I have with my family I would write the check 100 times over. As for the sand and water, its the same. Clean, shallow waters with no waves.