I Hope it Remains a Secret
by, 04-13-2013 at 07:06 AM (991 Views)
Well, this won't be pretty. We just had our first bomb of a package from LL. I don't believe the fault was due to LL. Boss and I wanted a quick getaway and the Secrets Aura Cozumel sounded upscale and easy to reach. The price was right for an All-Inclusive resort. That's about the best part of our 3 nt stay.
I tried to buy the Pool Solarium pkg--not available. I got the OV suite pkg instead and had a bit of difficulty getting our dates but succeeded by calling the hotel directly. We arrived just before 2 pm and were told we had to wait until 3pm. When the Concierge told me where the room was located, I was concerned as I could see that the view would likely be only palm trees. I mentioned that and he said, "oh, no, that's a very good view". hmmmm...
Sometime after 3:30 (yes, I know Mexico time) we entered a shoddy suite with a dirty sofa, nice wall-mounted TV (only in BR where you can only stand or sit on the bed to watch) and yep, those ubiquitous palm trees! Our balcony had a day bed with a questionable sheet covering.The furniture was so scuffed, the finish was gone in places and there were old labels on the legs and sides (HUH?) Across from the sofa was a totally BLANK wall (except for a TV cable outlet (HUH? again)
We had to close the bathroom door to enter the shower stall and I hit my head on the wall in front of the toilet--it was that tight.
Back to visit the concierge and discussed options. Nothing available until tomorrow but they now had Solarium suite--should be ready 3pm manana. Yeah, I was just a tad skeptical. Try relaxing for 3 nts when you have to pack and move after 24 hrs . Looked at options to fly home and cancel remainder of reservation...
Back to the Concierge again. After mentioning the refund option--What a miracle! After requesting a manager, the Privilege Club has 3 OV suites I can see and we go check them out--all were decently refurbished with "integrated" seating area (read: one room, not a suite). Nice bathrooms with jacuzzi tub, tho. Ok, now we're talking! Mucho mejor!
Back to the Concierge with my choice. Then he upgraded us to Pool Solarium Priv! Getting better...good view, decent digs but nothing special. The "lap" pool is 4 x 13. A bit more than two body lengths for me! 2 chaises, no table but an extra shower and WC. Ok-not bad.
Food and beverage--I'll skip most details here and just a few things about "premium" wines by the glass--only one red, one white--but not too bad. No bubbly by the glass except at bfasts. Food--oh boy--this place is not for foodies. Inconsistent breakfasts--one good, two served cold/overcooked.How can you serve a cold omelet in a matter of minutes? Only 3 restaurants on-site, sometimes 2 when they had beach buffet. We could go to their sister resort--much larger but with children--but it's a chore to go over there. We declined. Lunches and snacks were returned hardly eaten--even cold nachos with canned sauce and beans--who serves canned whole beans at a resort?
Dinners weren't terrible, just off here and there. All in all, the 3 restaurants were fairly nice--2 outdoor and the French one was lovely.
Service was really good except the pool area was lacking staff and timing was horrendous--easier to go the bar. We tipped everyone in pesos and they were all very appreciative.
Guests still play childish towel games, reserving chairs (there are enough between all pools and the beach) and the rafts are "claimed" by the swim-out suite guests for the duration and they don't share. They is a small "lazy river" type pool--none of the pools are very spacious. This is a very small resort, which means to me, personal--so WRONG on that point.
I immediately emailed LL Concierge with our concerns and I did get a reply on the second day.
I hope they can re-evaluate their contract with this resort. AMResorts took over Aura recently and I don't believe they should have opened until it was converted to what Secrets is known to be. Reviews on tripadvisor vary greatly. Mine will be hardly extreme. My husband and I agree that this was the worst AI resort experience in more than 10 yrs and the worst in our LL history. That makes me sad. That's not typical for LL. So very disappointed.