Couples Negril - All-Inclusive
Reviewers Rating: Excellent
My new husband and I had read all of the fabulous reviews of Couples Negril and decided to choose this hotel for our honeymoon. The reviews were right in that the staff were phenomenal and the first three days of our trip were wonderful. However, the rest of the four days turned into a total nightmare when Hurricane Ivan decided to pay us a visit.
The lobby had a billboard they started posting in the lobby on Wednesday that kept giving updates of the storm. On Wednesday, we realized that Ivan was headed straight for Negril and tried to get a flight back to the US but the flights were already sold out and the Montego Bay Airport was closing Wednesday at midnight. Therefore, Jim and I were forced to stay on the resort.
On Thursday we started inquiring and asking staff what we needed to do to prepare for the storm. EVERYONE just get saying "No Problem M'on, Don't worry about it". This continued on until Friday morning when a girl from England and I went on an hour and a half search for the Operations Manager to corner him and find out where we needed to go and what we needed to do. They had signs posted everywhere that there was a Dinner Buffet from 5-9 PM and the storm was due to start hitting us at 6 PM. He finally told us that he "hoped" everyone would come and eat by 6 PM and then stay at the Piano Bar and in the office where they had boarded up the windows and declared them as "safe houses". My husband and I packed up our suitcases and put them in garbage bags in our tub. They had put X's on our windows in case they shattered. We took our bed clothes and a change of clothes and proceeded to the office where we found a space on the floor with about 60 other people to sleep for the night. At about 7 PM, the Piano Bar started serving drinks and karaokying and having a "Hurricane Party" to distract the guests. The staff assured us we were safe and they had a generator that could last 2-3 days and not to worry.
We went through the night and about 8 AM Saturday morning returned to our rooms when we felt the storm had passed and it was safe to return. As soon as we walked in our rooms, the resort lost power, water, and sewage (which none had turned back on when I had left on Monday afternoon). We fell asleep in our rooms for about an hour and I woke up to my windows shaking like mad. I called the front desk to ask if the storm had worsened and the operator replied "We think so m'on" and hung up on me. Furious I called back and said, I have about .5"-1" of water in my room that is blowing in through the shower window and under my door along with leaves and twigs. She replied "We need to come and get you m'on". We once again grabbed our bed clothes and headed to the safe houses. Two staff ladies came and guided us back to the main hotel were we stayed until the hotel said it was now safe to go back to our rooms at about 8 PM but Ivan's winds were still around 80-100 MPH. The hotel gave us two small candles that each burned about 3 hours to give us light through the night. Thank goodness I had bought two Blue Mountain Coffee Candles in Negril so we would have candlelight until daylight. Going back to our room it was pitch black and my husband and I were trying to weave and feel our way back to the room. My legs got scratched to death by the trees that covered the sidewalk as we ventured in the wind and tried to reach Block 8 which was in the back of the resort. We couldn't see our hand in front of our face and I was scared.
The storm had passed by Sunday morning and the devastation to the hotel was horrific. After breakfast, almost all of the hotel guests were helping staff to pull palm leaves to the beach, rake up debris around the pool, pull the pool furniture out of the pool's swampy water, set up the furniture in the Beach Grill and the main dining area, etc. We all worked our butts off until lunch was served around 12:30 PM. The place was starting to look somewhat back in shape. As the day went on, the misery of the heat, no shower, overflowing toilets in the main areas, the stench of BO in the Piano Bar and office were turning my stomach in sickness. The linens from Friday night were still in the Piano Bar dirty, the office was a disaster with dishes from Saturday mornings breakfast left-overs, etc.
So what makes me so angry about my experience in this hotel? Well after speaking with other couples on the resort, we found out on Monday that people who had complained enough about the conditions had been moved to the sister property- "Couples Swept Away" which had power from their generator and water for an hour in the morning and evening. They had air conditioning, showers, etc. The generator that we were promised to last for 2-3 days had been flooded in our hotel and they were pumping water out of it for 3 days. We were going on our fourth day (couldn't shower on Saturday because we were in the safe house so Friday morning was the last shower) of no shower, no water, my towels were drenched from my flooding room and they said they didn't have anymore clean ones, the toilets were overflowing in the main areas, I had to get water out of the pond with my ice bucket to flush my toilet in my room, it was 90 degrees with 95% humidity and I was completed dehydrated, etc. Finally on Monday morning before we went to the airport, my husband and I found a faucet that you wash your feet off with at the beach that had a trickle of water. We took a bar of soap and some clean clothes (to use as a towel) and I got on my hands and knees and he helped me to somewhat wash my hair even though I got sand in it. I was miserable!!
I got home on Tuesday and today I went to the doctor to find out that I have contracted Montezuma's Revenge (i.e. Travelers Diarrhea) from a bacteria I contracted in the hotel five days ago and am now on Cipro.
When I called the Couples main hotel in Miami yesterday to inquire about a refund for the four days of hell we went through, they informed me that if I stayed on the resort that there would be no refunds or vouchers for credit. So I basically paid $2500 (excluding airfare) for four days of hell and I wasn't even offered after four days to go to the sister property for a rest from the heat and a shower. Plus we, as guests, went out and tried to help the workers to haul palm leaves, set up furniture, and clean up after the hurricane out of the goodness of our hearts and they treat us like this.
In my opinion, this hotel was in breach of contract for not providing me the services that were promised for my husband and I the last four days of my trip. There was no power, water, sewage, catamaran tours, scuba, snorkeling, pool, pool-bar, Otaheite nice dinners, etc. Therefore, they should refund our money. If I were able to get home early and not go through this "Survivor" experience, then I would have gotten my money back????
On a final note I know that there are tons of people who loved this hotel and that is why we were so excited to go there. Under these grueling situations, I was sure the hotel would compensate us for the pain and agony that we went through. I know it is easy for readers to pass judgment on my frustration but you go without a shower for four days with no air in 90 degree weather, no toilet, and no water, and then tell me how you feel? I guarantee you would feel the same way.
Couples Negril All Inclusive
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- Escape to a romantic, all-couples resort where the powdery white sand meets the clear turquoise Caribbean Sea.
- Stroll the beach at sunset, laze in a hammock, go windsurfing, savor a gourmet dinner for two, or dive among the tropical fish, enjoy all of these and more at this chic getaway.
- Relax and snuggle in your exquisitely furnished guestroom, adorned in rich tropical colors and offering views of the lush gardens or sparkling sea.