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Fairmont Mayakoba 805 February 2023

TEL: +1 608-238-6001 Email: greg@cruisingreview.com

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Background

Background: I stayed at Rosewood Mayakoba in 2012 and was really impressed. I would have stayed there or Bayan Tree, but they were fully booked from the LivGolf tournament which was ongoing. That should have been my first clue. I booked though United Hotels, which gave Fairmont Mayakoba excellent reviews, and read some of TripAdvisor. After my experience, it makes me wonder how many of these reviews are actually real, or if the reviews are from guests who experienced the Fairmont while their company is picking up the tab. I paid full price for my stay, including upgrades for near-beach casitas, butler service, and another upgrade to a suite with a plunge pool and rooftop patio. My final tab was over $8,000 USD.

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Check In

Check-in (Huge Amount of Turnover): The staff told me on the Thursday I checked in that there were something like 370 check-ins and outs, which is most of the resort. Most, if not all of these were for groups. When I inquired other guests about their experience, most were unhappy with the service.

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Charges

Charges: The amount of extra charges is mind-boggling. Everything from various taxes (unsure which are real, when you try to Google resort taxes), to resort fees (golf cart transportation, bikes, pools, beaches), Eco donation fees, Employee funds, etc. Trying to keep track of these is rediculous. Probably why most people just gloss over them and pay for them without asking. Why not include them in the basic room charge ? Because they are 100 percent profit. Product shorting.

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Resort Automated Feedback

Fairmont Mayakoba Tue, Mar 7, 2023.

Thank you for taking the time to tell us about your experience at the Fairmont Mayakoba. I am sorry that your experience did not meet your expectations; please allow me to express my sincerest apologies.

At Fairmont, we strive to provide a superior service experience for every customer; therefore, your feedback is very important to us. Please rest assured that we are taking the appropriate measures to address the problem and prevent future occurrence.

We appreciate your sharing your concerns, and it is our hope that you will give us the opportunity to better serve you in the near future.

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Turn Down Service Shorting

My second night, there was no turn-down service, so I did not have towels, tea, etc. Remember this is what you are paying for ($700 a night). Keep in mind that during their busy days, you won't be able to call the front desk, room service, or anything since you'll be put on hold, or recycled to the operator, who will try to connect you to your destination, which is busy, and you are automatically transferred to the operator again, to repeat the process.

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Casita

Casita / Room / Suite: The suites are beautifully appointed. Most are located with a jungle or canal water view. The architect did a wonderful job on the basic casita structure. Most buildings (near the beach) don't have any view (aside from jungle and canal) and have two lower units, and one top level suites with a rooftop patio and plunge pool. The fixtures show signs or wear-and-tear with lack of maintenance, which ultimately results in fixture failure. My sense is that they have such a huge turnover for these incentive groups, they simply don't have time to maintain them properly. I was in three separate units. One suite did not have hot water nor water pressure. The other unit has a shower valve plate that was loose and fell off. The same unit had pump soap dispensers which did not work, and a shower door handle that was loose, which will ultimately fail soon. All units had minimal off-brand tea bags (only three per unit) and mini coffee pods. While there was a small container of milk/cream, they were removed and not replaced during cleaning. If you order room service, you must call them to pickup the dishes, since room cleaning will not have them removed.

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Suite 830 Awful Upgrade

On my check-in day, I spent more than an hour trying to get someone (anyone) to answer a phone so I could get my upgraded suite keys. When I paid more than $1,000 USD for a upgrade (Total room charge $2,000+), they said I'd have to wait since the unit needed to be inspected. I finally got my room key around 6pm, and then the toilet didn't work. You guessed it, could not get through to the front desk or housekeeping. Finally the butler was able to fine someone to help out. The housekeeping does an excellent job of cleaning, when they show up.

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Suite 830

While our luggage was taken to our suite at 3pm on checki n day, the other room was not available at check in, and upgrades were not available until 6 pm. When we departed three days later, nobody came to pickup our luggage.

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Suite 830

Wait Time: During their busy push (large checkin/checkout) days, don't expect to be able to call the front desk. You will get recycled back to the operator, when they try the front desk again, and the cycle repeats. During my three night stay, I spent more than 7 hours trying to get my suite keys, on hold trying to speak to the front desk with the many problems, etc. Just rediculous.

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Suite 830

Butlers: We were not contacted by the butler until well after our check-in, and then he was off for the day. There was no text, phone, or email for the butler. I asked for him to have the resort manager contact me (after we immediately experience issues), which never happened (the on-site travel agent was able to connect me finally on the last day). When I was trying to downgrade to my original casita, I had to wait hours for my room key, and finally gave up when I texted the butler I couldn't wait any longer, and while I was walking to the front desk (takes 25 minutes at this expansive resort) he finally sent me a text, which I received once I was at the front desk, that he now had the keys and was at the casita. I spent more time trying to deal and wait for the butlers, than just doing whatever needed to be done on my own. Of course, instead of being the pool or on the beach relaxing, I was taking my time (that I've already paid for to the resort) to deal with the most basic of things. It's one thing to take my money for poor service, but an entire different issue to take my vacation and relaxation time.

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Suite 830

Upgrades: With taxes, expect your upgrade price to go up an additional 20-30 percent. Expect product and service shorting. I upgraded to the $2,000+ USD per night casita with one king bed, two bathrooms and a roof-top patio with plunge pool. The casita was at the end of the path (Suite 830) and had a view of jungle only. After the toilet was fixed, I found that the shower fixture was broken, but at least usable. There were three off-brand teabags, and minimal tea and other beverage options. The place smelled musty (clearly had not been used in a while). I doubt there was any quality control inspection. The architecture was stunning, but it needed some upkeep (door latches needed to be replaced) but overall near the price they were asking (except for lack of amenities like tea and coffee which were better supplied even at a Holiday Inn). I thought everything was fine at that point, until I got back after dinner. Since it was near the end of the row of casitas, it was closer to the beach club (or group event going on) with loud music. While the event didn't go too late after 11pm, there were noises until 4am from machinery, staff disassembling the night-prior event, etc. Relaxing ? Not quite. Could barely sleep even with the loud air conditioning unit on and doors closed. Awful experience.

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Suite 830

Suite 830

Suite 830

Suite 830

Suite 830

Suite 830

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Suite 830

Suite 830

Suite 830

Suite 830

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Manager Reaches Out Last Night

The manager on duty was nice enough to send a bottle of champagne (I don't drink) and a apology for the awful stay, after she learned about my displeasure for service and product shorting. I originally asked my butler to call the manager (he did not). So the on-site travel agent was able to relay my message the last day at the resort.

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Bath Tub Presentation

The bath presentation was the highlight of the room. But you have to balance that with leaky fixtures, loose fixtures, soap pump dispensers that don't work, and no bottle opener for the caps on the bottled water.

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Product Shorting

Tea and coffee offerings were a joke. I think there were three tea bags in both Unit 830 ($2,000 a night) and Unit 805 ($700 a night). While there was milk/cream for the coffee, it was removed and not replaced by housekeeping. Odd, since our room service dishware was not even picked up.

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How to Open Bottled Water at the Fairmont

No bottle opener ? Try this.

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Leaky Faucets

All of the faucet valves leaked.

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Leaky Fixtures

Lead to wet and unusable facial tissue.

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Fixtures

Just one of many fixture failures. This one was never fixed.

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Fixtures

One of many issues. This bar was very loose.

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Bottled Water

Bottled water was replenished every day. The only problem was that there was no bottle opener.

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Fixture Issue

The showers had really cheap Amazon quality shower fixtures. This one had a loose plate and holder did not work.

In the other unit, there was no hot water and lack of any shower water pressure.

Poor attention to details (in this case, the bare minimum).

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Soap Dispensers

Great idea to save on plastic bottle waste. The only problem is that most of the pumps did not work, rendering the soap dispenser useless.

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Fixture

Another fixture failure. Again, poor attention to detail. Housekeeping should report this to maintenance to have it fixed or replaced.

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Fixture

More fixture issues. This shower holder (think Amazon quality) did not work.

Suite 830

Suite 830

Huge Selection of Tea

Yup, that's it. Three tea bags. Provided in Unit 830 for over $2,000 USD per night.

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Breakfast Buffet

Wonderful selection and service.

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Food and Restaurants

Food and Restaurants: The restaurants were perfect. Food was great. We ate around 6pm to avoid the incentive group crowds, which showed up around 7:30/8:00 pm. The morning breakfast brunch for $30 USD was perfect. Really good selection and food quality. We at our last breakfast at the restaurant on the beach, which has exceptionally good food quality, and not crowds. If it weren't for the great food, this three night stay would have been a complete failure. Forget the Fairmont app, it's useless. Just go to the website to arrange reservations. Don't bother trying to call.

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Overall Resort

Overall Resort: Beautiful. The grounds are stunning. Requires long walks from main restaurants to beach area. Golf carts and bikes are provided. Bikes are very limited. Golf cart rides are generally available, when it's not busy. Expect to wait alot. Water bottle filling machines are available throughout the resort, which is great (reduces bottled water waste). Exceptionally clean walkways (and well lighted at night) and the grounds are exceptionally well taken care of.

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Overall Vibe at Fairmont Mayakoba

Overall Vibe at Fairmont Mayakoba: Exhausting. I spent so much time waiting for room keys, worrying about product and service shorting, that it was exhausting and the complete opposite of relaxing. The complete antithesis of what a relaxing overpriced resort should be. I feel cheated by staying at the Fairmont. You have taken my money, but worse you have not only taken my time to make that money, but you have taken my valuable time with my friends on what is supposed to be my vacation. Shame on you Fairmont.

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Pools

Pools and Beaches: The pools are beautiful. The beach is wonderful. I had drink service at the beach, which was fine.

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Manager Responds

Manager Responds: The manager called me on Saturday, the day before departure to listen to my concerns (of course that was more of my time taken, but I gave her a list of issues). She was gracious enough to send a bottle of champagne (unfortunately I don't drink) and give me a credit of $844 (which covered my room upgrade). My total bill for the rooms, dining, and other charges was over $8,000 USD. Around a 10 percent credit. Was it enough to cover the wasted time, frustration, and aggravation ? No. But I guess it's better than nothing. After I returned home, I wrote to the Resort Manager, who also read my email and concerns to schedule a phone conference.

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Banyan Tree Restaurants

Banyan Tree Restaurants: For our last night we tried Cello Italian restaurant at Bayan Tree, which is a short golf cart ride from the Fairmont on the Mayakoba site, which was really good. The architecture and vibe at Bayan Tree is world class. No LivGolf or incentive groups there, and really classy resort. I plan on going back there, since it is so beautiful. I would rank it in the top three resorts I've been to, in the world.

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Why are Incentive Groups Shorting the Normal Paying Guest

Why are Incentive Groups Shorting the Normal Paying Guest ? My first experience with incentive groups when traveling at resorts which charge more than $1,000 per day was in Bora Bora at the Four Seasons. What I found was that the corporate guest would get a incentive (free suite and a large food and alcohol credit). Aside from getting annihilated, these guests feel that it is their earned right to disturb other guests (i.e. bringing a boombox or other annoying devices) and making sure we could all enjoy their tastes in heavy metal. The resort staff is so scared to make them unhappy, that usually nothing is done to retain the experience of actual paying guests. The dirty little secret of resorts is that they cater to these groups over the typical (loyal) paying non-corporate group guest. This not only service and product shorts the non-corporate guest, but takes away their valued time and relaxation.

Guess what ? Incentive group guests don't complain about issues, because their stay is already paid for by the group of company. This is a huge cash hog for the resort, and they can easily tack on additional charges.

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Will I stay at a Fairmont Property again

Will I stay at a Fairmont Property again? Not a chance.

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Tips

Tips: Avoid upgrades. Carefully review bill. Remove donations to groups you did not approve. Do not get butler service. Dine early to avoid the crowds. Do not book if incentive corporate group, or other large group is there.

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Hotels dot Com Reviews

Hotels.com: No review link available. They have fake reviews, or unable to track where they come from. I called Hotels.com and they were unable to provide me with a review link, nor sources of their fake reviews. Hotels.com is part of Expedia, so beware.

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From another TripAdvisor

My experience was awful too! I’m still upset at how my family was treated. My review is titled Mess! Which it was. Supposedly, they are crediting my food and beverage. Their staff was the rudest I’ve ever encountered and my husband and I travel all over the world. It was shocking. Hope you get some credits back to your overall bill. I called Fairmont corporate and filed a formal report. Best of luck!

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Charming Electric Boats are the Star of the Fairmont

Resort Boat: The resort has a electric boat and tours of the Mangrove estuaries which lasts about 45 minutes and goes by the Rosewood and Banyan Tree resorts. What a wonderful surprise and treat. This was the gem of our stay. We saw two small small crocodiles, lots of exotic birds, and the beautiful nature of the area. You need to reserve a boat ride (usually a day or more in advance), and it's for your group only (not shared). I think all the resorts have these silent electric boats, which really do allow you to appreciate nature, without disturbing it. Well done Fairmont.

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