I do try to keep my non-volleyball life separate from this site but recently my Twitter followers saw a retweet of something that came from my personal twitter feed. There was an interesting story behind this so I thought I would share it.
My daughter works for an airline and through that connection we can make reservations on ID90, which is a travel site for airline employees as well as their families. We’ve used them before and they can often have incredible deals on a number of travel related things but in our case, this time, it was an all-inclusive resort. As luck would have it, I stumbled across a great deal on the Pueblo Bonito Pacifica resort in Cabo. We had a group of 7 and I decided to book it paying my money upfront. Our group traveled separately and when I landed at the airport I started receiving text messages that the hotel did not have our reservation. The traveler’s nightmare, right? Even worse when you are in another country. Still worse when you decided to travel out on Sunday. I won’t get into the bloody details but what occurred is that when I booked the reservation ID90 uses a company called Hotel Beds to make the actual reservation. Obviously some discounts are applied and shared among the companies and in this case I was also getting a great deal. It was a win-win-win-win in this case with the Pacifica getting three rooms occupied for our 5 nights. Unfortunately, on this particular Sunday, “wins” were in short supply.
Pacifica agreed that our confirmation numbers were indeed theirs but that there was no record of them in their system. Surprisingly, they offered no help to the party that was already at the hotel and basically shuffled them off to the side without offering anything to eat or drink. (Later they said they could go to one of their restaurants and pay for a meal.) We were struggling to get hold of ID90 from Cabo so we had family in the States start reaching out. During this period of frustration and while I was in the transportation to the hotel I figured I would tweet about the situation to see if I could get Pueblo Bonito or ID90 to respond. I had the bright idea to immediately retweet the message on my D3VbWest account and almost immediately things started to get better. (I firmly believe this was just a coincidence.) Around this time we were able to get hold of ID90 and they started working with Hotel Beds to rectify the situation. Numerous attempts were made to reissue the reservation and more “valid” confirmation numbers were supplied to us and then to the front desk. Each time we were told that the numbers were theirs but that the reservation was not in the system. None of it made any sense but it was around this time that ID90 offered to reimburse us if we paid for the first night’s stay, which would allow them and Hotels Bed to work out the problem since Pueblo Bonito’s reservation staff was off on Sunday. I really appreciated ID90 stepping up as we were at our wit’s end at this point. I will also say that Hotel Beds offered to make a reservation at a different hotel but we were skeptical of what they would book. (Ron Howard’s narrator’s voice: “They shouldn’t have been.”)
The Pacifica gave us three rooms that were less than the classification we booked but we were just happy to have rooms and know that the problem was going to be resolved. The next morning as our group had just started to lay out by the pool I get a frantic call from ID90 saying that Pacifica is not going to honor the reservation and that we have to check out immediately. They are going to rebook us into the Le Blanc Spa Resort Los Cabos. I’m in disbelief because checkout time had just passed but was so discouraged I agreed while the rest of my party started to frantically search for the resort on Google. We immediately realize that the Le Blanc is a far superior resort. (Ron Howard’s narrator’s voice: “Told you.”) At this point I’m thinking things are too good to be true as it makes no sense how Hotel Beds was able to work out a deal with them that wasn’t acceptable to the Pueblo Bonito Pacifica. Regardless, I run up to the front desk and explain the situation to the manager (Reuben, the manager, and I are now old friends). He says he’s aware that no solution was made and that he had been trying to find me. I tell him we’ll be moving as soon as we can as we race to our room to repack. When I go to checkout for our one night stay I’m told that Hotel Beds was making the reservation correctly with the Pacifica but that they were immediately cancelling it. At this point we are so happy to be leaving this place and going to a nicer hotel that all we can do is laugh at his excuse. (For clarity, what I think was happening was that there was a breakdown between Hotel Beds and Pueblo Bonito and the system that they use. I believe Hotel Beds was able to make a confirmation and it was accepted as evidenced by our “valid” confirmation numbers. I then think the Pueblo Bonito system cancelled the reservation due to constraints they put on pricing. As I mentioned, the deal we received was very good. I think this cancellation either wasn’t sent out properly or it was but wasn’t handled properly by Hotel Beds. ID90 was very clear in a message to me that Pueblo Bonito “have breached the contract with our provider [Hotel Beds] by not providing you the accommodations you initially booked.” In the end, and this point seems very clear, Pueblo Bonito was advertising a price their system would not accept.)
We make it to Le Blanc a little later but we were all holding our breath until we were checked in. The resort was magnificent and was honestly the nicest place I’ve ever stayed. ID90 kept in contact the entire week and promptly refunded the extra money we had spent at Pacifica. Pueblo Bonito reached out to me via Twitter and basically said our reservation was cancelled before our arrival. Never mind that a number of reservations were made while I stood at the front desk! They went on to say that “we have many happy customers and returning guests” as a counterpoint to the fact that we weren’t happy. In the end, Pueblo Bonito did absolutely nothing to help stranded travelers that wanted nothing more than to stay at their hotel.
Needless to say, we won’t ever be booking with a Pueblo Bonito property in the future. In fairness, the Pacifica was an adequate resort but the indifference to our party was stunning. The Le Blanc Resort can’t be recommended highly enough on their property and especially their service. If you have the opportunity to use ID90 then I can vouch for their service in the most troubling of times. That was the story behind the retweet and I’ll try to keep my drama away from you all in the future. But, as a reward for reading this, you now know where to stay in Cabo and especially where NOT to stay.