or ‘viva Dante’

Vidanta excellence or ‘viva Dante

(Frustrated at the start of the week, by week’s end we must say, the environment was pleasant)

Our experience reminds us of Dante’s Inferno (hell).

We should have known when we were searching the internet for more information about the resort. You know, what are the services available, a map, and stuff you would find about any cruise ship. The search left a lot to be desired. The website was uninformative. We are taking it all in good faith.

We arrive at the Grand Mayan in Cancun at the reception desk and are handed a two-page legal document; to sign-should have known then that this is a scam. I tried to read it but was hurried by the clerk, so I asked for a copy which he provided, but it is in 8pt font. We asked for a map, and the attendant feigned to look for one and then said, “we are out of maps.”

Handed over to the concierge, we learned about our $50 credit and then talked into another $50 credit if we go to a ‘presentation’ and complimentary breakfast. Ok, but now we know we are in a ‘time-share’ situation. He said he needed $40, and we said to charge it to our room. Not possible-must be in cash. He also gave us a card to provide us with 10% off all purchases and show it when we buy something. We asked for a map, and he feigned to look for one and said, “we are out of maps.”

The bellboy took us to our room and then brought up our luggage. We asked for a map, and the answer was the same.

There is a concierge in the lobby of our building. No map, but he directed us to Salum, where there was food. Ten-minute walk on the boardwalk, taking us over the roads.

It was an evening in Dante’s inferno. Ok, not that bad, but the experience have been frustrating.

  • No map (you are expected to use your phone to get around and even read menus and other notices, but the internet is unreliable-it keeps dropping off and not always loading quickly). Fortunately a young couple showed us how to use our phone to see the map.
  • The signage is very poor.
    • We follow the directions given by one sign and come to a wye in the walkway with no direction on which way to go, so we guess, or more often, ask someone walking by.
    • Our room is in a series of buildings numbered 1 to 13 (we are in building 8), but there is no number on the buildings, so when we get off the tram, we must guess which way to go (or ask someone – if someone is around).
    • After a week, we were still baffled by signs
  • Our room is on the third floor but adjacent to the access road, and trams roar, bump, and grind every ten minutes past our room-making sleep a drama.
  • Speaking of trams or trolleys, to go from A to B, you sometimes pass B and end up at a transfer station, get off one trolley, and onto another trolley that eventually gets to B. The roads from point A to B are baffling, to say the least
  • The adjacent room has a baby, and crying makes sleep a drama.
  • Midnight revelers shouting and yelling in the hall makes sleep a drama
  • Finding our way around is impossible without a map—where do we get breakfast? Ah, they don’t understand the word, and we get different answers, all wrong about breakfast.
  • We didn’t know we could book Cirque de Soleil here with a discount—we booked online for the full price plus an additional tax we had to pay to get our tickets.
  • We didn’t know we could book tours here, so we booked online. (The bus picked us up at 7 am, and we got home at 8 pm for the Chichen Itza tour. The tour was excellent, but going from hotel to hotel to pick up tourists added about 3 hours to a long ride from Cancun).
  • Prices at the Mayan (for Mexico) are too high; everything is more expensive than we expected. For example, the resort’s conversion rate was 17.50 pesos per dollar, but the official conversion rate was about 18.8 pesos per dollar, and at the airport, they claimed up to 21 pesos per dollar.
  • Already mentioned, but we could not find out information before we arrived-we might have wanted to upgrade our room.
  • Lots of children were fine during the day; however, we think families should be booked in separate buildings. We are on a ‘restful’ vacation, and children running up and down the halls and banging around, and parents yelling is not what we booked.
  • At the time of this writing, we are disputing a $1000 charge to our credit card when we arrived at the reception desk. We were told that it would be used to pay for room charges. Our charges for the week were about $700 for food and sundries. That charge has not hit our credit card. The concierge said we would be credited the difference. Time will tell.

All said, the resort is excellent, nestled in the rainforest, with comfortable accommodations and very polite and helpful employees, and relaxation is the MO. The food is good. Cirque Soleil was interesting, and the dinner unusual with a half dozen ‘befores’ and a half dozen deserts, bookending a delicious beef or salmon entre. The portions were on the small side but more than sufficient for us.

We “won” the hotel accommodations during a charity function. We were the high bidder. We did not know this was a come-on for a ‘time share’ property. Vidanta is busy giving out accommodations because the same offer was available when we attended another charity function. We talked our way out of the ‘time share’ presentation—they were persuasive but eventually relented and we got our $40 back and celebrated by going to the Lago for the buffet breakfast-a good choice.

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