leave your inhibitions at the door
Boom Boom and I just got back from five days in sunny Puerto Rico, which I’m going to be able to milk for at least half a dozen food posts in the coming weeks. Those have been added to my list of to-do posts currently inhabited by a couple more New York restaurants and several recipes. But I really had to get this one out now.
I guess I should start off with a disclaimer of sorts – we didn’t pay for this trip. Boom Boom is in sales and is very, very good at it. We were given this trip as a sales award for her. I wish I could take credit for giving her an inspirational speech a la Alec Baldwin –
… but alas, it’s all her. Honestly, she can sell ice to an Eskimo.
Because of her talents, we got to spend several days at the Ritz Carlton Reserve at Dorado Beach, just west of San Juan, Puerto Rico.
I know I should be grateful for even going. At the low price of “free” I should be satisfied to stay at a Motel 5, accommodations that aren’t quite as good as a Motel 6. Really, any complaints about the trip can’t even be considered “first world problems.”
But I’m going to gripe anyway.
As the title of this post indicates, the going rate for a room is $1200. A night. Just for the room, no food included. No continental breakfast, either.
But oh what a room –
And the pool’s not bad, either.
But here’s what $1200 doesn’t get you
– a concierge that answers the phone
– a waiter that brings the club soda that you ordered from him
– a discount from the $20 drinks at the pool
– a waitress that comes back to you in case you wanted a second $20 drink.
– a cleaning staff that will slide candy wrappers off the bathroom counter and into the garbage can
The not coming back to me to get a second drink was the head-scratcher here. This happened a few times. You’d figure at those prices, they’d be coming back every five minutes to run up the bill.
The spa at the resort was pretty much the same thing. It was the single most gorgeous facility I’ve ever seen. The was a pineapple garden, outdoor showers, plunge pools, and lounges that were all amazing. But what wasn’t amazing was the 1-hour massage I got that left me in worse condition than when I walked in. All for the low, low price of $225. For the record, I did give immediate feedback to the spa management which got me…. what’s the Spanish word for diddly-squat?
I know, I know – I didn’t pay a dime for any of it. But someone did and others do. The thought had crossed my mind that we didn’t get good service because they knew we didn’t pay for it; that we’re not high rollers with deep pockets. However, one couple we met – who were actually paying for the trip – experienced the same thing. Same with the guy at the spa who was staying with friends at their multi-million dollar condo there. This is a Ritz-Carlton we’re talking about – and one of their flagship “Reserve” properties. Isn’t that supposed to mean something?
I know it sounds like I’m being an ingrate. And I know that there are a lot of people who can’t generate the least bit of sympathy for those rich douchebags who are foolish enough to pay that much for a hotel. However, some of these things are expected at hotels that go for $120 a night. ($12 a night hotels give you nothing – just a guess, not from experience)
Isn’t it reasonable to think that the more you spend, the more you get in return? At those rates, I’d think there would be some debate about whether someone’s going to do the wiping for me.
Am I crazy?