Friday, June 28, 2013

Trips with Angie Traveler Review: A rough opening at Couples Barbados

Allison just returned from the opening week at Couples Barbabos. The first few days were a little rough as the resort wasn't quite prepared to open, but they made the best of it: 

Couples Barbados
"We made it home safely and are back to work today. I didn't want to come back!
The first few days were a little rough. It seemed as if no one knew what was going on. It was taking them 3 hours just to check people in. Meals took extra long because someone would take your order and then forget about you. We would have to ask 3 or 4 times just to get water or coffee.

Each day seemed to get a little better. I know that the people who have stayed with Couples before were really disappointed and said that if it was their first experience with Couples they would not be coming back. A lot of the things that were supposed to be included in the "all-inclusive" were either not ready or were changed. It seemed like they got rid of several things but didn't add any back in to make up for the loss. One of the biggest disappointments for me was that they had a glass bottom boat ride on their list of inclusives, but it disappeared from the list on opening day. 

We talked to someone there about it, and they said that they realized it wasn't feasible. We didn't have Wifi in our room until the last night that we were there- there was going to be a large fee to get access. Also, the rooms were really bare- we only had a fitted sheet and a flat sheet on our bed (and it was a real struggle to get a thin blanket), we didn't have a clock, an iron, or a hairdryer until the 2nd to last day. We never got robes. Our mini bar was stocked the first night we got there but then not restocked for 3 more days. We called and asked for water and were told no. I heard that most other people didn't have their mini bar stocked at all for the first 3 days. Some didn't have working refrigerators, air conditioners, and didn't have curtains in their rooms.

Even though their website assured that construction was on target to be finished up by opening day, it most definitely was not. There were still construction crews working by one of the pools, so it was pretty noisy.

The Apple representative didn't really seem to know what was going on either. They booked separate transportation for us, even though Couples includes transportation to and from the airport (although their bus never came on Saturday to pick up all of the people waiting to go to the airport). She was really pushy about us booking excursions with her and didn't believe us when we said that we had all of these things included. She wasn't very friendly after she learned that it was the truth.

I know that is a lot of negative feedback, but we really did have a good time. The positive things were: 
The food was always delicious! 

The catamaran cruise was a lot of fun, and the crew made it a great experience.
We got to go on a hobie cat ride, do some kayaking, and body boarding in the ocean (the ocean is really rough in this area, and a couple of days there were red flags so you couldn't go in; the waves made for good body boarding though).

They had plenty of chairs around the pool and on the beach, as well as hammocks.

At the end of the week, the nightly entertainment was really good- interesting music, stilt walkers, a lady who did the limbo under a pole that was on fire, etc.

The workout room was brand new and had nice equipment. They also had a brand new yoga pagoda and had instructors there to lead a daily session. 

We got to see several green monkeys on the guided monkey tour. The tour guide was a really nice guy and told great stories.

I am sure that they will continue to make improvement each day and will live up to the Couples name soon. I hope that your clients have a great experience in August.

We had a great experience with you and will plan to book our future trips through you as well." 

In 2014, this resort was acquired by Sandals all-inclusive resorts and re-opened as Sandals Barbados. 
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