trip report, brisas del mar

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Escrito por Jennifer desde ( el día jueves, 27 de octubre, 2005 a las 20:54:16 horas :

Just returned from a 10 day trip to Zihua at the Brisas del Mar. I feel uniquely qualified to comment on the place as we stayed in three different rooms at three different price levels during our stay. We arrived and were checked in by Isis, at the reception desk. She looked at our resv. card, smiled, called Francisco to carry up our luggage and handed us a key. Only problem, she gave us a key for a Master suite, not for the Zihua suite we had reserved, made a deposit on, and had been guaranteed. Hey, mix-ups happen, but please have the decency to explain the problem rather than send us to a smaller, lower priced room with no indication that you are doing so. I guess she hoped that we wouldn't notice and would spend 10 days paying a higher rate for a smaller room. Bad policy, Brisas! Lorena the manager arrived at 4 after lunch and made things much better. She gave us the choice of spending one night in the smaller room then moving to the Zihua (after she relocated the couple that had been "upgraded" to our reserved suite), or waiting three days until the couple left and moving then. She also mentioned that she would like to upgrade us to the Noyoltzi suite in 5 days when it became available. Then she gave us a nice discount for the rest of our trip. I think the fact that I am Spanish/English bilingual helped. Don't know how I would have managed in just English. So we were 3 nights in a master suite, 2 in the Zihua, and 3 in the Noyoltzi, and for our last night,back in the Zihua suite. Why the last move? On the day before we left I was in the lobby and listened to a group of people having the same conversation that I had upon our arrival, "Oh no, we are not going to stay in some other room. We have had this suite reserved for 9 months....You get whoever is in that suite out of it...etc." Guess which suite they had reserved? We volunteered to move because I felt badly, for the guests, and actually for the staff who seem to be way in over their heads with the whole reservations thing. I think the place might run a little smoother if the manager, Lorena, was actually a visible presence. After my conversation with her the first day, I never saw who again. NOt once. I think that is weird in such a small hotel.

OK, room report and recommendations. Do not book the Zihua. In fact, don't bother with any of the special named suites. The Zihua is about three levels down, and extends pretty far back into the building. That makes for very little light and a kind of dankness that was unappealing. The best bet, by far, is room 19, at the very top of the hotel. MOre light, better price and very private. The Noyoltzi is visually stunning of course, but, like the rest of the hotel, is a bit run-down. In fact, no matter what price point you pick, you will see similar conditions that run through all the rooms. For instance, I like a firm bed, but 10 days on a mattress resting on a concrete slab grew rather uncomfortable. Three days into the trip I was covered in mosquito and no see um bites, wish the hotel provided mosquito netting around the beds. Lumpy pillows, frayed towels, peeling walls, chunks of stucco missing around windows and doors. In fact, in not one but two of the rooms we stayed in, some enterprising guests had decided to used toilet paper to chink around the missing stucco. Kind of gross, and goes to the little upkeep details that are missing in this hotel. As a travel agent who we met at the hotel said, "This is just a tired, old hotel." The wording was perfect, the hotel, while really beautiful in its tiles, flooring, foliage and views, lacks an attention to detail. Strange, cut off wires protrude from the walls, gaps in the ceiling where old fixtures have been removed, mildew in the shower, stains on the walls, broken steps in front of the restaurant, rust stains down the side of the wall in front of the restaurant, a tepid pool with a dirty straw floating in it. I don't know, just a lot of little things that added up to a significant "ick" factor.

Saved the worst for last though, and this has nothing to do with Brisas. Why isn't anyone talking about the sewage canal running through town that empties into the ocean at Playa Principal? Playa Madera stunk, and the workers had a difficult time keeping up with the garbage on the beach. The water is clearly polluted, and really sickening. In chatting with people who work there, from Franco at Otilia's at Las Gatas, to taxi drivers to shopkeepers, everybody is mad about the sewage dumping. ON the way to the airport the taxi driver and I were gabbing up a storm and he begged me to please post something about this somewhere. He actually asked me three times, and left me at the curb with words, "you won't forget, will you? They are ruining this place." So for Pedro and Franco and everybody else - here it is. I will never return to Zihua as long as that canal is poisoning the water, and whoever lives there should be really mad about this. Hope someone local decides to do something about it.

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