Destination Weddings Discussions

Buyer Beware- Valentin Imperial Maya Hotel in Playa Del Secreto, MEXICO

I am disturbed how greedy a hotel can be and I work in the hospitality industry! 
We brought 43 guests to the hotel for my wedding, spent over $27,000 USD. 10 of our guests were on a flight from Dallas, TX which was cancelled attributed to weather. It was the most dissapointing news to get the night before my wedding, to know my mother in law, father in-law, sister in-law and best friend would not be attending my wedding. 
I spoke to the wedding coordinator asked her if my guests would get their money back and she insisted "yes they will, don't worry about it". Guess what? That was not the truth. 2 guests got their money back because they booked outside our wedding block and paid through the airline website. But our other 8 guests? They are being penalized with a No-show fee equivilant to one room night per guest. 
We spent $27k USD in this hotel and they are going to charge my guests 8 no show fees? The hotel's response was "travel insurance was an option they should have taken". Unbelievable how unhospitable! 
I work as a Director of Revenue for Hilton Worldwide Corporate Office in Dallas, TX and none of the hotels I manage would ever penalize guests for weather, expecially after a group spent $27k in room and F &B revenue! This is concerning that a hotel would be so greedy and unhospitable. This is a sure fire way to turn away repeat business from 43 guests. And several of them work for Hilton Worldwide and were appalled by the hotels stance. 
I even went so far as to email the General Manager to plea as a fellow hotelier to not penalize our guests for conditions that were out of their control and received no response. I am disgusted by this hotel's behavior.
Such a shame this hotel resorted to penalizing my guests, because the ceremony was quite nice, but now is forever tainted with this dark cloud. I have no interest in ever going back to this hotel after they chose to punish my guests in the wallet. 
My tip to other brides looking for a place to have their destination wedding....look elsewhere. The resort is huge and the beach ceremony is about a mile down the beach which takes almost 15 minutes for your guests to walk to in 100 degree weather. If you want your reception dinner to be air conditioned they charge an extra $50 per person. Plus they are inflexible with their policies! And who knows what hurricane could delay your guests flight- this hotel doesn't care they just want their money!
Tell me how you would have handled this?  My travel agent is Liberty Travel who sends this hotel business all the time and they were appalled that the hotel was so inflexible. I figured they would have been able to leverage their relationship with this hotel, considering the amount of business to this hotel.  Not so, such a shame.  I am sure the amount they are disputing is about $1200.  Unreal. :(

Re: Buyer Beware- Valentin Imperial Maya Hotel in Playa Del Secreto, MEXICO

  • As a frequent traveler, I'm not surprised they did not refund the guests' trip. Trip insurance exists for a reason and this is one of those reasons. Why should Valentin refund someone because of an unaffiliated airline weather issue? Can you imagine if they had to refund everyone whose flights got canceled? It's not a good business model. It's not their fault, and their no show policy is surely published stating their terms and conditions. On top of that, Liberty should have pressed on the guests to buy insurance for such an important event.

    I'm sorry that you feel your wedding was ruined, but your guests should have taken proper precautions for unforseen circumstances.


  • I disagree, if the poster works in the hotel industry and also asked around in that industry and it's not the norm I think she is the one who would know best what normal protocol is. I book tons of travel for a huge bank and I've never heard of a hotel charging a fee for a night if weather is an issue. To add insult to injury she had spent 30 grand there and is a peer in the industry. It wasn't exactly your average stay. And bad customer service is what is the bad business model here- and far costlier to the hotel in the end for what amounts to not much profit gain by charging these guests when it's all said and done.
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