Cabo San Lucas – Grand Solmar Bait & Switch

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A message from your Hotel Hopper:

Cabo San Lucas, Mexico is home to the Grand Solmar Land’s End Resort and Spa, the ultimate bait and switch – here’s why and what you should be aware of:

We arrived on April 12, 2014 to hundreds of beige painted plywood boards forming barricades to partially hide earth movers, cranes, diggers, bob cats, scaffolding, etc. from view.  These boards fanned out in every direction.  The boards also covered holes dug for future building infrastructure and were dotted with pots to help pretty it up…. news flash…NOT pretty.  The property should be ready for guests next April of – 2015 – not sooner.

The staff at the concrete platform arrivals area was efficient in finding out where guests were currently being checked in – apparently it changes based on construction – and loaded us into a golf cart to the temporary reception for check in – this is where mass chaos and confused service staff awaited.

Without greeting, the desk agent assigned to check us in said he needed some time for something…not really sure what because he turned away mid sentence as we were standing in front of him.  Once he returned, he requested our last name and left us – again – this time without reason.

During this time, my husband wandered out adjacent glass doors while I waited and then proceeded to fill out check in forms. My husband returned after being scolded by staff for wandering out and was told that guests were not allowed access to the area.

The “area” was the main pool, under FULL construction, hard hat access only with scaffolding as far as the eye could see.  With no apology, the staffer who scolded him said the glass doors should have been locked and that smaller pools attached to the open buildings serviced the guests.

I asked the desk agent what the hours of construction are and he replied 8AM – 5PM daily, except weekends.  Upon learning this, I informed the agent we would not be staying and that we would like our pre-payment refunded.

He told us to wait and called a manager.

The manager JUAN RAMON MALDONADO arrived and was not at all tuned into our problem with staying at a property under construction.  Instead of dealing with our desire to depart with refund, he said, let me find you a better room.

We let him know that we were desperate to unwind with peace and quiet in an environment of refined service.  The chaos we’d experienced from the moment we arrived did not feel like the resort experience we had paid dearly for, plus the property did not have a “resort” feel.

– HERE IS THE MOMENT WE FOUND OUT THE “GRAND SOLMAR” IS A TIME SHARE –

The manager quipped, “If you don’t want a time-share pitch, we’ll make sure to mark that in your record.”

We were dumbstruck, so we asked, “Is this a time share?”  To which he replied, “It’s part resort, part-time share.”

UN-BELIEVABLE!

A time-share typically pays guests with excursions, dinners, car rentals, sunset cruises and other rewards just so people will come take a look and get the pitch – this is the ultimate BAIT AND SWITCH –

The Grand Solmar Land’s End Resort and Spa have positioned themselves as a luxury resort with a 3 day non-refundable 2 night deposit.  Only after you’ve arrived to chaos and construction, you learn that you’ve been duped…

We departed the chaos of the Grand Solmar within an hour to seek other accommodations and ultimately spent a magnificent 4 nights at The One & Only Palmilla.  The price for The One & Only Palmilla, a true luxury resort, was only slightly more than we would have paid for the Grand Solmar’s “part resort, part time-share” experience.

While this bait and switch cost us almost a day of our vacation, we finally found the peace, quiet and refined service we were looking for.

Sometimes, you’ve got to make a hard decision and choose to fight for your rights – when you get home.

You can always make more money, but you can’t make more time.

We called American Express Travel to dispute our charges for the entirely unused stay at the Grand Solmar Land’s End Resort and Spa.  They contacted the property and were successful in obtaining a refund.  Thank you AMEX and thank you to the individual at Grand Solmar who authorized this refund!

SO BE WARNED

For those lured by the beautiful website of the Grand Solmar Land’s End Resort & Spa – Cabo San Lucas.  Not only does the website not identify this property as a time-share, it also offers photos of a beautiful, fully constructed resort.  This property is under massive construction and is currently without a main pool area.

People purchase these time-shares and want THEIR property to retain value and want THEIR rental income to remain high.  These owners leave 5 star reviews on Trip Advisor proclaiming everything to be wonderful and amazing.  Hey Trip Advisor – it’s time to get wise to this organization.  GRAND SOLMAR IS NOT A HOTEL OR A RESORT – IT IS A TIME SHARE!