My family just returned from 7 days at the El Conquistador. The resort is immaculate in design and natural scenery but operationally it is a zero. The list of complaints were too numerous from the moment we arrived.
The CD/cassette player had been stolen from our room, cables ripped off, there were ants in our bathroom, the telephone did not work, they bang you $15/day to park your car, one night @ 2am there was a mini riot in the resort that prompted us to call 911 and Wyndham corporate after security failed to respond and no manager was on duty until called in 1 hour later. The services were drastically reduced due to low capacity, most advertised were unavailable.
Most of the staff was disinterested in their guests and unfamiliar with the "scheduled" events like arts & crafts, bingo, etc. When asked why they could not make an announcement or advertise the events to gain greater participation they just said they could not and went back to reading their soap opera magazines or other distractions. One male worker was seen sitting on lounge chairs chatting with 2 young girls for over 2 hours while in uniform.
For enduring the 2am disturbances we were compensated with a dinner in one of their "nice" restaurants which charges $29 for Gnocchi ($1 at Shoprite), $25 for children’s meals, and we had to remind the wait staff 4 times for items they neglected to bring. Our coffee went cold while we waited for dessert, the excuse was that they were short on chefs. (How many years of culinary school do you need to scoop ice cream?) Lastly we were overcharged here as well as in several other restaurants and bars within the resort prompting us to spend way too much time at the front desk requesting credits/refunds. More than once we were directed to the front desk because the restaurant had no manager available to process such a request.
Wyndham is great about sending a welcome fruit plate and drinks to their "by Request" guests however no one returned to remove the food scraps. We complained about 3 trays of food siting on the floor next to the ice machine for 2 DAYS! before they were finally removed.
We checked out the Golden Door Spa but couldn’t stomach the $100 for a massage (I’d rather have 3 plates of average pasta at Otellos).
Other complaints were that it was very difficult to get around the resort with a stroller/wheelchair since there were limited ramps and out of place elevators between rooms and the pool for example. Our trip required us to cross the lobby with our stroller twice in bathing attire to get to the elevator, a breach of the dress code rules.
Also the resort practices some local political hospitality by allowing locals to use the pool areas during weekends. Families filled the pool areas at some minimal price while we paid $175/night (+$15 to park) to enjoy the same privilege. And in order for Wyndham to control that revenue stream, we had to wear colored bracelets like spring breakers at an all you can drink Beach party.
Its a real shame because the resort/location is so beautiful but this will never be a world class resort with the present attitude of the employees and lack of management that prevails.
Additionally, if you read the papers they deliver to the room each morning you will see that the rate of violent crime throughout the island is exponentially higher than that in the US mainland.
If you go, be very careful. If you stay at El Conquistador, bring lots of money. We couldn’t help but feel that we were being taken advantage of the whole time we were there.
On the bright side, the view is wonderful…