It’s not easy organizing a group of women to get away on a one week, five star, beachfront, all-inclusive resort, but it needed to be done. Once we got through coordinating the dates, so that it would co-inside with a birthday celebration, arranging a resort that offered “no single supplement” to accommodate each vacationer and the request for an “adult only” resort, we were ready to book our “Girls trip.”
With the help of our trusted travel agent at Trip Central – Manuela, we were booked at the Viva Wyndham Heavens resort in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic. ALL requests were heard, received and organized by Manuela, making eight women, extremely ecstatic about their upcoming trip. The only thing left for us to do was to pack and wait for the date to arrive.
The news came the day before the departure date. Sunwing had decided to cancel all flights to the Dominican Republic due to the impending fury of hurricane Maria. You could have cut the feeling of our despair that loomed in the air, with a machete. But not every disappointment has to be met with disorganization. Manuela was there to inform us of our options. She took care of the details with Sunwing for a “Full refund,” and within three days, a full credit was applied to our credit cards.
Once the storm had passed and reports came in that the resort had received no structural damage, the trip was back on again, with no changes to the original booking, at the same price – all thanks to the team work of Manuela, Trip Central and Sunwing airlines. We would get the girls trip, we were all looking forward to.
Viva Wyndham Heavens looks like a massive complex when you see the pictures and videos advertised. So when you arrive at the complex, you may be a little taken back at how compact it is. However what they lack in size, they make up in heart. Their mission statement at this resort, probably is something like – “Our guests are our family.” You will feel this from the moment you step into the lobby and are greeted with a sparkly fruit punch drink, and numerous “holas” from everyone, all while you wait to check into your suite.
The junior suite was very spacious, with a king size comfortable bed, a full size modern couch, a furnished balcony looking onto lush green gardens and an updated bathroom, equipped with a glassed-in rain shower. All this coupled with five star cleanliness, soft luxurious bathrobes, toiletries and huge plush beach towels for your personal use.
On the surface everything may seem like the ultimate in vacation choices, but when it comes to giving a resort, the thumbs up or five stars rating, you have to evaluate when things go wrong. The true testament to their customer service and quality status will be redeemed, when you see how well they handle any unforeseen circumstances.
Although, never the intent, situations did arise that put this resort to the test. First set back, was the flooding of the bathroom that flowed into the bedroom. A trip down to the front desk to make them aware of the situation was addressed immediately. Maintenance was at the unit, in no time, to fix the drain, closely followed by the housekeeping staff which mopped up and returned the unit to a clean and safe state. However the problem could not be resolved and so the decision was made instantly to be moved to another suite. The reception team addressed this problem quickly and in a very efficient fashion, accompanied by a genuine apology.
The next setback came after inspecting the sliding balcony door the following morning, it was discovered that the latch on the door was not locking. Back down to the front desk, this time to inform them of this mechanical issue. Although the people at the front desk were different during the day than those met the previous night, you were still greeted with that friendly demeanour and the same speedy efficiency.
The lock was replaced within minutes – no fuss.
During the move to the new unit and with the shuffling of all items and documents, the passport became water damaged. This caused the identification photo to be altered, making it look more like a negative, and unacceptable to travel with. At this point, you only have a very brief moment to be frustrated and discouraged, because these feelings are not going to solve your situation. Now is the time to be resourceful and start looking for solutions, support and assistance from all the resources available to you.
First things first, call the airlines you are dealing with or the travel agency, they are going to point you in the right direction and give you all the necessary steps that you need to put in place. Having Sunwing in the lobby of the Viva Wyndham hotel was definitely a great benefit.
The representative at Sunwing was helpful, thorough and informative. With one quick phone call to the consulate, they were able to provide the necessary information and explain the process that needed to be done in order to get a replacement document for the damaged passport.
The process from the start of all setbacks to the moment of passing through the immigration customs back home again, was handled professionally, efficiently and exactly the way that any traveller could have ever expected.
Reviews are done regularly on travel agencies, restaurants, hotels, airlines and venues, each providing the customer the opportunity to rate these companies. Ratings are usually based on the cleanliness, service, food, accommodation, comfort and general enjoyment of the establishment. These reviews, helps us to avoid places that do not rate so well and to book with those who have received a good review and high rating; saving future customers, money and time. Many of these reviews are mere complaints with little or no attention explaining how an establishment may have addressed their issue or offered any solution.
Giving a rating on an establishments “solution-based customer service,” may be a bit more indicative of the kind of organization you are signing on for.
Vacations may not go exactly as planned, but if you have a team of professionals dedicated to optimum customer service, then not all perils, will take you away from your holiday enjoyment.