First I must stress the fact that, as far as I am concerned, this is the most stunning place on earth and I have traveled to 23 countries. I have stayed there, gone for day trips and visited the spa when it was The Enchanted Garden. I have also toured the gardens before that when it was Carinosa Gardens. In the past, I have always given rave reviews for this property. In fact, 4 stars were never enough to capture my enthusiasm. Just to give you a taste about how I view this property.
One day, as I was strolling towards the spa and a Doctor Bird hovered in front of me for a moment. I remember thinking, "The Garden of Eden couldn't have been any lovelier." I have told just about everyone I know about it and written a full review about it, (I plan retreats, corporate events and I am a blogger:
Enchanted Gardens Jamaica: An Enchanting Event Space http://blog.cvent.com/blog/executiveoasis/enchanted-gardens-jamaica
Giving your Team the Essence of Jamaica
Memories of this glorious place have helped me survive many a frosty winter. It's the kind of place that works it's magic and grows on you. In fact, it has developed a loyal following. Even when it was closed, former guests would stop by. We would always be welcomed with open arms and the gardener would show you around and you would
reminisce about old times.
When I heard it was opened again, I was thrilled. When I went back to Jamaica in November, 2011, I could hardly wait to see it. I raved about the property to a Jamaican couple living in England who were returning in a few months and looking for a place to have an event. So, I had the taxi take us there just so that they could step inside for 5 - 10 minutes, feel the magic and consider the venue for their event.
The security guard checked many times with the office and kept coming back and telling me that we weren't allowed in. Quite frankly, both security guards were embarrassed. They told me that there are new owners and that all of the former staff is gone.
After about half an hour, I was allowed to come in and speak to one of the owners. I explained why I was there. I let him know I was a former guest and that I had written about the property a number of times. He said he had seen no write-ups. I offered to show them to him on the Internet. He was uninterested. He was cold. He merely replied "That will be US$20 each". I said "Just to come in for 5 to 10 minutes?" (We weren't looking for a tour and the couple would have scheduled a tour on their own if the reception had been warmer.) He said "Yes, even if you come in for 2 minutes it's US$20."
I left feeling sad and totally disappointed. The magic had been spoiled. It wasn't about the $20. It was the lukewarm reception, the total focus on short-term gain and the lack of understanding of the fact that customer goodwill and loyalty are priceless. The former manager and staff knew that.
I want to make it clear that my one star rating is not for the porperty. I still think it's the most beautiful place on earth. The rating is of the new management.
I will not be returning or holding any events there until there is a new owner. The current owners have a lot to learn and it is unfortunate that they did not take the time to let the former staff and manager pass these lessons on to them before taking over.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC