- poor customer service and hospitality
- misinformation and uniformed staff
- grounds infested with cockroaches (by grotto)
Purchased an Amazon deal for two nights at TBP. When I booked the room, they conveniently were 'sold out' of the ones associated with the deal for the nights I wanted (which was a Monday and Tuesday in the off-season so it shouldn't have been crowded), but offered me the option to upgrade for $30 more p/night. Since I only had those particular two nights free for vacation, I purchased the upgrade to a standard grotto room. Seemed fine since most of the reviews on this site said to get a grotto room anyway.
When we checked in, we previewed a couple of the rooms to be certain what we wanted. I'd also read that every room is different and unique so, if possible, check out as many as you can before deciding. None of the standard rooms that we saw (13A and 16A--Tripadvisor reviewer favorites) looked appealing. They seemed small, dated, creepy, and had a weird smell. Because of the reviews I'd read that mentioned cockroaches around the property, I wanted to stay a bit away from the grotto because (call me crazy) it would make sense that that's where they would 'loiter'--by darkness and heat. We settled on suite 16 and opted to pay even more to upgrade hoping for a better space.
I won't bother commenting on the rooms in depth because I know that the property is currently undergoing a massive renovation and was told that all of the rooms were going to be refurbished this month (June/July 2014). However, in short, our room was dated and not cozy or charming at all. There were no rugs (not even area for decoration) in either room which gave it a cold vibe. Pics on the website show much more decoration in the suites. The couch and chair were old beat up leather (not in a cute or vintage way) with no throw blankets or pillows to give a homey vibe or to use while watching TV at night. Our patio's screen door fell off when we opened it and it was filthy. It just felt like the property and individual patios/backyards weren't well maintained. Simply put, not at all worth the $190 that we paid p/night.
Our first night at dinner, we were one of maybe three couples total dining in the restaurant. I liked the aesthetics of the new restaurant and I'd say the food was a 6/7 out of 10. But, they ran out of THREE different major items (the beef dish, one of the three prix fixe restaurant week desserts, and something else that I can't remember). Not uncommon at BUSY restaurants. But, here? When we jokingly complained under our breath, the female server said with levity, "I just work here. Write a review" and proceeded to walk away. That was our first taste of poor service at TBP. It also seemed like it wasn't the first time she'd had complaints with that response.
Oh, and a mouse ran under our table outside.
It was either that dinner server or our breakfast server who kept using the words, "I think so..." when answering our questions about wine or meats or prices. We'd ask specifics and she'd reply with, "I think the meat is grass fed" or, "I think the chicken is $10 extra", etc. Shouldn't they KNOW?!
After dinner, we changed and ventured over to the grotto for a soak. I'd remembered reading one reviewers account of cockroaches surrounding the grotto at night (one of my fears), but tried to forget about it and enjoy myself. His story involved putting a beer down on the side, turning his back on it for moments, then turning back to grab it only to find a roach crawling on it. When my boyfriend put his glass of wine down, I got nervous. We waded for all of thirty seconds then went for the wine and saw A ROACH crawling on it! Gross. We got out of the grotto, grabbed some towels, then proceeded to dry off. Suddenly, I saw a roach crawling on my boyfriend's shoulder. Then, a few little guys around our path when I looked down. We'd had enough and darted for our room (attempting to avoid all the roaches on our path to our room). We even put a towel under the door to seal it so that nothing could crawl in. Needless to say, that put me on edge the whole time.
That theme continued for the next two days once the sun set. Roaches came out at night and by the dozens. I know that they're normal in warmer climates and by water/food. But, if we can see them in such great numbers, that means the place is infested. For me, that's a reason to never go back unless the grounds are bombed. Cockroaches spread disease with their feces.
The spa was lacking. It didn't feel relaxing or tranquil to me. Was just a creepy underground place to get a massage. We both had the side by side mud bath which seemed like a good idea when I booked it. It was my fault for not asking sanitary/hygienic questions about the mud. Once I was in, it dawned on me to inquire about the frequency of the mud getting changed. When I was told only once a week (not in between each person), all of my relaxed muscles post massage tightened up and I felt nauseous. It was hard for the remaining 20 minutes to ignore the fact that I was mud bathing in many other people's skin cells/sweat, naked business, etc. Once in a lifetime.
Side note: I'd asked about the grotto and mentioned that I'd read several times that it was chlorinated. The front desk said, "only once in a blue moon to sterilize." A woman overheard my conversation and chimed in saying that the spa employees told her, "absolutely" re: chlorination. Total misinformed staff giving mixed information.
When we lounged by the "cool pool" during the day, we inquired about food and drink service. Nobody could give us a straight answer about whether or not someone would come around. One person said, "yes, until 3pm someone comes around." We never saw anyone all day, so we asked. Someone else said, "no one does service by the pool." Annoyed, we ended up getting up and going to the restaurant each time we wanted a beer or a snack. Frustrating when you're on vacation trying to relax.
Oh, and did I mention the fact that almost everyone on the staff told us how the grounds are haunted and shared several different guest's terrifying ghost stories when we asked about it? Yep.
It was a bizarro stay/adventure to say the least and only tolerable because I was with my boyfriend and we always have fun together. But, I'll never go back there again. I'll stick with someplace with better hospitality and less/not infested with bugs (or rodents).
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Marking 75 years in 2015, Two Bunch Palms has much to celebrate. Last year's incredible renovation of the 270-acre property resulted in 70 'soulful' new room accommodations, a farm-to-table restaurant Essense, passive solar earth mound yoga dome and a new View Point conference center and meeting facility with views of the valley against the San Jacinto Mountains. This physical transformation, including the addition of a 3.5-Acre solar field, puts Two Bunch Palms on the destination spa map as the first "Sustainable Wellness Resort" in North America and the first carbon-neutral resort. A legacy that spans several generations of guests-from notorious gangsters to Hollywood elite to romantic spa seekers-the property and its newest incarnation brings a rich and storied history full circle. This adult-only sanctuary (guests must be 18 or older) invites you to explore the four pillars of the resort: waters, spa, movement and cuisine. Their renowned, natural lithium-infused spring grotto features two mineral water pools carefully kept at a consistent temperature to ensure therapeutic and mood-enhancing properties. Guests are encouraged to "take to the 600-year old waters" and connect body with spirit before enjoying the spa well-known for its intuitive healers and authentic treatments. The new Essense restaurant features healthier gourmet dining prepared by a Le-Cordon Bleu trained chef with the help of a PHD nutritionist. With a nourished body, guests may partake in more than 35 wellness activities, such as meditation, art classes, tai chi, qigong and yoga in the beautiful new dome. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- 2 Bunch Palms Resort & Spa
- Two Bunch Palms Resort And Spa
- Two Bunch Palms Hotel Desert Hot Springs