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“No excuse for poor customer service!”

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Rockwater Secret Cove Resort
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Halfmoon Bay
Reviewed 13 January 2010

Because we own a hotel we know that things are sometimes out of our control and can go wrong. We also know that good customer service can rectify most things. There is no excuse for people to leave an establishment feeling cheated or insignificant.
This is what happened to us at The Rockwater Resort. We left a letter addressed to the manager that nicely explained our complaints. We did not get any response and after three months we again sent a memo. Finally we got a patronizing 'form letter' sent by a guest services personal. As an owner/manager in hospitality I expected at least a personal note from the Manager.

We reserved at the resort about a month ahead of time to spend a relaxing evening away from our high-stress positions. We checked into our amazing tent suite, opened the patio doors,dug out the long awaited novel and put the wine on ice to chill. This is where utopia ended. The tents above and beside us became inhabited by a very loud wedding party .The celebration went on from 4:00 p.m.until 9:30 p.m. The lovely huge door bells hanging by each tent to announce visitors became our torment as children found ringing them facinating. Loud voices, high heel shoes on the boardwalk and people passing back and forth just outside of our tent made our lovely evening stressful and frustrating.The decent thing for the Resort to do would have been to either place us in tent away from the wedding guests or to have warned us upon reserving that there would be a wedding giving us the opportunity to reschedule.

Now for the dining room. We were placed near the walkway and everytime the waitperson walked by, the table would shake and our dishes would rattle. What was with the floor? The special was a halibut dish which was quite lovely but when a lemon was requested we were told there were no lemons in the kitchen. Wasn't this advertised as a first class restaurant? Once again the dining room was filled with the wedding party. We had walked over to the main building from our tent to get away from the noise and now they were also invading our lovely quiet dinner. Because of the attention this crowd demanded we felt insignificant. We must have been invisible because the only time we saw our server was when she walked by shaking our table. Definitely not a satisfying experience.

We would not recommend this resort. The tent suites are a unique idea but the resort is over priced and does not live up to it's five star rating. Also the staff has not been trained in proper customer service and the manager obviously does not care about the"little" guy. If you want a beautiful getaway where they treat EVERYONE special we would recommend The Long Beach Lodge near Tofino.

  • Stayed: September 2009, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank likelikefinewine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 11 January 2010

We eloped to the Rockwater over New Years and it couldn't have been more perfect!
* The staff were amazing, kind, courteous, prompt and you really got the feeling that they were all working as a team. If we asked for something it appeared almost before the words were out of our mouths! The support provided to plan and make our nuptuals special really was second to none - resulting in a completly enjoyable stress free day for me!
* Food - we ate all of our meal there during our three day stay originally we had thought we would try some other local eateries but loved the food and service so much we never left! Everything was fresh and tasty - the New Year's Brunch buffet was particulalry notable as was the New Year's Eve dinner.
* Tents - wow! Like someone else said just like the pictures only better! Luxury details everywhere! Even my TV addicted husband managed fine without a TV - not a single complaint! The view is wonderful! We love storms and were lucky enough to experience two while we were there - there is nothing like feeling so warm and snug with the rain beating down and the wind battering the tent. Tents are about a five minute walk from the main lodge not high heel friendly - I always wore my boots and changed before we went in for our meals.
*Spa - my husband and I both had massages which were completly enjoyable. I also had the "winter spa ritual" which included a facial ( amazing - my face actually did look younger for a couple of days), pedicure, brow service and neck massage.

Our only real complaint is that there wasn't an iPod dock in our room as advertised. Although the elopement coordinator did bring us her personal one for use during our ceremony we would really have enjoyed having one for our entire stay.

In short we can hardly wait to go back!

  • Stayed: January 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank sol2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 December 2009

Tent suites are a MUST! AND the best martini's made by a delightful teacher working evenings rounded out just a wonderful few days Remembrance Day week. Thought we'd eat elsewhere but the food and coziness (and did I say best Martini's on the west coast?) enticed us to stay close to home. The rain and wind simply added to the coziness of the tents. Will return!

  • Stayed: November 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank BevinHA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 December 2009

We brought 100+ ppl from Seattle for our wedding. The staff and Kevin and Deanna (the owners) bent over backwards and made it the most amazing weekends of our lives. We huggeed each staff member we worked with as we left...literally.

Those who write bad reviews on this site simply don't get it! And that's to the benefit of the rest of us, because what they have up there is paradise. We layaked to the most insane spots I've ever imagined and eagles fly around like seagulls, seriously.

Word is spreading fast so hopefully they can keep it's vibe, I couldn't reccomend more!

  • Stayed: September 2009
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Thank TPB-Chad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 December 2009

My Husband and I stayed at the Rockwater for our Honeymoon November 9-13, 2009. Initially we booked 2 nights intending to see how it was and maybe hop around to different resorts around the area, but after just one night there we had no desire to even look around, and we booked our whole week there. It was more than we had expected, almost too good to be true! I had wondered if it could be as perfect as it appeared on the website, and it was even BETTER!! I actually looked up some reviews here and thought that they may be fake because they were just TOO complimentary!! But now I hear my own review sounding the same :)

Where to start...we arrived on the Monday and I immediately noticed that the staff are genuinely attentive to each specific guest. They remembered from when I made our reservation that it was our Honeymoon, and made extra efforts to congratulate us and refer to us as 'Mr & Mrs' or 'Husband' and 'Wife' whenever possible...which, as any newlywed knows, is thrilling for the first while! Even though they get a ton of 'Honeymooners', they still made us feel special and celebrated and spoiled us the whole time we were there.

My first impression of the main lodge was that it was a little outdated and more rustic looking than I had anticipated...and I almost felt disappointed, like my fears about it not being as good as it seemed were going to come true. But then we headed out down the boardwalk, with it's stunning views of the ocean, to our Tenthouse Suite, and all thoughts of disappointment disappeared. The suites are STUNNING!!!! The most cozy luxury, unlike anything we had ever experieced. If you are a details person you will LOVE this place. I remember so many perfect touches...the beautiful slate rock HEATED floor, the wood & canvas everywhere, beautiful modern paneled privacy doors that closed off both the foyer and the bathroom from the main area on either side of the bed, plush luxurious bedding including lots of extra blankets and pillows, and even the soft cozy throw blankets for cuddling up together on the patio or just making bed that much comfier. The housecoats were actually SOFT unlike any other hotel housecoat I've ever tried on. They put out brand new tealight candles and bath salts beside the bath, which is a whole other story unto itself! The bathtub is HUGE, not just wide but also extremely long. There are jets all around the bottom of the tub and even underwater lights. We had a bath every day we were there! With all the lights off and just the fireplace going, it was such a rare indulgence.

Sorry that this is so all over the place, I just picture our room and all these memories flood back in random order. Back to the details... The room is stocked with the most extravagant supplies... the tea they give you is 'Tea Forte', those really neat pyramid shaped tea bags that are a few dollars per piece if you ever buy any yourself. The shampoo/conditioner/bodywash/lotion was all this DELICIOUS green tea stuff by a company called 'Deserving Thyme'. We've actually looked up the website to buy some for our home because we loved it so much! I have never actually liked the spa products supplied in hotels. This place just blew me away on all fronts! The shower is on the opposite side of the room to the bath, and is just as pampering. Its tiled with the same slate rock as the floor, and has both a rainwater showerhead and a regular handheld showerhead. The lighting in the room is just beautiful because of the canvas material the walls are made of. It lets a perfect amount of daylight in, and makes you feel refreshed and alive. I especially enjoyed this natural lighting while in the shower for some reason!

When we got into the room I noticed that there was no TV and was a little bummed. But as we 'explored' (snooped) we saw that they left a box of games including chess, crib, cards, backgammon, checkers and more that I cant remember. It was such a great opportunity to spend some real quality time together. We have never played chess together before but we played a game almost every day and it is so much more fun than you expect it to be just to play a GAME with someone you love! Strange :)

Another detail I just remembered is that there is an iPod dock on the alarm clock so you can just plug your iPod in and have your own music setting the perfect atmosphere for your holiday! We used that almost constantly. There is also free Wi-Fi.

The furniture on the patio is really comfy, cushioned and spacious. And the views are SPECTACULAR...I couldnt get enough of just sitting outside and being in awe of God's amazing creation all around us. I had never seen an Arbutus tree before but they are everywhere out there, and are now my absolute favourite tree. If we could have brought one home to the Okanagan and planted it we would have, but we actually looked it up online and apparently they wouldnt survive well in our hot climate :( boo. One morning as I sat out on the deck under one of the fuzzy warm blankets reading during the sunrise, a little chipmunk scurried up onto the chair beside me and sat there eating his nut and checking me out, totally unphased by my presence :) I took a little video of him, he was so cute!! He just hung out there for a few minutes, then finished his nut and took off up a tree. Its such a beautiful natural escape...a perfect mix of luxury and nature. Oh they even had candles for you out on the patio, enclosed in a windproof holder.

The room service was incredible here. It seemed like every time we left our room they somehow snuck in and tidied up, hung the robes back up nicely, made the bed, restocked all of our teas, condiments and bath supplies...I was just so in awe, at how well we were taken care of here. I have stayed in 5 star hotels and not seen treatment anywhere near the level the Rockwater provides. One day we ran out of creamer (we were drinking a LOT of tea, because I developed such a fetish for those Tea Fortes!) and I called the front desk just to ask that our creamer be restocked next time they did room service, and instead, in about 1.5 minutes there was a chiming outside (they use bells as a way of alerting you, rather than knocking on your door which they feel would be intrusive) and a man had run over to deliver an entire thing of creamer! This is not a place where you feel uncomfortable asking for things...where someone sounds annoyed by your request and you feel like you're putting them out every time you need something. The staff are so genuinely helpful and seemed happy to attend to anything we found a need for.

We tried out the spa, and each had a 90 minute massage (I had the 'Signature', my husband had the 'Rejuvination Royale'... the massages were good, but not extraordinary...especially for my Husband who asked for a good hard deep tissue massage and felt like he just got a typical 'relaxation' massage. I guess just because they were much higher priced than a normal massage, we expected more (I think they were around $175, though we did get 15% off all services.)

We ate at the restaurant many times and the food was outstanding, as was the service. Because we happened to be there in the 'off season' we found that there were many unadvertised perks and savings at the Rockwater. For example, every day, breakfast was absolutely FREE. I'm not talking the typical continental pastry and fruit breakfast, I mean, you go into the restaurant, sit down, order anything off the menu, plus a coffee AND choice of juice, and it's FREE. Dinner was a great deal also...where their entrees normally range from $20-$35, every night we were offered a deal of an appetizer, and entree and a dessert for $29. TOTAL. No brainer. So we sampled quite a few of their dinner dishes and desserts and were honestly amazed at how fantastic EVERY SINGLE MEAL was. The pork tenderloin was our favourite for dinner, and for breakfast they make this baguette style french toast with berry cream cheese that I can not stop thinking about!!

On our last night there (so sad!) we were eating dinner in the restaurant and one of the staff brought us over a bottle of champagne, on the house...served it to us, and left it in a wine chiller on the table for us to keep. I am not sure if this was because it was our honeymoon or because it was our last night there, but either way it was above and beyond the level of service and thoughfulness and sheer generousity I've ever experienced at any other hotel or resort.

Also, there was a special on where if you stay 3 nights the 4th night is free, so one of our nights we didn't even have to pay for! What a gift :)

As you can see, I can not say enough fabulous stuff about this place. Even when the weather was not perfect it took nothing away from the destination. It only rained for 2 of the days we were there, but there was an umbrella provided for us in our room so that made it totally tolerable. We were so sad to leave this place, and honestly went through withdrawls for a few days afterwards! We stayed at the Westin Bayshore, right on the harbour in Vancouver, on our way home, ( this is supposed to be the second nicest hotel in Vancouver) and it was just crap (can I say that here?) compared to the Rockwater! There was nothing special about the room, the housecoats were like sandpaper, the shower sucked, the view was nothing I'd even take a picture of (I took VIDEO of the view at the Rockwater), and the service was just so generic and lackluster, it made me so sad to pay almost the same amount as we had at the Rockwater for a night somewhere so incomparable! Oh and they charged us $30 for parking! Grr!!

So here are my tips for you:

*Bring good shoes (not only heels like I did :-P) because it is a bit of a walk (2-4 minutes) down the boardwalk to the tenthouses, depending which one you're in (if you're in the main hotel, probably not a problem...but WHY not stay in a tenthouse!? They're amazing :))

*Stay in a tenthouse suite

*Bring your iPod and some good books

*Go for a hike to see the Skookumchuk Rapids - it's about 4km each way but an AMAZING deep forest experience.

*Eat at the Rockwater's restaurant at least once for each mealtime - very unique, and all locally grown!

*Don't stay in any other hotels immediately following your stay at the Rockwater, it's not even possible that you will be able to enjoy yourself...

  • Stayed: November 2009, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank ThisGirlHasTaste
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 November 2009

My wife and I went to the Rockwater Secret Cove Resort for our honeymoon. We were baffled by the sub-par customer service that we were provided with throughout our stay. We are a young couple in our late twenties and as such were ignored in favour of the older, richer guests. Despite the fact that we had reserved one of the luxury tents overlooking the water, we were given a room on the very top of the hill. The bed was dirty and the sheets covering the duvet (thats right, no duvet cover) consistently fell off to reveal disgusting stains from previous guests. When we came back from a hike on Saturday afternoon, our room hadn't been cleaned. When I complained, someone came twenty minutes later and did a very poor job. As well, the service in the restaurant was very slow and unproffessional. We watched as the waitress attended to the older guests around us despite the fact that we had sat down before them. In summation, the unique luxury tents and beautiful scenery are spoiled by the outrageous prices and very poor customer service.

  • Stayed: October 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank tpaul55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 November 2009

Unfortunately we stayed here on one of the hottest days of the summer. We could not get a tented room so were in the main building - basically an old motel room. Good points: beautiful view, friendly staff, fabulous food, very clean. Bad points: NO AIR CONDITIONING. Because of the mosquitoes we couldn't sit on the small deck or open the door to get a through draft so had to lie very still and wait until it cooled down enough to get to sleep. On more than one occasion we just sat in the car and ran the a/c to cool down. We asked for a fan but were told they didn't have any - but on the morning we left we saw about 10 sitting on the landing. Staff held up amazingly well in the terrible heat. No elevator to second floor and stairs very narrow. Parking difficult. Pool so-so. Room-service to the tented suites apparently stretched service to the main restaurant.

  • Stayed: July 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank betemt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Rockwater Secret Cove Resort

Address: 5356 Ole's Cove Rd | Halfmoon Bay, Halfmoon Bay, British Columbia V0N 1Y2, Canada
Region: Canada > British Columbia > Sunshine Coast > Halfmoon Bay
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Halfmoon Bay
Price Range: £120 - £142 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Rockwater Secret Cove Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 38
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Rockwater Secret Cove Resort is the Sunshine Coast's Premier 4 star year round resort, featuring 38 ocean front rooms, suites, tenthouse suites and cabins. The resort features a restaurant, lounge, and seasonal outdoor swimming pool. Ideal resort for getaway, corporate retreats and weddings. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Rockwater Secret Cove Hotel Halfmoon Bay
Hotel Rockwater Secret Cove
Rockwater Secret Cove Resort Canada/Halfmoon Bay

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