If It Sounds Too Good To Be True, It Probably Is!
(And other things your mother and your travel agent said to you)
Haven’t you always heard this expression? “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!” And what about this one, “I told you so”? Don’t think for one minute that travel planners don’t make mistakes in planning their own family travel, because I’m here to tell you I did!
Recently, my husband and I decided to take our family of five to Maui for a little rest and recreation. Our children are older now (20, 17, and 13) and take up more room than they used to. We’ve tried several times to fit the five of us into one traditional hotel room with no success. No one sleeps and no one is happy or up for any fun activities. And let me tell you, “If Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.” So this trip, “Mama” decided to plan things a little differently. (In case you don’t know, I’m Mama.) I decided to book a condominium through one of those “rental by owner” websites. The sleeping arrangements were ideal- a room for my husband and me, a room for our two older girls to share, and a room for my 6ft. tall son on his own. There was a kitchen which would enable us to cook some meals as eating out every meal in Maui is very expensive. We thought we’d asked all the right questions. The unit was on the fourth floor so we asked if there was an elevator. There was. We asked how recently the pictures were taken and there really was a new flat screen TV in the family room and the answer was “recent” and “yes”. The rate for a week’s stay was about half of what we would pay at a resort hotel. We figured the reason was because we were exchanging the pampering and amenities at a four or five star hotel for the simplicity of a condo. We were very wrong. When we arrived at the condo after 12 hours of travel to the island, we found that the reason the rate was so reasonable was because THERE WAS NO AIR CONDITIONING! We were in shock. I know that many locals live without the luxury of a/c in the Hawaiian Islands, but my husband and I were not physically or mentally prepared to stay in sustained overnight temperatures of 85 degrees. We called and complained to the agent we’d made the arrangements with, but she was not able to offer a refund of any kind. I’m not telling you never to use a rental by owner website because I’ve heard of many friends who have successfully done this, but I will tell you to be sure you are willing to stay in less than expected conditions if you go that route.
Now there is a silver lining to my story! After three nights, we could bear it no more. We packed our bags and moved to the beautiful Wailea Beach Marriott Resort and Spa. That was one amazing property! If you ever find yourself heading for the island of Maui and want to avoid the pricey, but wonderful Grand Wailea or the Four Seasons, I HIGHLY recommend the Wailea Beach Marriott. The bell staff greeted us warmly, the front desk staff was repeatedly helpful, friendly, and courteous, and we did not meet anyone on the property staff who did not work very hard to please us. From the pool concierge to the wait staff at both restaurants we tried, all were excellent examples of high quality resort staff. Humorously, we even had trouble with the air conditioners in both our resort rooms. Within five minutes of our phone calls, the maintenance staff arrived and corrected the issues. We were very happy campers! (Because it didn’t feel like we were camping anymore!)
So, the next time you’re planning your own vacation and you think something sounds too good to be true in your travel plans, call me! Email me! Text me! And I will tell you that it just might be. And then I will help you plan your dream vacation at a tried and true resort or hotel!
All’s well that ends well!