Friday, March 23, 2012

Should you believe what the Groupon Coupon promises? Maybe not.

Are you a smart traveler...are there ways that we can avoid these problems or do we just deal with them as their ugly head appears?  My husband and I discussed this yesterday.  We thought that maybe when we travel, especially in Mexico, we need to go back to doing things the way we did when we were younger.  We would not have made reservations that locked us in and would have checked out the room before we signed the registration book. I don't know but it is sounding better to me all the time.  After all the Frugal Traveler with the New York Times does that.  Why don't we?

The Beach at Sunset
We just returned from 4 days in San Carlos, Sonora, Mexico.  The reason we took this little trip was to check out a Groupon Get Away.  My husband purchased the coupon online in January. The coupon was for 4 nights in the "resort" and included wine, a dinner and continental breakfast each day.   It sounded like such a good deal we thought we had better see if the Groupon Coupon could produce what the resort owners promised.

I wrote about the rating a couple of days was our first day in the resort and I was not a happy camper.  But my husband had the philosophy that we had paid so little so our expectations should not be high.  I, on the other hand, think that a coupon gets us a reduced price not a reduced service.  What do you think?  It took me a while to realize that I could not change anything to make it much least in relationship to the room.  By the time I got all the problems solved it was OK but not wonderful.

I should mention that the restaurant, special entertainment and bar was wonderful.  The place is popular with snowbirds that are staying in surrounding condos.

I didn't mention before that we did not have any hot water but we let it go because we had complained about the other problems already (a room that had not been cleaned).  How big a schmucks do you think we are?  I took two cold showers and had begun to smell bad before we finally talked to a maintenance man.  He simply went to a control panel and turned the water heater on.  We had hot water within 15 minutes!

In the future I will:

  1. Read the reviews online, look at google maps, read about the community.
  2. See what Fodor's has to say about the motel and the community.  I have used Fodor's when traveling in Mexico before and gotten great results.
  3. If we are using a coupon, we will check to see what the daily rate actually is and do some research.
  4. Never use a coupon that seems too good to be true.  Never!
  5. Complain about everything immediately.  Every motel or resorts should be clean, have hot water, and provide enough towels, hand towels and wash clothes for everyone staying in the room.  
I might add I will also be looking at the list of things to do in the area...I honestly did not have a very good time.  I can only read and walk the streets so much.  The golf course is not is not even satisfactory.  Somehow I need a little more action.  However, if you like to fish or drink you are in luck.  San Carlos is the place for you.

Resort:  Fiesta Real Hotel, San Carlos, Sonora,  Mexico
  • FYI:  Gas was $4.15 per gallon on the USA side of the border.  
  • Travel down the freeways in Mexico will cost you at several toll stations.  Check out the cost before you leave and maybe get some pesos.  They will take credit cards but you pay a fee to your bank for using those.
  • As long as you don't leave the state of Sonora you do not need a visa to visit.  If you travel further south you will need to get the visa at the check point along the freeway. Find out where that is before you leave.

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