Honeymoon Adventure at the Turtle Bay Resort
Turtle Bay Resort and the partly stormy Honeymoon Adventure.
TURTLE BAY AT LAST
After an extremely smooth and scenic drive and with a Dole Plantation large ice cream cup in our hands (a bonus stop offered by our Fly Shuttle & Tours driver along the way—thank you Tim and Thai!), we arrived at the fabled Turtle Bay Resort. We drove by beautifully landscaped grounds and a golf course before reaching the amazing lobby, where helpful bellboys greeted us and were eager to bring our luggage directly to our room.
Feeling like kids in a Hawaiian tropical amusement park for adults, we reunited with our bags on the top floor in corner suite 622, amazed with the room’s layout and its fabulous view—this luxurious suite definitely felt very honeymoon worthy for our three-day stay. We were extremely impressed, but after 20 minutes of unpacking “luggage” (my flip flops, wife’s makeup, and accessories), we went straight to the pool.
THE ROOM DAY II
The next morning, I noticed the carpet near our bathroom was thoroughly soaked; the ceiling had a water leak, dripping slowly onto the carpet. I may not have noticed this during the first night, but a Hawaiian “tropical weather storm” on the second night seemed to have made things worse. I converted the living room trash receptacle into a water collection bucket on our way out. We were already late for our morning off-road Segway tour, so I mentioned this to the front desk and set reminders for myself later in the afternoon to follow up with the lobby concierge or other hotel staff.
Upon returning from our tour, I went back to the woman I spoke with at the check-in counter and she seemed completely surprised about the leaking ceiling; I provided a photo of the garbage can, now half filled with water. I received the same apologetic look. I had requested a room change, but I was told they were booked solid. Rooms were available online and I knew someone in NY was calling everyday to check rates and room availability. In hindsight, it was Valentine’s Day and also the Chinese New Year, causing the resort to be extremely busy. They adjusted my invoice by waiving resort fees of $109, so that night while it rained, I was forced to use the helpful room trash can yet again. It’s a good thing I emptied and reused it because it was not possible for maintenance to take a look at our leak until the next day.
The next morning, I called down to the front desk to once again request a room change (at this point, just for our final night) and to find out whether or not maintenance would come take a look. Thankfully, another room was available to move into on the same floor, with nearly the same view but not until 3:00 p.m. Then the maintenance guy showed up, tweaked a few things between the AC vent and ceiling, and “fixed” the leaky roof. But what of the now-spongy carpet? His solution was to leave an industrial grade fan to “blow on the area” for at least an hour. He would be back to check on the area, he said. We let an hour pass but didn’t want to wait in the room any longer. There was an entire beach resort to explore!
By the time we returned four or five hours later, the fan was still humming away to no avail—it’s a good thing we had that new room.
TURTLE BAY FOOD
The resort had plenty of dining options: Ola, Pa’akai, Lei Lei’s, Kula Grille, The Point, Surfer (the bar) and the Lobby Lounge—but all of the evening venues were booked to the brim with only indoor seating available due to the inclement weather. We were hesitant to dine in the same restaurant that served our buffet-style breakfast but we had not made reservations in advance for Valentine’s Day dinner and, of course, had no idea the weather would be bad.
My sneaking suspicions were proved right about the Kula Grille; it’s almost like people beat me to it and knew to avoid the dinner menu. There was a Valentine’s buffet dinner prix fixe menu that my wife couldn’t avoid trying while I chose something out of the seemingly aged dinner menu. Needless to say, regardless of our selections, we were both disappointed with our Valentine’s dinner. If it came down to bang for the buck, I’d definitely avoid the Kula Grille menu and spend it on any other restaurant on resort premises. We were so disappointed in our dinner service that we left early with plates not even halfway finished. We opted instead to split a sushi-roll order at Surfer, the Bar later in the evening to whet our appetites and then we called it a night.
Though the weather and poor service certainly put a damper on our honeymoon getaway at Turtle Bay Resort (there’s no excuse for the lack of attention from staff), we’re hopeful our next trip to Hawaii will feel like we’re actually in paradise.