What Compensation Should a Luxury Resort Offer When Your Stay Will Be Interrupted by Construction? While some hotels such as the Four Seasons Hualalai underwent renovation during pandemic closures, when no guests had reservations, other resorts are having to undertake construction projects now. Resorts should notify guests as soon as they've finalized construction dates, although this finalization may be occurring closer to the actual construction dates than pre-pandemic, as with supply chain woes and labor shortages, it's taking longer for hotels and other major construction projects to line everything up.
Below are two examples, illustrating the scenarios of closing the resort during construction (requiring guests to be rebooked) or keeping the resort open.
Typically resorts try to arrange construction projects for low season, so while we usually don't recommend traveling during Christmas/New Year's or other peak holidays, given extremely high pricing and packed planes, hotels and restaurants, the advantage of traveling during high season is that the hotel is less likely to be doing construction during these times.
1. Resort Closed During Construction: St. Regis Vommuli, Maldives
The St. Regis Vommuli announced in early April that it would close for June and the first half of July 2022 for a renovation project. Reservations booked during this period were offered a rebooking at another Marriott property, such as the Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands or W Maldives, or the opportunity to rebook at the St. Regis Vommuli for later dates, until June 2023, for no additional cost (subject to peak holiday blackout dates).
Our Take: We'd have liked to have seen the resort announce its closure sooner to guests booked during this period, since apparently most staff were already notified that they wouldn't be working during this period. The Ritz-Carlton Vommuli's hard product seems a very worthy substitute for the St. Regis, but most guests who have visited both resorts prefer the St. Regis for marine life and snorkeling, so that aspect may be disappointing to those who were moved.
2. Resort Remains Open During Construction (Four Seasons Resort)
In our second scenario, a Four Seasons resort (not identified, as it hasn't yet publicly notified guests of the construction) will be undergoing some construction that will impact the beach area of the resort and have some associated noise. All the pools and other facilities will remain open, and weekends are noise-free as the construction is only during the day on weekends. The resort will be giving guests booked during the time when the construction starts over two weeks' notice. Guests will be able to cancel without penalty and rebook, or if they keep their reservation, they'll enjoy a $400 resort credit per paid night per room booked, or $800 resort credit per paid night per suite booked.
Our Take: As with the St. Regis, we'd really like to have seen more notice for the construction. For those with shorter stays that include a full weekend and only a couple days impacted by construction, it could be worth it to keep the reservation, given the very generous resort credit offer. Those with longer stays, however, are likely to want to either switch to dates that won't be impacted, switch to another resort, or split their stay between the Four Seasons (for weekend dates) and another resort in the area.
- At the time you make your reservation, ask (or have your advisor ask) if any construction or renovation noise (from any source) is expected during the time of your stay. Of course, things could always change, but you probably don't want to make a reservation at a property where a major project is already expected (or is likely to be ongoing) at the time you reserve.
- Do a key word search on a hotel's reviews for “construction” and “noise” to see what other guests have reported
- Consider a destination where there are a number of luxury hotels you'd be happy with, in case you subsequently need to rebook. Particularly if you're purchasing non-refundable airfare, you don't want to be hostage to a single hotel in case the property subsequently undergoes construction and leaves you with no good options nearby.
- Try to use frequent flyer miles or points for airfare, since at worst you'll just incur redeposit fees for the tickets.
Have you had a hotel announce its construction or renovation plans soon before a planned stay, and if so, how satisfied were you with how compensation or rebooking was handled?
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