Travel Complaints with Mr. TNM


We all know that I'm not a big blogger.  If anyone should be doing this, it's my husband.  He's the writer AND the funny one. 

Before children we traveled a lot.  Sometimes those travels would lead to unfortunate events. 

His letters have not only entertained us, and the recievers, but have also earned us free travel and merchandise.

So here, presenting Mr. The Next Martha:



In searching my computer for something today, I came across my folder of complaint and thank you letters, along with some trip reviews.  TNM suggested I post them here in a series, so here you go with the first batch.

About an all-inclusive resort in Playa del Carmen that had some unpleasantness in their dance clubs:

As some have written, your disco reeks.  I also popped my head into the disco at your sister resort and that one reeks too.  They both smell very badly, but the odors are different.  Our group nicknamed them Club La Stinka and Club El Puko.  Nope, I’m not trying to be vulgar, just pointing out a fact.  Luckily, as you know, the human nose is prone to fatigue quickly so after a few minutes the smell seemed to disappear. 

We were on the road and needed a place to crash one winter night, so we made an unfortunate lodging choice…

The hotel was run down everywhere: in the parking lot, public areas, and rooms. The elevator was scary. Our room was dirty, with a bathroom in severe need of repair.  We slept in our clothes for fear of contracting something from the sheets. The faucet dripped all night and the toilet flushed only inconsistently. The showerhead had so much mineral buildup that the water barely had room to escape. The heater seemed to have just 2 settings—off or inferno. Now we’re no hotel connoisseurs and do not expect Shangri La for $63 per night, but we do expect a clean, well-maintained, and safe-feeling room. We got none of that.  

And finally a snippet about the food at another Mexican AI resort…

In short, the service, activities staff, daily activities, snorkeling, and beach/location are all very good. The rooms are Spartan but serviceable.

Since the food seems to be the most debated aspect of the resort, I thought it might be worthwhile to cover that here.  The food is average at best. The variety of the food was average as well. Here are some examples: hotdogs made their way into most meals. At breakfast one was likely to see them sautéed with onions and peppers. At lunch, in a pasta salad. At the snack bar they appeared in their natural state – floating in lukewarm water. One night we ate at the a la carte Mexican restaurant. My wife ordered the Sopa de Frijoles, which was defined on the menu as “Bean soup with local sausages.” When she dipped her spoon in for the first bite and came up with some salty liquid and a small pyramid of hotdogs, my wife remarked “I guess ‘local’ means ‘the snack bar’”.

Much of the produce was canned – the mushrooms, peaches, and jalapeños were obvious. Even the hot sauce was Tabasco, which I believe is bottled in Louisiana. The Mexican food did not seem authentic.

Food was almost always recycled, the spinach from dinner would become the spinach salad of the next day, the pork roast from dinner would become pork with sautéed onions for breakfast, and if that didn’t use it all, pork slices with cheese for lunch. The hot dogs were omnipresent. They had a Japanese night (if one can judge from the flags they had hanging). This consisted of a couple of weakly seasoned vegetable dishes. One of which appeared the next night – Italian night – wrapped in cabbage and covered with red sauce.

Don’t get me wrong, I have written a lot of pleasant thank you letters as well. It’s just that “Bob in customer service ROCKS!” doesn’t have the same bite. Remind me next time to share the story of how we ordered Trial and Error starring the guy who played Kramer but instead were charged for a porn…


6 thoughts on “Travel Complaints with Mr. TNM

  1. I really think there is enough material here for you two to pitch a new show to the Travel Channel, I have always felt their "world's best resorts" specials have been lacking this kind of in-depth analysis. My personal favorite review is of the "disco" I love that you guys are down with the local lingo, "el disco" or perhaps one day you can round up some fabulous material checking out "une discothèque." Then again, you could actually be into disco, in which case I really can't wait to see you shaking your booty at BlogHer.

  2. My personal favorite: discovering that the hot dog's natural state is floating in lukewarm water. Thank you for that. :)

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