I want a full refund for this Mexico vacation

Studioartz/Shutterstock
Studioartz/Shutterstock
Marnie Bute didn’t enjoy the Mexican getaway she booked through Sun Country Vacations. Actually, that may be an understatement. She hated it and she wants every penny refunded.

Normally, when someone asks for a full refund, it triggers a predictable amount of eye-rolling here in the office. It couldn’t have been that bad, we say to ourselves.

Then we read her story.

It begins with a frantic note to Sun Country on the day of Bute’s arrival at the Royal Decameron Los Cabos resort in San Jose Del Cabo.
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Are hotel resort fees on their way out the door?

racorn/Shutterstock
racorn/Shutterstock
Even though the Doubletree San Juan isn’t really a resort, it still charged Cheryl Nygaard an 18% per night resort fee on her recent visit to Puerto Rico.

Worse, the $15-a-night “service” charge, which covered her Internet connection, beach chairs and towels, an in-room DVD player, and water and pool amenities, was added to her bill at the end of her stay.

“I didn’t know about the fees until I checked out,” she says. Nygaard, a corporate trainer from Dallas, who had booked the room through her travel agent, asked if the charge could be waived. She was in San Juan on business and didn’t use the pool, beach chairs or DVD player.

“I was told ‘no,'” she says.
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It’s “just” Kirkwood, thanks very much!

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One of the first things Kevin “Coop” Cooper told me when we met up yesterday to ski at Kirkwood is that it’s “just” Kirkwood, thanks very much. No clever tagline.

It doesn’t need one. Kirkwood is … well, Kirkwood. It’s that Northern California resort that gets all the snow, that stands for adventure, and that attracts a certain clientele. A clientele that’s all about the mountain.
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Denied a room because they’re not gay enough?

Swetlana Wall/Shutterstock
Swetlana Wall/Shutterstock
Hotels turn away guests for all kinds of reasons, but here’s one you don’t hear every day: You’re not gay enough.

That’s what Laura Bradmeyer says a Fort Lauderdale, Fla., hotel did to her parents when they tried to check in recently. A receptionist told her father the hotel wouldn’t honor his reservation.

“He was told that no women were allowed,” she remembers. “My parents were not charged anything, but they were turned away.”

Eventually, her parents found a room in a different hotel. But Bradmeyer wonders: is the resort allowed to tell guests to leave because of their gender or sexual orientation?
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A Sandals Caribbean honeymoon that makes her wish she’d eloped

Nicholas and Katherine Welch didn’t have a good honeymoon. Actually, that may be something of an understatement. It was dreadful.

The Welches thought they’d done everything right. They visited St. Lucia, which is one of the most popular honeymoon destinations in the Caribbean. It’s also a gorgeous island. And they booked through a reputable all-inclusive resort, Sandals.

“We had a horrible experience that will remain with us for our whole lives,” Katherine Welch wrote to me. “Please help us.”
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Rental car damaged after being cut off by a resort van

When Chuck Berg tried to maneuver his way back to the Le Méridien in Phuket, Thailand, on a recent visit, he ran into a little problem: a rock on the side of the road, which dented the side of his rental car.

Berg thinks Le Méridien should cover the $175 deductible because the accident wouldn’t have happened without an unfortunate series of circumstances to which the resort’s employees contributed.

Today’s “can this trip be saved” case will force us to draw a line between a hotel’s liability and a guest’s personal responsibility. And I should warn you, this is not an easy one.
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