Baby-sitters are readily available. The maids are eager to make a few extra dollars or they know someone who will. Remember Mothers, they were probably having children when you started baby-sitting. Also consider they raised nearly ninety million so far, so don’t worry about Johnny or Mary while you’re out on the town.
At the pool deck near the main office we have installed a blackboard for use by guests to leave guest messages as well as messages to the employees. Example: “anyone interested in sharing a car rental Thursday, see John, Corona #2 or maybe fishing Sat.?”,” John and Marilyn will be hosting a cocktail party on Anita pool deck 17:00 Wed.” or “Who wants some of the fish I caught yesterday?, see Adam in Anita 7”.
If you would like to order beer, pop, wine, champagne or water, you can do it on the blackboard. Just put your room number in the left hand column and place your order in the indicated square. We will place your order in your fridge while your out for the day so that you can have a cold drink when you get home. As long as you have a credit card imprint as a deposit, we can charge the order to your room and you can settle up your bill at the end of your stay.
This blackboard is an excellent place to vent your annoyance to any fellow guest who, maybe while influenced by too much tequila the night before, neglected to exercise some restraint when coming home, perhaps waking you in the process. Give ’em hell on the blackboard. You can leave it anonymous if you like…. or?
If you break something we would appreciate that you report it immediately so we can replace it right away and also for the next visitor. Hopefully you’ll understand that if you break a carafe for a coffee maker or anything else, you will be responsible to pay the replacement cost. Key word, be careful and own up if something is broken, as the maids are bound to report it or pay for it if they miss reporting it and you leave without settling for the item.
Towels, which are the innkeepers’ nemesis, will be charged if soiled beyond restoration or if lost. An embroidered towel in MEXICO (Cambridge quality) is worth easily $120. pesos. There… that should scare you. Also, please return glasses, openers etc. to the unit they came from, especially after communal parties, or run the risk of a long check out harangue. If you need some of them for your B.B.Q. best to use the plates etc. provided and return religiously the items you “borrow” from your suite.
Understand that our tariff is based on normal wear and tear and excessive abuse HAS to be charged. Remember, the most expensive rate per person per day is less than $45, which is predicated on a “transparent” passage of guests through the suite.
Children & Infants
Don’t be wary of bringing children with you. In a Casa Anita/ Corona del Mar villa, which all have fridges, you can afford it. The cost of a coke (the liquid only) is about $0.50 whereas in a Hotel ….? You can be fiscally electrocuted using the mini bars in many of the traditional hotels.
At Casa Anita/ Corona del Mar we’re your friends and we treat you accordingly. Be sure to have a notarized letter from the un-accompanying spouse or proof of a legal separation with custody, as MEXICO is a very family conscious country which abhors being used as a haven for custody battles. Indeed they combat this by being very inquisitive and rigid on these matters. Consult with the Consulate in Vancouver or Seattle at the following phone numbers. YVR-604-684-3547, SEA-206-433-5692.
For a copy of a ‘tested’ wording call our offices and request a sample notarial letter for underage children entering Mexico.
Speak to the staff if minor, such as light bulbs burnt out or the like. If you have any more serious complaints please advise the management at the office at CASA ANITA. Please contact us directly, so we can correct the problem as soon as possible.
Each suite has a binder with information about Casa Anita & Corona del Mar, rules of the hotel, telephone rates, and general information about tours and activities. If you are in doubt about anything ask Annette, Bill or Sonia. Being an apartment hotel, we supply some things, while others are either not available or are charged for. If in doubt, ask. For instance we supply toilet paper at Casa Anita and Corona del Mar. Likewise coffee filters. Your suite might have a holder for paper towels but we don’t supply those, for example.
The hospitality package is just that – to get you launched – so please don’t ask for supplements. The idea is that once you have been briefed you can go and buy the things you may need for the remainder of your trip. Granted things like sugar, pepper, salt etc. do get left behind by guests and if you’re the unlucky one to find the empty shaker well….. Dish soap is not supplied but the maids have their own, hoping you will leave your dishes so that they are assured a tip.
If you have a serious complaint please voice it at the time. If you wait and go to your travel agent with it he/she will have to forward it to us down in Mexico where the decision will be made anyway as to how the situation will be handled, so please speak up if something is bothering you WHEN you are bothered. The hope is that we can fix it right away and you will be happy.
Apart from our two nemeses, namely the abundance of steps and of course the ambient noise of the neighbourhood, we are sensitive to making your stay as pleasant as possible, so speak up if something is bothering you and we’ll do our best to rectify it. If you have any comments or suggestions, we also have a suggestion box near the main office.
Be careful to not overload circuits with curling irons and toaster concurrently. Common sense should be exercised (don’t plug the kettle in while two appliances are in use). Otherwise, everything is the same as home (110v-60 cycle).
With the new spade plugs we’ve encountered difficulties in being able to insert these into the older style (in fact the current ones sold don’t work easily if at all) so we have changed most of them (the ones in strategic places – bathroom etc) with good ole Canadian ones. These are even CSA approved, even if the rest isn’t. Careful with the remarks on this however as ‘yours truly’ did most of the wiring (at least the part that is ‘close’ to CDN specs).
Fortunately, power outages and even surges are passe, and we no longer leave candles in the rooms as people use them for romantic effect rather than their designed purpose of being for emergencies. The infrequent power outages usually occur in summer and are associated with severe weather. We still have candles for emergencies so ask if you’re lucky enough to experience a power failure in Modern MEXICO.
We ask for a key deposit when you check in. If you would like to be able to charge incidentals like beer, phone calls, tours etc. to your room, we will require a signed imprint of your credit card. During your stay, this imprint will be locked up in our safe. At the end of your stay, when you hand in the keys and controls for your suite and pay up your bill, we will return your deposit. If you do not have a credit card, you can leave $20 USD but will not be allowed to charge anything to the room.
However if you loose your key during your stay, you will be charged $200 pesos. For security reasons and due to past experiences, we don’t just make another copy of the key, we change the lock if a key is lost. This ensures that the next guest will not have unwanted visitors once you are gone. For your own safety, the keychain attached to your key does not refer to Casa Anita or Corona del Mar. Also on the other side of the key is the code for the entry door to Casa Anita/ Corona del Mar. This code can be changed and is from time to time. You will be advised of a change if it occurs while you are residing in Casa Anita/ Corona del Mar.
While we have washing machines on the premises the staff are under threat of dismissal to “loan” or agree to do laundry for guests, I’m sorry to have to say.
We have however provided a guest laundry situated near Corona # 2 which has a coin operated washing machine and gas dryer. We sell soap and give the appropriate coinage to operate the machines at the office. First come, first served. Indeed you have two options, you can wash your own clothes in our laundromat or take them down on Olas Altas Street at one of several laundromats and leave them and the attendant will do them for you.
Careful of delicate or expensive things though, soaps etc. are very powerful in Mexico. Closer to the Casa Misty is another LAVANDERIA on Brazil to the right when you come down the famous hill, and yet another on Morelos near ALLENDE Street.
Lights & Fans
Most of the passage ways are lit with lights controlled with a photocell or timer. Many sentinel lights (ones that turn on with the infrared sensing of a ‘warm body’ approaching) are installed at strategic locations around our properties.
These serve a threefold function. One, they allow a guest to see his / her way to their dwelling, and, two, they provide a security deterrent for intruders or would-be thieves. Finally the third element is that they conserve on energy as they only light when someone is present. Common sense, turn the lights off at night when you might think you are the last to go to bed and especially those in your own suite.
The Casa Anita/ Corona del Mar pool area lights are regulated to go off at 23:00 (11 p.m.) exactly, which should be your cue to be cautious of your fellow guests trying to sleep. The copious use of louvered doors and open tile work to allow cross ventilation through the suites has the downside feature of allowing noise, even simple conversation and laughter, to disturb others trying to sleep. This is our most common complaint, that of being disturbed by other guests partying. Please…. please…. please be considerate.
Fans are much healthier than air conditioning (which half of the suites have) and are utilized during the months of May through October. May stands for a medium setting and it is only in the hottest months of August and September that you may need the full blast. October stands for “off” as most probably during the course of this month they will become unnecessary. Remember, we usually put the blankets back on the beds around the second week of November. In the meantime remember this, that a fan only moves air, and therefore serves no purpose at all when you are out of the room. NO VIRGINIA, it will NOT be cooler when you return if you leave the fan on while you are out.
Noise is as much a part of MEXICO as tacos and while some improvements are happening, the bylaw for roosters within city limits has not been enforced yet and the “jake brake” noise of trucks and buses can be most discomfiting especially at Casa Anita/ Corona del Mar the first night or two. Let me be the first to point out that this is not nearly the factor it used to be. We have installed double glass patio doors in Anita 3,4,5,6, the front bedroom of Anita 19 and in Anita 20 which cuts most of the noise. Our neighbour accross the street also got rid of his roosters a couple years ago. Perhaps they read this web site? (If you are sensitive to this sort of thing, bring earplugs—good advice anyway).
Do not leave your personal effects on the patios if you are not there as we are not responsible for them. Every suite has a lock box and we strongly recommend that you use this and put your own lock on it. We do rent locks cheaply if you have forgotten to bring one. Don’t leave things lying around, as we cannot be responsible for them disappearing. Normal prudence and common sense is in order here. As innkeepers it is our responsibility to furnish secure premises and advise you to be wary. Your responsibility is to BE wary.
Caution, I repeat caution, lock all your doors and windows when exiting the premises and hide valuables from view. It is most important to use the lock boxes. The staff is impeccably honest but I can’t vouch for the other ninety-five million inhabitants not to mention tourists wishing to extend their sojourn in paradise.
The safest way to be sure is to carry travellers cheques on you and watch your purse while dancing or the like. Never leave unbarred windows or balcony doors open while asleep as that invites cats and cat-burglars. Simple precautions, the same as you would use at home, are the best method to prevent a robbery from happening. Use common sense and be wary.
Stoves & Ovens
All stoves are gas operated. BE CAREFUL not to light the oven if the flame has been blown out and the gas left on. If so, wait awhile and then try again. While we mentioned taking care while lighting the ovens, I should mention that if you open the bottom panel and get right down on your hands and knees this is the safest way as you watch the burner light. Also this is the broiler compartment which is useful for toasting bolillos and grilling melted cheese on your favorite dish.
Some stoves have a broiler compartment and some don’t. The ones that don’t allow the removal of the bottom plate which is the surest way to light the oven safely but the instructions claim holding a match to the hole centered between the oven door hinges while turning on the gas is the accepted manner. Many people chicken out before the inevitable dull whumpf! Consider that the gas and flame are below the metal plate so it’s unlikely that you’ll get singed.
As in Europe, tipping of chambermaids and houseboys is commonplace and done if you feel inclined by attentive service and is commensurate with services requested and received.
A dollar per person per day for the maid would not be out of line if you are satisfied and of course more if you left your dishes for the maid. (dishes are not in their union contract but they’re keen on doing them in anticipation of a greater tip). Similarly, if the houseboys have served you well by fetching things like water or carrying beer and preparing the bar-b-que etc., a dollar per day to him or to the collective tip box near the office would be reasonable. They prefer payment in pesos and although Saturday is payday, many are broke by Monday so Monday would be a good day to submit rather than a lump sum at the end.
Also you will likely be out of pesos on Monday yourself and have to change money at the desk as no matter how much money you change on Friday, by Monday it’s always gone. This makes it convenient to get change etc. For the maid, you can leave your tip in the clay tip jar that is in your suite so they are sure to get it. If you simply leave money on a table they will not touch it (unless you’re checking out maybe), as it’s nebulous as to what it is for.
For the houseboys, we have adopted a common tip box that is shared evenly amongst all the men as many of the less visible staff, such as the gardener, gets the short end. This tip box is on the tour shelf beside the office and if you feel inclined, they will be most grateful. Consider they are raising families on what most of you are spending on gasoline for your car each week.
Towels (the Innkeepers – nemesis) we suggest you bring beach towels as we don’t furnish large ones and request that you don’t remove our towels from the premises. The maids are responsible for losses so please make sure they all come home. Lost towels, if reported will be charged to you and they are very costly once embroidering etc. If it goes unnoticed, your maid will be charged and even with a tip your stay may end up a net loss to her, so please be considerate in this matter.
Next year’s tariff is based on this year’s expenses. Also the sand that collects in towels that find their way back from the beach then finds its way into our washing machines which cost a fortune to fix in Mexico. Indeed for the price of one machine, either a washer or dryer, you could buy the pair up North.
Casa Anita #7, Corona del Mar 1, 3, 5, & 6 have tub-showers. Please use them as showers only, as there is insufficient hot water to fill even modestly these oversized tubs. Exceptions are Corona 3 and 5, which may see you able to bathe in hot water and cover a reasonable portion of your body. They all work fine as showers though.
The purified bottled water is for drinking straight or with mixed drinks or making ice, while the tap water is for making coffee or cooking. We find that a small family will use (if they are using the water correctly) one or two bottles per week. (They’re heavy). When you are low, leave a message on the blackboard and one of the houseboys will refill your bottle. There is no charge for this service but tips are expected and welcomed by the houseboys. Small plastic bottles are sold commercially everywhere you look if you want a ‘traveller’.