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Karakter...not so much fun #122039
02/26/2017 02:29 PM
02/26/2017 02:29 PM
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 15,797
Ohio
ruralcarrier Offline OP
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ruralcarrier  Offline OP
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Ohio
What started out as a good beach day at Karakter did not end that way. Very busy and happy for them for that but service was the worst I have ever experienced there. The initial beach guy who greeted us before they were very busy did not return for over an hour. We finally ordered some drinks from another server and then lunch.

We occupied 2 separate beach tables/lounges and made that clear. The food came and the first order for one person was wrong. It was rectified and then we ordered another bucket of beer. 30 minutes go by and no beer so we order from another server who came by. The beer shows up and we finish lunch and them take a couple of dips. Two others then ordered water and it never shows.

A disc jockey shows up and the very relaxing background music turns to a overly loud jungle theme that is blaring. It is obvious many people did not enjoy the volume or the music and you could see people clearing out.

Based up on the lack of consistent drink and lunch service, I was sure the bill would not be correct. We were charged for the one entree we did not order and also an additional bucket of beer that was never served.

Trying to pay was another issue since people (of all ages ) were leaving and likely due to the music. I mentioned the music volume and was told "that is how the young people like it and perhaps we should have not come on Sunday". I grew up in the era of loud rock music but this totally messed up an otherwise potentially decent day.

Between the lack of service, the music volume and the attitude when paying, it may be a while before I return, if ever.

Most of the food was decent, except for the nachos that were one giant lump of melted cheese on chips, it was a disappointing experience compared to multiple past visits.


J.D.
SXM Sponsors
Re: Karakter...not so much fun [Re: ruralcarrier] #122040
02/26/2017 02:42 PM
02/26/2017 02:42 PM
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 12,920
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
islandgem Offline
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islandgem  Offline
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Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Sorry to hear of your bad experience today at Karakter. For some reason it seems that when some places become too popular, the service and whole experience declines.It has always been such a nice place to spend the day, but if the owners do not correct this problem, their business will definitely suffer.Perhaps a conversation with the owner could help to improve the situation for yourself and others for future visits.




Re: Karakter...not so much fun [Re: islandgem] #122041
02/26/2017 02:44 PM
02/26/2017 02:44 PM
Joined: Apr 2014
Posts: 998
Middle Tennessee
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TravelHat Offline
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Middle Tennessee
Like Yogi Berra used to say " it's so crowded, no one ever goes there anymore"

Re: Karakter...not so much fun [Re: islandgem] #122042
02/26/2017 02:48 PM
02/26/2017 02:48 PM
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 15,797
Ohio
ruralcarrier Offline OP
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ruralcarrier  Offline OP
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Ohio
If I knew who the owner was, I might try that. It was obvious the person taking the money that I attempted to talk to didn't really care.

The overly loud music thinned the crowd out considerable.

Should have gone to Mullet Bay I guess.


J.D.
Re: Karakter...not so much fun [Re: ruralcarrier] #122043
02/26/2017 04:03 PM
02/26/2017 04:03 PM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 12,999
Brookfield, CT.
pat Offline
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pat  Offline
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We reached that opinion three or four trips back, and at first we thought it was just Sunday's they were catering to a different crowd and packing them in like sardines. If you came early the chances were very good your car would be blocked on departure and if you came late there was no place to park.

So we said so much for Sunday's and made it a weekday spot for a couple of trips. The music wasn't quite as loud but the service was still poor and you were still crammed in to the point you had no privacy for your conversations and it just plain wasn't any fun.

Good luck with your next choices - you might try El Zafiro - it's much what Karakter was like in the beginning but it too is increasing in popularity. <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/handshake.gif" alt="" /> <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/handshake.gif" alt="" />


Respectfully,

pat



"Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat
them."
Re: Karakter...not so much fun [Re: ruralcarrier] #122044
02/26/2017 04:21 PM
02/26/2017 04:21 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 73,208
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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Carol_Hill  Offline
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We don't really need to go there to the beach any more when we're staying at Beachside, but I have to say their food and service seems to have suffered to me. We go for just lunch sometimes, but maybe not so much in future.


Carol Hill
Re: Karakter...not so much fun [Re: ruralcarrier] #122045
02/26/2017 04:45 PM
02/26/2017 04:45 PM
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 12,524
Peaceful Eastern North Carolin...
GaKaye Offline
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Such a shame. We didn't even go there during the day on our last visit to the island, after realizing how crowded and crammed together the chairs were the year before. Sadly it's a place that became too popular for its own good. Not at all what it was a few years ago.

Re: Karakter...not so much fun [Re: GaKaye] #122046
02/26/2017 05:06 PM
02/26/2017 05:06 PM
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 15,797
Ohio
ruralcarrier Offline OP
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Ohio
Sad and glad it is just not me. One or two places to walk from 2nd row to the beach as the lounges were within inches of each other.


J.D.
Re: Karakter...not so much fun [Re: ruralcarrier] #122047
02/26/2017 05:23 PM
02/26/2017 05:23 PM
Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 1,301
Upstate New York
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Upstate New York
JD, we had a similar experience in November. We weren't there on a Sunday, but the service really sucked. We asked a couple of the help questions, and they looked at us like we had four heads! Chairs are new (from last year), and more comfortable, but when you're packed in like sardines, the comfort (zone) disappears!
It took us over 15 minutes to pay the check. We asked for it and no one ever came with it. Went up to the bar, they finally retrieved it, and took them "forever" to figure out the charge card machine! It was like they had never used it before.

Lunch was "okay", but nothing to write home about.
With so many beaches that also have finer dining attached (Dreams and Palm Beach come to mind), I know we won't go back to Karakter again.

Re: Karakter...not so much fun [Re: ruralcarrier] #122048
02/26/2017 07:15 PM
02/26/2017 07:15 PM
Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 6,941
Yonkers, NY
fabila Offline
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Yonkers, NY
Because we stay at Beachside Villas we too have little desire to return but decided this past November to walk down the beach for a cocktail and I have to say it was a pleasant experience.

Having said that we did sit at the bar so there was no delay in serving us or getting the check when we asked. In addition to a couple of fancy cocktails we ordered the coconut shrimp appetizer and it wasn't nearly as good as the first few times I had it years back.

When they first opened up the shrimp appetizer was awesome and somewhat consistent several more times later, but then the taste and batter quality had declined. Since it had been at least 3 years since we'd been there I had to give them one more chance and they were just meh.

Re: Karakter...not so much fun [Re: fabila] #122049
02/26/2017 08:00 PM
02/26/2017 08:00 PM
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 292
blackmercedes Offline
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blackmercedes  Offline
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At el Zafiro, the chairs are perfectly separated from each other. When we were there a couple weeks ago, we were shocked how so many beaches had bleacher rows of chairs within inches of each other. Karakters included. We understand on busy cruise ship days...but why deal with that. We got a couple beers at Karakters. It took forever to get them and to pay for them. Did not order food.

Re: Karakter...not so much fun [Re: ruralcarrier] #122050
02/26/2017 08:23 PM
02/26/2017 08:23 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 870
Arizona
M
marybeth Online content
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Arizona
Totally agree with you. I never said anything a couple of trips ago cuz they still had many fans, but our experience was not a good one either. Never again!


MB
Re: Karakter...not so much fun [Re: marybeth] #122051
02/26/2017 09:09 PM
02/26/2017 09:09 PM
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 437
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
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KGB Offline
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Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Sorry to hear that you folks had a bad experience.... We were there Saturday and it was pretty much empty till about 2 pm. Sunday we dropped 12 members of our group there around 10 am and they had no problem getting chairs. Nobody complained about service either, they ordered lots of food and drinks and everything was perfect. It took a bit longer than usual but nothing crazy...


"Often Wrong, Never in Doubt"
Re: Karakter...not so much fun [Re: fabila] #122052
02/27/2017 12:07 AM
02/27/2017 12:07 AM
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 524
S
sxmmm1987 Offline
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It's really too bad how many people are complaining about Karakter. The location and ambiance are terrific. we do enjoy Tuesdays and Thursdays when Ayan is playing there. Usually only go for drinks and appys.

Re: Karakter...not so much fun [Re: ruralcarrier] #122053
02/27/2017 07:02 AM
02/27/2017 07:02 AM
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 227
Allentown, N. J.
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deirdre1 Offline
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Allentown, N. J.
Sorry folks, We were there last week for a day at the beach with lunch and drinks and everything was fine. We had a cafe au lait when we arrived and reserved a table for lunch. We were eating when friends arrived but our meals were very good as they have always been. When we paid the check, we did have to wait or our turn as others were waiting longer. The bill was correct and our car was not obstructed in the parking lot. Our day was an enjoyable day. We can also appreciate a restaurant having an off day and it could affect our return there and there have been several on this trip. Bob

Re: Karakter...not so much fun [Re: sxmmm1987] #122054
02/27/2017 08:14 AM
02/27/2017 08:14 AM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 73,208
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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Carol_Hill  Offline
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Well, I would beg to differ that the ambiance is perfect, if there is blaring loud music.


Carol Hill
Re: Karakter...not so much fun [Re: deirdre1] #122055
02/27/2017 09:32 AM
02/27/2017 09:32 AM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 12,999
Brookfield, CT.
pat Offline
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pat  Offline
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Brookfield, CT.
Once again, your post goes to show, we can all look at the same thing and see it so differently. I'm one who loved the original version of Karakter with Jorritt and his staff making it the 'in' place to go on the Dutch side - free chairs on an uncrowded beach with great food and soft music playing in the background and all this with excellent service to boot. I couldn't have asked for any more.

While the changes of late make it a very unappealing place to me, obviously others see it in a totally different light. And the beat goes on....... <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/handshake.gif" alt="" /> <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/handshake.gif" alt="" /> :


Respectfully,

pat



"Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat
them."
Re: Karakter...not so much fun [Re: pat] #122056
02/27/2017 09:59 AM
02/27/2017 09:59 AM
Joined: Aug 2012
Posts: 295
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foreversxm Offline
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We have been there a few times and I really don't understand why its that popular other than maybe for the Dutch guests. Service is about always slow, food just so so and crowded on many days and very loud music. Then you have to go down that very crowded road that they seem to care less about the traffic jam they cause on the side streets or if you car gets damaged since you can't part safely. The new place at the other end of the beach is much more relaxing or Dreams is nice too. Karakter is pretty close to horrible for us. Much better other places.

Re: Karakter...not so much fun [Re: foreversxm] #122057
02/27/2017 10:10 AM
02/27/2017 10:10 AM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 12,999
Brookfield, CT.
pat Offline
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pat  Offline
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forever,

Many of us are holdovers from back in the day..... and may have been trying to just hang on to our great memories of a fledgling place we grew to love long before it became the 'in' place to be on the Dutch side. As I suggested earlier, my experiences over the last year or two is that it's been trying to appeal to a different clientele and obviously, there are many who enjoy the changes SO to each their own.

And I think, regarding that 'other' place, judging by the larger numbers we saw there in January, and as much as I want them to succeed BIG TIME, I think from now on I'm going to refrain from using their name in print so hopefully, there will be room for us there come April. <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Grin.gif" alt="" /> <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Grin.gif" alt="" />


Respectfully,

pat



"Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat
them."
Re: Karakter...not so much fun [Re: pat] #122058
02/27/2017 10:59 AM
02/27/2017 10:59 AM
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 380
Teresasxm Offline
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We are also sad the service and overall experience at Karakters has declined since the early days of the operation. We were told the owners had moved to Curacao a few years ago to open up a similar restaurant there. That's when we really noticed difference in - everything.

May I suggest Mary's Boon? We had a wonderful lunch there and then were invited to enjoy the lounge chairs out front for free. I don't remember the bar service being that great but we didn't need much...just a couple of beers and it was so nice to get up and walk up to their bar anyway.

We will continue to go to Karakters because we still love it but when we need something quieter - we'll go to Mary's Boon.

Re: Karakter...not so much fun [Re: Teresasxm] #122059
02/27/2017 12:14 PM
02/27/2017 12:14 PM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 12,999
Brookfield, CT.
pat Offline
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pat  Offline
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Teresa,

John and I have stayed at the Boon over the years and while it's not our favorite beach, we do enjoy it there as well as being Boonies for a day. Some days we go for breakfast and most often for lunch and we enjoy their free lounges with meal purchase.

Jorritt and his wife were the original owners and we heard they did open another place on Curaçao and they were well received there, too.

I get the current changes but just find them not to be to my tastes since there are more than enough beaches that pack you in sardine-style and perhaps it's age, but I don't particularly enjoy the music choices, preferring the sounds of the waves over all else. <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/handshake.gif" alt="" /> <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/handshake.gif" alt="" />


Respectfully,

pat



"Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat
them."
Re: Karakter...not so much fun [Re: pat] #122060
02/27/2017 12:17 PM
02/27/2017 12:17 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 73,208
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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Carol_Hill  Offline
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Central Florida!
Pat--I just re-read JD's original post and it sounds like maybe the loud music was a Sunday afternoon thing? I've not been there when they had loud music. I'm with you, I actually much prefer NO music at all, but loud music would clear me out in a heartbeat..

Last edited by Carol_Hill; 02/27/2017 01:07 PM.

Carol Hill
Re: Karakter...not so much fun [Re: ruralcarrier] #122061
02/27/2017 12:31 PM
02/27/2017 12:31 PM
Joined: Oct 2015
Posts: 66
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molldoll Offline
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Karakter is our go to beach and have only had a problem one time which was last year getting the wrong entrée. We haven't been there on the weekend so haven't ever had a problem with loud music. The food has always been good.

Re: Karakter...not so much fun [Re: molldoll] #122062
02/27/2017 01:10 PM
02/27/2017 01:10 PM
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 12,948
Auburn, WA
SXMScubaman Offline
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Do they still have Jazz on Friday nights?

Re: Karakter...not so much fun [Re: pat] #122063
02/27/2017 01:43 PM
02/27/2017 01:43 PM
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Posts: 2,659
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LBI2SXM Offline
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[quote]pat said:

Jorritt and his wife were the original owners and we heard they did open another place on Curaçao and they were well received there, too.

I get the current changes but just find them not to be to my tastes since there are more than enough beaches that pack you in sardine-style and perhaps it's age, but I don't particularly enjoy the music choices, preferring the sounds of the waves over all else. <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/handshake.gif" alt="" /> <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/handshake.gif" alt="" /> [/quote



Jorritt and Marleen started Karacter in SXM in 2008. It was by far our favorite place. Unfortunately times have changed there. It's really sad. Their place in Curacao (2012) is doing great. It's ranked 9th of all restaurants in Curacao. It's a lovely place (a little out of the way in Coral Estates) but worth the trip. Menu is some what different than the one in SXM, still on a beach but more of an upscale dining setting.

Re: Karakter...not so much fun [Re: ruralcarrier] #122064
02/27/2017 08:09 PM
02/27/2017 08:09 PM
Joined: Aug 2012
Posts: 1,993
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PelicanPirate Offline
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We went Karkater last June for the first time. went to wash my hands before sitting down and no water in the sinks or showers they had. I posted and many said hey your wrong.

We went back on day of flight out and I took pictures of all the bone dry sinks but I haven't mastered the ability to post these. Does make me worry if my sink doesn't work whose else's doesn't in the kitchen.

But, we ate lunch anyway, shooed off many flies at our table, watched a few planes plane and caught our flight.

Beach was crowded and folks that had front row chairs soon had 2nd and 3rd row chairs as they seated people in front of them. I would think early birds would keep the view.

Also, surprised by quite a few topless ladies of all ages there on the Dutch side as we spend 98% of our time on French side.

Seems like a lot of views of the place have gone south in 8 months.


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