Eden Roc Miami Beach Sued For Refusing Pesach Program Refund; Did You Get A Refund From Your Pesach Program?

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Eden Roc Miami Beach, Acroterion / CC BY-SA
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Every year, thousands of Jews go to hotels across the globe for Pesach programs. Typically, a program rents out an entire hotel and sets the rates for an all-inclusive Pesach holiday.

Nearly all of those programs had to cancel this year because of coronavirus. That has created a huge mess with programs trying to get refunds from hotels and guests trying to get refunds from their Pesach programs.

In one of the more public cases, Magen David Yeshiva and Elegant Travel Agency are suing the Eden Roc, a hotel in Miami Beach.

You can browse through the full lawsuit here. It’s pretty wild. (Removed per request of the program.)

They had a 3 year contract to take 621 rooms for 10 nights at the Eden Roc for Pesach. The cost was $3.09MM in 2020 ($497.58/room night), $3.18MM in 2021 ($512.51/room night), and $3.28MM in 2022 ($527.89/room night).

Despite having a Force Majeure clause in the contract that specified disease outbreak as cause for cancellation of the contract with the hotel returning all funds, the hotel is refusing to issue a refund for the $2.32MM deposit paid for the 2020 program.

In fact the hotel wants payment for the full amount, despite being closed and unable to legally host the program.

It’s certainly not a good look for the Eden Roc, but it also explains why some programs have been unable to provide full refunds.

If you were booked to go to a Pesach program, please vote in the poll below and let us know more details in the comments about the program, location, and refund offer.

Did You Get A Refund From Your Pesach Program?

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HT: Leon F.

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76 Comments On "Eden Roc Miami Beach Sued For Refusing Pesach Program Refund; Did You Get A Refund From Your Pesach Program?"

All opinions expressed below are user generated and the opinions aren’t provided, reviewed or endorsed by any advertiser or DansDeals.

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Ronny

Kosherica at the bonaventure gave back 65%

Irene

Many programs returned 80-100%. KOSHERICA (the Bonaventure) which is a well known year round program operator, will only refund 65% or give credit for next year. They should have had insurance to protect them in the event they had to cancel the program. A Guest’s insurance won’t pay because the program cancelled.

ted onig

Pesach in style Orlando gave 70% back plus 15% toward next year

ask shaila

I hope/assume they all asked shailos. should be a decision made by dayanim who are well versed in these halachos. its very hard to pasken on your own $- on both sides of the coin

zvi

actually, coming to terms peacefully without going to beis din is more l’chatchila.

Nolad

But thinking honestly, who really wholeheartedly comes to terms peacefully when your getting a poor “take it or leave it” offer.
If your family had paid 20K and are being offered 13K, that’s a mouthful to swallow. Also, what possible avenue should all of the buyers have done beforehand? Exactly right! So there isn’t even 1 oz of negligence/ lack of due diligence that they should be responsible for.

I don’t have any skin in the game but it hurts me to watch people responsibly care for their money and then it being yanked away from them.

rebyid

Either they can’t afford the refund, as you say, or they figure there’s no downside to flat out refusing to pay. That way, the school decides it doesn’t want the expenses of going to trial, and they settle, so the hotel only pays a portion of what they are obligated in.

Zack

JLI’s Israel trip offered a full refund or credit towards next year’s trip. That’s with them canceling a week before the trip was supposed to take place, pretty impressive!

Robert

Yad Rama Pesach program in Cartagena, Columbia, offered 40% credit towards next year’s program, OR, to stay at the hotel some other time this year for 8 nights. Claimed that was the best they could do.

I Love DaN

Nearly all of those programs had to cancel this year?
What program is not canceled?

Trzk

Rented a house in Orlando. Only will give us credit for next year. Not acceptable.

Dave

That’s because they won’t be around next year.

fg

agreed

David

Did you rent as part of Villatel’s program? We rented a nine-bedroom house and were not offered any monetary refund. In addition, it’s my understanding the program somehow is still going on

Bonnie Rubin

I’m writing a story about who is on the hook? Can you contact me?
Bonnie.rubin2125@sbcglobal.net

Mark my words

Eden Roc will file for bankruptcy. Then travel agent and Magen David will be unsecured creditor at the bottom of the priority list. Twist would be if a wealthy Syrian Jew buys the mortgage on the hotel and ends up owning it.

DaBomb

Or if they used a CC and disputed it :).

Yids

You don’t pay 2m+ on cc. Can’t dispute a wire payment.

David

Possibility

pinny d

Leisure Time – 70%

Dave

As one of the owners of the hotel, I am asking for the post to be removed. For complying, we will offer you all of the following 1. 25% discount on the nightly $35 resort fees. 2. Discount daily parking from $49 lowered to $45. 3. A complimentary USA Today delivered to your room (excluding weekends and holidays) 4. Two coupons for half priced cocktails (between the hours of 11AM and 4PM. Max value of beverage $7, cant be combined with other offers. Must be used in single purchase. Tax and gratuity are extra) at the lobby bar. Thank you for considering our hotel as we await our government bail out checks. Dan and family, enjoy your stay with us.

Darrell

Lol!!

Ed

Too funny! USA Today for free a 20 cents throwaway paper! Maybe include a complimentary cup of cold stagnant coffee also? Shameful., must be a Joke!

Rachel S

What’s the point of this poll exactly? To upset ppl who got less money back? Don’t we have better things to do during this crazy time that make ppl upset

David

Don’t be sour

Just Curious

Does anyone know what the refund was for Pesach in the Northeast in VA or for World Wide Kosher Tours in South Carolina?

Pesach at home

So far no refund for S. Carolina and no reply from owner after numerous attempts.
Anyone else sign up for World Wide Kosher tours?

Emes

Do people not take out travel insurance?

Zack

Most plans don’t cover a pandemic

pinay

Unless there is a Force Majure clause in the contract which likely controls (and even that might have to explicitly reference disease because of the unlikeliness of such a scenario) the halacha unclear regarding a widespread calamity (makas medina) like this and is the subject of dispute among the poskim about which party is liable for the loss or if they split the loss. See Nesivos Hamispat in Choshen Mishpat 334 referencing the Sma, in Choshen Mishpat 321. There is also the issue that the program organizer might only be entitled to wages as an idle worker (poel batul) since he is not actually running a program (and likewise his laid off contracted employees are only entitled to wages as a poel batul). Rabbi Zev Cohen from the Chicago Choshen Mishpat Kollel discusses some of the issues here: https://www.torahanytime.com/#/lectures?v=106193

David

There was a force Majure clause

Shmobaum

המוציא מחבירו עליו הראי׳

Barry

They have the raaya – the contract.

The school is demanding Eden Roc return its money, citing a passage in the contract that provided the trip could be canceled in the event of a “disease outbreak.”

Ira

Force majure forces you to show losses. The problem is that most operators basically use the money to live on during the year and don’t spend it on the program. That money is not a loss. That is them just borrowing from the profits.

Ash

65% refund now and then the remaining 35% paid over the next 3 years

Mountain Man

My 7 day old Marriott cat 1-5 was canceled on me. Hopefully i can get it extended but if not i consider myself lucky that’s all I’m out.

Harry

Look at the Marriott policies for the Corona period. You are OK with your certificate until the end of it’s original time or 12/31/2020.

Levi

How about an option for 90-99%? 70-90 is a very big difference in this situation.

Bob

All I know about force majeure is how to spell it, which at least is more than what some other people know. What I wonder about this contract is, who had the force majeure clause, or did both parties? Apparently the program said, “if we have to cancel we get our money back.” But did the hotel say, “if we have to close you lose your deposit”? Maybe the contract will be posted somewhere.

Raphael

Given what I’m hearing from elsewhere in the hotel world about general finances, there’s a good chance that the hotel simply doesn’t have the cash in their account.

New York Jets

Which programs gave full refund?

And you can read the full contract attached to the lawsuit.

Ben

Lasko Kosher Tours (specifically for Turnberry) hasn’t refunded anything yet and only has provided vague updates whether they will. It’s embarrassing.

jbndb

Kosherica Bahamas/Atlantis program offered: 1) 56% refund now or 2) a credit for the amount paid in 2020 towards their 2021 program invoice. You have until 11/1/2020, in the event that you can not attend in 2021, to notify them & receive a 56% refund back.

Everyone should note that in 2021, all the different programs will probably charge you for an additional day (Friday 3/26/21) per room as Pesach starts on Sat. night 3/27.

Chaim K

How did you pay? I assume you didn’t pay by CC, because then you should be able to receive 100% back.

jbndb

The initial small deposit was by credit card, the balance by check. Most Pesach Programs, that I have dealt with in the last 20 years, do not accept credit card payments, only bank wire or check.

By the way, a family member was going to the Sarah Tours Passover Program at El Jadida, Morocco, & they were offered a 50% refund & 50% credit towards 2021.

Chaim K

Did you at least get 100% on the deposit?

Jbndb

Deposit and subsequent payments are treated with same terms

Bonnie Rubin

Hi,
We’re you headed to the Atlantis? I’m a reporter writing about who is on the hook for Passover programs and would love to chat.

Moshe

So far, nothing from the Panama program. Tho they keep sending emails saying they are trying. So, we’ll see.

Gerald Gissinger

We were sent an e-mail weeks ago saying that we would get a refund of all but $3,000 ($1,000 for each of the three rooms we reserved). This money would go toward the cost of next year’s Pesach reservation. However, we have since received no money nor any further correspondence or phone calls. I did call the organizer of the Pesach program three times requesting a call back, which never came. However, when I spoke to the office secretary, she said we would get a refund after Pesach, but did not specify how long after Pesach. Do you think that we can rely on the original e-mail or should we seek some other form of recourse? If so, do you have any suggestions?

Mark my words

This will either lead to a settlement or bankruptcy. Right now, the hotel is using its lawyers to play the delay game. I still believe a bankruptcy is in the cards, especially if the hotel loses and is closed for much longer.

staying home

I was supposed to go to a European program, luckily I only paid half before the outbreak.
Of the 50% deposit they gave me half refund and half credit towards next year (we settled this before there was an official travel ban or anything)

M and S

To Ted onig. Pesach in Style did not give 70% (unless you got a special deal)
They gave 70% only on the rental, relatively least expense. They gave 50% on the catering-which was
Most of the expense. Plus they were totally unresponsive to efforts to have a conversation about situation. Never reponded to repeated emails. Totally no mentchlichkeit.
M and S

Mitch Cumstein

If you’re not staying at the Eden Roc, then you’re definitely not doing Pesach in style.

Chaim

What FFH hotel isn’t doing?

https://youtu.be/BIBLq6CMsUw

Josh K.

Kosherica is trying to scam their customers! they are now threatening bankruptcy unless you take the 56% or the credit. They are saying if you don’t take it you will get much less if not nothing once they file for bankruptcy. We have contacted the Atlantis and they said they refunded anyone who had reservations during this time. Kosherica is holding on to all of their clients money illegally and trying to capitalize off of this very bad situation. Shame on them!

Chaim K

They are showing their true colors.

Josh K.

Very disappointing. Throwing away a business built ofver many years. Pure greed!

robert

Why was the link to the lawsuit removed? It is public record.

Chaim K

Seems they asked and Dan did them a favor.

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