What you need to know:
- The hotel staff told me I was free to munch everything in the fridge.
- It was made for me: chocolates, fine wine, Ice creams, cookies and soft drinks.
- There was an envelope that was addressed to "The esteemed customer".
Fellow travellers, how do you make your hotel reservations?
I have subscribed to airlines and hotels across the globe, and I get huge discounts or notifications whenever there is a mega sale.
Did not read the fine print
Sometime back, I got 70 per cent off in a five-star hotel via booking.com outside the county. And yes! By the beach.
This considerable discount led me into temptation. At 11 pm, I made my booking online and bought my air ticket. I did not sleep and by 7 am my favourite aircraft took me there. Due to travelling fever and excitement, somehow, I did not read the information well on booking.com. The deal was so good to be true. A 5-star hotel at $ 35 bed only per night was a raw deal. (The 70 per cent off was on selected rooms only).
I have no idea how I booked bed and breakfast for five nights. Upon checking in, the receptionist asked me if I wanted a room with a sea view which I gladly accepted.
Free to take breakfast
She took my booking reference number, and to my dismay, she mentioned that I was free to grab breakfast. Due to some strange reason, I thought this was some offer. To be sure, I asked her if the breakfast was at the same cost as per my booking and she confirmed it was. (According to me, my reservation was $ 35 per night which was perfect on a bed only).
My room had a fully stocked mini-fridge. The hotel staff told me I was free to munch everything in the refrigerator. It was made for me: chocolates, fine wine, Ice creams, cookies and soft drinks. There was an envelope that was addressed to “The esteemed customer”. I quickly skimmed through it and got some key points: free spa, free gym, free this and free that...
This was a great deal. Excitement caught the better part of me. I started with a sauna and steam bath for one and a half hours, then swallowed up everything in the fridge. In the evening’s gym, spa, pedicure, manicure and massage became the norm for the five days. I mean, it was all included in this great envelope for this esteemed customer.
I ate my breakfast like a king—free wines in my minibar. My five days were over, and it was time for me to check out.
They slapped me with a bill that I have never seen in my entire life. Remember this was an unplanned trip. I blame it on the 70 per cent discount that led me into temptations.
I spoke all the English I knew to explain that booking.com showed me different rates and that I had booked bed only.
Here are my sins, which you can avoid to avoid this trap in future:.
1. City taxes which were excluded on the booking (I had no idea if they existed).
2. Room with sea view (extra cost).
3. Bed and breakfast (this had no discount; bed only was discounted).
4. Eating up everything in the fridge daily (it wasn’t included in my booking).
5. Spa, sauna, gym, pedicure manicure and massage (not inclusive).
Since then, I make my reservations and ask someone to proofread it for me, because wanderlust often blinds me.
The offer was there, yes! But I made the wrong booking. I booked a double standard Deluxe room with a sitting room and a bedroom plus sea view—King size bed.
Since then, I always cross-check my booking. If need be, I write an email to my hotel to confirm the deal. If they offer me anything, I always ask how much it would cost or if it’s included in the package I booked, it’s better to be sure otherwise you will find yourself in a hot mess.