To say Michael Weaver was unhappy about the hotel he booked through Hotwire recently might be an understatement. He paid for a 4.5-star hotel in South Beach, but instead checked into a construction site.
For those of you just joining us, Hotwire lets you book a type of hotel in a general geographic location, and only reveals the name of the property after you’ve paid for a nonrefundable reservation.
After Weaver made his booking, he found out he’d be staying at The Perry South Beach.
“Once the name of the hotel was given, we were also informed that the hotel was under construction,” he says. “When we arrived, we were greeted by a hotel that was shrouded in scaffolding.”
The experience was beyond bad, he says. A musty odor emanated from his room, and construction dust covered his window. The hotel staff came to the room and sprayed air freshener, which aggravated his asthma.
“I requested a different room and the second one smelled worse than the first,” Weaver adds. “Finally, they found a room without odor problems, but still with the filthy windows and mold in the shower.”
Weaver took pictures of everything.
Then it got worse.
After settling in, we went to the pool bar for a before dinner drink. Because of the construction, to get to the pool area, we had to walk down a guest room hallway, under a tarp covered walkway bridge and finally to the pool area.
The view of the hotel from the pool deck was awful. Partially demolished room balconies adorned with room numbers spray painted in safety orange greeted us in every direction.
Weaver spoke with a front desk manager and expressed his disappointment with Hotwire for claiming that The Perry was a 4.5 star hotel. The manager agreed, but insisted it would be a 4.5 star property — after the renovations were done.
“She also stated that, due to complaints from Hotwire customers, they get several calls per week from Hotwire asking about the condition of the hotel,” he says.
In other words, Hotwire was aware of the condition of The Perry. It continued to send guests there, knowing full well that some of them might be unhappy. At least that’s how Weaver interpreted the situation.
But Hotwire didn’t see it that way, he adds.
When I contacted Hotwire, they informed me that since there was no construction noise during the evening and night that they have fulfilled their part of the contract.
They offered a $25 future credit.
It was my feeling that a $25 credit was a poor offer on a room that cost $370.
Later, Hotwire offered a refund if we checked out immediately and got a different room through them at a different hotel. All the other places they offered were of a lower star rating and higher price.
Considering that we already had dinner and a couple glasses of wine, checking out and driving to a different hotel was not a realistic option.