What does Marriott owe me for a reflagging nightmare?

When Donna Larkin booked a room at the Hotel Ashbourne Marriott near Dublin last year, she had no way of knowing it was about to change owners. Or that some of the information on the hotel’s former website was less than accurate.

But that’s exactly what happened when she and her family arrived in Ireland for a two-week visit. The hotel was no longer a Marriott and it wasn’t as close to Dublin as promised. And that’s not all.

“Upon arrival at the hotel, we were informed that the hotel was not 10 minutes from Dublin but 40 minutes from Dublin,” she says. “It was not near any public transportation and it did not have rooms that would accommodate our party as requested on our reservation. Of course, we were told that no room was guaranteed, even though we booked well over two months in advance so that our party could be accommodated in a comfortable manner.”

What happened?

Well, the Marriott was now the Pillo Hotel Ashbourne, and although it agreed to honor Larkin’s reservation, it would do so on its terms. Changes of ownership — or “reflaggings” in hotel industry parlance — are not unusual and normally run fairly smoothly. This one appears to be an exception.

Larkin continues,

The employees at Pillo were polite, but stated the best they could do would be to add cots to the rooms.

Frankly, I spent way too much money on your hotel to be sleeping on a cot! They were also charging us double for an extra person in the room (a room which could not even accommodate our party).

They informed us they were only honoring a reservation that was listed, but for any problems we would need to contact the Marriott Corporation and provided us the phone number to Customer Cares with Marriott.

Pillo could not help us since they were not involved in the initial reservation.

Larkin spent the next two hours on the phone with a Marriott agent trying to resolve the problem. A representative told them that when Marriott sold the hotel, they should have been notified and offered a refund. They’d received no notification and no refund, they told the Marriott employee.

“She tried her best to diffuse the situation and found us a room in Dublin,” says Larkin. “She tried to speak with a manager in reservations to assist with a refund but was unsuccessful since there is no manager on duty for the weekend. Although she could not explain why my credit card was not credited for the reservation once Marriott sold the hotel to Pillo, she did state she did not think it would be a problem, but did not guarantee anything.”

In other words, Larkin should get a full refund for her room at the Pillo.

“I believe that since the hotels changed hands our reservations became null and void and was a breach of a contract, our money should have been credited back to my credit card at that time,” she adds.

But that’s not what happened. Despite repeated requests, Marriott didn’t refund the $600 the Larkins had paid on their original reservation.

I didn’t like this resolution. It appeared the Larkins had pre-paid for their reservation and that their rate was nonrefundable. The new hotel had agreed to honor the reservation, but under slightly different — and ultimately unacceptable — terms. What’s more, the property had been misrepresented on the Marriott site, the family claims. So the company breached its contract in several ways.

I contacted Marriott on Larkin’s behalf. Here’s how it responded. (Yes, this is the actual email.)

I’m sincerely apologize for stress and inconvenience this caused your family. But since you made the choice to keep the current reservation, had you called our reservation department they would have been more than happy to make alternate reservations.

We are unable to offer a cash refund, as all monies for the guests that chose to keep their original reservations went to the Pillo Corporation, which of course was an advanced purchase.

Once you made the decision to keep that reservation our hands were tied as far as getting the monies back from them.

As a gesture of goodwill, I will be happy to purchase 20,000 reward points. Again I offer my deepest apologies that I am unable to honor your request of a refund.

Nothing says “we care” like a well-crafted letter.

“The rewards points are better than nothing,” says Larkin.

I agree. But I think Marriott should have contacted the family before they left for Ireland and explained what happened and offered a refund. As far as I can tell, that didn’t happen. If Larkin had known that the hotel was far away from Dublin and that it couldn’t accommodate her family, I’m not sure she would have kept the reservation.

Did Marriott offer Donna Larkin enough compensation?

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Christopher Elliott

Christopher Elliott is an author, journalist and consumer advocate. You can read more about him on his personal website or contact him at chris@elliott.org. Got a question or comment? You can post it on the new forum.

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  • jmtabb

    While I understand that this is primarily a reflagging issue, the thing that stuck out to me was the other details:

    10 minutes from Dublin when it was not, with no easy public transport
    no rooms that could accommodate her family as reserved

    So who advertised that the hotel was “10 minutes from Dublin” and “easy public transport”? Hotel locations don’t change with a reflagging, so the location would be the same whether it was a Mariott property or not.

    The current hotel website says 22 km from downtown Dublin city centre – which I don’t think anyone would consider a “10 minute” distance by car. And a quick look at a map makes it clear to me that you couldn’t be that close to the city center. Did the Larkins look at a map before they made that reservation?

    As for the room choice, without significant renovations, usually the rooms and layout don’t change that much with a reflagging. So did Mariott specifically confirm the room type they were looking for? I’m wondering if this was an expedia type reservation where the reservation is based on double occupancy and the request for 2 double beds (to accommodate more than 2 people) doesn’t get transferred to the property.

    That may also explain why they weren’t contacted regarding the reflagging if the booking was made through a 3rd party…..

  • ricj

    Ireland is the third world. I’d be grateful to leave with my body intact! And this woman is complaining about $600!

  • Alan Gore

    Remember, folks, those “contracts” we have to abide by in the travel business are generally one-way. In any other business, a nonrefundability clause becomes void the moment the property is sold, because the contract as signed cannot be fulfilled by a hotelier who no longer owns the property. But when you arrive in a foreign country to find that Marriott has sold the hotel without bothering to tell you, you’re over a barrel You have to accept whatever terms the new owner deigns to offer you.

    What does Irish law have tosay about this? The EU has consumer protection for travelers – does this apply in Ireland?

  • y_p_w


    “Standing at Ireland’s gateway in the serene County of Meath, the 4 star
    Ashbourne Marriott Hotel defines contemporary chic and age-old
    hospitality. With Dublin City Centre and Dublin International Airport
    just minutes away, business travellers will find this luxury County
    Meath hotel provides the atmosphere and amenities to stay focused and
    productive, while those enjoying a leisure break can tour the wealth of
    historic sites nearby. “

  • y_p_w
  • jmtabb

    So just how much leeway do you give to a company that says “just minutes away…” – is 40 minutes too far? I would guess that any time that we count in minutes (as in, less than one hour) is “just minutes away” according to the owners.

    And that doesn’t say “10 minutes” as the complaint said she was led to believe….

  • y_p_w

    This was archived from Feb 2012. I don’t know if the copy might have been different at other times. I tried looking for a more recent version but the Internet Archive sort of gave up trying to retrieve any later versions.

  • TonyA_says

    Do not prepay, period.

  • backprop

    “We are unable to offer a cash refund, as all monies for the guests that
    chose to keep their original reservations went to the Pillo Corporation,
    which of course was an advanced purchase.”

    This to me says that both Marriott and Pillo are keenly aware that assets and liabilities were transferred from Marriott. I’m no attorney, but wouldn’t that mean that unfulfilled contracts would also be transferred and honored … as written?

  • polexia_rogue

    i have a feeling you are correct and they probably used a 3rd party site like hotels.com or even priceline.

    they really have no case

    -like you said hotels do not grow legs and move
    – no rooms are EVER guaranteed

    so yeah i can see why they took the points offered.

  • phil55

    Are you asking if Ireland is part of the EU? Because the answer is yes.

  • phil55

    What an insightful comment.

  • y_p_w

    I’ve prepaid before and got an excellent rate. However, I did so at properties that I was pretty darn sure weren’t going to get reflagged.

    Also – Priceline bids are prepaid.

  • Carver Clark Farrow

    A few thoughts…

    22km is about 13 miles. Depending on travel conditions calling that a 10 min drive is not too far of a stretch.

    I’m not sure why you believe that they used a third party site.

    Its not true that rooms are never guaranteed. It really depends on the hotel. For example, Marriott will guarantee bed type if you have elite Gold or higher status.

  • Carver Clark Farrow

    In any other business, a nonrefundability clause becomes void the moment the property is sold, because the contract as signed cannot be fulfilled by a hotelier who no longer owns the property.

    That’s completely false. That is true in exactly two circumstances. 1) The contract forbids assigning it to a third party or 2)The nature of the contract is such that it cannot be performed by a third party, e.g. personal services contracts,

    Otherwise contracts are routinely assigned as part of business transfers.

  • Carver Clark Farrow

    Here’s the problem

    The hotel did not violate any terms of the agreement. It honored her reservation except that it didn’t give her the room that she requested in the notes. Unfortunately, unless she had elite status, Marriott does not guarantee room types.

    The other problem is that I’m sure the contract that the OP entered into specifies what happens during a reflagging. You get bet that its very on sided.
    Ultimately, when a hotel is reflagged, guests with existing reservations often get screwed

  • Guest

    “The hotel did not violate any terms of the agreement. It honored her reservation except that it didn’t give her the room that she requested in the notes. Unfortunately, unless she had elite status, Marriott does not guarantee room types.”

    If she prepaid for room type X, I would think they have to give her a room type X. Substituting with a room type Y, if that type is of less value, would violate the agreement as that is not what she agreed to pay for. I would agree that if the reservation was not prepaid, the room type would not be guaranteed, but that does not seem to be the case here.

  • MarkKelling

    So Marriott found her a different room in Dublin. Did Marriott charge her for that room too? Did she even take the other room? From the quoted response from Marriott, it appears she decided to stay at the first hotel. So, if she and all of her party stayed, the room they ended up with must not have been that bad. And I don’t see where she then should get a refund since she accepted the provided room. It wasn’t like the hotel refused to provide a room and Marriott kept the money too.

    I understand the frustration of expecting something and then not getting exactly what you expected. But sometimes that is part of the fun of travel when you run into unexpected situations and they turn out to provide a great story to tell all your friends.

  • DChamp56

    Since when is Ireland a third world country? I’ve been there and it’s an incredibly beautiful country with very friendly people.

  • Alan Gore

    But apparently Pillo gets to assign her a downgraded room while still requiring non-refundability. Yep, another travel industry one-way “contract.” Suck it up, plebeians.

  • Fishplate

    13 miles in 10 minutes is an average of 78 miles per hour. To Dublin’s city center? Hardly.

  • http://upgrd.com/roadmoretraveled MeanMeosh

    “22km is about 13 miles. Depending on travel conditions calling that a 10 min drive is not too far of a stretch.”

    Fishplate beat me to it, but I was going to say, for a major European city, that really IS a stretch. For starters, traffic in major Euro-metros is worse than what you’ll find here, and second, there are no freeways that go in to the actual city center, meaning you’re going to have to negotiate city streets. I wouldn’t expect the OP to know that if she wasn’t familiar with Europe, but if the hotel really advertised “10 minutes”, they’re pushing the envelope pretty seriously. Even 20 minutes would be pushing it.

  • http://upgrd.com/roadmoretraveled MeanMeosh

    I agree that prepaying is generally a bad idea, but would it have made a difference in this case? If this were a post-paid reservation and she tried to cancel when she arrived, I bet the hotel would have made her pay anyway, at least a 1-night penalty, since the cancellation period most likely would have passed.

  • EdB

    Because of the re-branding, failure to notify of the change, and Marriott’s quoted response, I don’t think that would have happened.

  • mbods

    Wow, I’m surprised and disappointed that Marriott didn’t do better. Thanks for the heads up on this hotel chain…

  • emanon256

    I voted no, but I am not sure it’s entirely on Marriott, I think the new owner would be responsible for honoring the reservation as it was originally made, or refunding the customer. I’ve stayed at hotels that have been re-flagged after booking, and just like the OP I was not contacted or offered a refund. However, I have also had a seamless transition.

    The reason I think Marriott is partially responsible is that they listed the hotel as 20 minutes form Dublin when it wasn’t. But I am also curious, is that 20 minutes walking, by car, how to they classify it? And did the OP look at a map before making the reservation? Otherwise I would think that the new owner bought the hotel, reservations, and the responsibility for honoring them.

    I am not entirely sure after reading this what exactly happened. Was it really $600 for 2 weeks, that seems way to inexpensive? Did they end up going elsewhere? Did they spend any nights in the hotel in question? It also sounds like the new hotel tried to charge them extra which is not right either. How was the new hotel not able to accommodate them, she never really says what she means by that other than they had a roll-a-way cot.

    I know it doesn’t help the OP, but when I have odd requests, I always call the hotel with my confirmation number right after making the reservation, I don’t just write them in the reservation notes. I then call again a week before I arrive to confirm they are still in place, and then call on the day of arrival if I will get there late.

  • anonymous

    I don’t understand what “accomodate our party as requested on our reservation” means….I get the impression that she doesn’t understand how European hotels work (even hotels with American franchise names). She said she got “charged double” for an extra person in the room…it makes me think she didn’t understand that if you book a “single” and put an extra person in the room in many hotels in Europe, that’s a “double” and costs a lot more. I wonder if she thought she could put 4 people in two queen beds (like you can do in a lot of hotels here) and booked “double” rooms and thought they could accomodate four people? A lot of European hotels have two twin beds in their “doubles” – not two queen beds. I think this woman was totally confused from the beginning….

  • pauletteb

    One of the hotels for my recent vacation was reflagged a couple of weeks before my trip. Choice hotels immediately sent me an e-mail with all the necessary contact information, explaining that my reservation was probably OK but that they could no longer guarantee it. Choice hotel’s prompt notification gave me plenty of time to contact the property and cancel the reservation, since I was uncomfortable with the property’s new “flag.” I don’t prepay hotels if I can possibly avoid it (the relatively small discount isn’t worth the potential aggravation), so there was no issue. Marriott definitely dropped the ball for the OP on this one.

  • Joe_D_Messina

    Ireland’s murder rate is 1/4 of the U.S. And they’re lower than Canada’s, as well. You might want to start looking over your shoulder in your own neighborhood.

  • pauletteb

    Can you say “xenophobic”? You might be able to say it, but you’d most likely have to look it up!

  • Bill___A

    It seems that the hotel wouldn’t have been suitable, reflagging or not.
    In any case, when they negotiate these things, they know well in advance. I also expect hotels do not take reservations more than a year in advance.
    Any existing reservations should have the option of getting credit in the old program (Marriott Rewards) or the new one (if any).
    Something tells me the customer did not do enough research, but at the same time, reflagging is a game changer. When I make a reservation at a Marriott hotel, I expect to have Marriott behind it – and I also expect to have the option to change the reservation. If the hotel changes brands, I should get to change hotels.
    There are a lot of hotels that are not quite close enough to where they should be. Although Chris is not a big advocate of TripAdvisor, you can get a reasonable heads up by checking there.

  • Carver Clark Farrow

    Why do you call it a downgraded room?

  • Carver Clark Farrow

    Google maps has it listed as 21 minutes away.

  • Carver Clark Farrow

    How do you know that the property wasn’t going to be re-flagged?

  • Carver Clark Farrow

    We are assuming that somehow being prepaid makes a difference. It does not under the contract by Marriott, unless she has Gold or higher elite status. Room type is just not guaranteed.

  • Guest

    To me, being prepaid makes a major difference. If I prepay for a room of type A, I expect to get a room of type A because I have already paid for it and the property has no excuse not providing what has already been paid for. I have made a commitment to the property by prepaying. It would only be reasonable to expect the property to honor their commitment by providing what has already been paid for. I understand the no guarantee if no money has been exchanged.

  • wiseword

    That message from Marriott — Hello India! It was obviously written by a non-English-speaking person and makes no sense whatsoever. Marriott has really sunk low.

  • Alan Gore

    I wasn’t there and I’m not omniscient, so all I have to go on is the article. The crux of the OP’s complaint is that the new owner offered a lesser room than the prepaid deal with Marriott, and with extra costs for guests that had been included in the prepayment.

  • alkonost45

    I have no sympity for the lady. It sounds to me like she did not do her homework. It is the norm in Ireland and many European counties to charge per person and not per room. A quick check on Tripadvsor or the like would have quickly revealed the location of the hotel and the change in owner of the hotel.

  • Thomas Ralph

    Hotels don’t grow legs and move. The tiniest bit of research would have shown that Ashbourne is well out of Dublin.

    Room requests are just that – requests, which will be honoured if possible (unless guaranteed such as by being Marriott Gold).

    Like most of Europe, Irish hotels do not generally do rooms for more than two people. Those that do, charge for it. Twin does not mean two double beds outside of North America.

    Sounds to me like Donna was making a whole lot of assumptions that things work in the rest of the world exactly the same as they do in the US, and those assumptions came back to bite.

  • Carver Clark Farrow

    That’s certainly the OP’s take on it. But she has not explained what about the room was lesser. As I read it, the OP wanted a certain room, say one with 2 queen beds, but instead got a room with 1 king. Her problem is that Marriott doesn’t guarantee room types within a given class. She wouldn’t have had any greater luck had the hotel remained a Marriott.

  • Carver Clark Farrow

    To me, being prepaid makes a major difference.
    Unfortunately, that’s not how the contract which governs your reservation reads. Marriott explicitly does not guarantee room types regardless of payment methods.

  • MarkKelling

    So what did I say that got the down votes? Just curious…

  • ExplorationTravMag

    Actually, jmtabb, I’ve been to Dublin and they have excellent public transport from the airport to several points in Dublin; my son and I used it when we were there. You can buy a ticket for it at the airport (I think it was something like 14 euro), the bus sits right at the curb outside international arrivals and the bus driver is incredibly helpful towards tourists, including loading and unloading their bags. I wasn’t sure which stop we wanted to get to our hotel and he had my son and I sit behind him so he could easily tell us where it was when we got to the right place. We were dropped right at Grafton Street, he stepped off the bus to point us to our hotel, which was about a block away (which was great since Grafton Street is a closed shopping street).

    When it was time for us to go back to the airport, we asked the concierge to call a cab for us. It was about 15 euro to get there and, again, the cab driver couldn’t have been more helpful if he’d tried.

    I’ve been to numerous large cities around the world and Dublin was the easiest, IMHO.

  • Ian Parrish

    I’m just stuck with a feeling that we’re missing a few details here in the story from Donna. Now, I don’t want to criticize her too harshly, as this sounds like she’s an inexperienced traveler.
    On her side she should have:
    1) Investigated the location herself. I always check on public transport when booking a hotel where I don’t plan to rent a car.
    2) Double-checked her reservation shortly before leaving. I can’t imagine she wouldn’t have found out about the re-branding before her trip.
    3) Something was mis-communicated in the reservation process, and I’m not sure it’s Marriott’s fault. European hotels have a very confusing and inconsistent use of single, double, and twin to indicate one small bed, one big bed, and two beds, respectively. This is a frequent inexperienced traveler mistake.
    4) If the accommodation was not to her standard, she should have refused to take the room. It sounds like they would have accommodated her in Dublin proper. It’s always easier (although it may not seem like it in your jet-lagged state) to deal with these situations immediately.

    On the Marriott side, I’m a bit shocked by it’s response. When a property is sold, they really need to give guests as much leeway as possible. They should have either:
    1) Explicitly “transferred” the reservation to another Marriott in Dublin.
    2) Refunded at least 50% of her stay.

    It sounds like neither side did the right thing here. 20,000 points will get you 1-2 nights at most in a lower-end property.

  • ExplorationTravMag

    The distance from the airport doesn’t bother me as much as the hotel giving them less than desirable rooms.

    What bothers me even more is (and I might have read this wrong, but I read it a couple times) – didn’t the OP say she called Marriott from the hotel lobby or some such? Didn’t Marriott try to get them a refund the first day and couldn’t, since there was no manager available on the weekend? Didn’t Marriott find them another room, which they went to?

    And then Marriott tells them they can’t get a refund because they accepted the reservation? It doesn’t sound to me like they kept the reservation.

  • y_p_w

    The last time I did a prepaid rate was at the Hilton Anaheim. I was pretty sure that it wasn’t going to change hands, and I reserved maybe three weeks in advance.

  • jebaker

    The Marriott website was very clear on the distance from Dublin. I chose another chain in prior years that was directly in the city due to this. Another case of an unexperienced traveller who is trying to get a “deal” without knowing what they are doing. It’s ok not to be an experienced traveller, but if you want what you want, use a travel agent.

  • jmtabb

    I don’t question Dublin’s public transport, and I’m sorry if I gave that impression.

    My point was that the original complaint was that the hotel is 22 km from the city center and not convenient to public transport. A quick look at a map and at the current website for the property seems to show that this is a hotel that is most definitely not in the city center. The directions on how to get to the hotel on the current website don’t offer public transit options at all.

    Whether they can easily get to/from the airport to the hotel wasn’t the question. Whether they can get to the location they thought they wanted to be (Dublin city Centre) is.

    Perhaps someone more savvy with the Dublin transit system can look up the options to see whether this was a valid complaint or not?

    As for why I questioned if they booked through a 3rd party site, my experience (with Expedia, Orbitz etc., not priceline) is that many people don’t realize that the bookings are nearly always based on double occupancy. Yes, the room may accommodate more people, but perhaps only on cots, and often at additional cost. I’m prepared for that when I travel with my family. But perhaps others who travel less often aren’t.

    Others have also posted that it’s standard in Europe to charge per person, and that a “double” room does not mean two double sized beds that can sleep 4 people. Perhaps the mistake was made there instead. It’s hard to tell with the information we got.

    It’s also my experience that using a 3rd party booking engine makes it unlikely that the hotel will contact us if there is a problem. They usually contact the 3rd party booking engine instead, and those messages seem to get “lost”.

  • ExplorationTravMag

    Which is why I’m always leery of using third-party booking sites. It’s adding a layer between the customer and the hotel, giving the hotel the ability to say, “Not my problem…”

  • sunshipballoons

    What? It’s not Marriott that owes them compensation, it’s the new hotel. Marriott sold the contract to the new owner. The new owner didn’t honor the contract (it appears) by not offering the same room conditions as Marriott did.

  • Grant

    I just Googled “third world,” and actually, Ireland IS a third world country. I was surprised too.

  • MarkKelling

    Most people assume “Third World” means poverty level income and squalid living conditions. It really just means a non-aligned country from the Cold War era. If you aligned with the US and allies, your were considered 1st World. If you aligned with communism, you were 2nd World. Every one else was 3rd world.

  • EdB
  • Matt

    She lost me at “it was 40 minutes away, not 10”. Google maps. The rest of the sob story may have some merit, or not, but if she can’t be bothered to locate the hotel on a map, I can’t believe she did due diligence with her booking, either.

  • Lindabator

    Sounds like she booked a double room, expecting two double beds (like here), not just two beds. And she had more than 2 people, so they charged her for the extra person and had to bring in a cot. Europe is NOT like the US – a double room means two beds – and those can even be twin beds at times.

  • Lindabator

    EXACTLY my thoughts!

  • Lindabator

    We can only assume she booked direct with them, and received no email. Can’t be sure – her real complaints just don’t jibe with how things work, though, so think she did not do due diligence when booking.

  • Michael__K

    All our Family / Twin rooms have two queen beds as standard, the rooms are both spacious and luxurious


  • emanon256

    I agree, that has been my experience too, in Europe 2-double means double occupancy which is two twin beds. That probably is her issue, but I wish she would just say exactly what she was expecting, and what she got. The vagueness makes me less sympathetic.

    I looked at the Marriott site in archive.org going back 15 months and it says that room type is not guaranteed and that each guest will receive 1 king or 2 doubles. It then says:

    Maximum Occupancy: 3
    1 King or 2 Double
    Rollaway beds permitted: 1
    Cribs permitted: 1
    Maximum cribs/rollaway beds permitted: 1

    It also states minutes from Dublin, it never, on any date I could find, said 10 minutes. Having found that, I no longer have sympathy. And there is even a map on the Marriott website.

    The OP even acknowledges that she knew her room type was not guaranteed, but that since she made her reservation 2 months in advance they should have been able to accommodate her. Ive seen hotels book up almost a year in advance when there are near an event or conference, so I still don’t see her beef unless she gives more specifics. I have lost my sympathy.

  • Grant

    Why the downvote? Google it yourself.

  • emanon256

    Some people, whom I assume don’t post, seem to down vote any comment that says an OP’s situation is part of travel. My theory is those people either don’t get out much, or when hey do they fly first class, stay at the Ritz, and are used to always getting exactly what they want. BTW, I up voted you. I miss the old says where there were only up votes. Now I am prepare to get some down votes for this :)

  • Joe_D_Messina

    I’d love to visit Dublin, but I don’t see how the quality of their public transportation comes into play. The OP specifically bemoaned the fact there was no public transport near this hotel, thus any claims of it being within 10 minutes of the city would have to of meant via auto. And I don’t care what city you’re talking about, if you’re talking about making it downtown, 22 km isn’t a reliable 10 minute drive.

  • flutiefan

    but the question is, how would you really know whether or not a reflagging was in the works?

  • Cybrsk8r

    “The employees at Pillo were polite, but stated the best they could do would be to add cots to the rooms”.

    Well, I don’t know about you, but unless I’m on a safari in South Africa, I’d call sleeping on a cot a downgrade.

  • DCGirl

    “defuse the situation” not “diffuse the situation”.

  • Ali Jackson

    Perhaps the down votes where from people who disagree that “part of the fun of travel [is] when you run into unexpected sitautions”.

    I’m pretty laid back and roll with the punches, so I tend to agree with you. But, I’d probably have a different opinion if I were traveling with a family that included small kids. (The article mentions a “family” but doesn’t define that term.)

  • Jen

    I’m sorry but I still don’t understand. How did the hotel in question move from 10km away to 40 km away? Was it truly the same hotel? Did the new owners change location as well as establishment name? I guess that could be possible but why didn’t the OP state such a significant fact? Did they seriously not say they’d moved, basically leaving her to figure out their location in a foreign city?

    Yes she should have called the night before her first night at the hotel to confirm everything, including the address, but still they should’ve let her know of a location change! Shame on them.

  • ChrisFromSFO

    The same Wikipedia article says Switzerland is a third world country. If you’re just talking about political alignment,maybe. But obviously not in the pejorative sense intended by RicJ.

  • Carver Clark Farrow

    That’s what routinely happens if you want more people in the room than the beds can accommodate. She probably wanted 2 beds, but the room only had one. Since room types are not guaranteed, the hotel was well within its rights. She got what she paid for.

  • Diane D

    As someone that constantly travels outside of the country I always make sure that I stay in the center of a new city just to play it safe. After I get my bearings I may venture out to further (and less expensive) locations if I can easily get around using mass transit. I also ALWAYS check the mass transit situation because I hate taking cabs unless I’m in NYC where they are cheap and abundant. In Dublin I stayed at a hostel that was really like a hotel (the fact that it was listen as a hostel shocked us when we arrived) and I of course did not pay until we checked in.

    Some people just aren’t savvy travelers.