Get Compensated When Hotels Fail To Deliver

Did you ever check into a hotel only to find the pool closed or some other amenity unavailable?

It has happened to me, many times. Usually, if it’s temporary, I just deal with the disappointment. But there are times when it’s appropriate to complain, and even to ask for some kind of compensation.

My daughter and I recently stayed at a very nice resort near Palm Springs where we got a very nice Priceline deal, but there was a separate $27 per night resort fee. We were prepared for this — resort fees are common at the resort level on Priceline and bidders should expect them. (I think Priceline should force resorts to include the fees in the price, but that’s another story.)

Anyway, we paid the resort fee and settled into our room, then decided to head over to the spa. Except there was a hand-written sign on the door of the spa saying it was closed. We tried to go back the next day at 4:30 p.m. and it was closed again — and the sign said it would be closed the whole next day, when we were leaving.

I complained at the front desk and the clerk said the spa was on limited hours because it wasn’t very busy. But she agreed to refund our resort fee. That seemed fair to me, as the resort fee is supposed to cover use of the spa and a few other amenities, most of which we weren’t going to use.

Now, I wouldn’t expect a refund or discount in every situation where I don’t get exactly what I want. My husband and I recently stayed in a hotel where the hot tub broke minutes after we arrived. Things happen.

But when a hotel advertises an amenity, charges separately for it and then chooses not to make it available, I’ll take my money back.

And if you’re booking a hotel directly (as opposed to making blind bids on Pricline) it never hurts to call ahead to make sure the amenities you want will be available and to check on the hours.

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