HOTEL HI PARK, NICE AND QWERTY TRAVEL
We have just returned from S. France staying at Hi Park Hotel, Nice and Hotel Splendid Cannes.
This visit was promoted by an offer on Travel Zoo provided by Wasp Travel which I subsequently learned is an offshoot of Qwerty Travel. The offer was for 2nights b/b 3* hotel Nice including, flights £158. We have a daughter and family living in Cannes who we hadn’t seen for a few months so I contacted the provider and spoke with Dylan, a very ebullient person who enthused how popular the offer was proving to be and how many units they had sold that day. His enthusiasm quickly drew us in and we were discussing our requirements. At first I said we required at least 3 nights to justify the journey but with talking this grew to 9 nights, 3 nts Nice, 4 nts. Cannes and 2 nts back to Nice, each B/B. Dylan had selected a 4* hotel for us in Cannes that had 85% positive reviews which we were reading and could not disagree with. The final figure was £1580.00 and I paid a deposit of £780.00.
It is a long time since I booked a package, preferring instead to book our flights and accommodation on line using sites that we know to be reliable and trustworthy. With all the details of our arranged break to hand I checked the B.A. flight (same time & date) and went on to Travel Republic ( a very reliable site) to check out the 2 hotels, again same dates and was quite surprised that the total quotes including flights amounted to £1140.00. I considered the difference of £440.00 to be excessive and unacceptable, particularly as Qwerty Travel could acquire an agent discount on my web prices of about 10%. Through my searching I also learned that the chosen hotel in Cannes, whilst having very good reviews and in a convenient location, station, stores, market and town, at night the location took on a different, more seedier image.
Next day I telephoned Wasp Travel and again spoke with Dylan and told him I wished to cancel. He replied “you can’t, it is a set booking, we have booked B.A. flights and they are non-refundable. I then spoke with my credit card provider and was told the £780.00 was pending and there was nothing they or I could do but as I had informed the company I wished to cancel within the statutory time limit, if the company continued to process the funds they would contest the payment and get the funds refunded. Never having been down this path before, I was very pleased with the outcome.
I telephoned Dylan again with this latest piece of information and my-oh-my what a change of attitude. He asked could we compromise. He explained that when booking through an agent it was acceptable to expect a 10/15% commission charge. I suggested he divided the figure 440 into 1580 and find the percentage, he appeared to agree it was excessive. I told him I was satisfied with the locations Nice and Cannes and also satisfied with the dates, I was just very unhappy with his chosen hotel in Cannes and explained why, and at being taken for a ride regarding the commission they were taking. He agreed and transferred my call to Sam
Sam appears to be the office trouble shooter with a very abrupt attitude. I explained again that I wasn’t concerned about the flights, dates or location, that I could afford the price, I just needed more value for my money. She kept coming back at me with one thing or another and I found myself doodling Rottweiler. I referred to my reservations regarding the location of the Cannes hotel Dylan had chosen and we finally (to use the funds up) opted for Hotel Splendid in an enviable position overlooking the Marina, across the road from the conference centre in the centre of the town. A hotel until now considered out of my financial bracket, but this was exceptional as we were using up funds. We opted for a superior room with a sea facing view on a high floor with a balcony B/B. This, I am aware is an expensive hotel, and it cost an extra premium of £100.00, negotiated down from £190.00. During our compromises, we had been promised that Qwerty Travel would request one of their better rooms at both hotels.
4 weeks before our departure I telephoned Qwerty Travel to speak with Sam requesting what type of accommodation we could expect from these ‘better rooms’ so that our daughter could visit the hotels and, if necessary, upgrade us. The attitude of Sam, to say the least, was bombastic and abrasive, denying reference to better rooms had ever been mentioned, she was going on 19 to the dozen and it took two attempts by myself to finally be heard to tell her I wished to terminate the call, in the meantime I had crossed out Rottweiler in my doodling and substituted ‘Pit Bull’. She said ‘What’? I told her I hadn’t telephoned her to be yelled at and wished to terminate the call, which I did. No purpose would have served by hanging up mid tirade.
HI PARK HOTEL, NICE
Is a very conveniently situated aparthotel in the centre of town close to the newly established tram system which will take you within reach of anywhere you might want to be from the ‘old town’ to the main rail station and beyond. The hotel is very bijou, converted very tastefully, about 3 years ago from a French Telecom office building. Opposite the hotel is a commercial centre with restaurants, shops and a large Carrefour supermarket. There is also a large underground car park but I don’t know if it is 24 hours. The hotel car park is 15 euros per day.
Following my latest discourse with Sam at Qwerty Travel, I telephoned the Hi Park hotel to enquire the type of accommodation we could expect. It was explained we had booked a studio apartment with a pull down sofa bed. I was speaking with Emanuelle who spoke excellent English, I explained we had been promised a ‘better room’ and he explained that whilst the request to be treated as v.i.p guests was on their copy of the voucher, it had no relevance as we were getting what we had paid for. We discussed the ins and outs and to get a separate bedroom meant upgrading to a suite at an extra 30 euros per night, which I agreed to requesting a high room. This request was noted.
We were met at the airport by our daughter and son-in law and driven to the hotel. They, being French took over the check-in and it was explained the hotel was very busy and did not have a suite available until next day, so much for my arrangements with Emanuelle, We looked at the studio offered and it wasn’t at all bad, the sofa bed was big and looked comfortable, the kitchenette was practical with s/s sink, microwave, dishwasher and large fridge, there was good worktops and a round table and chairs. Very practical but if we were to be preparing and cooking food, I felt we needed a separate bedroom, my choice and I was prepared to pay for it. Back at reception it was explained the hotel only had one suite available and that was for disabled use. It didn’t have a bath, just a toilet, basin and wet room. It was also only on the second floor but we took it as our daughter was chomping on the bit to take us to lunch. Returning from lunch we examined our apartment and couldn’t find anywhere to hang or store our clothes. I collared Emanuelle in reception and returned to the apartment, he in, in turn, collared a woman from housekeeping and the explanation was ‘they didn’t provide hanging space for the disabled as they could not reach the hangers’. We had never heard the likes and said so. He promised us another suite for the next day. The bed was comfortable and the kitchenette worked well. Next morning it came to using the bathroom and shower. My wife was reluctant to use the shower as she said the last time she had been in hospital she had used the wet room there and flooded the corridor. I said I would use it first and in no time at all, out of sight from myself behind a curtain, my wife was calling to me that the water was flooding under the bathroom door into the bedroom. It was a mess, the night clothes I had thrown on the floor were saturated, it was a large bathroom and the 6 towels provided were not enough to soak up the water. I was reporting the situation to reception but before I could speak the receptionist said I know you are going to complain about the wet room, we are waiting to see what can be done, the builders sloped the floor the wrong way. The room number is 214 if they offer it to you don’t take it. The breakfast is excellent, cereals, cold meats and cheeses, bread, cakes, tea, coffee, fruit juices etc. everything was there. Next day we were allocated another suite on the fifth floor, the sofa bed was now a settee making a nice sitting room, a separate bedroom with en-suite bathroom and separate toilet, wardrobes to hang and store our clothes. Very comfortable. I refuted the 30 euros I had payed for the disabled suite and received a refund. I would certainly recommend this hotel both for location and comfort though overall I thought reception a bit inefficient.
It is difficult to see to see how this will sit on Tripadviser, but I will download it anyway. Qwerty Travel is an established travel provider and I would say that if you assess and keep within the parameters of what it is offering you would do O.K. but and a big but, there are a lot of providers out there such as Travel Republic, Alpha Rooms, Low Cost Beds, Hotels.com and many more. They are reliable to book your accommodation through and you are in charge. In my case it wasn’t a good experience and I will not use Qwerty Travel again.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.