I had a reservation for 1 night, Thursday 26 September. I had booked it on the "free cancellation 8% off" offer. I was in Rome for a few days 19-22, then flying to Genoa, then maybe returning to Rome for one night.
My plans changed, and I did not need the Hotel Diana Roof Garden for the night of Thursday 26 September. Their cancellation rules stated on the reservation form I had taken with me: "cancellations must be made directly to the hotel at least 48 hours before your expected arrival time". What could possibly go wrong?
I visited the hotel in person on Saturday 21st September to cancel, 5 days beforehand. The receptionist refused to accept my cancellation - I had booking reference, passport etc with me. She was arrogant, rude, dismissive. She told me I must cancel online through the ticket agency I had used. I pointed out I had booked directly through the hotel's own website! She said that made no difference. Their website routed via an agency and it was through them I must cancel.
I regarded my walking into the hotel in person was meeting their criteria "cancellations should be made directly to the hotel". They did not!
I told her I did not have a pc with me. That was, apparently, my problem. Though she did haughtily say I could use the hotel computer "over there" ..... er, why could she not do it herself?! She had my name on the system for the night in question and reference number! How hard could it be for them to cancel?
She told me I would have to come back on Monday and see the manager to see if he would accept the cancellation in person. "you have plenty of time before the 48 hours" she said, haughtily. No possible thought that maybe I would not be in the vicinity of the hotel that day, or even if I was, that I would want to make a second trip there.
I left in despair. I texted a friend in UK. He could make no sense of how to use their website to cancel the booking, and he had my details and reference number. But I gave him the hotel's email address, he emailed them, and they emailed on Monday to say my cancellation was accepted. No hint of an apology from them.
Had they had availability, I would have stayed there for my 4 nights 19-22 Sept. Luckily they didn't. Maybe the hotel is fine if you stay, I don't know.
But i would advise in the strongest possible terms not to make any booking at a rate advertising "free cancellation". They will put you through hell should you need to use the cancellation option.
A year ago I stayed at the StarHotel Metropole across the road for 6 days and it was superb. They were full this year, so I could not stay there. But I walked in to say hello to one friendly receptionist I recalled fondly - and I got a huge welcome, he remembered me. Quite a contrast.
I will never go near the Hotel Diana Roof Garden in future. AVOID. You can not trust them not to make life hell for you.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Elegant Hotel offering modern comforts and amenities, restaurant and bar; situated in the heart of Rome near the Opera House. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Hotel Diana Rome Italy