If you plan to stay in Estherea Hotel be prepared for an unexpected deposit payment and a hassle to get it back.
I booked my stay via the official website. I arrived for my stay on 22nd December and was surprised to be asked for my credit card even though I had paid in full €707 in advance. Only when a large amount appeared on the card reader and I was asked to enter my pin was I made aware of this charge vaguely explained as for "incidental occurrences".
Not exactly a friendly welcome. I don't mind paying deposits but was very disappointed at that point as it wasn't mentioned anywhere on their website/booking confirmation.
On the day of my departure I checked out and was promised that the deposit would be refunded to my account that day. I was also asked to pay 5.5% city tax which was fine as it's clearly mentioned on the website/booking confirmation so I was aware of this extra charge.
I was expecting to see the deposit refund on my account within 24 hours as promised but after 3 days there was no sign of it. Be aware that the actual transaction may not be visible on your account (as in my case) but the balance will be much higher than the available amount.
I emailed the hotel and was told the following:
"It is common policy to request a credit card inprint on arrival, on which we request an authorization of euro xx.xx for any possible charges guests may book on their room account like breakfast charges, drinks at the bar, laundry, etc… The authorization is not an actual deposit, it is an amount which is reserved by the credit card company for usually 5 to 10 working days after which it is automatically released. The period may change according to the country or bank guests use." I was also told that if I don't get it back within 10 days I should email my card number and its expiry date so they can check it. Strange this "common policy" is not mentioned anywhere on the website or booking confirmation (unlike the 5.5% city tax) and when I asked about that my question was ignored.
It's been more than 10 days since I checked out and still no sign of the refund. I decided to contact my bank to see if there's anything they can do about it. I was told the refund should have been made within one business day as it doesn't depend on the bank location. I was given transaction details (which I can't see on my account) and was advised to contact the hotel which I did and was told the following: "We have contacted the company and the authorization is released,
but it may take another 2 weeks before all systems have been cleared."
At this point I'm not sure if I get my money back but I just wanted to say I'm very disappointed with this hotel.
You should make it clear on your website and booking confirmations that there is a deposit charge which takes 5-10 days (or a month!) to refund. Otherwise it makes you look like scammers earning interest.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located in the heart of the city, Hotel Estherea is housed in a row of historic buildings on the major canal. Behind the 17th century façade, guests find a warm welcome in comfortable surroundings. With its woolen carpets, crystal chandeliers and sumptuous furniture, the hotel is an oasis of tranquility in the middle of the bustling city.The Estherea first opened its doors in the 1940s. this family business is currently run by the third generation. Although the hotel’s comforts and facilities have been brought up to date over the past sixty years, the concept of personal service and attention remains unchanged. All 92 rooms have been recently renovated and are all accessible by elevator. Each room has its own unique character: a wonderful place to unwind a day of exploring the city. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Estherea Hotel Amsterdam
- Hotel Estherea Amsterdam