My Chinese friend and I booked a two bedroom apartment with a double bed and two single beds.
Upon arrival we were given an apartment with four single beds only. We complained to reception, who told us they didn't actually have any apartments with double beds. When we pressed them further, they admitted that they do have such apartments but had given them to other people (despite our booking). The carpet, beds and bathrooms were also in decidedly shabby condition, so we wanted out.
Reception told us we could cancel without charge, but we thought it best to confirm this with the hotel site we had booked through.
Various phone calls followed as we spoke to the customer service line for the site, who in turn spoke to the hotel, who in turn spoke to us. Meanwhile we also rang some places to find a different hotel in the same area. Eventually we found one, made a booking, and were relieved we wouldn't have to stay in a shabby place with the wrong bed configuration.
But then came the snare. Our complaints and phone calls had, apparently, taken just over one hour, and the City Hotel informed us that, although we had not yet used anything in the apartment (not even the toilets), it was their "policy" that we would have to pay the first night's accommodation, because we had been in the room for more than one hour. They were willing, however, to "negotiate" this down to 100 yuan.
Right...so we spend one hour trying to sort out THEIR failure to honour our booking, and they want to charge US for it? I've never heard of anything so shonky in my life. It was only through some very heated discussion and raised voices down at reception that were were eventually able to get back our deposit and leave without charge.
Does anyone really want to stay at a shabby hotel with a management that fails to honour people's bookings and then tries to charge them for the hotel's own mistakes? Shonky, shonky, shonky.
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- Also Known As:
- Beijing City Hotel
- City Hotel Beijing