We booked our stay over two and a half months ago with Villas by the Sea Resort and Conference Center. We saw the resort on Groupon, and decided against booking through the third party and wanted to give our business to a local business (being from Georgia ourselves). I tried to book directly through the hotel's website, but due to technical difficulties I was unable to finish the process and online and had to call the office directly to complete the booking process. I booked a mini villa with a member of the staff on the phone, and she assured me she had given me the best rate for the time we would be staying.
Upon arriving to the island, we stopped by the Welcome Center to get some flyers for the attractions around the island. We saw the flyer for the Villas by the Sea Resort and grabbed it to get a preview of our hotel. We discovered that it was actually an advertisement for the rates. A one bedroom villa was advertised for about $35 less per night than we were paying ($75 per night in the Spring when I am paying $109.99 for tonight's stay and $99.99 for the following three nights). I assured my spouse that the hotel would honor this coupon or at least upgrade our room which is about 100 sq feet smaller than the rate for the room they were offering on the advertisement. Much to my dismay, upon arriving at the hotel and explaining the situation to the receptionist, she explained she was unable to help me in any way. I insisted how disappointed I was with this situation and that it would certainly adversely affect my stay, so she decided to briefly converse with what I assume was a manager. She returned promptly and again insisted there was nothing she could do to help this situation or appease me in any way.
I find this whole situation very disappointing, and I find it very doubtful there was nothing that could be done to make this situation right. We work out of town for business each weekend, and are members of a few rewards programs for hotels. I have experienced such great customer service with each of these programs, some of which are located on the island and we chose this resort instead. I have experienced similar customer service with seedier hotels, and I was very surprised at the way we were treated at the front desk upon arrival.
More so than anger, I am disappointed because the rooms are very nice and accommodating. It's a nice area, with a rustic feel. It's just a shame that we will be largely unable to enjoy our stay knowing we paid at least $110 dollars more than other people staying in a larger room at the same resort while we are here.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
May 23, 2013
We appreciate you staying with us and are happy that you felt our rooms were very nice and accommodating. I am sorry, that you felt we have unfair pricing. The coupon you mentioned you picked up at the local welcome center is for a walk up guest. A walk up guest is someone who does not have a reservation and is taking a chance that we will have a room and accept the coupon for their stay. It’s not a rate in which we make an advanced reservation for, which is noted on the coupon. We do not always accept the coupon. We accept the coupon during slow times of the year. A majority of hotels offer such discounts and have the same rate policy. The reservation you made in advance was booked at a discounted rate, our Best Available online rate. This is 15-17% off our normal rate. This discount does have stipulations too. In order to receive the discount you must agree to prepay the entire stay and agree that you will not cancel or change the reservation without penalty. This rate procedure is standard in most hotels. I’m sorry you felt the staff was non-accommodating. I can assure you they were only following hotel procedure. I also verified that we did not accept any coupons during the days in which you were with us. I have confirmed that you did not pay more than other guests in larger rooms. We want to be accommodating to our guests by offering different rate plans which best work for each guest. These different rate plans have different rate requirements. Our requirements are normal and common among most hotels & resorts.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.