When a booking goes wrong from the start one should bail.
Part 1: This one started out wrong when I discovered that my entire stay at Spruce Grove was charged to my credit card the very moment I confirmed on-line - something I discovered when I received my CC statement. I have booked many a times on-line nationally and internationally and never had my total stay been billed to my CC immediately. The CC # is a guarantee of my arrival and my security payment. I can understand one night but the whole stay? Unprecedented! So beware when you book at this hotel on-line. You could be paying way, way in advance.
Here is the response of the hotel to my query about the charge:
"I am sorry for the miss understanding. When you booked this reservation this was the rule on taken the full payment at time of booking. I have changed that about one week ago or so. That is why it doesn’t say anything on the web site anymore."
Here is what appeared on the site regarding charges:
"If cancelled up to 1 day before the date of arrival, no fee will be charged. If cancelled later or in case of no-show, the first night will be charged."
So why the full charge upon booking the confirmation on-line?
Part 2: Upon arrival at the hotel a notice on the door requests that you proceed to the hotel next door to check in! So you have to go next door, check in, then return to the hotel and proceed to find your room. Is a hotel so cheap (rates are not at 166 dollars a room) that it can't operate a check in desk at its neighbouring establishment? As a result of this, the hotel lacks abiance, character and warmth. There are no personnel around. You have to go next door everytime you need something and to eat, use the pool or talk to someone. This section is like an annex with no character or connection. The room lacked a refrigerator, beds were uncomfortable and of poor quality and no wireless connectivity. You had to journey next door via an underground tunnel to breakfast.
Part 3: Upon checkout, I requested an invoice from the girl at the service desk as one was not forthcoming (as is characteristic at all hotels I have been). I was told that the hotel could not do that as my payment was not processed by the hotel but by the internet site that processed the on-line booking. I challenged her to the fact that on my CC statement the name of the hotel appeared and that the duty manager had replied to my query about the charge saying that it was hotel policy to take full payment. Again I was told that she could not generate an Invoice and that I had to email the agency the had handled the on-line booking for an Invoice!
Frustrted and in no mood to argue I left with a determination to post the experience here to help fellow travellers avoid the frustration, inconvenience and the unhappiness of a spoilt holiday.
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- Also Known As:
- Spruce Grove Hotel Banff
- Spruce Grove Banff