The owner of the property had received my confirmed booking via booking.com, but had deliberately ignored it so that no accommodation was available upon onsite arrival. She offered a completely different Apartment-Hotel, and I only realized after payment that this would have been cheaper than what I paid, according to their regular price list. From what she said and what I got to know later on during my stay in this alternative hotel, I was no exceptional case, but there were at least 2-3 similar other cases during my 10 day stay (and these were only the ones I knew about) and obviously, there have already been a number before my stay, according to what she said. She "regularly" transfers these cases (overbookings etc.) to the other hotel, and obviously considers this to be normal behavior according to terms & conditions from her side. This is why I would never book again and cannot recommend the property. The property itself left a really nice, but much smaller than imagined, impression - but what is it worth if you cannot stay there regardless of a confirmed reservation and find yourself in an impersonal larger apartment complex (6 floors) that you would have never booked?
I had a confirmed reservation for a studio, as a single traveler (but the price was the same for 2 people according to their website), only accommodation. Breakfast was offered at additional cost, as well as WiFi for 50 Euro per week (!). My impression was that the majority of guests were couples.
I booked a studio more than 7 weeks before arrival via booking.com and received a reservation confirmation from this booking channel, supplying address, earliest time of arrival and the information that (according to request of the property) payment will be in cash onsite. I was obliged to 100% cancellation payment if done within last 3 weeks before arrival date.
When I arrived onsite, the property owner (lady) told me there would be an issue. She cannot offer me an accommodation for my stay. She received my reservation, but due to her bad experiences in the past (no-show of guests) she feared that I might not show up, and as she did not receive additional information from me except the confirmed reservation (without me being informed about her fears!), she accepted another reservation for the studio. These guests already stayed there, so she could not give the studio to me instead, and all other studios were also booked. Same applied for all other accommodation (apartments), except on apartment for 2 nights (out of 10), but after these 2 nights I would definitely have to leave for another hotel. I preferred to stay in another hotel for the whole time, instead of staying for 2 nights and then having to move again.
According to booking.com terms & conditions, she said she would only be obliged to supply me with a similar or better accommodation and would bring me to a hotel-apartment complex where she would usually bring guests in similar cases. She was well-known there, and I saw her there several times (with other guests) during my stay in this alternative hotel. This evoked the impression that I was everything but an exceptional case, and this procedure is rather normal than exception. I do not know if this is/was used to "optimize" the utilized capacity in the property or if there were additional/ other reasons (some of the other guests that were also brought to this alternative hotel during my stay were supplied with other reasons, according to what they said), but at least there was some reason for the assumption that this might be the case.
I was absolutely shocked and depressed upon arrival, because I deliberately chose this accommodation due to its tranquility, small size and personal atmosphere, and the journey was really tiring. So the disappointment and bewilderment was huge - both about the fact of deliberate overbooking, as well as about the nonchalance and - in my view - impudence regarding the treatment of my objections by the owner. And about the fact that the alternative hotel was relatively nice, but rather an impersonal, larger apartment complex (6 floors) - exactly what I did not want to book.
I couldn't control my feelings and was moved to tears during the whole day (and next ones) - a "great" stressful start of vacation and exactly the opposite of what I expected when booking (relaxation).
I asked her why she did not contact me (she had email address and other personal data) to make sure if I will come - if she actually did have fear that I would not show up and given that this was the actual reason for overbooking. A mail would have reached me any given day, and would have solved the "issue" on her side. Basically, what she responded in a snippy way was that 'this could not be expected - to actively care about every single case' and 'they would not be a normal hotel, where you can book online and that's it; the guest would of course be expected to call or email them in advance, besides the reservation, e.g. to clarify delivery of keys etc.' I told her that my experience is that this is very unusual to be expected as a guest obligation if the accommodation is offered and booked via an official hotel booking website (in this case booking.com) and the reservation is confirmed - and that I travel a lot, including bookings both of hotels and studios/apartments. In case she expects this to REALLY confirm the confirmed reservation, she would have to add this explicitly to her accommodation description at booking.com (what she did not do) or not use this booking channel. She alleged that booking.com would not let her include this information and that she wanted to quit cooperation with this booking channel anyway (but she still offered it there when I booked).
According to what she told me, the flaw for the issue was ascribed to me, to booking.com, to all the persons in the past who allegedly booked and did not show up/ did not pay - in other words to everyone else except her/ them.
I had booked a rental car for the whole time in advance, due to the remote position of the accomodation. We drove to the alternative hotel she offered (Appartementos/Hotel Florasol) and they offered an apartment in 2nd floor. She claimed that the apartment would usually be more expensive, but she would negotiate with them that I "only" have to pay what I would have had to pay in her property, and I would additionally have breakfast included because they do not offer accommodation without breakfast. It was only after payment was made, that I got to know that according to this hotels regular price list, it would have been 50 Euro less than what I paid.
She realized that I was completely disappointed and sad about the issue and the alternative, and made a short effort to find another alternative in a house in immediate neighborhood of her property. But this would only have been available the next day, would be a lot below what I booked, and as it was unclear what exactly would expect me there and that she could not recommend it unconditionally, I did not see another option that to accept the apartment in the alternative hotel.
This Hotel (Appart. Florasol) is relatively quiet and with a beautiful small garden/pool landscape, but within the urban part of Puerto de la Cruz - with views on surrounding houses and hotels. And I wouldn't have needed a rental car for this place. This alternative hotel certainly is not bad. I would recommend it in case someone knows in advance what to expect and wants this: large and neat apartments, acceptable breakfast, friendly and helpful staff - but it was absolutely not what I wanted for this vacation. If I would have liked to book an apartment in a somewhat larger complex, I would have done so but would have had the choice which one and where. Booking a studio in a small private villa in the banana plantations was a deliberate choice - THIS is what I wanted; and no adequate alternative to this was offered.
From my point of view, you should not treat your guests like that. I will certainly not be a guest in this property in future, and cannot recommend it due to these experiences - especially because I did not have the impression that this was an exceptional case. There are certainly a lot of parties offering good accommodation on Teneriffa, who are glad about each guest and keen to attract and hold him/her - here this apparently was not the case. And even if the accommodation seems to be neat and with a personal touch, this calculated behavior heavily devaluates my opinion and evaluation.
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- Also Known As:
- Villa Rosalva Tenerife/Puerto De La Cruz