I had the good fortune of getting it right all this while when it comes to booking accommodation online, but the lucky streak ended here at Sheridan Villas in Boracay. It has a nice location, near the tail end of Station 3, and a short walk to the beach, as with most of the properties along the beach stretch, and seemed to have garnered decent reviews. But perhaps the management has changed, or have become complacent. I don't think it is what it used to be anymore. This is possibly the first time I am actually writing a bad review of a hotel I've visited, but justice has to be done, so here it goes. My disappointment lies with three things.
(a) Why is it so poorly maintained? When I checked into the room, the furnishing is old and the room reeks of a musky smell. There was no wardrobe, and the air conditioner wasn't working. When I switched on the lights to inspect the bathroom, I saw an adult cockroach scampering across the toilet floor.
(b) Where are the supposed friendly and "accommodating" staff? Have they all packed their bags and left for better work opportunities elsewhere? I arrived to an unmanned reception counter, and an elderly gentleman (who I suspect speaks no English, and is probably the housekeeper) had to be brought in by the kinder security guard. Even an email I sent days before asking for an arrangement of airport transfers was only replied after I had left the accommodation (I'll be happy to show you the email correspondences, if anyone is interested)
(c) (This part gets me the most) Unscrupulous practices. Upon my encounter with our cockroach friend, and realising that the room is very much not like what was shown on the online photos, nor claimed in the stellar past reviews, I had indicated that I wanted to cancel my stay with Sheridan Villas, even volunteering to forfeit the deposit that I had paid few weeks before. I moved to a property a few metres up the beach (please see below later). Things were fine, had a great stay at Boracay - beautiful beaches, lovely people - but few days later, I was told that Sheridan was charging a no-show fee: the full rate for the three nights I had reserved. Even with my claim to the agent (thanks so much for nothing, DirectWithHotels) that I had "showed" up and cancelled my reservations with them, they insisted that I hadn't, and that I am subjected to the policies. I replicate the policies in the DirectWithHotels's booking form here:
CANCELLATION POLICY: No additional charge if you cancel 7 Days or more before your arrival date. For cancellations less than 7 Days before the arrival date, the cost of the first night will apply. NO-SHOW POLICY: Guests who do not arrive within 24 hours of check-in date and time of the hotel will be charged the full amount of the reservation.
So the question is: now where did I go wrong?
Anyway, I had already been charged by the agent (DirectWithHotels) and the property (Sheridan Villas) the full amount of near to USD200, for services that I did not use, and for services that I had indicated clearly to the ground staff that I did not want to use, against my consent and protest. I will have to take this as a lesson learnt, but I think future travellers and service buyers should wary. This will not my last time to Boracay, but it will be last time I am making a booking with AsiaTravel/DirectWithHotels or the Sheridan Villas. Perhaps Sheridan Villas had a Golden Age, but I'm sorry to say that I think it's way passed now.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Sheridan Villas Boracay is a new First-class Villa specializing on group and family accommodation. Located at Station 3 - Second Row beach front. We take pride of our top of the line amenities, and as the only accommodation that allows 10pax accommodation with a complete cooking range! ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Hotels.com, Orbitz, Booking.com, Expedia, Travelocity, Hotwire, Ctrip TA, Agoda and HotelQuickly so you can book your Sheridan Villas reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Sheridan Villas Hotel Boracay