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“Fraudulent business practices”

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Unique Executive Central
Ranked #216 of 444 Hotels in Buenos Aires
Reviewed September 27, 2010

During the week of September 18 to September 25, 2010, I booked 5 nights at the 4-star Park Central Unique Hotel in Buenos Aires. The hotel belongs to Park Plaza Hotels but it looks like an Argentine outfit that purposefully uses a name of a respected American hotel chain to fool potential customers. My stay was divided into 3 segments - 2 nights, 2 nights and 1 night (in between I traveled outside Buenos Aires for 2 separate nights). I received confirmations for all the bookings. However, I was able to stay in booked hotel only one time – for the 2 nights in the middle of the week. For the first part of my stay I was sent to another Unique Hotel - in Recoleta part of Buenos Aires. I considered this particular accommodation when I was making the booking, specifically because the nights were cheaper there but eventually opted for more expensive but centrally located property. For the last night I was sent to Hotel Presidente that does not belong to the Park Plaza hotels. When after spending the first two nights in a hotel that I did not book, I asked the receptionists if my other bookings were confirmed I was told I quote: “at the moment yes, but there is no guarantee, it depends on our reservation department”.

The process employed by the hotel chain seems to work as follows. The hotel rooms are offered at discounted rates on the booking engines ensuring plenty of bookings coming from that source. I verified that the same rooms offered through the Park Plaza Hotels portal are much more expensive. The reservations are accepted even though the hotel is completely booked. Then, if the central hotel is full (my experience shows it most likely happens on the weekend) many customers are transferred to other, less desirable properties or moved to the last minute rooms of other hotels. This way the Park Plaza Unique hotels make sure they get top dollar for their accommodations and most likely skim additional money by collecting the full reservation amount but paying the other hotels the last minute rates for empty rooms. It obviously also provides a way of circumventing the transparency offered by the booking engines.

In any case, this procedure is not only dishonest but illegal and fraudulent. Booking of hotel room generates a contract that obliges the customer to pay agreed price (unless cancelled within prescribed period of time) and hotel chain to provide hotel room with specific features in a specific hotel. Supplying something else constitutes a breach of the contract.

I travel very frequently, often to exotic places, but it has been the only time I came across situation like that.

I was going to report this case to the fraud combating authorities in the US and Canada before I realized it is not the US chain of the same name. Maybe some Spanish reader of this site who experienced the same treatment can alert appropriate authority in Argentina.

  • Stayed: September 2010, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank Henry154996
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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33 - 39 of 792 reviews

Reviewed September 12, 2010

My partner and I booked the Unique Madero hotel through Expedia. When we arrived in Buenos Aires, we were told that the Unique Madero was overbooked and that we would be transported to a better sister hotel, the Unique Park Central.

Our "King bed suite" was terrible. Firstly, it was not a King bed but rather two single beds pushed together. It was very difficult to sleep as the beds kept slipping apart. The toilet was broken and the staff failed to answer our requests for fixing it. The walls were incredibly thin and we heard everything from the water turning on in the next room to the people speaking in the hall. Worst of all, there were bugs in the bathroom that got into the cookies we had bought as presents for people at home. The staff at this hotel are extremely rude and not helpful at all. In fact, they missed our wake up call and we almost missed our flight. Finally, the room was dirty and all of the finishing are very old. The towels were threadbare and the sheets were dirty. DO NOT STAY HERE.

  • Stayed: August 2010, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Conan24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 3, 2010

I have made a reservation through hotels.com and paid in advance. When we arrived they said that there was a problem with the reservation system and offered alternative accomodation at Unique Puerto Madero Hotel. I am sure it is a disrespectful scheme to complete empty hotels. Never again!

  • Stayed: August 2010, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Sergio077
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 2, 2010

I booked this hotel through hotels.com about two weeks before my trip. After a 14 hour flight and arrival to hotel was told as a matter of fact that they didnt have a room for me as they were overbooked but they would accomodate me at their sister hotel which is located in a better area. They even told me that the location of this hotel was dangerous in the evenings and that the other hotel was much better for us! Given no other option, we reluctantly agreed. They even "bribed" us with a free lunch at the hotel which was nothing spectacular. The hotel we were transferred to was no where equivalent standard to the hotel we booked plus was facing an extremely busy and noisy road that kept us up all night. After two nights, we demanded to be transferred back to the original hotel we booked which they agreed to. The original hotel room was 100 times nicer than the 2nd rate hotel we tolerated for two nights and was not dangerous as they claim. I believe that this hotel purposely overbooks using the nicer hotel as bait to transfer guests to their crummier less busy hotel. For this reason< I would strongly advise guests NOT to book this hotel as you will likely be screwed by them, like we were. I asked for a letter stating about the overbooking from the hotel and while they verbally agreed to send me one, have failed to do so.

  • Stayed: April 2010, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Deadrasta
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 3, 2010

I have done my reservation on line, almost six weeks before,
but at the arrival to this hotel, a very rude deskman
told me, that due to a problem with a section in the
hotel that is under repair, we have to be moved
to another hotel of the same chain. Not far from
here, he said, "only" six or seven squares, at no
extra cost. Who knows that? I choosen this one and
have no idea about the other one rate or services.
However, no option was provided. Nothing about
any kind of compensation. The other hotel was not
bad, but no way to compare. Breakfast was a self
limited buffet with only one option to chose, never
received the "free tango show" as advised and there
was no free internet access.
There was very much less than expected for the
cost....., so, next time will not select this one, for
sure!

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1  Thank E T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 10, 2010

This hotel was very comfortable and well located, just a few steps from the obelisque :) the staff was very nice and the breakfasts were very tasty and complimentary. The rooms were rather small but everything was clean and cute! Good hotel

Stayed: September 2009, traveled as a couple
Thank magblack
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 3, 2010

Wasn't sure what to expect considering this place seemed much cheaper than other hotels but had a great surprise with this one. Great hotel in one of the best spots in the city. Only minutes from the extensive subway system taking you anywhere in the city. No Wi-fi but it's free everywhere else. Try and get a room on the 6th floor with the terrace. It's a perfect spot and great for an after dinner drink or your coffee in the morning. We found booking on-line was much cheaper than booking at the front desk when we needed to extend our stay.

  • Stayed: August 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank KingColby
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Unique Executive Central

Address: Diagonal Roque Saenz Pena 1178, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Location: Argentina > Capital Federal District > Buenos Aires > San Nicolas
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Suites
Hotel Style:
#94 Luxury Hotel in Buenos Aires
Price Range: $42 - $201 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Unique Executive Central 4*
Number of rooms: 70
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Cosmopolitan and multifaceted, Unique Executive Central condenses the essence of the exciting city of Buenos Aires, in an elegant, modern and comfortable setting. Enjoy its privileged location in downtown Buenos Aires, a few meters from the Obelisco and Av. Corrientes and live in the front row a stay at the pace of the shows, theater, and nightlife of the vibrant Buenos Aires. Located just a few meters from the prestigious Teatro Colon and close to Florida Street, the most important tourist pedestrian street in Bs. As. The hotel has good access to the domestic and international airports, as well as subway lines in the city. The hotel offers buffet breakfast and bright and spacious rooms. Its decoration combines design, art and modernity in all its facilities, providing a unique experience for their guests. Rooms are equipped with LCD TV, telephone, individual air conditioning/heating, bathroom with bathtub, bidet, hairdryer and amenities, digital safety box, minibar and access to high speed Internet. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hotel Park Central Unique
Park Central Unique Buenos Aires

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