I booked to stay at El Escudero on the 30th and 31st of December for New Years and wish I hadn't. First of all, we arrived at around 5:30am as we had to get the only bus available from Cuenca which was the night before at 9pm which I understand is slightly too early to arrive however we were welcomed and given the keys to the room with the only remark from the proprietor being that the price shown on our confirmation (80 US Dollars) for two nights was the low season tariff, which he sort of mumbled under his breath. We slept for around 3 hours, went down to reception for breakfast but instead were greeted by the owners saying that they never received confirmation of our booking (which is not entirely their fault) however there was no mention of this a few hours earlier. We were then told the hotel was actually closed and that if we wanted to stay, they would be charging us $160 US Dollars and we would be charged an entire extra night as we arrived early (which was also not mentioned upon arrival). If this had been explained to us upon arrival then we would have happily waited until they were ready to receive us. So at this point we were to be charged double the amount originally confirmed and there would be absolutely no service as the hotel was "closed". We decided therefore to search for a new hotel, which is not easy during these dates but fortunately we were successful. When we returned to collect our bag, we informed the owners that we didn't have enough money to pay what they were asking and told them we would be leaving. They then suddenly said "well we'll just charge $120 then" meaning that they were obviously trying to take advantage of our situation despite knowing about our lack of money. We said we couldn't afford that either to which our reply was a moody face asking us for $40 for the 3 hours we were in the room. During this time, we saw another couple enter the hotel who were apparently staying there too which makes me wonder whether they had been told the same story and just decided to pay the ridiculous extra costs or whether they were simply trying to take advantage of us. Aside from this problem, the rooms were extremely hot and were full of mosquitos. The hotel is also situated on a horrible little side street which doesn't feel particularly safe, especially at night. To be honest, I thought that even the original price of 80 dollars was way overpriced for what the hotel offers and therefore 160 is simply laughable and quite cheeky really. For those who enjoyed their stay here, I'm glad that was the case but I for one will definitely not be recommending this hotel and find it incomprehensible that such a place has been awarded with the Trip Advisor recommendation sticker. I also advise everyone to call ahead even if you have a reservation.
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