What to do when a hotel doesn’t have your confirmed room?

If you’re like me, you spend a lot of time looking for just the right reservation. You’ve searched the hotel’s reviews, you’ve looked for the hotel promotions, tried to find the best loyalty program, and found the best deals. 

So what happens when you go to check in to your hotel and they tell you that not only do they not have your room ready, they don’t have one at all?

Yesterday, we reserved a Luxury Suite at the Conrad Hotel in New York, because we wanted a 1 night getaway, and the suite was a fantastic deal. The regular room rate was around $250 a night, but the large suite was only $450. We saw this deal, and jumped on it as quickly as we could. 

Conrad Lobby, from www.hilton.com

Conrad Lobby, from www.hilton.com

So imagine our surprise when we go to check in and they say “Oh I’m sorry Mr Nickel, we don’t have your room. Our Luxury suite is damaged and can’t be booked, so we’ve given you a regular room with no view.”

I’m sorry, what? Now, I’m the first one to understand that sometimes rooms get damaged and can’t be booked, but I have a confirmed reservation for a luxury suite, and you’re giving me a regular room? So, what’s to do?

First off, know your rights. If you have a confirmed reservation in a luxury suite and they don’t have one for you, they can’t just give you a regular room and be done with it. If you booked a luxury suite and all they have is a regular room, you can accept that regular room, but they have to charge you the regular room price. Or, they can try and find you a suite at a sister property.

Luxury Suite, Conrad, from www.hilton.com

Luxury Suite, Conrad, from www.hilton.com

When I told them that I’d like a room at a sister Hilton property, they tried to call around but couldn’t find one that was available. Apparently it was a popular weekend in New York. Most of the Hilton’s were fully booked, and after checking even on the Hilton App, most were sold out.

With that said, I wasn’t getting anywhere with the front desk agent (who couldn’t have cared less, by the way), so I asked to speak to the front desk manager. 

She came out and we had a very productive conversation. While I was trying to be as understanding as possible about her situation, I kept asking for her to try and understand my position as well. I don’t live in New York, and came into the city to have a getaway, and if I wanted a regular room at a regular hotel, I would have booked that.

She tried moving stuff around, but still couldn’t find anything, so I asked for compensation. She told us that next time we come to New York, to let her know so she can take care of us if we should want to give the Conrad a chance again. Also, she said that she will be issuing a free night certificate for any Hilton property in the USA.

Shame we can’t use those certificates overseas, I’d happily go back to the Luxor Hilton hotel.

Hilton Luxor Pools

Hilton Luxor Pools

As an elite member, I have a certain level of expectations from a hotel, and especially when booking into a paid suite in the hotel. Once they knew that the room wasn’t available, they should have contacted me, albeit it via email, to let me know that they wouldn’t be able to keep the reservation.

We managed to find a room at a hotel down the street, and when we told them about our situation, not only did they upgrade us to a suite, we got a great arrival gift and free valet parking. 

Don’t always accept the first answer that you’re given. If you feel that you should be given more compensation that you’re being offered, ask to speak to a supervisor and hold your ground. Will we try the Conrad again in New York? If we head back that way, sure, I’ll give them a chance to redeem themselves, but you can make sure that I’ll be messaging the manager directly so she can handle the reservation directly.

Author: Jon Nickel-D'Andrea

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