This is the first “negative” Tripadvisor review I have written. I tried to book a 4 night stay (Aug 18 – 22) at this establishment and am very disappointed at the way policies were applied to me, resulting in my reservation being declined even though there was availability in other rooms. I was even willing to pay the higher room rate since one of the rooms was more costly. I found this decision to decline my reservation completely illogical, and totally unacceptable!
July 22 - I sent a request from to the property owner/manager to inquire about my stay.
Reply: I received an email from the owner that stated there WAS availability in the Vanilla room, instructions to fill out the reservation form, and that she was on vacation until July 26. (I completed the reservation form on the B & B website). I received another reply that stated (quoted) “can we finalize when i am back home end this week, i keep an option for you in the meanwhile”.
Thus, I didn’t spend any more of my time searching for Bruges accommodations, since I had 9 other European cities to book for a trip beginning on August 12.
July 27- I sent the owner another email asking about finalizing my reservation, and to thank her for holding the room. (No response).
July 29 - I sent the owner another email asking to finalize the room and that it was getting to be critical for me since my travel plans were very complex.
Reply: I received a reply that stated she had extended her vacation and apologized for the delay. She informed me that a long-term guest staying in the Vanilla room was extending her stay another month, so the room was no longer available. However, the Santal room was available Aug 17, 18, & 19, and the Orchid room Aug 20+.
ISSUE: I understand that a long term guest’s extension for another month would be honored over my 4 night stay request – I agree with her decision there. But here is where I took issue – I asked if I could rent the available rooms and split my stay between the 2 open rooms due to their availability dates. I would pay the higher rate for the Santal room for the first 2 nights, and then move to the Orchid room for the last 2 nights = 4 nights total. I thought this was a VERY REASONABLE proposal since I just lost the other room after waiting 9 days, and I would be paying MORE money for the new rooms.
Reply July 30: the owner replied that I could NOT rent the AVAILABLE rooms since the Santal room would be left un-rented on Aug 17 as I was only taking Aug 18 & 19 (even though I was also taking another room for an additional 2 nights).
There is a 3 night minimum in the more expensive Santal room, but again, my stay was FOUR nights long and I have no control over which rooms are open or not at this point. After losing my original room to another guest, I was absolutely shocked that I could not be accommodated in the OPEN rooms. She offered to try to find me other accommodations (not what I wanted).
One night un-rented gaps must occur ALL the time, based on customer booking dates in B & B/hotel world. If this is the policy – adhering to 3 night minimum stays PER ROOM, so as to not to create one night vacancies, then that raises an interesting booking scenario where even if policies are followed, one night un-rented gaps would be created all the time – it is inevitable!
Common Scenario: would Customer B’s reservation be honored???
Customer A books the nights of December 1 – 7.
Customer B books the nights of December 8, 9, & 10.
December 8 is un-rented.
Both customers complied with the 3 night minimum rule for their respective rooms.
Customer B’s 3 night reservation created an un-rented room on December 8.
Comparing this to me, my 4 night reservation created an un-rented room but was rejected. That doesn’t even make business sense!
Alas, this is a private house, and the owner can accept and reject bookings at will. My advice – book at your own risk, and make sure you have a back up plan. I travel all over the world (including Europe), and have never experienced this before. PS - I have the email trail to share (upon request) if there is any contest to the facts above.