After my first email enquiry the owner told me in November 2013 that he could not offer any room to me (TripAdvisor did not show availability for the required dates).
After I got back to him again, he offered a room, and apologized for "the confusion".
When, apparently, the owner felt that my questions about travel industry rate and upstairs rooms were getting to much, he told me he wouldn't have any room available at all.
Strangely, at the same time, the motel's website showed availability for the discussed dates.
After I had made the reservation online, I sent 3 emails in 2 months and asked for a confirmation for an upstairs room. I never received any answer. Since I had used the same email address as during the prior email correspondence, there is absolutely no reason to believe that the motel did not receive those 3 emails.
Since the owner never got back to me and since I was approaching the free of charge cancellation deadline, all I could do, was cancel my reservation. This meant that I needed to reschedule my trip. Quite annoying. The cancellation was done, both via email and via the "contact us" form on the motel's website which confirmed that my message was received.
"Of course", again, I never received any confirmation for that cancellation.
On check-in day, the owner sent an email and asked for my arrival time.
The owner charged my credit card. However, not only for one night, which would be common if I had not canceled, but for all 4 nights. And despite the fact that for all 4 nights the sign outside the motel showed "no vacancy". In other words, although I had canceled my reservation on time, I was charged not only for one, but for all 4 nights. Still the owner sold the room to other guests, thus, made the revenue twice. Truly outrageous.
There are the two possible reasons for all this:
The motel never received my emails after my online reservation. How likely is that, given the fact that I used the same email account and same official motel email address as during the correspondence with the owner? Also, how likely is it that the cancellation which I sent through the official website's contact form never reached the motel?
Here is what is more likely:
The owner was annoyed that I had made a reservation although he, obviously, did not want me as his guest. Then he ignored all my emails until I approached the cancellation period. If I had still shown up, he would, of course, have given me a ground-floor room as a punishment. In case of a "no-show", he would say he never received a cancellation, he would bill me, and still sell the room for that night.
I will have the amount reimbursed by my credit card company. Other than that, I'd be more than happy to sue the owner. In addition, I will inform all relevant booking portals and agencies about the behavior of the owner, also, the Nelson Chamber of Commerce, Nelson's Major, Regional and National Tourist Offices, and, of course the police.
Of course, I can prove all I am writing here about my Sails Motel experience and the unprofessional and outrageous behavior of its owner.
If you still want to stay at this motel, book through TripAdvisor. Do not book through the motel as I am sure the owner will treat other travelers like he treated me. Possibly, this is part of his business model.
Incompetence or fraud: Someone like the Sails' owner should not be in the hospitality industry.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Nelson's newest luxury motel is unparalleled in quality and price. Qual mark rated 5 stars. The Sails provides 3 different size suites: 4 Elegant One Bedroom Apartments, 4 Sumptuous Executive Suites, 6 Luxury Studios and 2 Luxury ground floor Access Enabled Suites, Individual Car Parks. Our suites enjoy floor to ceiling windows opening onto your own intimate balcony or courtyard, fully equipped stainless steel kitchens, 42in LCD Televisions, Mini Bar, and Guest Laundry. Complimentary 50+ Sky, Wi Fi, Blue Ray, Ipod Docking. ... more less
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