Stayed here for 2 nights as we had a free weekend before going to Guangzhou for a business trip.
Firstly, check in was smooth and the rooms was clean & nicely furnished. The hotel staff was friendly and recommended some places for us to have dinner. We walked around in the evening but did not find anything we liked. Instead we ended up having dinner at the Chinese restaurant within the hotel (Peach Garden). The food here is really good!!! The braised goose is one of the best I ever had and there are lots of local Teochew dishes available. Will highly recommend this restaurants for those who want to have authentic Teochew food but not comfortable eating at the local restaurants.
Everything was great until the check-out. As we had booked and paid for the room through an online company, I thought we just had to hand over the room keys and everything should be fine. Instead, we were told to pay for the room charges and the following occurred.....:
1) The front staff insisted that we did not mention that we had internet reservations and they had given us another room. Hence I had to pay for the room while my internet reservation is treated as a "no-show
2) When I pointed out that I had given the reservation details upon check-in, the staff denied this. And it was a joke as she was holding my printout which she had clipped on with the rest of my documents ......
3) When the staff realized this, she insisted that the printout was for my room "cancellation". Huh??!!?? When I took a look at what she meant by cancellation, she was pointing to the word "cancel"that appeared in the printout under cancellation policy of the internet reservation. When I explain that cancellation policy is a standard term on any internet reservation, she started to get frustrated and asked her senior staff/ manager to talk to me.
4) As I had to go to the airport, I told them to please sort things out and let me know the outcome. The hotel staff agreed but me to give them a credit deposit which I felt was reasonable. However, they took my card and swiped for a RMB3,000 deposit when my total rooms charges was only about RMB1,500! This is ridiculous!!!! Why should I put a deposit for double the amount in dispute? After telling them firmly "no", I gave only RMB1,5000 as my deposit and left the hotel.
5) when I landed in Guangzhou, I received a call from the senior hotel staff. He told me that they had found my internet reservation but they had make a mistake and gave me another room. He told me that he will go ahead with charging me for the room and I should ask for a refund from the internet reservation company? This is getting crazy!!! Why should I go and get a refund from someone else when its their mistake?? After arguing for 30 mins over the phone, which was an international call for me, I told that staff that my phone bill is going to be as high as the room charges if we keep talking. Instead, I asked him to give me a call when I'm back in my home country.
2 weeks had passed and that staff still had not call me. I had not checked my credit bill yet but I'm pretty sure they had charged me for the room.....
I saw that there were some negative reviews that were posted previously and most of the reviewers mentioned that it might be due to the language barrier. However, I am a Chinese and can speak Mandarin fluently. Even if they don't understand Mandarin, I can speak Teochew which is the local dialect. Hence I can assure you that its not the language problem but more of a service attitude problem. The staff just did not try to understand the issue and was focused on pushing blame....
I am a very frequent traveler and usually do not complain. However, this is definitely one of my worst experience in all my years of travel! There are a few more hotels coming up in the Shantou region and will not recommend this hotel even if you see it ranked number 1 here....
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- Also Known As:
- Meritus Shantou China Hotel Shantou