I stayed at this hotel in the period of 26-30.08.13 with my colleague on a business trip. The stay was prepaid by our company's credit card. The following statement was provided by the Booking.com after the credit card was cleared:
The total price of the reservation will be charged on the day of booking.
With this in mind we set out for the trip fully confident that the hotel stay has been completely paid for. Little did we know.
Upon our arrival at the hotel, we were told by a receptionist that the credit card was used for booking purposes only and that we must shell out the complete price for the stay. The rationale mentioned was that the hotel used to be a victim of scams so they must make sure that the credit card belongs to one of the guests. Despite such a policy, they had not bothered to pay attention to the fact that the names on the company's credit card and guest names differ and they never contacted us before departure.
Aware of our total amazement and shock, they let us stay at the hotel while keeping us in tension throughout the stay by deactivating our keys every other day. In other words we were being treated like swindlers. They put forward a requirement that our company provides very sensitive information containing copies of both credit card sides plus a copy of the bearer's passport and a letter confirming bearer's approval of the payment. Quite naturally, our company did not agree to provide the above information. In view of the impasse, we were left with no other choice than to make payment with my own credit card.
The last bit of humiliation awaited us on the last day. We asked for late checkout. The hotel told us that we should make additional payment for that which we accepted. However, they would not let us pay at departure still treating us like full-fledged swindlers! Our attempt at persuading their senior administrator was in vain, so we had to pay on the spot.
Interestingly, two other hotels on that very trip did accept the payment on the day of booking and treated us respectfully.
For the sake of all other travelers to Moscow, please take care to not fall into the trap we fell into. The vestiges of their Soviet past are still very much in evidence. Please make sure before the trip they play by the Western rules.
On the other note, the hotel is quite far from the accepted western standards for a typical 4-star hotel. I will not comment on very kitschy interior in the rooms but the lack of tea/coffee and substandard breakfast and service do not measure up to 2-star hotels I stayed at in the West. The touted all-areas Wi-Fi did not work in the evening for hours on end.
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