What does one do when the hotel manager and front office staff do the age old "bait and switch" on us?! Upon my four night stay at The Visaya hotel in south Delhi, I reckon I was short-changed by about $80 by unscrupulous front office staff, and a manager who turned a blind-eye to my complaints.
As a family of four (2 adults and 2 children), we called the Visaya hotel and booked a Superior room for 4 nights, with a hefty surcharge for an extra bed to accommodate all of us. Shortly after our reservation, I noticed on their own website that there was a sale going on, and the exact same room was going for less than what we had reserved for. So, I called the hotel manager again to ensure we got the sale price. We were convinced by the hotel's manager, Amit, that we would be upgraded to a Deluxe room which is better for us, and therefore we should keep the original booking. He sent a confirmation email about setting aside a Deluxe room for us. Upon check-in, I was assured by the front office staff that the room I was getting was a Deluxe room. However, the next morning, I happened to notice another room that appeared much larger to ours. I spoke to one of the maintenance staff on the floor and discovered that the room that was given to us was a Superior room, and not a Deluxe room as had been claimed. During the discussions, I also realised that in order to make space for the extra bed, they actually had to remove some furniture from the room too! The front office went on the defensive and claimed that the room that was given to us was one of the best in the building and that they "sometimes" use that room as a Deluxe room. They seem more interested in knowing who among their staff gave me this information. They offered to move us to another room if we wanted, which was not at all the point of my discontent. I expressed a desire to talk with the manager a couple of times during my stay, Amit, but I was never contacted by him. During check-out, the front office staff claimed that they did not have authorization to make any changes but no supervisor was available at that time to address my concerns. I couldn't believe that not only was I charged more than what I should have in the first place because of this "bait and switch", but the front office staff and the manager didn't even appear to think their behaviour was unscrupulous. I had to go catch a plane and had to check out in the middle of the night without resolving this issue. I am yet to receive any correspondence by the manager and I am yet to receive my refund for the difference.
A few other comments on the facility, and I am trying to be as objective as possible in my review despite the bad experience noted above:
- maintenance and restaurant staff were very courteous
- the facility is fairly clean, but not extra-ordinary, compared to other 4 star hotels we stayed in other cities during our trip.
- breakfast buffet has a limited number of choices (compared to the other 4 star hotels we stayed at during this trip to India), and the food quality was good enough.
- the room was small (smaller than a standard room in N. America) and the in-room facilities were standard.
- even though the rooms are non-smoking, we got cigarette odour in our rooms through AC, and the maintenance staff said that probably some other guests were smoking in the room even though they weren't supposed to. Nothing was done about my concerns, that I am aware of.
- the place is not located in a convenient place. We felt that we couldn't have easy access to other restaurants or a convenience store without resorting to a vehicle. We had to go quite a distance to get to some quality restaurants (by that I mean hygienic and safe).
- Room is not convenient for families, but this appears to be an issue with many hotels in Delhi. The concept of 2 double-beds don't seems to be there.
For the money we pay, we should expect better service and better behaviour. I wouldn't recommend this hotel to others. If you are looking for South Delhi hotels, Saket area is a better bet since they are closer to amenities.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- ‘The Visaya’ is the premiere boutique hotel of New Delhi (India) providing a holistic and luxurious hospitality experience. Panchshila Park is a prime and centrally located area in heart of South Delhi, just 20 minutes away from domestic & international airports, enjoying convenient driving distances from every commercial, industrial and leisure zone of the capital city. ... more less
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