For our 2 days trip to Pattaya my wife liked to stay at "Woodlands Suite" at Naklua road. A place we have been staying a few times before. A good hotel on a convenient location. So I booked a room via their web-site as I used to do before. When we arrived at the lobby to check-in our name was asked and my reservation was on the desk. And then ....
Lady : "You booked a room only, right?"
Me : "Not as I know of"
Lady : "Yes, you did and she showed me the reservation form"
I looked carefully and indeed nowhere was mentioned that the room-price was included breakfast, but also nowhere was mentioned that the room-price was "room only".
Lady : "No problem, you can buy breakfast for 400 Thai baht per person/per day"
Me : "No way! Paying 1600 Thai baht extra because you do not mention "room only".
Me : " Can I see the web-site where I booked"
Lady : "Yes, no problem"
And the porter came to bring me to the free of charge to use computer, probably I was not the first customer requesting this. And indeed also on their web-site is never mentioned that the room-price is with breakfast, but again also never mentioned "room only".
Lady : "So you agree to buy breakfast?"
Me : "No way! Just cancel the all reservation, give me money back and I go to another hotel"
The lady starts to search in the computer and offers me a cheaper room with breakfast. And that is OK because this room is actually almost the same as the one we booked. So once in the room I send a email to the reservation centre of the hotel and promptly get and answer. Again probably I am not the first guest to complain about this because there is standard kind of reply in the way of "Sorry you feel mislead but where are technically correct and many others do the same".
Is this what the hotel business has become, to mislead guests and then sell them something extra?
Yes, technically they are right and correct, but still I had one question "What is your problem with mentioning on your web-site "Room only"?" I did never get answer to this question.
So yes indeed some other even big internationally hotel chains and hotel bookings sites try this little misleading game. And it probably works out fine as the most guests do not complain as they do not want to ruin their holiday.
So whenever you are booking an hotel you better check what you are buying. Is the price incl. breakfast? Is the price incl. tax? Is the price incl. hotel service commission? Is the price incl. any extra fee? As of booking hotels in Thailand it is actually also misleading to mention 17% tax as the VAT in Thailand is 7% and that other 10% is service charge, which I consider to be tip. And tip should not be include in a price.
O yes .... and as of "Woodlands suites" .... for me the last time I stayed here. Although the rooms are good and the location great. But you know what "There are so many hotels with better service".