BEWARE Using PRICELINE for Room Selection With Its Hotel Partners. You Are at the Bottom of the List!
HOUSTON, TEXAS -- Using Priceline primarily for all our travel arrangements within the US and abroad, we actually selected our stay with Hilton Americas (Houston) as we have done several times before and completely satisfied, Priceline's hotel partner. This was perfect for the long anticipated Buble' Performance at the Toyota Center which is adjacent to the Hotel. We confirmed our reservations for a non smoking ($350) room well in advance, mid-August through Priceline for the October performance.
Upon what we thought to be our seamless check in, we were provided a room on the 9th floor. Exiting off the elevators one could not mistake this was indeed a "smoking floor". Walking through a there was hallway glass door thinking this to have separated the smoking from non smoking rooms. It was quite evident passing through that, this actually was indeed the sectioned off smoking rooms. The nicotine stench was so incredibly bad I seriously doubt this to be acceptable for those who smoke. Don't misunderstand being the type that is totally appalled, or think that smoking is reprehensible, I/we are not. This was completely overbearing and quite honestly certain a health consideration at this point, seriously.
We returned to the front desk to have a room change with our provided confirmed reservation in hand of a non-smoking room as indicated on our confirmation, black and white "2 Queen Beds Parkview Nonsmoking L-Shaped Work Desk/Serenity Bed-Lux Linens Mp3 Clock-Peter Thomas Roth Bath Amenities". Our representative indicated that the hotel is fully booked and does not have another available room. We're not talking about an ocean front room here much less park/city view, but something that deal directly with health considerations.
Being that we have arrived early, my suggestion to the front desk, certainly there are non-smoking rooms available to those who have yet to check in? "This is correct, however those are available for reservations made directly through us, and our contractual agreements made through the attending conference NOT through a "third party" such as yours in which case we treat that as a "request" ".
We then get to the "manager" level to which the response was, "we do have available rooms, and can accommodate your stay, however available non-smoking rooms are for those guests who directly secure that through us and are "reserved". You will need to contact your "third party" This is not my problem, we're done (as he throws up his hands)!
With that, we were "kicked to the curb" with no accommodations, nor alternative arrangements made by Hilton or Priceline. Needless to suggest, they couldn't have in part to other hotels in the immediate are being fully booked the same.
So, here we are on the streets of downtown Houston, no room, hours before the performance, separated from our group, transportation issues, missed dinner reservations and yes, late to the performance having to seek out other arrangements on our own.
Of course we follow up with Priceline who actually provided an immediate refund and get this, a "$25 token" of their sincere regret of how we as a Priceline client was handled as this is not in accordance with partnering hotels and advised that their executive services department who follow up with Hilton Americas.
So who is actually at fault here? Priceline, hotel or equally both. To be quite honest, and will contradict myself, but when a large company as Priceline throws out $25 voucher to its client for the misgiving.... Well, it's quite insulting. I show up with my Priceline confirmation in hand that clearly indicated "non-smoking" and there is available non-smoking rooms, yet the hotel says I'm "third party", thus provided what the hotel wants to offer with no remedy to have immediate resolution than leaving it up to the hotel and so sorry after the fact, here is your $25 token and refund and wipe their hands clean of it, just as the hotel. This leaves a lasting impression of what both these companies did to ruin what was thought to be a memorable evening.
Now then, since they are partners in crime in this respect and it's not about the monetary expense, I would rather have these two companies attempt correct the matter in providing an experience that was originally planned.