Golden Tulip Hotel Group Complaint - Worst Hotel Experience In 37 Years Of Travel

Review by youngpharma on 2009-03-05
ITALY -- I stayed at the Hotel Golden Tulip Bellambriana in Rome, booking two rooms for 4 persons. The arrival date was 12th of February 2009 and the departure date was 15th of February. On arrival at the hotel I noticed a serious lack of staff. There were no bellboys to help with luggage and only one person on duty in reception. I checked in and was given our allocated room numbers. The rooms were quite frankly little short of disgusting. The first room stank of damp and was totally uninhabitable because of this smell. The second room had numerous broken fixtures that were hanging off. It was dirty and appeared not to have been cleaned for some time. I was not satisfied with these rooms and returned to the reception to change them. I asked for the rooms to be changed and was informed that there were only two other rooms available. I did find this strange at the time because I did not see many other people both at check-in and at any other time throughout my stay. The replacement rooms were a little better than the first but not very much. There were broken fixtures that were hanging off from their fixings, in one of the rooms the toilet was leaking and continually flooded the whole bathroom, the other room had a strange configuration with an uncomfortable toilet, there was no holder for the shower head and this had to be held whilst showering, shower wastes were broken and dangerous, and the rooms were generally not very clean and in a poor state of repair with many marks on the walls.

The allocated room numbers were 101 and 102. I found the standard fell well below what I would expect from a four star hotel. I endured the situation for the simple fact that I was on a very tight schedule and had no time to look for alternative accommodation. It was a very un-enjoyable stay and I voiced my concerns with the reception staff on checking out of the hotel. The reception staff by the name of Mina explained why the rooms allocated were so poor. She was very embarrassed and told me that the rooms allocated to me were ones that could not be sold to anyone else or that nobody else would want to stay in. This came as a very great shock to me as my booking guaranteed me the best available rooms at check-in. The hotel was far from being full and if anything it was nearly empty. By no stretch of the imagination could my rooms be described as the best available unless they were all of a very poor standard. Mina also told us that one of the rooms was for disabled people which would explain the strange configuration.

I was astonished and told her that I would be writing to the head office of the Golden Tulip group. She then told me there was nothing she could do because this was hotel policy. I told her that this was totally unacceptable as the hotel had not honored its contractual obligations and provided me with the rooms it promised at the time of booking. In truth I was given the worst possible rooms in the hotel as confirmed by Mina. The rooms were sub-standard, dirty, and dangerous. Furthermore, to add insult to injury the hotel tried to overcharge me by another 90 Euros on top of the bill. Thankfully I had the good sense to check the invoice and notice this mistake and have it rectified.

My stay at the Hotel Golden Tulip Bellambriana was undoubtedly the worst experience I have encountered in 37 years of traveling. I can tell you in earnest that this is no exaggeration. I was very worried because I had also pre-booked another of their hotels. My second booking was for the Hotel Golden Tulip Tritone in Mestre Venice arriving the 16th of February 2009 and departing 18th of February 2009. I had concerns about using this chain again but as the booking was prepaid and non refundable, there was little I could do but hope that this was just an isolated case. The night before arriving at the Tritone, I had two rooms booked at the Hilton Metropole hotel in Florence. This hotel was similarly booked at a discounted rate with the same conditions of the best available rooms allocated on check-in. The difference was that I was given the best available rooms and the experience was totally different. I frequently use this chain of hotels and they always come up to standard. This hotel like the Bellambriana was a four star. The rooms were well appointed, clean and spacious. The quality of service was excellent and consistent with every other hotel of their chain. My stay here was a very welcome respite after the stay at the Golden Tulip hotel in Rome.

On arrival at the Golden Tulip Tritone I was once again deflated. Their internet site and the brochures give the impression that this hotel is a grand up-scale four star hotel. In truth it is nothing more than a cheap motel. It is small and very seedy and in my experience does not warrant its four star rating. The entrance is through an alley way which is dirty and has no direct vehicle access. On arrival again there was a total lack of staff. There were no bell boys and in fact we did not see any throughout our stay. This is strange since their brochure clearly shows a bell boy. Maybe he was brought in especially for the photos. The reception members were unfriendly and unwelcoming. Once again I noticed that this hotel was far from busy. The rooms allocated had very small bathrooms, with toilet, shower and basin. The area was so cramped that on sitting on the toilet, your feet intrude into the shower cubicle. The allocated room numbers were 614 and 616. I do not believe that these were the best available rooms for one instant. The standard of this hotel falls short of my expectation of a four star in many departments. The service is very lack lustre and is not acceptable in many areas. One particular noteworthy example of this is in the restaurant. The waitresses are very rude and unwelcoming to say the least. They make comments between each other about their guests and carry out their duties very grudgingly. The waitress called Shan was very bad indeed and frowned and mumbled under her breath when asked to provide the simplest of service.

I have never come across such bad service and unacceptable standards of accommodation. The whole saga has made me very angry and disappointed. What was meant to be an enjoyable and memorable experience has been marred by my choice to stay at hotels which make up this chain.

At this moment in time I am considering posting my experiences on every booking site on the internet to warn others about staying at these hotels. As you can imagine my depth of feeling is very strong regarding this matter. I am also contemplating taking legal advice on this matter, as the hotels did not carry out your contractual obligations at the time of booking as I have described above.

I have written to the CEO of the company but as of today I have not even had the decency of a reply, Just goes to show what a Micky Mouse outfit they are running.
Comments:2 Replies - Latest reply on 2009-03-05
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-03-05:
Who gives it the 4 star rating? It would be interesting if you showed this post to them.
Posted by Soaring Consumer on 2009-03-05:
I hope you took photos of the rooms.

You should not have to pay 4 star prices when they gave you a 0 star room. False advertising at its worst. Dispute the charges.

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