When researching where to stay while I travel, I rely a lot on the internet for information about hotels. I start with a hotel’s official website and then look at reviews.
Recently, I have learned not to believe much of what I see anymore on a hotel’s official website, especially when it concerns breakfast offerings.
A bit of background. As a Diamond Hilton Honors member, I get free breakfast at any American hotel in the form of a food or beverage credit. Other hotels include hot breakfast for every guest.
Hotels outside the USA are a bit different, but I haven’t had to deal with that yet. I will soon on my tulip trip!
I don’t need an elaborate buffet, but I do like a bit of protein and something hot.
I know COVID caused some changes to hotel services, and many were not offering any sort of breakfast during the height of the pandemic. Some properties have since resumed this and others are still offering limited options.
Before booking rooms, I always check out the hotel’s website to see what they offer and often make decisions about where to stay based on this information.
There have been two recent incidents during the past year when a hotel’s breakfast offerings were not the same as they said on their websites.
One was in the Phoenix area. I was deciding between two hotels, and both said they had hot breakfast. I actually ended up booking the slightly more expensive one since it was in a better location.
When I arrived at the hotel, there was a sign that said they are not offering hot breakfast, only a continental one. I was not happy, but I was already in the lobby and ready to check in so there was not much I could do.
I sought out the manager and asked him why their official website said they offered hot breakfast when they do not. He said he didn’t know that the website was incorrect and would get it changed. He also offered me some compensation, which I accepted.
I honestly have a hard time believing that I was the first person to ask about this in two years, but that’s not the issue.
The second incident was in New York City where nowhere on the hotel’s official website did it say they didn’t have a restaurant that would honor the dining credit mentioned prominently on the website.
Again, I didn’t find out about this until I checked in and it was too late.
I have learned my lesson and now call the hotel directly before I book and again before I travel to confirm their breakfast offerings and then make a reservation accordingly.
The same goes for airport shuttles. Several hotels have stopped offering them because of staffing shortages, but the amenity is still on the hotel website. Airport shuttles are a BIG deal when choosing an airport location just for a quick overnight before or after a flight.
I’m wondering why nobody has changed or updated websites more than 2+ years into the pandemic to more accurately reflect current hotel offerings. You’d think it would eliminate a bunch of headaches later.
My guess is a lot of properties will never resume the services they are supposed to and sometimes say they offer.
Don’t let this happen to you. A simple phone call can save you a bunch of aggravation later.