When all is not what it seems

Accommodations are a key element in one’s perception of having a great trip to it being an awful, life changing nightmare.  Thus, accommodations bumps are a major issue for travelers.   There are many bumps that one might need to get past.  From service, to location, lost reservations, noise from one’s neighbors, and the worst, uncleanliness.

Alex Morgan, member of the winning US Soccer World Cup team, made headlines about a traveling bump that she is currently experiencing.  Morgan plays in the National Women’s Soccer League, and has had major bumps in accommodations. The NWSL has regulations that visiting teams must be provided with 3 star hotels. She tweeted about hotels having bed bugs and mold.  Yikes.

The hotel Morgan and her teammates were staying at was listed as a 3 star hotel, but one with terrible reviews.  One wonders how a hotel that seems to be 1 star is rated to be a 3.

Hotel ratings systems are complex. There isn’t a global unified rating system.  It differs from each country.   In the United States, there is no uniform measure either to determine a hotel’s star rating.  Several organizations could be rating it, and each use their own criteria.  So it is not a surprise that issues arise.

Now, I don’t know who is booking their accommodations, but past experience leads me to believe that someone is getting a deal.  With the reviews that hotel is getting, there is no way that anyone is paying full price.  Or if they are, they need to be replaced.  Immediately.

As the saying goes, “You get what you pay for”.  This is very true when booking hotels. One thing one must do is research the accommodation on MULTIPLE sites for reviews.  After that, one must beware of certain situations, even if you have stayed there before.

Things one must look for if the price is really low.

  • Inquire if they are renovating the hotel. (I stayed last spring in a place that I did not book, for I was in a group.  Turns out the guy got a great deal on the rooms.  Well they were drilling and sawing from 8am to 5pm.  Not a great deal).
  • If the hotel is being torn down next week (Yes that happened to me, no I was not the one to book). The staff really doesn’t care what happens to you, they are out of a job.
  • The location is not the safest area to be in.
  • Damage due to a recent natural disaster.

Now, I have stated before, I am not a fan of booking on third-party sites in most situations.   I have issues with the non-refundable policies.  If one is staying more than one night, one needs to research before one books a “great deal”.  Call the hotel, see if you can book through them. Ask if there is any construction going on or if a refund is possible if there is a problem with the room.  (I did that with the hotel being torn down.  There was an incident, with a dog barking at 6 am.  Security never came, like they said.  I told my friend to pack her things, and we got out of there, with a refund.  The previous night was also refunded.)

Research and reaching out to hotels is a great way to avoid accommodations bumps, and in Morgan’s case, bed bugs and mold.

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