A woman paid almost HK$3,000 for a top-storey sea view suite and found the view partially blocked by two buildings, according to one of the complaints received by Consumer Council.
The view from room of the suite also only saw the rooftop of another commercial building, the woman found out after she checked in.
The woman then confronted the staff why there is no panoramic sea view in the suite. The staffer replied that she was in one the four top-storey panoramic sea view suites offered by the hotel. She also found out photos on the hotel's website were taken in the suite opposite to the one she booked.
The staff also informed her that other customers checked in that room and they could not change room for her, saying that the view in both suites was not so different.
The woman then filed a complaint to the Consumer Council, as she didn't know there are more than one suite that offers panoramic sea view, and photos on the website showed a panoramic sea view within the suite and the room that is not blocked by anything.
After the council's engagement, the hotel refunded half of the price of the suite to the woman.
Apart from this case, the council also saw nine other complaints regarding staycation experiences in hotels within the first five months of this year.
Another case saw a citizen was charged an extra fee of HK$500 for bring a cat to a “pet-friendly” hotel, which turned out the hotel only welcomes dogs not cats.
The council reminded the public not to rush into making bookings simply because of low prices or big discounts. Consumers should phone the hotel or online booking platforms for enquiries and confirmation of the details whenever they are in doubt or making specific requests, as the information on hotel booking sites may be imprecise or incomplete.
The council also inquired 36 hotels that offer the staycation experience on how will they inform residents if one of them is infected with Covid
-19. However 29 hotels didn't respond.
The council then initiated an investigation and found four hotels will not proactively inform customers who have made their reservation. Some hotels will refund or postpone the reservation, yet some hotels will charge for the arrangement.