Accommodation problems at the Blue Haven

55-room luxury boutique hotel in Bacolet (listing)
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Sue S

Accommodation problems at the Blue Haven

Post by Sue S » Tue Oct 07, 2003 9:06 am

My husband and I are due to leave for a holiday in Tobago in just over a week's time, on the 16th October and have booked the last 5 days of our at the Blue Haven. We have just had a phone call saying that they are over booked and wanting us to move our booking which is impossible. We booked and paid a deposit of £324 back in July so I don't understand why they couldn't notify us of any difficulty earlier. The have offered us alternative accommodation at a hotel of our choice and have offered us the Coco Reef. However, this does seem to be more expensive than the Blue Haven, so I have emailed them saying that I expect some recompense in the form of some free dinners - we're booked at the Blue Haven on a bed & breakfast basis. Has anyone else had this problem and if so, what have you done about it?

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Steve Pitts
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Over-booking

Post by Steve Pitts » Tue Oct 07, 2003 12:09 pm

Hi Sue

I would have thought that over-booking was quite rare in Tobago, especially as it's the low season. There were very few tourists around a week or so ago.

I have no experience of the blue haven, but if they are offering the Coco Reef as an alternative, I would accept - but get it in writing that they will foot the bill. It's their muck up, so you shouldn't be out of pocket (which you will be if you stay at the Coco Reef).
Let us know how you get on. Have a cracking time

Cheers
Steve

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Glyn Kirpalani
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Post by Glyn Kirpalani » Tue Oct 07, 2003 1:27 pm

Hi Sue

You do not say whether you booked through a UK based tour operator? I assume not, but if so contact them immediately as it is their problem.

If they do not sort it then contact ABTA immediately, plus you can get your credit card onto the case for a refund if you booked that way (protected fully from non-supply of goods by the CCA1974).

However, if the hotel appears to be trying to make amends by booking you into equivalent or better accommodation, then (unless you have specific sentimental reasons, for instance, for booking BH) you should continue to be reasonable too - which means you are quite right to want compensation (as the small claims court, or ABTA arbitration would award you). The other posters advice to get it in writing is also excellent and adviseable.

Don't let it spoil your trip - my guess is that (as it is low season and the BH was deserted last week when I went) that it must have attracted a lucrative exclusive booking, eg a wedding or conference. Nasty really - I would pop down when there to have a snoop, the beach bar is nice.

Regards
Glyn Kirpalani

Marilyn Pilstl

Romantic Blue Haven

Post by Marilyn Pilstl » Sat Oct 11, 2003 7:00 pm

Dear All
I am very disappointed to see a headline "Accomodation problem at Blue Haven". Blue Haven is exclusively booked last week in October. We tried to contact everybody in September inluding in Mr. and Mrs. Smith and informed them about the issue. We offered complimentary room upgrades and a romantic candlelight dinner a deux at Blue Haven if they might be able to change dates. Some guests were happy and took the offer. We understand that some people might be unable to change dates. In this case we offered comparable accommodation (Coco Reef) and packages worth more than double the price they were paying at Blue Haven. But still Mr.& Mrs. Smith are bargaining for more and with our compliments and apologies for the inconvenience we added again two extra dinners.
As a small hotel we feel that we have gone the extra mile and tried everything so that Mr. and Mrs. Smith will have a wonderful holiday in Tobago.
Sunny Smiles
Karl Pilstl
Managing Director
http://www.bluehavenhotel.com

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Glyn Kirpalani
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Post by Glyn Kirpalani » Sat Oct 11, 2003 9:05 pm

Hi Karl

It is good to see that you have offered the Smiths favourable accommodation, but, with respect, I think you are missing the point somewhat - they booked first, and it must be highly disappointing - understandably so in my opinion - for them to discover that their confirmed and paid booking was dropped for purely economic reasons so that you could accept a subsequent exclusive booking (as I suspected).

There has to be more to good customer service than pure economics - first come first served. Perhpas you should have canvassed all booked customers with your offer of alternatives before you accepted the exclusive booking, not afterwards - you might be out of pocket in the short term, but in the longer term your customers would have been impressed with your concern, particularly if one couple such as the Smiths refused to move, leading to you losing the exclusive booking.

For some people this might have been their holiday of a lifetime - having read about your wonderful hotel (which we love by the way), then booked, you can hardly blame them for being very, very upset?

Thanks for coming on line to face the customers anyway,
Regards
Glyn Kirpalani

PeterS

Coco Reef Holiday

Post by PeterS » Tue Jan 20, 2004 7:41 am

Hi Sue,
By now I assume of have gotten over your drama experienced at the Blue Haven Hotel. But I have just joined the forum and have my two pence to offer.
You booked well enough in advance at the Blue Haven and had secured same by way of your deposit. Though there should never be a situation of over booking, if such a fine hotel has a proper Reservations System. But sometimes in the islands, anything card can play. In this event, Blue Haven is completely resposible for your hotel stay at whichever hotel you chose, at their expense.You should never have had to discuss prices at alternate properties. In addition to this, if they were in the business of providing good customer relations, they should have offered you a complimentary stay at their hotel for your return trip to Tobago, since they deprived you of a truly wonderful experience at Blue Haven. It was quite unfortunate.

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