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Top Secret Hotels Travelcity


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Pooling Experience with Travelocity "Top Secret" Hotels

About a month ago I booked a room in Reno for Thursday night with Travelocity under their advertised “Top Secret” Hotel Program. This is Travelocity’s venture into opaque hotels, allowing them to compete somewhat with Priceline and Hotwire. The Hotel I booked was described as a 4 star property with good customer ratings. Price was good, a resort fee (disclosed in advance and customary in Reno) was charged at check in. Hotel was the Peppermill. I asked the hotel desk agent about the “Secret” program, he said he was unaware of it. He assigned me a room in the Montego Bay section which he described as 2.5 star with parking near as in a motel. I told him that the room was described by Travelocity as 4 star. He said that higher rated rooms were available in other sections but for an additional fee. I had a busy schedule, no time to quibble, the room was adequate but was not as described. I’ve done “Secret” rooms for years in Europe thru LastMinute.com, that experience has always been positive and accurately rated.

Travelocity later emailed me the usual evaluation, which I returned to them with very low ratings. I told them that I would delay posting my experience to this forum to give them an opportunity to research and respond. No response received. In my comments to Travelocity I reminded them that the “opaque” customer has to trust the ratings given by Travelocity. In this case I received a lower rated room than was advertised by Travelocity at the time of sale, a “bait and switch” tactic. So my initial impression of the Travelocity “Top Secret” Hotel Program is poor due to inaccuracy in ratings. Hoping to collect the experiences of others here so we can see if Travelocity learns how to run an opaque hotel program with the necessary accuracy.

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Thanks for sharing your experience.

In principle, I do agree with you the Montego Bay 'motor lodge' section at the Peppermill shouldn't be sold and marketed as 4 stars. At least not when rooms in the main part of the hotel are also rated 4 stars (which is the case here). I don't think you'll get very far with your recourse however, for two reasons.

1) - You didn't have the time at check-in to pursue the issue further. IMO this would have been the time to try and get resolution, rather than after your visit was over.

2) - The retail side of Travelocity sells the Montego Bay rooms under the 4 star umbrella of the greater Peppermill property(as does Expedia). If retail Montego Bay rooms were sold separately at a different (lower) rating, then I think you'd have a legitimate claim here.

Both Priceline & Hotwire opague services sell the Montego Bay rooms at a lower rating category, and rooms in the main hotel at a higher category. IMO this is the way Travelocity (and Expedia) should sell them, too, but they don't. As info, the upscale Tuscany Towers at Peppermill are in fact sold separately as a category 5 star. It's too bad they don't follow suit with Montego Bay rooms at a category lower than rooms in the main part of the hotel.

It's difficult enough to identify Travelocity Top Secret properties, however it gets muddier when you're dealing with a property such as the Peppermill that offers 3 distinct different types of accomodations that should each have separate rating categories.

Please keep us posted of any further developments.

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  • 5 months later...

I ran into the same issue with Travelocity when booking in Reno, NV for 11/5/2010. I received a room in the Montego Bay Wing listed as a 4 star. The property ALSO said they were undergoing renovation in this wing. I was infuriated and also was unhappy with the location as well. I just went to priceline and rebooked for a downtown Reno property and didn't bother to say anything to Travelocity until I received their Property Review form. Well I wrote them a long response and said I'd never use them again and I meant it.

I gave it a shot and being it was November it wasn't a great loss of money but the weekends in summer are very expensive at times in Reno & would hate to be paying a large amount to have this happen again.

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