An unfortunate situation, handled awfully.
Although I believe you should only expect what you pay for, you still have the right to be compensated when your stay has not filled your basic expectations. Our basic expectations for this stay was a bed for the night and a shower in the morning.
Unfortunately for the hotel, their boiler broke overnight, which meant we couldn't shower in the morning. We were not notified of this before attempting to shower, which would have been useful (a note under the door or an email to wake up to perhaps). Also worth noting, when we called down, we were not given an alternative option, even though someone at the front desk later that morning was given one.
We of course bought up the lack of a hot shower when we checked out, but the response that we were met with was effectively 'tough luck, not our fault'. When we suggested (partial) compensation, we were told that it wasn't possible because we didn't book directly with them. What made this worse was that the final stance from the two people on the desk was 'we could help you if you'd have booked with us instead'. Hindsight is a wonderful thing eh?
When we complained through the booking company, they told us that when they contacted the hotel directly themselves, they refused a partial refund. Luckily the booking company were able to compensate us, but this wasn't their responsibility.
A broken boiler is an unfortunate situation for any hotel to deal with, but you HAVE to deal with it. You can't just shrug it off. Own it, and realise you have a responsibility to your paying guests, regardless of who they've booked their room through. less