I booked the family room based on the description and the photo shown on the webpage. When we travel, I normally book two regular rooms - one for my wife and I, and another for our two teenage daughters, however this seemed plenty spacious, with three beds, a couch, and a seating area. Unfortunately the actual family room that we were provided, (Room 51), is nothing like what is pictured and is severely cramped. In fact, when I spoke to a representative at the front desk, (Mauricio – who was a nice guy), he acknowledged that the picture is incorrect and actually shows one of their studio rooms. He did not, however, offer to move us or provide another room, but he did offer to let me speak with the regional manager in the morning.
The stay in the room was terrible. It was not even a real hotel room. A good portion of the rooms at this property are apparently more like a guest house, where they’ve refurbished a rickety old building nearby and converted it to “rooms.” You actually have to walk outside through the back door of the main hotel, through a courtyard, and down an alley way to get to this other building. In our room, the bathroom was ridiculously small and very uncomfortable. The knob was also broken so the door wouldn't stay shut. The double bed was in an odd cubby area with a slanted ceiling, jammed up against the wall such that if one person wanted to get up, they had to crawl across the other. Most notably, in this room, you hear every sound of other people opening and closing the entrance/exit door, going up and down nearby stairs, walking around in the room above you, turning on/off water, using the shower, and flushing the toilet. You also hear a lot of street noise, and there are frequent police sirens.
The next morning, I tried three times to speak with the manager, but he never showed up or refused to meet with me - one of the two. Mauricio did say the manager authorized him to take 25 GDP off of our one night bill of 225 GDP. I told him I wanted a full refund for the inaccurate/deceptive photos and the fact that it was not a proper hotel room. He said the best he could do was 30 GDP, that they were “already losing money” with this offer, and that “it was not the hotel’s fault” because they do not control the photos on the webpage.
When I got back to the US, I called Best Western’s customer service number and explained the situation and reiterated my desire for a full refund. They asked for pictures, (I sent them many of the ones I’ve included here), and they said they’d get back to me within 5 business days. After 7 business days with no word, (11 calendar days), I reached out to them and asked for an update. I had noticed that during the that time, the family room photos on the Best Western UK website had been changed to be slightly more reflective of what they actually provide. (They still choose not to show the awful guest house room). I noted in my follow-up that I took this change of photos as confirmation that the original photo was misleading, which was why I was asking for a refund.
The next day I received a response saying that Best Western had been in contact with this Chiswick branch, that the branch had requested the change to the photo, but that Best Western would be “standing by” the mere 30 GDP refund for “this inconvenience” due to the fact that “the amenities were still used at the hotel” and that I did stay my “full stay,” (which again, for the record was one night).
I sent a message back pointing out that, 1) I had no choice by to stay as it was July in London, and were would a family of four find a room without a booking, and 2) the heart of my complaint is that the amenities of which they speak were not as shown. I would NOT have chosen to “use the amenities” or stay at the hotel had they been properly pictured or described. When one books a stay at a hotel, particularly from a recognized brand such as Best Western, they expect a typical hotel room. What we were provided not only failed to match the photos on the webpage, but was not even a real hotel room - it was an odd, noisy, uncomfortable space in the basement of a building, repurposed to serve as lodging.
In short, I made a decision to stay at this hotel based on the photos and description provided, and everyone involved admits that these were inaccurate. Instead of staying at another property much closer to Heathrow airport, I paid $70 USD for a cab ride to this Best Western facility so that my family and I could enjoy what was supposed to be a spacious family room and a nice evening in the surrounding area. Instead we were uncomfortable, frustrated, and got little sleep before a 10 hour plane ride the next day. As it stands, I feel completely deceived by this hotel in Chiswick, and I am frustrated with Best Western as an organization for standing by the hotel's insufficient refund of 30 GBP. We still paid over 195 GDP, or about $245 USD, for this terrible experience.
In the end, instead of making right what they have admitted was an error on their part, it appears they are going to behave in a cowardly, unscrupulous manner by denying my reasonable request for a refund and ignoring my further correspondence. The only recourse I have at this point is to share the details of my experience and encourage all who read this to take their business elsewhere.
This is not a proper hotel. less