LateRooms.com puts an end to kitchen bookings
Readers with the ability to recall stories from two days ago will remember that I hadn't been entirely thrilled to book a three star hotel room through LateRooms.com, only to discover I was stopping in somebody's kitchen:
In fact the Ascot Hyde Park Hotel had created an annex out of old apartments by pushing a bed into each room and not removing the fixtures and fitting from the previous tenancy. Add to that a string of safety issues and complaints (no fire doors, an electric heater wedged between the kitchen units and the bed, broken blinds and furniture, no lock on the building's front door) and you had all the makings of a new classification system for hotel rooms.
The issue is that LateRooms generates plenty of business by promoting hotels that are "self-classified" - the hotels themselves are free to fabricate a rating based on their own opinions, rather than have professional bodies independently assess their facilities - and LateRooms.com offers these hotels to guests without knowing what the guest might be paying for. There's a caveat attached on every hotel's brochure page to indicate whether its rating is self-classified. That said, you still wouldn't expect to book a kitchen for the night.
Despite emailing LateRooms with my complaint and requesting a quote for the previous post, they still haven't replied, but today their automated system emailed a link for me to review the hotel. When I clicked through, it turned out LateRooms had been paying attention after all:
While it's clearly a shame that LateRooms' expansion into domestically themed room bookings has come to an abrupt end, at least they've taken action and struck the hotel from their books. That said, I can't help but feel that perhaps it was all a misunderstanding - after all, just look at what the rest of the rooms look like: