Wednesday, 10 October 2007

Harpooned on the Whale Watch!!

So I finally went to Hermanus to see the whales!!!! Absolutely delightful and one of the 101 things to see before you die.

However, our accommodation adventure started out as a disaster but ended up brilliantly and the aftermath was a disaster again, I felt like Captain Ayob vs Fawlty Towers thanks to my adventures with Misty Beach Hotel in Hermanus.

Like most new age travellers and more senior members of the public, we use our staff to assist us in booking online for our travels and so we booked through the Internet about 3 weeks before our whale watching expedition and the pictures on the Internet were ever so sexy, luxurious and can you imagine ......

" member of the Portfolio Collection 2002-2004
Welcome The Misty Collection is a group of luxurious accommodation establishments including a Guest House and Hotel in Hermanus Western Cape, South Africa. The impressive lodgings are situated in the best land-based whale watching destination in the world - Hermanus.
Accommodation at our hotel and guest houses offers you absolute luxury, comfort and tranquility; and five star service." BOY WERE WE EXCITED

lying in your soft downy bed , sleeping late and looking at the whales humping oops jumping in the sea below these cliffs.

So we arrived having driven from the airport and on arrival were told that our room was not yet ready and please to explore the town for a while and on our return we could check in. All seemed friendly and looked fine and like great school kids, knowing we had accommodation sorted as we had paid our deposit and given an imprint of our credit card, we went to look for Moby Dick. What bliss and heaven.

Boom reality bit like a rash in wet tennis shoes,in the name of Misty
Beach On our return there was a new young lady in reception whose first response was, please sign for the balance of your stay. Being totally serened out by the whale frolicking, I half hearted mentioned that my reservation stated somewhere that the balance was to be paid on departure in which she insisted that management required payment in full before we checked in. Zoze are ze rules!!!!!!! Hitler insisted. Well like a real pillock I signed and thought a great snooze and shower and lets get on with it.

Somewhere along the way, this beautiful boutique hotel had grown an evil brother and a small annex known as the luxury heritage suites - What a dump. Grey old sheets and pillowcases that were frayed in a rickety cheap(Antique) 4poster bed with my old grandma's furniture (I had wondered where that got to when she passed away a 100 years ago) and a a lounge that had a riempie bench on placed about a kilometer away from a TV that looked like the one that was bought from cash converters. Oh yes, there was a view of the sea as well,however you needed to look from an angle and through another house first....boy I felt like Moby Dick being harpooned just when I thought I had won the good fight.

Well, we knew they had made a mistake and, looking at the brochure (There was the same picture we had seen online) we went to rectify this obvious error. Hitler was waiting for us.

"Can't you even read whats told to you online:, she said. "You booked through the internet. Surely you knew that this was the Luxury Heritage Suite and not the Honeymoon Suite", oozed from those succulent young lips. I cannot help you(He -He, she must have thought, they have already paid in full, this aint my problemo).

We said we will not be fooled and wanted our money back and guess what she said, "I cannot help you but my manager will, but he is not here and will only be back on Monday, he will assist you" and boom that was that. WELL WE GRABBED OUR BAGS AND TOLD HER TO REFUND US AND LEFT - Thank God, what a terrible, terrible hotel room. And I still have not seen the honeymoon suite. I'm scared Hitler will force us to get remarried again, first. What an obnoxious, bad mannered receptionist. At least we weren't subject to being force fed a whale or whipped and tied to one of them!!!!!!!!!
We ended up staying at the magnificent Birkenhead Boutique Hotel and were treated like never before, as we expected to be, these guys were the best tourist friendly bunch I had ever met.

Well know one even knew we were gone, no phone call nothing and of course no refund from our Friends at Misty Waves. In fact we felt like the corpse in Fawlty towers where Basil tried to cover us up or they must have hoped due to us being a bit older, we might have died from natural causes instead. They probably have closed off the room like in Alfred Hitchcocks, Mrs Bates motel so that it gets left to cobwebs and spiders and eventually another weary traveller who unsuspectingly loves grey sheets and frayed pillow cases.

So the Manager, finally responding to my email requesting a refund has now to date given me back R 375.00 against my payment of R 1,500.00 and treats me as if I'm doff!!!! for which I should be ever so greatful, kowtow and kiss his feet and say a million hail Mary's

They will not take responsibility for any other online booking deal except if done by their hotel, yet they allow everyone to advertise for the. In fact they wont even take responsibility for their staff, so I'm not surprised. Surely we understood that the words Luxury Heritage Suites and the words Honeymoon suite did not mean the same. Even though the picture is uncapped and surely we understood that we should do as we are told and that ....blah blah blah What a bunch of unprofessional miserable people.

Who cares if there are online mistakes. Who cares about tourists that are unhappy, surely they should. That is their bread and butter. I intend going back to Hermanus every year for the whales, my children and their friends, friends and family and my overseas connections will and what do you think Ill tell them......don't get harpooned my friends - when you arrive check your rooms first, don't get Hitler'd by bossy and uncool receptionists and stay somewhere else.
Unless they upgraded you to the Honeymoon Suite- but first make sure you're married!!!!!!!!Fat chance! Thanks Misty Beach


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