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Vava'u - Tongan Beach Resort - Photoshopped pictures on their website

Vava'u - Tongan Beach Resort - Photoshopped pictures on their website

Oct 5th, 2015, 01:23 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 17
Vava'u - Tongan Beach Resort - Photoshopped pictures on their website

I booked the Tongan Beach Resort after checking the pictures of their website : thetongan.com . The beach was looking awsome but when i arrived at the hotel i realized i have been scammed by photoshopped pictures which are very far from reality. The sandy beach in the pictures is in fact composed of rough sand and coral gravels : very abrasive and unconfortable and the hotel was miserable. A real nightmare for an expensive rate : it is the worst and more terrible hotel i had in Tonga islands between Tongatapu, Haapai and Vava'u islands – and the more expensive for a poor service and very low quality. The only fantastic point was the staff : very friendly and helpful, but not enough to have good time.
This hotel has many defaults :
1 – they don't have any online payment or paypal : you have to send your credit card detail by email which is very unsecured and not recommended
2 – the rooms are in bungalows looking like temporary buildings : very basic and rough construction
3 – basic room , very different from the confortable room displayed on their website , very bad soft bed
4 – basic bathroom. Toilet flush not working : you have to fill the reservoir with the coffee pot! ... I asked the maid for somebody to repair but nobody shows.
5 – no AC, no TV, bad wifi in the bar (none elsewhere) when it was working correctly on the other tongan islands
6 - The swimming pool is not maintained and with very dirty looking (brown color)
7 - everything looks abandonned, dirty and inattractive (pool, dirty curtains and cushions...)
8 - very bad beach and the word « beach » is not appropriate – it's looking like a mining site which gravels.
9 - You fear to walk on the jetty which seems very weak and unstable.
To explain that nightmare, the manager just say "Vava'u is a remote island", "you are the only one which complain", "everybody is satisfied". He was wrong : others hotels are also remote, but they do much much better and the Tongan Beach resort was the only i had to complain - and for good reasons! Also the manager lied about the customer satisfaction : there is many terrible reviews on internet about the Tongan Beach Resort and i was'nt the only to complain.
So i arrived late afternoon, and as the pictures on their website didn't look like the reality, i thought i have been scammed and stolen because i made my choice on fake pictures . I wanted to stay in that awful hotel only 1 night and i found another hotel with availability. I made that proposal to the manager, at the beginning, he said he will refund me for the 2 remaining nights. Later, the manager had a call with the other hotel (he was laughing on the phone as he was preparing a bad joke), and finally the other hotel informed me that one customer wants to stay longer and of course it was a lie . On hotels website and expedia : 2 rooms were available and it was unbelievable that a customer decided to stay more at 8pm when most of them are foreigners with domestic flights tickets connecting to their countries. And the tongan domestic flights are very often fully booked because it's very small aircrafts. So the manager of the hotel changed its mind and i had to stay in that awful hotel for 2 more nights. Time to see in details how terrible was the lake of maintenance in that resort. So the behavior of the manager has been unacceptable and unfair. He lost his time to block my departure when there is a real need in this hotel for a real and efficient manager to check all issues and satisfy its guests.

Also i have been for the whales watching excursion in Haapai and Vava'u islands : it was very late for Vava'u (I bought the excursion to the hotel but they forget to mention that point) and most whales were gone to Antarctica and for me Haapai is much better : incredible whale watching/swimming there and cheaper, beautiful sand beaches and better hotels. So i will come back to Haapai, but never to Vava'u. Also, there is more whales watching companies in Vava'u communicating by radio and when a whale is spotted : all boats are around.
travelstravels is offline  
Oct 5th, 2015, 02:12 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 65,315
Welcome to Fodors . . . Maybe you should have joined before booking, instead of kvetching about picking the wrong resort

But in any case, I'm not sure I believe you because the resort gets quite good reviews on Booking.com (where only people who have actually stayed there can post reviews) and on TA (which can be less reliable because anyone can post)

>>there is many terrible reviews on internet about the Tongan Beach Resort<< . . . uh - nope.
janisj is offline  
Jan 7th, 2017, 08:30 PM
  #3  
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Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 17
I used Booking.com and they never requested my opinion when i was staying with them. They probably displayed Tripadvisor reviews and to write one review : you don't even need to proove your id, and to proove you spent a night there - so there is a lot of abuses (both sides) and a hotel can manipulate it's level with fake reviews from friends and family for instance. I don't believe Tripadvisor as the reviews aren't certified. Normally the website of an hotel is supposed to give you an good idea of the property : execpt when the pictures are 'enhanced" and also when they published the pictures when the hotel was new. So sometimes you don't find what you thought you will find. And i think the best way to know an hotel is to go there and i was in Tongan beach. Why i will spend 10 minutes to write a review on a hotel i have never been. I don't have time to loose and i only write reviews on my bad experiences and it's also normal to have good experience when you pay for it. So when i write a review it's to warn the other travellers to avoid that specific hotel and my review of Tongan is very detailed for a fake so i encouraged you to go there and you will realize it was a real review.

And if you like Booking.com : be aware they don't check anything (and they also pretend they aren't responsible for any problem - have a look to their "contract") and i had 2 bad cases with them. I booked 2 years ago a room in a hotel closed for 10 months in Colombia (south america)!! very nice when you arrived at midnight because Colombia is far to be the safest country. And recently i booked an hotel in Azerbaijan (Caucasus) and i rented a car to go specially there and after 5 hours driving : the hotel was closed and i had to spend the night in an awful and dirty hotel. So believe me : booking.com is far to be the best choice to book a room and i am a very experienced traveller everywhere in the world. I used them when i don't have other choice.
travelstravels is offline  
Jan 28th, 2017, 04:31 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 2,302
I use booking and hotels on a regular basis, on non so exotic destinations and my experience is :
- I ALWAYS get a mail asking me to review the hotel
- When I canceled my stay, I had no possibility to leave a review
- I have never had any problem
- I called both sites due to mistakes I made and they solved the situation 90% of the time.
I also spend 100 nights a year in hotels.

Another plus of these sites is that you pay via CC (so you can block) and you don't have to send your CC details per mail.

As for people only reviewing when they have a negative review because t is normal to get good service, I simply ignore such reviews, thinking they emanate from grumpy people who are never satisfied.
Especially when the tone of the rant (er, sorry, review) is such as yours.

You get zero credibility with such a post, and less than zero for your another thread.

Bottom line : I am not sure you are a troll, but you are the kind of guy no hotel manager would like to have in front of him/her.
I guess that is why he/she changed her mind : I figured you tired him and she thought you would continue to complain anyway, so why try to be nice and helpful ? Better to not care about and spend time with clients who may come back.

My opinion.
WoinParis is offline  
Jan 28th, 2017, 06:52 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 65,315
WoinParis: >>You get zero credibility with such a post, and less than zero for your another thread. <<

Two threads 2 years apart and both are about having chosen the wrong place to stay. Has REALLY bad luck and nothing good ever happens to them
janisj is offline  
Jan 28th, 2017, 07:00 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 9,533
OP: where have you been that you like?
jacketwatch is online now  
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