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HELP! Scammed out of London apartment. Need hotel. Arrive friday!

HELP! Scammed out of London apartment. Need hotel. Arrive friday!

Jun 13th, 2012, 11:57 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,859
HELP! Scammed out of London apartment. Need hotel. Arrive friday!

I helped my good friend book a beautiful flat in Holland Park through Home Away. Turns out the flat owner/manager scammed Home Away and the booking is no good. Everyone is apologetic, but all Home Away can offer is another flat (very ugly) near Olympic Park. Much too far.

We are desperately searching for hotel rooms:

- Central London (or very near)
- Easy access to Underground
- 3 rooms needed ( one must have two twin beds)
- rooms for large people -- most are over 6 ft tall, even the ladies
- $200 USD per night
- June 15 to June 20 (5 nights)

Help! Any suggestions? Thank you.
TC is offline  
Jun 13th, 2012, 12:14 PM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 63,875
What a shame. Their best bet will be to access Londontown.com. It will show almost any availability intown
janisj is online now  
Jun 13th, 2012, 12:16 PM
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 2,065
I'd keep pushing Homeaway.
if not do you need 3 rooms at $200 each? That's still not much.

And how many people total?

You might check Londontown.com -some choices are also far out but there are deals ..
mztery is offline  
Jun 13th, 2012, 12:45 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 33,461
I don't know about the rooms for large people or how to measure that, but they do have vacancies in your price range (130-150 GBP per day) at the London Elizabeth right near Lancaster Gate.

I really like that area, very nice to be near the park and convenient to the tube to go more central.

Otherwise, I'd suggest www.lastminute.com
Christina is online now  
Jun 13th, 2012, 01:32 PM
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 6,735
You could try the Park Plaza County Hall. Their rooms might be in your price range. It is fairly new and we have had large rooms there. Very conveniently located. Very close to Waterloo Tube station.
Florida1 is online now  
Jun 13th, 2012, 01:50 PM
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 2,153
I second the recommendation for Londontown.com. They are showing some 100-1245 pound per night rates for your dates in hotels like in Holiday Inn (the Bloomsbury location is a good location), Park Plaza and Radisson.
laurie_ann is offline  
Jun 13th, 2012, 01:57 PM
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 527
I would suggest going to Booking.com as soon as possible, type in London as destination and required dates, and select an accomodation according to your budget and highest good reviews written by travellers who would have stayed in that particular accomodation, taking into considertion location, accessibility to underground, cleanliness, availability of rooms since you need 3, etc.

I am sure you would find somewhere that would suit you. I am sorry that your booking for the flat proved to be a scam.
Anna_Galea is offline  
Jun 13th, 2012, 06:02 PM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57,890
are you asking for 3 double rooms at $200 each per night? and you want large rooms or large beds? larger than a regular double bed? rare in the UK - esp at that price.

i know nothing about it but have seen some posters reco eurocheapo for budget travelers
nytraveler is offline  
Jun 13th, 2012, 06:47 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,859
Thanks all. We were able to book three rooms at The Cumberland, Hyde Park for $219 USD each through londontown.com. They have 2 double rooms and one room with two twin beds. Perfect.

Appreciate your help. What a mad scramble this has been.

Do be wary of booking with Home Away. One would think they would vet their listings better than this.
TC is offline  
Jun 14th, 2012, 10:35 AM
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 2,065
neither homeaway nor vrbo nor any number of listing-only sites really vet their listings. If you are looking for apartments its best to buy the insurance or go with a site that actually manages the apartments themselves.

that said, glad you found something!
mztery is offline  
Jun 14th, 2012, 12:06 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,859
Having insurance and working with the apartment manager made absolutely NO difference. My friend DID work with the management company. That's who scammed her. And insurance ....while she will eventually get her money back (via CC company), they were still ready to depart with no place to stay. I was disappointed that HomeAway didn't offer more help when the listing went wrong. I would NEVER use HomeAway or recommend them to anyone.

I guess my friend was lucky to have figured out it was a scam before they departed. Could have had six tired people in a taxi looking for a non-existant flat in Holland Park at 6AM friday. At least they have hotel rooms now.

What exactly does HomeAway do for their share of the profit? I expected them to at least check out the management companies and/or the properties to know that the listing is legit. After all they put their name on top of the listings. Now I see them as no better than a listing on Craig's List or the like. No thanks!
TC is offline  
Jun 14th, 2012, 12:42 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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How did your friends find out the flat didn't exist? Happy to hear they found a hotel.
Judy is online now  
Jun 14th, 2012, 01:10 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Yeah, that's a good question, I was wondering the same thing (how you found out). If there is any saving grace, it's that you found out ahead of time.

I don't think you should assume any website that is just posting ads like Homeaway does anything to check places out, I think it is just like Craigslist. I never thought otherwise, it's just a little more targeted website, of course. I also would be surprised if Homeaway shared in any profits. I don't know how they could possibly manage and police that system. I think they are just a website that takes a fee for posting an ad, that's all. the only way they could share in the profits would be if the money filtered through them so they could take a cut and see it being paid, and I don't think it works that way, you contact the owner and pay the owner directly, don't you.
Christina is online now  

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