I used Hotwire's Hot Rate to book a 4 1/2 star "secret" hotel in South Beach Miami, FL from Sept 14th through the 18th, 2012 (Friday night with Tues morning checkout). After receiving my booking confirmation and the hotel name (The Perry South Beach) for $158 average per night, I see the following notice in the booking confirmation: "Scaffolding around perimeter of hotel & there will be noise at times from 8AM-6PM, Monday - Friday. No scheduled work done on Saturdays or Sundays and will conclude at 6PM on weekdays. During the course of the improvements, balconies will be sealed off."
I think, ok, it can't be *that* bad or the hotel wouldn't be open. Well, it was fine on the weekend because there was no construction. Monday morning at around 7am you start to hear construction workers yelling at each other and equipment moving around and then promptly at 8am the jackhammer's start only a couple floors above us. The noise is so loud we cannot even talk to each other without yelling. So, we got dressed and left the hotel early, instead of you know, relaxing on a vacation. We get back at 3pm or so looking forward to a nap...jackhammers are still going...so back to the beach even though we're already sunburned.
We would have liked to sleep in a bit and relax around the hotel on Tuesday (our flight was in the late afternoon), but instead we have to flee to the beach again. We submitted a complaint to the hotel when we checked out and a complaint to Hotwire.com, but neither one cares that they wasted half my vacation by tricking me into paying for a 4 1/2 star hotel under major renovation. We flew all the way from California ($1200 worth of airfare for the 3 of us) expecting a wonderful vacation at a "4 1/2 star" hotel...what we got was the equivalent of a bait-and-switch and both parties appear to be fine with continuing to rip-off future travelers.
Here is the relevant part of Hotwire's response: "Our goal is to exceed your expectations and we regret we did not do so on this occasion. We hope to have the opportunity to better serve your needs in the near future." Yeah right.