Recently, my partner and I stayed at a small rural hotel in Australia’s Sunshine Coast. Check in was pleasant and friendly. We dumped our bags in the room, had a shower and went out to dinner.
As I reached into my pocket in the restaurant at about 1020pm for the car keys to return to the hotel, I realised that I did not have the room key.
I immediately rang the hotel and got the voice mail of reception. I left a detailed message and then rang again 30 minutes later.
When we arrived at the hotel at 1105pm, we found reception was closed and the hotel silent and deserted. I called again.
I discovered at the reception, a night bell. I pressed the bell and it connected through to the same number at reception. I left another message and we waited. My other half decided to put the seat in the car back and fall asleep! There was what looked like an apartment labelled “Private”. I banged on the door and window calling out. Nil response. I noticed that there were two car park spaces and only one car there. I hoped that the car owner was the hotel manager and was out for a few drinks with friends.
At that point, another guest arrived. I asked her if she could call the number listed for after hour emergencies in the hotel information pack. This she did. It too went to the main hotel number. She left a message.
I rang a few more times. I then called the hotel chain booking service to see if they had another number for the owners. They didn’t. I rang our travel agent’s 24 hour support line. They had no other numbers and rang the hotel and also left a message.
I tried to find a way through the locked windows of our room.
I did a search on the business registration websites to see if there were any other numbers I could call someone, anyone on.
I looked up how to open a door with a Credit Card, on the Internet. Its very practical and helpful but does not work. I wrecked two cards.
At 240am, I called the local police station thinking they may have local knowledge of the owner. The call switched through to the central police switchboard. The person who answered was very helpful but no hulking policemen came around to smash the door down.
I admitted defeat at 330am and joined my now snoring partner!
The sun came up between 4 and 5. At 5am, 530 and 6am I rang the hotel. At 630am, the owner answered. We were in our room by 636am. I carried my partner into the room. We slept to 9 and then checked out. The owner admitted he normally sleeps with the phone by his side but decided not to this night!
He charged us full price. Should he have?