Whenever I travel, I like to know in advance where I would lay my head on a pillow at night. I am not a fan of going somewhere without having a hotel reservation. A confirmed reservation. Throughout the multiple trips I had to do for work and not only, had I learnt that one needs to take some precautions while travelling abroad.
I had the misfortune to end up to a hotel where I had reserved a room online, through their website, and when I got there, I was told by the reception that I was not on their list of confirmed guests. I was travelling with one of my friend, a contractor for blacktop paving Edmonton. Needless to add how unpleasant it was to go look for another place to sleep in the middle of the night, in a country where no one was speaking English. Luckily the taxi driver that took us around was a decent man, and didn’t try to rip us off for the almost two hours ride.
For my last trip, I booked a room in Quito through Airbnb. It was the first time I used the Airbnb website. Generally I either used Tripadvisor, Booking or Despegar for finding a room. I like to read the reviews before I actually book a place to stay. I am not a fancy person who is difficult to please, so don’t think I am always staying in a four stars hotel room or its equivalent.
What I look for is a decent room, with hot water, clean sheets, and a good pillow. And quiet, if possible. I don’t think I ask for too much in terms of hospitality.
This time, for this room in Quito, I had to pay in advance with my credit card. I didn’t like the idea, but I had no choice. It was the only place close enough to the new Mariscal airport. The rest of the hotels, where in the city, which was forty minutes away from the airport. Thus, after landing, I took a taxi and headed towards the B&B where I had made my reservation. The taxi driver assumed he knew where the hotel was located, but when we got there we found nothing but a sort of no tell motel, which was not what I was looking for. I asked the taxi driver to go inside and inquire if anyone had any idea or ever had heard of the B&B where I was supposed to go. No one knew anything.
When I looked at my reservation confirmation email, I noted that there was no phone number that I could have called and ask for directions. Thus, I had to go by taxi all the way to downtown, and spend the night in a far more expensive hotel, when I had already paid for a room in a ghost B&B.