My experience with hotels.ng
I got married 10 days ago, and the lead up to the wedding day was mad in more ways than one. I do not live in Lagos and the wedding was scheduled to hold in Lagos, so I had to find someplace to sleep during the week before the day. I found a certain hotel that looked okay on hotels.ng, booked it, and was on my way there when a hotels.ng rep called to say there were no rooms in the hotel at the moment, but there should be something in ~1.5 hours. That was a bummer but because I couldn’t wait, I got another hotel (not booked on hotels.ng) and when the rep called back, I told him I didn’t need the hotel any longer, asked if I needed to personally cancel my booking, to which he responded that I shouldn’t worry about it. Fine.
A couple of days later, another hotels.ng rep called to ask how I enjoyed my stay at [the hotel I didn’t stay in]. I’m wondering if my booking was really cancelled, or if the cancellation didn’t reflect as it should have. I think there should be a way to know these things, i.e. I should get an email or text if my booking has been cancelled.
My husband booked another hotel for us to stay in over the weekend, and I remember he got a call from hotels.ng urging him to pay soon so he doesn’t lose the room, because hotels get really busy on weekends. I thought that was really helpful, because I would have been extra stressed if we had lost that room.
We went on a pre-honeymoon trip, and again, I booked our room on hotels.ng. A rep called me the morning of our trip to ask when we planned to check in, and then I think she called later to ask if we had checked in. I like that they keep calling to make sure everything is okay (and you haven’t changed your mind).
I love hotels.ng because they’re super convenient and they save me the pain of haggling to get a discount on my room rates (which I didn’t know was an option until I had to get rooms for my out-of-town wedding guests). One time I was supposed to sleep at the lovely Ibis on Toyin street, Lagos, and after I heard their room rates I opened hotels.ng, saw cheaper rates, booked and went to the front desk, waited for the booking to come through, and paid.
In all this though, I think it would be nice to:
- Urge hotel guests to leave reviews of the hotels/rooms they’ve occupied. Call and email the guests so they don’t forget, and email a couple more reminders after some time has elapsed and they haven’t left a review. I say this because it’s a bit annoying to not see reviews of a hotel before I book, but I also routinely forget to leave reviews (I’ve been using hotels.ng for ~1 year now and have never ever left a review).
- Make it such that if you see I have booked a hotel in, say, Jos, then my confirmation email would include a link to a blogpost about ‘Things to do in Jos’ (which should ideally include helpful information about things such as sightseeing, where to eat, where to shop, where to go if you have a medical emergency, cabs to call, etc). I don’t know. I don’t expect hotels.ng to double as the Yellow Pages, and I always do my research before traveling, but it would be nice to get some help.
- I know I’m probably asking for too much at this point but a menu and/or average meal prices for the hotel I’m booking would be nice. Last week I was in a nice hotel and they had akara and pap (which I was very happy to see) on the menu for ~N1,500 but when I called to order it was actually N4,000. Madness.
- Tell ‘Bisola from hotels.ng’ to stop sending me emails like “so what are you doing for Valentine’s day?”
P.S. Sorry this post is a bit disjointed, I wrote it in a hurry.