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Need Help with Venice Hotel Cancellation in May, 2020

Has anyone had any problem with getting a hotel to cancel and refund a hotel prepaid in Venice for May, 2020 due to the corona virus situation? I prepaid for my room and my rate is nonrefundable. It is a sizable amount for 2 weeks. Any suggestions on how to approach the hotel for an exception, either a refund or a transfer of the funds to a reservation for next year? This trip was my retirement celebration splurge.
Thank you for any suggestions.

Posted by
4677 posts

The first step is to make a voice phone call during business hours and ask nicely. Then report back here.

Take this as a future lesson about Travel Insurance. (Italy, today, is a special case that proves the rule. Not discussing other countries right now.)

Posted by
11677 posts

Our hotel in Naples gave us a credit for a future stay for the amount of the non-refundable payment. You should politely ask for that.

Posted by
1074 posts

"Take this as a future lesson about Travel Insurance. (Italy, today, is a special case that proves the rule. Not discussing other countries right now.)"


My travel insurance has an exclusion for epidemics and will pay nothing. Who ever gave that a thought 5 months ago.

Posted by
3965 posts

Definitely be calm and polite when you contact the hotel. No, we didn't foresee the virus, but you did get a non-refundable rate. Many vendors are being very helpful, but honestly, they don't have to.

Posted by
2305 posts

I would politely ask for a refund given the circumstances. If they come back with a firm no, then ask to transfer the funds to a booking for next year and if the rate is higher than your willingness to pay the difference. Either would be a win, but given this was a non refundable pre-paid booking be prepared to get nothing.

Posted by
820 posts

We are in a similar situation, wanting to cancel an apartment in October in Venice. We have paid a 200 euro deposit.
I think I will be saying “ given how tough it is for Venice, with the November acqua alta and now corona virus, perhaps you might donate the 200 to any worthwhile Venetian cause”.

Posted by
2930 posts

In fairness to the hotel, May is really an unknown. It is still 2 months away. I could understand if they hesitate to refund this far out.

Posted by
5483 posts

The key to your query is "...and my rate is nonrefundable."

I lost 7 days of prepaid non-refundable hotel in Milan when I decided not to go. I got a lower rate than the rate that allowed cancellations when I had every expectation to be in Milan.

Posted by
11465 posts

Without wanting to sound unsympathetic, this is the risk one takes with non-refundable reservations. Non-refundable means, well, non-refundable, and May is indeed too far away to expect any sort of refund, even if they were willing to issue one. The major hit that the Italian tourism biz is taking isn't exactly conducive to hotels passing on their stated reservation policies. :O(

Kindly asking if they'd be willing to credit you on a future stay is a good idea.

Posted by
255 posts

Agree with Kathy, you choose a non refundable rate, so it is what it is: non refundable.
Additionally it is a very difficult time for the tourism industry in Italy, they cannot afford to make exceptions, giving the circumstances, they are in worse conditions than you.

Posted by
304 posts

The suggestion to ask to bump your rsvp to another date is a good one. I’ve done it twice with b&bs here, albeit I dealt with individual owners and not large hotel management. They were happy to adjust the dates but this wasn’t during a time when all their guests were cancelling either :( If you are going to ask to swap dates, have some time frames available so they can put you in the books. It is more convenient for them and they will be more likely to agree instead of having an outstanding credit for who knows when.