If you are on your way or thinking of coming to Istanbul and are looking at hotels Do not under any circumstance book the Hotel California in Sultahnamet.
We came to Istanbul on short notice and booked this because it was very close to everything and had 5 nights available. Price was not our initial issue. We booked it through Booking.com.
We got our confirmation fro B.com and felt ok about the deal.
When we arrived the young man behind the desk was evasive and would not answer my questions. It was clear from his actions, he made a call immediately and had a long conversation, that there was an issue. Then he informs me that our reservation has been Cancelled...because my credit card did not clear when they ran it for a pre authorization.
I new immediately he was lying to me or that they had run the wrong number. It became clear later he was simply lying.
My well known credit card sends me an instant message ANY time there is ANY type of transaction on my card. Those messages arrive so fast I usually haven’t signed the slip yet. And of course I had gotten no such message about this hotel running my card.
Nor did this hotel follow the usual procedure with Booking.com when a preauthorization fails which is to notify B.com. B.com then sends the guest a message saying to try another card, contact the property etc.
So when I politely but firmly confronted the man with these facts, he just continued to lie to me.
Now I used to own a hotel in a well known resort area so I know pretty much all the machinations hotels can use and this is my educated opinion of what really took place:
This hotel got a Full Rack Rate Walk in for an extended period and dumped my lower rate B.com reservation. And of course they did not want to notify B.com or me as it would mean a chance for me to give them a different card or have them re-run the original and put them in a very awkward position.
Now it is customary when a hotel has to “Walk” a guest due to reservation problems that they have already contacted a different hotel and arranged a room before the guest arrives. This hotel made no attempt to do anything to help me.
This is indicative of the problems I have had with Booking.com this trip. And while it is not B.coms fault their responses so far to this issue have been a series of canned messages completely irrelevant to the problem.
Any hotel that treats their reservations in this fashion should be avoided. Problems always arise in reservations and good hotels, honest hotels try hard to honor their reservations and never dump a guest. This hotel has no such conscience.