Why you should always, always, always double-check your hotel reservation

It never hurts to double-check your hotel reservation. It could mean the different between having a place to stay and being homeless in a foreign city.

I know, because it almost happened to me.
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What does a hotel owe me for construction noise?

Sculpies/Shutterstock
Sculpies/Shutterstock
All Robin Rosner wanted was a little peace and quiet when she checked into the Sheraton Centre in Toronto recently.

All she got was chaos and noise — lots of noise.

“I awoke to find my message light blinking about 3 a.m. and learned that they would be power-washing the exterior of the building starting the next day,” she says. “They were suggesting people keep their blinds closed for privacy.”

And that wasn’t all.

“They also pointed out some construction work on one of the main streets might result in a detour,” she says. But the hotel failed to tell her that its garden wasn’t open, even though it was the middle of the summer, which was a problem for Rosner, because she was traveling with her dog.
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Help, my Hotwire hotel was a construction zone

Photo courtesy Michael Weaver
Photo courtesy Michael Weaver
To say Michael Weaver was unhappy about the hotel he booked through Hotwire recently might be an understatement. He paid for a 4.5-star hotel in South Beach, but instead checked into a construction site.

For those of you just joining us, Hotwire lets you book a type of hotel in a general geographic location, and only reveals the name of the property after you’ve paid for a nonrefundable reservation.

After Weaver made his booking, he found out he’d be staying at The Perry South Beach.
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Why won’t RIU extend my hotel voucher?

Guido Akster/Shutterstock
When Dave Mootz checked into the RIU Playacar two years ago, he was greeted by trucks and construction workers where there should have been a quiet beach. The area was undergoing a much-needed beach restoration project — during his much-needed Mexico vacation.

Mootz was unhappy with the view and the incessant noise. So he complained to RIU, and after a lengthy back-and-forth, the hotel agreed to send him a two-night voucher, valid between Aug. 1, 2010 and Aug. 30, 2011. That made him a little more happy, but not by much. He’d asked for a partial refund, arguing that he couldn’t return to Mexico until 2013.
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Driving home for the holidays? You’ll get there — eventually

There’s good news and bad news for motorists this holiday season.

America’s roads have never been safer, statistics show. But, depending where you live, they may never be slower.

“The big new trend this year is the construction,” said Carol White, co-author of “Live Your Road Trip Dream.” “With all the TARP funds rolling out on highway projects, last summer was a mess, and I think it is going to continue into the winter months in areas where weather permits.”

Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, the federal government has spent $27 billion for highway and bridge construction in the last two years.
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