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London Calling

My husband (what?!) and I recently got married, and after what felt like an Indian Wedding, jam-packed with many different events and crazy family members, we decided to sneak off to London for a week to relax and unwind. A close friend of mine, who is a Londonite herself, laughed hysterically when I told her of our plans, and was quick to explain to me that “London is not a place you go to unwind.”

O.K, point taken, but the smell of scones and tea was calling my name (as well as the prospect, of course, of bumping into Kate and Will). Tourists unite!

As this was not our official honeymoon, combined with the fact that it was a very last minute thing and prices for decent hotels were about the same as buying a house, we decided to get onto good old trusty Expedia, and book a ‘secret deal’. If you’re not seasoned bargain hunters, then a secret deal is basically a nifty little trick, where you choose the general area you’d like your hotel to be, as well as the number of stars, and then pay for the hotel without knowing the name, or anything about it. Hashtag LiveOnTheEdge. We chose a 4-star hotel in a great area – how wrong could we go?

WRONG. Very wrong. Very, very, very wrong.

As soon as we received the name of the hotel, we had a look and read about forty very worrying reviews, explaining that basically the hotel was a scam. After hours on the phone to Expedia, they explained to us that because it was a ‘secret deal’, we could not cancel, and not to worry, as they had been in touch with the ‘hotel’ and they were expecting us.

We finally arrived at the hotel in question, after a 5-hour flight and a sleepless night. We rung the bell a good fifty times – no answer. Finally, what we thought was a fellow hotel stayer arrived, and we followed him in. We asked him where the reception was, and he laughed, saying this was an apartment block, and there was no reception.

Another five very long, expensive calls to Expedia, only to be told that “because we received such a great price, there was nothing they could do.” I calmly explained that “it’s wonderful we received such a great price, but this ‘hotel’ is a scam, and we don’t have anywhere to sleep!” Another few very long and expensive calls to Expedia, speaking to, what felt like robots. We finally understood that unfortunately we were not getting anywhere, and we had wasted five hours of our much needed ‘relaxing’ vacation. We decided to cut our losses, and venture off to find a different hotel to rest our tired little heads.

Luckily, just around the corner, a cute little hotel invited us in, and to our delight, had one last available room. We put our suitcases down, and ventured into cold London for some Indian comfort food, and a glass (or four) of wine to drown our sorrows.

I’m happy to say, that it only went up from there, and we had a fantastic holiday in freezing London, filled with three theatre shows, delicious food, and unforgettable moments with wonderful friends.

Moral of the story: Definitely go and visit beautiful and vibey London, but NEVER book a secret deal with Expedia. I know that’s the last time I will be using their services. It’s one thing to make mistakes (as we all do), but what matters most, is how they’re dealt with after. #LoveLondon #HateExpedia

About Jess

Jess hails from Sunny Australia and is the youngest of the frugal ladies. She loves shopping for a bargain, reading, watching movies and spends most of her life on the beach

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  • Ronit

    Yikes! That’s a disgrace. Unbelievable that Expedia would stick by the scammer and ignore all the clients. It’s so obviously a scam!!! I would continue demanding if i were you… Grrrr

  • T-Nicole Johnson

    Congratulations! Thanks for sharing your experience with Expedia. Glad to hear that you trip got better.

  • Channel Imperial

    I’m very sad to know about the secret Expedia deal that went crazy in London but I am glad that you enjoyed London nonetheless. I wish Expedia will do something about this. The hotel should be reprimanded for this too!

  • Kimberly Caines

    Wow sorry to hear about that hotel issue, but good to know that it all got better from there on. Thanks for sharing.

  • Eek, sorry about the hotel issue, but I am so glad it worked out. Shame on Expedia :/

  • Karlyn Flores

    What a beautiful post and I’m so glad that you share your story with us

  • Enricoh Alfonzo Naidu

    Yikes I didn’t know expedia could be that bad. But i would definitely love to visit london

  • Congratulations on getting married! Unfortunately my husband and I just had a similar experience and it took us hours to get our money back from the hotel so we could leave and find another place to stay. We’ve learned our lesson about using Expedia and knowing that we need to research a lot more next time. Thankfully we got everything resolved on out second night and moved on to a nice Spa Hotel and enjoyed the rest of our vacation. I wish we went London because it sounds so nice. I hope to make it there one day!

  • Wow, this is very interesting, a friend of mine had the very same experience with Expedia – and it wasn’t a secret thing – it was booked and they said he would get an email saying how to book in as there wasn’t a reception. As it was the next day – he wasn’t concerned he didn’t get the email – arrived at the place, and as you did rang the bell hundreds of times, walked in with someone and no way to find out where to say – lots of expensive calls to Expedia and they finally relocated him – to a much cheaper place for the same price!!! – Its some sort of scam then isn’t it.

  • Chrissy Hme

    My mom’s friend recently went to London and she loved it. I am so sorry you and others have had such bad experiences with Expedia.